In his essay "Theory and Praxis" (1903) the economist and Zionist activist Hayyim Dov Horowitz wrote:
Everyone today is searching for a "Zionist theory" – a complete and all-inclusive theory which will encompass all aspects of our movement and elucidate them with the prescience of the newest laws of sociology. What we need now is a "Zionist Marx" who will clarify the foundations of Zionism for us as deeply as "their Marx" explained the theory of social development and, specifically, the foundations of "the "workerms ovement.
The desire for a "Zionist Marx" reflected the contemporary intellectual atmosphere-dominated by positivism and Marxism in their various forms-in which repeated attempts were made to apply scientific principles to social and moral questions. The Zionist intelligentsia was not indifferent to the prevailing vogue, and often presented Zionism as a scientific deduction of the objective laws dictating social life. These theoretical exigencies led to ambitious efforts to examine Jewish history- in particular, its economic and social aspects-in order to uncover the specific forces and laws that directed and shaped Jewish life in the diaspora…
Published in Jewish Social Studies New Series, Vol. 1, No. 1 (Autumn, 1994), pp. 94-114