Thou Shalt Be Leftist
By Arnold Kling
Is that the 11th Commandment? My latest essay wonders if Jews have a Moses Complex
Not every misfortune that occurs in society is a replay of Pharaoh’s enslavement of the Jews. The Exodus narrative can always be tried on, but it does not often fit properly. Usually, problems are more complex and systemic than a simple oppressor/oppressed narrative can describe. Sometimes, the best solution is to increase, rather than to diminish, personal responsibility. Often, government programs can exacerbate problems, with no built-in correction mechanism.
Update: Dartmouth’s Meir Kohn passes along an article by Yosef Yitzhak Lifshitz arguing that Judaism does not require socialist egalitarianism.
While such a scholarly viewpoint may be valuable, it is my view that folk beliefs take on a life of their own, apart from scholarly beliefs. I would say that the Moses Complex afflicts even secular Jews (as well as non-Jews), somewhat independently of how scholars interpret Judaism.