A friend of mine lost an old friend today over the surfacing of anti-Semitic expression and obsession.
The malignant poison the ears of their subjects to align them, create dependence in them, and to use them, eventually, for their own limitless aggrandizement. It’s a form well known and one becoming better known, understood, and resisted worldwide.
Herewith my response to my friend:
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In a secular society in which people mix freely for years and enjoy company, bigotry within people has a kind of latency. Subjects don’t come up; on occasion, someone makes an off-color remark or joke, and we politely gloss over it. When nationalism, European style, asserts itself in response to political discomfort and drift, then politicians may play on latent prejudice to develop social energy for themselves. The fascist/socialist impulse within a leader may find the Roma (gypsies) or Tutsis (Rwandans) handy for the projection of grandiose and violent delusions, which, if he garners support, he may make real.
Demographic and succession pressures within the monotheist evolution maintain tension between Christians, Jews, and Muslims, and through the mouths of malignant leaders, each may be made foil to the other. If Israel were gone, Jihad (as defined by the violently strident) would still have (and would hear repeatedly about) the “crusader west”.
In any case, as conflict makes the news, these things come out, and I hear the same complaint from Jewish acquaintance about losing old friends in relation to discussion of events of the day. My answer, eternally the response of good parents worldwide: “were they really YOUR friends?”
A common complaint that makes its way to my ears involves the social enforcement (or leverage) of in-group norms. I phrase it that way because with an independent Muslim friend telling the tale or an independent Jew moaning about practices on the Far Left, the pattern is the same: the group providing social integration — camaraderie, business, good vibes — to a member may lean on the same to go along with bad ideas and plans. Some leave confronted with that kind of enforced conformism and exploitation; some, perhaps because of how they’re built or where they live or the arrangement of their dependencies, stay to go along with crimes, some no more than disingenuous ranting and sophistry, some more recognizably criminal in scope and murderous intents.
This is tough territory. We enjoy friends for many reasons, and we forgive friends many differences in relation to ourselves, but we need also good friends and reliable friends and, post-adolescence, friends more inclined to involve us in good things.
It’s those friends who will be with us far down the many roads.
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My friends on the Right, and this intuitively speaking, would place the evil within the neighbor. All that’s needed is the Great Leader to bring that evil out in them. I feel differently, as perhaps a writer (wannabe) should: I think we carry around a great many signals or “signal potential” in our minds, and in certain conditions, well known and commented on after WWII, a particularly manipulative personality — the Pharaoh reincarnate of the day — can develop this potential fascist language and related drive in the hearts of some listeners who may then grow the enterprise into an ugly piece of large political machinery. To forestall, the targets of “malignant narcissists” may need some armoring among the target constituents sharing the same geopolitical space, i.e., apprehension of how they’re about to be used. The social machinery capable of delivering that insight where it’s needed doesn’t yet exist.
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