06 November 2011

Closet elitists

The conviction that shemitta could be made to work discloses a committment and a confidence in the grass roots. 
Those who say shemitta could never be made to work are at bottom conservatives who believe society can be run only by the economic, political and spiritual elites. A person's predisposition to believing shemitta could or could never be made to work is an unconscious litmus test of the extent to which someone believes in the genius of the common man rather than depending on the rule of the arista for the ordinary conduct of social life. 
If, out of hand, someone rejects the feasibility of shemitta, deep down inside they are elitists, no matter how much they protest a concern for social justice. 

1 comment:

  1. I would go further, I think, and claim that the arista meme is so deeply embedded becasue the forms of both agricultural and industrial civilization necessarily required the mass aggregation and hence mass disenfranchisement of the majority of the population. The model of mass agriculture fundamentally requires the conversion of human beings into machines on an assembly line. Hundreds of thousands of individuals are required to do repetitive tasks all of their lives in order to sustain the agricultural machine. The introduction of the non-human machine into this equation with industrialization in one sense eased this requirment of aggregation as it gave birth to the bourgeous class, however, it created an even worse problem than the slavery inherent in the agricultural system which is what we would term unemployment and total destitution. Implementing shemittah and yovel actually abrogates all the inherent prerogatives of the current system of civilization. Which is why I believe the shemittah and the yovel are fundamentally prophecies of a form of civilization which will be practiced in the future - one that does not rely on mass disenfranchisement for its operation and success. This form is neither agricultural nor is it industrial - it is, I believe, what will be termed by the historians of the future, the virtual.