G. S. <email@example.com>
initial posting 28 May 2010 - last update 05 Jan 2011
We face a monumental task. To figure out how to save the biosphere — and humanity — so that our children and grandchildren will be able to live — and not only barely survive, but live fulfilling lives. How can we stop the downward cascading spiral? My last two posts, titled Why do so many people hate Jews? - I and II, were in fact aimed at the much larger question of humane survival of all humanity. This latter question is so huge and complex that it's not surprising to find a vast variety of efforts to approach it. My vantage (or disadvantage) point is that of a so-called ethnic Jewish American, but my effort is to overcome the confines of any ethnic blinders, to generalize to a viewpoint that encompasses all human beings.
The first of my two recent posts  discussed religious dogmas as basic sources of social conflict. That was followed by the note discussing the conflict between the social values associated with money and those of “honest labor”.  I chose provocative titles for both papers because I hoped that would attract some additional readers, and also because my starting point for each paper was my own ethnic background.
In the second post, I responded at once to the question by saying a source of hatred of Jews is because many people think Jews don’t do honest work. But I generalized immediately by saying that perception applies to all relatively rich, privileged people. We are all widely seen, I think with partial justification, as leading somewhat parasitical lives. It is a not-uncommon idea that Jews in particular have a “special relationship” with money.  Whether the American, Bill Gates or the Mexican, Carlos Slim has more or less money than the close-knit Rothschild family is irrelevant. They are all widely seen, justifiably, as living fundamentally dishonest lives. I believe basic criticism of the system of values by which we are all compelled to live is needed. And I mean really basic! Never mind “regulating” interest rates. We must do away with interest, with the very idea of “money making money”. In fact, we must largely do away with money, and certainly with all the “professional” institutions that deal with money. We must recognize that what is termed “Western Civilization” is in fact an anti-civilization, a global social structure of death and destruction.
Such radical re-thinking should, and not coincidentally at the same historical moment, embrace Palestine. My view of the situation in the “Greater Middle East”, by which I mean to include far more than the inadequately-named “Israel/Palestine conflict”, hinges on the joint U.S.-Israeli (British-assisted) colonial imperial campaign to eradicate Palestine. The entire project to take the land of Palestine for a Jewish state was illegitimate from the start. This project is at the core of Zionism. Being “nice” to the Palestinians, as I’m certain many good and decent (but misguided) Jewish people favor, simply is not a cure for the cancer of conquest. The same for all conquests — of the Americas by Europeans and so on.
Of course the cry “Why are you singling out the Jews?” will issue from a few million anguished throats, along with accusations of anti-Semitism. And threats to use their nuclear bombs, to never surrender their “God given” Eretz Israel. Their anger and panic, their phony self-righteousness and the delusion of their superiority to all other peoples will drive them, as it has unceasingly done, but the new information age is already beginning to spell the end of their project of conquest.
A historical cusp — the age of information
explodes — birth of a new era
Never before has there been almost instantaneous global awareness of major social-political events. We are living in an age absolutely without precedent. Three events serve as markers for this abrupt change. For the first time in human history, and three times in a bit over seven years, almost the total world population with access to news stood instantly united in its abhorrence at the actions of a nation-state —
Those instant global revulsions at the actions of mass murderers (who still hold an armory of lethal weaponry) marks the start of the true “information age”, and with it the birth of growing global consciousness that the dominant system is unspeakably, brutally destructive and that we, the billions of ordinary people, in order to gain control of our own lives, will have to totally change the way societies are structured. The birth of this “information age” became possible because of the explosion of information technology, and the very human desire to understand reality. Thus, in spite of the undeniably tragic times through which humanity is living, I believe the emergence of the true “information age” is the counter development that will make it possible not only for our species to survive but to finally evolve into a truly civilized society. That is my hope and the source of my optimism for the future.
 Jews and money — a “special relationship” — ideas on interest and usury. An article in the 1911 edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica on the Rothschild family tells of Mayer Anselm [Rothschild] (1743-1812), the founder of the famous banking family receiving from a wealthy German landgrave, a count of Hesse, silver and other bulky treasures for safekeeping before fleeing the victorious French. Rothschild reportedly buried them in his garden, and dug them up when he could dispose of them, which he did, eventually returning their value plus 5% to the count. The article's author considered that 5% as showing the skill of Rothschild in handling the transactions. The article is posted at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/t/2010-05-28-2.htm
 Israeli colonial Zionists. Compassionate treatment for this group is discussed in “The ethics of a just solution of the ‘Palestinian/Israeli’ conflict“, at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/t/2010-11-13.htm.
 History of the conquest. Spurred by a probing interview by Jeffrey Blankfort <firstname.lastname@example.org> with military historian Geoffrey Wawro, I've ordered a copy of Wawro's lengthy study, Quicksand: America's Pursuit of Power in the Middle East. The interview occupies almost 40 minutes of the hour-long program. Prof. Geoff Waro's book, published by Penguin in 2010, is focussed on US support for Israel, the pro-Israel lobby and whether Israel is a strategic asset or liability. To hear the interview, http://www.radio4all.net/index.php/program/42979
George Salzman is a former American Jew living in Oaxaca, Mexico, an Emeritus Prof of Physics, Univ of Massachusetts-Boston.