Sunday, January 5, 2014

Tel Aviv Dialogs




I.. Day Of Atonement

Note: a nationality has many qualities, good and bad, as individuals do. When the characters in this story talk about their nationality it is some qualities of the individual responding to some qualities of the nationality. It is far from the whole picture. With that said....

"What is anti-Semitism? Hating Jews more than they deserve." (Chief Medical Officer, Public Health Service, State Of Israel)

7 a.m.
Day Of Atonement.
Motorized transport forbidden
Corner of Dizengof and Frishman Streets, Tel Aviv

- Do you know where I can buy cigarettes?
- Everywhere's closed. Have you tried the hotels on the beach?
- No. Where are they?
- You're not from Tel Aviv?
- No. From a small city. Not too far away.
- I'll walk with  you if you like. I'm not going anywhere.
- I'd like that. Where are you from?
- Los Angeles.
- Nice. What are you doing in Israel?
- Israel is paying me to stay here for six months then leave.
- You're working for the government?
- Not exactly. How old are you, by the way?
- 16.
- What are you doing in Tel Aviv?
- I came here with friends.
- Where are your friends?
- At the room.
- What are they doing now?
- They're sleeping.
- What have you been doing in Tel Aviv?
- Drinking. Doing other things.
- Drugs.
- Yes.
- Why?
- It's good.
- Why is it good?
- It relaxes me.
- Why do you need to be relaxed? You're 16. You're supposed to love excitement.
- I have too much excitement at home.
- What's so exciting?
- You don't want to know.
- I do. I have all this day where everything is closed to listen. I have all my life to listen. I'm not doing anything important.
- I thought you said you're working for the government.
- In a way. What's so exciting at home?
- My mother is a cocaine addict and my father rapes me all the time.
- If you didn't have such a fresh face and were not obviously in perfect health and sane I wouldn't believe you. You speak about terrible things so casually.
- It's been going on a long time.
- But you have been to the police?
- They say they have more important things to worry about.
- They don't believe you?
- They do. They don't care.


8:30. Beach Promenade 


- This place is really something. Unbelievable, right?
- It is. We've been looking for cigarettes for an half hour, finally found the machine over there by the restaurant.  Do you have change for a hundred?
- I've been looking for cigarettes too. What do you need?
- Three shekels more.
- Here.
- Thanks. You're from Scotland?
- You can tell?
- Sure. What are you doing in Israel?
- Getting angry.
- Me too!
- What are you angry about?
-You tell me first.
- The people here.
- What's wrong with them?
- They're sick.
- You're about 70? Israel brought you here as a Jewish immigrant, said to you, "Here's a few hundred dollars, the market determines that with that money you will be able to sleep on the beach and buy cheap food and cigarettes.  The history of the Jews compels us to invite you here, but the market is our true love. Thanks for coming, thanks for making a public display of our indifference to human life and of our obsessive greed. Enjoy Israel."
- You're funny.
- What are you going to do?
- Get cigarettes.
- See you later.


5:30 Hotel Entrance Steps. Near the beach.

- Hey! I know you.
- Who's your friend?
- A very interesting man. His family has been in Israel for hundreds of years. Sit down.
- O.K.
- What brings you to Israel?
- Like I told your friend at the beach this morning, Israel is paying me to come here and leave.
- And do what?
- That's all.
- I don't understand. Are you working?
- Are you? What is your profession.
- Software. But I do anything necessary to survive.  You know the economic situation.
- Yes. I'm interested in the subject. Are you a protester?
- Protest is useless.
- Why?
- The protests have gone on for years, nothing changes. My family built this country, made sacrifices. Fought wars, lived in tents before the city was built. I feel like it's all been for nothing. I'm thinking about the future. How I am going to live when there is no way to make money anymore.
- And you don't want to try to stop the government from destroying your country?
- The government doesn't listen. It doesn't have to listen.
- Have you thought about why?
- Why what?
- Why the government doesn't have to listen.
- The politicians do what they want.
- But there is a reason they get away with it.
- If you know, tell me.
- Alright. A few days ago I was at a cafe with a young book editor....
- Gentlemen, I am going now to the temple. We'll meet again.
- Bye. You were saying? You met an editor.  An Israeli?
- Yes.  And we were talking about why Iran wanted to make a nuclear bomb and what were the chances if they did of their using it against Israel.  He argued that if they wanted to kill Israelis they could even now explode a "dirty" bomb offshore.  They want to bomb as a symbol of power, not to use, which they know would be disastrous.
- What did you say?
- That the question is not what the government of Iran could be expected to think is reasonable.
- What is the question?
- Whether a terrorist, who did want to explode a nuclear bomb, could get the agreement of the government. To answer that question you need to know what kind of government it was and whether that kind was likely to resist or not.
- What kind of government did you say Iran was?
- How much time do you have?
- I'm going somewhere. Why?
- I can answer, but have to fill in some background first.
- I'll stay.
- The Israeli government doesn't listen to protest, the Iranian government might listen to terrorists. That's what we want to explain.  Who a government listens to.  Before I came to Israel, before I got married in Hungary, I used to travel from one European capital to another and buy and sell old watches to other dealers doing to same.  I met them at markets, watch shops, cafes.  What I learned early on was that the law of supply and demand didn't apply.  Prices were set by an automatic monopoly making process.
- I don't understand.
- Let's say you are a millionaire owner of a watch shop in Zurich. You have thousands of watches for sale. A middle aged woman walks in and carefully takes out from its cloth wrapping a gold wristwatch and sets it on the shop counter. It was her grandfather's, she explains, and she would like to sell it. How much is it worth? The shop down the street told her it was only worth was the gold in the case, which could be melted down.  Now the shop owner knows this is not true. He also knows no matter how many shops the woman visits, she is likely to hear the same thing. What does he do?
- He cheats her, of course.
- Of course he does.
- It's her fault: she could have sold it on the internet.
- She could have. So operating at the same time and same place there is both a free market system and monopoly market.  The monopoly market arises when there is a limited number of buyers and control of information.
- How?
- Let's go back to the watch shops in Zurich. Each shop keeper tells the unprofessional seller the same story because each shop keeper has gone into the business for the same reason: greed, love of profit. Each shares the same character.  The price monopoly depends entirely on this fact of people of the same character being attracted to particular professions.  In a large market, where anyone can buy and sell, monopoly doesn't arise.  But in any market with restricted access monopoly pricing is the rule, not the exception.   So-called free market supply and demand is the exception.
- Interesting.
- In fact there is nothing free about the free market. It begins with, is entirely dependent on strict prohibition against murder and theft, and ends, if spontaneous monopoly is not controlled, first with dispossession, then finally death of the majority of "free market" participants.  You study the Kabballa?
- Yes. How did you know?
- This is Israel, you're the type.
- What type?
- The passionate type. The type that is passionate about understanding more than anything else. Am I right?
- You are right.
- I'm not a Kabbalist...
- What are you?
- Just a talker: The garden of Eden. Genesis. Eve eats the apple from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
- Yes.
- If I were a Kabballist I might think there was something in the latest news: the creator and co-founder of Apple computers has applied for Australian citizenship. Everyone there can have broadband internet  connection, he says, but at his own house in California even he cannot because of monopoly control of business in the U.S.
- Is that true?
- Yes.
- Wow.
- Eve and Adam already have knowledge. They know how to live, what choices to make. What happens after eating the apple is that new choices arise that must be made without complete knowledge. There are better and worse choices, and we, living outside the garden, don't know how to choose. We are angry at the situation, and are ashamed of our anger, of our acting like animals. Have you read Plato?
- Yes.
- Good. In The Republic the Guardian class are described as being like dogs. They love those they know and hate those they don't.  They have passion, and a strong sense of class.  Like Adam and Eve after eating the apple, the dog-like guardians hate not knowing. The come together as a class spontaneously, a monopoly occupation based on similar character.  The formation of social class is a response to, is avoidance of rage, of anger at not knowing what to do, how to choose between untested possibilities.  Are you following?
- Yes. Are these your ideas?
- Mine, Plato's. Doesn't matter. Now, the question of the Israeli government not listening to protesters, the Iranian government possibly listening to terrorists.  We ask, how much are the governments structured like free-markets, how  much like a monopoly?
- I don't understand.
- How much are government decisions made reasonably, how much are they made by groups of people of like character associated into particular professions.
- Why does it make a difference?
- Because the human being, ashamed of his liability to rage, like a proud aristocrat places himself above passion by rooting himself is stable social arrangements, which themselves arise spontaneously by the coming together of people of like character.  Reason, reasoning play no part in this fear of rage and spontaneous monopoly.  The Israeli government doesn't listen to protesters because listening is not something monopolists do. The customer selling the watch is a subject, is subject to the operation of the monopoly. The complaint of the Israeli protesters is, according to the people in the government, only a  complaint of those not like themselves. The protesters' complaints are no more listened to than a dog stops to hear the arguments of the stranger at the gate. With Iran, the question of access of terrorist to the government is whether the various monopolies established there would decide using a bomb would protect them from fear of the unknown and strengthen their class. I asked the editor if he knew how to answer that question.
- So you think, not just politics, but the economic situation is going to get worse?
- And get better when people know better.
- They won't know better. And as you say, the government isn't listening.
- Do you know the painting, The Garden Of Earthly Delights by Bosch?
- Sure.
- It pretty much sums up what we've we talking about.  In Eden sexuality is open. There is no shame because there is no rage, no fear at not knowing what is good to do and what not. There is desire, which by definition is a lack, but satisfying that lack does not involve passion, passion in the meaning of one form of fear or another. If you watch babies smile, babies laugh, you will see they smile at what they know.  But this is totally unlike the dog's knowledge of its pack.  When a baby looks at adults acting as adults, acting as monopolists, he sees people who try to remake the world to suit the group they already know.  Who do not want to know more than that, so look at the baby only with regard to the baby's significance to their own monopoly participation. But a baby looks at things in the garden as objects to be played with, learned individually. When the baby looks at the adult he sees a blank. He can't see the past and future group relations which determine every sound and move the adult makes with the baby, The adult does not try to know the baby. The garden the children live in is wild, unknown in itself, but safe, is a playground, not a threat to the known. Children don't know their own character, don't look out for friends of like character, they are not monopolists, so the unkown objects in the playground world are not a threat to that character and are not fled. When the objects are known, they are smiled at in gratitude for letting themselves be known. Babies laugh when known things are hidden, they have begun to learn how playing makes something unfamiliar become familiar, have begun to rely on, have confidence in this knowledge.The monstrous creatures in Bosch's Garden are animal parts made to comprise the whole animal, a perfect symbol for the way single character types establish whole societies in flight from rage and fear.
- Fantastic stuff. I've got to go.


6:30. p.m. Fasting period concluded. A woman sits outside at the pizzaria down the street.

- You look like someone I should meet.
- Sit down.


9 a.m. The next day, outside the King George Street Post Office.


- What's your number? I see about 20 people inside, but my number is a hundred more than the one up now.
- I was just laughing about it with the guard.
- I think they are counting the people who died waiting, as a kind of memorial.
- It's a crazy country.
- It's really crazy. Look at the guard: a 20 year old girl with a pistol at her hip managing, very successfully, to look fashionable. Do you ever go to the beach?
- Everyone does.
- Then you've heard the deafening announcement over the public address system? Where the city has paid someone to say no one works there? "Ladies and Gentlemen, No lifeguard on duty.  Swimming forbidden." Which the swimmers ignore? But you don't want to know what I really think of the country. Do you? It's not good.
- You're not having a good time here?
- No. Are you?
- These last few years have been miserable.
- Good to hear! Tell me the story.
- You don't want to hear it.
- I do.
- What are you doing in Israel?
- My standard answer is the government has hired me to stay here 6 months then leave.
- To do what?
- Nothing.
- What do you mean?
- Tell me your story and I will tell you mine.
- Let's go have a coffee when we're finished.


9:30 Cafe. King George St.

- Your story.
- I have the world's worst husband. Next week after fighting 3 years I hope the divorce will be final.
- What did he do?
- He beat me. Many many times. I went to the hospital.
- You went to the police.
- Many Times.
- Why isn't he in jail then?
- I didn't want to deprive my children of their father. They want to see him.
- That's bad, but...
- There is more.
- I'm waiting. What is your husband's profession?
- Film producer.
- What did the film producer do to make him the world's worst husband?
- He installed a secret camera into our bathroom/spa, so he could record our children and their friends naked.
- Really?
- Really. I pulled the equipment out of the ceiling. I have the tape. He's a pedophile.
- I'll ask again: why isn't he in jail?
- Exposing their father will ruin the lives of my children.
- Why? It would be in the news for a day, then forgotten.
- No. You don't know Israel.  It's a small place. Everyone knows everyone.
- I don't know anyone.
- Why are you here?
- As I said, the government is paying me to stay here for six months and then leave. They like the idea of American Jews being here, so they pay, but they like the idea of increasing the economic potential of the Jewish People more, so they want me to leave.
- They think you will cost the state money in benefits.
- Yes.
- What do you do?
- Talk. Write stories no one reads.
- You don't make money.
- No. The Israeli government told me I wouldn't make money here, and asked me to promise to leave.
- You can work here. You can clean. I can get you the job.
- Everyone tells me that.
- What do you say? You won't do it. You're too proud.
- In the last day alone I've met a 70 year old woman Israel brought here as an immigrant, with Israel then telling her she has go wandering around with no place to live because the marketplace determines that is how it should be, I've met a 16 year old girl who is raped repeatedly by her father and nothing happens, because of family connections and influence, I have heard from you that your husband is a pedophile and can't be prosecuted.  In Israel there are only monopolies, economic and social.
- But Israelis are good people. I was at the post office to pick up 500 dollars my brother sent me, he knows I need it.
- Good to people in their gang, their pack, their cult, totally disinterested in those outside. The others can wander the streets like sleepwalkers or clean toilets, take it or leave it. I'll leave it.



Concluding words, from the Chief Medical Officer, Public Health Service, State of Israel:
"It's not smart for a government to insult a writer."



One Week Later

- We meet again.
- I put you in a story.
- With the Scottish woman?
- Yes. And the woman I met down the street at the pizzeria. That turned into its own story.
- Tell me.
- You have time? You're not going anywhere?
- No place I must go.
- Then let's walk.
- What have been doing lately, beside writing?
- Making everyone angry at me.
- Why? Let's sit down here.
- Did you see the way that couple looked at you?
- No.
- Wondering I suppose whether you're trying to be a holy man with your big black beard and wide brimmed hat.
- Why do you want to make people angry?
- I don't set out to do it. I respond to attack.
- There are times to speak, times to be silent. Do you know the old Hebrew saying, a clever man knows how to get out of trouble, the wise man knows to avoid trouble?
- You know, my friends, many are involved in the protests here. They are anarchists, I'm not.  If anything I am anarchy.
- What do you mean?
- That I don't want to avoid trouble.  I want to learn from it.
- I thought a lot about you in the past week. You call the people here money worshipers because you hate money. You're vindictive.
- I don't hate money. But I am vindictive. I don't want to hurt anyone, I want to destroy  false views of the world.
- What good does that do you?
- "Better to be a wise Hebrew than a clever one"? I want to do it, I love doing it.
- But you are unfair. Israelis are good people. In the last ten years their lives have been devastated by economic policies taken from your country: privatization, monopoly, foreign labor. And they are waking up now. You can hear it everywhere, even in the talk of ordinary people. They are not money worshipers.
- They're victims of America.  No, I don't buy it.
- Why?
- Because of the way they talk to each other, live with each other. Take the political situation. The religious live in a kind of internal diaspora. They have contempt for the politicians, who work for the free-market monopolists, who have contempt for everyone. Like they did living among the Europeans, the religious have made their deal, traded their support for protection and possibility to go on practicing their rituals. Individuals make the same kind of deal when they talk with each other. They don't answer each other, only throw aggressive speeches back and forth. Ritual faces ritual in a sort of truce. They don't like each other. Do you follow?
- Completely.
- The protesters know they've been robbed. But the relation they have to each other, disdain barely restrained from violence, will not allow them to make a better life with each other. Even if they win a few political battles new economic exploitation is certain to arise.
- Why?
- The alternative to worshiping money we have to consider is not what you think, living a simple life of family and work. The simple life is the life of ritual. Ritualists don't learn how to use public life to find out what might be better. They come into conflict with each other, then make deals. One side gets the better of the other, complains, protests, new deals are made....
- What's the solution then?
- To be willing to change. Ritualists, whether in making money or religious practice, don't want to change. Can I tell you the story of the woman I met at the pizzeria?
- If it applies.
- It does. You saw her?
- Yes. She looked like a classy woman.
- Designer sunglasses, jacket, jeans. Yes. Very fashionable. So sure of herself that when she took me to a school to get a haircut - I'd showed her a photograph of me taken two years ago at my marriage, she  declared my present appearance to be a catastrophe - at the hair academy she was so critical of the instructor working on me he finally put down his comb and shears and stood listening to her instructions along with the whole room full of students and clients. Do you know what fashion is?
- What?
- It is uniformity and revolt at the same time, wearing a uniform and being in revolt at the same time.
- How?
- People see they are forced to conform, and say "not that" to the last style. Some aspect of the present time may be adopted in the new fashion, but not in any significant expression, not in the way art expresses the times.  Art expresses the basics about life, good and bad, in language of the times adjusted to the circumstances of the times. Its truths are not new though its language may be, it is not in revolt.
- You're saying the protesters are playing at fashion. You're wrong. They're very very serious, very angry.
- They can not be anything other than playing at fashion, as long as they wear their uniform of ritual. But I want to talk about my new friend, Revital.
- A beautiful Hebrew name.
- Yes. What does it mean?
- Water of the morning.
- Beautiful. So beautiful Revital, in her fashionable clothes, was in roughly the same difficulties as I was when me met, and we went around the city with each other for about a week, staying together at temporary places I found over the internet. She liked to say she loved her life. She had these rituals, watching the same shows on her computer every day, concerts at which she would cheer, wave her arms as if she were actually there, it didn't matter to her, public or private, a cafe table or the beach. She wore her dark glasses even inside, even at her computer, because, she said, she didn't want people around to approach her. She liked to sing out a nonsense collection of Italian words. But she had this voice, a way of talking that was pure calm reason. I couldn't make her out. Seem crazy to you?
- No.
- After five days she dismissed me from her friendship.
- Why?
- I don't know.  I asked her what was wrong.
- What did she say?
- Nothing.
- Nothing was wrong?
- First that, then she wouldn't answer. Last time I saw her she shouted at me to stay away and ran off.
- What do you think happened?
- I said something, I did something. What I want to say with this story is that she included me in her life of rituals, then excluded me. Like she said she had excluded her father the rabbi and Yeshiva teacher, excluded her whole family from her life.
- It's common here.
- Common most places.  Wisdom is good as long as the conditions go on unchanged that are necessary for repeating your rituals. But when conditions fail you need to draw upon strength gained from practice dealing with a world you don't at first know what to do in. If the world never changed, you and your Hebrew saying would be right, it's better to be wise and avoid trouble than clever and escape  the difficulties you brought on yourself.  What the current politics shows is the the ritual wisdom here was bought at a cost of a way of life opposite that necessary to be clever and recover.
- I don't understand.
- All deals are off when you don't understand, the ritual rules don't apply.  People are each others resource in their difficulty and like each other for it. They are literally good for each other, see it, feel it, know it, if they know nothing else. They don't live, as the people are doing here, fighting over money, ritualist against ritualist - that is what I mean when I use the phrase money worship - but with cooperation and appreciation in a search for friends and companions.
- So you make trouble to avoid trouble? Look at the situation you're in. You really think it's wise?
- You're the one with the beard. Would you like to read the how me and Revital met?
- It's on your site?
- Not at the moment. A couple days ago Google blocked the story you're in.
- Why?
- Against their policies. Expressed hatred of group.
- What exactly did you write?
- A piece of Jewish irony, said by a Jew about Jews. "What is anti-Semitism? Hating Jews more than they deserve."
- That is self criticism. How can they censor that?
- You're not allowed to say a group is deserving of even a little hatred.
- But it's obviously a joke! Israel is the only place in the world where almost everyone living there says the country is bad, says it violently even. It's good, what's special about the place. No matter how bad people get, they love to think, somewhere in this country there are good people, really good people. Do you believe me?
- I do. Here's our meeting, a Jewish joke if you like:
- What are you doing in Israel?
- The government paid me to come here and write bad things about the place.
- No. Really?
- Really. They didn't want me to come because they believed I wouldn't help the people who run the place grab more money, but their hands were tied by the rules of the game, the idea that Israel is a Jewish state anyone born into the religion can go to.
- You're Jewish then.
- Sure. And you're Israeli.
- The people here are garbage.
- That's what I say. You know the story, while Moses was getting the laws from god up on the mountain the people down below forgot about him and started worshiping a gold statue of a young cow.  The gold, the youth of the animal, its meat and milk are all promises of future wealth. The Jewish people were worshiping money. Moses went back to god and asked him what to do. "Kill them all", said god. Save the good, Moses answered, save those who were not worshiping money. God allowed the exception.
- We're the exception.
- And the spirit of Moses is bargaining with god what to do about the people down here.
- I want to leave this place.
- Me too. Voltaire called religion the great infamy. Money's the world's new religion.
- Money is good.
- Good used to a purpose. When making money becomes a principle overriding all other human activity it's bad. It literally is religion, a faith that putting money first will make life better.
- And you think you can stop it? By writing, talking? Look at all these zombies.
-  I like provoking them, the walking dead. So do you. They don't get angry. It's amazing. It's truth revealed.
- What truth?
- About the garbage, the walking dead, what money worship turns people into. People pounding each other into pieces, each piece part of what is still technically a human being, each piece of detritus a separate calculation about how to get money. Between calculations the trash fragments walk the dead human around waiting for the next cue to money making.
- You say that?
- Why not?
- What do they answer?
- "Sorry to hear you're not having a nice time."
- Garbage.

- There's more, but....
- You go too far.
- Have you ever thought about what is behind this famous Jewish self-criticism? There are two ways societies go wrong. They think only of their rules, nothing of the good life the rules are made to give us. Or they think only of the good life, construct an instance of it, and think nothing of the rules we need for getting there reliably. There are societies that combine both faults: individuals are left with no freedom at all. In what we call the West, our Christianity made societies produce pictures and instances of beautiful life. There is something melancholy and hopeless about this, the good is there, but no idea of how to hold onto it. The Jewish case is different. It is both without consistent beauty, because the rules are never allowed to pay off in a settled arrangement, and yet retains hope, because the world is left unconstructed, unfinished in imagination.
- Every society has its good and bad.
- Yes. But in the repressive societies individuals have no freedom to criticise, how the world looks and what you are to do in it is decided for eternity. In Christian societies you are not encouraged to find better rules of life, the door to improvement is seemingly closed, but you are soothed and calmed by the images of beauty. The Jewish society, though, is both without fixed beauty to rest on, and keeps open the task of making beautiful life, imposing on its members whether they like it or not the tools of rule making necessary to get there. There is a job to do and they know they are not doing it.
- The primitives are repressed, the Christians don't know any better, and the Jews can't help knowing better?
- Don't say I never said anything good about the Jews.


II. Close American Elections And The Fashion Business

- Fashion: remember our definition?
- Uniformity and revolt together.
- Too many people wearing the same uniform, and the new style doesn't seem very revolutionary anymore. Too revolutionary, not enough people adopt the new fashion and it doesn't become a uniform.
- Why should revolutionaries want to wear a uniform?
 Because they are revolutionary only in the choice of role.  They must have one role or another. They don't want to stand out alone.
- Ok.
- Fashion is a tool of monopoly economics.
- Why?
- Because of the power of advertising. Advertising is the deliberate creation of fashion. The more advertising, the more the sense of uniform community created around the product being sold, and the more the product can be sold as a revolutionary improvement. Do you follow?
- Yes.
- The techniques of selling fashion can be applied to selling political candidates to voters. Some basic uniform is produced, a simple story of how life should be lived. For Republicans, it is small government and individuality, for Democrats, a fair and caring society. These ideas are sold as revolutionary, constantly threatened by the encroachments of the opposite party. Have you ever wondered why the Presidential elections are often so close?
- I've assumed it was because both sides are using the same techniques of persuasion and are equally good at it.
- That's what I first thought.
- Not anymore?
- I think that like in advertising fashions, political persuasion comes up against a natural limit: a too successful campaign, throwing a uniform on too many people, stops delivering the thrill of being in revolt.
- So the less successful campaign recovers and gains a more equal position.
- Yes.
- I never thought of it that way before. But if you are right why do monopolies arise?
- The goal of business is not making or selling products, but profit. Competition is eliminated by mergers, buyouts, under-pricing, government subsidies, exclusive agreements with suppliers and distributors. Customers of monopolies don't get to vote.


III. Driving With The Doctor To Tel Aviv

- I have to admit I looked at your writing. I couldn't get into it.
- You don't have time for it.
- Yes, like most people most of my time goes into making a living.
- How you think about making a living makes some other thoughts harder to accept.
- How do people think about making a living?
- Americans for example are famously puritanical. They don't like talk about sex in public life. It embarrasses them. Have you ever considered why?
- I read about a congresswoman who was silenced after using the medical name of female body parts. As a physician I find that ridiculous. I suppose it's just one of those things every group of people do without knowing why.
- They don't know why, but there is a reason. Like the Puritan can't admit attraction of people to each other into his public life, the free market advocate can't allow liking for people to affect his economic behavior.
- Interesting.
- Puritanism is a barrier against change. When people like each other new relations - economic, personal, sexual, - are established which compete with established monopoly relations.
- What do you mean by that?
- Unregulated free markets result in concentration of wealth, monopolized wealth monopolizes influence on politicians. The rich impoverish everyone else, and repressive puritanism dispirits opposition by making it impossible for them to establish relation to each other, to communicate. A kind of stability results. It's the other invisible hand. The open society of the free market leads to the closed society of puritanism, so-called "austerity", and repression.
- But there are many immigrant groups that are not puritanical.
- Sure, but they are being assimilated. Control is being tightened in other ways as well. Shows of violence are acceptable so long as they serve as a warnings not to make a claim on a new relation. That is why they are hardly regulated, paradoxical though it seems that in a controlled society shows of sexuality are restricted but not violence.
- What about pornography? It's all over the Internet.
- Pornography is sexuality devoid of personal knowledge, and it's sold. It trains people to use money, the most impersonal of mechanisms, to do without making new personal relations. It's perfect for the free market.
- You're saying that puritanism leads to free-market economics?
- And free-market economics leads to puritanism.


IV. Repatriation

American Embassy

- What about Budapest?
- What about it?
- The American Embassy there said I had to provide an arrival address where someone lived who was on the tax roles as owner or had a rental contract for the property and would take indefinite financial responsibility for my future.
- That's Budapest.
- The American Embassy in Tel Aviv has different rules?
- We asked Washington for permission for you go anywhere and we got it.
- Why didn't Budapest ask permission?
- That is not our business. Our job is to loan a ticket home to Americans who are destitute. You are not destitute, so we cannot help you.
- That's the rule?
- Yes.
- Like the rule in Budapest? Prove there is no one in the world who will buy you a ticket and also provide the name, address, and phone number of someone who won't buy you a ticket but will take financial responsiblity for you?
- We're busy. There are other people here we have to see. You are not destitute. Why don't you sell the ring you are wearing? It's gold.
- The woman who sold it to me in Budapest told me it was silver. It cost 4 dollars. Do you want to buy it? You can use it to get married. I did.
- You can buy a ticket. You are not destitute. There is nothing more to discuss.
- You say I should live without money for three weeks until a payment I expect arrives, just enough to buy a ticket, then arrive in the United States, where I will be without money. I should be destitute before and after I buy the ticket, both here and in the U.S., because the American Embassy in Tel Aviv says it cannot make me a loan because I am not destitute. And this loan is publicly offered on the Embassy's web site and secured by confiscation of my passport until it is repaid.
- Yes. Have a nice day.


V. Economic Reality

- Look, I don't want to waste your time. I won't rent you the room. But are you hungry? I'll buy you dinner.
- I'm not hungry. I'll drink a coffee with you.
- Good. There's a cafe at the corner.

- You buy me a coffee but won't rent me a room. Why?
- You said you didn't want to put up the security deposit.
- But you live there too. You think I am going to break the windows, dig a hole in the floor? In the twenty days of the sublet?
- No. It's just the way things are here. When I was going to medical school in New York it was the same for me. The school had to sign on as guarantor for me to get an apartment.
- What you're saying is that everyone is afraid of losing moeny so you are afraid of losing money. You know it is not reasonable, but you're busy and can't take the time, put in the effort to clarify the situation for yourself. You don't have to, because there are others willing to rent the room on your terms.
- Yes. I work all the time. I have to, like a lot of people here.
- You know the social network "couchsurfing"? Just down the street, in the most pretigious building in the city, an internet found host, a complete stranger, turned over his entire million dollar apartment to me, handed over the keys and left town, for nothing. No payment, no security.
- On King David street?
- Yes. You're a doctor. You don't think your behavior falls under the heading of pathology?
- Why?
- You admit there is no reason to distrust me, yet you do it anyway.
- It's a sick society.
- And you're a willing participant.
- I do what I can.


VI. Shooting Bullets In The Air

- I was a paramedic with the Israeli Army stationed in Nablus. I saw a lot.
- For example?
- Palestinians like to fire off rifles at their weddings.
- I've read about it. They seem to believe the bullets go up and up without stop.
- But the bullets come down.
- And they like to aim their rifles directly up? Imagining themselves growing taller along the bullet's path?
- Imagining themselves closer to god.
- And the bullets come down on them.
- Yes.
- You saw that?
- I saw the wounds. I had to treat them.
- Do you know what this reminds me of?
- What?
- A journalist in L.A. sent me an email a few days ago. She was writing a book on women who use men for profit and leave only destruction behind. She'd heard about my wife and me. It was a big story, and she wanted to feature it. We exchanged more emails:
 - Will you consent to be interviewed?
 - Yes.
-  Are you still married?
- I'm not a lawyer, but probably we are.
- Will you testify in court? Sign the affidavit copied below on the email?
- Why this legal interest? What happened to the "big story" you're working on? I should have asked before: what led you to me?
- I know a girl from Church who knows the doctor your wife married.  The doctor is suing her for divorce, and she wants money.
 - I see. So she really married the doctor?
- You two should work together, not be enemies.
-  I tried to warn him she had a husband.
- This woman has to be stopped.
- Is this true? Your wife married again without being divorced?
- And after I told her future husband she already was married. I don't know what the doctor expects to gain by hiring a journalist to gather information, if that's what's going on. If she knew the marriage wasn't valid, so did he. If afterwards they lived together like a married couple, in California the same division of property rules apply as to divorce. It's like he went into the marriage for the pure joy of the celebration.
- Like shooting bullets in the air.


VII. The Detective

- What made you think she's a detective?
- Her language. She talks about the case, not the story. She calls my wife "that woman", as in "that women  has to be stopped". She asks me to send her my marriage documents she can pass on to authorities so my wife, that woman, will be stopped.
- She's confrontational. You saw her videos.
- She's been working on "the case" three weeks, she says. Why doesn't she ask me anything except whether I am legally married?
- She told you. She wants to write a story that makes people laugh. She already knows enough about you to make people laugh, you the ridiculous second or third husband in a series. And she's a young woman. She's keeping distance to save you the trouble of making unwanted advances.
- You're probably right. She's recently married.
- To her you are a comic figure whose advances have to be blocked.
- Like my wife has to be stopped. Why do I feel offended?
- You think everyone should like you.
- They should.
- Are you going to continue answering the reporter's questions? Now that you know she is real?
- Where's my interest here?
- Publicity. You are a failure at getting everyone to like you. Maybe she'll succeed.
- With my story.
-  In the story she's writing you're one husband out of many.
- So where's my interest?
- What did you expect when you first heard someone was writing about your wife?
- The reporter wrote me that she knew where my wife was. I thought she might put me back in touch with her.
- Ridiculous man.


VIII. The International Cultural Foundation At The Tel Aviv Shopping Center

"The religious man wants to get his head into heaven, the madman wants to get heaven into his head and it breaks."

- What do you have to lose?
- My sanity..
- Maybe he'll do what he says, maybe he won't.
- Did you hear what he said? About Revital?
- He'd hire her too if he had the budget.
- And "crazy people have good minds." He was thinking of himself.
- He's only a little crazy.
- I told you about the internet sending me to different people to stay with every night, every couple of days someone new.  Last night I was with a computer programmer.
- Was he alright?
- Sure. They always are. They're trying to cure themselves of selfishness. The programmer was convinced the day was not long in coming when computers became conscious, and humans, hooked up with computers, became able to communicate with each other for the first time, efficiently as computers communicate with each other.
- It's not far off.
- You think so too? He talked about  "singularity": when the complexity of computers suddenly brought on consciousness, when humans hooked up to computers could communicate their thoughts directly with each other.
- Yes, I've heard about it.
- And you believe it?
- You don't?
- How much time do you have? I know, you have all day, like me. How much philosophy can you take?
- I like philosophy.
- Ok. What do we know about this so-called singularity? It is a relation between something we do not understand - consciousness, communication of thought to thought - to what we do understand. Do you follow?
- Not really.
- To get an idea of the likeliness of the singularity happening we can look at things of the same form and see what their origins are.
- What things of the same form?
- Religious things.
- Religion has overstayed its welcome. We're in another age.
- The programmer said the same. But in the search for singularity religion is way ahead. Thousands of years ahead.
- How?
- Religion establishes a relation between rules of action, and sight of the world; between strict obedience to the rules, and sight of an unlimited world which is called beauty, good, true, or god.  It is a relation between technology of action, and unlimited thought.
- Like the singularity is a relation between computer technology and consciousness. I never thought of it that way.
- You are used to thinking of religion as stories and ritual, beautiful ideas and rules. Considered separate from each other rules of action and pictures of the world are reasonably rejected as arbitrary.
- And you say they have to be considered together.
- Yes. As a technology in itself, the right rules, leading to the right sight.
- What is the right sight?
- God. Or consciousness. Or truth, beauty, goodness, love.
- Ok.
- Revital watching the same Madonna concert movie over and over...
- Last night she was here shouting and dancing with her computer. She's getting worse.
- I know. And the Professor, your and my employer in his new international cultural foundation, wandering around the shopping center when he forgets his house keys and doesn't seem to remember to do anything about it, - they're escaping into rituals.
- Yes.
-  The rituals are a primitive technology.
- You lost me.
- We're in Israel, a religious state. Even at the airport in Budapest on the way here I was deep in religion. Two women from the Jewish Agency who had arranged my trip were there escorting me, and waiting to check in an Israeli with beard and wide brim hat made me a slight bow and said, "Shalom". Do you know him?, one of my escort asked. "A Jew can greet a Jew", he answered.
- Cool.
- I was in a secret society I'd forgotten I'd joined. When I got to Israel this happened over and over. Strangers I'd stop to ask directions, or passing by on the street, a beach bum Yoga practitioner using the computer next to mine at the Apple store, would say to me out of nowhere, "you are a good man".
- You also forgot you were a holy man?
- I guess so. But do you what they all had in common?
- What?
- Burning eyes. The fanatic's glare. Maybe I have it too.
- Sometimes.
-That explains why I'm here at the shopping center with you guys. A fanatic knows the way, the rules, the rituals that get him out of the world, into the world without limit.
- Like you say Revital and the Professor do.
- Yes. The "unlimited" world is in the control, is managed by the limited.
- I don't understand.
- When we talk about a singularity, computers becoming conscious, we imagine in some way escaping from reasoning, getting past it to something better. But if rules lead us out to our escape, we are still tied to our reasoning selves.
- What other way is there?
- When the rules are improvised, conditional. In conversation, no matter  how much you enjoy it, how much we get out of it, we don't want to repeat it word for word, even though that might work to get us out of ourselves. The conversation has its time and place. If we learn something we'll use it in another, different conversation.
- You're saying the fanatic's "singularity" is not real because it is tied to rituals?
- It's one model of the relation of consciousness to technology.
- What are the others?
- The example we just used: conversation. Where the "consciousness" reached, the new knowledge, is not encompassed by rules of ritual application, actually invalidates them for future use.
- How invalidates?
- Let's go back to computers and singularity. Somebody programs the computer. If it achieves consciousness, consciousness still would have its origin in, be tied to its programming. In conversation, there are no fixed rules. It would be as if the computer were programming itself.
- But that is what the programmers expect to happen, isn't it?
- Yes, they do. The problem is, the computer can never get beyond the stage of the fanatic. It's always dragging its rules behind it. In conversation, the rules are invented as you go along.
- Couldn't a computer do that too?
- Yes and no. In every word we speak, sentence we put together, we are already making use of the "singularity": that is what it means to create something from nothing, a new word, new idea, new technique.
- You're saying that for a computer to create its own rules as it went along it would already have to have consciousness.
- Yes. That's right.
- So when computers get sophisticated enough, and people attach themselves to them, we'll have a singularity, an interconnected world of fanatics. Of crazy people and their international cultural foundations. I hope you're wrong.


IX. Cancellations

Travel Agency, Tel Aviv Shopping Center, Israel

- The airline cancelled my reservation?
- Yes.
- Then they have to offer compensation.
- No.
- Why not?
- You didn't pay for the ticket.
- If I paid for the ticket it wouldn't be a reservation, it would be a ticket. If they cancel a reservation they have to arrange another flight. They can't just cancel it.
- They can. If you don't pay for your ticket within 24 hours they automatically cancel all reservations. That's industry policy.
- I came back here a half hour after making the reservation.
- They still can cancel your reservation.
- What is a reservation if the airline can cancel at any time?
- I told you. You have to pay for the ticket for the reservation to be held.
- What does "held" mean if they can cancel it any time? They aren't holding anything.
- I don't have time for this.
- What is really going on here? Did you make a mistake? Was there never any flight?
- No. You didn't pay, so there is no reservation.
- Do you get some pleasure out of lying like this?
- You can leave now.
- I can leave any time. Now I want to know why you are lying.  I know you are lying, you know I know, and you don't care. Why don't you care?
- We don't do things in the same way here.
- That's true. I have been in plenty of places people lie and cheat, but I can't remember being anyplace else where people openly lie,  don't hide or make excuses.
- We don't have to make excuses to you. You don't  like us, we don't like you.
- You don't like Americans? At least we don't proclaim ourselves to be liars and thieves.
- Get out.
- I'm almost out. Standing at the door. I'm trying come up with something better to say about your contempt for the truth.
- I told you to get out.
- Yes, I heard you. You want to cancel the conversation like you cancelled my reservation. If you don't get money the words don't count.
- I'm telling you, get out.
- I'm going. Absolute contempt for the truth. They should put it in the guide books.
- Now!
- I'm going. One step, see? I'm gone.


X. Another Crazy Artist

- You can sit down. I'm leaving.
- I'll sit down only if you stay.
- I've got to go.
- Why?
- My son is waiting. What are you doing in Israel?
- Same as I do everywhere. Think about being someplace else.
- Where do you want to be now?
- Home.
- What's keeping you if that's what you want?
- Practical things.
- What kind? Don't you want to sit down?
- Not if you're leaving. What do you do?
- I'm a waitress.
- You're too old.
- That's not what you should say to pick up a woman, is it?
- What did you do before?
- I was a dancer.
- Everything is backwards. Used to be working in restaurants was a job for the beginning of a career, not the end.
- What about you? How do you make money?
- I don't make money, not often. Until recently I've been practical enough to evade the practical in life. Now I've decided to be professional. But only for the money.
- Are you making money?
- No. But I have hopes.
- Good luck.  I've got to go now.
- I'm going too.
- Where are you going?
- The airport.
- Talking with me convinced you to leave?
- I'm not leaving. Probably not. I've got a reservation though. I going to the door to this place and look out. And think.
- Another crazy artist.


XI. On The Train To The Airport

- I'll sit next to the religious guy. What are you smiling at?
- What you said.
- Religion makes you happy, though, right?
- Where are you from?
- From Tel Aviv, to the airport, on my way home, I hope. Los Angeles.
- Been in Israel long?
- Too long. Months. The country is trying to teach me not to value possessions. Two telephones stolen, computer broken by an over-inquisitive puppy at a park bench, glasses stolen, fountain pen broken by rogue utility box I walked into trying to hide my eyes from the sun.
- Only things.
- Yes,.and every time I buy something I get cheated.
- So don't buy anything.
- Sorry to break in, but a few months isn't enough to know Israel.
- Stay much longer and there'll be nothing left of me. I'm not Job. Look, he's smiling again.
- Have you been to Jerusalem?
- Once, about 30 years ago.
- Only seeing Tel Aviv in Israel is like going to New York, visiting the Statue of Liberty, and saying you know the city. Tel Aviv is like New York, is like L.A. You haven't seen anything.
- Are you American?
- I'm Israeli now.
- For how long?
- 15 years. You're going to the airport? If you stay on this train, you could get off just before Jerusalem. There is a Yeshiva you should go to. I'll write you directions. They'll help you.
- In exchange for what?
- They won't ask you for anything. They'll give you a room, food, teach you Hebrew.
- I don't believe it. I'll have to practice their rituals.
- That's fair, isn't it?
-No. It's a bad deal. I can sell my conformity for a higher price. If I'm to compromise myself I'd rather be a banker or politician and take the world down with me.
- You're a cynic.
- I just want to go home.
- Do you have a house in L.A.?
- I don't have anything.
- Yes, I heard. No telephone, computer, pen. Go to the Yeshiva. They'll take care of you.
- Can't do it. This stop is the airport? I'm getting off.
- Here, take the directions. In case you change your mind.


XII. The Airport

- Can you check my reservation?
- Of course. What name?
- Miller.
- First initial?
- R.
- Yes, it's here.
- What's the price?
- 4,140.
- The price the travel agent told me was different. Would you check it again?
- It's correct. 4,140 dollars.
- Dollars!
- It should be about one forth of that. 4,000 Israeli Shekels.
- Business Class is expensive.
- I didn't ask for business class.
- Take it up with your travel agent.
- Ok. Now, can you check if you see the reservation I made last week with another travel agency?
- Why?
- You cancelled it when you cancelled flights because of the hurricane on the East Coast. The travel agent said you wouldn't make me another reservation at the same price because you cancelled the flight in the twenty minutes between making the reservation and my bringing the money to pay for it.
- That's correct. If the ticket isn't paid for we aren't responsible for arranging another flight. It's force majeure.
- The storm is force majeure whether the reservation is paid for or not.
- Is there anything else I can help you with?
- You could honor the reservation.
- I am the ticketing agent. I can only sell you a ticket at current prices. Tomorrow you can call customer service.
- I already called them. They told me to have the travel agent call them, and maybe something could be arranged.
- Well then.
- The travel agent won't call them.
- There is nothing more I can do. Would you like to buy a ticket?
- No.


XIII. Startup

- He calls it "pay-it-forward".
- Who does?
- The head of the venture capital company that organizes these meet-ups.
- What's a meet-up?
- A meeting announced on a site called "Meet-Up".
- Just a new word then.
- Like "pay-it forward" is what anthropologists call "gift economy".
- You haven't told me what it is yet.
- You help other entrepreneurs at the meeting, and if everyone sticks around and stays in the club someone will end up helping you.
- And primitive people helped each other that way?
- Still do in some places.
- Are you going to make a pitch?
- I've never spoken in public in my life. But I think I will. After that journalist (*) I told you about wrote to me telling me about my wife's new husband trying to divorce her and asking me to document that she is still married to me, it's like it isn't my life anymore, so why be shy?
- You aren't afraid someone will steal your idea?
- The venture capitalist says don't worry.
- He'd be the first I'd worry about.
- Anyway when I leave here I'll write it all down, post it, and send the link to thousands connected to me on  various social media.
- Why?
- I don't really know. Maybe I am hypnotized by the numbers, like the journalist says my wife hypnotizes her husbands. Maybe I am trying to keep a crowd around me so someone might give me something back.
- Or someone become interested when they see others are interested. Bayshare is a good idea.

----

- You did well.
- The other speakers were applauded. I got silence and blank faces.
- Doesn't matter. The idea is too new. The venture capital guy said he like the idea. He said it was hedging and speculation at the same time. Is that true?
- Yes.
- And he said he would set up a meeting to find funding.
- A "meet-up". We'll see what happens.


XIV. Get Deported

- I saw the professor with a woman I guess is his wife.
- Me too. He was with her for hours.
- Maybe she's making an effort to take care of him. Have you seen Revital?
- Yes. She's the same.
- And you?
- Selling my computer. Going to a job interview this afternoon. What about you?
- The reporter in L.A. says she won't write about my wife after all. She's too dangerous, and I made it too complicated by "blogging" the story in progress. For me the complication just makes it funnier, but that's not her style.
- So what are you going to do?
- The reporter suggests the best way to get myself home is to get myself deported.
- But you're legal in Israel.
- The sad truth.
- You could get a job too.
- You know how I told you I used to travel in Europe, making money by buying and selling things? Today I found two financial accounting textbooks, wrapped in plastic, new, left with other books on a bench on the street. Worth hundreds of dollars in this country of the dollar. I gave them away.
- Why?
- I can talk with you here at the shopping center, look at Israelis on the street, in the right mood I can joke and make small talk, but for the most part I can't stand dealing with them. Their rudeness is unbearable.
- It's how we are. We're a small country at war most of the time. You should understand.
- I think it goes deeper than that. The national character has miraculously reconstructed itself after thousands of years.
- What character?
- Slaves freed and given laws by god. I spoke with a religious Israeli who deals in expensive watches, and do you know what he told me?
- What?
- "The secret of being a Jew is to understand that there is no one else in the world but yourself."
- What did he mean?
- He meant that Jews make an agreement with God directly to follow the rules, not with each other. Everyday life with other people is unimportant compared with the deal with god.
- That's right.
- It's not a bad arrangement if the rules are good. Envy and resentment don't arise. And rituals are good for people. I'm not religious because I like to know for myself why rules are good before I make rituals out of them. But here's what I want to say: just before god gave the Jewish people their rules they were slaves. The combination of being former slaves, and the making deals directly and individually with god is responsible for what I can't take about Israelis.
- You said that already.
- If you are not god here it's hard to get anyone to listen. When people are trained not to respect the judgement of others, and are put into a condition of slavery where god's rules are not practiced - all rules are broken when you treat someone as a slave - you can expect pretty much the behavior we see all around us in this city. Neither care for each other nor real obedience to the rules, with the mere practice of rituals, whether orthodox or of the new, but biblically recorded old golden calf religion of money worship.
- It's what I said: the wars are responsible.
- Israelis tell me it's not the wars - less than ten percent of soldiers get near battle - but being in the army, being treated like slaves for a mandatory 2 or 3 years. Everything about Jewish life teaches them to be individually responsible for doing good, and then, at age 18, they become slaves where they are badly treated and cannot do good.
- When we get out of the army we've escaped slavery in Egypt again and we worship the golden calf. I like it.


XV. Claustrophobia

- How did you avoid going to the army?
- I convinced them I was crazy.
- By being normal.
- They could see I was on edge.
- Which is normal.
- Most people can take being treated like a part in a machine.
- And other people see everything that happens in their lives as part of their lives.
-  I wanted to get out of there,
-  Most people can accept moments in their lives taken away.
-  I couldn't.
- Congratulations.


XVI  Rockets In Tel Aviv

- Why aren't you afraid? Rockets haven't landed in Tel Aviv since 1981.
- Why should I be afraid? I was here when the missiles from Iraq came, hundreds of them. What I didn't like was the gas masks we had to wear.
- But you weren't afraid.
- No. This for us is life as usual. Look around you.
- I am.
- Are you afraid? You were here in the neighborhood when the rockets came?
- No, I'm not afraid. I was here. When the alarm went off and we went down to the basement, and every wall and window was transformed into a possible danger, it wasn't frightening. If anything it was mildly exciting. Do you know what I think?
- What?
- Just before the rockets came within range and the sirens began to sound I was reading an article about whether democracy has been put into danger by the economic crisis, or rather redistribution of wealth, we are going through. Democracy may have to temporarily give way to dictatorship, the author argued, as the people can't agree on what to do. But democracies can temporarily transform themselves into dictatorships because people will want to get back their freedoms when the crisis is over. Dictatorships though fear transformation, that once they give people democracy they won't get their power back from them. I didn't like the argument.
- Why not?
- Because in the case of Russia we can watch the supposedly feared transition from dictatorship to democracy safely returning to dictatorship. And in the Western democracies we can see the supposedly safe transition from democracy to dictatorship showing signs of being a road of no return, particularly in the United States with its emergency laws eliminating legal protections.
- Then what do you think?
- The difference is not which form of government does the change, but the character of the people who live through the change. People who have been raised under dictatorship can't identify, don't understand and so can't resist the danger democracy faces from economic and social monopolies that quickly arise with the withdrawal of dictatorship. Dictators in fact can safely offer their people democracy because it is likely they, or people like them, will be allowed back into power as the lesser evil. But people raised under democracy feel the loss of their freedom under temporary dictatorship, and don't need theoretical arguments about democracy being the least bad form of government to know what they want.
- Most of the world thinks Israel is a dictatorship pretending to be a democracy. What do you think?
- That the opposite is more accurate. Democracy, temporarily a dictatorship. To decide whether the democracy is a pretense, whether the dictatorship is temporary or permanent, we have to look at the character of the people, the decisive factor. Americans born to freedom have let their freedom go without much protest because they've allowed monopoly economics and social division to erode their ability to appreciate democracy. They are in real danger of losing their freedom, or, in the terms of the argument, danger of their temporary dictatorship becoming permanent.
- And Israeli character?
- As you said, look around. Israelis take the freedom they can, where and when they can.
- We're strong people.
- And strong people can resist even their own dictatorship.