Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
May 25, 2012
It’s been a while since I linked to Walter Russell Mead (and I’ve been meaning to post this for over a week) but I thought this was particularly good: The BBC and “The Jews”
Via Meadia spends quite a bit of time calling attention to the ominous rise of anti-Semitism around the world. It isn’t because we think that anti-Semitism is the only form of hate and bigotry in the world, or that we think that it is more important to fight prejudice against Jews than prejudice against other people. But anti-Semitism, besides being on the ascent at times when many other forms of hatred are mostly on the back foot, is particularly dangerous, and not just because of what anti-Semitism can do and has done to the Jews.
The rise of anti-Semitism is a sign of widespread social and cultural failure. It is a leading indicator of a loss of faith in liberal values and of a diminished capacity to understand the modern world and to thrive in it. Societies that tolerate anti-Semitism take a fateful step toward the loss of both freedom and prosperity. People who think “the Jews” run the banks lose the ability to understand, much less to operate financial systems. People who think “the Jews” dominate business through hidden structures can’t build or long maintain a successful modern economy. People who think “the Jews” dominate politics lose their ability to interpret political events, to diagnose social evils and to organize effectively for positive change. People who think “the Jews” run the media and control the news lose the ability to grasp what is happening around them. And people who think “the Jews” control America’s Middle Eastern policy lose the ability to understand, much less to influence, American policy in this vital part of the world. Emancipation from anti-Semitism is thus one of the necessary steps that many individuals and cultures have to take before they are able to act effectively and participate meaningfully in contemporary life.