The bad breakouts of anti-Semitism around the world since October 7 is a terrifying warning of the storms to come—if we don’t get our act together.
Not since the 1930s, during World War II, has there been as much open anti-Semitism as there was after the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel. What is particularly shocking is its unprecedented outbreak in the United States and the timid, uncertain response of so many of our academic and political establishments. These attacks offend the core American values that have made this country so unique and successful. There is growing concern that our very institutional foundations are rotting.
People feel that things are unfolding here and abroad.
We haven’t experienced such a dangerous shift since the Great Depression and disillusionment with the devastating First World War undermined faith in Enlightenment principles of basic individual rights and freedom and the rule of law over arbitrary government action. The belief that the human condition would continue to improve and become less violent, and that increasing trade would gradually make war obsolete, was shattered.
In the mid-1930s, millions saw the totalitarian ideologies of Communism, Nazism, and Fascism as the waves of the future. Dictatorship overtook democracy. Then—as is the case today—too many leaders had lost their nerve and were misleading, unable to understand things.
When things are so dangerously adrift, anxious people look for scapegoats, and anti-Semitism is often the result.
Economically, the world today is in tatters and people fear that the future prospects are not good.
Indeed, most government leaders and economic influencers do not understand what allows an economy to grow: stable currencies with stable values, low tax rates, minimal regulation, and—a new category—a respect for facts and real science. Lack of respect for facts and real science is how we witness the astonishing spectacle of the most advanced economies wasting trillions of dollars and causing enormous damage to themselves by trying to drive fossil fuels into obsolescence with windmills and solar panels. Worse is the constant drumbeat that the world is headed for a horrific environmental disaster if we don’t get off fossil fuels.
The truth is, there are practical ways to deal with the environmental challenges we face, just as we have for decades. Progress is seriously hindered by this apocalyptic hysteria.
Real free markets work, always. But most countries today follow counterproductive policies. One particular obstacle is that leaders do not realize that sound money is a necessity for sustained, positive economic growth. You never hear politicians and central bankers talk about fixed currency values.
If President Biden’s misguided economic and environmental policies are not reversed, we – and the rest of the Free World – are doomed to low or no growth, with devastating consequences for our security.
Instead, a new global round of intense prosperity would ameliorate today’s poisonous atmosphere. It would also help challenge the nihilistic ideologies that are so pervasive in academia and elsewhere. Popular reactions to these toxic concepts are emerging and an enabling environment would see them flourish.
Of course, the best moments alone won’t right the global ship. But they are a vital condition.