Chapter

From Social Policy to Social Engineering, 1870–1933

Derek J. Penslar

in Shylock's Children

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2001 | ISBN: 9780520225909
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520925847 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520225909.003.0006
From Social Policy to Social Engineering, 1870–1933

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This chapter discusses social engineering as the most spectacular attempt of Jews to solve socioeconomic problems. The most familiar example of Jewish social engineering was the Zionist project that, among its many aims, sought to establish a productive national economy based on agriculture and manufacture. The Zionist dream of transforming the Jews' occupational structure and economic behavior was hardly new, for it represented a continuation of a discourse that dated to the late eighteenth century. Jewish social policy did not portend the Zionist project, just as there was no neat, linear progression, in either an institutional or an ideational sense, from national or international to nationalist Jewish politics. The relationship between Zionism and other forms of Jewish social policy should be conceived not in mathematical terms of unidirectional vectors, but rather in biological terms of lateral evolution from a common ancestor.

Keywords: social engineering; Jews; socioeconomic problems; Zionist project; Zionism

Chapter.  12945 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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