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Archive for July, 2007

Antisemitic people and Jewish Overachievers

Posted by fracardi on July 30, 2007

In this post, Martin Varsavsky, himself a Jewish, points out an evidence that’s rarely debated: why Jews are over-represented among successful people in almost all societies where they were allowed to live and prosper.

I´m not a Jew, but very attracted by Jewish culture and very curious to understand which are the reasons of Jewish unquestionable success in modern society.

To me, there is no one single reason, it´s a combination. If I should mention three factors, I would say: education, globalization and identity preservation.

About education, this was already pointed out many times.

About globalization, this is a direct consequence of diaspora. In a globalized world, the pain of being persecuted transformed itself in a clear advantage. Jewish families started becoming global hundreds of years before Italian or German families did it. And being global is a key advantage to trade, to make money and then to educate at best the next generation.

About identity preservation, this is something that is unique to Jews. Italians migrated to the Americas and in one or two generations became 100% Brazilians, Argentinians and US citizens. They “melt” into the new country. Not the same for Jews. Today a successfull Italian in Italy can´t connect with successfull sons and daugthers of Italian immigrants in the Americas (and there are many), cause they lost a common language and a common culture.

Jews are the only people who were globally spread apart but then continued to maintain a strong cross-country single identity. Together with the emphasis on education, that is proper of the Jews culture, this makes the equation.


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