On Social Democracy and the Kibbutz

On Social Democracy and the Kibbutz

Are we all condemned to choose between Margaret Thatcher and Leonid Brezhnev? Is there a path that is neither Social Darwinism nor ideocratic bureaucracy?

In some parts of the world, the third path seems to be the return to the kinds of religion that exhort their adherents to accept their material poverty and renounce the pleasures of this world (which is, after all, a “mere corridor”). Both socialism and capitalism are depicted by various disciples of sundry sects as manifestations of western decadence. These true believers reject the “hedonistic and materialistic miasma of the West,” and are contemptuous of the “world of modernity.” Positions like these are the most obvious common denominator among Islamic extremism, Russian Slavophilic mysticism, Jewish messianic nationalism and insularity, some forms of Christianity, and, perhaps, the fanatical fringes of the Green movements. (There are, of course, different religious forces as well: Catholic socialism, the liberation theology movement in Latin America, Jewish streams that exhibit social and moral sensitivity.)

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Lima