Divide and Conquer

November 07, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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By Gilad Atzmon

I am not even remotely a Trump supporter,  but I do think that he has managed to expose the spectrum of western political morbidity, both left and right. Trump is the ultimate Post Political icon — the symptom as well as the disease.

For the last four decades, the West has been subjected to an intense cultural and social revolution. The cause of ‘social justice’ has made some fundamental changes in western society.  Elementary rights, such as the freedom to think openly, have been eradicated and replaced by a strict regime of correctness. In retrospect, it was reasonable to believe that there was little significant resistance to these social justice heroes. During that time, it seemed that their agenda had prevailed. Just five years ago it looked as if the Tyranny of Correctness was here to stay. But then, unexpectedly, the tide changed.

First the Scottish referendum let us know that every other Scot wanted to separate from the Kingdom. Soon after, half of the Brits voted to split from the EU, and then, totally unexpectedly, Trump won the presidential election.

It was Trump’s victory that really brought the identity war to the fore. For whatever reason, it was Trump and his combative rhetoric that most clearly exposed the demarcation line that divides the West.

America, like the rest of the West, is split into  ‘Identitarians’ and ‘Nationalists:’ Identitarians identify politically with their symptoms. These symptoms may be ethnic or cultural but most often are biological (skin colour, sexual orientation, gender, race, etc.). Nationalists, on the other hand, are people who identify politically with a piece of geography that is defined by their national borders.

‘Nationalists’ are not necessarily right-wing. As I explore in my recent book, Being in Time-a Post Political Manifesto, Trump’s nationalist populism shares some characteristics with left icons such as Bernie Sanders and the populism of British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. All three politicians resist divisive Identitarian ideologies. Steve Bannon, the bete noir of liberal America, explored this idea in a recent televised debate: “It is not a question whether populism is on the rise.. the only question before us is whether it is going to be populist nationalism or populist socialism…”

Populism is back everywhere, which raises the question of whether Trump is, in fact,  a populist. Does he actually care for the people or about the people? I do not see any clear evidence of that. Trump behaves as an oligarch, bonded with international oligarchy. Trump is popular, but ‘popularity’ and ‘populism’ are distinct concepts. The former refers to being loved by the people, the latter is someone who cares for the people. Liberals and progressives who castigate Trump as a ‘fascist’ should understand that while fascism is defined as a ‘National Socialist’ endeavour, Trump is more a ‘National Capitalist.’  He is popular because he successfully delivers a populist message.

This morning there is a new political situation. Trump is not going to save America. Even if he once believed that he could do so, the window for such a manoeuvre has closed. It is unlikely that Trump will be able to make significant changes. The Democratic House of Representatives will likely reject his initiatives. Despite this, Trump’s presence in the White House has revealed the conflict that shatters the West. The old political battle between Left and Right has been replaced by post- political Identitarian wars. WW3 is not going to be fought between countries, or states or across borders. It will be a war that splits states, societies and even families apart.

While Donald Trump’s promise to make America Great carried little substance, the red portion of the map of America shows a clear divide. As you move away from America’s coasts, a lot of people do not want what the liberals are offering. They want work, secure borders, education and health services. They want America to be great for real. They want justice and equality. They may or may not be bothered by uncertain or unconventional genders, they are far more concerned with being able to get a decent job.

Whether anyone within the Democratic or the Republican party truly understands this longing is an open question. But I have no doubt that the thirst for a radical change is going to bring more populist politics to America and beyond.

To understand the current dystopia read Being in Time – A Post Political Manifesto, 

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Amazon.co.uk , Amazon.com and  here (gilad.co.uk).

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Being in Midterm Election

November 05, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

Ahead of the American Midterm Election I reprint a short segment from Being in Time – a Post Political Manifesto. It seems to me as if most political commentators are yet to grasp the post-political transition: the growing divide that extends far beyond politics, ideology, ethnicity and class.

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“America is divided into two camps: the Americans and the Identitarians. The Americans are those who see themselves primarily as American patriots. They are driven by rootedness and heritage. For them, the promise to make ‘America great again’ confirms that utopia is nostalgia and that the progressive and liberal offerings are nothing short of an ongoing disaster. The Identitarians, on the other hand, are those who subscribe to liberal and progressive politics. They see themselves primarily as LGBTQ, Latino, Black, Jewish, feminist and so on. Their bond with the American national or patriotic ethos is secondary and often even non-existent.

But the Identitarian agenda backfired. It was only a question of time before the so-called ‘Whites’, ‘rednecks’ ‘deplorables’ and ‘reactionaries’ grasped that their backs were against the wall and they too, started to act and think as an Identitarian political sector. For these folks, the American flag became their symbolic identifier as well as unifier.

Those of us who have critically examined the evolution of New Left, progressive, liberal and Identitarian politics were unsurprised by Donald Trump’s success. Indeed, the defeat of the Remain camp in the UK Brexit poll had previously exposed a similar fatigue amongst British working people. But what is the nature of this fatigue?

Our urban financial quarters are now saturated with glass skyscrapers metaphorically designed to convey transparency as well as fragility. But when you stand close to these glass towers you realize that the wall in front of you is no window but a mirror. And when you attempt to peep in, all you see is yourself standing outside. Being in Time is an attempt to grasp that sense, that ‘post-political’ condition of being left outside.” (Being in Time – A Post Political Manifesto pg 7)

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Being in Time – A Post Political Manifesto,

Amazon.co.uk , Amazon.com and  here (gilad.co.uk).

Questioning Jewish Progressive Wisdom

November 02, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

 There is an element of truth in the above…

There is an element of truth in the above…

By Gilad Atzmon

Earlier this week the Jewish Forward reported on Monday’s counter-Trump demonstration in Pittsburgh.

“They came in their thousands, singing Jewish songs and folksy protest anthems … (they were) holding signs denouncing Donald Trump as ‘President Hate.’”

I think it is not a clever move for leftist Jewish groups to declare that Trump is to blame for the terror attack in Pittsburgh. In fact, some might see it as irresponsible, and a response that could easily provoke further harassment and violence.

Most disturbing to me about the Jewish progressives’ response to Trump’s visit was the blunt dishonesty reflected in the signs and announcements of the protestors and organisers.

According to the Forward one sign read,

“you know who else was a nationalist? Hitler.”

Hitler was indeed a nationalist but so was Churchill, Gandhi, Herzl and even the 52% of the Brits who voted for Brexit. Nationalism isn’t the problem: Racism is.  Accordingly, we tend to believe that it was racism that drove Hitler’s discriminatory ideology. But the ‘progressive’  Jewish groups who opposed Trump this week aren’t free of racism. They themselves are operating as racially exclusive political groups. I have said it many times before. I struggle to see a categorical difference between Aryans only and Jews only clubs. To me, both are equally racist.

“Speakers from Bend the Arc, the progressive Jewish group that organised the march, castigated Trump and what they saw as his complicity in the attack, allegedly perpetrated by an anti-Semite who shared Trump’s anti-refugee views.”

It is comforting to learn that  Jewish progressives support some refugees; do they also support the Palestinian refugees?

Israel has prevented the ethnically cleansed Palestinians from returning  to their land for more than 70 years.  The Jewish State’s record on refugees and asylum seekers is appalling. But it seems the progressive Jews at Bend the Arc have little to say about that. I searched Bend the Arc’s web site and didn’t find any denouncements of the Jewish State’s anti refugee policies.  Maybe in the Jewish progressive universe one rule applies to the Jewish State and another rule to the sea of Goyim.

Noticeably,  the Bend the Arc event was not the only protest in town: A previous rally event had been held nearby, organized by the leftist Jewish group IfNotNow in collaboration with the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and other groups.

“We know Trump is responsible for violence in our city,” IfNotNow and DSA organizer Arielle Cohen told the Forward. “ Trump has been the enabler-in-chief.” I fail to see the evidence that supports Cohen’s strongly worded accusations. And I wonder whether the decision makers at IfNotNow and JVP grasp the danger they may inflict on their communities by making such provocative accusations.

It is interesting to contrast this reaction to that of the members of the African American congregation that was targeted in 2015 by Dylann Roof, a self-professed racist shooter, who killed 9 people who had invited him into their bible study. After the shooting, Mr. Roof was unrepentant but the reaction of the victims and their families contrasts sharply with the progressive reaction to the Pittsburg massacre.

At Mr. Roof’s bond hearing, the victim’s relatives spoke directly to Roof. “You took something very precious from me”  Nadine Collier, the daughter of Ethel Lance said. “But I forgive you. And have mercy on your soul.”

“I acknowledge that I am very angry,” said the sister of DePayne Middleton-Doctor. “But one thing that DePayne … taught me that we are the family that love built. We have no room for hating, so we have to forgive. I pray God on your soul.”

Each speaker offered Roof forgiveness and said they were praying for his soul, even as they described the pain of their losses. Not one speaker blamed political leaders or anti Black sentiment. They correctly saw Roof as the culprit, even as they compassionately prayed for him. There is much to admire in the congregation’s reaction. It was the opposite of inflammatory, intended to calm the situation.

If the goal is to unite America, to bridge the divide and calm things down, probably equating your president with Hitler and accusing him of the hate crimes of others is the worst possible path to choose.

 

The Lobby has Leaked

November 02, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

 

Jewish power as I define it is the power to silence criticism of Jewish Power. This power has been dwindling…

Preventing the next Pogrom

October 31, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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By Gilad Atzmon

Eleven people were killed in a gun attack on a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania last Saturday. It seems mass shooting has become a popular hobby and not just in America.  Political violence is mushrooming. It is crucial to try to understand how this has happened to us.  What led to this rapid deconstruction of our human landscape, how have we regressed into lethal barbarism and where and when did we lose our ability  to care for each other, to be compassionate, to tolerate difference?

A few days ago I wrote that this violent shift requires much deeper analysis and not our mere anecdotal debate over the 2nd Amendment or gun control. It demands a profound study of the transition in our human condition. Mass killings as a daily occurrence has something to do with people’s sense that we live  in a universe that lacks a prospect of a future. It is the outcome of the reduction of the working class into a workless mass. It has a lot to do with the collapse of the family and the orchestrated attack on family values and the church. It may also have something to do with the fact that our governments are wiping out countries and people in the name of immoral interventionism and Ziocon interests. As a part of understanding the motivation for these killings, it is important to consider that taking people’s lives on a mass scale makes the killer a ‘little god.’ Add to the mixture some ‘emancipatory ideology’  and the perpetrators of these barbarian crimes are elevated, at least in their own eyes, into martyrs.

It is perplexing; despite our real time access to world news which notifies us of developments around the globe as they happen, our understanding of these events and their meanings is constantly shrinking. The more we ‘know,’ the less we understand. We seem to have forgotten how to question events, political exchanges and historical changes. We are removed from essentiality and  authentic critical thinking, we are drifting away from Being.

Instead, we have learned to operate carefully within a strict regime of correctness. We know how not to cross some sensitive lines and that has kept us from questioning what really happened. We got ourselves accustomed to a tyranny of correctness.

Monitoring the ‘antisemitism debate’ provides us with an insight into the dynamic that sustains our oppressive authoritarian reality. We, the people, are subject to a constant flood of ‘information’ delivered via two parallel streams: one is characterised by its fascination with fake-news and manufactured  antisemitic accusations. The other is designed  to  suppress any critical analysis of the causes of actual tragic events such as the recent Pittsburgh pogrom.

While Western media outlets are excited to disseminate phantasmic manufactured ‘revelations’ about  “Labour’s antisemitism” or Corbyn as an “existential threat to British Jews” there are, noticeably, zero attempts made to understand what  led to the mass shooting in Pittsburgh. All the press tells us is that the perpetrator is an ‘antisemite’  and that anti-Semitism is growing.

From the perspective of liberals and progressives, the declaration of ‘antisemitsm’ is an end in itself. Once an act is castigated as ‘antisemitic’ any inquiries come to an end. The perpetrator is condemned as an ‘irrational hate monger.’ But antisemitism is not the only antisocial phobia. Homophobia, islamophobia, transphobia and other such ‘phobias’ operate to close debate in a  similar fashion. They serve as magic wand soundbites designed to deny any rationale for political positions that make us  uncomfortable. We reduce dissent into a symptom of ‘insanity.’

The effect of these soundbite explanations is devastating. The West has replaced its Athenian ethos of tolerance and pluralism with a radical form of Talmudic Herem (excommunication).

The media casually labels as antisemitic anyone who dares to express peaceful critical thinking. And the same media suppresses any attempt to grasp what antisemitsm means in practice and  what are its causes. While the media parrots the ADL, claiming that antisemitsm is on the rise and that the Pennsylvania shooting was the worst anti-Semitic event in American history, the media does not dare ask why.  Why is America apparently becoming increasingly anti-Semitic

If Jewish institutions, and liberals and progressives want to fight anti-Semitism, the first step should be to open a discussion of the circumstances and dynamics that have led to such a rise of anti Jewish bigotry. To prevent the next pogrom we need to emancipate ourselves from the current tyranny of correctness and reinstate the Greek agora into our midst. Our social media networks could become a true marketplace of ideas, encouraging people to challenge each other and to constantly rethink their own positions.

Enzo Apicella RIP: 26 June 1922 – 31 October 2018

October 31, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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Earlier today the world lost a distinguished insightful mind and I lost one of my best friends. Enzo Apicella, the greater than life, tireless cartoonist passed away in Rome this morning.

Many of my followers had a lot of fun with our A to Zion – The Definitive Israeli Lexicon. The book of alphabetic satire was Enzo’s idea. Enzo saw in me an aphorism artist–that I could get at the truth with few words. He set me to work on a collection of hard-hitting definitions and he produced the relevant cartoons. As always, Enzo illustrated the truths that can’t be reduced into words.

I met Enzo in 2011 and we stayed in close touch since then. Despite his age, Enzo was the liveliest person around. He knew how to enjoy life — wine, food, garlic and women were his existential mantra.  And Enzo delivered, he never missed a day of producing one of his hard hitting cartoons, always in support of the weak and the oppressed, often in support of Palestinians, and  critical of the English speaking empire.

The world is crippled without Enzo Apicella.

I am very sad this morning and I am certainly not alone.

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 The OHE …
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Cherev Gideon- Pennsylvania’s ‘Israeli Tactical Training Academy.’

October 29, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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Reported by Gilad Atzmon

Last Saturday we heard the disturbing news of a gun attack on a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that left eleven people dead. Today I was surprised to find out that some in Pennsylvania had seen it coming.  The following 2017 Israeli TV video tells the story of Cherev Gideon, an IDF like Jewish militia operating in Pennsylvania that trains American Jews to “shoot the Israeli Style.”

“The Second Amendment provides us with the right to bear arms.” Cherev Gidon’s site says,  “however it does not provide us with the knowledge of how to safely and professionally respond to a threat.” According to Israeli TV, Cherev Gideon’s goal is for “every synagogue to have an armed Jew ready to defend it.” 

“We specialise in Israeli tactical shooting techniques, developed over the course of several decades of counter-terrorism warfare, and uniquely designed to address the threats we face today. All of our firearms instructors are highly qualified veterans of Israel Defense Force combat units. Many have served in Special Forces units and all have hands-on experience fighting terror.”

https://youtu.be/yeJwdbZS7GA 

Youtube: “ In north-east Honesdale, Pennsylvania, there are Jews training with firearms in the Israeli Tactical Training Academy. Their goals is for every synagogue to have an armed Jew ready to defend it. The founder of Cherev Gideon, the tactical training academy, is Yonatan Stern. Yonatan was raised in the settlement of Kiryat Arbah and Served in Israeli Defence Forces in the Netzah Yehuda Battalion, an infantry, counter-terrorism battalion specifically created for religious men. He has since been living in the United States for over a decade where he has built his firearms training academy. He and other highly qualified veterans of Israel Defense Force combat units train responsible citizens and law enforcement to defend themselves and those around them using Israeli warfare tactics . Every Jew, especially Jews who live abroad, need to own a weapon, know how to use it and be ready to defend himself.”

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