imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Subscribe Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

CopWatch LA

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List





IMC Network: www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech
printable version - js reader version - email this article - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Straight Talk on Israel

by Stephen Lendman Friday, Feb. 22, 2013 at 11:20 PM
lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net

Israel

Straight Talk on Israel

by Stephen Lendman

Zygmunt Bauman is UK-based University of Leeds Emeritus Professor of Sociology. His work spans five decades. He's now aged 87.

His wide-ranging interests include consumerism, globalization, ethics, power, the status of workers, intellectuals in society, and nature of modern relationships.

He's best known for analyzing links between modernity and the Jewish holocaust, postmodern consumerism, and discussing broad moral/political perspectives.

He distinguishes between earlier modernity forms ("solid modernity") and what's commonplace today. It's characterized by fragile social relations, he believes. They're created and broken by neoliberal harshness.

His metaphorical use of "liquidity" captures the shifting character of individualized/globalized lives. His new book is titled "Culture in a Liquid Modern World."

Among other topics it discusses culture in a globalized world and what's happening in today's Europe. He describes utopia's end. In recent decades it's been privatized.

It once meant imagining well-designed societies. They guaranteed meaningful, dignified, gratifying lives. Today's world is inhospitable. It's beyond redemption, he believes.

In May 2012, he discussed today's Europe. After decades of rising expectations, he said, "present-day newcomers to adult life confront" them falling. "Individualized utopia coincides with the collapse and demise of the idea and hope for a 'good society.' "

It's happening "much too steeply and abruptly for any hope of a gentle and safe decent," he added.

Today's youth face "long-term unemployment and long stretches of 'rubbish jobs.' " They're "well below their skills and expectations."

"This is the first postwar generation facing the prospect of downward mobility."

Nothing prepared them for today's reality. Hopes are frustrated and stillborn. University degrees once "promised plum jobs." No longer. Once attainable dreams go unfulfilled.

What's true of Europe applies to Israel and much more. Bauman had his say. Haaretz discussed him.

He has family in Israel. He once lived there. He was briefly a citizen. He taught at Tel Aviv University and the University of Haifa. Since then, he said, Israelis "expressed their approval of high-handedness over high-mindedness."

They "vot(ed) into power people who made sure that peaceful Israeli-Palestinian coexistence is not in the cards."

He last visited 20 years ago. He'll return briefly. He accepted an invitation from the Ruppin Academic Center (RAC) and Israel Sociological Society (ISS).

On February 18, he addressed ISS' annual conference. He discussed inequality in Israel. More on that below.

Sociologist Yehouda Shenhav said he wants "to return sociology to morality and morality to sociology." He "seeks the moral and political sociologist."

He's a "sociologist who does not frequent the corridors of power, who critiques war as immoral, who is not infected by the nationalist militancy that pervades his country, and who assails the disintegration of the welfare state, xenophobia, and the instrumentalization of the social discourse."

Bauman strongly criticizes neoliberal harshness. He disputes commonly held trickle down notions.

"One of the widely used moral justifications for free-market economics is that the pursuit of individual profits also provides the best mechanism for the pursuit of common good," he said.

"This has, however, been cast in doubt and all but belied by a rising tide of research findings and official statistics documenting the fast-growing distance that separates those at the top from those at the bottom of the social hierarchy."

"In jarring opposition to political pronouncements intended to be recycled into popular belief, the wealth amassed at the top of society has blatantly failed to 'trickle down' and make the rest of us richer, make us feel more secure and more optimistic about our and our children’s future, or make us happier."

"Almost everywhere in the world the rich, and particularly the very rich, are getting richer, whereas the poor, and particularly the very poor, are getting poorer - most certainly in relative, but in a growing number of cases, also in absolute terms."

"Moreover, people who are rich get richer just because they are rich. People who are poor get poorer just because they are poor."

"Nowadays, inequality continues to increase by its own logic and momentum. It needs no more help or kick from outside - no outside stimuli, pressures or blows."

"Social inequality seems ever closer to becoming the first perpetuum mobile, which after innumerable failed attempts humans have finally managed to invent and set in motion."

Israel mirrors the worst of Western societies. It's one of the most unequal OECD countries. Its privileged do extraordinarily well. Most others fall far behind. The gap between rich and poor expands exponentially.

"The number of people living below the poverty line rose rapidly - including among working people, whose wages stagnated or declined as pensions, unemployment benefits and income protection schemes, meant to defend them against falling into poverty, were all severely cut," said Bauman.

In 1971, he left Israel. He did so disillusioned and disappointed. He criticized Israel's conquest of Arab territories.

Before her death, his wife Janina called Israel a "nationalist country. We had just run away from nationalism," she said. "We didn't want to go from being victims of one nationalism to being perpetrators of another."

Bauman decries how Israel exploits the holocaust. It does so for political reasons. Jewish suffering isn't unique. Calling it special belittles many other human tragedies. Some far exceed what Jews endured.

Claiming Israel faces potential holocaust 2.0 leads to insularity and isolationism. It prevents reconciliation with Palestinians, other Arabs, and international community countries.

Bauman compared Israel's Separation Wall to how Nazi Germany ghettoized Warsaw. He did so in the context of separating one population from another.

He called building the Wall "Hitler's posthumous triumph." It's trying to accomplish what he failed to achieve - "to set Jews and the rest of the world at loggerheads and make their peaceful coexistence all but inconceivable or impossible."

"In our collective unconscious, the image of a wall is established as the archetype of exclusion, break of communication, degradation, denial of human rights."

"Were that not the case, it is doubtful whether the idea of building a wall around Israel and its settlements on the occupied land would occur to Israeli leaders as the means to deal with a vicinity of undesirables, and become an ultimate symbol of unilateral but irrevocable separation and refusal to communicate."

"The higher and tighter the wall, the slimmer the chance of talking to each other, empathizing with each other’s pains and sufferings, and coming to terms with each other - let alone working toward a mutually agreeable and beneficial mode of coexistence."

Bauman today feels much like he did decades earlier. Israel goes out of its way to spurn peace. Protracted occupation morally denigrates the occupier.

"Militarized political thought, debate and action" don't work. Israel lost its moral bearings. It lost the capacity to deal with social problems.

"It pains me, pains me tremendously, to watch the forgetting and abandoning of our collective mission and duty, imposed upon us by the tragic Jewish history: the duty to alert the world - lest it forget - to the evil endemic in all and any nationalist hatred, and to be in the forefront of the ongoing fight against its breeding."

"And of the ambition of the founders of Israel to serve as 'a light unto the nations.' " It never was and isn't now.

Bauman spoke out earlier on the holocaust, Zionism, and Israeli belligerence. Its leaders prioritize conflict, not peace, he said. They manipulate holocaust memories to justify occupation harshness.

They do unto others what they deplore having been done to them.

Bauman is a holocaust survivor. He escaped Nazi-occupied Poland. He managed to get into Soviet Russia's sector. He was forced out of Eastern Europe during Poland's 1968 anti-Semitic purges.

He calls today's Israel a "belligerently intolerant, faith-driven ethno-state." Peace is a non-starter. Advancing it never existed and doesn't now. "It did not die. It was killed." It was done so from inception.

Occupation harshness is "toxic" and "corrosive," he says. It corrupts the "ethics and moral scruples of the occupiers." Challenging fortress Israel is considered "criminal and treason."

War and readiness for it erode democratic freedoms. Israeli leaders fear peace. Without conflicts they "don't know how to govern." They exploit holocaust memories as "a get-out-jail card for their own depravity and absolution of their sins."

They do so for ones they've "already committed and (others) they are going to commit."

Bauman's "radically opposite way of 'commemorating' the holocaust can be summarized as follows: It is forbidden to stay silent in the face of Israeli crimes and their persecution of Palestinians exactly because the fate of Jews in Europe had similar beginnings -  discrimination, pogroms, ghettoes, concluding with the Shoah."

Holocaust survivors have a mission, he added. They're obligated "to prevent another disgracing of civilization."

Israeli leaders threaten one. It's ongoing in slow motion. "Hurting people debases and morally destroys those who are doing" it.

It initiates a process anthropologist Gregory Bateson called "schizmogenesis." It's a "sequence of action and reaction where each consecutive behavior" exaggerates another. Doing so causes "ever more deepening schism."

Israel's been shooting itself in the foot for decades. What can't go on forever won't. Bauman is one of many Jewish intellectuals speaking candidly on today's Israel.

He wants views he considers vital heard and understood. He was invited to Israel to express them. Advanced age didn't silence him. In November, he'll be 88.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

http://www.dailycensored.com/straight-talk-on-israel/
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


Local News

Jewish “Defense” League: Nazis in Skull-caps A07 11:13AM

Nuke Shutdown News 3/17 A01 4:13PM

RELATIONS STILL STRAINED BETWEEN SOUTH LOS ANGELES RESIDENTS AND THE POLICE M22 3:22PM

Elect a Green to Congress in Los Angeles M15 2:18AM

Prop. H Activists March on Hollywood to House and Help the Homeless M01 1:46PM

Prop. H Activists March on Hollywood to House and Help the Homeless M01 1:09PM

Prop. H Activists March on Hollywood to House and Help the Homeless M01 12:19PM

24TH ANNUAL LOS ANGELES WOMEN’S THEATRE FESTIVAL HONORS COMPOSER MEGAN CAVALLARI ON MARCH F24 2:40PM

Activists Mark 150 Years Since Chimney Rock Massacre F21 7:00PM

Indivisible local events F16 4:07PM

Help Wanted: How You Can Act Locally To Stymie Trump’s Agenda F16 11:24AM

RACE RELAY - race relations dialogue F16 7:01AM

LA County Greens Oppose S F09 8:52PM

Our Revolution L.A Organizing Meeting F08 12:23AM

First We Marched. Now We Huddle F06 10:54PM

Indigenous, Sacred Lands Disrespected at L.A. Women's March J24 1:52PM

Massive Women's March Los Angeles Tells President Donald Where To Go J23 8:22PM

Massive Women's March Los Angeles Tells President Donald Where To Go J23 8:00PM

Massive Women's March Los Angeles Tells President Donald Where To Go J23 7:42PM

Massive Women's March Los Angeles Tells President Donald Where To Go J23 6:04PM

Massive Women's March Los Angeles Tells President Donald Where To Go J23 5:48PM

Massive Women's March Los Angeles Tells President Donald Where To Go J23 5:30PM

Massive Women's March Los Angeles Tells President Donald Where To Go J23 5:02PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Puerto Rico Religious Leaders Call for Bankruptcy Ahead of "Vulture Fund" Deadline A25 6:55AM

The Missile Attack Ordered by Trump is a Serious Crime A25 5:55AM

"Train to Zakopane’ Starring Tanna Frederick World Premiere at Jewish Film Festival A24 4:22PM

Polish citizens attacked by electromagnetic weapons - Opoen letter to European Commission A23 11:50AM

Video: March for Science, April 22, 2017, 4 hours A22 3:05PM

Social Security works. Don't let Trump destroy it A22 2:25PM

Get The Internationalist No. 47! A21 8:39PM

The Shortwave Report 04/21/17 Listen Globally! A20 4:45PM

Reich USA A19 9:03PM

Reich A19 8:56PM

Trumponomics: Failure Pre-Programmed A19 7:37AM

Global Economic Risks Ahead Warns International Monetary Fund A19 6:49AM

IMF Warns of "Protectionism" and Risky Investing A18 7:44AM

Rigged reform - Oxfam Media Briefing, April 12, 2017 A17 6:51AM

Les élections du capital et du système A17 12:20AM

San Diego warships leading charge against North Korea A15 4:09PM

Source, encodeur, signal, décodeur, destinataire A15 3:42AM

Illegal Purchase Of Execution Drugs As Ark. GOP Gov Hutchinson Seeks To Murder 8 Prisoner A14 12:14PM

Puerto Rico Oversight Board Mediates Last Ditch Debt Negotiations A14 7:25AM

Poverty Returns with Misguided Policy A14 4:50AM

La mémoire des vaincus, les vrais vainqueurs A14 3:57AM

The Shortwave Report 04/14/17 Listen Globally! A13 4:59PM

A13 12:58AM

Eschatologie stochastique A13 12:40AM

EROTIC, POP & ABSTRACT ART AT: DavidGoldnerDesign.com A12 11:21AM

Violence A11 5:17PM

Gramsci on US President Trump: "Delicate and Dangerous" A11 5:16AM

Le culte de la charogne A10 10:20AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2003 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy