My most recent post describes how we might blame, in part, social media corporations for deliberately fashioning environments which encourage libellous and defamatory conversations to take place:
In the light of encroaching libel actions various, and as a final thought tonight – that is to say, in a Columbo-esque parting shot kind of way! – maybe we should begin to conceptualise the idea of a huge class action against those social media corporations I’ve mentioned: corporations which sold us their social media tools as ephemeral expressions of our least careful thoughts – and yet did so with the ever-present intention to use them quite permanently. That people can now arguably be accused of libel and defamation is in part – just as arguably – due to these two-faced software environments. After all, if you deliberately encourage and make it attractive for people to republish or “like” the wildest assertions at the click of button, you are – are you not? – in some way to blame for the consequent behaviours.
Meanwhile, and not totally unrelated, our recent liberal-interventionist history has us invading sovereign nation-states precisely because – in our considered opinion – the sociopolitical and socioeconomic environments they generate fiercely prejudice their citizens, subjects and oppressed various.
We only have to look to the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq to understand how the figure of that inviolable space that once was a nation-state has taken on a completely different air of late. In fact, the latest example actually involved the British authorities being caught out planning to intervene in the Assange case, holed up as he was – and is – at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
Nation-states are not the fully walled gardens they used to be. As Facebook breaks down the permeability of the Internet, so international action and thought break up the impermeability of foreign countries.
A simple example: even as a British citizen, born and bred, you are not out of the reach of American copyright instincts.
The responsibility for creating an environment, with deliberation and intentionality, does not only apply however to virtual communities. I know little about Gaza and the Israeli conflict, but I cannot help think that a certain contamination of environmental sensibilities is operating to the detriment of both parties.
I believe the Israelis argue that it is wrong to equate a nation-state with a terrorist organisation. On the other hand, in other areas of the world, as already pointed out above, non-state institutions are sometimes supported over state-structured alternatives. The principle of sovereignty, again as already pointed out, is not enough in itself.
What is true is that Israel is an embedded democracy where the countries surrounding it are not. Its people have also suffered tremendous wrongs at the hands not only of dictatorships but also alleged democracies – and such wrongs, or at least their antecedents in thought and potentially returning future deed, continue to operate. The environment, as perceived from within Israel, is surely one of continuing tension: to live a rubber-band life in democracy is a dreadful thing indeed. One would hope that democracy, in itself, would assign a degree of final peace and calm. This has clearly not happened.
As it’s not happening here in Britain.
So the Israelis exist in an environment which encourages them to fear their surroundings. This is immoral – more so where recent history taught the Jews that to appease led to practical extinction. I can therefore understand, even where I find it difficult to accept, the current bombing of Gaza by the Israeli state.
A human being who’s had all their freedom ripped asunder, all their family gassed, all their history burned, all their books destroyed … well, listen up, how would you react at the slightest provocation? How would you react at the slightest sign of invasion of your personal space? How would you react at the slightest disengagement with international law?
The best form of defence, after all, is attack.
You’re waiting for a “but”, I can tell.
You’re not going to get one.
Not exactly, anyhow.
The state of Israel is that single sign of hope that followed our collective responsibility as democratic nation-states through the length and breadth of World War II. Where gas chambers and concentration camps were the terrible location of Jews in times past, a nation-state – of certain impermeability – is now their safe haven.
Even if the aforementioned impermeability is no longer so secure.
Even if the haven is sadly blood-spattered.
Even if other nations’ rights do need attending to.
We cannot forget what we allowed to happen in the name of an easier political life.
Yes. The Palestine people have an equal right to a safe haven. Yes. That they do not have it is yet another shameful episode in human history – as well as yet another shameful example of environmental management.
But the Palestinians must accept, emotionally as well as politically, the absolute requirement for the memory of six million Jews to be enshrined in that haven I talk about above. Unless and until this happens, unless it comes from the heart, those six million Jews will have lost their terribly dignified battle to peacefully do what is right – and the violent people who currently populate our planet everywhere will have won their battle to do wrong in the name of a wider justice.