Professor Paul Eidelberg
October 29, 2009
We are approaching the end of an era. Politics and democracy have entered their terminal stage. Party government has become nothing more than a struggle for power, and parliaments are but arenas of self-aggrandizement. This was inevitable. It was inevitable because, in its modern conception, democracy separated morality and politics, just as Christianity separated religion and state. Hence, egoism—even in principle, let alone in practice—was bound to supplant family values and the common good.
Democracy has fulfilled its historical function. Its two cardinal principles, freedom and equality, liberated the acquisitive instincts, facilitated the conquest of nature, alleviated widespread toil and poverty, and opened the door to talents. But while men and women in democratic societies enjoy unprecedented freedom and equality as well as material abundance, a frightful number find their lives lonely and meaningless. The reason is not far to seek: democracy is the dissolver of ideologies, of traditional beliefs and norms of behavior which alone can sustain individual freedom along with national solidarity and ethical purpose.
The decency and civility still visible in contemporary democracy have nothing to do with democracy itself. They derive from the morality of the Bible now under attack by the atheism and nihilism permeating academia. Neither democratic equality nor democratic freedom provides any moral standards as to how man should live. What is there about democratic equality that would prompt a person to defer to wisdom or to show respect for teachers or parents? What is there about democratic freedom that would prompt him to restrain his passions, to be kind, honest, or just?
More and more people are beginning to see that democracy is in a state of decline. “Spin”—really lying—has become the norm of politics. Centralized government and bureaucracy have eviscerated personal responsibility and civic mindedness. The masses vote every few years and then relapse into servitude, stupefied by the tube.
Actually, there is no such thing as democracy—not in this technocratic world where a chaos of Information and Disinformation has buried serious thought and wisdom. The language of democracy is nothing but a fig-leaf for self-serving elites steeped in decay.
Democratic politics is still politics, devoid of honesty. Corruption on the part of public officials is rampant. Democratic governments cannot overcome horrendous crime rates, drug addiction, pornography, sexual perversions, mental disorders, broken families, and the decline of intellectual standards. Democratic hedonism fuels these maladies.
Meanwhile, multiculturalism in the universities is destroying all notions of objective truth. This presages the end of Western civilization—which accounts for the resurgence and spread of Islam. How can one readily teach Plato and Aristotle, Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, at Stanford University, when half of the undergraduates are Asiatic? How can one teach the Judea-Christian ethos of America’s Declaration of Independence to students weaned on the Quran—the former scorned, the latter exalted, by America’s president? Where are we to find universal truth?
Marxism? No one can any longer take Marx seriously, even though Marxism, in diluted form, continues to influence Western politics. As for Christianity, its doctrine of separation of church and state, once salutary, now precludes Christianity from having architectonic influence on contemporary society. America, once a sober Christian nation, elected, according to Islamic law, a Muslim as its president, who seems to hate everything America stands for, indeed, who has the audacity to belittle America’s Founding Fathers whose statesmanship is second to none. To what can we turn for inspiration?
Enter Israel. Israel’s rebirth in 1948 provides the national foundation for the universal recognition of the Torah as the paradigm of how man should live. Even now we behold a renascence in Jewish philosophy as well as a convergence of science and Torah that surpasses the works of the great Jewish philosophers of previous ages.
It is in this light that we are to understand why the nations are trying to truncate and destroy Israel. Subliminally, they know and fear that their modes of thought and ways of life have no intrinsic validity.
Despite Israel’s bungled Western political system, and despite the death and destruction inflicted upon her by the successors of the Nazis, Israel has risen from ashes and dust to become the virtual capital of the world in scientific technology, which—mark my words—is but the surface and prelude of a spiritual renaissance.
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Israel will survive its traitors and tormentors, as it has for more than two millennia. The Jewish people have a Covenant with God, and “God is not a man that He should deceive, nor mortal that He should change His mind.”
© 2009 Paul Eidelberg - All Rights Reserved
Internationally known political scientist, author and lecturer, Eidelberg is the founder and president of The Foundation for Constitutional Democracy with offices in Jerusalem.
Prof. Eidelberg served in the United States Air Force where he held the rank of first lieutenant. He received his doctoral degree at the University of Chicago. He designed the electronic equipment for the first brain scanner at the Argonne Cancer Research Hospital.
Before immigrating to Israel in 1976, Prof. Eidelberg wrote a trilogy on America’s founding fathers: The Philosophy of the American Constitution, On the Silence of the Declaration of Independence, and a Discourse on Statesmanship.
In 1976 he joined the faculty of Bar-Ilan University in Israel. He has written several books on the Arab-Israel conflict and on Judaism. Demophrenia: Israel and the Malaise of Democracy analyses the mentality of Israel’s ruling elites. Jewish Statesmanship: Lest Israel Fall, which has been translated into Hebrew and Russian, reveals the flaws inherent in Israel’s system of governance and how they may be remedied. A Jewish Philosophy of History investigates the world-historical events leading to the rebirth of Israel in 1948.
His latest publication, The Myth of Israeli Democracy, provides an abbreviated version of a Constitution which shows how to make Israel a genuine democracy based on a Jewish conception of freedom and equality.
is on the Advisory Council of the Ariel Center for Policy Research,
which has published many of his policy papers. In addition to writing
more than 1,000 articles for newspapers and scholarly journals in the
U.S. and Israel, he has a weekly program on Israel
Prof. Eidelberg has been lecturing throughout Israel and the United States. He conducts seminars on constitutions, diverse parliamentary electoral systems, Jewish law, and related topics at the Jerusalem center of the Foundation for Constitutional Democracy.
Web site: Foundation for Constitutional Democracy