While the Forward reported it as "Mitt Slams the Kibbutz", the LA Times elected to go for a softer headline ("Contrasting joy of individual action, Romney finds ... the kibbutz?") only to open their critique by asserting that Republicans hate collectives and Mitt Romney stupidly elected to reference a collective form of living located in the world's foremost political hotbed. Because, as we all know, Romney's out to pick on those Israeli Jews -- usually demonized by the same left-wing media that seems to now suddenly feel bad for them, because "the enemy of my enemy is my friend"...right? Wait a second...
What Romney actually said was, “America is not a collective where we all work in a kibbutz or we’re all in some little entity, instead it’s individuals pursuing their dreams and building successful enterprises which employ others and they become inspired as they see what has happened in the place they work and go off and start their own enterprises..."
And he's right. America isn't a kibbutz or a collective of any kind. So... where's the insult in this?
And therein lies the rub. The same leftists who don't want to be compared to anyone, who constantly argue for equality in all forms, are also the same folks who consistently look at the world through a comparative lens. Go figure: Marx's entire theory is based on the idea that one group somehow has it better than another. In this case, Leftists clamoring for an argument in an election season accuse Mitt Romney of asserting that Americans have it better because they are free to do as they please, instead of being beholden to the needs and desires of the larger group. In the left-wing mindset, this comparison has a default meaning: When an individual's desires take priority over those of the community, the individual is just some sick, sad, corrupt bastard looking to profit off the suffering of others.
I guess that's why all those illegals are flooding across our borders year after year; so they can be used and abused by evil individualists. All those legal immigrants who work and save for years to bring their families to America for better educational and employment opportunities are just slaves to the individualist machine. They'd be so much better off living in countries where they're judged by their economic class, race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.
Wait a second. I thought only "rugged individualists" (as the LA Times likes to call them) are the ones judging folks by all those superficial criteria. That's what the Leftists say, comparatively speaking.
Romney didn't insult Israel or kibbutzim. Romney stated what was a fact about America that has increasingly been reduced to a political platform. Why? Because American culture has allowed the Left to usurp the conversation with these ridiculous and dangerous comparative notions that are completely irrelevant to the American way of life.
Interestingly, I have yet to read a critique of Romney's so-called "gaffe" that dares to mention the article recently published in The Guardian regarding the comeback of Israeli kibbutz life. The report that has been all the rage in the Jewish Left's social media sphere declares that, "After decades of declining numbers, bankruptcies and privatisation, Israel's kibbutz movement is undergoing a remarkable revival, with rising numbers wanting to join the unique form of collective living." Continue reading and you'll find out that the living isn't as "collective" as it used to be:
Most kibbutzim have implemented reforms to become commercially viable and stem decline. Liberalisation – including permitting differential incomes and home ownership – has increased their attractiveness to newcomers reluctant to commit to pure communal principles.
Only about 60 of Israel's 275 kibbutzim still operate a completely collective model, in which all members are paid the same regardless of their allotted job. Most of the rest have introduced wage differentials for people employed by the kibbutz – but, more importantly, many members now work outside the kibbutz and contribute a proportion of their salaries to the collective.
Other measures have included selling kibbutz businesses, charging for meals and services, and recruiting agricultural labourers from south-east Asia. The changes, necessary for survival, have been painful, particularly for a generation of kibbutz pioneers wedded to a socialist-Zionist dream.
Pardon me while I play the part of Jewish commentator stepping outside the box: Mitt, what can the American government learn from the correlation being made between commercially viable economic reforms and increased participation in kibbutz life?
Then again, I suppose that's a comparison the Left doesn't really care to make.