April 27, 1997

EDITORS' NOTE

 

The editors had access to Sam Dubiner's manuscripts a couple of years after his death. They were confronted with a large amount of material, written during a 20 year time period. The material was in various stages of elaboration ranging from articles already published in the newspapers to articles which had not yet undergone the slightest form of editing. Certain background features in connection with Sam Dubiner's life and career may contribute to a better understanding of his economical writings. The editors believe that seldom were Buffon's and McLuhan's famous quotes -"The style is the man" and respectively, "The media is the message" more fitting than to Sam Dubiner.

Like McLuhan, Dubiner was a Canadian. In 1950 he emigrated to Israel. He arrived preceded by his world wide fame as a successful industrialist, great businessman and innovator. Active in many fields, Dubiner was especially known for his success in merchandising the Yo-yo across the world. In Israel Dubiner got involved in cardinal enterprises in agriculture and banking, building and industry. He made an exceptional contribution in the field of citrus growing and citrus industry. He built the Cargal factory, the first factory bringing into market cartons to replace the expensive wood imported boxes. The fossilized economic bodies (such as the Citrus Marketing Board) controlling then the Israeli economy, wickedly sabotaged Dubiner's enterprise. This cost Dubiner his factory and his fortune, but did not endanger neither his enthusiasm nor his creativity.

He was, even before emigration, a great art collector, but now he became an art dealer and, even more important, an art promoter. Through his "Galerie Israel" Dubiner undertook numerous projects in Israel and abroad. These exemplary projects, aiming to create a national and international audience for the young Israeli Art, were seldom matched till today.

When Dubiner retired from the art business he become an enthusiastic art researcher, movie maker and economic writer. His writings bear the mark of his personality. He had a wide business experience, was a staunch supporter of free enterprise, eager to share his knowledge and ready to do everything in order to improve the economy of his new adopted country. All the industries he built in Israel and for which he paid a heavy personal price were extremely successful. Far from being embittered, Dubiner felt that he wanted to share the vast theoretical knowledge he accumulated during his lifetime. As he himself said, - he was not a trained economist, but without any doubt he was an economic thinker.

Certainly, his calculations are not always foolproof, nor does his style follow the rules of the academic presentation but it is worthwhile to mention that he never intended to. Dubiner's approach is often colloquial, he wrote like he was giving a talk. The style of the delivery, and even the numerous repetitions were part of his ideas. He considered that he was dealing with an on-going process. He did not hesitate to come back again and again to the same issue and his message was cast into a form meant to reach large, wide, non professional audiences. Till his last day, Dubiner fought against monopolies and for a better quality of life.

The editors believe, that what happened in Israel in the last twenty years (and the collapse of the state controlled economy across the world) proves that professionals too, can learn from Dubiner's economic theories, views, and proposed solutions.

Betty Dubiner
Dan Eban

Ramat Gan, Israel