Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Personal Aside: Just Released Book, “The Israel Test,” is Fascinating, Setting a New Rationale for U. S.-Israel Tie.


Up to now a key rationale for conservative (not paleo- however) support for strengthened ties between U. S. and Israel has been (a) compassion for Israel as a justificatory nation because of the World War II holocaust where it deserves our charity…and (b) this particularly true with Christian evangelicals a biblical redemption of the linkage between the Old Covenant and New Covenant. But a newly released book I’m reading now has an entirely different rationale for the closest of ties between the U.S. and Israel. It is “The Israel Test” by George Gilder [Richard Vigilante Books: 2009]. As you know, I’ve been a faithful reader of all of Gilder’s books since he made the first case that broken homes are prime causes of urban poverty in “Men and Marriage.”

To me he is a kind of universal genius. He has spelled out brilliantly…more than most…the case for Supply Side economics that is better than anyone else has made—including Ronald Reagan—in “Wealth and Poverty.” He made a multi-million-dollar fortune, lost it and re-made it. Astoundingly, he wrote a book “Life After Television” in 1990 that predicted microchip tele-computers connected by fiber-optic cable that will make broadcast-model television obsolete: an advance that even today is in the distance but definitely on the way. His “Microcosm” discussed the microchip revolution, “Telecosm” about the future of fiber optics and “The Silicon Eye” concerning the Foveon X3 sensor, a digital camera imager chip. He believes in Intelligent Design and to further his views, helped found The Discovery Institute.

The thing I like about Gilder is that he is no technocratic robot but has a deep belief in God and…moreover…is one of the first to advocate that the breakup of the nuclear family and the policies of demand-side economics…liberalism, generally…has led inexorably to poverty whereas retention of family stability and supply-side policies have led to wealth. With his latest book, he has ventured into foreign policy which a startlingly original conclusion.

Gist of “The Israel Test.”

During the past two decades, Israel has moved from a socialist economy to a capitalist one, which has transformed the Jewish state to a vibrant player in world economy. It has become a driving force in computer and telecommunications and is now moving in biotechnology. Armed with these facts, he postulates:

“The prime issue, then, is not a global war of civilizations between the West and Islam or a split between Arabs and Jews…The real issue is between the rule of law and the rule of leveler egalitarianism, between creative excellence and covetous `fairness,’ between admiration of achievement and envy and resentment of it…

“The test can be summarized by a few questions: What is your attitude toward people who excel you in the creation of wealth or in other accomplishment? Do you aspire to that excellence or do you seethe at it? Do you admire and celebrate exceptional achievement or do you impugn and seek to tear it down?”

The Palestinians, he maintains, epitomize the wrong side of these juxtapositions while Israel and America (at least until Obama and his crew took over the White House) the right side of the divide. He cites that Jews contributed to scientific progress in heavy disproportion to their numbers…mathematics, physics, game theory, information theory (i.e. John von Neumann) while Arab thought has as its roots strains of Marxist socialism and Nazism. (Remember Marx was an unbelieving Jew).

This is just an early flavor of the book. It has not been reviewed nationally as yet…and don’t expect that it will get good reviews. But do read it.

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