Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator
I agree he's unpleasant. But the reason people engage in polemics, as I'm sure you know, is to engage an audience and excite it. Even if we just consider it as a cynical use of polemics, then at best he's insincerely appealing to anti-semites. I don't think there is any evidence that he's insincere.
I think anyone who reads the text "On the Jewish Question" can understand what Marx was saying---that the Jews will not be "socially" emancipated--become free men---- until society as a whole is emancipated from the worship of money, just as it must be emancipated from religion in general. Unless you understand the historical context and know something about Bruno Bauer (an atheist, anti-Christian Hegelian), then it is very easy to misunderstand the polemic. The key quote:
"The political emancipation of the Jew, the Christian, the religious man in general, is the emancipation of the state from Judaism, from Christianity, from religion in general."
Was Marx historically right to single out Jews for their role in finance, or was he simply giving vent to prejudice? That is an interesting question, but it cannot be answered by assuming that he was sincerely or insincerely making an appeal to anti-semites, in short that he was a rabble-rouser. In any case, none of Marx's early writings and polemics would even be known if Marx had not gone on to write Das Kapital.