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January 13, 1984 - Image 20

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-01-13

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

20

Friday, January 13, 1984

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B y

SAM FIELD

call

399-1320

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Tallying Up `1984': Battle for Freedom

(Continued from Page 19)
vidualist, free enterprise,
conservative and even
libertarian thinking and
political parties in the
1980s is testimony to the
growing tendency to
treasure democracy and
individualism (even if
these phenomena re-
grettably lead to a
weakening of compas-
sion for the poor, in some
cases).
In short, the period from

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1948 to 1984 could be de-
scribed as an era in which
democracy and freedom
routed the forces of to-
talitarianism and excessive
control on the merits. Yet
there has been significent
growth of dictatorship and
setbacks for democracy dur-
ing these decades as well. If
the dictatorships are so un-
inspiring and their
economies so dinosaur-like,
why has the world sector of
dictatorship grown so dur-
ing this period?
When given a choice,
people have generally cho-
sen less control. But people
have not been given a choice
in many cases. In the
breakup of the old order, the
unleashing of expectations,
the creation of new elites,
inevitably some experimen-
tation and shifts in social
control are bound to hap-
pen.
By relentless expan-
sionist opportunism and by
unhesitating resort to force
when they could get away
with it, the Soviet Union
and its allies have extended
the area of dictatorship and
would-be totalitarianism
significantly. Once the turn
is made, they have used
force to prevent repeal or
correction.
The democratic and
Western side also has had
dictatorships in its camp
but such governments
have been repealable
also has had dictator-
ships in its camp but such
goveinments have been
repealable and correcti-
ble: Spain, Portugal,
Venezuela, Argentina,
India, Sri Lanka,
Rhodesia and the slower,
ongoing tempering of
control in Mexico,
Taiwan, Korea and even
(glacier-like) in South Af-
rica. The irreversibility
by use of force of dic-
tatorships which invite in

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the Russians is the
greatest threat of a future
1984.
A good deal of the blame
for the expansion of dic-
tatorship must be attrib-
uted to the foolishness,
naivete and self-
destructiveness of demo-
cratic public policy and
opinion in the West. Time
and time again, America
has helped out Russia in
times of difficulty or West-
ern banks have propped up
East European economies
in ways that saved their
governments from crisis.
Short-term political
needs for an atmosphere of
peace have led to major
political and economic con-
cessions that have extended
the sway of dictatorship.
And the relentless self-
criticism of the West has ob-
literated distinctions and
paralyzed action to check
the other side's excesses.
But for these recurrent
weaknesses, it would be "no
contest" in the competition
between freedom and to-
talitarianism. For this, the
left has a great deal to an-
swer for historically. This
growing recognition is lead-
ing to a rightward swing in
policy.
However, I fear that the
lack of modulation and
the continuing woolly-
headedness of the left
will lead to further
polarization and even re-
ckless behavior by the
right. We need an intelli-
gent policy debate as to
the fine tuning of power
and competition vis-a-vis
the other side not an
either/or of aggressive
saber-rattling versus un-
ilateral disarmament and
neutralism.
The West and the left in
particular must grow up
and become more realist if
we are to avoid nuclear
showdown — or arriving at
1984 in 2020.
There is even a particular
Jewish angle to all this.
Jews flourish — and are
safest — in pluralist democ-
racies, wherever there are
relative balances of power
politically and culturally.
Israel is endangered by re-
lentless delegitimation
sponsored by actual or
would be
totalitarians.
Their hatred for Israel
draws from the same in-
tolerance of non-uniformity
which leads them to mis-
treat Jews within their own
countries. If 1984 were to
come, Jews would be an
endangered species.
This is not a call for all the
Jews to switch to the right.
It is a plea that some do that
but that the majority of the
Jews who are still on the left
take the lead in establish-
ing the limits of govern-
ment intervention, promot-

-

I sincerely believe that
banking establishments are
more dangerous than stand-
ing armies, and that the
principal of spending money
to be paid by posterity,
under the name of funding,
is but swindling futurity on
a large scale.
—Jefferson

Mack Pitt

and his

ing greater self-help,,
stronger defense and anti-
Communism as foreign pol-
icy factors even as they up-
hold welfare and peace con-
cerns.
In 1984, "1984" remains a
threat to Jewish survival.

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