Kanye, Capitalism, and Antisemitism

Jesse Callahan Bryant
3 min readNov 5, 2022

For anyone who’s interested, I want to point you back to something I wrote a while back called Trump, Kanye, Elon, and the Ideology of Producerism.

Look like, I don’t want to say “I told you so,” but this is the deal: for those narcissistic billionaires like Kanye, Musk, and Ford who are “creators” so spiritually tied to capitalism as a means of justifying their worth as a human being, the Jews will always appear as the parasitic scapegoat for their own personal creative failures.

This is because within the economic system we call capitalism there is a big picture binary division of labor between financiers and creators. And I mean, it’s been around forever. In the 1600s early capitalist Dutch East India Company context, this divide was between cosmopolitan principles who gathered investors and put up the capital to fund the oceanic voyages and colonial agents who sailed to the East, violently forced locals into the spice trade, and returned cinnamon and nutmeg to Amsterdam to be sold in markets across Europe.

But, who were the real Dutch, the capital gatherers or the sailors? Who are the real Americans, Hamilton’s Manhattan investors or Jefferson’s yeoman farmers? Who are the real Germans, the Berlin Jews or the Saxony farmers? Who are the real Americans, record label executives or the recording artists? The answer in each of these cases is both. Capitalism needs both — actual investment and actual doing.

Okay, so what does this have to do with Ye “going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE”. This: As capitalist systems begin to fail, as ours is beginning to, the in-group consciousness of the investors and of the doers heightens. Each defines the failure of the system more broadly in terms of the failure of the other. Investors blame the doers, and the doers blame the investors.

Ye is a doer, a producer, and so as he grasps for a way of justifying his own failure of doing he has eventually discovered he can do so by blaming the investors. He then discovers that a lot of Jewish people, more than would make sense given their 2% of the American population, are involved in investment. He then discovers this whole lost world of the cabal, of puppet masters, of Jewish control of the media…its everywhere. He talks to Kyrie. He’s seen this undiscovered knowledge too, and something about Black Israelites, that Black people are the lost tribe of Judah, that “Blacks are Jew” (“not Jewish”)…all of these symbols swirl around in a soup of meaning, dizzying, giving life to a failed marriage, the recreation of absentee fatherhood — its the Jews.

As capitalist systems fail, its colonial agents, its Saxon and yeoman farmers, its Fords, Musks, and Wests, in their absolute failure to deal with personal insecurity and narcissism, will turn to the Jews. It doesn’t matter that in 2020 Jewish people, as an ethnic group, had the highest rate of hate crime victimization in the United States, more than double that of Black people. It doesn’t matter. As Kanye has been dramatizing for us all, antisemitism is a fundamental component of all failing capitalist systems which takes the form of high profile producers turning on their other half, the investors, mistakenly and powerfully interpreted as the Jews.



Jesse Callahan Bryant

Jesse is a Ph.D. student at the Yale School of the Environment, creator of the Yonder Lies podcast, and instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School.