A Different Context

Letter to the Editor

Published December 14, 2011, issue of December 23, 2011.
  • Print
  • Share Share

I just read the op-ed by Thai Jones, “From Russia to Zuccotti Park, the Parodox of Anarchism” in the December 2 issue. I am puzzled by the effort to somehow equate the 21st century protests against the inequality of wealth in America with the Russian revolution, which was against the brutality of the tsarist regimes. In the 19th and early 20th century the vast majority of Jews were struggling to determine whether they should join other ethnic and peasant classes in the revolt or to fight as a separate nation within Russia. Certainly the idea of “anarchism” was not a part of the plan of any organized Jewish struggle either among the Bundists or Zionist groups who debated for years how to approach the struggle for independence and emancipation.

In none of the Zionist conventions, and there were several of them, was there an ideology that talked to the issue of “anarchy.” They dealt more specifically with how Jews in Russia and Poland ought to react to the coming revolt and whether they should stay in exile or move en masse to a homeland in which they had control of their own lives.

To try and somehow single out some anarchists’ assaults against “authority” in 19th and early 20th century Russia and make some sort of comparison to what is happening now against Wall Street is to draw a false equation between the suffering of Jews under a brutal regime with the freedoms and rights that are afforded to a free citizenry in 21st century America.

Thomas A. Borin
Tucson, Arizona


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.