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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 20, 2007 / 8 Tishrei 5768

Who Will Say ‘I Promise to Lay Off’?

By Paul Johnson


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Throughout history writers have drawn attention to the admirable way in which creatures like ants and bees organize their communities. Their cooperation, common spirit and lack of egoism are seen as keys to their success. In the West the founders of the Cooperative Movement and early socialists drew inspiration from the bees and their hives. Ants were less commonly chosen as models by these ideologues (most of whom were pacifists), because ants were seen as warriors as well as workers. But Lenin praised them, the "worker ant" being one of his terms of approval.


In designing their utopian societies, however, these idealists omitted to ask themselves an important question: Where had the tremendous instinct for cooperation that animated the bees' hive and the ants' nest actually gotten the creatures that live in them? Nests and hives have existed for tens, perhaps hundreds, of millions of years--and are still the Original Model. Nothing has changed since Aristotle analyzed the activities of ants and Virgil wrote so charmingly of bees. But in the meantime mankind has multiplied, lives three times as long, is bigger and healthier, has turned the luxuries of the rich into the ordinary necessities of the poor, has conquered the planet and is now reaching for the stars.


A Crucial Difference


What is the difference that makes ants and bees engage in endless repetition, remaining static, while humanity relentlessly changes and advances? The difference is summed up in one quality that the culture of the hive and the nest so conspicuously and necessarily lacks: individualism. There is no such creature as an individualist bee or ant. They are not identical; each has a life to live and lose. But none thinks for itself. All accept the burdens and conformity, the monotony and changelessness of communal society. In this instinctual acceptance lies the secret to their successful survival, as well as their failure to advance.


Now, human beings have never mindlessly accepted society as they find it or the methods of doing things as handed down by their forebears. The earliest of archeological traces reveal novelty, be it only in the chipping out of a flint tool or the assembly of a crude necklace of pebbles.


Human beings can often work well in teams, but they are at their most creative alone. That is how Archimedes discovered how a lever works. Copernicus was not part of a university team. Galileo worked out the relationship between the Earth and the Sun on his own. Newton, Darwin and Einstein were men accustomed to long hours engaged in solitary thought, the reclusive examination of specimens or the hermitlike working out of long pages of equations. Only a few hundred yards from where I write this, Sir Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin, the key step in the advent of the antibiotic drugs that have prolonged countless lives. At that crucial time Fleming didn't even have a lab assistant.


Most of the industrial pioneers operated by themselves during the most fruitful periods of their careers. This was true even of Thomas Edison, who later became famous for creating a workshop culture in which clever individuals worked together on inventions. But I stress the word "individual," for that is what they remained. As the long list of Nobel Prize winners testifies, the essence of discovery lies in the skill with which men and women find partners for mutual encouragement and critical support while still giving their individual inventiveness full rein.


In material terms individuality is the most precious of all human characteristics. When it is forcibly restrained, as it was in Stalin's Russia or Mao's China, or systematically discouraged, as it was in the India dominated by Nehru's Congress Party, living standards remain low and stagnant. The unleashing of the individual to create and run independent businesses in today's China has demonstrated how quickly such freedom can improve the way in which hundreds of millions of people live. Whenever human beings are permitted to pursue their own ideas and exercise their ingenuity without being bullied into conformity by authority, the results are always surprising and often sensational.


A Critical Choice


The U.S. is approaching a presidential election, with candidates laying out their platforms and policies. Who will speak for the individual or think in terms of what the individual wants from government? That is what interests me. For, just as the U.S. was created by individuals exercising their uniqueness under the rule of law, so the continuance of its prosperity and its power to uphold right in a dangerous world will depend upon whether individualism flourishes or not.


Creative spirits do not need favoritism. They instinctively recoil from special treatment. They can prosper without subsidies or tax relief. All they ask for is the huge, echoing silence of government inactivity. They long for a pristine world in which laws and lawyers do not trip them at every step, where they can work quietly, industriously and productively by themselves. I believe such creative individuals are more numerous than ever and that the opportunities for them to enrich themselves and improve life for all are greater now than at any other time. They ask only for a candidate and future President who will use five vital words: "I promise to lay off."

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Previously:

07/24/07: Greed is safer than power-seeking
04/02/07: Benefactors must be hardheaded
03/07/07: American idealism and realpolitik
11/28/06: Space: Our ticket to survival
10/24/06: Envy is bad economics
10/11/06: Better to Borrow or Lend? Rethinking conventional wisdom
08/22/06: Don't practice legal terrorism
08/08/06: A summer rhapsody for a pedal-bike
08/03/06: Why is there no workable philosophy of music?
07/11/06: Historically speaking, energy crisis is America's opportunity
07/06/06: The misleading dimensions of persons and lives
06/06/06: First editions are not gold
05/23/06: A downright ugly man need never despair of attracting women, even pretty ones
04/25/06: Was Washington right about political parties?
04/12/06: Let's Have More Babies!
04/05/06: For the love of trains
03/29/06: Lincoln and the Compensation Culture
03/22/06: Bottle-beauties and the globalised blond beast
03/15/06: Europe's utopian hangover
03/08/06: Kindly write on only one side of the paper
02/28/06: Creators versus critics
02/21/06: The Rhino Principle

© 2006, Paul Johnson

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