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Anti-Semites are not anarchists

Posted By Obadiah Shoher On October 31, 2009 @ 8:56 pm In leftism | 4 Comments

Classical anarchists wouldn’t have recognized the leftist hooligans who commit outrage in the West Bank as their own. Anarchy is, above all, about responsibility. Those who refuse government-imposed order have to impose order on themselves. Absence of law differs from lawlessness. Anarchism wisely considers others’ interests in order to avoid confrontations.

In our case, the Jewish settlers of Judea and Samaria act in the best traditions of anarchism: rifles in hand, they take over small patches of land, wall them away, and live there. The Jews meet several paramount anarchic qualifications: they distance themselves from relatively friendly governments (Israel) and staunchly oppose hostile ones (the Palestinians). They rule their communities with a very significant degree of autonomy in religious, educational, and administrative matters. They take over only the villages and farming land they need for living; they do not make the kind of empty land-grab characteristic of states expanding their jurisdiction. They don’t oppress the native population unnecessarily by something like mass expulsion; on the contrary, Jews take empty lands, and the Arabs who despise their new neighbors can move a few miles into Jordan. Bizarrely, the hooligans who pose as anarchists demand the most un-anarchic thing: Palestinian sovereignty over the empty land—or the land which had been empty before Jews built their villages. Normative anarchists would never participate in inter-state disputes, such as a conflict between Israel and the would-be Palestinian state.

Settlements practice textbook anarcho-syndicalism: a group of people own their settlement just as they would own a factory. Just as they are entitled to prevent anyone else from working at their factory and enjoying the fruits of their prior investment, so they can exclude anyone from the settlement which they have built. The criteria can be entirely arbitrary: syndicated factory owners can exclude non-unionized or foreign workers, and the settlers are entitled to exclude Arabs.

There is a right to be offensive: many anarchists insist on their right to dress and behave contrary to traditional norms. Xenophobia is a human right like any other. The settlers don’t have to argue that Arabs constitute a security threat: suffice that the Jews want to maintain cultural homogeneity. Just as anarchic factory owners can refuse employment to communists, just as atheist Jews might not welcome the odd-looking ultra-Orthodox crowd in their kibbutzim, so the settlers can exclude newcomers through any criterion, ethnic or religious included.

Traditional anarchists were militant and incidentally friendly to Jews. Modern hippie-type anarchists are also militant, but anti-Semitic. The difference is due to the fact that modern anarchists are fake. In the early twentieth century, anarchists believed they could achieve their goal of a societal order without compulsive power. They sought to build a society—and society-building is always violent, as the previous order must be dealt away with. They used violence, but also respected others’ right to violence. Doubtlessly, Nestor Makhno would see dear comrades in Jewish settlers, as he cared about principles rather than natives’ rights. He would have admired the settlers’ principles and wouldn’t care a bit about their cost.

With the triumph of state socialism, traditional left-wing anarchism became doomed. Leftists, both the working class and the intellectuals, saw the Soviets as the embodiment of their dreams. To insist on anarchism’s ethical superiority to socialism was to betray the leftist ideal. Bank robberies, a historically standard source of anarchist financing, became problematic in the West; in the East, communists suppressed their ideological opponents. Lacking clear goals, financing, or a home base, anarchism all but disappeared.

It was reinvented in the 1960s as the hippie-peacenik movement. American hippies did not want to describe themselves as communists, though their economic goals were close to it. At the time, communist affiliation was still considered indecent. They hijacked anarchism; even the circled A symbol of anarchy became a symbol of peace.

Fake anarchists find themselves in the position of lacking any positive goals. Realistically, they cannot hope to create autonomous communities; even the hippie communities fell apart. They cannot dismantle the state or fight civil wars to that end. The traditional anarchist movement took the moral high ground: it believed in the ultimate goodness of human beings and their ability to guide themselves in the absence of state power, and realistically hoped to achieve that society soon. Modern leftist anarchists build nothing, and negate everything. They are bereft of hope, full of hatred. As such, they converge with other haters against the traditional objects of hate, Jews.

Their anti-Semitism does not stem from opposition to capitalist society. Hardly any people are farther from capitalist enterprise than dirt-poor Jewish settlers, driven by their ideals to live in a dangerous land. In the West, leftist anarchists commonly side with national manufacturers and trade unions to enforce mercantilist policies aimed at protecting their home markets; that’s the worst nineteenth-century capitalism in action. The anarchists hate for the hatred’s sake, but are especially hateful toward traditional values and enemies; both are epitomized as Jewish. The anarchists converge with other hateful, antisocial groups, such as neo-Nazis and Western right-wing radicals.

It is easy to prove that fake anarchists do not seek justice. They hold anti-separation-barrier demonstrations in Israel, but not anti-terrorism rallies in Gaza. No anarchists fight in Darfur. They protest Israel protecting her borders against illegal African immigrants, but not Egypt doing the same.
Ultra-left inciters in the West Bank are not legitimate members of the anarchic ideological movement, but mere hooligans who have made anti-Semitism a cover for their discontent.


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