How To Live As A Jew

I just read Jef Costello’s essay on Counter Currents, “How to Live as a Dissident.”

It reminds me of how Jews have often felt. You could change a few words around in this piece and it would fit the situation of Jews in vulnerable places.

In some circumstances, Jews are the persecuted. In other circumstances, we are the persecutors.

No people are inherently good or evil, superior or inferior. Our fortunes wax and wane depending on our make-up and our circumstances.

Life is a spiral staircase. At one moment we’ll feel grandiose, in the next vulnerable, in the next small, and in the next masterful. We circulate between these four states throughout our lives. The one thing we can do at any time is to increase our mastery.

At some points in my life, I’ve felt like a vulnerable 22yo Gwyneth Paltrow fending off Harvey Weinstein’s advances. At other times, I’ve acted like Harvey Weinstein. Most men would act like Harvey Weinstein if they could get away with it. A stiff prick has no conscience.

Jef Costello writes:

“I feel like the walls are closing in,” one friend said to me the other day. He’s afraid of being doxed — but the general cultural insanity really gets to him (and me): the hysterical reactions to Trump, the violence of Berkeley and Charlottesville, the Las Vegas shootings, and so on. (Every night when I go to sleep I pray I won’t wake up in France or England or Sweden — that’s the best thing I can say about this situation.) Another friend is now on prescription tranquilizers and downing them with vodka (“It makes ’em work faster,” quoth Patty Duke in Valley of the Dolls). And, yes, a couple of friends have decided that they want “out” of our movement — that this is more than they bargained for.

The purpose of this essay is to establish some practical guidelines for dealing with, and surviving, these tumultuous times. I can’t guarantee that you are going to physically survive — your life could be taken at any moment by a crazed Hillary supporter, a gun-toting anti-gun pussy-hat-wearing Leftist, or an exploding kebab. But I think I can guarantee that if you follow my recommendations, you can survive with your soul intact. So let us begin.

First of all, if any of the above describes how you feel you need to wake the hell up and stop your whining! What did you think this was going to be, a tea party? Did you maybe think this was just yet another subculture you could join and participate in after work, online and from the safety of your Ikea-furnished high-rise apartment with the solid concrete walls? Were you just LARPing? As Lenin memorably remarked, “A revolution is not a girl’s dormitory.” And this is a revolution, folks, and we are revolutionaries. Act like it. Become it.

So, the first step in dealing with the present madness is to accept the reality of the fact that everything you’ve been saying and thinking for years is right (yes, you were right!), that everything really is falling apart – much quicker than you thought it would – and that you are among the vanguard. You are making world history. And like most other historical figures, you are going to lead a life – probably a relatively short life – in which you will be attacked and vilified. You may lose things important to you. Indeed, you may lose everything. Folks are going to abandon you. This could mean your friends, your parents, your children, and your spouse or significant other (that at least some of these will abandon you is as certain as the sun rising tomorrow). You’re probably never going to be able to settle down in one place and be “happy.” You may be on the run. If things get really bad, you may have to become an outlaw and you may die in a convenient prison accident, or in a hail of bullets.

Accept your fate. Accept, right now, that you are going to lead a life filled with conflict and discord and loneliness and violence. But you must also love your fate. Yes, this is going to be hell. But it’s also going to be glorious. You are going to lead an extraordinary life — the kind of life people read about. (Don’t worry: in the future we are building, people are going to read again.) If the term “revolutionary” conjures up distasteful images of Bolsheviks, then think of yourself as a warrior.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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