Logic and Rationality Are of No Avail in Disseminating Information
There are many people on the internet, and I respect them, who have, and are, working tirelessly employing logic and rationality to help people understand both sides of the conflict in the
I, for one, have long ago stopped trying to do this and I will explain why I consider the attempt futile.
I've been on the internet for some four years. During that time I've been observing how people behave, interact, group and what political positions they take on a good number of fora. I have noted the correlations between social behavior and political positions taken.
I have come to the following conclusion: The vast majority of people do not assume a given political position after having considered a number of alternative positions and a large body of data.
They form political opinions on the very same basis that they form friendships: they side with those with whom they identify. Like seeks out like. Proverbial water seeks its proverbial level.
Those who see themselves as deserving of special privilege tend to identify with some type of elite. These are few in number and I shall explain why presently.
Both those who are bullies as well as those who feel the need for strong backing identify with political power structures and tend to accept the positions of those power structures as unquestioningly correct and inviolable. They defend the power structures tooth and nail.
The vast majority of people may be grouped under those to whom
I do not find people whose brotherly feelings are grounded in the common baseness they find in one another repugnant. I see them, rather, as victims of Capitalist indoctrination which inculcates the profoundest feelings of wounded pride and violation of one's person. They are, however, truly base and understanding the provenance of their baseness in no wise negates their being so. They are many. They are the vast majority.
They tend to huddle together for mutual protection and defense in their social groups. Their relationships are based on an agreement of everyone ignoring the others' real and imagined defects. It is also agreed that each will come to the others' defense if an "intruder", someone either up or down in some way enters their territory.
When the most wounded among them assume a political position they invariably resonate with those they consider the underdog. Wracked as they are with feelings of victimization, frustration and helplessness to find a way out of their lives of what Henry David Thoreau called "quiet desperation", they take up the cause of those who do not make them feel inferior. Feeling degraded as they do; they feel comfortable taking up the cause of those they see as still more degraded than themselves.
It is not surprising, then, that the vast majority of Europeans and many Americans identify with and support the Arabs in the ME conflict. The Arabs do not make them acutely aware of their feelings of inferiority. They can take a superior, paternalistic stance vis-à-vis the Arabs. Of course, they put on a front of being concerned with the victim, but in reality they identify with the victim because they feel victimized beneath their protestations of good will and bravado.
The political stances that the vast majority of people assume, then, are neither logical nor rational. They are based on identification that comes from the gut.
There is no countering that with logic and reason.
The Jews and the Israelis make them feel their defects most acutely. They simply cannot relate to the People who hold the highest per capita number of Nobel Prizes in the world. They do not feel comfortable in the presence of the People who count Einstein as but one of their sons. They cannot relate to the People who transformed a miserable tract of desert and swamp into not only a desert, but departments of bioinformatics and other cutting-edge technologies.
Israelis are, for the most part, a rare breed. Those who emigrated here from developed countries as well as native Israelis who have skills and education that would allow them to be professionals elsewhere, yet choose to stay, are that very rare and miniscule sector of Humanity that do not assume a political stance based merely on personal feelings of weakness. Rather, they are those who have chosen to devote their lives to something bigger than themselves. They are proactive, not simply reactive. They do not huddle together with others for protection. They cooperate with others for the sake of realizing a vision and actualizing a plan for Humanity.
Few are those who are content, confident and comfortable enough with themselves to be able to praise and encourage us in this. Few are those who with outstretched hand offer to take part in this magnificent and noble enterprise.
But they do exist. And they are wonderful. They are those who elevate Humanity from the degraded social level of chimpanzees to fully Human.
People such as these are not in need of our reason and our logic. We do not have to teach them. They need only our encouragement and they deserve our thanks.
You know who you are.
Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan,