Monday, 22 September 2014

The Long Way Home- A Book Review

The Long Way Home- A Book Review

Over at athriftyhomemaker Sanne Wijkers has been keeping busy not just with her website, but also with a short novel, The Long Way Home. I recently finished reading her book and quite enjoyed it. A swashbuckler set in a futuristic setting. Which probably made you think of Star Wars, but don't. The setting is very old fashioned with the space ships simply existing to makes things interesting.

The main character is a Gentleman Adventurer who starts as a mercenary, but in the course of the story becomes a pilot, a captive, an escapee, a smuggler, and truth be told an at times quite ruthless man. Although he seems to live in ruthless times, he is nearly executed twice just for being on the wrong side!

If you like old fashioned adventure stories, then this swashbuckling story might be for you.  

You can also get it from Lulu for a very reasonable $4.57!

Thank you for Sanne for my review copy.

Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Why Doesn't Liberalism Believe in Punishment?

Why Doesn't Liberalism Believe in Punishment?

Liberalism has two problems with punishment and they are both a part of Liberalism's wider ideals, Equality and Progress. Both present problems when it comes to punishment. Punishment implies that someone has done something wrong and that they must be corrected, or even destroyed to show how wrong the transgression was. But Liberalism keeps running into the twin problems presented by it's believe in Equality and Progress.

Equality states that everyone is equal, that there is no real difference at all between people. Black and white are the same, men and women are the same, the sick and the well are the same, the guilty and the innocent are the same. What! Equality does not mean that the guilty and the innocent are the same. But it does. Equality means that there is no real difference between any two people. Everyone is basically the same person regardless of any outward appearance or utterance. If thats the case then how can people do wildly different things in life? Very few people are murderers or rapists or burglars, but some people are. How does Liberalism reconcile the idea that as everyone is equal and that they are basically the same person, with the idea that some people do very bad things, but most don't? Environment, people become criminals because they grow up poor or because of drugs or alcohol, they are basically good people who because of something beyond their control committed a crime. They may be guilty of committing a crime but they are at the same time innocent because they are not a bad person, merely someone who did something wrong that was beyond their control.

Progress says that things get better, they always get better, they never stop, in fact it is impossible for Progress to stop. It is relentless. Progress is one of Liberalism's oldest ideals, it is in fact a cornerstone of Liberalism. But it isn't just technical Progress that is believed in and supported, but also human Progress. That we will all become richer under Liberalism, that we will all become healthier, smarter, in a word, better. Think of it as spiritual evolution but without God. As Liberalism rules, the average person gets better all the time. If people are constantly getting better then how does Liberalism explain crime? Well criminals are just late bloomers, their just like everyone else but not quite there yet. Don't give up on them, they will bloom.

No where is there the idea that certain actions and/or people are evil and that is because Liberalism doesn't believe in the existence of evil. They don't believe in it as a supernatural force, nor as something that exists within nature, let alone human nature. Evil is like superstition, something best left alone and forgotten about. Because if evil exists then it would imply, very strongly, that equality is false. That people are not basically the same person but that instead they are distinct, so distinct from each other that some of us do evil deeds and are either born or become evil. If that is so how can Progress be real, how can people become better if it is possible to become evil? It's not and therefore Liberalism denies that evil exists.

The Law is much older than Liberalism and it was created by men who believed absolutely in the existence of evil. They believe that it was important not simply to judge but to punish. Modern Law has been much changed by Liberalism, but that older Law still exists. Both in spirit and in text. Certainly ordinary people expect punishment just as much as the people of other times did. But modern Law tries it's hardest to find ways to not punish. Harsh words from the bench, fines, community based orders, suspended sentences. Now I am not saying these things are not appropriate, they may or may not be depending upon the crime and circumstances. But often prison sentences are not adequate and Capital Punishment is looked on a judicial murder. At each turn Liberalism seeks to minimize punishment. Every bad boy (or girl) needs the chance to show that they can be good. Sadly as Liberalism believes that the guilty and the innocent are equal, very little thought can be spared for the innocent. The victims of crime shouldn't exist, Liberalism is making everyone a better person. The victims of crime are an embarrassment to Liberalism and it doesn't know which way to look. It loves the control and power that the Law gives it, but it doesn't have any answers for crime because crime isn't supposed to exist!

Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Blog
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Saturday, 13 September 2014

Why Capital Punishment is Moral

Why Capital Punishment is Moral

For as long as I can remember I have heard that Capital Punishment is wrong, that it is immoral but I have never accepted those arguments. My life, and yours, is precious, it deserves protecting and it deserves justice. A human life is not immortal, it is instead mortal and finite, it will end all to soon without it being taken from us. It is the most precious thing that we possess, but those who oppose Capital Punishment believe that our life is not worth justice, that a court hearing and a sentence is enough. I reject that view, it is not enough, it is an injustice, as if murder was not injustice enough. Here I will look at some of the most common reasons given to oppose Capital Punishment and then I will look at the reasons that I believe make the lack of Capital Punishment immoral.

Capital Punishment makes us just as bad as the murder
Here is a very common argument, that death is death no matter who deals it out. But it ignores a basic legal and moral question, is all killing wrong? Some people say yes it is, but in reality very few people really believe that. When you probe them for further details nearly everybody agrees that there are times in which killing is not wrong or illegal.

If you had a gun and you saw a child about to be attacked by a rapid dog would you try and stop it? Would you try and shot the dog? To kill it? I think most people would say yes, I would shoot and kill the dog. What about if it wasn't a dog but a person with a knife about to attack a child, would you shoot them? Now it's a bit more difficult, a person isn't a dog, maybe you can reason with a person. Lets say the person cannot be reasoned with and that they begin slashing the knife in an attempt to kill or harm the child. Would you shoot them? What if they attacked you would you shoot them? Lets say you do shoot them, would you be a murderer?

I would argue, no, you were acting to protect yourself or someone who needed your protection. To kill in such a situation is not murder, it might be manslaughter, although in the above situation I believe that you would be justified. Now lets turn it around, you did not shoot, instead this person killed you. You were an innocent person, going about your lawful and peaceable existence, you have a right to do that. In fact the law exists specially to allow you to do that. But that has been taken from you, you have been killed. You have been murdered. Let us say that the person is arrested and is charged with your murder. They are interviewed by the police and get to tell their side of the story. They get a lawyer to plead their case in court and they will be judged by a jury of their peers. The case is not in any real doubt and they are found guilty and sentenced to death. There are those who will say that Capital Punishment is just as much an evil as your murder was. But here is to confuse innocence with guilt. You were innocent, you did not receive any legal defence, no lawyer, no jury, no judge, all of those things were denied to you. But the guilty person they received all of that. They were convicted by the law and sentenced to death by the law. Something that is always denied to the innocent.

Capital Punishment is revenge
My dictionary defines Justice as: 1) the quality of being fair, 2) the principle of fair treatment or conduct. It defines revenge as: any repayment for a wrong or injury. But in everyday language revenge has a nastier ring to it as it is assumed to be either malicious or unlawful. But in fact revenge can be either fair or malicious, it can be either lawful or unlawful. I have two questions, first is revenge wrong? Secondly why is life imprisonment justice but Capital Punishment revenge? Is revenge wrong? I'm not convinced it is, if someone you know has been murdered than I think it is unreasonable for an average normal person not to want punishment for that. And for that punishment to be unpleasant. Anger is as much a part of life as any other emotion and it is appropriate to feel anger in such a circumstances. But it is made out as if to feel anger is wrong, it is not wrong, anger is the correct emotion to feel. Why is life imprisonment justice but Capital Punishment revenge? Because there is no way to rehabilitate someone who is dead, you cannot show any mercy by commuting their sentence. It is a way for those who are soft of heart and brain to show how compassionate they are. Not at their expense but at ours.

What about killing an innocent man?
Here is a very powerful argument, what happens if you execute an innocent man? You cannot bring him back to life, a grave injustice has been done, it's better that 1000 guilty men go free than that one innocent man be wrongly condemned. The only reason anyone believes that 1000 guilty men should go free is because it's only rhetoric. Only lunatics believe such things. The reality is that we expect the legal system to do everything within it's power to tell the difference between the innocent and the guilty. That the legal system fails sometimes is not in doubt. But it is here that the problem resides. If an innocent man is found guilty, prison is not at fault, suspended sentences are not at fault, fines are not at fault and Capital Punishment is not at fault. The legal system and the rules that Parliament has given it have failed. Does that mean an innocent man cannot be executed. No one can say that, but that 1000 guilty men should go free on the off chance that one of them is innocent, not the knowledge that one is innocent, just the random chance, is absurd. Surely a second body could be established, a permanent Royal Commission or some such high body that could review cases. No one wishes for an innocent man to be executed but to use this extreme case as an argument against lawful punishment is wrong.

We are more civilized then that, mercy not brutality
Surely society is more advanced than to kill people, surely we can show mercy instead of showing brutality. Here an argument is made that we can be better people, that we should not be like the murderer, that we should show mercy. These all seem reasonable, but are they? Is it right to show mercy for the guilty and to ignore the pain of the innocent? Is it civilized to allow the guilty a second chance when they have shown no mercy themselves? In most cases this compassion is at someone else's expense, they can feel good about themselves, superior than thou, but in reality those who make these arguments are not interested in justice, they are interested in creating a better world and it doesn't matter whether that world can really exist or not. It is their desire for such a world that is important, not your pain, not the need for people to be safe nor justice. All of those things can be done away with as long as they feel good about themselves.

What about rehabilitation?
Prison exists to rehabilitate people, people in prison have done the wrong thing, including murderers. But we can all benefit by allowing these people to be rehabilitated. Rehabilitation of prisoners has been around for a long time and we know that some people are rehabilitated and that others are not. It is an art not a science. We know that many people get out of prison who will continue to commit crime. As a society we accept that, up to a point. But why should I have to sit next to a murderer on the train? I have no idea if I have or I haven't. But as murderers are released into the community, our community I may have done that. But at no point does it remove the stain that they have, you cannot rehabilitate a murderer because murder is not a normal crime. It is a crime against nature, against the natural order of things.

Now I will look at the other side at why the lack of Capital Punishment is immoral.

The lack of Capital Punishment punishes the innocent instead of the guilty
As I have written above murder punishes the innocent, if the guilty are not executed but instead get to continue to live their life then there has been no punishment. No matter how long the sentence or how horrible the condition the guilty should not be allowed to life and taunt the living. I am thinking of a particular murderer in Victoria where I live who was convicted of multiple murders, but who still lifes and breathes and who continues to taunt the families of his victims. The innocent suffered and continue to suffer, yes he is in prison but for how long? Until a Government or a judge decides to be both soft hearted and soft headed. The innocent have suffered enough.

It trivializes murder
In New South Wales a rapist was given 56 years in jail. I would be fine with that except he would have gotten less if he had killed them. How is that right or moral? You can get more for importing drugs into the country than for murder. How is that right or moral? I do not object to tough sentences, I do however object to sentences that make murder into just another crime. Murder is the second most serious crime, the only more serious crime is treason. To give such lenient sentences makes a mockery of both the victim and of the crime. Murder is not a trivial offence, but our Parliaments and our courts seem to disagree.

It allows the guilty to resume their life, something that is impossible for their victim
In Victoria the average sentence for murder is 16 years, that means that you can meet murderers on the street as you go about your lawful and peaceable activity. Decent people should not have to do that. Murders should not get the chance to marry and have families, they should not get the chance to grow old, they should not get the chance to enjoy life. They have committed a grievous crime against all of us and they do not deserve our sympathy nor our compassion. That should be reserved for the innocent, not the guilty.

Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future
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Thursday, 11 September 2014

The Eighteenth Month

The Eighteenth Month

This last month has been quite a good one, I had one article go into the hundreds, Why don't the poor marry? And I had the fourth most success month ever, with over 1700 views, I still haven't cracked the 2000 mark yet. The above article has made it into the Top 10 list of articles on the site, but that isn't quite right. Here is the Top 10 list as Blogger presents them and next to each, in brackets, I'll include the total number of times the article has been clicked on.

(1174) Free Trade Versus Protectionism
(813) Feminism, Why we are not Feminists
(795) What do Traditional Conservatives believe?
(720) Why do Conservatives believe in different social classes?
(675) The Discrimination of Anti-Discrimination
(282) Why don't the poor marry?
(323) Government and Traditional Conservatism
(342) The Loneliness Epidemic
(274) The Paradox of the Autonomous Individual and the Expanding Government
(264) The Stages of Liberal Reform

& just outside of the Top 10 is: (262) The three meanings of word 'politics'

Now you can see that Why don't the poor marry? should be in the Top 10, but not in 6th place. You can also see that Government and Traditional Conservatism and The Loneliness Epidemic should swap places and move up a spot. So why don't the numbers match up? I believe the reason is because Blogger (and I believe Google) give more weight to recent posts and more recent clicks than to older ones. Which means that it is not a true picture but a weighted one.

My worst day this month was the 12th of August when I had 25 visitors, the only only day I had with under 30 visitors. My best day was the 18th of August when I had 134. Also of interest is that in the first eighteen months of this blog I have had over 10700 American, more than 4,500 Australian and more than 1,000 British visitors!

As always each month is from the 11th of one month to the 11th of the next month.

United States
United Kingdom

United States
United Kingdom
The United States is nearly 200 more than last month, Australia was over 300 but is now at a more modest rise. The Ukraine has been near 100 for most of the month and today it finally reached it!

The United Kingdom is four times higher, Germany has nearly tripled, Canada is nearly double and France has also increased.

The Netherlands is back in the Top 10 as is Japan. Sweden came in on two days and then vanished.

Turkey has left the Top 10 as has Indonesia.

I have also received visitors from the following countries Ireland, Finland, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Croatia, Serbia, Latvia, Estonia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Israel, U.A.E.,India, Bangladesh, China, Macau, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Burma, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Tunisia, Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, South Africa, New Zealand, Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina.

I look forward to seeing you again.
Mark Moncrieff

Friday, 5 September 2014

What Would the World Look Like if the Liberal "ism's" Won?

What Would the World Look Like if the Liberal "ism's" Won? 

As I look around at the various political ideals I keep thinking about what would the world look like if one of them "won". If one of them was supreme, with little or no opposition how would they organize society and the economy?

I won't look at all of the political philosophies, just the following three:
Left Liberalism
Right Liberalism

What would the world look like if Feminism was supreme? We cannot think of moderate Feminism, after all this is a world in which Feminism doesn't have any serious opposition. I think that a world in which Feminism won would be a very dysfunctional world, both socially and economically. Men would be outcasts, having no real reason to exist. Would men be needed for procreation or pleasure? Or would these things be "fixed" by science? Marriage would be gone, so would the family. Some women really like men, but would such a personal preference be allowed? Would the "girls just want to have fun" Feminists win or would the "all sex is rape" Feminists win? I cannot say, but I don't see much future in either.

Left Liberalism
If Left Liberalism was supreme society would be one in which individual choice would be regarded as supreme. Even stupid choices, the suicide booths in Futurama come to mind. Sounds a bit extreme? Not when you think about it, after all if individual choice is supreme then every choice is valid. It is valid because it is trivial, your life is important to you, but not to Liberalism. Your life doesn't belong to God, or to the community, it is your property, nothing to do with Liberalism. So if you want to end it in the suicide booth, thats your business, nothing to do with anyone else. If it is your business and no one else's, it's like a hobby, trivial. Who cares whether your a stamp collector or a jogger, it's trivial. A Left Liberal world would resemble a Communist society more than any other. Because all that would exist is the individual and the Government, maybe some businesses might still exist but they wouldn't be allowed to make too much of a profit. The Government and not the individual would really be supreme. If you worked it would be for the Government, tax would be high and whoever was successful would be demonized in public, but they would in private be given special privileges that shouldn't exist but would. Step by step it would move towards Socialism, whether it wanted to or not.

Right Liberalism
Right Liberalism dreams of a Laissez-Faire world, where Government gets out of the way and lets business run everything thats important. Not Government, that isn't important, making money is important. Everything revolves around making money. A stable society is only important if it makes money, if an unstable society makes more money then make an unstable society. Whatever makes money. Of course individual choice is important in a Right Liberal society as well. But those choices remain trivial, what brand of soap or soup do you prefer? It's important, a matter of life and death....but actual matters of life and death should not be discussed. You can vote for whoever you like, as long as the choice doesn't really matter. Economically it would be a dog eat dog world, in a Right Liberal world the Government concerns it's self with everything business isn't interested in, in other words what it cannot make a profit from. Workers exist to create profit and how it uses it's workers depends on the company not on any outside factor. Some would treat there workers very well, others would not. It would be a lottery with very serious consequences. Right Liberals like to think that such a world would be one of open competition were companies used that environment to generate wealth and efficiency's. But such an environment would allow big fish to slow the smaller fish, it would allow cartels and monopolies. In short it would allow the very worst of business to flourish.

To be honest I cannot think of how once they had become supreme any of these "isms" would survive. In each is there own destruction, it has been said that everything has the seeds of it's own destruction. Maybe that is true, I don't know. But I ask you would you really like to live in any of these societies? Maybe the top might be alright, but what about the middle or at the bottom? I for one don't see a better world in any of these, I think I'll stick to Traditional Conservatism.

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Sunday, 31 August 2014

The Paradoxes of Anti-Racism

The Paradoxes of Anti-Racism

Anti-Racism is the idea or belief that racism is wrong and that as all peoples are equal it is redundant for anyone to hold racist views or opinions and furthermore that everyone should be encouraged to think of all people as their equal. At first sight anti-racism can seem reasonable enough, but on closer inspection there are a number of paradoxes that seriously dint the this idea.

There are three main paradoxes within Anti-Racism:
1) Race doesn't exist
2) White people are racist and other people are not racist
3) White privilege and the underlying problem of how did whites get this "privilege"!

Race doesn't exist
You will find this rather bizarre idea is quite widespread. The idea goes like this, because race is so controversial it shouldn't exist and there fore doesn't really exist, it is instead a social construct, something that isn't real but that people for social, political or economic reasons have decided is real. But because it's a social construct, it can be deconstructed. Race can be made to disappear as if it never existed because it doesn't exist, as it's only a social construct. Then we can all just be united as the human race, instead of being divided by people being of different races. Within Universities this idea has taken hold, it might not be universally held in Universities but that is where it's stronghold is. And it has been given strength by the knowledge that the differences between races biologically is so small. Which is true for DNA, you would expect humans to be very much like other humans when it comes to the very building blocks of life. But it's not true once you start looking at other biological sciences, then the differences between races becomes a different picture. But the idea that race doesn't exist means that we must ignore what is right before our eyes and that is that people look different and the differences between races means that very basic items of appear can look different. Skin, eye and hair colour, the size of our bodies, the shape of our nose, how much hair we have on our bodies or face, the shape of our eyes and that is only what we can see. Anti-Racism says that that is because they are the only differences but we know that isn't true. We know that different races can get different diseases, even mental illness can be decided by race. But when you point these things out the Anti-racist says "you can't say that it's racist"! How can something be racist if race doesn't exist? It's nonsense.

White people are racist and other people are not racist
The idea that we are all united is one that many people find comforting, if we are all on the same side then there will be no more racial problems. But that is only an idea and when racial problems, real or manufactured turn up then who's to blame? If it is possible for all people to be the same, equal, then why isn't it happening? Who benefits? Well here things take a half logical turn because in most Western countries the majority of the population is white, so who are the rich, the celebrities, the big business owners, the politicians or the University lecturers? Their nearly all white, so who benefits? It must be those who already have power, they don't want to fix racism because they benefit from it. That actually has some logic behind it, but of course in a majority white country not only will those already mentioned be white, but so will the majority of every class. The majority of the middle class will be white, the majority of the working class will be white, the majority of the very poor will be white, the majority of the homeless, the unemployed, the prison population, the suicides will be white. So when a white person does something racist or is a accused of being racist the idea is formed that they do that from a position of power. So a white homeless person is by this idea more powerful than a rich person of any other race. It's ridiculous but it is what many Anti-Racists believe. That only the powerful can be racist and that as the powerful in white countries are white then all whites are powerful, therefore only whites are racist. But isn't placing all past, current and future blame on one race racist?  Only if your not an Anti-Racist!

This is also know as the Apex theory, whereby someone looks at the apex or top and assumes that is what everything else looks like, for example the apex of a mountain might be covered in snow, so the assumption is that all of the mountain is covered in snow, whether it is or not.

White privilege and the underlying problem of how did whites get this "privilege"!
White power is most often called white privilege, being white has it privileges it seems. That may be so but those privileges did not spring from no where. Here Anti-racists would agree, white privilege is possible in their view because it has come at the expense of other races. Why aren't there more black country singers? Because white privilege stops them. Why aren't there more white hip hop artists? Because they aren't good enough will come back the reply. Ok, maybe their not, but why isn't that a good enough answer for country music? The answer is because of white privilege, it is a simple answer but at least it's consistent. The problem with it is that it implies that whites are superior. How did white's gain their privilege? According to Anti-Racists white's took it from other races, they lied, tricked and forced them to give up their privileges and whites took them. If this is true how did one race gain so much power? Was it Western Civilization, Christianity, Liberalism, technology, disease? But all of these have been rejected in favour of race, it isn't Western Civilization privilege, nor is it Christianity privilege or even Liberal privilege, no it's white privilege. Whites are responsible for this world and no one else, for all it's mistakes and horrors. If that is true then whites are by definition superior to every other race. Anti-Racism is white supremacy!

If that ain't a paradox then I don't know what is.

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Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Neo-Conservatism, Why We Are Not Neo-Conservatives

Neo-Conservatism, Why We Are Not Neo-Conservatives

Neo in Latin means new, so Neo-Conservatism means new Conservatism. What exactly is a new Conservative?

It turns out it's a branch of Right-Liberalism, it might be new but it isn't Conservative. Many Neo-Conservatives started off on the Left and as both they and the Left changed they felt a bit left out in the cold. In time they saw that they agreed a lot with "Conservatives" and that is what they thought they were, but not the old type of Conservative, a new but still progressive Conservative, a Neo-Conservative. In reality they were not Conservatives they had simply moved from a Classical Liberalism to a Right Liberal position. Just as the Left moved from a more Classical Liberal position to one further left, much closer to Socialism and Communism.

Neo-Conservatives are solidly Right Liberal in their social and economic policies. In fact I cannot think of any serious disagreement between the two. But one idea stands supreme, the idea that each of us desires to be an autonomous individual, now both Right and Left Liberalism agree with this but what they might not agree with is that Neo-Conservatives believe that America is the greatest Liberal society ever. And that as everyone desires to be an autonomous individual and as America has come further than any other nation in creating a Liberal society, all Foreign and Domestic policy should be aligned to first keep and then extent the ideal of American Liberalism. They further believe that it is profoundly immoral to hinder or stand in the way of Humanities greatest goal. Like all Liberals they believe in a perfect world, in a heaven on Earth that they can create. But Neo-Conservatives believe that a piece of that heaven on earth already exists. That American Liberalism is the way to obtain that perfect world. That is why they originally turned against the Left because it attacked and put under threat American Liberalism by moving further to the Left.

They believe in the strength of the United States, that America is the best, last hope for Humanity. That just as open borders and Free Trade allows those not born American to still receive the miracle of American Liberalism, American Liberalism can also be exported. But in most of America Neo-Conservatives are a tiny minority. Their strength lies in New York City and Washington D.C., they tend to be very cultured and academic, to work in Universities and in Government. And while their ideas get a good hearing in the halls of power they do not have much strength or power. Iraq is the perfect example. They supported the invasion of Iraq, as did many others, it certainly was not just Neo-Conservatives who supported the war. But what they wanted was a long occupation and an intense effort to transform Iraq from an oppressed, poor and illiberal country, into a bastion of American Liberalism in the Middle East. A country that would then transform the rest of the Middle East by it's sincere conversion to American Liberalism. I even remember President Bush saying things very similar. Of course things worked out differently, very differently.

The Neo-Conservatives sometimes got their way, but not consistently. For example they wanted large amounts of money spent on rebuilding Iraq and that money was spent (often badly). But as part of that effort they wanted political education, basically civic classes, but hardly any of that was carried out. They wanted to rebuild civil institutions, but that proved much harder than most thought, one reason being because many of the civil institutions couldn't be rebuild because they had never existed before. But instead of trying to achieve a compromised peace, which it may have been possible to achieve, although I admit that is not certain. They wanted to create Switzerland, a multiethnic, multi-party Democracy in the Middle East. That failed, I do not believe as many others believe that Democracy cannot work in the Middle East but Democracy is not magic, it is more like a crop in the field, it needs the right conditions to grow. The right conditions do not exist in Iraq for Democracy to work, at least not as we understand it, maybe some type of limited Democracy might work. The right conditions do not exist for Liberalism to work either.

In many ways Neo-Conservatives seem stuck in the early 1960's. America is strong, economically, politically, socially and militarily. It is rich and can afford to be generous, it is after all the envy of the world. America was made great by Liberalism, American Liberalism is the future. America rebuilt Germany and Japan after the war, there is nothing Americans cannot achieve if they put their minds to it. Neo-Conservatism will not survive beyond my lifetime because the America that they believe in and admire is not here anymore. Sure parts of it are, America isn't down and out but how much does it really resemble the early 1960's anymore?

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