Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Why Oh Why Don't the Downtrodden Israelis Revolt?

Yuval Elbashan, a 40-something Israeli lawyer who'd like to rectify all the social woes of Israel (wouldn't we all?) moans about how the downtrodden masses are so downtrodden they can't muster the energy to revolt.

Of course, one might argue that the downtrodden might be better advised to invest their energies in actively bettering their situation and generally getting on with their lives. One might ask if that hasn't been the broad trajectory of most Israelis over the past six decades since most of them arrived mostly penniless and were stuffed into refugee camps by very harried officials, until the present day when most of them (not all, alas) live reasonable lives in a wealthy society. One might ponder whether theorizing about the dearth of revolution is actually as useful as pursuing capitalist occupations such as making money and spending it.

But then one wouldn't get published in Haaretz. On the contrary. One might well get sneered at by Haaretz.


Bryan said...

Israel has been rated in recent years as one of the happiest countries on Earth (didn't it tie with Australia?). It has been economically successful for years. And because of Israeli democracy, even people who don't like the current government can vote for parties that cover a huge ideological range.

Happy, economically successful people in societies where even if they don't like the current government, they can expect peaceful regime change don't start revolutions. They just change their vote and continue being happy and successful until the next election.

Delusional people who love violent revolution can't be persuaded of that basic fact. But that's a repeated theme of this blog, isn't it?

Chag Pesach Sameach l'kulam.

Sérgio said...

This topic reminds me of the book I´ve been reading, titled "The servile mind: hwo democracy erodes the moral life" by Kenneth Minogue. It´s harsh critical analysis (not "deconstruction", such nonsensical pompous word) of current trends in Europe and the West more generally.

In one section he discusses the increasing list of categories of "minorities" to be accorded the status of "victims of discrimination". And he observes how Jews were easily drummed out of the list because they have been so successful in getting on with Western societies, in spite to the recurrence of anti-semitism.

It occured to me that surely that "recurrence" (it never really disappeared after the war, just went underground) is in good part motivated by resentment of that very success, from the members of self-styled vulnerable minorities. And this is magnified in the international stage by Israel´s remarkable success in many fronts: democracy, freedom, education, science, technology, medicine, defense, innovation, etc, and all that in very tough circumstances. This must be really an aggravating affront to the PC-crowd.

Anonymous said...

Amusing that a citizen of a successful country by orders of magnitude than the Arab countries is inspired by the Arab revolts.

A small glance to the 20th Century will show that Arabs had many revolts, and it seems that all where self defeating. While Israel has prospered.

Anonymous said...

Bryan, to be fair you can vote for a wide range but somehow the same old tired politicos remain in power.


PS I found his article to be mostly gibberish