Israel desperately needs professionalism. Needed is a presidential system that relegates to the dust heap the system of multiparty cabinet government that enabled the Kadima-led coalition to achieve power and degrade as well as endanger this country.
One thing lacking in Israeli government is professionalism. What is a profession? What makes medicine, physics, mathematics, political science, architecture, astronomy, law, “professions”? They are also called “disciplines” because they require sustained and systematic learning. Professions, however, involve the transmission, from generation to generation, of organized knowledge and methods of inquiry that enable us to comprehend and perhaps control various domains of reality. Such knowledge is not necessarily progressive. Alfred North Whitehead, a philosopher-mathematician and historian of science, notes that “In the year 1500 Europe knew less than Archimedes who died in the year 212 BC.”
One finds in all professions outstanding minds. The history of philosophy, Whitehead remarked, is little more than a series of footnotes to Plato. Plato’s greatest student was Aristotle, the founder of political science who wrote treatises on 150 different regimes, in addition to original works on ethics, rhetoric, logic, poetics, physics, metaphysics, etc. The unequaled vastness of Aristotle’s knowledge dominated the curriculum of Western universities for two thousand years, and much of his knowledge is still relevant, especially Books III to VIII of his Politics. Indeed, what Machiavelli, the father of modern political science, knows compared to Aristotle can be put on a postage stamp! » Continue reading “Professionalism”