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The End of the Age of Politics

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and David Bitan on Titanic
איור: עמוס בידרמןCredit: Amos Biderman

Beyond all the learned analyses about the state of the government, and the incessant tossing out of possible dates for a fourth election, and all the endless chatter that in itself may be the biggest spin of all the spin that surrounds us; besides all that, though it has already been written here again and again over a very long span of time, it must be written once more: The current ultimately derives not from a particular person or interest group, but rather from the end of the age of politics.

The end of the old sociopolitical order that arose out of the Industrial Revolution and as a response to it, which put the nation-state at the center of human existence. This order that today – and since the start of the technology revolution – is crumbling before our eyes.

Make no mistake: The political situation is not the cause for the end of the age of politics. Just like other political situations in the world, or like the helplessness of central banks, or the public’s deep lack of trust throughout the world, this is just an expression of the end of the age, of the disintegration.

Corrupt people and interest groups are exploiting this sorry state of affairs – which persists mainly by virtue of the power of power and of inertia – in order to squeeze as much as they can from it. To hell with whatever comes next.

Too many people and forces in Israeli public life still insist on treating politics’ splayed corpse as a living thing, as something that can be repaired. Don’t you smell the stench? Don’t you feel the cold? Don’t you see how no one in his right mind pins his hopes there anymore? It’s like those who see water flooding a ship and see the ship sinking yet still point to the mast as proof that there is still hope, if they could only change the captain.

Yes it’s true, right now there are no lifeboats to jump into. Until the dead plant is uprooted, you can’t make new things grow. That’s how it is. Self-cannibalism is a basic prerequisite for the growth of a new story. As long as the fight for our liberty goes no further than a superficial bandage here or there, it will necessarily fail.

The public at large will be fairly indifferent to it just as it has been indifferent to the glaring absence of , or to the most overpacked government the country has ever had and right in the midst of the , a government that supposedly came into begin in order to combat the coronavirus but is solely consumed with itself. No one would display even a fraction of this indifference if this were about his own business or someone close to him.

It’s important to understand that the government today is just a symptom or expression of the entire situation. Just as the hollow opposition is a symptom. And the lack of ideology all around is a symptom. In the end, all share the same interest: preserving their power.

It’s enough to look at the emerging administration of Joe Biden to see that this order is stuck in place, and not just here. Yes, Joe Biden, who suddenly became a symbol of hope, is bringing in the same faces and voices and ideas that we’ve already heard endlessly. Those that brought upon America and the world. As if the world hasn’t already been turned upside down enough, even without the coronavirus.

Biden is also just an example. The basic thing to understand is that when the world changes in an essential way, the order that purports to make sense of it will also necessarily change, in every area of life, in the economy and society.

This is the fundamental principle by which to think about the situation as it is today. Yes, one can look away, one can get lost in the empty political gossip with which we are constantly deluged, one can think that things will always be the same no matter what, that the ship isn’t really sinking, that someone will yet invent a time machine that will turn back everything.

But it’s not going to happen. And until we fully and truly realize that the old story is over; until we develop the ability to honestly observe the reality in our lives and not to shy away from the cold and frightening uncertainty, nothing new will grow and the degeneration will keep getting worse. Election after election after election. Wake up.

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