“Written to enlighten, guaranteed to offend”
A Publication of Seth J. Frantzman
February 16th, 2009
1) The U.S Stimulus Bill: Failure in a thousand Paper cuts: The Stimulus bill that has passed congress will fail because it is spread out among a thousand different pet projects, many of which will only hire white collar professionals, such as environmental consultants, and will never trickle down to the people being laid off.
2) Doha Debates: a view into the failure of the West in the world: The Doha Debates, a BBC run debating session held in front of an audience that votes after the debate and which takes place in the United Arab Emirates is an example of the failure in exporting democracy and free speech. The crowd usually votes against things that would be considered ‘western values’ and consistently toes the line on Islamism and terrorism. It is an example of the problems in exporting democracy, debate and free speech.
3) Rich and out of touch: reflections on Israel's elections in 2009: In the wake of Israel’s elections in 2009 one of the hot stories was the ‘disappearance’ of the Israeli left. Depending on who was interviewed the ‘real left’ had dwindled to just three seats in the Knesset. The reason for this decline is that the extreme left in Israel has marginalized itself by turning on its country, calling its army ‘war criminals’ and yet it enjoys a very high standard of living and frequently lives off the state as some sort of ‘public intellectual’. The people of the nation have tired of an elite that despises them and relegates them to a buffer zone between the elite society and the terrorists. The people are forced to pay the price for the experiments of ‘peace’ and they have tired of the fact that the very people who will send them and their sons to war will then call them ‘war criminals’ and invite Europeans to put them on trial. The immigrants to Israel have tired of an elite that allows them to settle on the land and then encourages terrorists to murder them as ‘occupiers’.
The U.S Stimulus Bill: Failure in a thousand Paper cuts
Seth J. Frantzman
February 9th, 2009
One of the hallmarks of the 2008-2009 Financial Crises and recession has been comparisons to the Great Depression. One of the rejoinders to such comparisons is that the symbolic images of the Depression, the bread line, has not been seen in America. That is not the case in Lehigh Acres, a suburb near Fort Myers, in Lee County Florida. This community, which numbered 33,000 people in the 2000 census, has seen some of the greatest boom and bust swings in the U.S. Housing prices rose dramatically to an average of $322,300 in 2005 before plummeting to $106,000 today. Its population also mushroomed to an estimated 67,000. Now one in four of its residents are on food stamps. By November of 2008 unemployment was almost at 10%. As the financial crises and foreclosures came to Lehigh Acres so did crime and abandoned property.
The story of Lehigh Acres is neither emblematic nor an exception to many communities in America. Its story of unemployment and extreme swings in housing prices and rise in crime is perhaps a harbinger of things to come in other communities. At Lehigh Acres a number of private non-profits have stepped into the breach, including Lehigh Community Services and the local Faith Lutheran Church.
It is communities like Lehigh Acres that the massive stimulus bill crafted by Congress and President Obama is supposed to help. The bill that passed the House of Representatives declared that its objective was to “preserve and create jobs” and “assist those most impacted by the recession” and “to provide investments.”
It is worth considering which of things being funded by the Stimulus bill will provide jobs in Lehigh Acres. Will the $350 million for ‘Watershed and flood prevention operations’ to “purchase and restore floodplain easements” provide jobs to those in Lehigh Acres? Or the $250 million to repair Nasa facilities as well as $70 million to improve NASA’s supercomputing capabilities. Or is it the $39 billion provided in the Senate Bill to the Department of Energy for the ‘development of clean , efficient American energy.” Or the $300 million to “replace older motor fleet vehicles” owned by the Federal government? The $2.5 billion to increase energy efficiency in Federal buildings. Or is it $250 million for Community Development Financial Institutions? Or it could be the $10 billion “to conduct Biomedical research.” The $650 million for the ‘Digital to Analog Converter Program’ that will be given to organization that “educate vulnerable populations.” Or it might be the $440 million “to improve the functioning of the criminal justice system, to assist victims of crime (other than compensation).”
Some of the provisions are bizarre in their wording. This includes $20 million to the “Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the Department of Commerce for continued work on advancing health care information enterprise integration through activities such as technical standards analysis.” Some of the provisions might provide jobs but the jobs provided are quite macabre. For instance the$29 million for “national cemetery administration minor construction.” Other provisions are targeted to groups. One provides $198 million for a fund called the ‘Filipino veterans Equity Compensation Fund’ for Filipinos who fought as guerillas in the Philipines on the side of the U.S during the Second World War.
At a townhall meeting in Elkhart, Indiana Barack Obama promised that the Recovery and Reinvestment act “does not have a single earmark in it.” Apparently that doesn’t include the provisions for moneys directed solely for Samoa and Puerto Rico as well as individual American Indian reservations.
The Stimulus bill’s failure is that it represents a form of death by a thousand paper cuts. While it appears massive in its spending, totaling some $800 billion, in fact it is wasted in thousands of small million dollar grants to various things. No one of these millions of dollars can possibly have a significant impact.
But the single biggest problem with the Stimulus Bill is that where it does actually create jobs or provide moneys that will result in job creation the jobs are primarily for those with a college education and previous special professional training. Those hired to make the federal buildings more energy efficient will not be the people of Lehigh Acres. They cannot retrain to do that work. It will be analysis who studied the environment as well as consultants from various green groups. The money that will go to the new supercomputers at NASA will not go to the people of Lehigh Acres or Elkhart. It will go to people with computer engineering degrees.
It is true that professions and people with masters and doctoral degrees are also out of work. It is true that engineers and doctors are also losing their jobs. It is true that employees of NGOs and non-profit environmental groups have also lost their jobs. However these individuals represent the elite of the economy. Providing jobs to one hundred of them costs more than 10 or 20 times what it does to provide jobs in blue collar industries. It is the blue collar workers, mechanics and construction workers and vendors, who are out of work and who make up the residents of Lehigh Acres. Those in Elkhart, Indiana are primarily builders of mobile homes and RVs. These people will not be hired to consult on energy efficiency. Training them to do so and providing them with the years of experience that will no doubt be required on resumes of those hired to do the work would take ten years. It appears that the paucity of jobs that will be created will be for professionals, government officials and NGOs, creating dependency in places like Lehigh Acres and that little of it will drip down to the people being hit hardest.
The Stimulus Bill of 2009 is being touted as the only answer to a ‘catastrophe’ that will be as great as the Depression. However the Depression was fought, not through providing jobs to aerospace engineers, but through the Works Progress Administration of FDR. 3.3 million people were employed by the WPA at its height for a total cost of $11.4 billion through 1941. People were paid the local prevailing wage. To date 3.6 million Americans have lost jobs since December of 2007. Today there are 11 million unemployed people in the U.S. How many of those people will really receive jobs through the Stimulus bill?
Doha Debates: a view into the threat of the West to the world
January 25th, 2009
Seth J. Frantzman
I’ve watched a dozen or more of the BBC’s Doha debates, a series that takes place in the UAE and includes a mostly Muslim, but also reasonably diverse audience of expats, Indians and white western women, and it has become clear that these debates offer a very unique view into the role that western democracy has in threatening the world. In each debate the radical and anti-western view receives the most votes, and it receives votes not only from Muslims but also from the white, blond haired blue eyes, westerners who lurk in the crowd. What is even more surprising is that one finds that the supporters of the most extreme opinions are usually white people, westerners and converts to Islam who live in the West.
The Doha debates is a program that seems to invite Arab Muslims to learn about democracy. The debates have a tough British language moderator and who debaters on each team. Most of the debates have to do with Islam, the role of Islam in the West, terror or Western policy in the Middle East. At the end of the debate the audience is allowed to ask questions and then there is a vote. Thus democracy is practiced in a limited form in this forum which is an excellent example of free speech and open debate.
But surprisingly, or perhaps not, this exercise in democracy produces predictable results; it produces extremism and hate. What is most interesting is to see that those frequently arguing on behalf of such motions as “Islamism is a threat to the West” are Muslims and that those arguing that Islamism and terrorism are positive parts of ‘struggle’ are white westerners, sometimes converts to Islam.
The question that must be asked in the wake of these debates is the threat that the West and its democracy is to the world. The West has come to believe that democracy and free speech are integral to freedom. But the West seems to forget the lessons of the 1920s and 1930s when democracy and free speech were easy prey to evil. In fact free speech and open secular ‘progressive’ societies created a weak central governments that were incapable of defending themselves from rising demagogues who used free speech in order to gain power and declare dictatorships.
The Doha debates and its participants, such as Sarah Joseph, editor of Emel magazine, a former Jew turned convert to Christianity and then Islamism, show the degree to which free speech and democracy actually help inculcate extremism and dictatorship and a love for fascist religion. Joseph argues that Israel is the greatest threat to the world and that Iran is a wonderful ‘liberal’ country. In fact she and her debate partner, Shadi Hamid of the Center for Middle East Democracy, argue that Islamism is ‘liberal’ and any attempt to ban it is ending the “right of people to be liberal.”
By contrast those who oppose extremism are always real Muslims, not converts. Democracy does not have a great track record when it comes to the appetites of the people for demagoguery, religious extremism and dictatorship. Democracies frequently fail and frequently endorse extremism. Cases in point include Venezuela and the election of Hamas. The role of democracy as a transition to dictatorship can be seen in Iran in the period after the revolution when the good ‘liberals’ and the feminists and western educated elite all opposed the Shah and then all endorsed the ‘freedom fighter Ayatollah’ and then all marched their country into the dark ages. The mistake in believing that democracy is naturally robust and can be sustained over time lies in the false interpretation of European history where the undemocratic parts of the history are forgotten and we are forced only to recall the Magna Carta, the 19th century, the era of Liberalism before 1922 and the eras of Christian Democracy and Social Democracy after 1945. A newspaper today even spoke of the English “tradition of free speech.” What tradition? This is a blatant mistake. If we can say there is a ‘tradition’ of democracy in any European country we can say there is a greater tradition of monarchy. The development in Russia between 1989 and 2009, just twenty years, ca be shown to be a case study in how democracy fails.
While there have been great advances in democratization since the American Revolution of 1776, there have been great failures. Democracy marches on in some places, but for each success in Southeast Asia or Africa or South America, there is a blatant failure that has terrible ramification. And dictatorship tends to spread like a virus. Islamism spreads like a virus. The imposition of radical or selective forms of democracy in the Muslim world may have a strange and tragic reverse affect; selective democracy leads to the rise of the extreme voice through its manipulation of free speech. But why judge the Arabs for their extremism. They are merely following what the Germans did so well in the 1930s. Arab civilization may be rich and old. So was the German one, arguably richer and more influential before it committed suicide. Those that argue that Islamism is not really part of Islam are mistaken. Nazism was part of Germany. Arguably the coming of democracy brought on Nazism. So it did Communism, which worked to exploit freedom of speech to destroy democracy. Democracy, far from being that robust and muscular thing, is a fragile flower that is snuffed out easily. It must be guarded, like any flower garden, by vicious dogs and men with guns. And when weeds grow up inside the garden sometimes part of the garden must be torn up in order to find and eradicate the weeds. Planting a few roses amid the vines in some savage land and then wondering why they die out is patently stupid. Wondering why the vines take advantage of the roses and feed off them and climb on them is also ignorant. The Doha debate is one such fragile rose set amongst hate and anger and extremism.
Rich and out of touch: reflections on Israel's elections in 2009
February 12th, 2009
Seth J. Frantzman
On the day after the elections there appeared in Haaretz a story about the failure of the Meretz party in Israel. It quoted Haim Oron, the leader of the party, as saying that he was hoping once the IDF votes were counted that Meretz might receive another seat in the Israeli Parliament. He was praying for a miracle because the current results showed Meretz slipping to only three mandates, a drastic decline from its heady days when it might have received 8. But Meretz wasn't the only loser. Labor, the traditional party of Israel that brought the country up and led it from independence in 1948 to 1977 received only 13 mandates, a dismal failure. Together the 'left' bloc would have only 16 seats in the Knesset, a mere 15% of the seats. Together they were doing barely better than the Arab parties which received 11 mandates.
Haim Oron was fantasizing because only weeks before his own party members had declared that the IDF might have committed 'war crimes' in the Gaza war of 2009. It was his party members who had suggested bringing charges in Europe against the very army that his party had supported sending to the Gaza strip in December of 2008. But this is Israel and in Israel the same people that will send the soldiers to die will later bring Europeans to charge them with war crimes. The same people who will send the soldiers to die will vacation on the Riviera where their own countrymen, because of being officers in the IDF, may not go for fear of arrest by the very arrest warrants that these Israelis helped bring against their countrymen.
The left in Israel, the extreme left, the white left, the left of the students and the pasty faced old people, is falling over itself that their beliefs have been so roundly repudiated by democracy. It is no surprise that civics teachers declared that when their students voted for Yisrael Beitanu in mock elections that the students "hadn't learned the lessons about democracy." In fact the students had learned about democracy but this is not the democracy of the left and the left's knee jerk reaction to democracy that does no suit them is to simply declare that it is not a democracy. It is like saying there is no 'civil society'. The left predicates the idea of 'civil' and 'democracy' on the idea that only leftists can embrace these ideas.
The left in Israel represents a truly bizarre phenomenon. For years it ran the state with an iron fist. It dominated industry, investing, the newspapers, the economy, politics and the university. It brought in hundreds of thousands of Jews and settled the Sephardim on the borders next to the Arabs and let them bear the brunt of the terror infiltrations of the 1950s and 1960s. Then it launched a war and conquered the West Bank, Gaza and the Sinai and it sent settlers to those places. It gladly sent its communist settlers to build Kibbutzim in the Jordan valley and the Golan.
But when its grip on power began to loosen with the election of Menachem Begin in 1977 it supposedly began 'soul searching'. Begin had triumphed through the votes of the small peoples, the peoples relegated to the 'development towns' to the inner cities and the borders. These were the workers, the original people who did the 'Arab work'. And in 1977 it was the old Labour Zionist elite, the Poland born and European bred Jews who had come in the three Aliyot, the Yekkes from the 1930s, who declared arrogantly 'we will beat them [Likud and Begin] the way we beat the Arabs.' But they could not use on their own people the army they had built to defeat the Arabs and democracy brought them down. Soul searching led to the protests of 1982 against the 'Sabra and Shatilla massacre.' This was when the left began to turn on the country, realizing it was no longer its country it began to have a hate for the institutions it had built, especially the army. The academy, built so proudly by the left where German was once heard more than Hebrew, and once led by Judah Leib Magnus, an American reform Jewish rabbi who was the first leader of the 'Bi-nationalists' (Brit Shalom), who lived in a former Arab home in Talbiyeh, enjoying the fruits of the 1948 victory and who left Israel as one of the first 'disillusioned' elitists, the academy turned on the state. It began to publish about the evils of Zionists, the 'New historians' told of the Palestinian refugees and 'ethnic-cleansing' and it compared Zionism to colonialism, to the WASP elite of the U.S, to an 'ethnocratic settler state', to Apartheid, to 'Judeo-nazis', to the Crusaders, everything in order to cast aspersions on the state, the state which paid the salaries of those that hated it the most.
Increasingly the left isolated itself, on its Kibbutzes, in Rehavia, in the best neighborhoods and 'garden cities' of the country. In the 'white city' of Tel Aviv. It put up fences, not as it had once done to defend against Arab infiltrators, but to defend against its own people. Increasingly it felt drawn to Europe. Even as it defined its own country as a 'white apartheid colonial nazi crusader regime' it felt apart from the country. Its voices, like Amos Alon, described a country overrun by Sephardim and Mizrachim. Even as it romanticized the Arabs it had a deep disdain for those 'Arab Jews' that had come to the country and now were a majority. And then more terrible hordes came. Begin, on hearing of the Ethiopian Jews, said 'Bring them to me'. And they came. And then in the 1990s came the Russians. Now there were not only Cossacks and Kavkazim and white Russians in Israel but Blacks as well. And while every good leftist everywhere loves the 'other' he does not like it when it is part of the self. Leftists like the other when it is in a foreign place or so long as it knows to stay in its 'exotic ghetto'. But when the other can go to the same cinemas and the same night clubs there is a problem. But the other was relegated to the lower positions in society, made to work as security guards at the wealthy coffee shops and cinemas and dance halls where the bourgeoisie leftist elite gathered, with their khaffiyas around their necks and their European friends and their non-kosher shrimp platters, to discuss the 'nazi' state they lived in. Fewer and fewer children of the left, the few that they had since most do not have children, were interested in national or army service and they found themselves living abroad. The last Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert's family is no exception. They all live abroad and are artists and do not work in business or the professions. They are professional loafers, enjoying the good life, and many are professional NGO workers and activists, part of the New International Elite.
The good leftists of Israel journeyed from their gated communities to their receptions in Europe where they were wined and dined and could tell Europeans how the 'Jews are the new Nazis, isn't that an irony.' They worked in Europe to bring war crimes charges against their own people and raise money for Palestinians. They took jobs at European universities and then supported the boycott of their own universities. And all the while they received acclaim as being the 'lone voice' against their own people (The Independent called Avraham Burg 'Israel's prophet'). They wrote books such as Politicide and The Ethnic cleansing of Palestine and Whose Left in Israel and Architecture of the Occupation. After the disengagement they went to Gaza on protest boats as Jeff Halper and Amira Hass did and they were celebrated for it. They built coexistence villages such as Neve Shalom where they marched in lockstep and voted for Arab nationalist parties.
And then they threw up their hands in dismay in 2009 when they received less and less votes. They had already deigned their old political party, Labor, as not sufficiently leftist enough for them. Their student contingents even voted Hadash, the Arab Communist Party. And photos of the Meretz gatherings during and after the election show the same unhappy faces, universally pasty and fair skinned, having not gotten enough sun. White, wealthy and out of touch. While voters for Shas, Ahad Laiumi or Yisrael Beitanu came on buses, the elites of Meretz came in BMWs. In fact during the Intifada of 2000-2004 few of these Meretz voters died in terror attacks because few of them had to go on the buses that were a favorite target of Palestinian terror. And few of them died in the army units, whether reserve units or regular, because few of them served, having joined 'conscientious objector' clubs already in high school and having free legal assistance from the best wealthy elite lawyers in the country, such as fellow traveler Michael Sfard.
Meretz is a universally white party. While it places a few Arabs on its list in places that will not garner seats in the Knesset, it is universally white and wealthy and elitist. And it wonders why this recipe does not work. There is not a Sephardie in sight. There certainly is no Russian or Ethiopian, unless they are working as security guards at the door or as valets or waiters at the party functions. They speak of equality, but just as they speak of 'democracy', it is not an equality that means the dirty faces of the Republic shall be allowed in the hallowed halls of its debating chambers or the ivory towers of its universities. In fact the great irony of the social sciences at the university is that they speak so much of the discrimination against the Sephardim and others and yet they don't actually ever seem to hire any Sephardim, not to mention women and other people they always talk about being discriminated against. Some of the best members of the academy who preach the most about feminism, such as Eyal Ben-Ari, are actually accused of raping their female doctoral students.
Zahava Gal On, one of the few decent people of Meretz, who fought tirelessly for harsher penalties for traffickers in women, was denied her seat when Meretz performed poorly. She was number four on the list. For a party that spoke of equality it is not only a surprise to not see a Sephardie but it is interesting to see the women relegated to number 4.
Leftism is the enemy of humanity. Israel is a case study in this. It, the left, builds a state. It carries out the war that leads to the foundation. Then it brings the immigrants. It crushes them under its boot. Then it fights more wars. Then its democracy leads to its party losing power. Then it calls its own army, that it created, 'war criminals.' It hires the poor it disdains to guard it from the terrorism that it supports. It takes the salary from the same state that it calls for boycotts of. It lives abroad and takes the most from the state, and yet it hates the state the most. It works to undermine the current state and re-write the history of the state in order to make it less legitimate (for instance Shlomo Sand, a professor at Tel Aviv University, even re-wrote the history of the Jewish people, describing them all as recent converts, to further deligitimize his religion and his country). And all the while it benefits. It sends the soldiers to die, in an army it would never send its children to, and then it makes it so those soldiers cannot even travel abroad for fear of prosecution as 'war criminals' in charges that it, the left, documents for the international community. Then it wonders why it loses elections. It goes home to some of the larger and more posh houses in the nation and it then calls for a right of return for Palestinian refugees, while it actually inhabits those very Palestinian homes from 1948, now transformed, as they were at Ein Houd, into 'artists colonies'.
That is the evil of the left. It creates something and then it lives like a parasite, taking the most of the fruits and giving nothing. It sends other people to die for it and expects the poor to protect its lifestyle.
The most important thing to never surrender to an elite that will order others to do what it will not. An elite that overtaxes the working classes, the businessmen, and then lives off those taxes as 'public intellectuals' and then works to destroy the foundations of the state. An elite that hates minorities and will never tolerate them except as cocktail waitresses or perhaps in display as some 'exotic' friend to be brought out at some party to be shown to friends like a painting. That elite is the scourge of every western democracy and of every country. From Russia to India to Serbia the wealthiest members of society, the NGO workers, the 'international workers', the ones who travel abroad the most, the intellectuals, they are the ones that hate the country the most and condemn it the most. Sometimes, as in Russia, they defend the war criminals and the terrorist Chechans and then they sometimes die at the hands of some people who tire of their collaboration. But this is rare. It is more common that they move abroad and live as 'dissidents', having collected enough blood from their own country they move to another to get the accolades as 'human rights dissidents'. But they are not dissidents. Alexander Solzynitsyn was a dissident. He loved his nation and lived modestly on its behalf abroad. And he offended those Americans who wanted him to be self hating.
Think of Iran where those who opposed the Shah the most were the intellectuals, the secular intellectuals. They received the most freedom and the most money under the very system they hated. After the Shah fell and their 'democracy' brought the Ayatollahs to power they all fled the country, because they had the means, connections and passports to do so, and they now live abroad as 'dissidents' against the very regime they created. It is no surprise that in Turkey those who oppose the 'deep state' the most are secular intellectuals. Those who support the rise in Islamism are actually those who will lose the most from it. And yet it is they who fight for the 'right' of Islamists to Islamify the state and it is they who protest on behalf of segregating women in university and places headscarves on women. They who received the most from Turkey's system are the ones that hate it the most and the thing they hate the most in Turkey is the army which they believe threatens 'democracy'. The army, the thing that guarantees them their secular freedoms, it is that institution that they hate the most. Think of Professor Sternhell, paid by the state, who encouraged terrorist organizations to murder Jews living in the settlements, but asked the terrorists to refrain from bombing 'inside the Green line', coincidentally where he happens to live. Arthur Goldreich was born in South Africa in 1929. He came to Israel in 1948 and fought in the 1948 war. He worked as an artist. Then he returned to South Africa where he became a supporter of terrorism by the ANC and worked to cause terrorism. Arrested, he fled back to Israel where he then became a critic of Israel, comparing its crimes to those of the Nazis. Does history know no justice. A man who benefited from Apartheid, who actually fought the Arabs in 1948 and he is the one who chooses to fight Aparthied, which gave him a great deal, and Israel, where he deplores the "abhorrent racism in Israeli society all the way up to cabinet ministers who advocate the forced removal of Arabs." But it is Goldreich himself who removed some of those Arabs in 1948 and he doesn't seem to be giving his artists house in Herziliya back to them. Yet the Goldreichs and Sternhells would encourage the Palestinian terrorists to kill 'settlers' who live beyond a line they have created in their head, a line that separates their settlements 'inside the green line' from the other settlements. It is the Goldreichs and the Sternhells who will say 'murder him on that side of the line', but leave me alone. And yet some of those 'settlers' condemned to death are immigrants who came in the 1980s, poor people from Russia and Ethiopia who could not afford homes in Herziliya alongside the Goldreichs or in Rehavia alongside Sternhell. Sternhell himself fought in the 1967 Six Day War. He himself helped create the occupation beyond the Green Line and he himself advocates the killing of those beyond it and abhors the very 'occupation' he created. Is there any greater Chutzpah? Is there a greater evil then to encourage a terrorist to murder poor immigrants, poor people, and yet ask them not to bomb the wealthy in their neihgbourhoods? Can there be a greater evil then to make the poor be a buffer of flesh against the terror while condemning those poor as 'occupiers' and 'nazis'? There cannot.
It cannot win elections and it then calls those elections 'not a democracy'. That is its way. The elite of today grows directly from the aristocracy of yesterday. In many cases it is the same families in fact, from WASPs in the U.S to the Ashkenazi secular elite of Israel who came on the first, second and third Aliyah. Its disdain for democracy is that of the elite. Its love of free speech is only the speech that it likes and its love of 'civics' is only the civics that imparts its self hating values. The aristocracy which once formed the tip of the spear of the nation, which shouldered the responsibilities in war and which died in droves at the Somme or Paschendale or Agincourt. That was the old Aristocracy. It sacrificed for the nation. It understood its wellbeing was linked directly to the nation. When the nation had to struggle, so it struggled, even melting down its jewelry to fund the struggle. But with the rise in democracy it changed. It became lazy and fat. It stopped working as the serfs and peasants and slaves that had maintained it drifted off the fields to find work in the cities. It was no longer paternalistic towards the people. Disconnected, it found jobs in government or activism or 'international' groups. It got involved in causes and found ways for the government to fund its causes. Disconnected from the people it became disillusioned with the very notion of the 'state'. It experimented with extremes such as Communism. It sometimes turned traitor, the way Philby did in England, and aided the Communists, as Alger Hiss did in the U.S. More often it moved abroad and became part of 'expat' communities. It championed the re-writing of history, so that it heaped scorn on its own nations' history. It could do this because it no longer felt a part of its nation and increasingly felt part of the 'humanity' as a whole. As an elite it felt that since it had built up the nation that it had an intimate right and the knowledge to tear it down.
The alienation of the bourgeoisie from the state is a fascinating phenomenon. Marx spoke of an alienation of people from their labour. But an increasing middle class has meant more people share the fruits of their labour. Yet the wealthy have no labour. And with the rise of average people they have no duty as patrons or as masters of estates. Landless they wander from place to place, rootless, they seek to deracinate themselves and their nations. They love the other more than the self, converting to his religion and ensconcing themselves in strange religions that are not their own, whirling like Sufis and putting on red 'Kabbalah' bracelets and saying 'Om' in Yoga trances. The women degrade themselves more and more because they have no sense of honour or tradition and the men are not manly or responsible. In fact it is they who cast aspersions on the very ideas of 'duty, morals, God, honour, country, manhood and morality'. They have no duty to anything. They are the very opposite of the chivalric virtues that once underscored the European knights of old. Ironically it was Marxism and its ideas helped alienate them.
If one thinks back to the American revolutionaries, mostly elites and landowners all of them, they shared the burden of their revolution. As Ben Franklin quipped 'we must all hang together, else we shall most assuredly all hang separately.' According to one common history of them; "five signers were captured by the British as traitors. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons in the revolutionary army, another had two sons captured. Nine of the 56 fought as soldiers in the war. Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners, men of means, well educated. A number of them were bankrupted by the war." Should we ask today how many of those on the extreme left, those who defined themselves as 'the only real left' do anything for the country that provides them with so much. They take their citizenship for granted and they declare their own countries non-democratic.
The Israeli case is an extreme one. Because Israel is a small country it is also easier to see the direct trajectory of the left and its one time love for the state and its present hatred for it and how it came about and how it reeks of elitism and racism.