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“Globalization Needs Urgent Fixing” (Medium)

Medium published my new article “Globalization Needs Urgent Fixing

In an interview for CBS News on March 8, 2009, during the financial crisis that became known as the Great Recession, then Wachovia Corp. economist Mark Vitner said that untying the world’s entangled economies is “like trying to unscramble scrambled eggs. It just can’t be done that easily. ‎I don’t know if it can be done at all.” Since then, we have grown even more entangled. Nevertheless, the developing food crisis because of the Russia-Ukraine war, the semiconductor crisis and shipment delays because of the pandemic, and the increasing international tensions have brought back the question of deglobalization.

At the 2022 meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) that ended just last week, deglobalization was again a major topic. The Financial Times reported in one story that “The three-decade era of globalisation risks going into reverse according to company executives and investors,” and in another story, argued that “Technological progress suggests the turn from globalisation can bring benefits as well as challenges.”

I agree with Vitner’s observation that it is impossible to deglobalize the world economy. It cannot be done, not now, not ever, and in the future, it will be even more scrambled than today.

However, and this is why economists are toying with the idea of breaking the ties between the world’s economies, globalization is aggravating the world’s problems because it is based on such negative relationships that we should stop its progress and not continue until we organize it on a more positive basis for everyone involved.

Currently, we are relating to our economic relations the same as we are relating to all of our relationships: from an exploitative approach. Without realizing that the economy provides for our most basic needs, and should therefore not be treated as a means for abusing and trampling other people, the world economy will continue to slow down and food and gas shortages will escalate.

The paralysis will lead to famine in many countries and severe shortage of staples in many others. As a result, conflicts will become violent, wars will break out, and life will devolve to 19th century conditions. We cannot afford to mistreat each other when it comes to economic matters.

What is even more frustrating is that the shortages are not real; they are the outcomes of nations’ unwillingness to supply other countries with necessary products. If we change our attitude toward each other, we will discover that we already have an abundance of everything and there will be no shortages of any kind.

Thanks to globalization, small countries such as Singapore, Israel, some of the Arab states in the Persian Gulf, European countries with small populations, and small islands can all prosper despite their size. They import what they need, which is most everything, and export unique products or technologies, or rely on tourism. However, in the absence of extensive and constructive ties between countries and nations, such countries will not be able to provide for themselves, and they will simply disappear.

Notwithstanding, we will not be able to stop being dependent on each other. We may think we can, and this is why deglobalization was a topic of discussion at the WEF, but we will not be able to do so. One way or the other, we will have to improve our relationships and stop trying to belittle and put each other down. We will discover that even trying to do so, as is happening now, causes tremendous harm to everyone, including to ourselves.

There is no way to go through the shift without some level of pain. Pain is the only impetus for change. However, I hope that we will be clever enough to respond to it quickly so that the level of pain we must endure will not entail a third, nuclear world war.

The natural evolution of humanity has connected us, and nature does not reverse its track. Therefore, all we can do is try to move forward pleasantly and not painfully.

If we dedicate efforts to teaching ourselves about our interdependence and the necessity to collaborate positively, we can reverse the negative trajectory and the threat of war. Instead, we will advance with globalization peacefully, in a way that benefits everyone, and truly provides for all our needs.

“The truth about the Jerusalem Flag March” (Times of Israel)

Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “The truth about the Jerusalem Flag March

The Jerusalem Flag March that Israel holds every year on Jerusalem Day took place this week. As is the case almost every year, there were heated debates over the course of the march, should it go through certain parts of Jerusalem that were more politically sensitive and so forth. The Israeli government insisted that the march will follow the original plan as a sign of patriotic resilience against political pressure from the far left and from Palestinian leaders and their supporters in Israel. However, the route of the march is the least important point in this debate. The insistence on the route is nothing but a smokescreen for the fact that the country is losing territory to the Palestinians in the south, in the north, and basically everywhere. Because we do not know why we are here, we have no strength to insist on our presence and fight for it.

The pressure from the Palestinians and from the world has placed us in a position where we feel we must apologize for being here. If this is the case, then it is only a matter of time before Israel loses its Jewish majority. If we wave the Israeli flag without knowing what Israel means, then it is nothing but a political gesture.

Israel’s strength will never come from superficial gestures. Nor will it come from military strength. Israel’s power depends on the strength of its spirit. If we know what is our duty and insist on carrying it out, nothing will defeat us. In fact, no one will fight against us, and everyone, and first and foremost the Palestinians, will support us.

The root of Israel is the union our ancestors had achieved at the foot of Mt. Sinai, where they bonded “as one man with one heart.” The people of Israel contain within them descendants from all the nations of the world. When we first became a nation, those descendants decided to transcend their different backgrounds, clashing cultures, and countless beliefs, and place unity above all other tenets and values.

The Babylonian Talmud (Shabbat 88) writes that God “forced the mountain on [the people of Israel] like a vault” and said that if we accept the law of loving others as ourselves, very well. “But if you do not,” He warned, “there will it be your burial.” Once we agreed and became the most unlikely nation in the history of humanity, whose basis was the idea of unity above division and hatred, He ordained us to be a model of unity so that humanity could heal from its ills, or as Prophet Isaiah (42:6-7) described it: I will appoint you as … a light to the nations, to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the dungeon, and those who dwell in darkness from the prison.”

Because unity is the root of our nation, and it is our duty to be a model of unity, our national goal should be to mend the divisions among us so as to help the entire world unite above the countless divisions that are spreading like a brush fire these days. Only when we stop fighting ‎against each other and begin to restore the unity that our ancestors had once possessed will the world stop fighting and the nations will make peace with one another. Until then, nations will continue to blame us for their woes and accuse us of warmongering.

This is why it is imperative that we understand our duty and insist on carrying it out. This is also why if we do so, nothing will defeat us, as I wrote above, and no one will fight against us. On the contrary, the entire world will support us, and first and foremost our neighbors, the Palestinians.

“Beyond Gun Laws” (Medium)

Medium published my new article “Beyond Gun Laws

U.S. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden pay their respects at a memorial at Robb Elementary School, where a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers in the deadliest U.S. school shooting in nearly a decade, in Uvalde, Texas, U.S. May 29, 2022. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

The carnage at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, reignited the debate around gun laws and the Second Amendment, especially since it came only ten days after another mass shooting at a Tops Friendly supermarket in Buffalo, New York. There is no question that not every person should be permitted to own a gun and background checks are necessary. However, there is also no question that stricter laws alone will not improve the situation. It is time to look beyond gun laws, to accept that there is an educational problem here, and without education for acceptance and solidarity, nothing will change for the better.

The issue of gun violence is a testimony to the alienation and division in American society. Certain communities have always bore the brunt of higher death rates in the United States. Michelle R. Smith wrote on Associated Press that according to Sociology Professor Elizabeth Wrigley-Field at the University of Minnesota, who studies mortality, there are profound racial and class inequalities in the United States, and our tolerance of death is partly based on who is at risk. “Some people’s deaths matter a lot more than others,” she lamented. Because gun violence stresses not only the alienation, but also the division in American society, it is crucial to nurture empathy and solidarity.

As tragic as they are, mass shootings are not America’s worst problem when it comes to gun violence. The number of gun related fatalities reveals the depth of the crisis. A Pew Research Center article published February 3, this year, reveals that “On a per capita basis, there were 13.6 gun deaths per 100,000 people in 2020 — the highest rate since the mid-1990s.” This is more than twice as many as the closest western country on the list of gun deaths per 100,000 people.

To understand how to improve the situation, we need to understand what is wrong with the current educational paradigm. Currently, Americans are taught to follow a simple law: Let yours be yours and let mine be mine. In other words, they are taught not only not to care about each other, but even not to see each other. This attitude is called “sodomite rule” since this was the governing law in the Biblical city of Sodom, and that was exactly the reason for its ill-fated end.

To create a viable society that can keep its members happy and safe, the social element of society must be vital and dominant. If each person is left to fend for himself or herself, it will disintegrate the society. This is what the current dominant paradigm is telling us: “You are on your own!”

Everyone has fits of anger; it is only natural. What normal person did not want to kill his or her partner, or neighbor, or boss, or the president, at some point in our lives? It is a natural emotion that comes with intense frustration that we all feel sometimes.

But who carries it out? Only those who feel no empathy for others. A society that nurtures the thought that we are on our own creates no inhibitions in people’s minds. Since we are on our own and must fend for ourselves, why should we not eliminate anyone whom we regard as a threat?

The only way to prevent the senseless deaths from continuing, therefore, is to nurture empathy and solidarity. Nothing is more needed for American society today.

Speaking of nurturing empathy, one of the key reasons that Americans have so little of it is the media. Look at what they show. From infancy to adulthood, they expose people to immense amounts of violence. By doing so, they educate them to become violent. If America wants to change itself, it must change its education in all its aspects, not only in schools, but mainly in the media, including social media and all forms of mass communication. As long as people are ill-educated, no penalties will help.

Currently, no one is thinking, much less acting in this direction. The president and other politicians say a few words expressing shock and dismay, probably according to what they are dictated by advisors, and then what? Do they do anything? Does anyone do anything? No one does anything. Until action is taken to change American culture from alienation to empathy and from division to solidarity, it will keep mourning the loss of loved ones due to gun violence.

“When Robots Take Our Jobs” (Medium)

Medium published my new article “When Robots Take Our Jobs

What will we do when robots take over our jobs? In many areas of the labor market, this is already the case. From cashiers to lawyers, computerized machines are replacing humans at an alarming rate that is only accelerating. It will not be long before robots take over agricultural works, delivery jobs, the majority of production jobs, and hotel workers. Machines will also replace bank tellers, call-center personnel, in addition to many other jobs that have already been largely automated.

However, there is one area where more and more people will be required and computers will never take their place: education. By education, I am not referring to learning. Machines can teach everything from math to history. However, machines cannot educate us in the deeper sense of the word. Machines cannot turn a child into a confident and socially positive adult. This is something that falls exclusively within the purview of educators.

In today’s world, everything is connected. It is not only the internet that connects us. Every product on the planet is produced in multiple countries; the food we eat is grown and manufactured in multiple countries; the energy we use for heating, cooking, and driving is produced or pumped out in different countries from the ones where it is primarily used. Were it not for our connections with each other, on every level, from the most personal to the international, we would not survive.

However, while we have become totally connected and dependent on each other, we have also become intensely hostile toward each other. The recent mass shootings in the US and the war between Russia and Ukraine are conspicuous examples of the enmity that people and nations feel toward each other. However, it is not only on the impersonal level, but also among siblings, spouses, friends, and coworkers. Mistrust is everywhere, and where there is no trust, there cannot be strong communities or happy families. Where there are no strong communities or happy families, there are no happy people. As a result, the entire society is crumbling, and no technology can stop that.

Since computers cannot teach people to trust each other or care for one another, the most required job in the future will be that of educators: people who teach other people to become caring individuals, who strive to maintain a society based on mutual responsibility rather than isolation and suspicion.

Such a society will not be less vital or energetic than today’s hyper-competitive society. However, people will not compete to defeat one another, but to be the ones who contribute the most to the union and connection among people.

There will still be accolades and honor, but they will not be given to those whose selfish acts trample everyone else on their way, but to those who empower others through their work. Individual achievements will not only multiply, but society will encourage them since they will advance the entire society, and not come at anyone’s expense. In such a society people will feel that they can realize their dreams and be who they want to be, and at the same time remain a part of a vibrant and supportive society.

Education toward such a society requires sensitivity and understanding of human nature. As more and more people embrace this new mindset, there will be more and more educators of this kind, who will reverse the alienation that dominates our relationships today, and help create a caring and inclusive society.

“Where will love take you? To what extent will it influence people?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Where will love take you? To what extent will it influence people?

If you start loving and caring about everyone and everything in nature—the still, vegetative, animate and human—according to the law of love, then you will see the immense influence it will have.

First, you will receive great satisfaction through everyone and everything in nature through your loving attitude toward them. You will start feeling reality through them as your and their mutual inclusion. You then integrate with the world and discover the force acting throughout the world. You start acknowledging the force that develops, evolves and enlivens nature. This is how all created beings exist. You thus start identifying with the force that controls nature.

Why is it that a loving attitude toward the still, vegetative, animate and human levels of nature, to everything and everyone around me, can reveal the force that controls nature?

It is because this force exists in everyone and everything, only you do not exist in the same values in order to reveal and feel it. Therefore, it is hidden. You hide it because of your disparity in qualities: you have hatred within yourself, and nature is absolute love.

Love toward everyone is life’s peak. Achieving it lets us feel the perfect and eternal reality, and you also become perfect and eternal.

Based on the video “Where Will Love Take You?” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman and Oren Levi. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

United Culture—Mutual Love

509There is no redemption of the body without redemption of the soul. As long as the majority of the people are captive in the foreign cultures of the nations and are incapable of Israel’s religion and culture, the bodies, too, will be captive under the alien forces (Baal HaSulam, “A Speech for the Completion of The Zohar“).

Question: What does in captivity of foreign cultures mean? After all, it is good that everyone came to Israel with their own culture; it enriches the people.

Answer: But we must rise above all cultures into our culture, which is called mutual love, mutual connection. If we rise to this, then we can really move forward to the likeness of the Creator. This is the task of our development.

Question: Do you think that until now the people who live here are each in their own culture?

Answer: Even without any culture, but not in one.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 4/26/22

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Blows to Egoism

37Question: Is there any connection between the ten Egyptian plagues, the ten Sefirot and the Ten Commandments?

Answer: Yes. Everything is divided into tens.

Question: Why were there exactly ten plagues?

Answer: Because this is an absolutely complete impact, good or bad, of one on the other: the Creator on the creation, the creations on the Creator, and them among themselves.

Question: Are we talking about my desires that must receive ten portions of blows in order to get out of the egoistic intention?

Answer: Yes, at each of the degrees, in every desire, there must be a revelation of egoism. This is called the revelation of evil. Only then does a person come to the decision to rise above his ego.

In other words, my soul, my core desire, consists of ten Sefirot. And since they are all with an egoistic intention, each of them must receive a blow in order to get rid of the ego.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 5/10/22

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How to Know the Truth

228Question: A person has standards of perception, initial attitudes. Through development, he must somehow change them. One can tune in to a certain picture of the world and by working hard can change it in accordance with the purpose of his own development.

What are the tools that change the picture of the world in accordance with the ultimate goal?

Answer: There is only one way to see the world in a different way—rapprochement with each other. Distancing from each other will not give us the realization that we are delving into the world more. Rapprochement with each other will lead to the fact that a lot of forces of resistance to this will arise in us.

And at the junction between our efforts to get closer and the forces of nature to separate us, we will begin to feel the revelation of nature, the revelation of ourselves. There we will see a  human.

It will be a radically different perception of reality—the correct, true revelation of egoism. If we begin to strive for rapprochement with each other and feel how nature repels us from each other, but we still insist on rapprochement and nature insists on our distance, then at the junction of these two opposing forces we will discover the truth.
From KabTV’s “Kabbalah Express” 4/29/22

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How The Influence Of The Creator Occurs

544Question: The Creator is the force that created us, that affects each of us through the ten or even through all of humanity. Does it mean that there is no direct influence on an individual, although everyone feels it personally?

Answer: One person as such does not exist. He always has a connection with the Creator, and the Creator has a connection with him through the ten.

Even if something happens to us, it still goes through the entire system. The Creator has no connection and no relationship with each person at all, only through the system in which he exists.

It is like we consist of billions of cells, and there is no point in one cell.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 5/10/22

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