Monday, August 22, 2016

Europeans and Jews: Trading Places

In much of the world, the Europeans are known as wimps and the Israelis are known as fascists. The reason is not any kind of corruption in either population. The reason is lessons from the Second World War being learned too well.

The Europeans learned that war and nationalism is evil. So they became pacifistic, to the point of accommodating all sorts of regimes that should not be accommodated. And the Jews learned that they were not safe in the world; so they created a super-militaristic state that uses the military for all sorts of things that should be better handled through trade or diplomacy.

In both cases, we see a lesson being learned too well.

In many respects the Europeans and the Jews traded places since the Second World War. The first went from being militaristic to being pacifistic, and the second went from being pacifistic to being militaristic. At first the Europeans were seen as brutes and the Jews as cowards; now it is the other way around.

There can be things said in defense of the choice made by both populations. If you have had your people work hard in other countries only to wind up in gas chambers, you would want your own country as well, and you would want to make sure that nobody can destroy it. And if you've had your continent run over by a bunch of homicidal maniacs, you would want peace as well. The sentiment in both cases is valid. The solutions leave much to be desired.

Other places also either learned the wrong lesson from the Second World War or learned their lesson too well. America learned that it was the greatest, so it made Americans arrogant to the point that they were imposing their will upon the rest of the world while destroying all sorts of lifestyles, both inside America and outside America. And Russia's lesson – that because they were able to defeat a major Western power they would be able to defeat the West proper – was wrong.

Neither the Jews nor the Europeans are evil. But both would benefit from re-examining the lessons that they have learned and their effects on their policies. Israel needs to pursue a less militaristic policy, and Europe needs to take a tougher stand against terrorists and despots. Peace is a rightful thing to strive for, and so is the safety of one's people. But neither accommodation of brutal regimes or militaristic fascism are right.


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