Thursday, January 20, 2005

The big Israel post

I've wanted to write about this topic for quite some time, and my last post reminded me of it, and I have a short break, at a quarter to one in the morning, before I need to call a friend and business associate out of state to complete some web work we're doing together.

The problem today between the religious and non-religious in Israel today is one that cannot be understated. It is the cause of continual strife, and it has a most obvious cause that everyone overlooks -- democracy. Yes, democracy, that god that failed, as Hoppe called it, is the root cause of much of the hatred that brews among brethren today in Israel, because the political process in the Israeli government is inherently designed to force people into a continual string of fighting to get what they want at the expense of the losers.

End the democracy and socialism in Israel, and replace it with a free market economy, and there will be peace among the Jews there. In case this seems like an oversimplification, read what follows.

Whenever a religious Jew walks by a secular school, he probably thinks to himself, "money that I could have spent on causes X, Y, and Z were stolen from me to pay for this? Likewise, the secular Jew sees a yeshiva and thinks to himself, "my money was stolen from me to pay for this? The system is inherently designed to create enemies out of men who would otherwise be brothers.

Now, there are other issues of contention between the religious and secular, and don't think I'm unaware of them. I did live there for a year. I was in a yeshiva, but I wasn't entirely living in a bottle.

Now, there are religious Jews who object to this idea, because they are, unfortunately, addicted to dole. "The families in kollel would have no money to support themselves!" That's right, sweetheart, because those families are led by husbands who don't work. I think that it's great if a family is able to sustain themselves and the husband can sit and learn all day. If those families support themselves through the coercion of government subsidies, then those families should rightfully have the carpet pulled out from under them.

If the government would stop taxing the people so much, I have every confidence that the increase of money in the bank accounts that would result from an end to subsidies and lower tax rates would be more than sufficient to maintain the numbers in yeshiva and kollel. The ones who couldn't be sustained in kollel would simply have to work, just like in America and the rest of the world.

Now, my fellow libertarian Jew supports Shinui to that end, and I respectfully think that's misguided, as Shinui doesn't want to end socialism in Israel. They just want their version of socialism as opposed to the religious version. The end result would be the same.


At 2:16 PM, Blogger JamesEJ said...

I agree that Shinui has real problems. It is not as libertarian as my tastes desire. Even so, it is far ahead of its Iraeli peers and either of the major US parties overall. I support it because I think Shinui is making the right decisions to point Israel in a better direction.

The alternative to my choice to support Shinui is to support no party. Although that points me on a purer libertarian path, I don't find it productive. So many people think that Likud and Labor are the only alternatives in Israel. By blogging about Shinui, I can introduce people to a more libertarian alternative. Whatever one thinks about Shinui, Labor and Likud, I think most would agree that Shinui leadership would result in a smaller state with less regulation than either alternative. The opportunity for movement in that direction is sufficient to warrant my support.

Out of curiousity, how do you affiliate politically in the US? Isn't the weakness (and sometimes misguided actions ie. Badnarik's role in the Ohio recount) of the Libertarian Party discouraging? I find Shinui less discouraging because even though it may not always do the right thing, it will have the power to do something, much of that in the right direction.

At 7:41 PM, Blogger Protagonist said...

Interesting. But I never considered democracy and a free market economy to be mutually exclusive.

I link to, and talk about your post, here at my blog.

At 3:51 PM, Blogger amechad said...

Make aliya! While I think you are oversimplistic, the basic premises are much more correct than too many Israeli politicos.

I also don't understand your comment, "End the democracy and socialism in Israel". I mean, end socialism for sure but democracy? Excuse me? Of course the political structure/institutional structure needs to be reformed and constitutional protections are needed, but I think you misinterpret when you say "end democracy". That's not very libertarian of you.

Also, Shinui is anti-religious. The original Shinui did have some really good free-market economic ideas that didn't go far enough, the new Shinui is just as corrupt as the other parties and is not merely anti-haredi but anti-Judaism. Them leaving the coalition because of funding of the yeshivot for the haredi parties was a joke because Shinui takes more money to put towards its corruption than this instance in which UTJ got money for its corrupt yeshiva system, which, as you point out, encourages economic dependency (and, I might add, traps haredim in haredi society since basic skills are not taught)


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