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Shylock's ChildrenEconomics and Jewish Identity in Modern Europe$
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Derek Penslar

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780520225909

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520225909.001.0001

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From Social Policy to Social Engineering, 1870–1933

From Social Policy to Social Engineering, 1870–1933

Chapter 6 (p.223) From Social Policy to Social Engineering, 1870–1933
Shylock's Children

Derek J. Penslar

University of California Press

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

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