Monday, July 31, 2006

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 Middle East.

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 Milan Kundera referred when he wrote: "Nothing is more repugnant to me than brotherly feelings grounded in the common baseness people see in one another."

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.

Thank you.

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel

DoreenDotan@gmail.com

Friday, July 28, 2006

The Cowardice and Hypocrisy of the British

Of all peoples who criticize Israel, the most reprehensible of them are the Germanic peoples who settled Europe unspeakably violently, massacring all of the indigenous peoples of Europe that would not be subjugated.

These are the same people whose descendants launched the Crusades.

These are the same people whose descendants founded America. The belligerence and brutality of their history and present speaks for itself.

These are the same people whose criminal descendants founded Australia and massacred the Aboriginals there. The same may be said about New Zealand.

These are the same people who descendants founded English Canada and massacred Natives there. Is Canada not a commonwealth of Britain to this day? Do they not pay homage to the "House of Windsor" (formerly Wettin, Germanic "nobility")?

In fact, was South Africa under apartheid not a British commonwealth?

These are the same people who founded Switzerland and the Scandinavian countries, which, while peaceful within their own borders, were Natzi-sympathetic to a horrific extent and which evince a good deal of xenophobia to this day.

These are the same people whose descendants perpetrated the Holocaust.
Their humanitarianism track record is the world's worst.

To their credit, people in Germany today are making a "fearless moral inventory" and taking another direction.

Holland, to its credit, has become a very accepting society. Of course, in addition to being accepting of foreigners; it is accepting of dope addiction and prostitution. They seem incapable of knowing what to and not to accept.

Yet some of them, including the modern day British, rather than doing that inventory, are blaming others for barbarism. What could be more ridiculous?

Would the State of Israel need to exist at all if not for European barbarism?

Is there a nation, other than the daughter of Britain, the US, which undertook so extensive and violent a programme of imperialism than Britain?

As in every state in which there are conquered peoples, the vanquished who are too weak and spineless to revolt find some illusory sense of dignity identifying with their conquerors who see them as little more than cannon fire. Scotland is premier among those fools. They are so stupid, insipid, unwilling to take responsibility for their destinies (and let's face it, drunk) that they are actually proud of their legions that England sends to the front line ahead of them. They take great pride in being used as cannon fire for the British. But the same might be said of the other "British Isles" as well, of course. They swagger and they rant and they rail against Israel. This provides them with the delusion of being strong. In fact, they are peons who have no identity of their own, other than the one that England allows them. George Galloway is, undoubtedly, the top dog of this vociferous, vile and vilifying litter.

The article on the link below demonstrates that the Anglo-Saxons (who really have no right to call themselves British at all. They vanquished the Britons) have a very long and ugly history of apartheid.

Before they presume to point a finger at us, Britain has a lot of history and still more present to set aright.

Though recently the Church has admitted some of its cultural atrocities and the Germans have undertaken true soul-searching and monetary recompense of those they plundered; most Germanics go unrepentant for that which they have perpetrated – taking the morally squalid stand of pointing their fingers dripping with blood at their former and current victims in accusation.

h________________________________________________________

The following is an excerpt from my essay "An Anarchist Explains Why Israel Is Not An Imperialist State". The entire essay can be found on the following URL::
http://www.geocities.com/dordot2001/IsraelIsNotAnImperialistState.htm
The following excerpt demonstrates that the British played a determining role,
and very deliberately so, in creating the conflict that exists in Israel.
The readers' attention is requested to be turned to the period of "Illegal" Immigration from 1933 to 1948. This is the period called Aliyah Beit. During that time, when Jews were in the greatest peril since the time of the Inquisition, the British authorities in Israel limited Jewish immigration to Palestine (See: The White Paper 1939 – 1947
http://tinyurl.com/hm7e4). This, and more damning still, it was British policy that, in large measure, created the Palistinian problem. Not only did the British set Jewish immigration quotas starting in 1920, they attempted to create an artificial Arab majority in Israel by requesting France to stop curbing illegal Arab immigration to Israel and by bringing Arabs in illegally themselves during the years 1920 – 1948 (See: http://tinyurl.com/dkpsu). It was not for naught that Ben Gurion, who would become the first Prime Minister of Israel, said: "The Zionists should fight the war as if there were no White Paper and fight the White Paper as if there were no war."
Incidentally, the Mossad, much-maligned by Israel's detractors, was organized during the period of Aliyah Beit as an organization to smuggle Jews into the Land of Israel from Europe [See: 1938 January 12, POSEIDON (Eretz Israel)
http://tinyurl.com/zp5pb
].
ttp://www.world-science.net/othernews/060719_apartheid.htm"


Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Democracy is a Euphemism

for Enforcement of Uniformity by the Mob

Democracy is naught but a euphemism for enforcement of uniformity by the mob. It is the most ubiquitous and efficient form of control that has yet been devised. It is also the most cost-effective form of policing ever devised, as once the societal "implants" are firmly embedded in the psyche, usually by the end of grade school, the masses carry out the will of those who programmed them for free and beat anyone who dares to veer from the accepted norms to a bloody pulp spiritually, emotionally and mentally, if not physically.

Democracy is a police state in which the policemen have been stationed in the minds of the populace. Any deviation from accepted behavior is met with swift punishment from the police who are present everywhere, always, on every street corner, in every home, in our every thought.

At this moment the agent undercover in your psyche is monitoring everyone to make sure they are behaving in one of the state-sanctioned modes, especially you. And he has been trained to work in tandem with all of the other agents just like himself against any who may rebel or dissent or attempt to assert their own being, especially you.

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel

DoreenDotan@gmail.com

Thursday, July 20, 2006

MY TAKE ON RELIGION

In our present state, slaves as we are to myriad misconceptions, suppositions, prejudices,
formulaic modes of thinking, rote and routine behaviors, etc., when we encounter holy Texts we react in one of two ways:

We:

1) Reject out-of-hand that which we have read, believing that we have comprehended that which we have read.

2) Accept what we read, believing that we have comprehended that which we have read, and go about the business of living according to our misconceptions.

Both of these, seemingly diametrically opposed, reactions have one thing in common: In both cases we do not realize that filled as we are with memes, misconceptions, propaganda and all sorts of physical poisons that reduce our ability to perceive and cognate we haven't begun to plumb the depths of what those Texts are really saying.

It is for this reason that I call for the development of a way of life that will release us from our bondage upon bondage.

Unlike most Anarchists; I am not an atheist.

On the contrary; I believe that only in an Anarchist condition will we be able to commune not only with one another, but with the Holy that resides within us but which we have been rendered incapable of accessing, except for fleeting moments and even that only to minimal intensity.

Only when we have become capable of communing with one another will we be able to really and truly commune with our Souls and develop healthy religions.

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel
DoreenDotan@gmail.com

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

My Recommendation to the Middle East: ANARCHY

Please see my comment entitled "Further to Government" at the bottom of the following URL:

mhttp://tinyurl.com/n7vrd

In response to what I wrote someone wrote:

Quote: "Anarchy is what's going on right now in Gaza…"

My response: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to elucidate my position.

No, what is happening now is anything but Anarchy. They have a government. We have a government. Every country in the world has a government - especially those who are fomenting the conflict in this area and making a fortune on it.
Quote: "…where armed groups of thugs force their wishes on an innocent civilian population, attack the neighboring country out of forgotten "ideals", and wage open war with each other-- the Palestinians."

My response: I'd say that describes the US and the EU nations to a T.

Quote: "armed groups of thugs force their wishes on an innocent civilian population" –
My response: I'd say that sounds like our government vis-à-vis not only the Palestinians, but Israelis too. Have you forgotten the "disengagement"?"

How about soldiers on reserve duty who have been used to knock on doors in the middle of the night to extract payment for bounced checks from people who can't make their incomes stretch to cover their expenses in peaceful times? My B-I-L was made to do it and it sickened him. That is NOT why he was supposed to be in reserve service.

Or don't you know about that?

Quote: ”Anarchy is Hizballah embroiling Lebanon in a war with its neighbor to the south for no good reason. "

My response: "Hizbullah has a leadership who keep them on a very tight rein at that."
Quote: "Is this the kind of Middle East you want?"

My response: No, that is why governments need to be dissolved.

Quote: "I know this isn't the kind of anarchy that the anarchist philosophers envisioned-- but it's the anarchy we have at this point in human development (or lack thereof). Humanity will have to go a long way down the road of evolution before it's ready for non-government. Please accept the idea that anarchy as a working system is an idea whose time has not yet come, and don't spout nonsense."

My response: Now you are beginning to accede the truth.

We are laying the groundwork of a MENTAL and EMOTIONAL revolution that will allow a stateless condition based on free trade exist.

It will take hundreds of years perhaps. But we must lay the groundwork.

My task is to give people an inkling of what life could be like, to get them to transcend what they have been made to believe exists a priori.

Be positive. People lived for millennia under the absolute tyrannies of monarchs and organized religions.

From the time of the French and American Revolutions until the flowering of Anarchist thought was a matter of a mere few years:

William Godwin (1756-1836) was the founder of philosophical anarchism. In his An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice (1793) he argued that government is a corrupting force in society, perpetuating dependence and ignorance, but that it will be rendered increasingly unnecessary and powerless by the gradual spread of knowledge.

and then

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (January 15, 1809 – January 19, 1865) wrote "What is Property?" published in 1840.

We won't need to wait millennia to get to the next evolutionary stage. But the work of laying the groundwork has to be done.

People have to be made to know that they are dieing ad suffering for naught. Worse, they are dieing and suffering in order to make others rich. When I think that the people who are responsible for the sailors who died on the battleship were sailing on their yachts gleeful that business was proceeding so nicely I get livid.

This is the time to begin to sow the seeds of Anarchy in Israel. The country must not return to the status quo after this war. We must have made some internal advance or all that we are doing externally is nothing but a bloodletting fest.

You describe my thinking as "nonsense". You have been brainwashed to think that being adult, mature and "real" is being harnessed as a worker. Kill that cop in your head.

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat (Safed), Israel
DoreenDotan@gmail.com


Monday, July 17, 2006

Industrialists, With the Help of the Government, Are Forcing Workers to Return to Work in Israel !

A law in Israel protects workers who are located in areas that are on the firing line from being compelled to go to work. Workers who, fearing for their lives during wartime, cannot be fired because they do not appear for work. Neither can their wages be withheld from them.

So, a law to that effect exists on the books. SO WHAT?! Since when did the government and businesspeople in Israel ever let a little thing like a law stand in their way?

I heard on the news at 16:00 that industrialists are applying pressure to the workers in their plants to come to work, saying they have "responsibilities to fulfill orders from their clients".

Here in the north, the area hardest hit by Hizbullah's missiles; government officials have been called in to override the law and force workers to return to work. People are afraid. They have been told to stay in bomb shelters. Few people are in the streets. Few businesses are open.

How dare they compel people to take their lives in their hands in order to make money for others!


ANARCHY! I CALL FOR ANARCHY!

If the law means nothing to the government and to the industrialists, then there should be no laws!

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel
DoreenDotan@gmail.com

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Who Is Noam Chomsky?
A Review of CHOMSKY ON ANARCHISM



I eagerly anticipated receiving CHOMSKY ON ANARCHISM, Selected and Edited by Barry Pateman and published by AK Press 2005, which I had ordered from AK Press web site
www.akpress.com. I was intrigued by the publisher's synopsis of the book. It is intended, so the publishers of the book enticed in their catalog, to be a statement of what Noam Chomsky is for, assuming that it is generally known what he is against.

Professor Chomsky and I share an interest in linguistics and anarchy. His father, William Chomsky, made significant contributions to the study of the Hebrew language. I was quite sure that I would be fascinated by the book. The blurb on the back cover effuses:"…Chomsky on Anarchism will be an exciting, and surprising, experience." Whoever wrote that was half right.

The book is a compilation of some of Chomsky's writings and interviews with him over the period of 1969 – 2004.

I began to read the first chapter "Objectivity and Liberal Scholarship." The topic of the essay was certainly interesting enough. I soon found myself rather puzzled as to why I was plodding through some of the most boilerplate prose I have ever read. Had this really issued from the pen of the man who has been acclaimed as the "father of modern linguistics"? The writing style was muddy and wholly unentertaining. It was my interest in the subject of the Spanish Civil War that held me to that chapter. The author's style of writing certainly did not command my attention. I chalked the tedious prose of the first chapter of the book up to Chomsky's relative youth when he wrote the essay. I was wrong. The "style" is consistent throughout the book. The only "highlights" in Chomsky's prose is occasional, wholly superfluous sarcasm.

Chomsky does his homework, it must be said to his credit. The 75-page essay is accompanied by an additional 25 pages of references. As Charles Weigl promises in his Preface to the book; the requisite tenacity I called upon to get through "Objectivity and Liberal Scholarship" paid off with having learned many things valuable.

The first surprise came in reading Chapter Four: "The Relevance of Anarcho-Syndicalism", the text of an interview that was conducted by Peter Jay in 1976 for BBC's program London Weekend TV. During the course of that interview, Chomsky says: "Let me just say I don't really regard myself as an anarchist thinker. I'm, a derivative fellow traveler, let's say." That is a very strange comment for a number of reasons. First, the phrase "derivative fellow traveler" is quite an inscrutable, obtuse and non-committal phrase coming from a renowned linguist. I communicated with Chomsky a couple of times a few years ago. I was very impressed by the lucidity of his thought and clarity and exactitude of his phraseology. It was hard for me to believe that author of those correspondences is the same man who wrote " derivative fellow traveler, let's say". Second, Noam Chomsky is generally thought of as an Anarchist (after all, the book is entitled CHOMSKY ON ANARCHISM and the editors refer to him as an Anarchist). He is generally revered as "one of us" among Anarchists. Is he not one of us? Third, he has written extensively about Anarchy and has made a considerable reputation and academic career being a spokesperson for Anarchy. Last, and most certainly not least, he states in "Anarchism, Marxism and Hope for the Future" (1995): "I was attracted to anarchism as a young teenager, as soon as I began to think about the world beyond a pretty narrow range, and haven't seen much reason to revise those early attitudes."

The second surprise that jumped off the pages of CHOMSKY ON ANARCHISM at me is something that Chomsky says in the course of a talk he delivered in Glasgow, Scotland in January of 1990 at the "Glasgow Conference on Self-Determination and Power: Life Task, Political Task." He said: "Fame, fortune, and respect await those who reveal the crimes of official enemies; those who undertake the vastly more important task of raising a mirror to ourselves can expect quite different treatment, in any society. George Orwell is famous for Animal Farm and 1984 which focus on the official enemy, or could at least be interpreted in this light. Had he kept to the more interesting and significant question of thought control in relatively free and democratic societies, it would not have been appreciated, and instead of wide acclaim, he would have faced silent dismissal or obloquy. Let us nevertheless turn to the more important and unacceptable questions." One would think that a comment like this would come from someone who, as a result of having treated the "important and unacceptable [societal] questions had endured the disgrace of "silent dismissal" or "obloquy". In fact, Noam Chomsky is far more famous, venerated and, as we shall see presently, handsomely remunerated than George Orwell every hoped to be. The back cover of CHOMSKY ON ANARCHISM effuses: "His brilliant critiques of - among other things – capitalism, imperialism, domestic repression and government propaganda, have become mini-publishing industries unto themselves." The back cover of the book also says: He lives in Lexington, Massachusetts. I was curious to know what has become of Lexington, MA since the "shot heard 'round the world" was fired there. I found the following as part of the entry "Lexington, Massachusetts" in Wikipedia: "The median income for a household in the town was $96,825, and the median income for a family was $111,899. Males had a median income of $81,857 versus $50,090 for females. The per capita income for the town was $46,119. About 1.8% of families and 3.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.2% of those under age 18 and 3.4% of those age 65 or over." (
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lexington,_Massachusetts). I should say, those are hardly the median incomes of soothsayers facing societal "silent dismissal or obloquy".

This point leads to the overriding revelation ("surprise", as the person who wrote the blurb on the back cover of the book would have it) of CHOMSKY ON ANARCHY. The book opens with Chomsky treating the phenomenon of what Conor Cruise O'Brien termed the "counterrevolutionary subordination" of the liberal intelligentsia "which", Chomsky tells us, "poses a threat to scholarly integrity in our own counterrevolutionary society…" (Objectivity and Liberal Scholarship, 1969). In Chapter Eight, "Goals and Visions", written in 1996, he would write: "The labor press also condemned what it called the "bought priesthood" of the media, the universities, and the intellectual class, apologists for power who sought to justify the despotism that was strengthening its grip and to instill its demeaning values." By 1996 Chomsky felt sure enough of himself and his position to not only be so rude as to cut off those who interviewed him in mid-question (Chapter Nine, Anarchism, Intellectuals and the State, 1996, and again in , his 2004 interview with Barry Pateman), but to be brazenly honest enough to say: "My short term goals are to defend and even strengthen elements of state authority which, though illegitimate in fundamental ways, are critically necessary right now to impede dedicated efforts to "roll back" the progress that has been achieved in extending democracy and human rights…"(Goals and Visions).

He would take self-revelation further still in his interview with Ziga Vodovnik in 2004, which constitutes the Chapter Eleven of the book. Therein he would state uninhibitedly: "As usual I don't see a conflict. It makes perfect sense to use the means that the nation states provide in order to resist exploitation, oppression, domination, violence and so on, yet at the same time try to override these means by developing alternatives…I am perfectly happy to write columns that are syndicated by the New York Times, which I do, and to writ in Z Magazine. It is no contradiction. In fact, let's take a look at this place (MIT). It has been a very good place for me to work; I've been able to do things I want to do. I have been here for fifty years, and have never thought about leaving it. But there are things about it that are hopelessly illegitimate. For example, it is a core part of the military-linked industrial economy. So you work within in and try to change it." Chomsky's true colors are emerging for all to see. Opportunists don't see conflicts. They just see opportunities for self-advancement. Neither do they experience moral cognitive dissonance. It is becoming eminently clear that Chomsky is one of the intellectuals in a state of "counterrevolutionary subordination". His job, as a hired mouthpiece for the establishment, is to present "trenchant analysis" (as the back cover of the book describes his work) for the purpose of providing the illusion to real Leftist and Anarchists who venerate Chomsky, that they have an indefatigable, articulate ally and that change for the better in society is in the offing.

As to his statement: "It makes perfect sense to use the means that the nation states provide in order to resist exploitation, oppression, domination, violence and so on, yet at the same time try to override these means by developing alternatives", one must ask: "What alternatives, Professor Chomsky, have you developed in the half-century that you've been working at the military industrial complex's fair-haired boy, MIT? Have "exploitation, oppression, domination, violence and so on" been eradicated, or at least reduced, during the period that Chomsky has enjoyed all of the advantages of being a Professor Emeritus at MIT?

He goes on, and here the surprises reach a crescendo: ""Take for example the rich people here. Take those like me who are in the top few percent of the income ladder. We could cut back our luxurious lifestyles, pay proper taxes, there are all sorts of things (That "all sorts of things" is left very much up in the air. Can the "father of modern linguistics" not articulate what sorts of things he is referring to? Parentheses mine.). I'm not even talking about Bill Gates, but people who are reasonably privileged. Instead of imposing the burden on poor people here and saying "well, you poor people have to give up your jobs because even poorer people need them over there, we could say "okay, we rich people will give up some small part of our ludicrous luxury and use it to raise living standards and working conditions elsewhere, and to let them have enough capital to develop their own economy, their own means." True enough. Rich people, Chomsky now including himself as being part of, could do all that. But then they might no longer be able to afford to live in Lexington, Massachusetts, particularly if they are prepared to give up more than a piddling "some small part" of their "ludicrous luxury". One doesn't set out on a career to mangle the minds of Leftists and Anarchists if one is the type of person who is genuinely satisfied with a smaller slice of the American apple pie.

CHOMSKY ON ANARCHISM is a study in hypocrisy. It reveals Chomsky for exactly what he is: every slithering dishonest thing that he accuses the liberal intelligentsia, who at least have the decency to admit that they work for the government, of being. The smokescreen of being the very thing he has spent decades ostensibly decrying evidently worked. By the time that Chomsky began to speak conspicuously about who is really is and what he is really doing he was a member in good standing of the Industrial Workers of the World and highly respected and trusted by Leftists and Anarchists. It is truly ironic that a Professor Emeritus at MIT is a member of IWW. One might ask: Just which industry are you employed by? The military industrial complex, as are your colleagues? Having become accustomed to thinking of him as a friend, Leftists and Anarchists are finding it difficult to accept that they have been duped and betrayed by him. Barry Pateman, who seems to admire Chomsky tremendously writes in his Introduction to the book: "It's a position that will spark debate and, in the eyes of some, question his whole conception of anarchism". Evidently, Pateman is aware there are some Leftists and Anarchists who find reasons to entertain questions about Chomsky's sincerity. We can but hope that Pateman will join our ranks.

In addition to, but certainly not less important than, Chomsky's usefulness to the powers that be as someone who has infiltrated the Left and Anarchist camps in order to confuse and render them impotent; "His brilliant critiques of - among other things – capitalism, imperialism, domestic repression and government propaganda, have become mini-publishing industries unto themselves" (my italics), as I have quoted. Chomsky is generating a lot of money.

He is an disgrace to the memory of his illustrious father Ze'ev (William) Chomsky, the great Hebrew scholar, who was a member of the IWW not out of opportunism and as a "mole", but out of genuine ideology.

According to the Wikipedia entry "Noam Chomsky" (
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noam_Chomsky), Yiddish was the family's first language, but it was "taboo" to be spoken at home. I am sure that Chomsky will understand these Yiddish words, the first and derived from Hebrew, the second still in use in German: Chutzpah and eine Schande.

The following is my response to the comments made about this book review by someone who goes by the name Jakks on the Google Group "Socialism: An Intelligent Discussion", which can be found on the following URL: http://tinyurl.com/jj775

Hi, Jakks,

Thank you for your taking the time and trouble to express your viewpoint. I considered each point you raised.

I am still convinced that Chomsky is disingenuous, opportunistic and working for the government against the interests of Leftists and Anarchists, as the last part of this post will demonstrate.

He certainly collects fees like a real writer and lecturer despite the fact that he doesn't think he's very good at either.

I don't see him as a very good Libertarian Socialist either, living as he does in Lexington, MA and working as he does for MIT. Here is the link:

A fortiori such a person should not be a soi-disant spokesperson for Anarchy. His books, lectures and interviews are a liability to the Socialist cause and more so to the Anarchist cause. He represents none of our principles or goals.

I do not accept the fact that one has to make a name for oneself as an academic in order for his or her political opinions to be taken seriously. Does he presume to model himself on Einstein?

Most of the great names in Anarchist thought were not professional academics because they would not have the parameters of their thought described by a university as academics do. That's mere self-justification. Read what Helen Keller has to say about universities on the IWW site.

http://www.iww.org/culture/articles/hkeller1.shtml

Here is another point that galled me in CHOMSKY ON ANARCHY. In 1996 Pablo Ortellado and Andre Ryoki Inoue interviewed him in Brazil. The interview constitutes Chapter Nine of the Book and is entitled "Anarchism, Intellectuals and the State". The first question put to him was: "...Why do you assign some time in your schedule to get in touch with local movements?"

To which he responded: "I always do that. I think it's been 40 years since I've gone anywhere just to give linguistics talks. I always combine them. In fact, usually I go for the social/political movements and give linguistics talks on the side. So, if I give a talk in the United States to a social justice movement in Colorado or wherever, it usually takes place under the auspices of the linguistics department and they cover the travel. There is nothing unusual about this. In fact, the invitations come from many groups. It's normal."

The response above is an admission that he is giving his harmful lectures on Anarchy under the auspices of the Linguistics Department of MIT and on their nickel. MIT, which he states clearly in the book, is "a core part of the military-linked industrial economy" is paying him to do the Anarchist movement a disservice.

He also mentions one David Noble who used to work at MIT but who no longer does because "...he was a bit too radical." (Chapter Ten, Interview with Barry Pateman, 2004).

If Chomsky was half the radical he is making himself out to be he would not be working for MIT either.

The guy is as fake as a three-dollar bill.

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel

DoreenDotan@gmail.com


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

In Commemoration of HENRIK IBSEN: 100 Years Since His Death

In commemoration of the brilliant playwright Henrik Ibsen who died one hundred years ago, The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published the following article.

http://www.geocities.com/dordot2001/IbsenXP.htm

It is important that we learn who Henrik Ibsen really was and why he wrote what he did.

Ibsen is one of the author's whose works are sanitized when presented to schoolchildren as part of their curriculum. He is not presented as he really was – a revolutionary thinker. His work is not presented for what it was – trenchant critique of society and how it impacts on people.

Emma Goldman referred to Ibsen a number of times in her writings. She wrote: "In the literary world, the Humphrey Wards and Clyde Fitches are the idols of the mass, while but few know or appreciate the beauty and genius of an Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman: an Ibsen, a Hauptmann, a Butler Yeats, or a Stephen Phillips. They are like solitary stars, far beyond the horizon of the multitude." (Minorities Versus Majorities, 1910.)

Goldman refers to Ibsen once again in a piece entitled "Intellectual Proletarians", which she published in the February 1914 edition of her periodical "Mother Earth".

In addition to her reference to Ibsen in the essay, it is most worthwhile to read because in it Emma speaks to and about "all those who work for their living, whether with hand or brain, all those who must sell their skill, knowledge, experience and ability", whom she says, quite correctly "are proletarians".

"White collar workers" do not like to think of themselves as proletarians and wage slaves. Those descriptions, were they to use them at all, would be applied to factory workers and garbage collectors.

Emma reminds "white collar workers" that they too must sell themselves to an employer who deigns to exploit them. Therefore, they too are proletarians and wage slaves in every sense of the words and would do well to put their support behind their "blue collar" brothers and sisters in the struggle for emancipation.

Returning to Ibsen, Emma writes: "...those who are placed in positions which demand the surrender of personality, which insist on strict conformity to definite political policies and opinions, must deteriorate, must become mechanical, must lose all capacity to give anything really vital. The world is full of such unfortunate cripples. Their dream is to "arrive", no matter at what cost. If only we would stop to consider what it means to "arrive", we would pity the unfortunate victim. Instead of that, we look to the artist, the poet, the writer, the dramatist and thinker who have "arrived", as the final authority on all matters, whereas in reality their "arrival" is synonymous with mediocrity, with the denial and betrayal of what might in the beginning have meant something real and ideal.
The "arrived" artists are dead souls upon the intellectual horizon. The uncompromising and daring spirits never "arrive". Their life represents and endless battle with the stupidity and dull of their time. They must remain what Nietzsche calls "untimely", because everything that strives for new form, new expression or new values is always doomed to be untimely.
The real pioneers in ideas, in art and in literature have remained aliens to their time, misunderstood and repudiated. And if, as in the case of Zola, Ibsen and Tolstoy, they compelled their time to accept them, it was due to their extraordinary genius and even more so to the awakening and seeking of a small minority of new truths, to whom these men were the inspiration and intellectual support. Yet even to this day Ibsen is unpopular, while Poe, Whitman and Strindberg have never "arrived".

Matters have not changed since 1910. The public buys the work of hacks, while the geniuses are wholly ignored and languish in obscurity.

I likewise ask you, do you wish to be consumers of Stephen King and "The DaVinci Code" and "Geisha", or will you turn your attention to Henrik Ibsen and the other great writers and endeavor to hear what they said to you? Will you hear their voice of emancipation?

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel
DoreenDotan@gmail.com

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

ANARCHY AND THE SPIRITUAL QUEST


Unlike the majority of Anarchists, I am not an atheist. In my youth I undertook a spiritual quest that went over a period of some twenty-five years. I know there is a God. I experienced God.

Magnificently sublime and rapturous as the experiences were; they were removed from the pain I saw all around me in this world and they were very isolating. I could not share that which I experienced with others. Worst of all, I could not alleviate people's suffering simply by virtue of the fact that I knew there is a God, that there are higher worlds than the one in which we live and that the Soul is immortal. While I communed with God widows and orphans languished. I could not stay in those rarified heights knowing there was so much suffering. I took leave to return to this reality.

Spiritual quests should not be undertaken for the sake of fleeing the unbearable in this world, as was mine. They should not be a desperate resort for a wounded Soul trying to find solace and meaning in a world that seems too cruel and absurd to live in and bear.

The spiritual quest should be undertaken only when we have achieved a very high level of material security, moral human interaction and personal fulfillment.

When we live in a world described by free and fair trade, equality among all Human beings, mutual aid respect for all sentient beings, maximum actualization of the Self and aid to others to actualize themselves in the material world we will discover that there is still something missing, something that we cannot attain from material welfare, well-being and prosperity alone.

We are spiritual beings and the need to fulfill that aspect of ourselves will come to the fore. It will arise spontaneously and naturally within us as individuals and among us as societies and it will be an expression of organic unity that we, atomized as we currently are, are simply not capable of.

The time for that has not yet come. There is much groundwork to lay.

We are in a sickly, mutilated, truncated and stunted state. We are slaves. Our perceptions are distorted. We are filled with negativity and mistrust. We are filled with every manner of fear and trepidation, as our economic masters have conditioned us to be. We are filled with shame. Our bodies are poisoned and we have been trained to run to the comfort of substances and diversions in the small bit of free time that we have. We regard one another as competitors. Our eye is trained on the negative in others.

In such a state of insalubrity and in societies as unwholesome as ours we cannot possibly interpret and understand holy Texts properly. We do not possess the clarity and the refinement to perceive the Holy. Most certainly, we do not see it in one another as we vie with one another for our sustainence.

We see the very same negativity in holy Texts that we see in those around us and in ourselves.

There are, under the present social conditions, two possible reactions when encountering holy Texts. In both cases we read them on a most perfunctory level and wholly misunderstand them, but believe that what we see is what they are saying. We then do one of two things. We either reject that which we think we see out-of-hand. Or, we accept that which we see and live a religion that is little more than our own hallucinations.

A goodly number of religious figures gathered large followings within a relatively short amount of time. It has been my experience that that which truly elevates the estate of human beings does not become popular quickly. People do not let go of their shackles nor surrender their crutches readily. Those who are shackled have been taught that it is their shackles that sustain and support them and they are, therefore, desperate to hold on to them. They attack those who would divest them of their fetters viciously, perceiving those who would emancipate them as enemies who mean to harm them. Therefore, the fact that religions have caught on quickly makes them suspect in my eyes.

There is another matter that is of yet more concern to me. Although I would say that most people who set out on spiritual quests were sensitive Souls and well-intentioned; we see that not one spiritual path has ever alleviated human misery and poverty. I think the reason for this is eminently clear. Religions do not change the physical conditions that cause people to want to flee from this world. They do not call for the elimination of classes, power structures and economic disparities. Quite the opposite. They encourage them, even making them obligatory. The adherents of religions are taught that it is sacrilege to defy or even question authority. The punishment for doing so is, in addition to the misery of this world that is taken as a given, unending indescribable misery in the next world or forfeiting one's place in the World to Come altogether. It is, then, in the interests of those in religious power to keep this world rather unbearable so that they may constantly dangle the carrot of hope in the next world before their adherents if and only if they "behave" themselves. Thus far, all religions, no matter how sublime they may or may not have been in their inception, deteriorated into mass mind and behavior control by creating conditions of misery for the vast majority.
Not one religion thus far, not a single one, has called for the elimination of power structures as a religious tenet. They cultivated a "this world-other world" illusory dichotomy. Rather than organized religions eliminating poverty and the dependence of classes upon others, they encourage it as one of their most central methods of concentrating power in the hands of some.

Today religion teaches us that we as individuals, and we alone, are responsible for all of our unhappiness and ills. No blame whatsoever is put on our economic slave masters. If we are sad, sick or evil befalls us (all to often in the form of economic hardships) it is because we have been negligent in the performance of some ceremony, recitation of formulas or other magical rite. Of course, we are expected to tithe our incomes and to give some percentage to both our religions' priests and to the poor. We are not taught to eliminate poverty in society, or even that that is desirable. Neglecting to tithe (a system devised to perpetuate poverty by keeping the poor on the brink while stuffing the pockets of the clergy) most certainly rains the wrath of heaven down on us, so we are taught.

For the present, then, the holiest work one can engage in and the only real spiritual practice available to us is the abolition of classes and poverty, with all their attendant ills so that we may be freed to become fully Human beings. This idea is expressed in a quote from the Preface to Part Two of RED EMMA SPEAKS by Alix Kates Shulman 1998. Shulman writes: "A rabbi who heard her lecture a large conference of clergymen on atheism probably came closer than the public to understanding her antireligious stand. "In spite of all Miss Goldman has said against religion, he announced, "she is the most religious person I know."" . Amen!

When we will have created just societies and attained Human stature; when we will have created a world that is habitable so that we may be grounded in this reality, in this world; we will, in wisdom, security and repose, turn to God for ultimate fulfillment, able to engage in a relationship with the Divine that is real and fitting for free Men, Women and Children. No more will we come to God as beggars bartering our Souls for our daily bread.

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel
DoreenDotan@gmail.com
MUTILATION, BINDING, SCARIFICATION
AND CAPITALIST CONDITIONING

Let's begin this discussion with the example of Female Genital Mutilation.

The practice has been carried out for untold generations. Until recently it was carried out unabated and with impunity. The very same women who had had the excruciating and crippling procedure performed on them as babies and children performed it on others. It was the norm. It was considered the "right" thing to do to "protect" girls and women from their own sexuality and from disgracing their families.

The same might be said about the practice of "ironing" young girls' emerging breasts in order to make the girls' breasts ugly so that they will not be raped that has come to the attention of the world recently.

And who has not been overcome with dread and horror when learning about the practice of binding women's feet in China – a torture that girls begged to have done to them and women enthusiastically carried out upon their daughters so that they would be "dainty" and "erotic"?

When we from the outside observe these phenomena; we are horrified.

We have been, of late, successful in sharing this horror with the victims of these practices and the victims are beginning to protest internationally. The criminalization of the practice of FGM is being called for in many countries in which the practice was considered perfectly acceptable, nay desirable, just a short while ago.

Hopefully now that the practice of "ironing" breasts has been made known to the world in the mass media, measures will be taken to protect girls from this practice as well.

The matter of scarification is a difficult one. In many cultures the practice exists among men and is intimately tied to their self-image and image in society as strong of character, of great physical endurance and capable providers. It is often considered aesthetically beautiful and men believe that it makes them more attractive to women. The women are, of course, taught to believe that a scarified man is attractive. Sometimes women are scarified too and that likewise is considered attractive. It will be quite some time before these peoples will realize that they are doing nothing but inflicting forms of wholly unnecessary mutilation on themselves, often over a period of years.

The very hardest self-harm and self-mutilation to uproot will be that which exists in Western society and which is brought about by, and serves, Capitalism.

When we look at the body of someone who has been mutilated or scarified or the body of a woman whose feet were bound or breasts were "ironed" we can see that something radical and terrible has been perpetrated upon their bodies.

That which has been done to the populace living under the system of Capitalism is invisible to the eye. It is internal. It is psychic and moral and emotional and thus far more difficult to identify and pinpoint.

Few, very, very few living in Capitalist societies are aware of the fact that they have been mentally, emotionally and psychically mutilated and truncated. They do not know that we have been robbed of our potential. They cannot begin to image and visualize what a Human being, freed of the propaganda and fetters placed upon him or her, can develop into.

They think it is normal that they cannot love, laugh or cry with their whole heart.

They think it is normal that they fear to give themselves entirely to a loved one.

They take it as a given that we cannot trust but a very few people.

They think it is normal to live in insecurity and fear behind locked and bolted doors.

They think it is normal not to know our neighbors, or to care to know them.

They think it is normal to see others as competitors, and not as those with whom we cooperate.

They think it is normal to compel children to attend schools where they are subjected to cruel limitation of physical movement, conditioning and the breaking of the spirit that will turn them into docile and unquestioning workers, and managers for that matter, who accept the present state of conditions as existing a priori and/or the alternative to other social and economic systems, all of which are considered far worse.

They think it is normal to encourage a beloved child to sell himself or herself on the "free market".

They think it is normal to come home from work emotionally exhausted with no sense of job satisfaction or feeling of having accomplished something important whatsoever and feeling the need to "unwind" with a few drinks (or other "substances"), sit in front of the TV and doze off only to begin the same routine the next day.

Is brutally robbing us of our full ability to love and give ourselves, of our potential, of our visions and dreams and playfulness when we were children, of our very humanity less barbaric than the most horrible procedures that are carried out on the body in other cultures?

When we begin to realize the extent to which we have been distorted and twisted, tormented into submission, bound, fettered, psychologically lobotomized, drugged, poisoned, conditioned, lied to and broken; when we begin to realize that our ability to imagine other and better alternatives, other and better worlds that we can create here on earth, other and better possibilities has been stripped from us; when we can look in the mirror of our Souls and see the cripples that we are we will take pity on ourselves and on all those around us and have a chance to break free.

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel
DoreenDotan@gmail.com

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Anger and Hate as Drug Addictions

On a message board someone wrote: "Anger and hate are the most dangerous "drug addictions" in today's society."

I agree with this 100%. I would not even put the phrase drug addictions in quotation marks in the statement above. In fact, I am of the opinion, from what I have observed that one of the most effective mind-control methods being used is training people that the only possible reactions that they can have to certain stimuli (like an opinion that is truly anti-State and anti-Establishment, as opposed to state-sanctioned "dissidence") is anger and hatred.

We know that the chemicals that are released by the brain when angered and when feeling hate are not only very destructive to the organism; they are among the most addictive, as you said.

People who have been trained to react with anger and hatred to that which they do not like are addicted to their own biochemistry. Like all addictions it is ongoing and the addict creates the need for more by creating situations that will "require" him or her to get his or her "fix".

It is the worst form of addiction because unlike others there is no need to procure a substance. All the addict has to do is get himself or herself into a frenzy. So, reasons to hate and get angry are always being created in the mind of the addict.

Often, this addiction is found among people who have some sort of cause or hold to some sort of ideology. Whenever they encounter anyone who is not in keeping with their ideas they go into rages. I have noticed that this phenomenon is particularly pronounced among "Leftists". Many of them are wholly incapable of tolerating differing opinions and react with uncontrollable fits of anger. It seems to me that they were conditioned to respond so in order to self-destruct.

In the 24 years that I have been away from the US I have seen this behavior control technique honed to perfection among the populace, particularly, as I have said, among "Leftists".


In response another person wrote: "That would mean ALL of us, and there is no escaping it. However, it is possible to use the biochemistry and redirect it. It can be taught and eventually over time, like water carves through stone, persistence will win."

While I don't think there is no escaping the conditioning, i.e., I can envision societies that would not do this to us; it is certainly true that in our society we are so programmed.


We are also capable of compassion and the ability to look at one another and at ourselves and say: That is not how I want to be. I want to exist on a higher plane than that.


As my friend says: "Think a higher thought."

We are not only capable of thinking higher thoughts, we can consciously condition ourselves to do so. It takes time, patience and many, many repeated efforts, but we can. We can will ourselves to grow IF we are aware of the need for growth and IF we consider compassion a higher level of reaction and emoting than rage.

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel
DoreenDotan@gmail.com

Thursday, July 06, 2006

LOSERS

At the upcoming Mensa World Gathering, on August 8 - 13, 2006, one Deborah L. Ruf, PhD will be addressing the topic: "Why Do So Many Smart People Not Fulfill Their Promise?" I am not acquainted with Dr. Ruf and have never heard her speak on this topic, neither is it my intention to second guess what her considerations on the matter are. But the topic is of great interest to me and I should like, at the risk of raining on her parade by writing this treatment of the topic before her lecture is delivered, to address the question independently.


We are all familiar with the heartbreaking story of James Sidis, as described by the equally tragic figure of Grady Towers, in his essay "The Outsiders". We are all familiar with the phenomenon of the phenomenally intelligent being phenomenally unsuccessful by societal standards, and often, by their own standards and those of others who they care about as well. Many of us know this all too well "up close and personal".

We may have felt defective and have been accused of being somehow defective many times. Sometimes being both intellectually gifted and "sensitive" feels much more like a birth defect than a gift. This essay comes in the hopes of allaying those thoughts, feelings, and self-doubts.

Before those who unquestioningly accept Capitalist society with all its attendant ills and injustices, and to those who readily acquiesce, surrender and capitulate to it; a dizzying array of choices as to what type of cog in or appurtenance to the industrial machine are placed.

Some of those professions are noble indeed. Certainly the seamstress, the baker, those who work in factories and in shops render essential services to people. At a higher level of education and training: medical personnel, many research scientists and educators provide critical services to the public-at-large.

Some people possess talents that allow them to be gainfully employed in a way which provides profound satisfaction and an outlet to their abilities: musicians, dancers, actors come most immediately to mind.

Perhaps the luckiest of all in Capitalist society are those whose talents allow them to create original works in a manner that is recognized by society as useful and desirable: inventors, composers, artists, choreographers are among those.

However, all of those workers share the fact that in order to work they must sacrifice their values. They must remain silent in the face of injustice. They must buy cheap and sell dear. They must engage in misleading advertising. They must remain silent when they know they should speak. They must create a professional "network" and that always involves "I'll scratch your back, you scratch mine" relationships. In the worst cases the relationships are more on the order of: "You don't tell on me and I won't tell on you." Those in the most competitive and desirably fields must be ruthlessly ambitious. They must work 60,70 and even 80 hour weeks.

There are some, of course, who are unemployable due to a physical and/or mental and/or emotional deficiency or illness.

There are some who wish to serve Humankind but Capitalist society does not have a job description for the service they wish to, and are able to, render. They are unique individuals with talents that society has not evolved to the point of recognizing. They exist "before their time". They may wish to spend their lives considering the nature of love. They may wish to put more emphasis on being than on doing. They may consider attaining wisdom more important than acquiring material wealth or even knowledge. They may wish to do something that has never been done before, which will not produce a saleable commodity. These people will not find employment, or will be classical "underachievers" in Capitalist society.

Then there are those who will not accept the injustices of Capitalist society. They will not acquiesce. They will not capitulate. They will not surrender that which they know to be true and good and just. They will not remain silent when they see a coworker abused. They will not buy cheap and sell dear. They will not engage in misleading advertising. They will not demoralize others or themselves by engaging in opportunistic and mutually using and abusing relationships. There are those who, together with John Henry Mackay, declare: "Wherefore I will Not rule, and also ruled I will not be!" (Poem entitled "Anarchy"). For these there is no hope of ever being able to put what they are best at to work in Capitalist society. These people are labeled rebels. They are said to be "bad" and "troublemakers". They made outcasts. They are the losers. They are very likely to be menial workers if they are employed at all. Most of their life will be spent in frustration and depression.

Noam Chomsky writes: "Fame, fortune, and respect await those who reveal the crimes of official enemies; those who undertake the vastly more important task of raising a mirror to ourselves can expect quite different treatment, in any society. " ["Containing the Threat of Democracy", 1990]. (This, of course, brings us to the question of how and why it is that Dr. Chomsky enjoys the fame and comfortable tenured professorship that he does if indeed he is the Anarchist sympathizer that he claims to be, but I digress).

Capitalist society does not reward the morally gifted, the unique and the sensitive. No jobs have been designed for such as these in Capitalist society. Even Professors of Ethics must belong to a faculty in a college or university and we all know the games, politics, power plays and generally simian hierarchy involved in being a member of those august institutions.

Those who are morally gifted are labeled "overly sensitive" or "hypermoral", the latter being a designation that is considered pathological, a symptom of syndromes such as Geschwind's. Of all of the "losers" in society, this waste of Human potential is the most tragic. It is tragic for the individual who can never be of service to society as he or she would wish to be and it is more tragic for society, which does not receive that which the morally gifted would give were they not marginalized, penalized, povertized, demonized, silenced and at worst institutionalized.
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In response to this essay, I was asked what I mean by the phrases "overly sensitive", "morally gifted" and the term "hypermoral".

I began to treat that question some time ago in an essay that I wrote entitled "Moral Giftedness", which can be found on the following URL:

http://www.geocities.com/dordot2001/MoralGiftednessXP.htm

At this juncture I will elaborate on the subject by offering some information about three very concrete examples of people who were, in my opinion, preternaturally morally gifted.

I have chosen to quote from the writings of Louise Michel, Emma Goldman and Gustav Landauer not specifically because they were Anarchists (although I do believe that those who are morally gifted are far more likely to arrive at the correctness of Anarchism than is the general population), but rather because of the way in which these people were described by those who knew and loved them in contradistinction to the way in which their respective societies treated them. I quote from their works directly because they articulate so very well the reactions to injustice that the preternaturally morally gifted experience. They were contemporaneous and constituted a mutual admiration society.

Louise Michel was one of the leaders of the Paris Commune. "She was a member of two vigilance committees established in the eastern suburbs of Paris – one for men and the other for women…she was elected president of the Women's Vigilance Committee." (louise michel, Anarchist and revolutionary feminist, jailed and exiled for leading the 1871 popular uprising in Paris – rebel lives, edited by Nic Maclellan, Ocean Press 2004)

Louise Michel was honored with tribute in writing from Victor Hugo, her life-long friend; Bertolt Brecht and Emma Goldman. Of course, the Paris Commune as a whole would be memorialized and held up as a paradigm of what is possible when a "peoples' government" exists by many Leftists in the years to come. Among those who praised the Paris Commune as a whole were: Mikhail Bakunin, William Morris, Peter Kropotkin, Karl Marx and V.I. Lenin.

About herself Louise Michel wrote: "As far back as I can remember, the origin of my revolt against the powerful was my horror at the tortures on animals. I used to wish animals could get revenge, that the dog could bite the man who was mercilessly beating him, that the horse bleeding under the whip could throw off the man tormenting him. But mute animals always submit to their fate…
Animals always submit, and the more ferocious a man is toward animals, the more that man cringes before the people who dominate him…
My evening in the village added to the feeling of revolt that I felt time and time again. The peasants sow and harvest the grain, but they do not always have bread…
I thought that if that usurer had come into the village at that moment I would have leapt at his throat to bit it…I was indignant [that] everybody couldn't have food every day." (op. cit. sources of rebellion)

When she was exiled to New Caledonia she wrote: "The Kanaks (the indigenous people of New Caledonia who were said to be cannibals and who the other exiled French in New Caledonia felt ethnically superior to) were seeking the same liberty we had sought in the Commune…" (op. cit.). Louise Michel sought to understand their culture and undertook to learn their language. She also ministered to them in whatever way she could.

The second example I will proffer is that of another woman who, like Louise Michel, was considered saintly by those who knew her but was considered a "firebrand" and "extremely dangerous" by her society, Emma Goldman. Emma wrote prolifically and was a lecturer much in demand and so we a large corpus of her works is extant.

About Emma Goldman, who was jailed, exiled and vilified by the American establishment it was said by those who knew her and were sympathetic toward her: "Your beautiful letters have been a great comfort to me, when I have an opportunity of reading them. E.G., my spiritual mother (you have permitted me to call you in this way) you are a daughter of dreams." (Ba Jin)

[Emma Goldman was] "a role model and exemplar, as a stunning speaker, a star, as an anarchist leader of immense energy and integrity always willing to go to jail for her principles (parentheses mine)." (RED EMMA SPEAKS, Compiled and Edited by Alix Kates Shulman, Humanity Books, 1998)

"An anarchist like Goldman, an individualist concerned not only to change social structures but to live out her principles as well, was sometimes impatient with women who were unable to follow her example. She frequently exhorted people not only to organize to resist authority but to change their ways as individuals." (op. cit.)

"Goldman was always political, fighting to change the social structures that restricted women instead of simply changing her own life." (op. cit.)

She was considered "hot-tempered". (op. cit.)

"…Goldman was denouncing what she called "internal tyrants" that thwart and cripple women." (op. cit.)

She was a fierce critic of society's moral norms and the soi-disant guardians of societal norms, like Anthony Comstock. She wrote an essay on this topic entitled "Victims of Morality", which was published in her periodical Mother Earth in March 1913.

As to how the state saw her: "During her thirty years as an anarchist agitator, labor champion, free speech activist and birth control advocate, the notorious Red Emma was feared a promoter of violence, free love, and anarchy." (op. cit)

About herself Emma wrote: "Each child responds differently to his environment. Some become rebels, refusing to be dazzled by social superstitions. They are outraged by every injustice perpetrated upon them or upon others. They grow ever more sensitive to the suffering round them and the restrictions which authority places in their way. Others become rubber stamps, registering every convention and taboo imposed upon them.
I evidently belong to the first category. Since my earliest recollection of my youth in Russia I have rebelled against orthodoxy in every form. I could never bear to witness harshness whether on the part of our parents to us or in their dealings with the servants. I wept bitter tears when the young men were conscripted into the army and torn from their homes and hearths. I resented the treatment of our servants, who did the hardest work and yet had to put up with wretched sleeping quarters and the leavings of our table. I was indignant when I discovered that love between young people of Jewish and Gentile origin was considered the crime of crimes, and the birth of an illegitimate child the most depraved immorality…

On coming to America I had the same hopes as have most European immigrants and the same disillusionment, though the latter affected me more keenly and more deeply." (op. cit.)

The final figure who I will hold up as a paragon of morality is Gustav Landauer. Gustav Landauer was deeply loved and respected by those who were close to him and who understood what motivated him and why he wrote what he wrote and acted as he did for society. As for the society in which he lived: they beat him to death at the age of 48.

About Gustav Landauer it has been said: "The memory of Gustav Landauer must not fade…" (Eberhard Arnold)

"…Landauer deserves to be remembered as a saint." (Hakim Bey)

Gustav Landauer's close friend and student, Martin Buber, based a good deal of this thought and work on that of Gustav Landauer and quoted him in his work.

We turn now to the words of Gustav Landauer himself.

"…compassion and love are not necessarily the right words to describe our deepest motives. As for my animating force, it lies in the repugnance of the humanity that encircles us, a rage at the indolence of the rich who blithely build their happiness on the ruins of the joyless existence of the dehumanized multitude. My rage dissipates not one iota when I consider the extent of the squalor to which the oppressed are subjected." (Anarchism in Germany, 1985)

"…something new, grand, magnificent, is about to be realized by the united efforts of mankind…"(Social Democracy in Germany 1896)

"In unspiritual times of decline, un-culture, un-spirit and misery, men who suffer not only externally but also internally under this general condition which seeks to engulf them fully – in their life, thought, feeling and will – men who resist this engulfment must have an ideal. They have an insight into the oppressive depravity and debasement of their situation. They are unspeakably disgusted with the misery that surrounds them like a swamp. They have energy that presses forward and longs for something better, and thus arises in them, an image of a pure, salutary, joyous mode of human communality in lofty beauty and perfection…And now they no longer say: it can be so. Instead, they say: it should, and must come about." (FOR SOCIALISM)

"Sacred dissatisfaction is aroused and stimulated; something like a spirit…" (op. cit.)

"You people, one and all, who suffer under this outrage: let not only my voice reach you and the tone of my words. Hear also my silence an atonality, my choking anxiety. And see my clenched fist, my twisted features and the pale decisiveness of all my bearing. Grasp, above all, the inadequacy of this description and my inexpressible incapacity for I want people to hear me, stand by me, walk with me, people who, like me, can no longer bear it." (op. cit.)

We see, then, a number of similarities of character among these moral giants.

We see that they respond to the very same social injustices that people of ordinary moral caliber react to, but their reactions are far more "keen" and "deep", as Emma Goldman describes it. They are so keenly and deeply affected by injustice that they cannot but act to aright the wrongs.

They are not an insipid lot. Though they most certainly do love and feel the deepest compassion for Humanity, their "animating force", as Landauer calls it quite correctly, is a combination of rage, outrage and disgust at injustice.

They do not, however, allow that rage to drive them to commit acts of violence against innocent persons, as do common criminals who, like them, society calls "losers". If they do resort to violence, and they do not do so commonly, but only when the established powers give them no choice; the violence is directed against authority figures, not ordinary citizens.

Errico Malatesta, another central figure in the history of anarchy describes them thus: "Let there be no hatred, though, because love and justice cannot arise from hatred. Hatred brings about revenge, desire to be over the enemy, need to consolidate one's superiority. Hatred can only be the foundation of new governments, if one wins, but it cannot be the foundation of anarchy…For this reason true haters cannot be found among our comrades, although there are many rhetoricians of hatred. They are like the poet, who is a good and peaceful father, but he sings of hatred, because this gives him the opportunity of composing good verses…or perhaps bad ones. They talk about hatred, but their hatred is made of love.
For this reason I love them, even if they call me names." ("About My Trial: Class Struggle or Class Hatred?", 1921)

Ernesto (Che) Guevara would echo a similar sentiment when he said: "The true revolutionary is inspired by a great feeling of love."

They are guided by visions of what Human society can be, this is what leads them to be revolutionaries. They are idealist visionaries.

They all strove to make life better for all humanity, rather than to concentrate their energies on personal advancement, this despite the heavy price that was exacted from them from the establishment, which considered them criminals, not heroes.

They were often misunderstood and vilified not only by the establishment, but by the very people who they endeavored to help and whose lot they risked their own lives to ameliorate. Errico Malatesta explains this phenomenon thus: "…a man whose limbs had been bound from birth, but who had nevertheless found out how to hobble about, might attribute to the very bands that bound him his ability to move, while, on the contrary, they would diminish and paralyze the muscular energy of his limbs…Suppose a doctor brought forward a complete theory, with a thousand ably invented illustrations, to persuade the man with bound limbs that, if his limbs were freed, he could not walk, or even live. The man would defend his bands furiously and consider anyone his enemy who tried to tear them off." (op. cit.) Such is the case with most people in society. They have believed the lies that their masters have told them about their fetters being good for them, even essential, and they defend them with a vengeance. Thus, the revolutionary is often as hated and feared by the oppressed as s/he is by the establishment.

This, then, is the type of personality that I had in mind when I began to treat the subject of "hypermoral" or "moral giftedness" or "overly sensitive".

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel
DoreenDotan@gmail.com



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