By Caleb R. Newton
What can be added to the subject of religion in politics is an elaboration; namely, that Judaism has an integral contribution to make, through the theory of Political Zionism, to the human development of the world population. Israel, the product of the modern Zionist movement, is a remarkable country in regards to this matter; take, for instance, the fact that Israel has one of the lowest rates of depression in the entire world. So, obviously, the Israelis are doing, to put it lightly, a good job with their country - Israel’s economic success and success in innovation hinge upon the empowerment of the population through such conditions as to produce one of the lowest rates of depression in the world.
The political system, though, used predominantly in practice and solely in theory by the Israelis - what could be termed “Political Zionism” - can be applied outside of Israel to the benefit of people everywhere. Political Zionism is actively focused on the individual person as an independent entity. This system is opposed to focus upon the person as he is among all people, as it were, which is the basic underpinning of Western-style democracy. Western-style democracy, which was not the original system of the United States’ National Government (that was termed Republicanism), often, as has been noted, leads to mobocracy - “the rule of the mob.” Under mobocracy, whomever can gather a 51 percent majority gets the rule of the day, to the demise of any components of the remaining 49 percent.
The qualification of the original American model as not “democracy” does not excuse it, as it led to the present and widespread Western-style democracy of familiarity. The basis for such a model of both historical Republicanism and present democracy draws on the Christian theological idea of the initial “depravity of man” - in Republicanism, political power is taken away from the individual as he/she is deemed incapable of making the proper decisions regarding his own welfare. Under Republicanism, the citizen gives away in elections what is termed only a portion of his power to determine his own life’s course, while in democracy the individual has his power taken away from him and given to the mob.
So What About Judaism?
“For [Moses] Hess, a Jewish State was not an end in itself but a means towards the just social order to which all peoples aspired.”
Walter Laqueur, A History of Zionism. Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1972. p. 52
Religiously, Judaism does not take an initial negative view, for practical purposes, of anybody. They treat terrorists in their medical hospitals just the same as normal citizens, for one, and their relentless campaign to forewarn the inhabitants of Gaza during summer 2014’s war prior to airstrikes is well-documented. Another example is the remarkable integration of the millions of immigrants living in tent cities during the early days of the state. Out of this philosophy, there is no incentive to take away any power from the every man. It is sure, that the state of Israel could do better, but it is a shining example of what should be applied everywhere for the personal development of persons.
As a practical example, consider the Israeli domestic political system, drawn out of their emphasis on the person from Political Zionism and Judaism, but applicable to all peoples: The Israeli citizens don’t elect politicians, necessarily, they “elect” political parties in their electoral system. The election of politicians as individuals would cement power out of the hands of the population.
The Israeli electoral method, then, distributes power among the population much more effectively than the hierarchical and politician-centered methods of what should be called “American style” democracy. More practical applications can be made, but the true person-centered theory used by the Zionists is a striking example of what is needed to advance human development, and an adoption of such would be a strong method towards the same.
Disclaimer: This article discusses the perennially polarizing topic of religion. Please be aware that all comments seemingly regarding merits or negativities associated with a particular religion are not referring to the religion; but, rather, the merits, or lack thereof, are associated with certain, isolated ideas that are taken from the religion and applied to politics.
(Image: The Arno in Florence - Bernardo Bellotto)
[The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Dissecting Society]