In the 1950s, former Israeli MK Loba Eliav dumped loads of new immigrants out of a truck onto the barren ground in Dimona (where they were brought against their will so that they would “settle the Negev”). Was he a bad person? Everyone who knew him says the opposite is true. So what makes a good person do such a shocking thing?
The answer is ideology. Ideology that sees the state – not the citizen – as sovereign. Ideology that preaches that the citizen belongs to the state, instead of the opposite. A collective ideology that scoffs at the hidden hand expressed in man’s free spirit. Ideology, which, from an honest place of good will (at least that is how it begins), seeks to control human lives by means of an army of bucolic bureaucrats.
After all, if we do not limit shoe production, citizens will not have pants because nobody will produce them or import them without being told to. And if we do not educate the children, they will remain illiterate. And if we do not pour people out of a truck in Dimona, the Negev will remain empty.
Socialism really wants to help. Somehow, however, in other countries where the citizen is sovereign, the price of eggs and milk is much lower than here in Israel – and the quality is better than ever. Everything is in the market and abundant. A new car is completely affordable. Housing is magically cheap (because the state does not appropriate all the land for itself) and towns rise in the most far-flung places.
There is no Absorption Basket for immigrants, no metal beds courtesy of the Jewish Agency, no housing benefits for first-generation and second-generation, and no Workers’ Union that minimizes social gaps. Nevertheless, approximately one million Israeli citizens have left our socialist paradise since 1948 and moved to the U.S. And the waves of aliyah that have come to Israel over the decades have always come from countries that are less free and capitalistic than Israel. Something in the centralized paradise that we have created induced young Jews in the U.S. to stay there – happy to donate from afar.
The lands of the Negev, which were appropriated by the state, were not allocated for free to whoever was willing to build and farm them (as was the practice in the U.S. and Australia). They were settled quite successfully, however – by the Bedouins, who do not understand how socialism works and simply took the land!
There were no Israeli citizens there to guard the land. Most of those dumped out of the truck found their way out of the Negev socialist paradise to the slightly more free atmosphere of Tel Aviv. Now the children of those immigrants have brought us a centralized economy from the Right side of the map.
Yes, G-d’s Invisible Hand is working behind the scenes and the relatively free market in the high-tech industry and elsewhere is hugely successful. But just think how wonderful it would be if the young generation now entering the market wouldn’t have to work the greatest number of hours in the Western world to earn the least and to pay the most.
All that the state has to do is stop interfering. Masses of young Jews would come here to get rich. Our land is already flowing with milk and honey. G-d is already blessing us with abundance, but it is getting stuck in corruption and centralization. Let’s open the economy so that Israel can shine!