Monday, July 20, 2009

Jabotinsky- An Anarchist?

Starting tonight is the deathday of Vladimir Ze'ev Jabotinsky, the 29th of Tammuz . Jabo was and is often accused by the Left of being a fascist, and "enemy of labor". Here is an excellent defense against these distortions. Not to compare ourselves to Rosh Beitar, but we too have been labelled
a disgrace to ethical religious and secular Jews. They are no anarchists.
If Emma Goldman was alive today she would spit in their faces and denounce them as fascists.
By cheerleading the slaughter of our Palestinian brethren in Gaza, BYAZON shows their true colors as cheerleaders for a genocidal State. They are Kahanists. Look at their reading list. They are also sadists, as evidenced by their joy at the extrajudicial executions carried out by Israel. (Typos left in to emphasize idiocy of Mr. Levine)
by Mr. CJ Levine, who claims to be an anarchist. Well, sir, we are anarchists- not leftists of your variety but Zionists and Anarchists for whom, like Mr. Sam Dreen says
There's no conflict between the two [Zionism and Anarchism]. In fact my Zionism is my Anarchism. (As quoted in Anarchist Voices- a very worthy read!).
But back to the point- Jabo. Jabo was a genius, a masterful orator, writer, and translator. He was an anti-authoritarian individualist as well as the most significant Zionist after Herzl.
In the beginning, God created the individual. Every individual is a king equal to his fellow. It is preferable that the individual sin against the society than the society sin against the individual. Society was created for the good for individuals, not the opposite. The messianic vision is one of a paradise for the individual, a glorious anarchic kingdom, a contest between personal abilities ‘society’ has no rule but to help those who have fallen... [Jabotinsky, V. in "My Story," 1936 in Autobiography (Hebrew), p. 38]

A revolution is what I call a liberating uprising but there is no liberation except in freedom of expression, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. There is no liberation without the right of every citizen to influence, to change the regime; no liberation without equality of rights for every citizen regardless of race, religion and class.

My outlook is in essence the negation of the totalistic state. The state system that is the most normal and healthy as well as the most pleasant is the “minimal state.” That state acts only in case of real necessity. There is no basis for limiting the right of self-expression in the area of ideas.

My “yes” does not prevent you from declaring “no.” Of course, there is a need for extra flexibility. In times of war and crisis (economic as well as political), there might arise the need to expand the scope of what is to be considered the minimum. The instinctive ideal of man is a serene anarchy. As long as this ideal cannot be realized, democracy must be recognized as the form closes to the ideal.

An individual - this is the supreme concept, the highest value, that which was created “in the image of God”. The doctrine of communo-fascism states that man is part of state societal mechanism. Our tradition has it that in the beginning, God created the individual. Man is intended to be free. Democracy’s meaning is freedom and the goal of democracy is to insure the influence of the minority. [Jabotinsky, V., Introduction to the Theory of Economy - Part Two, 1934, in Nation and Society (Hebrew), p. 218-219]

Jabo wasn't an anarchist- he thought there was a need for (minimal) state power. He was similar to what today in the USA is known as a "libertarian". But although he didn't wholeheartedly accept Anarchist theory, he held it as the ideal, and learned from many of the great Anarchist theorists. May Jabo's yahrzeit be a day of contemplation for us all as we approach that mournful anniversary in our year- Tisha B'Av, when Jewish autonomy in Israel was destroyed.


Anonymous said...

Welcome back to the WWW - It's great to have u posting again!

Anonymous said...

Emma Goldman was no Zionist- but she believed as do many of us, that the land belonged to those who loved it and worked it.

"Perhaps my revolutionary education has been sadly neglected, but I have been taught that the land should belong to those who till the soil. With all of his deep-seated sympathies with the Arabs, our comrade cannot possibly deny that the Jews in Palestine have tilled the soil. Tens of thousands of them, young and deeply devout idealists, have flocked to Palestine, there to till the soil under the most trying pioneer conditions. They have reclaimed wastelands and have turned them into fertile fields and blooming gardens...."


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