International Man of Dignity, anthropologist, and socio-economic researcher / commentator.
Am I Anti-Semitic?
In the light of the recent and ongoing castigations of Jeremy Corbyn MP – in my view easily the most principled and least racist man currently in parliament - as an anti-Semitic, I felt impelled to re-examine my own standing in this context. With this in mind, I found myself making a series of statements about views I hold and then considering these in the light of the above question.
1. I think all religions are ridiculous.
The most stultifying conversations I’ve ever had have tended to be ones in which one or more of the participants takes the time to tell me what they “believe”. This is partly because the rider to someone going to such trouble is usually that it is impolite to question any of the foundations upon which they may base their belief. So the conversation consists largely in trying to hold a moronic smile and nodding politely as they trot out their piece. And of course, the more polite one is, the longer the piece tends to drag on. Interruptions of the flow with what one might consider applications of logic or common sense have no place in such “conversations”. So, in fact, these are not conversations at all. They are monologues and staying focussed becomes all the more difficult because it’s quickly obvious that one has no role to play apart from being a rapt listener. Edging away is the only real recourse.
I am not convinced that “belief” or “faith” is all it’s cracked up to be. What is “belief” but holding something to be true against what the evidence or your better judgement or your natural intelligence suggests is not? If wasn’t against your natural judgemental inclination or your intelligence, you wouldn’t have to have faith or “believe”. It would just be another acknowledged truth shared with others exposed to the same evidence and possessing the same level of intelligence.
My feeling is that unquestioning “belief” is antithetical to the human condition. One of the most endearing qualities of this flawed species of ours is our natural inclination towards curiosity and our associated but mysterious and profound capacity for random association. Why stifle these?
Does any of this make me anti-Semitic?
2. I think Semite is a term too narrowly applied to followers of Judaism.
I’ve always understood the term Semite to apply to people who speak a Semitic language, among which are Arab languages. I’ve always felt beholden to Semitic peoples for helping us Europeans out of the dark ages. It was their preservation of classical knowledge and their creation of libraries and places of learning which eventually lifted the lid on our horrendous, restrictive, and often vicious Christian belief systems. It was they who, through the Renaissance, allowed the light of reason and, in time, science to give us a more balanced and interactive perspective on the reality we confront daily – which also gave us the profound option to say “we don’t know that yet”.
I am often confused as to whether the classification “Jew” applies to race or religion (or both). I am not even convinced that “race” is a relevant or useful distinction in terms of trying to understand humans. Even though the colours of our flesh, the details of our faces, the way we dress, or the way we conduct ourselves culturally may differ in ways obvious to members of our own species, the actual genetics seem too indistinguishable to make the distinctions useful in any external or objective way. We are all extremely close cousins. I think that all the above differences should be celebrated and examined objectively for hints as to the true purpose of human beings.
I can’t help wondering why members of the Judaic faith who have defended Corbyn are being classed as anti-Semitic.
Am I being anti-Semitic?
3. I think that many members of the Parliamentary Labour Party are unprincipled opportunists.
I would even go so far as to say that this applies especially to many recent and aspiring Leaders and Deputy Leaders of the Labour Party. My feeling is that many of them are too ready to jump on the nearest, best resourced bandwagon to enhance their own careers to the exclusion of all other considerations. The feeling extends to sensing that Corbyn was a rather startling exception to this trend and that this is what, essentially, has been infuriating the bulk of the PLP.
Does this make me anti-Semitic?
4. I think the global economy is dysfunctional and unfit for purpose.
I think our western banking system is corrupt and that the corruption is spreading. I think that control of this system is centralising into the hands of fewer and fewer men and that, as this takes place, such men are more and more able to buy and sell politicians and to intimidate anyone else into compliance with agendas they might otherwise resist.
I think the modern “speculator” corporation is the perfect vehicle for rewarding psychopathic tendencies. Corporations do not have consciences. They are incapable of thinking beyond “the bottom line”. The best Chief Executives are those which are incapable of identifying with the misery they may be causing in their constant unswerving battle to drive costs down and shareholder value up.
I think that “financialism” is the final nail in the coffin of the global economy. Messing about with “futures” and “derivatives” is simply enhanced gambling and generates such economic instability that economic crises can be triggered wilfully by the larger players. One only has to see which of these large players is left standing to guess at who pulled the latest trigger. Out of these crises emerge the entities that are “too big to fail” and have to be shored up by humble tax payers whilst many of these tax payers are themselves increasingly homeless, under-nourished, and dying.
I think these elements are at the root of the ongoing destruction of our ecosystems. As we teeter on the brink of mass extinction, profiteering soars to unimaginable heights in states of unimaginable speculator frenzies. It is as if an infestation of frenetic microbes is feeding on the dying body of our civilisation and our planet – with the microbes themselves knowing full well that they are gambling the accumulation of illusory short term riches and “power” against medium term global disaster.
Does any of this make me anti-Semitic?
5. I have lost trust in “Intelligence Services”.
This includes MIs 5&6, the CIA, and Mossad. My feeling is that they are out of control by tax payers and tax payer representatives and that “Intelligence Service” agendas have become increasingly their own. I think their domestic interference in the processes of democracy are over-bearing, unjustifiable, and damaging to those processes. I think that their ability to raise “dark” funds through the sale of drugs and arms so that they may operate in many spheres without reference to government funding generates much of the fear and havoc we see around us today. And their natural proclivity for “compartmentalisation” (operatives only know what they “need to know”) contributes to secret agendas within secret agendas within secret agendas. I think that this “compartmentalisation” requires the great majority of the service operatives to operate in blind faith that their work, however dehumanising it might be, is contributing to a “greater good” being determined “up-line”. The most compliant and successful of these operatives will demonstrate many of the psychopathic tendencies evident in the individuals rising to the top of the global economy and its political institutions.
It follows that nor do I now have trust in government (official) narratives concerning many global events. This applies particularly, but not exclusively, in relation to “terrorism” or the “war on drugs” or “weapons of mass destruction”. I find that I do not now trust much of what government or the mainstream corporate mass media has to say about anything.
I think, hand in hand with this, that foreign embassies are given too much latitude in the extent to which their intelligence services are allowed to interfere with the domestic affairs of host nations.
Does this make me anti-Semitic?
6. I oppose the bombing and mistreatment of civilians
I think the starving and bombing and maiming and torturing of civilian populations is vile and inexcusable. This applies in particular to the peoples of Palestine, Yemen, and Syria but applies, without question, across the board. I think such polices are driven by much of what has gone wrong with the dysfunctional global economy as outlined above.
Am I anti-Semitic?
Please feel free to justify your Poll choice in the Comments section below.
© 2021 Deacon Martin