Monday, March 26, 2012

Tricky thing called "democracy"

Before I start, I’d like to note that this argument does not touch the morality of government in general or the religious appropriateness of having an Israeli (secular) state. It simply touches the question of peace and preserving Jewish lives, prosperity, and tranquility in the region.

Yungerman in Lubavitch posted the following video on Facebook:

So, it’s nice that Rick Santorum recognizes Israel’s rights to keep its "honestly" conquered lands, right? Let’s say that I don’t have a problem with that (within the realm of something called "international law", something whose legitimacy I am not sure I recognize fully, but that’s another issue). I am not actually sure, because I haven’t really thought about it for a long time. The logical nature of this principle evades me (why shouldn’t the defending state give the attacking state’s land back, with the attacking state paying reparations for the attack?.. of course, if the attacking state refuses, the defending state can keep whatever portion of the land is equivalent to the reparations). But then, most logical arguments about "states’ rights" evade me. So, as I said, let’s say I don’t have a problem with the concept of keeping the territory conquered in self-defense.

The problem is that, as everyone knows, Israel is not interested in making the presumed "Israelis" (as Santorum called them) that live in Gaza and West Bank into Israeli citizens because of a tricky thing called "democracy" and "abuse of minority at the hands of majority" — something which, incidentally, Rick Santorum is a fan of himself. That is why many Israelis themselves claim that they support the idea of a two-state solution to the crisis.

Also, the problem with what he is saying is that while US should not have to give Texas back to Mexico, if Texans wanted to have their own country (or go back to being Mexicans), US should allow it to happen, since whatever presumed "implicit contract" might have existed between the people and the government is broken as soon as the people want to be rid of the government. Therefore, after the contract is broken, the government is no longer "representing", but is simply occupying the land and its people in a state of tyrannic aggression. Americans did fight a War of Independence against a country which they were presumably citizens of, didn’t they?.

I think West Bank/Gaza, as well as Northern Ireland, as well as many other places on Earth are good examples of how a region could benefit from anarcho-capitalist (or voluntarist) society. A "No-State" solution: a lot of private companies, paid for by private citizens, ensuring safety and law in the land. The companies can have only Jews, Jews and Arabs, only Arabs, etc., as their clients and can negotiate between each other a state of peaceful coexistence. This would also require the land to be privatized — something that would solve many other problems. Jews could still have their "government" — i.e., a set of private protection and legislative companies that favored Jewish interests in the area (and had a lot of guns, a lot of money coming from Jews in the region and throughout the world, and a lot of negotiating power).

In this case, negotiation between companies may be quite tricky, and I do not think that a military conflict could always be avoided, at least at first. But the region is already in a semi-constant state of military conflict! How much worse could it get?

Plus, the companies would compete with each other for quality of service. Today you have a monopoly in the form of Israeli Army, which, frankly, we have no idea how effective it is. It’s more effective than its Arab colleagues, but so what? It’s also more effective than Eskimos. We are talking about the effectiveness using the same people, same technology, same place and time. Different managers, different business strategies (which, in war today, include things like effectiveness of defense, best management of resources, human and material, and as little as possible casualty to non-combatant civilians for humanitarian and PC purposes).

The same goes for Israeli legislature. Or, basically, any other monopoly in Israeli society. I would say most ills of the Israeli society today that I know of (besides rudeness) come from the existence of the state and a monopolizing government.

Note that I am not saying that Jews would be better off living under another state. It might be that Israeli State is the best slave-master/overseer that Jews in the region can expect under the current conditions. But why have a slave-master at all?

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