A Reminder to American Jews: Civilization Is Fragile

Yesterday was Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. It is meant to be a time of intense self-examination. In light of that, I offer this column.

The question I receive more than any other from non-Jews is: Why are so many Jews on the left?

Before addressing it, I should note that the same question could be asked of Christians and other non-Jews. Why have so many mainstream Protestants and Catholics (up to and including the pope) embraced the left? Why have nearly all blacks, the majority of Hispanics and Asian Americans, the most successful ethnic group in America, embraced the left? And outside of the United States, why have most Germans, French, Canadians, Australians and others in the West embraced the left?

This question could be asked about almost every group in the world.

Nevertheless, it is valid to ask it about Jews because, if any group should be wary of dismantling a society, especially a decent one, it is the Jews. The moment civilization begins to disintegrate, the Jews are the first victims — never the only, but always the first. That’s why Jews have so often been likened to the proverbial canary in the mine. Miners take canaries down with them because when there are noxious fumes, canaries die, and when the miners see the dead canaries, they know there are toxic fumes they must fight, or they, too, will die.

That’s why decent non-Jews who don’t fight anti-Semitism are fools. They don’t understand that anti-Semitism represents a mortal threat to them. Tens of millions of non-Jews were killed because decent non-Jews ignored Hitler early on, dismissing him and Nazism as a Jewish problem.

It is often asked how the most culturally advanced country in Europe, perhaps in the world, could produce Nazism and the Holocaust. Or, as it is often put, “How did the country that gave us Bach, Beethoven, Heine and Schiller give us Auschwitz?”

One answer is that advanced culture and advanced morality are not the same. The Nazis loved classical music.

The other, more important, answer is that civilization is fragile.

It is fragile because civilization consists of human beings, and human nature is profoundly flawed. Exceptional evil is as common as exceptional good. It takes a great deal of effort and a great deal of time to make a decent society. But it takes little effort and little time to destroy a society.

That most American Jews do not appreciate how extraordinarily decent America is — compared with other countries, not compared with some childish utopian vision — only proves the lack of relationship between education and wisdom and between intelligence and wisdom.

The left is tearing down America because the left in America is what the left has been everywhere: a purely destructive force. Conservatives and liberals build everything, and leftists destroy everything: music, art, universities, high schools, elementary schools, economies, late-night comedy (for that matter, all comedy), journalism, sports and, now, the sciences. In addition, everywhere the left gains power it suppresses personal freedom, beginning with the most important freedom, freedom of speech.

Every violent demonstration (also known as “riots”) over the past six months has been a left-wing riot.

Why, then, does this left-wing destruction not frighten America’s Jews? Do they not know the more power the left has, the less freedom they and all other Americans will have? Do they not know how much Black Lives Matter, antifa and the rest of the left loathe Israel? Or do they not care? (The answer is that, increasingly, many American Jews do not care — especially young Jews, who have been raised by left-wing teachers and left-wing media.) How do they not recoil when statues of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln are violently removed?

Do American Jews not know that the unique esteem in which they (and Israel since 1948) have been held in American society has been entirely due to the Judeo-Christian roots of America’s values and its Judeo-Christian identity? Do they not know that in a post-Christian America, they will be just another minority and that, as the left gains influence, nonleft Jews (specifically religious and pro-Israel Jews) will be singled out for opprobrium? (Just look at how Jewish students who publicly identify as Jews, let alone as pro-Israel Jews, are treated on many American campuses.)

We conservatives know the answer to the question, “How did the country that gave the world Beethoven give the world Nazism?”

The answer: Civilization is fragile.

That was true in Germany, and it is true in America.

Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His latest book, published by Regnery in May 2019, is “The Rational Bible,” a commentary on the book of Genesis. His film, “No Safe Spaces,” will be released to home entertainment nationwide on September 15, 2020. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.

COPYRIGHT 2020 CREATORS.COM

Last Updated: Monday, Sep 28, 2020 16:33:52 -0700




Why Are They Capitalizing ‘Black’?

A few months ago, I noticed that my published column spelled “black” “Black.” As I had submitted the column with “black” spelled with a lower case “b,” I contacted my editor to find out why what I had written was changed. She responded that the syndicate was following the Associated Press’ rules of style, a common practice in journalism and book writing.

On July 20, 2020, the AP published “Explaining AP style on Black and white,” in which it explained:

“AP’s style is now to capitalize Black in a racial, ethnic or cultural sense, conveying an essential and shared sense of history, identity and community among people who identify as Black, including those in the African diaspora and within Africa. The lowercase black is a color, not a person. AP style will continue to lowercase the term white in racial, ethnic and cultural senses.”

The AP explanation is drivel.

There is no “shared sense of history, identity and community among people who identify as Black, including those in the African diaspora and within Africa.”

Only left-wingers believe such nonsense. Not only is there no shared culture or sense of identity that unites blacks outside and inside Africa, but there is also no shared culture among blacks in Africa and none among blacks outside of Africa (“the African diaspora”). The only thing all blacks have in common is geographic origin (but since it is said that we all emanate from Africa, that means little) and color.

Historically, the only identity Africans shared with other Africans was a tribal identity. That is why (black) Hutus could perpetrate the most concentrated mass murder since the Holocaust against (black) Tutsis. That is why black Africans were indispensable to the transatlantic slave trade. Those who rounded up other Africans to sell to Europeans felt no moral obligation, let alone a “shared identity,” with the Africans they sold.

What does a black raised in the Bronx have in common with a black raised in Cameroon? The answer is: nothing. They have as little in common as a white from the Bronx and a black from Cameroon.

What does a Brazilian black have in common with a black from Chicago or a black from Uganda? Nothing.

Does Sen. Kamala Harris, the California daughter of a black and an (Asian) Indian, have more in common with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi or with a tribal chief in Togo? Or, for that matter, more in common with white Pelosi or black Candace Owens or black Larry Elder?

The AP decision, adopted by The New York Times and followed by the rest of the media herd, is based on lies. And, like the rest of the left’s race-based lies, it is pure pandering. It is another attempt to depict blacks as inherently different from nonblack human beings. That’s why the AP offered this explanation for why “white” should not be capitalized:

“After a review and period of consultation, we found, at this time, less support for capitalizing white. White people generally do not share the same history and culture, or the experience of being discriminated against because of skin color. … capitalizing the term white, as is done by white supremacists, risks subtly conveying legitimacy to such beliefs.”

The reason the AP offers for not capitalizing “white” is also based on a lie: “White people generally do not share the same history and culture.”

As it happens, white people “generally” share far more history and culture than do blacks. Whites come from Europe, and the vast majority of them have shared the Christian religion and the Bible. There is nothing analogous among the vast majority of blacks. Moreover, even today, in a post-Christian Europe, a Croatian and an Irishman have more in common than a Kenyan and a Congolese, let alone a black from the Bronx.

As for giving succor to white supremacists if “white” were capitalized, given that white supremacists agree with The New York Times and the rest of the left that there is something inherently different about blacks, why doesn’t capitalizing “black” also risk “conveying legitimacy” to white supremacist beliefs?

Yes, there is such a thing as African American culture and shared experience. There is such a thing as African Brazilian culture and shared experience. But there is no such thing as a shared black culture.

So, if you want to tell the world how woke you are, how you follow the herd and how little truth matters to you, capitalize “black.” But if you respect blacks, respect the truth and respect yourself, don’t.

Black is a color, not a culture.

Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His latest book, published by Regnery in May 2019, is “The Rational Bible,” a commentary on the book of Genesis. His film, “No Safe Spaces,” will be released to home entertainment nationwide on September 15, 2020. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.

COPYRIGHT 2020 CREATORS.COM

Last Updated: Monday, Sep 21, 2020 19:06:43 -0700




The Left’s Moral Compass Isn’t Broken …

All of my life, I have said that the left’s moral compass is broken.

And all of my life, I was wrong.

Why I was wrong explains both the left and the moral crisis we are in better than almost any other explanation.

I was wrong because in order to have a broken moral compass, you need to have a moral compass to begin with. But the left doesn’t have one.

This is not meant as an attack. It is a description of reality. The left regularly acknowledges that it doesn’t think in terms of good and evil. Most of us are so used to thinking in those terms — what we call “Judeo-Christian” — that it is very difficult for us to divide the world in any other way.

But since Karl Marx, the left (not liberalism; the two are different) has always divided the world, and, therefore, human actions, in ways other than good and evil. The left, in Friedrich Nietzsche’s famous words, has always operated “beyond good and evil.”

It all began with Marx, who divided the world by economic class — worker and owner or exploited and exploiter. To Marx and to Marxism, there is no such thing as a good or an evil that transcends class. Good is defined as what is good for the working class; evil is what is bad for the working class.

Therefore, to Marxists, there is no such thing as a universal good or a universal evil. Those of us still in thrall to Judeo-Christian morality believe that good and evil are universal. In other words, whether an act is good or evil has nothing to do with who committed the act — rich or poor, male or female, religious or secular, member of one’s nation or of another nation. Stealing and murder are morally wrong, no matter who stole or who murdered.

That is not the case for Marx and the left. In Marx’s words in “Capital” (“Das Kapital”):

“Right can never be higher than the economic structure of society and the cultural development thereby determined. We therefore reject every attempt to impose on us any moral dogma whatsoever as an eternal, ultimate and forever immutable moral law.”

Fifty-three years later, Marx’s foremost disciple, Vladimir Lenin, architect of the Russian Revolution, proclaimed:

“We say that our morality is entirely subordinated to the interests of the class struggle of the proletariat. … We do not believe in an eternal morality. … We repudiate all morality derived from non-human (i.e., God) and non-class concepts” (Address to the Third Congress of the Russian Young Communist League, Oct. 2, 1920).

As professor Wilfred Cantwell Smith, director of Harvard University’s Center for the Study of World Religions, wrote in 1957: “For Marxism there is no reason (literally no reason: our universe, the movement posits, is the kind of universe where there cannot conceivably be any reason) for not killing or torturing or exploiting a human person if his liquidation or torture or slave labor will advance the historical process.”

This is how Marx’s ideological heirs, today’s leftists, view the world — with one important difference: Morality is not determined only by class, but by race, power and sex as well.

RACE

It is left-wing dogma that a black person cannot be a racist. Only whites can be racist. And, indeed, all whites are racist.

It is increasingly a left-wing position that when blacks loot, they are only taking what they deserve, or, as the looters often put it, looted goods are “reparations.” A Black Lives Matter organizer in Chicago, Ariel Atkins, recently put it this way:

“I don’t care if somebody decides to loot a Gucci or a Macy’s or a Nike store because that makes sure that person eats. That makes sure that person has clothes. That is reparations. Anything they want to take, take it because these businesses have insurance” (Chicago Tribune, Aug. 17, 2020).

POWER

Another nonmoral left-wing compass concerns power. Just as right and wrong are determined by class (worker and owner/rich and poor) and race (white and people of color), good and evil are also determined by power (the strong and the weak).

That explains much of the left’s hatred for two countries in particular — America and Israel. America is wrong when it does almost anything in the world that involves weaker countries — assassinates the most important Iranian terrorist, builds a wall between itself and Mexico, opposes unlimited immigration. It is wrong because it is much stronger than those other countries.

The left’s antipathy to Israel derives from both the power compass and the race compass. Because Israel is so much stronger than the Palestinians and because Israelis are classified as white (despite the fact that more than half of all Israelis are not white), the left deems Israel wrong. So, when Israel justifiably attacks Gaza for raining rockets over Israel, the world’s left vehemently attacks Israel — because it is so much stronger than the people of Gaza and because whites have attacked people of color.

SEX

When a woman accuses a man of sexually harassing or raping her, the left’s reaction is not, “Let us try to determine the truth as best we can.” It is, “Believe women.” One must automatically “believe women” because, on the left, it is not only morality that doesn’t transcend race, power, class or sex; truth doesn’t either. That’s why leftists protest and riot whenever a confrontation between a police officer and a black person ends with the death of an unarmed black person. The police officer is automatically racist, and the death is automatically deemed murder. On the left, the concept of objective truth is increasingly deemed a form of white supremacy.

So, then, it turns out I was mistaken all my life. The left’s moral compass is not broken. The left simply rejects such a compass.

Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His latest book, published by Regnery in May 2019, is “The Rational Bible,” a commentary on the book of Genesis. His film, “No Safe Spaces,” will be released to home entertainment nationwide on September 15, 2020. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.

COPYRIGHT 2020 CREATORS.COM

Last Updated: Tuesday, Sep 15, 2020 08:42:08 -0700




Leftists Blame America. Decent People Blame Themselves.

As long ago as the 1970s, I came to a major realization. While watching fellow students at Columbia University demonstrate not just against the war in Vietnam but against America — “Amerika,” as many spelled it, the “imperialist,” “colonialist,” “mass-murdering” country — I kept wondering what made these people so hostile to the freest country in human history.

Then, one day, as a result of my having attended a yeshiva (an Orthodox Jewish day school) through high school, the reason became clear. Half of each school day was devoted to religious studies in Hebrew, and the other half was devoted to secular studies in English. This meant that I had been immersed in a religious worldview until college.

Though it was Jewish, this worldview could also be called “Judeo-Christian.” Students at traditionally Christian schools were immersed in essentially the same worldview. We were all taught that the most important battle we need to wage in life was with our own nature. Jews and Christians learned from the same Scripture that “the will of man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Genesis 8:21).

Therefore, being a good person involved a constant battle with our flawed human nature: our urges, appetites and innate weaknesses. This battle was also the only real route to a better world. Every individual had to work on him or herself to be decent, strong, courageous and self-controlled, and every parent had to work, first and foremost, on raising such people.

One day, I came to realize that this was not how the vast majority of my fellow students were raised. They were raised to believe that the great battle in life was not with one’s nature but with outside forces — with parents, in many cases, but most of all with society, i.e., America.

All of us, whatever our political outlook, have to confront personal failure, loss, disappointment and unhappiness. When confronted with these challenges, religious Jews and Christians are taught to look inward for both the primary source of their problems and the primary solutions to those problems: What have I done wrong? What can I change in my life to solve my problems?

Of course, some nonreligious liberals and conservatives also have this attitude. But most of them likely inherited it from religious parents or, at the very least, from parents who were raised in a religious home or a home that retained the remnants of such an upbringing, which was common in pre-1960s America. (It is therefore questionable how many secular parents will succeed in passing this attitude on to their children.)

The left, which proudly rejects Judeo-Christian values, has adopted the opposite of the Judeo-Christian view regarding pain in life. Leftists (as opposed to liberals) hold outside forces responsible for their pain. That is the reason for the litany of left-wing enemies: capitalism, patriarchy, misogyny, systemic racism, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, sexism, xenophobia.

So, then, if you are an unhappy American woman, you can work on yourself and your nature, or you can blame sexism and patriarchy, i.e., men, for your pained state.

If you are an unhappy gay American, you can work on yourself, or you can blame society’s homophobia for your unhappiness.

And, most significantly, if you are an unhappy black American, you can work on yourself and your life, or you can blame systemic racism and whites for your anger and unfulfilled life.

All this explains why the left encourages every group except for white, Christian, heterosexual males to regard themselves as oppressed. The more oppressed women, gays, blacks, etc., see themselves, the more they are alienated from America and its values, and the more they gravitate left. In light of this, I came up with a riddle:

Q: What do you call a happy black person?

A: A Republican.

Without an exception I can recall, over the course of decades, I have guessed the political affiliation of every black caller to my radio show within a minute of talking to them. If they sounded happy, I knew they were a Republican; if they were angry, I knew they were a Democrat. This has held true for male and female callers.

America has been a great country because it was built on the belief that we must all fight against our natures (and fight for our country). It is difficult to overstate the damage the left is doing to this country by abandoning the fundamental Judeo-Christian teaching that we must fight our natures in order to lead a more decent and happy life and replacing it with the belief that we must battle America instead. This replacement inevitably leads to a population of unhappy, ungrateful and mean-spirited human beings — precisely the type of individuals you see rioting and looting, the type of elected officials who do nothing to stop rioters and looters, the columnists and academics who devote their lives to spewing hate-filled lies about America, and the Twitter mobs who comprise the toxic cancel culture.

It will lead to what the left acknowledges it seeks: the end of America as we have known it.

Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His latest book, published by Regnery in May 2019, is “The Rational Bible,” a commentary on the book of Genesis. His film, “No Safe Spaces,” will be released to home entertainment nationwide on September 15, 2020. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.

COPYRIGHT 2020 CREATORS.COM

Last Updated: Monday, Sep 07, 2020 20:13:30 -0700




The Lockdown Has Gone From a Mistake to a Crime

Four months ago, I wrote a column titled “The Worldwide Lockdown May Be the Greatest Mistake in History.” I explained that “‘mistake’ and ‘evil’ are not synonyms. The lockdown is a mistake; the Holocaust, slavery, communism, fascism, etc., were evils. Massive mistakes are made by arrogant fools; massive evils are committed by evil people.”

Regarding the economic catastrophe in America and around the world — especially among the world’s poor who are dependent upon America and other first-world countries for their income through exports and tourism — I wrote, “It is panic and hysteria, not the coronavirus, that created this catastrophe.”

Unfortunately, I was right.

The world should have followed Sweden’s example. That country never locked down and has even kept children under 16 in school the entire time. As Reuters reported on July 15, the number of Swedish children between 1 and 19 years of age who have died of COVID-19 is zero. And the percentage of children who contracted the illness was the exact same in Sweden as it was in Finland, which locked down its schools.

As regards teachers, Sweden’s Public Health Agency reported that “a comparison of the incidence of COVID-19 in different professions suggested no increased risk for teachers.” Nevertheless, with few exceptions, teachers in Los Angeles and elsewhere refuse to enter a classroom that has students in it. Their disdain for their profession has been superseded only by that of the Los Angeles teachers union, which announced that teachers will not resume teaching until the police are defunded.

People who defend lockdowns and closing schools point out that Sweden has the eighth-highest death rate per million in the Western world. But, needless to say, this has no bearing at all on the issue of whether Sweden was right to keep schools open or whether our country was wrong to close them, let alone keep them closed now. The overwhelming majority of deaths from COVID-19 in Sweden were among people over 70 years of age, and most of those were people over 80 and with compromised immune systems.

Reuters reported that three separate studies, including one by UNICEF, “showed that Swedish children fared better than children in other countries during the pandemic, both in terms of education and mental health.”

For more than a month, Sweden has had almost no deaths from COVID-19 while the entire society remains open and almost no one wears masks. (In Holland, too, almost no one wears masks.) For all intents and purposes, the virus is over in Sweden.

I live in California, a state governed by that most dangerous of leaders: a fool with unlimited power. Despite the fact that California ranks 28th among the 50 states in deaths per million, Gov. Gavin Newsom has destroyed and continues to destroy tens of thousands of small businesses and untold numbers of livelihoods. His continuing to forbid — a half-year after the onset of the pandemic — indoor dining in restaurants is leading to a projected permanent closure of approximately 1 in every 3 restaurants in the state. The same catastrophic destruction will likely affect retail businesses and services such as hair and nail salons. But all this human tragedy — not to mention increased depression and suicides among the young and increased abuse of children and partners — means nothing to Newsom, to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti or to the Los Angeles Times, whose editors and columnists continue to advocate for the lockdown while they receive their salaries.

Why can people eat with no mask in an airplane — inches, not six feet, from strangers — but cannot eat in a California restaurant, which is so much bigger than the inside of an airplane, while sitting six feet from others? Because Newsom ordered it, the Los Angeles Times supports it and, like sheep, Californians have accepted it.

According to the California Association of Museums, “Museums are losing over $22 million a day due to the statewide quarantine. As of August 1, 2020, California museums have lost more than $2.9 billion in revenue. Museums have a $6.55 billion financial impact on California’s economy, support 80,722 jobs, and generated $492 million in tax revenues for the State of California in 2017 and over $1 billion in federal taxes.”

And the American Alliance of Museums issued results from a survey on July 22, 2020, that warned 1 out of every 3 museums may shutter forever as funding sources and financial reserves run dry.

On Aug. 3, The Wall Street Journal wrote, “In March … There was broad public support for the prudent goals of preventing hospitals from being overwhelmed and buying scientists time to develop therapies.” But the left — the media and Democratic governors and mayors — immediately moved the goal posts to “bending the curve” and “saving one life,” enabling them to get away with destroying lives and livelihoods.

I conclude with the words of a Swedish medical doctor, Sebastian Rushworth:

“Covid is over in Sweden. People have gone back to their normal lives and barely anyone is getting infected any more. I am willing to bet that the countries that have shut down completely will see rates spike when they open up. If that is the case, then there won’t have been any point in shutting down in the first place … Shutting down completely in order to decrease the total number of deaths only makes sense if you are willing to stay shut down until a vaccine is available. That could take years. No country is willing to wait that long.”

The lockdown is a crime. But even more upsetting is that it is supported by so many Americans. This country is unrecognizable to those of us who lived through the 1968-1970 pandemic, which killed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 100,000 Americans — the 2020 equivalent of 170,000 Americans. Nothing shut down. Not one mask was worn.

Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His latest book, published by Regnery in May 2019, is “The Rational Bible,” a commentary on the book of Genesis. His film, “No Safe Spaces,” will be released to home entertainment nationwide on Sept. 15, 2020. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.

COPYRIGHT 2020 CREATORS.COM

Last Updated: Monday, Aug 31, 2020 20:13:06 -0700