Saturday, January 24, 2009
Israel and its Violent Subconscious ; Musings after reading Jason Horsley
The Inexplicable Violence within Israel's Psyche : Musings on Israel's Inner Conflict and the writings of Jason Horsley In reading author Jake Horsley's beautiful work, in which contents of the collective psyche are examined in their intertwining with repression of violence, and the release from that repression - in itself, violent - and happened to think of the odd dialectic which comprises Israel's stance toward itself as a state, and the Palestinians who shadow it.
Horsley's texts ( excerpts and reviews are contained within this months's posts ) contain one of the most profound and thorough analyses of the human psyche and its struggle to deal with violent undercurrents, which I have ever encountered. This attempt at resolution is cultural and social: In America, it takes the form of "entertainment", but is enfolded within military policy and the "war on terror" as well. Our connection with Israel precludes a complete understanding of their own dynamic and failure to deal with the history of their own oppression at the hands of tyrants, whose behavior they now mimic. All of this is grist for the mill, which considering the problems we are facing nationally and globally, is timely and important enough to comprise a solid thesis which may be not only cathartic, but informing as to solutions. "Chaos by Design" is what Horsley has called some of this dialectic of the human psyche with its violent tendencies - and this interplay consists inherently of the human soul in dialogue with itself, a soliloquy of sorts - and this subtitle carries meaning which would seem to span out in all directions, and speak to many national and global conflicts.
Israel has been a private obsession of mine since my youth: I am not Jewish, but had an Uncle who was a reformed Jew, and then turned toward an orthodox stance later in life. I spent much of my 20s in company with a famous author/Rabbi and attended meetings of Hassidicism in Pittsburgh, PA. I have viewed Israel as a kind of archetype of human struggle, and have often felt almost brutally conflicted regarding their ongoing strife with the Palestinians. It is a surprize to me, but a delightful one, that this author, Horsely, is making clearer so much of what I have viewed dimly, as if through Israel's own smokescreen. Addendum: What has impressed me chiefly regarding Horsley's work, is that his writings would appear to contain and comprise a coherent and cohesive philosophy; a phenomenology of human violence, as it were, which is to me extremely philosophical, and carries him far beyond the film genre. I am disturbed that he has not, to my knowledge, been recognized for having achieved this task, one with importance in many social/cultural domains. He was born in 1971, which places him firmly within Howe and Strauss' infamous Thirteenth Generation ( aka Generation X) but his style and analysis is that of a Boomer ( born in the 1940s and '50s). His comprehension of the importance of a shift from the American heartland into the corruption of the enclosed urban landscape is important and sociologically speaking is the crux of much about American violence. I wager this applies to the Israeli predicament as well: overcrowding and urbanization stir something within the recesses of the mind, and may explain Israel's increasingly "make my day" attitude toward Palestine and Hamas, and its "revenge fantasy" tactics. Fatah may just be the ones to throw this back on Israel. We shall see. . .