Capitalism at the
By Moshe Feiglin
5 Cheshvan, 5773 (Oct. 20, '12)
the NRG website
There is a strong feeling in Israel that the State has
become wealthier but the people have become poorer. This is due to the fact
that the means for productivity are concentrated in the hands of a small
minority. The first and foremost means of productivity was and remains land.
Israel's economic leadership has conducted itself according to the best
criteria known to it: capitalism. This saved Israel from descent into the
depths of socialism that had previously brought us triple digit inflation
and has toppled the economies of Europe right before our eyes.
There is no such thing as a socialist economy. Economy means creativity,
productivity, creation and life; emulating the Creator. Socialism is a
euphemism for robbery and self-righteous theft – perpetrated by the law.
Creation and robbery go together like life and death. There is not and
cannot be a socialist economy.
On the other hand, we are currently at the dangerous tipping point of the
type of capitalism that does not enjoy the faith-based framework of charity
and kindness. Jewish philosopher Shabtai Ben Dov predicted this tipping
point fifty years ago, explaining exactly what happened to us until and
during the recent crisis:
"Under certain circumstances, individualistic, divisive capitalism is the
best method to achieve prosperity for society as a whole. But it is a method
that protects itself from itself. After a short period of flourishing and
prosperity, when the divisiveness and competition at capitalism's foundation
begin to take their toll, the weaker, less competitive sectors of society
realize that the economic power accumulated in the hands of the stronger
sectors prevents them from successfully competing, condemning them to
eternal inferiority. The superiority of the successful sectors no longer
stems from the important social role that they fill, but rather from the
very fact that they control the economic power that they have accumulated. "
In other words: The weaker sectors of society realize that they are being
taken advantage of and that in order to attain economic superiority they do
not have to fill a more vital social role. Rather, it is enough to
artificially take control of the existing economic power.
Shabtai Ben Dov continues: "When the capitalistic society reaches this
stage, the competition is no longer productive and no longer develops
society. It turns into competition over reaping the rewards of past
achievements. It becomes a rebellious competition that destroys society and
wastes its energy for naught. It forces the controlling strata of society to
artificially inflate the market that impoverishes ever-increasing numbers of
The concentration of wealth in the hands of a few families in Israel, the
salary gaps that are among the highest in the Western world, the inevitable
crisis and the economic reaction that tries to "save the economy", but
really just keeps repeating the same mistakes – were all precisely predicted
by Shabtai Ben Dov.
Is the solution a return to socialism? Not at all. Shabtai Ben Dov has much
worse things to say about that method.
If so, what is the economic regime appropriate to Israel?
The answer is the Jubilee Economy. First and foremost, allocation of the
national land reserves to the people of Israel. Israel's Land Authority
currently controls 93% of the land reserves marked for building in Israel.
The even more amazing fact is that more than half the land that is marketed
for construction does not come from the Land Authority, but rather from the
remaining seven percent of private land. The result is a sharp increase in
the price of land and housing that drags the other consumer indexes after
The Torah instructs us to be a fee people, insisting that the Land of Israel
should also belong to each individual personally – not just nationally. The
Land of Israel belongs to the Nation of Israel first and only after that to
the State of Israel. Israel must return the fundamental means of
productivity – land – to its rightful owners. The first step toward a
healthier economy is to close the Israel Land Authority and to allocate land
by lottery to every Jewish family in the Land of Israel.
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