Jewish – and Civilizational – Mojo

 

Jews in the 20th century were dynamos. Jews were major players in Hollywood, in the worlds of finance and law, hard sciences and soft.  Jews were hard working, risk-taking, and deeply ambitious. Indeed, in the ruins of the Holocaust was born three generations of hungry, hard-driving people, people who helped make every country they lived in far richer and more successful. (I often offer that the countries that, it is suggested, are “run by the Jews” are far better off than those without Jews.) And indeed, Jews sought to understand what Judaism is – there was a mass movement from the 1970s through the 1990s of Jews “returning,” of finding meaning and purpose in the core of the religion.

But over the past 2-3 decades, all of that has been in decline. Schools that used to send the majority of their graduating classes to the finest institutions, now send a handful, at best. The societal boredom and ennui that has led to the current navel-gazing idiocy has also infected the Jews of America (and even Israel), leading to a lot more hedonistic narcissism, and a lot less purpose and meaning.

Indeed, the collapse in birthrates around the world echoes this same theme. Countries, cultures and civilizations are giving up for nothing more or less significant than boredom. Why bother investing in children? Nobody is starving any more, so hunger is not the enemy. The ideological wars that exist are out of sight, out of mind, so “the other guy” is not the enemy. People perceive no grand historical plan to sign up for, no great cause or noble endeavour. We are reduced to looking for fun – but ultimately empty – ways to pass the time before we die. Peace, for better or worse, leads to a massive slow-motion civilizational implosion.

But this war will, I believe, save the Jews. I am seeing it in my own children – since October 7, they are attacking life with ambition and hunger. Knowing that people want them dead is giving them the same mojo that the post-Holocaust generation had. I believe that this war has an incredibly important silver lining. I have seen Jews start to wake up, start to wonder whether their lives are really being lived to their fullest potential. Similarly, many Jews are reconnecting to the religion itself, trying to ground themselves in the 4,000 year history of our people, trying to understand the bigger picture in which we find ourselves merely the newest link in the chain.

There is a silver lining to conflict, to having enemies. I believe this will lead to a resurgence in Jewish ambition and achievement, a renaissance for our people.

What would it take to achieve the same results for the rest of the civilized world?

Published in General
This post was promoted to the Main Feed at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 7 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Postmodern Hoplite Coolidge
    Postmodern Hoplite
    @PostmodernHoplite

    Thanks, @iwe: concise and to-the-point. I recommend this for promotion to the Main Feed.

    Your observation regarding the unintended benefits of overcoming adversity reminds me of a similar principle found in Biology: all living systems require stress to grow, develop, and mature. So, too, with nations. 

    • #1
  2. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    Postmodern Hoplite (View Comment):

    Thanks, @ iwe: concise and to-the-point. I recommend this for promotion to the Main Feed.

    Your observation regarding the unintended benefits of overcoming adversity reminds me of a similar principle found in Biology: all living systems require stress to grow, develop, and mature. So, too, with nations.

    I believe one consequence of the ennui you correctly identify is the climate movement.    They need a dragon to slay.   So they’ve created one.

    • #2
  3. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Ekosj (View Comment):
    I believe one consequence of the ennui you correctly identify is the climate movement.

    Pagan gods demand human sacrifice, while still offering no larger or more meaningful vision. 

    • #3
  4. She Member
    She
    @She

    iWe: But this war will, I believe, save the Jews. I am seeing it in my own children – since October 7, they are attacking life with ambition and hunger. Knowing that people want them dead is giving them the same mojo that the post-Holocaust generation had. I believe that this war has an incredibly important silver lining. I have seen Jews start to wake up, start to wonder whether their lives are really being lived to their fullest potential. Similarly, many Jews are reconnecting to the religion itself, trying to ground themselves in the 4,000 year history of our people, trying to understand the bigger picture in which we find ourselves merely the newest link in the chain.

    The contemplation of an actual, imminent, existential threat does tend, as Dr. Johnson remarked, to “concentrate [the] mind wonderfully.”

    It doesn’t work quite so well when privileged, narcissistic, clueless, and aimless generations seeking purpose and a reason for their lives of pointless vacuity, desperately try to invent such a threat where it doesn’t exist.

    • #4
  5. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    She (View Comment):
    The contemplation of an actual, imminent, existential threat does tend, as Dr. Johnson remarked, to “concentrate [the] mind wonderfully.”

    Yes. Having a gun pointed at you is incredibly clarifying.

    • #5
  6. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    iWe: (I often offer that the countries that, it is suggested, are “run by the Jews” are far better off than those without Jews.)

    Nobody talks about this, but the president of Haiti in the 1930s wanted to import, I think, 40,000 Jews. FDR shut it down, because, well, I don’t know. OK, Probably, I actually do. Anyway, wouldn’t it be nice to have at least one decent country south of the border beyond Panama, Costa Rica, and the Cayman Islands? Can you imagine?

    • #6
  7. Old Bathos Member
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Acceptance and assimilation proved to be innervating.  Wm. Buckley in his long piece on Antisemitism took on the trope that “Jews took over Hollywood” by pointing out that (a) Jewish Americans invented Hollywood in part because back in NY, Thomas Edison was trying to monopolize the movie business and especially did not want Jews involved and (b) when Hollywood consisted of personal fiefdoms owned by guys named Goldwyn, Warner or Mayer, the output was intensely pro-American, deeply respectful of all ethnicities and Christian clergy and communities.

    Hollywood started cranking out garbage (a) when the studios became soulless corporations and (b) a generation of secularized  Jews merged into the lefty blob and adopted those values.

    I don’t know if older liberal Jews will ever stop equating American conservatism with Old World blood and soil nationalism that was inherently anti-semitic. Jewish college kids kicked out of all leftist organizations may be a long-term blessing.  The lure of internationalist Marxism as the only defense against antisemitic nationalistic impulses may finally dissipate. 

    • #7
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.