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April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘leftists’

Palestinian Leftists Throw Rocks at Israeli Peaceniks

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Israelis promoting peace with the Palestinian Authority on Thursday got a taste of the medicine that Jews in Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem bitterly swallow every day – rock throwing.

The Israelis were meeting with Arabs in a hotel in Ramallah when approximately 100 angry Palestinian Authority leftists threw rocks at the building.

A source in Ramallah told Israel radio that the PA police were maintaining order and guarding the hotel so that both sides could meet peacefully without interference by the war outside.

On Tuesday, Palestinians beat and detained around a dozen settlers from Esh Kodesh who had entered Qusra village south of Shchem, then released them after negotiating with Israeli soldiers.

Also on Tuesday, a tour of some 100 Israeli diplomats looking to study the plight of the Bedouins in the settlements near Be’er Sheva in the Negev, were attacked with stones by the locals. No one was hurt, but one bus was taken out of commission.

A theme emerges?

PA Media Lie Turns Jewish Victims into Attackers

Monday, January 6th, 2014

Avidan Ofer is in Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital recovering from head and face wounds at the hands of Arab attackers, but a widely-quoted Palestinian Authority media agency has reported that Ofer and several other Jews were the attackers and Arabs were the victims in Monday’s terrorist attack between Kiryat Arba-Hebron and Arad-Be’er Sheba.

Ofer told The Jewish Press the Jews that he and other farmers from Mitzpeh Yair, were plowing their fields when 10 Arabs chased after them and beat them with rods and sticks. The land was clearly part of Mitzpeh Yair. I know that for a fact because it is located two miles from my house in Beit Yatir.

He said he could identify the assailants, who are from an illegally built village a mile to the south and which has grown thanks to assistance from foreign leftists and the European Union.

The IDF confirmed there was a fight” between “settlers and Arabs” and that one Arab and three Jews were “lightly injured.” One of those suffering from light injuries is also in Hadassah Hospital with a set of broken teeth and wounds to his jaw, after having been beaten by the attackers until soldiers responded to a distress call.

A military spokeswoman told The Jewish Press that police arrested seven Jews and two Arabs but could not comment on who initiated the attack. However, since the Jewish farmers were farming their land, the answer is clear.

Why didn’t the Jews defend themselves? After all, they had guns.

The answer is disturbingly simple. Any Jew who shoots a bullet, even in the air, is going to be arrested by the friendly Israeli police, and his weapon will be taken away from him. The Jews use their guns only when they are on the verge of having to say “Shema Yisrael,” the first words of the prayer said before someone dies. That is the extent of Jewish self-defense  in most of Judea and Samaria.

The IDF “protects” Jews by tearing up their farms and blindly accepting Arab claims that the land is theirs, and the police dutifully record Jews’ complaints and often end up arrest them after an Arab files a complaint. Arabs almost never are arrested in “routine” assaults and stealing.

The IDF is very aggressive when it comes to talking about protecting Gaza Belt residents from Kassam rockets, even if their actions don’t match their words. When it comes to “settlements,” the military plays down almost every incident except clear murders.

It is a lot easier to pretend there is no trouble with the Arabs. No extra work. Peace and quiet.

So the IDF confirmed their was a “fight.” The government does not want to ruin U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s attempt to convince himself that Mahmoud Abbas really wants Jews to stay alive and in peace.

One of the debilitating factors in the efforts of Jews to hold on to any inch of land they can in the southern Hebron Hills is the Palestinian Authority propaganda machine and the silent guns of the Israeli government media folks.

Here is how the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency reported Monday morning’s attack, under the headline “Palestinian farmers clash with settlers in south Hebron hills.”

The report stated, “The clashes occurred after settlers attacked a group of farmers tending their land. Ismail al-Adra said that ten settlers attacked him and several other farmers while they were on their way to tend their fields…. Another farmer, Mousa al-Adra, was also attacked and injured, together with a foreign solidarity activist who was filming the settler attack….Israeli forces arrived at the scene and detained a number of farmers, accusing them of attacking settlers….

“There are several radical Jewish outposts in the south Hebron hills, with settlers regularly attacking local Palestinians with impunity.”

This conflicting report is obviously a lie, even to those who have not taken Journalism 101.

In every Palestinian Authority report of alleged Jewish attacks, some of them true and many of them questionable, the location is noted. Bethlehem-based Ma’an apparently decided not to define the area because it would open it to counter-claims of a confirmed lie. If, as the article states, Jews attacked the Arabs who were “tending their land,” where was that land? The answer is clear. “Their” land was in Mitzpeh Yair, just like all of the land in Judea and Samaria is “their” land.

IDF Officer Who Hit Anarchist to Keep His Job for Now

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

An IDF military court decided to go with a modified plea bargain agreement for Lt. Colonel Shalom Eisner, who had been set to be kicked out of the army.

Eisner had hit a foreign anarchist in the face, who was trying to block Highway 90 in the Jordan Valley. During the 2 hour altercation that preceded Eisner’s actions, one of the activists broke the fingers in Eisner’s hand.

The activists had filmed the April 2012 incident and disseminated a selectively edited video showing Eisner striking uncooperative anarchists with his rifle – something a lot of soldiers probably wish they could do to these foreign provocateurs.

What the film did not show was that before Eisner hit the foreign leftists, other anarchists had broken two of the officer’s fingers, and the scenes of the anarchists using their bicycles to hit and push the soldiers were also mostly cut out.

The court ordered Eisner to serve two months of public service, after which he can remain in his position for a year, instead of being dismissed right away which is what the original plea bargain had stipulated. Eisner was supposed to head up the prestigious Bahad 1 officer’s school in the Negev.

High ranking army officers, as well as the mother of a fallen soldier who was brought to burial by Eisner, praised Eisner for his sensitivity and character.

Hagit Rein, whose son was killed in the Second Lebanon War in 2006 and was brought to burial by Eisner, burst out into tears as she told the military court of Eisner’s sensitivity and involvement with the burial of her son.

At the time, no one was able to retrieve her son’s body which was trapped in the middle of a combat zone in Lebanon. Eisner upon hearing about it, jumped into a jeep, drove out, and brought the soldier’s body back to Israel.

Senior IDF officer Yehkezkiel Agai testified, “Shalom and I served together in the tank unit, I brought him into his current position as deputy commander because he is trustworthy and dedicated to his job. He is like a man who never received a traffic ticket for 40 years and then is suddenly involved in a serious accident.

“There is no question about the qualities of Shalom. There is no problem with his values or  behavior. He just make a mistake.”

Sami Turgeman, head of the Southern Command, told the military judges, “As a commander of ground forces, I often have to face officers in positions that they do not like. Eisner willingly took the position as the Jordan Valley division deputy commander which is not convenient from a personal standpoint and for family life. I have no doubt that he is a highly motivated officer.”

However, Nitzan Alon head of Central Command and a long-time thorn in the side of national religious officers such as Eisner, told the court that despite Eisner’s excellent qualities, “I saw professional failures in maintaining control.”

The incident began when 250 anarchists rode their bicycles onto Highway 90, the only highway connecting the southern and northern ends of the Jordan Valley, with the stated aim of blocking the road in an illegal protest.

The division commander was on vacation at the time and left instructions for Eisner to call the police if there was any trouble.

Eisner had instead decided to deal with the protesters himself.

Anarchists struggled with the soldiers, and some of them were also “bumping” their bicycles into the IDF soldiers as a “non-violent” provocation. With two broken fingers, Eisner’s patience ran out when one of the protesters purposely stood in his way as he and his soldiers were trying to clear the demonstrators off the highway.

After the video of the confrontation went viral, Eisner was removed from duty until an investigation was completed.

In September, Eisner reached the plea bargain agreement, reported here.

On the surface, Eisner came out better than expected, because he can return to his present position after two months of public service, and will retire from the army in another year instead of being forced out right away.

Unfortunately the mistake here is that he is being forced to retire at all.

Leftist Block Hebron Road Paving

Monday, May 27th, 2013

A group of leftists interrupted a construction job undertaken by the Ministry of Defense, to pave a path between Kiryat Arba and Hebron.

At first, it looked like they were not going to be able to block the work, but in the end, the MOD workers were forced to stop working.

The work had all the required government permits.

How Revolutions Work: Turkey, America and the Arab World

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

A fascinating article on Islamism in Turkey that also reflects on the situation in Arabic-speaking countries was written last month by Soner Cagaptay, director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s Turkish research program. I’m a fan of his analysis so nothing in the following article should be taken as criticism but rather as an exploration of his article’s themes.

There’s also a very interesting parallel here with domestic events in the United States. But first, Cagaptay’s theme is as follows:

There are strong limits on how far Islamism can go in Turkey and the Arabic-speaking states are very different from Turkey in lacking a strong secularist (or at least anti-Islamist) sector that is deeply embedded in the country’s culture and history.

I think he is right on both points but let’s look more into the details.

Cagaptay’s article was prompted by a personal experience in Istanbul. In a café he saw a group of Salafists, who had just finished prayers in a near-by mosque, interact politely with a waitress who had tattoos and wore a short-sleeved shirt. He writes that in both words and body language one could see there were no real “tensions between the two opposing visions of Turkey brought into close encounter for me to witness.”

He continues that while “Turkey’s two halves…may not blend, neither will [either one] disappear. Turkey’s Islamization is a fact, but so is secular and Westernized Turkey.” After a decade of Islamist rule—I should note here that few Western experts, journalists, or political leaders acknowledge or understand that the regime ruling Turkey is Islamist in a real sense—there has been, “a rising tide of Islamization in Turkey.” He mentions, for example, a recent law that mandates teaching Islam in public schools and a shift in Turkey’s professed identity from European to being Muslim and Middle Eastern.

But, Cagaptay adds, there are limits in a country “so thoroughly westernized that even the AKP and its Islamist elites cannot escape trappings of their Western mold.” As examples he cites the role of women and Turkey’s membership in NATO. He explains that “Turkey’s Islamization is meeting its match” because, for example, there was a consensus that Turkey deploy NATO Patriot missiles on its territory to defend itself from a possible attack by Syria. “The Turks have lived with NATO too long to think outside of its box.”

Now there is no question that in the broader sense Cagaptay is correct. Turkey is not going to be another Saudi Arabia or Iran. And yet beside that glass is half-full argument is a shocking glass is half-empty counterpart. As Cagaptay notes, Islamist or semi-Islamist parties received 65 percent of the vote in the 2011 elections. That means, he continues:

[Thirty-five] percent of the population, totaling twenty-five million people, did not vote for the [Islamist regime]. These voters stand for secularism, and they will never buy into the religious movement in Turkey. This block will constitute the domestic limitation of Turkey’s Islamization. After ten years in power, and likely to run the country for another term with a humming economy boosting its support, the AKP is making Turkey in its own image. But the new Turkey will have a uniquely distinct flavor: a bit Islamist, a bit secularist, a bit conservative, and a bit Western.

That’s absolutely true. And yet who would have believed twenty years ago that about two-thirds of the people would vote for Islamist candidates, even after a decade of Islamist rule? Will that 35 percent ever be able to get the Islamists out of power and reverse the process? And what about the process itself? Revolutions, even quiet ones, keep on going. Will 35 percent of the nine-year-olds now likely to get Islamic teaching (which may well amount to Islamist indoctrination) vote for secular parties when they grow up? And doesn’t much of Turkish foreign policy on regional issues under the AKP look like Iran or Egypt today? The attitude toward Israel, Iran (despite competition in Syria), the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and Hizballah are all in line with an assessment of it as a radical Islamist policy.

And how real is the current regime’s commitment to democracy? Not that much deeper than that of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Prime Minister Erdogan’s latest remarks have stirred a controversy in Turkey but haven’t even been reported in the West. In a speech in Konya, Erdogan said: “Separation of powers is hindering service to the people. We have to do something about it.” In other words, having now laid the foundation for beginning the Islamizing of the courts, he’s now going to go after parliament.

The Road to Oligarchy

Friday, March 8th, 2013

Regardless of how many wars on poverty are declared and how often calls are issued to make the rich pay their fair share, neither the rich nor the poor will be going anywhere anytime soon. The question is what forces will keep the poor impoverished and where the rich will derive their wealth from.

The founder of Subway recently said that he could not have started up his company today. Similar messages have come from the founders and heads of other major companies. That isn’t to say that companies will cease to exist. What we think of as business has been changing for some time.

In most countries, starting a business does not begin with a great idea. It begins with connections. Knowing the right people is still important, but in most places it’s the most important thing.

Under the current American model, a company becomes successful and then begins to lobby Washington to gain a competitive advantage or to avert hostile lobbying directed at negating its existing competitive advantage. That is a perversion of free enterprise, but in much of the world companies begin lobbying first and then become successful. This is the model that has evolved under Obama. And it’s a familiar model to anyone doing business in Russia or China. Political connections come first and then the business becomes feasible.

Oligarchy is the inevitable outcome of an economic climate where the governments acts as a gatekeeper to the country’s customers. Measures that began as limited safety and fraud regulations have become a comprehensive political economic system that controls every aspect of every economic transaction.

The government creates markets. It creates companies and customers. It sets prices and taxes industries that it does not favor out of business.

Corporate lobbying isn’t just about the proverbial 200 dollar screwdriver. It’s about making it more expensive for some companies to make screwdrivers than others. It’s also about forcing independent screwdriver manufacturers out of business. It’s about government grants to make environmentally friendly screwdrivers and heavy taxes on companies that don’t make environmentally friendly screwdrivers.

Tactics like these aren’t new. The Esch Act eliminated white phosphorus matches through a punitive tax back in 1910. But a century later, the government wiped out the incandescent bulb industry, not for health reasons, but to comply with a trendy ideology. Microsoft, which had hardly bothered to lobby before, was dragged to Washington on monopoly charges that Google, the ultimate dot com insider, today laughs off. And Microsoft learned its lesson, investing in sizable amounts of lobbying capital.

The government is a bigger factor in business models for both large and small businesses than any other. Whether it’s struggling against the mountains of paperwork or looking for ways to profit from the latest regulations, business has come to be defined by government. The tier of governments at every level have accumulated huge amounts of wealth and power. Government power is used to control how business is done while government spending makes political officials into the country’s biggest consumers.

The fusion of business with government leads to oligarchy. The rich are not going anywhere, but wealth becomes a factor of their government connections, rather than skill or even inheritance. Government control over business began under the banner of combating monopolies only to end by creating government monopolies. The war against income inequality will end the same way and with the same results as the oligarchies in Russia, China, Mexico and everywhere else.

The future of Obamerica is a country full of corrupt government officials and tycoons. The future is an aristocracy of union bosses running their own guilds, corporate monopolies that change with each election and government officials with mansions and armed bodyguards.

Income inequality will be huge with oceans of poverty and small islands of wealth locked away behind gated communities. Populists will promise power for the people, only to make the system even more corrupt. One company or one boss will be brought down, only to be replaced with the favorites of another party.

Everyone will despise the tycoons and the government. The government will promise to protect the people from the tycoons, even as it works closely with them, and the tycoons will lavish money on certain areas in exchange for loyalty. Both the government and the tycoons will be closely tied up with organized crime which will launder its drug profits through the tycoons and use its political connections to gain protection and sanctions against rival organizations.

How Old Movies Show What New Movies Say Are Lies

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

Many young people nowadays are indoctrinated to believe that American culture has always been dominated by conservative, racist, and other nasty influences. Understanding of the complex history has not been balanced by this new indoctrination and distortion. It’s merely been made biased in the opposite direction far more systematically than it ever was before.

Racism against African-Americans and many other things in American history are undeniable–and shouldn’t be. Consequently there was plenty of room for improvement. But that same history also shows there is no need for endless self-flagellation.

I’ve often noticed this but it came to my attention again in rewatching the film that brought John Wayne to stardom. What better way to learn about the true and dominant themes of democracy, equality, and real anti-elitism than that classical Western directed by John Ford, “Stagecoach” (1939)?

As a traditional Western, the film depicts the Americans—not whites, Americans—as good guys in a battle with the Apaches. The legitimacy of Americans being in the southwest is not questioned.Aside from this are the following plot points:

–The stagecoach driver is married to a Mexican-American woman. No negative aspersions are cast at all. This is totally accepted. Incidentally, all three of John Wayne’s wives were “Hispanic.”

–The heroes of the film are an outlaw, whose motives for killing a man are portrayed sympathetically, and a prostitute.

–One theme that runs through the film is how the “respectable” people are mean to the prostitute and that’s a terrible thing.

–Although the women are treated by the male characters as delicate, etc., their behavior shows them to be courageous, clear-headed, and as tough as circumstances require.

–The main villains are a banker and an ex-Confederate officer who has turned gambler, shot men in the back, and is a social snob.

–The banker, who is absconding with his bank’s embezzled funds, is a super-patriotic hypocrite. For example, he says, “And remember this — what’s good business for the banks is good for the country” and, “It always gives me great pride in my country when I see such fine young men in the U.S. Army.”

Another line from the banker is, “America for Americans! Don’t let the government meddle with business! Reduce taxes! Our national debt is shocking, over a billion dollars! What the country needs is a businessman for president!”

That’s not in 2012 but 1939. And remember that as he is the bad guy so the audience is expected to groan and think that such a person is horrible and disgusting. When the mass media in 2013 portray a group like the Tea Party as racist–reduce taxes; high national debt–or in 2012 portray Mitch Romney unfavorably–a businessman for president?–the ground was well-prepared. In what film was a community organizer a villain?

Other plot points include:

–The moralistic, deliberately uglified—respectable women of the town are presented as narrow-minded prigs.

–One of the stations the stage coach visits is run by a Mexican-American team, including the manager, who are portrayed sympathetically.

–When one of the passengers makes a racist remark about the Apache wife of the Mexican-American manager, he’s made fun of. And note that the man’s statements are made in the context of fear that she might somehow be a spy for the Apache forces whose imminent attack they fear. And on top of that he’s not from the West and unused to seeing Native Americans. The other man who distrusts her is, of course, the evil banker. While she might actually be helping the Apaches, the banker is wrong when he accuses her of being a thief of his stolen loot, which he soon finds.

–In an early scene, the cavalry scout has reported that the Apaches have gone to war. Asked how do they know he’s telling the truth, an officer replies, “He’s a Cheyenne. They hate Apaches worse than we do.” So all Native Americans are not portrayed as the same; some are allies. Today, the fact that some tribes were aggressive and “imperialistic,” engaging in massacres and tortures of others—motivating the latter to side with the U.S. army–is hidden, since that would distract from the narrative that only whites are racist and aggressive.

Madmen and Crowds

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

There was a temporary interval in American life when a shooting spree by a madman would have been viewed as the crime of one man. The dead would have been mourned. The killer, if he had been taken alive, would have been punished, and while the memorial might have been accompanied by some leading sermons, the country would have been spared the media exploitation and blame-a-thon that invariably follows such events.

The trouble is that there are no more individuals. Or rather the individual is no longer recognized as having any standing. “All private plans, all private lives, have been in a sense repealed by an overriding public danger,” Roosevelt declared in 1940 to the Democratic National Convention.  And the repeal never seems to have been repealed. Instead all private plans and private lives are being constantly repealed by a turmoil of overriding public dangers, most of them sociological in nature.

A shooting takes place and the media urges that millions of firearms be confiscated. Every crisis requires that more freedoms be sacrificed for that overriding public danger that the talking heads are screaming about this week over news feeds from every corner of the globe. There are no more private lives. Only public ones. Everyone will sooner or later pass before the camera and be judged by millions of strangers in a narrative that will transform him or her into a hero or villain in the great social struggle against the public danger of the day.

Calling Adam Lanza a madman has little meaning now. The madman retreats to a private world of his own making. But the collective culture does not recognize madness as a detachment from the crowd. Instead it views it as yet another social malady to be solved. Re-open the asylums. Provide more mental health funding. Open hotlines for anyone with suicidal thoughts. Social solutions for a social society coping with the anti-social.

But even our madmen are public figures now. Cut off from the collective culture by their minds, they still strive to connect to its most fundamental value. Fame.

America’s spree killers don’t drive pickup trucks with gun racks. They aren’t NRA members and have never opened a bible. They are young, mentally ill and famous. They are exactly like the real and fake celebrities who crowd magazine covers, television screens and paparazzi-choked premieres. But they can’t sing or dance, and have no unique way to embarrass themselves into staged fame. Instead they kill their way to being famous.

As schizophrenic as our shooters were, as unable to connect to the groupthink of the larger culture, they understood the one thing that we valued. And they got it in a brute force way. They became what every girl with dyed blonde hair waiting on line to impress the judges of television’s dueling singing competitions, every waiter with sunglasses waiting to become a movie star on Rodeo Drive, every “internet personality” leaning precariously over a webcam on YouTube, every kid trying out rhymes on his friends and building a fake biography of all the people he shot in drug deals gone bad, want to be. Famous.

In mass culture, fame is the only oxygen of the individual. It is the only thing that distinguishes the vanishing individual from the herd. The celebrity is to 21st Century America as the general, the writer, the poet, the politician and the genius were to former eras. All these things and many more have been distilled down to the simple status of celebrity. You are either famous or you aren’t. You either have a private life that everyone knows about or your private life has already been repealed by the overriding public dangers of cow farts, racism and large sodas. You are either a slave to the public or just a public slave.

A culture of crowds makes crazy people even crazier. There’s nothing for paranoia like a major city and these days we all live in the major city of a culture that is crowded in even its most rural areas. Crowd culture expects everyone to follow the leader, to join the meme, to move with the flow, but that is something that crazy people cannot do. The madman is always out of step and out of sync, the paranoid schizophrenic occasionally makes a compelling leader, but he is unable to be a follower.

Madness can at its simplest be viewed as the gap between his thinking and our own. Like cultural differences, it often explodes into violence, but unlike cultural differences it cannot be bridged because there is no common language. The madman is a member of a unique culture of one. He is a citizen of himself. He has his own laws, his own values and even his own mental language. And it is one that no sane person will ever understand.

The madman is the ultimate individual dying in his own private rebellions that mean nothing to anyone else. A sane society may lock him up, it may crudely tinker with his brain chemistry or even carve up his gray matter, but it will never truly make him one with the group. And our society, addled by nearly as many drugs as your average madman, is a long way from sane. It flirts with madness in its aimless attempts at reestablishing the place of the individual in a collectivist culture, and it veers recklessly from sympathizing with violence to pretending not to understand where violence comes from. It’s the feigned innocence of those who are just jaded enough not to want to know how jaded they have truly become.

If the madman has lost the ability to speak to the crowd, the crowd has equally lost the ability to speak to the individual. The madman suffers from a defective mental vocabulary and the mad society has lost the ability to formulate concepts relating to individual behavior.

In our society the individual is always seen as putting on a public performance of accepting or rejecting group values. All private lives become a public competition to see who recycles the most, is the least racist, the most giving and the best example of what a cog in the great social machine should be. Every individual act is a commentary, not ultimately on the individual, but on the social machine. Crime is no longer a private act, but a public one, that emerges out of social factors such as the poverty rate, race relations, the availability of firearms, cold medication in pharmacies and the amount of funding for midnight basketball, outpatient mental health therapy and a thousand others.

All private plans are a public danger. All individual acts are really collective acts. There is no “I” in individual. There is only the crowd, its avatars who live out their fantasies and entertain them, and the masses shuffling off toward their daily labors until they are released from the grind and allowed a few hours to entertain themselves watching their avatars live a public show of private life.

How does one speak of individual responsibility to such people and how can they be expected to distinguish individualism from madness? The ant hive cannot be expected to think of the ant. It cannot understand anthood apart from the hive.

The Blame-a-Thon continues. Blaming Adam Lanza for his own actions is insufficient. Even blaming his dead mother is insufficient. Individuals do not matter. Only groups do. Corporations. The NRA. The Tea Party. Private tragedy becomes a political event complete with campaign speeches and fundraising letters. Organizations converge. New offices are opened and phone lines are installed. Press conferences are given. “This is a wake up call. A call for action. It’s time we did something.”

Within an hour, the responsibility is transferred from a killer to the society at large and then to the groups that do not share the values of the new collectivist society. War is declared. Press releases are faxed. Letters are sent out. “We need your help, Michael.” “Stand with us, Susan.” The dead are buried and their bodies are used to make the mulch of a new wave of political repression and profiteering. The dead, like singing competition contestants, are ultimately disposable, as are their killers. It is the producers and the judges who endure.

Each call to action is signed with the promise, “So that this will never have happen again.” That is the sociological siren song of the crowd. The promise of a powerful government safety net that will keep every terrible thing from ever happening a second time. But there is no net that madmen cannot slip through when they choose to. It is possible to repeal the private lives and private plans of all gun owners, but not the private lives and plans of madmen who are not peninsulas, but islands in the stream, who do not care about laws, regulations and expectations. Broken men looking to break.

There is more danger than safety in the crowd. Not only can the crowd not deter a madman, for the same reason that Kitty Genovese bled to death lay dying for an hour, but the crowd is also mad. It is a madness that is harder to detect because it is the madness of a crowd. The individual irrationality of a madman is detectable by outsiders, because of its conflict with the group reality, and even to the person of the madman by that same conflict, which fuels his paranoia toward the outside world, but the group cannot detect its own irrationality and is too large and pervasive for its irrationality to be recognized on the outside.

Our crowd is not yet as collectively insane as Adam Lanza, but it’s getting there. And it will not be pretty when it does. The madness of crowds is not a pretty thing. It can be seen in the hysterical crowds that greeted Hitler or the equally hysterical crowds swooning at the sight of a celebrity. Individual madness is flawed chemistry, but crowd madness is a will to madness, a raving desire to be one with the collective view, to be famous or almost famous, to exchange reason for sensation and individuality for the group immortality of the group.

Originally published at Sultan Knish.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/sultan-knish/madmen-and-crowds/2012/12/25/

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