Thursday, 29 August 2013

Libertarianism, why we are not Libertarians

Libertarianism, why we are not Libertarians

Traditional Conservatives believe in a balanced society in which everyone gets a piece of the pie but the pieces need not be all the same size. We believe that there will always be rich and poor and that society has a responsibility to look after those in need. We also believe that Government has a rightful place, Defence, Justice, Law Enforcement, Trade, Foreign Affairs to name just a few. But within Libertarianism all of these are contentious, some come very close to our thinking and others are so far away it is easy to distinguish.

In short Libertarianism is pro-Individual, pro-Business and anti-Government. It's problem with Government is that Government makes demands on people, some reasonable, some open to question and some unreasonable. Depending upon the individual Libertarian any of these may be fine or may be regarded as an abomination. It can be hard to find common ground as each view is seen as having merit.

Libertarianism is at the very end of Right-Liberalism, for the Libertarian the Individual is supreme. It is this believe that is both it's centrepiece and it's most radical concept.

The only time that the Individual may not be supreme, is when the rights of Business conflict with the rights of the Individual. For example an Individual wants to behave in a particular way, a way that is against the interests or belief of his employer. Some Libertarians will say the Individual has a right to do as they want. Others will say that the Business should be able to hire and fire as it see's fit. Who should win the Individual or the Business? Libertarians seem conflicted.

In a conflict between the Individual and the Government, the Individual should win, in a conflict between the Individual and the rest of Society, the Individual should win. In these cases the point is clear, it's radical support of the individual is consistent until it meets Business, then it cannot decide whether money or freedom is the greater good.

Libertarianism is also a big fan of social Darwinism, the survival of the fittest. Here the idea is that the weaker man should not hold back the stronger man, the stronger in this sense meaning better. So what then happens to the weaker man? Libertarianism isn't quite clear on this issue, it leaves it alone as the implications are quite frightening. There is no charity or compassion to be found here.

For the Traditional Conservative the individual should win when he is right and lose when he is wrong. The individual is not supreme, he is one part of a much bigger world, of a bigger story than just himself. We believe in a world of community, not in a world in which only selfish self interest lives.

Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Traditional Conservative views on Men

Traditional Conservative views on Men

It is not uncommon to read views or policies about women, but how often, if at all, have you seen views or policies on men? For Traditional Conservatives men are not the forgotten half of society, they are as vital as women, as it requires both halves of mankind to make society function.

In the Clint Eastwood directed movie "A Perfect World", the escaped convict Butch, played by Kevin Costner, says a line that sums up much of our view of men and their role in society. Butch has just robbed a family of their car and he explains to his young captive/companion about the families Father "Bob's a fine family man, that's about the best thing a fella can hope to be". It's obvious that Butch both believes this to be true and knows that he will never live that life.

About the best thing a fella can be, why?

Because a Family man is living that most important of things a balanced life. A life that is not just about self, that supports his family and his community. It also helps him. I do not wish to imply that married life is perfect, but I do wish to imply that it is in most cases better than Bachelorhood. Bachelorhood is a stage that we want men to live and then to move out of. For some men, for various reasons, they will remain a Bachelor. It does not make them lesser men or mean that their life is wrong, it simply means that they are not living a balanced life. The preferred life.

We all should encourage men, ourselves included, to live a balanced life, a life in which positive virtues are both maintained and propagated. Virtues including but not limited to:

Knowledge &

The above list is not exhaustive but it is an achievable list. Some may be physical but all are mental, all require thought and effort to build and maintain. Some men will fail, they should be the exceptions.

Just as we expect things from men, men should expect things from Traditional Conservatism.

We should always be supporting marriage and men's right to marry, to be able to support his marriage, his Wife and his children. We should oppose those things that attack or deter this.

We should always be supporting financial conservatism so that the Government spends money on things that are needed and not things of vanity. Not on things that seem important but on things that are important. That Business be held accountable to standards that support a balanced society and not on exploiting one part of society to create wealth for another. That jobs are as important as wealth.

We should always be supporting males virtues and abilities, the unique things that make men different from women, from boyhood to old age. Men are Builders and Thinkers, Doers and Explorers, Leaders and Defenders. When we say things like this our opponents like to say but women can do those things, yes the exceptions can, but we aren't interested in the exceptions we are interested in everyone else.

The family man was once, not that long ago, the average man, the great bulk of men in society. But men, married and unmarried have been attacked and denied for decades. It is time to put the family man back on his pedestal.

Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future

Monday, 19 August 2013

Why does Liberalism hate the Family?

Why does Liberalism hate the Family?

When you look at society and compare it to 50 years ago you notice that the family is both weaker and that it has been redefined. But why? Why should the family be either weaker or redefined? The two are connected and something I've written about before in various posts, but here I want to find the answer to why Liberalism hates the family. 

Liberalism believes that the individual is supreme, that the individual is the natural state of man and that society is made up of these individual's. But everywhere Liberals look they are mocked by the family. Individuals are not born alone but they come from the union of a man and a women, their Mother and Father, and while they can be abandoned or suffer some other tragedy and be alone, that is rare. Much more common is for Mothers and Fathers to cherish their children, for them to form a family.  That the family then nurtures, protects and provides for each member to the exclusion of others. That is not absolute as many families also nurture, protect and provide for people who are not members of their family. Just to rub salt into the Liberals wounds nearly every family is attached to other families. It seems as if all there is is families, an endless vista of families.

So why do Liberals hate this?

They hate it because strong families don't need the help of the Government, they might from time to time but on a regular bases they can simply get on with life and ignore the Government. It isn't as simple as Liberals love more Government. The reason they want more Government is two fold. First they want more options in life and they believe that families hold the individual back, but that Government frees the individual to made the choices and live the life they see fit. Secondly they believe something that we also believe, that not all families are equal. But unlike us who accept that as a fact of life, they find it outrageous that some families have more advantageous than others. Only a disinterested third party can fix this and they believe that the Government is that disinterested party.

By redefining the definition of the family from a Father, a Mother and their own children, to a single Mother and child (ren), or to a Homosexual couple and adopted children or seemingly any other combination they can do two things. One potentially positive and one negative. The positive is that each person now has the ability and freedom to form a family, instead of a family being so restrictive now anyone can have a family if they want to be part of one. The negative is that it takes power from the Traditional family. The idea that the Traditional family exist as it does for valid reasons is an unpopular one with Liberals because it takes away the ability of the individual to design life as they see fit.

When it all comes down to it the real problem with the Traditional family is that it is a unit, Husband, Wife and children are all a team, all in this life together. When according to Liberalism they should be autonomous individuals making their own way in the world. Liberalism will never forgive the family for being guilty of this crime.

Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Future

Friday, 16 August 2013

95th Anniversary

95th Anniversary

This past Tuesday the 13th of August 2013 I went to the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne, Australia. I went because it was the 95th anniversary of my Great Great Uncles death in the First World War. He was killed in action on the 13th of August 1918, only 5 days after the great victory at Amiens. A victory the German General Ludendorff called "the black day of the German Army". From this point until the end of the war, only 3 months away, the Allies were constantly on the offensive. But my Great Great Uncle, Vernon Cyril Dawson was killed on an otherwise quiet day as the Armies prepared for further attacks. But I'll come back to Private Dawson.

The Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance is such an improbable thing, an Ancient Greek temple built in a City that was only settled in the 1830's. It was built as a memorial to the 19,000 Victorians who died serving King, Country and Empire during the First World War. It was financed by both public subscription and Government money. It was started in 1927 and finished in 1934, when 250,000 people were there to see it's dedication. Not bad when you consider that the population of Victoria was around 2,000,000.
"To the Glory of Service and Sacrifice this Shrine was Dedicated by His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester 11th November 1934"

Inside in the centre of the Shrine is a stone upon which is engraved "Greater love has no man" and around which a service is performed regularly. Along the inside wall are memorial books with the name's of those who died in beautiful cursive script, you can request as I did that the book be turned to a specific page. The attendant was very helpful and turned to the page with Vernon Cyril Dawson's name on it. It was written in military fashion, surname first, then initials, so there in the book it read Dawson, V.C.

V.C. are the initial's holders of the Victoria Cross can put after their name, the Victoria Cross being the highest award for valour in the British Empire and which many of those countries continue to award when warranted. Private Dawson was not awarded the Victoria Cross, his medals were more modest, the British War Medal 1914-20 and the Victory Medal.

For someone I had never met it was quite emotional being in the Shrine and looking at his name on the anniversary of his death all those years ago. In that beautiful and improbable building, one of the great treasures of our City. With visitors coming in and out, with school groups being given tours, it remained quiet. Not totally but it is a place for the living to remember the dead, to remember their sacrifice on our behalf so it doesn't need total silence. It needs respect which is what I saw there. It is not my first time visiting the Shrine but it was the first time I had been there for personal reasons. Until last year I didn't know that Vernon had ever lived, a friend found him while doing my family tree for me. Something I'm very grateful to her for. Now I know quite a bit about him.

I know he was born in 1890 in a small town in country Victoria named Casillis, near Omeo in whats known as the High Country. I went there between Christmas and New Year last year and found an area that looked like it had always been farmland and bush, but when Vernon was born there were around 1000 people living there. A town that existed to extract gold and the old photos show large factory like buildings that were used to process the gold. The people lived in shanty's, bark and wooden houses that have long since disappeared. In fact there were only two solid buildings in the entire town, one of which remains, the other was moved to a nearby town. Vernon was the youngest of 12 children, 3 girls and 9 boys, although 1 girl died the year of her birth and 1 of the boys died at the age of 2. His oldest sister was 23 when Vernon was born.

His enlistment papers tell us that he was 5' 11'' and 174 Ibs, with blue eyes and brown hair and he worked in the mine. He enlisted in October 1916 and left Australia in November. He served with the 6th Light Trench Mortar Battery until his death in August 1918. Mortarmen, like Machinegunners and Flame Thrower operators were some of the most hated men during the First World War. Flame Throwers I think you can work out why soldiers hated them, machine guns killed alot of men and it was hard to fight back against them. But mortar's could do something that no other weapon could do, they could fire explosives directly into trenches. The reason the trenches existed was because they were the safest way to avoid enemy attack. But because of the trajectory that mortars fire on mortar shells can land inside a trench, something artillery shells seldom did. Just to make them that little bit worse they were hard to hear, so there was little defence against them.

In 1917 the gold mine in Cassilis closed down and the town died, there are now less than 100 people living there. There are now Farms, a Winery and some Artists living there. Some of Vernon's family stayed but mine moved to Melbourne. The life that he had known before the war wouldn't have been there if he had lived, I'm sure he would have got on with life but of course we can never know. He now lies in Heath Cemetery, near Harbonnieres France, just south of the Somme River and to the east of Amiens.

Lest We Forget

Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future

Monday, 12 August 2013

The Fifth Month

The Fifth Month

Until this week, numbers have up and the only person to blame for the drop off in numbers is me. I am having a bit of a brain freeze. I need to rethink my topics as I'm not thinking as clearly as I have been. On the plus side I have had numbers up and I have also had some great comments. Particularly from JJ, he (I assume) gave me two really good posts which I'm very happy with. I hope I answered his questions and it helped clarify my thinking on Social Class and Education which is a good thing. Unfortunately I also think it has taken my eye off the ball and I need to get my eye back on the task of writing about what Traditional Conservatives are not. I've been working on an article on Libertarianism for a week, even though I've written on this topic before, annoying!

The worst day for visitors was the 24th July with 13 visitors, the best day was the 31st July after Mr. Mark Richardson linked to my post on Why do Conservatives believe in different social classes. *

Here are the views for the last month and then the month before for comparison.  As always the numbers are from the 11th of one month to the 11th of the next month.

United States
United Kingdom

United States
United Kingdom

The United States and Australia remain my biggest visitors and they have gone up which is always nice to see.

Russia is also up but I haven't noticed any for at least a week so I'm expecting these numbers to drop very fast, I'd love to be wrong on this one though.

The United Kingdom has nearly doubled, they are low numbers day by day but they must be more constant then I notice. Which is one of the reasons I do this update once a month so I can notice and have a record.

Canada is also up modestly, as is Latvia, don't think I don't appreciate that. I thought Latvia was a once off so I'm happy to see it's not.

Croatia, Ireland and France are new to the top 10, welcome!

Germany has fallen modestly, Germany was once in the top 3 so I hope this picks up.

While they are still around the Ukraine and Romania have dropped out of the top 10.

I have also had visitors from Finland, Bulgaria, China, South Korea, Japan, Indonesia and New Zealand. I think I've also had visitors from other countries this month but the above I know for certain and the others I cannot remember at this moment, if your from a country I have forgotten to mention please contact me and I'll correct the above.

As always thank you for reading my thoughts and if you have a question or comment I'm eager to hear it.

Yours Sincerely
Mark Moncrieff
*This sentence was added a day after the rest of the post.

Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

The Discrimination of Anti-Discrimination

The Discrimination of Anti-Discrimination

Let me tell you the story of a man. He is looking for a new job and out of the 20 advertised, he chooses one to apply for. Out of all the candidates, he is one of those called for an interview. He does so well at the interview he is offered the position over any other candidate. He accepts. On his way out of the building he has a conversation with a women, they hit it off and he asks her out. She, attracted to his confidence and pleasant manner agrees. They go out, in time they fall in love, they get married and live happily ever after and all because of discrimination!


Let me explain.

The first act of discrimination was that of the 20 advertised positions, he applied for 1. What was wrong with the other 19 positions? He discriminated against them.

The second act of discrimination was that he was selected for an interview, not everyone was selected.

The third act of discrimination was that he was offered the job over every other candidate.

The fourth act of discrimination was that he asked a particular women to go out with him, why this particular women? Because he likes her? Because he finds her attractive? Because they get along? This is even worse than I thought, here are 4 separate acts of discrimination!

He asks a particular women out - discrimination
Because he likes her - discrimination
Because he finds her attractive - discrimination
Because they get along - discrimination

This particular women isn't the only women in the world, if he gave other women a chance he might find one he likes better, he might find one as attractive maybe even more attractive, he might even find one he gets along with better. But instead he discriminates against every other women in the world in favour of this particular women. Then to put the final nail in the coffin he falls in love with this particular women and then compounds the issue by marrying her.

Every time you or anyone else makes a choice between two or more choices that is an act of discrimination.

Coke or Pepsi.

Vegetable or Salad.

Local or International.

Each decision is an act of discrimination. So how can you live a life free of discrimination?

The answer is you cannot. To live is to discriminate, it's that simple.

So if that is true how can things such as anti-discrimination laws and anti-discrimination commissions exist? How can they work if every decision is an act of discrimination?

They exist because some people believe, rightly or wrongly, that certain groups of people have been discriminated against and that that should be fixed or corrected. It works by discriminating in favour of one group and there fore by definition discriminating against anyone who does not belong to that group.

How is that anti-discrimination?

It's not, anti-discrimination laws and commissions discriminate for and against certain groups of people. It is anything but anti-discrimination.

The argument is that anti-discrimination is needed to protect and help vulnerable people who are the victims of negative discrimination. Where as other groups have benefited from positive discrimination, discrimination in their favour.

There are 5 groups around the world who it is said have (and are) the victims of negative discrimination, Indigenous groups, Minorities, Immigrants, Women and Homosexuals. The results are mixed, for Indigenous groups and Minorities it has failed. Their lives as a group are no better than it was 40 years ago. For immigrants the results are mixed. For Women and Homosexuals it has been a great success.

But that success has come at a price, because when you discriminate in favour of one group you discriminate against another. For every act of discrimination in favour of an Immigrant, there is an act of discrimination against the Native born. For every act of discrimination in favour of a women, there has been an act of discrimination against a man and for every act of discrimination in favour of a Homosexual, there has been an act of discrimination against a Heterosexual.

There is no anti-discrimination without discrimination.

Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Education and Conservatism

Education and Conservatism

Education is an issue we hear about every other week even if we are not involved in education in any way. It features regularly on the news, teacher pay or benefits, financing, education standards, student behavour, sometimes even teacher behavour. For something that nearly everyone does and then leave's it is truly amazing how often we hear about it and how controversial it is.

It shouldn't be, most people do not even question the idea that mass education is required. That it will involve large numbers of teachers and schools, that it will cost large amounts of money and that the taxpayer will have to pay for it. For the vast majority of people non of that is controversial, details may be but not the big issues. For better or worse the idea of mass education seems settled. What makes education controversial is the idea that it is or can become a panacea to all of our problems.

The word panacea means "a universal remedy", a way to cure all of societies or the economies or the Nations problems in one go. All that is required is enough education. All of the bad habits that people learn growing up can be untaught via education. Not happy with the injustice of the past, you can fix it today via education. People can be retaught, reeducated to think differently so that not only are the injustices of the past exposed as wrong but they cannot now happen ever again because people have been educated that they are and were wrong. If only life were really that simple.

The majority of teachers in my experience want to be professionals (and most are), they want to teach to the best of their ability and give students the best education they can. They also believe that more education is better than less. But is that really true?

What is forgotten is that people are different, both individually and in groups. While the basics of all education should be standard, education should also be tailored to suit the people being educated. Once the basics of a subject have been taught and learnt then the aim should be to give the students a positive push towards gaining mastery of a subject. Let me use reading as an example, once the basics have been taught, students should be encouraged to read what interests them and then be encouraged to read more broadly. But there will come a limit for most people were by education, formal education, should end because it is time to enter the economy and get a job.

Here's something that many teachers forget, they are part of a chain of life, they are not the end result. Schools and teachers exist for a reason and that reason is too often forgotten. The reason they exist is to benefit both the individual student but also society as a whole. The society that paid for the school, the teacher and the student to be there.

Education benefits people and society in three ways:

1) It teaches skills and knowledge

2) It exposes people to a bigger world and broader perspectives

 3) It can give those with talent an opportunity

Skill is an area that schools were once renowned for, it became so accepted that people forgot that what schools and teachers achieve is actually,awesome. They take uneducated people and make them educated people, that's amazing. Everyone reading this site is educated, in fact no one who isn't educated can read this site, it isn't even gibberish to them. That is not a statement about their intellect it is a statement about their level of education. That is how important teaching skills is to our society, to our Civilization.

So when schools and teachers, teach feelings instead of thinking, they cheat everyone. Thinking is a skill, or at least it can be a skill, feelings are important but they are not skills. It is one thing to teach about a historical injustice and what happened and why, but it is not good enough to ask how students feel about it. Feeding Christians to the lions was a terrible thing, but thats my personal opinion, the students should arrive at that conclusion on their own, if they do, not because they are told or encouraged to feel that way. Thats not education, it has a different name, it's called manipulation.

Unfortunately manipulation is something we see far too often in education, it has always existed it isn't something that was invented last Thursday as many would have us believe. It exists because teaching is in many ways a lonely profession, even though most teachers teach groups of students, they are often alone in being the only adult in the room. Even their interaction with other teachers is often brief, a classic case of being alone in the crowd. Not only are teachers isolated but so are schools, many schools don't have any contact with their local community. Locals are locked out of the school, school facilities paid for by society is unavailable to most of that society. Local and large businesses have no relationship at all with schools, it is a rare school indeed that is an exception. But why?

I like boardgames, they can take up alot of room to play and they can take a long time to play, depending upon the game. An empty classroom is a great place to play, lots of tables and chairs, lots of room for boards and charts, players can go into a corner and negotiate without interference from other players. But most schools will not allow it, they either forbid it or they want a fee. Even though the school sits empty for much of the time. Completely empty. No scouts meet, no community groups, no environmentalists, no gardeners and no boardgamers, to name just some of the groups who could benefit. Often even the sports facilities are not used outside of school hours.

The argument is that the school exists for one purpose and that is to educate students. Thats fair as far as it goes, that is the reason that it was built. Another argument is safety, the safety of the school property as well as the teachers, staff and students is of course most important. But often that is used as an excuse, there exist various ways of protecting both people and property from reasonable harm. The mistake is to believe that total safety or security exists, or can exist, it cannot. But the real problem with it is that it disconnects the school from society, instead of the school being a part of the community in which it is situated. It stands apart and encourages both the teachers and the community to see each other as distinct instead of being connected.

Instead of teaching the values that are important to the community, what is often taught are the values of teachers. It is an action that works against families and communities, teachers should be a glue that helps bind society together but too often it seems that this disconnection between schools and the community makes that impossible. Many teachers have no idea what the values of the community are, the disconnection is complete. Manipulation masquerading as education can only be countered if caught early, it cannot be stopped by this disconnection.

Another issue of supreme importance to education is what happens to students when they leave school?

How often is it addressed at all?

 Education is far too often taken to be it's own reward, but it is not, education has a task to do, to prepare students for life after they leave school. So schools reluctance to have any relationship with business is strange. In the end most students will need jobs but how many schools can or even think they should help their students get jobs. No, once your out your officially forgotten.

The reason schools exist isn't just to educate the individual it is also to benefit society, it's not one or the other it's both. Skills are important, knowledge is important, opportunity is important, these are what should be taught.

Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future