On surviving the protracted rule of the right wing

I have never voted for a party that has been elected. For years I have found myself in disagreement with almost every law passed by my (Israeli) government. Religious practices are rammed down our throats; messianic lunacy drives our illegal settlement policy.

Furthermore, the political system is itself is systemically corrupt. The corruption started with the Bolshevik style of the very first generation after Ben Gurion. The right wing under Netanyahu “perfected the system” shamelessly.

The actions of the governments in my country are a deep source of shame for me.

My liberal  American friends and colleagues are now learning to live in a country dominated by “others”. Social media and traditional media are brewing with anti Trump resistance. Polarization and bi partisanship is rabid. Everything appears to be either/or, our way or their way. I have been in such a milieu for over 20 years. So, I want to share with my readers a few tips about how to survive.

1-You need to understand why you are in the minority. You need to stay there, in the minority, for a long time, until you get it. I suggest reading about the philosophical underpinnings of the right. You don’t need to agree with them. But understanding them is a must. I would start with Strangers in the Their Own Land.

2-For those not willing to take the intellectual journey, as to why we are witness to the return of the right,  you can always focus on achieving small things. Small things enable victories. In the last few years, I have focused on Beach Day for Palestinian kids.

3-Read different perspectives about the same problem. I often read Israeli right wing press, left wing press, the Egyptian press, the Saudi press and the Turkish press to develop an understanding of Iran. In other words, stop inhaling your own smoke. It’s worse than living under a leader with whom you disagree.

4-Keep friendships across partisan lines. I have many friends who are more left than me (one state solution) and many friends who are observant (although not messianic). Use friendship as a bridge to understand the internal logic of the other side.

5-Think  about democracy. Are you a democrat until the opposition is in power? Think hard about that. Personally I am struggling because illiberal democracy is not my cup of tea.

6-Also, think about what the real issues are for you . Save your energy for important matters. Personally, I pretty much ignore issues like the rights of transsexuals to choose their toilets, or should the trains run on Saturday. Because trains will not run on Saturday, ever. And the rights of transsexuals to choose their own toilets is a symptom of the agenda-less-ness.

7-Finally, think about if you want to be politically involved or not. Because the time we all have is limited and the “right “is going to be in power for an awfully long time.

8-And finally, stop attacking Trump on his mental condition. Kennedy, Johnson, Lincoln, McKenzie-King, and Churchill all had severe issues of mental health. If Trump bothers you more than Trumpism, you are pissing into the wind. If you don’t know about McKenzie-King, you are missing some wild stuff.

 

 

 

 

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11 thoughts on “On surviving the protracted rule of the right wing

  1. היי אלון.
    קראתי. אתה צודק בכל מה שכתבת. אבל…
    בוא נחזור ליסודות.
    מחזור חיי הארגון של אדיג’אס. עד שלב מסוים הארגון או המדינה לעניינו יכולה להשתנות. משלב מסוים היא לא יכולה.
    מדינת ישראל אבדה את יכולת השינוי העצמי. מדינת יהודה בגדה השתלטה על מדינת ישראל.
    הפתרון יגיע מבחוץ. כמו בדרום אפריקה. טראמפ לא יישאר לנצח. אני לא רואה דרך אחרת לחזור למצב יותר נורמלי.
    יוסי

  2. ובהמשך למה שכתבתי.
    ממליץ לך לראות ביס את שלושת הפרקים בסדרה, המחתרת היהודית. נפילתה ועלייתה כדי להבין את עומק הבור שבוא נמצאת מדינת ישראל.
    בתקווה לימים טובים יותר
    יוסי

  3. Allon
    According to Vikipedia and some more sources Israel is no.28 (out of more than 150 countries)in a global indexing of corruption dated 2016 and improved by 3 degrees last 2 years. 27 countries are better than us including the Emirates that are in the 26th place and I doubt how reliable are the reports from there and from any non democratic countries.From your blog one may think that corruption started when the right wing took over but it is clear (also to you) that when the left was in charge corruption was much stronger part of it due to the Bolshevik style the left initiated when country was established.
    These facts are known to every Israeli but not clear to your foreign readers and it is pity that you (probably unintentionally) send biased and unfair messages to readers who cannot cope with your statements and take them for granted.
    As an old phrase says: Do not spit to the well you drink from.

  4. Worthy advice to those of us struggling with this. In Ontario Canada, a Right wing government has just been elected and already their bigoted attitude is at work overturning s plan to introduce into the education curriculum facts about genocidal pollcies against the Indigenous people and horrific abuse of Native children. In my book, “The Inheriitors:Moving Forward from Generational Trauma” I theorize that generational hate by all sides of a conflict including perpetrators, victims, collaborators, and bystanders, is passed down if it isn’t processed and talked about. Discussions such as this are important. I will share your blog widely.
    (Sorry for the plug but want your readers to know my book is available on Amazon and is aimed at helping release the pain and outrage of inherited trauma)
    Dr. Gita Baack

  5. Both far right and far left political postures are highly “legitimating ideologies.” Both are used for social control and public order by the powers that be and individuals who espouse them. Such oppressive use of identity politics has allowed much of all three monotheistic religions to fully cooperate in toxic and unjust societies—just as long as each person discounted him/herself as an individual thinker in favor of group identity. This has never worked. Mankind has the empirical data as to what occurs when far right ideologies prevail: legitimized death squads, “we-they” diabolics (in the etymological sense of the words, i.e. a conversation that breaks up, that separates into two factions). We also possess the empirical data of the human experiment with far left ideologies: legitimized gulags, homogenization of social interpretation of reality, more than 120 million deaths.
    Currently, I see our species’ collective shadow on full display today in the United States, exposing intolerance and bigotry at deep levels. As in all polarities treated as problems, the pendulum has swung to the far right. Under the guise of avoiding political correctness, truth-telling has been twisted into fear-mongering and scapegoating. Note that this phenomenon also is present when the opposite swing takes place: Far left also twists truth-telling into fear-mongering and scapegoating.
    When humans cannot face and embrace the insecurities inside themselves, they project these fears outwardly, hating others instead of changing themselves.
    As Thomas Merton eloquently put it: “He who attempts to act and do things for others or for the world without deepening his own self-understanding, freedom, integrity and capacity to love will not have anything to give others. He will communicate to them nothing but the contagion of his own obsessions, his aggressiveness, his ego-centered ambitions, his delusions about ends and means, his doctrinaire prejudices and ideas. There is nothing more tragic in the modern world than the misuse of power and action 1.”
    1 : Thomas Merton, Contemplation in a World of Action, 2nd ed. (University of Notre Dame Press: 1998), 160-161.

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