Friday, July 28, 2006

1991: Culture War and Religious War

from It's all lies: Culture War and Religious War

We swallowed the status quo like a horrible drug, and now you breached the status quo as well. Play with our lives. Shape our world. But we are no politicians. We are living people, and we are so angry, the anger runs through us and charges us. We are no politicians. We have no considerations, interests or speculations, we have life, we have energy and just now it’s channeled into a single clear path: rage. Rage towards you and derision for you. In the name of the democratic principle of tolerance we let you crush us slowly but surely. We forgot that in a true democracy one sometimes needs to be intolerant of the non-tolerant fanatics that want to impose their truths upon ours — our freedom and well being. We forgot our own truth, what democracy is in a whirlpool of decadence, inflexibility and compromise.

It’s not about contrasting the demand for tolerance with religious ideology, as if all we’re interested in is tolerance and mutual respect- what are we morons? What are we Herzog (Israeli president)? Democracy is not the pathetic, weak and mediocre thing it is made out to be. Democracy is freedom and freedom is life — a good life — a life that’s not beaten, humiliated and desperate. The freedom to choose my way to realize my life, to love, to run. The freedom from flags, values, limits, hates, community action and from all the definitions of the cynical politicians, disguising themselves as moderates.

Democracy isn’t what it used to be. It passed from innovative, groundbreaking pioneers — wild, exceptional people- to the hands of "suits", cautious bureaucrats who watch their tongue, boring and bored, who are open to anything because they care about nothing at all. What’s the surprise Joe Public is no longer democratic? Democracy lost its romanticism, its pride, its almost sexual excitement, for we the democrats lost all of the above.

The religious people have an aura of authority, respect, tradition, and roots. We are conceived as a bunch of space cadets. Confused rambling about tolerance and mutual respect. No wonder we feel like we don’t have a "case". We have no secular pride. We forgot the virtues of the remarkable people that fought for freedom in the last few centuries. Galileo, Lincoln, Tolstoy, Gandhi, Luther-King and those who fought with them. Put them next to our religious politicians — petty, conniving, sly, aggressive, power-mongering — trading in their own beliefs tarnished by their own tarnished deeds. Put them side by side and you’ll feel you can raise your heads.

The problem is that a struggle in the name of Israeli democracy, the way it is, is a guaranteed technical knockout. We’ll drown in the mechanism that created them and paralyzed us, in a system that ultimately justifies what they do. And in this system all you can do is march up and down, holding placards hoping it will cause the degenerate opposition of the Labor Party to wake up, pay lip service and fall back asleep in mid sentence, and that’s why nothing ever happens. For we all know it, know we’re paralyzed. So we surrender in advance, go home embittered and start to get used to it.

Culture war — that over used phrase, that generates some excitement, hope, adrenaline. That war will break out and not a moment too soon. There will be a path to follow and we shouldn’t be afraid of it, it is not a physical war. It’s not about violence, but a move from protest to resistance. It will be fun. We know what we can do. We are the majority. Not everything that can be passed in parliament can be passed on the streets. The thing to be afraid of is our current state — beaten, depressed, helpless and hiding behind our tolerance alone — "let each do what they like", when in fact we are a lot of people who’ve had enough. We are not playing with words, arguments and wordings. We are screaming from the bottom of our hearts: We’re fed up, we’ve had enough.

We haven’t got an address. We are not a movement. We are just people. No one needs to join us and we have no action plan. Do what you like each in your own creative way. Do it honestly, proudly and justly. And remember there’s a hole in the ozone layer and soon the coastal towns will be flooded and war will break out (chemical), then a meteorite would probably hit us. Anyway, what’s the point? There isn’t much time. We only have the here and now so we better get a move on.

A leaflet distributed during a rally in Israel against religious coercion, 1991.

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