Thursday, January 15, 2009

Irrational war

I started learning this year’s Bosi LeGani for my birthday.

Amongst many things and mosholim that came to my heretical mind, one moshol was that of a war with middas ha’netzach (desire for victory). Such a war is not fought by a king to expand his sphere of influence or for riches or loot, but for an essential reason. Either it is a war of preservation or a war, in which all essence of the king has been revealed (if he does not wage this war, he will not be a king for much longer). In either case, no riches are spared, and no calculations of cost matter.

* * *

World War II was such a war. Actually, WWII in Europe. Actually, WWII in Eastern Europe. Between Nazis, yimach shmem, and the Soviet Union. For the former, it was a war that expressed their leader’s (yimach shmoh) inherent essential desire. A psychopathic desire, but nonetheless, a desire which had no calculation or reason.

For the Soviets (at least simple people) it was a war of self-preservation. That is why they displayed self-sacrifice and fanaticism that would be shocking under different circumstances. As a student of history may know, battles of Moscow, Leningrad and, especially, Stalingrad were clear examples of this: absolute irrational, animalistic, fanatical hatred and desire to be victorious and inflict damage on the enemy at any cost.

Lehavdil, war in Eretz Yisroel happening in our times is similar. On the one side, there are Arabs whose only essential desire is to wipe out Israel (whatever their leaders may say in Guardian, Newsweek, Pravda, etc.). No cost is spared or calculated — including cost of their children and (supposedly) innocent civilians.

And for Israel, of course, it’s the war of self-preservation. In which Israel, unfortunately, does do calculations and precautions — which are, of course, never enough for the sniveling bastards from the UN. But on the level of common people, soldiers ready to give their lives to protect their people, this war is the same essential war of self-preservation, where people are willing to defend themselves and be victorious over their enemy at any cost (I only wish this sentiment was shared by the government).

* * *

This is why the anarcho-libertarian “solution” for the war which I recently discussed would never work. Normally, the idea of libertarian anarchism is that under such a system, “organizations” providing law and defense would not go to war with each other because it would be too costly — and these organizations’ clients would not condone such wars and stop supporting these organizations financially (leading to these organization — like any other entity on a market — being replaced by others, more fitting to their consumers’ desires).

In the case of Arabs, however, this would never work — because neither terrorist organizations nor common people supporting them care about profit, loot, economic benefit, or justice and morality. They have an irrational hatred for Jews and will not stop at any sacrifice to fulfill this hatred. (For the liberal crowd out there, obviously, I am not talking about any inability on genetic level. I am talking about culture and... well, memotype.)

* * *

Everything was created in opposites. Those things one can find in darkness are also found in holiness. We must fight the spiritual war with the exile through middas ha’netzach. We must do it not for our own benefit, for our physical and spiritual comfort and growth, but for the victory — the fulfillment of the reason of this world’s creation. To repeat the words of Alter Rebbe, “I don’t care about this world; I don’t care about the Lower Heavens; I don’t care about the Higher Heavens. I only care about Him.”

We must fight — with the utmost degree of mesirus nefesh — against golus. And then we will realize that the treasures which Hashem is ready to “squander” for us to achieve this victory are already here — ready to be used for one final battle.

(Pictures taken from here)

1 comment:

shmulie said...

Exactly. Libertarian philosophy can be extended only as far as its cornerstone, the free market, remains an accurate predictor of human behavior.

I think G-d put this limitation on market forces so his people don't turn toward it for ultimate salvation.

True, Jews have been the greatest beneficiary of economic freedom, both where it has a long tradition (America) and where it usurps the power from the tyrants that oppress them (Eastern Europe). The notion that the freest and justest system of distribution is also the most productive, providing the greatest good to the greatest number of people, seems to me the height of destiny. Like its written in the universe's DNA.

But once again that pesky problem, the Jew. Their continued existence is now an afterthought to me, but I find the irrationality and repetition of Jew haters through the ages miraculous. It is through them that G-d tells us we're different, and through them that he shows us his strength.

History and its repetition, current events, tell us that circumstances like Western (classical) liberalism can favor his people, but when they get too comfortable, when they start blending in with their surroundings, he delivers a little jolt to keep them right.