Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Why Liberalism Failed - A Book Review

Mark Richardson over at Oz Conservative gave me a copy of this book, Why Liberalism Failed and I'm very glad that he did. As I was reading it I joked to him that some of this was like reading his blog!

Professor Patrick Deneen is the author, he is a Professor of Political Science at Notre Dame in the United States. But don't let the fact that he is a Professor put you off, most of the book is simply common sense opinion. His argument is quite simple, that Liberalism is failing because it has been too successful.

Each chapter deals with a separate issue concerning Liberalism, for example chapter two is entitled "Uniting Liberalism and Statism", in which he argues that the Autonomous Individual needs big government. Here are two quotes from the book.

"Hobbes and Locke both - for all their differences - begin by conceiving natural humans not as parts of wholes but as wholes apart. We are by nature 'free and independent,' naturally ungoverned and even nonrelational. As Bertrand de Jouvenel quipped about social contractarianism, it was a philosophy conceived by 'childless men who must have forgotten their own childhood.'" (page 48)

I think Liberalism is only possible by forgetting your own lived experience, so I must say that jumped right out at me.

"If the expansion of freedom is secured by law, then the opposite also holds true in practice: increasing freedom requires the expansion of law." (page 49)

As he makes clear throughout the chapter Liberal freedom requires more government, including more laws. Both a paradox and common sense, which Professor Deneen often notices.

The book does not need to be read from cover to cover as each chapter is an essay dealing with a different problem of Liberalism. I particularly liked the Introduction and the Conclusion, which might seem strange. What I liked is he is putting forward more of his opinion, where as in each chapter he is building an argument. I have only quoted two brief sections, but there is so much really good stuff here. I must say that it is encouraging to read a book on politics in which I agreed with so much.

Professor Deneen is someone who people on our side of the fence should be paying attention to. One final point that is also encouraging is that the book is published by Yale University Press.

So should you read this book? Yes you should if your a Conservative, Traditionalist or someone interested in why the Liberal world that we live in is as it is. I'd give this book an A, enjoy!



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Friday, 24 August 2018

Australia's Political Change

Today Australia started the day with Mr. Turnbull as Prime Minister and ended it with Mr. Morrison as Prime Minister. In the past 11 years (2007-2018) we have had 6 Prime Ministers, in the 11 years before that (1996-2007) we had one. And there is a reason for that instability.

In short the country has changed, mass immigration, the global economy, the gig economy, the housing crisis, feminism, loneliness and family breakdown have all had an effect and more besides. These effects have also been active within Australia's political parties. Before the Global Financial Crisis it was possible for most people to feel that the system basically worked but it needed refinement. Afterwards people expected that the government would get back to it's real business, instead every Prime Minister has embarked upon their own private Crusade.

Prime Minister Rudd, he was PM twice, wanted us to be part of China
Prime Minister Gillard wanted women in combat
Prime Minister Abbot wanted mothers to return to the workforce as quickly as possible
Prime Minister Turnbull wanted homosexuals to get married

They wanted other things as well of course, and not everything they did was bad. But non of these things were regarded as necessary and all had opposition. Today we are witnessing yet again the split that is occurring right across the Western world. In Australia that split has been seen in the two major parties, Labor and Liberal.

Within Labor the split has been going on since the 1980's and I believe that it has run it's course. Old Labor is dead and in it's place is new Labor. A party that works with big business and the unions, but not with the workers who it claims to champion. Just like the British Labor Party and the Democrats in the United States. Instead it represents the factions on Liberalisms Left, the Feminists, homosexuals, transgendered, immigrants, single women and those who work directly or indirectly for the Government. Labor has rejected those who could not continue on this path and it is as solid as it is likely to get.

The liberal party is still undergoing this fight. Traditionally in Australia there have been two parties, the Labor Party and an anti-Labor Party. Since the 1940's that has been the Liberal Party which has always had a liberal and a conservative side. These two sides have not always gotten along but mostly they kept their eye on the enemy, the Labor Party. In the past decade the two sides have moved further and further apart. Mr. Howard, Prime Minister between 1996-2007, did much to keep the Liberal Party united. He tried everything to stop the rise of a real Conservative political movement. While he was in charge it worked, since then it has not. Today liberalism is being rejected from within the Liberal Party. The leadership challenges of the past few days is a reflection of this deep divide.

Mr. Morrison is much more Conservative than most in Parliament so it will be interesting to see what he changes and what he doesn't. On economic issues he is solidly Liberal, on social matters he is all over the place, he voted for homosexual marriage for example. He is strongly against illegal immigration, but what are his feelings toward legal immigration? That's not clear and it will have a massive influence on both the Liberal Party and the next election.

 If he moves to the Left that will help the emerging Conservative movement, if he stays middle of the road it will continue to create confusion and indecision, in either case he will lose the next election. If he moves to the right and comes out hard against immigration, particularly in regards to Islam he will be able to rebuild the party and should be able to win the next election. Labor has already moved to the Left, unless the electorate gets a real choice they will vote for Labor over a Labor-lite Liberal Party.

I await developments with interest.

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Monday, 20 August 2018

Aristocracy, Past and Future

Since Civilization has existed so has Aristocracy. The term means "rule by the best", but that has nearly always meant in reality "rule by blood", to put it another way Aristocracy is passed from father to son. What it has rarely meant is "rule by experts".

The role of the Aristocracy was to rule and fight, to administrate areas, to keep the peace and to raise armies and lead them in time of war. In a Medieval Kingdom there were three great centres of power. The King and his court who ruled the Kingdom and dealt with foreign affairs, the Church who provided legitimacy as well as spiritual and temporal advise and last but not least the Aristocracy. But over time that changed, consider the position of the Aristocracy in 1215 and then compare it to 1715. In 1215 the Aristocracy had both power and the King needed them, by 1715 the Aristocracy is docile and while many people didn't know it they were no longer needed, like the Church. In 1215 both had real power because they did things that no King could achieve by themselves. By 1715 the King was much more powerful and his government did the jobs that the Aristocracy had done before.

That power would in time come with a price, in time the Kings would be replaced by the bureaucracy that they had used to destroy the power of the Aristocracy and the Church. Which in turn lead to the idea that we could have an Aristocracy made up of experts. An idea that is also called meritocracy.

However heredity Aristocracy has a number of advantages that experts do not have. 1) long term thinking 2) long term high IQ 3) long term relationships 4) training

Long term thinking has nearly vanished from the world, why? Because the current rulers of the world don't believe in the future. However if you believe your family has to plan for centuries then you see the world in a different light. You see your country and your people in a different light. We need that!

Long term high IQ is very important, there is an idea spread by Liberalism and other malcontents that the Aristocracy were all inbred morons. But how do you think these "inbred morons" managed to remain in charge for centuries? In reality they were not morons, but high IQ families and we know that because they helped create Western civilization at it's best. They conquered the world and took it's art to the very highest standards. And they did it for centuries, not for a decade or two, low IQ people don't do that because they can't.

Long term relationships can only be built over a long time. It means that there is institutional knowledge built into families and the organisation that serves them. It means that long term plans can be made and stuck to, it means that reputation is not just for today and that your actions good and bad matter.

Training is also required, Aristocrats are not simply born to rule they are also trained to rule. This aspect is often neglected, but Kings and Aristocrats are trained from a very young age for the day when they will be required to take up their duties. And they are not all trained alike, however they are trained to have a broad knowledge on a range of subjects.

So if all that is true why aren't we still ruled by Aristocrats?

Because over time they ceased to provide the necessary glue that bound the Kingdom together. Instead they allowed the King to have his own bureaucracy and they went into business instead of remaining in their true position as part of the government. Proof that people do not always do what is in their best interest and that no system is without fault. The purpose of the Aristocracy was to rule, when they ceased that role they ceased to have purpose.

The rule of experts is in reality no such thing, it is instead the ruler of the short term ignorant thinker. An expert in aviation is an expert in aviation, however he is probably not an expert on energy policy, defence or healthcare or on any other topic and the reason is because he trained to ignorant. An expert by definition knows a lot about a very narrow area of knowledge. And he has no skin in the game, he will not be here in 50 years time and by then it is likely that he will be known only to a specialist in his field. How can he develop long term plans when he has neither the ability nor incentive to?

Another argument against the Aristocracy is why shouldn't people of lesser birth but great IQ be allowed to rule. But if you look at the famous people of the past you will notice that many, even most are not Aristocrats. People of high IQ will always be needed and employed. I know some people think "But I should be the leader of my country", no matter how small that ability.

At some point in the future we will need to rebuild an Aristocracy and the reason is that we need to return to long term thinking. Democracy does not allow for it and to be honest nor does any other form of republican government. Short term thinking is the thinking of the looter, "I had better loot that store before anyone else does!". But instead of a single store it is our entire civilization that is being looted.

Only Kings and Aristocrats have the luxury to think long term.

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Tuesday, 14 August 2018

There Really Are 57 Genders, But Only Two Sexes

I see it on the internet all the time "There are only 2 genders!". But the Left is right, there really are any number of genders you would like there to be because gender is a social construct. Whats a social construct, in simple terms it's lie, something entirely made up.

There are only 2 sexes......now that is 100% correct. But as gender is made up then you can have as many as you want. Because why most people now use the term gender, before the 1990's most people used the term sex, gender has replaced the word sex in popular usage. Which is a great shame as they do not mean the same thing at all.

Sex is your biology, every person is either male or female, because it is decided by your chromosomes. If they are XY then you are male, if they are XX then you are female. It has nothing to do with nurturing or choice and everything to do with nature.

Gender is not biology, instead it is an invented term invented by Professor John Money, a New Zealander who spent most of his adult life working at  John Hopkins University in the United States. He coined the term in 1955 and at some point gave this as it's definition:

"all those things that a person says or does to disclose himself or herself as having the status of boy or man, girl or women, respectively. It includes, but is not restricted to sexuality in the sense of eroticism. Gender role is appraised in relation to the following: general mannerisms, deportment and demeanor; play preferences and recreational interests; spontaneous topics of talk in unprompted conversation and casual comment, content of dreams, daydreams and fantasies; replies to oblique inquiries and projective tests; evidence of erotic practices, and, finally, the persons own replies to direct inquiry."

Nothing about nature at all, instead it is all about nurture and choice. Sex is static and unchanging. Gender is flexible and changeable. Professor Money believed that people were made into males or females and that they were assigned one or the other, not that nature created males and females. In other words he was solidly on the nurture side of the debate about which was more important, nature or nurture. A lot of the gender and transgenderism that we see today can be laid squarely at his feet.

When people ask for your gender, remember you don't have one because you are not a social construct, you are not a lie, you are a biological creature and you have a sex. You are either of the male sex or the female sex, because there are only two sexes.

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Saturday, 11 August 2018

The Sixty-Fifth Month

My last post was my 500th...only took me five years and 5 months to get there!

A very interesting month with numbers, the usual suspects are down with many others being up. 8 of the countries in the top 10 are over 100, which is a record. However I don't have any over 1000, so I'm not happy about that. And how accurate are these figures? Roughly every two months I will get a country that visits in large numbers, all at the same time on the same day, with no large increase in any article being read. This month I have had a number of these country visits, including from France and the United Kingdom. What should I make of that? I really don't know.

I have also received visitors in the last few days from "Region Unknown", very intriguing.

My best day in the past month was the 29th July when I had 328 visitors, my worst day was the 22nd July when I had only 25 visitors.

July-August
EntryPageviews
United States
973
Russia
461
Australia
390
France
225
Indonesia
182
United Arab Emirates
180
United Kingdom
180
Vietnam
174
Germany
75
China
60

June-July
EntryPageviews
United States
886
Australia
429
Vietnam
192
United Kingdom
84
Russia
59
Brazil
36
Canada
36
Germany
36
Ireland
35
France
28

The United States, Russia, France, the United Kingdom and Germany

Australia and Vietnam are down.

Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates and China are new or back in the top 10

Brazil, Canada and Ireland have left the top 10

I have also had visitors from the following countries: the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Poland, Czech Republic, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, the Ukraine, Estonia, Georgia, Turkey, Israel, Bahrain, Pakistan, India, Nepal, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Zambia, South Africa, New Zealand, Colombia, Brazil, Chile, Unknown Region 

I hope to see you all again soon
Mark Moncrieff

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Monday, 6 August 2018

The Freedom to be a Slave

Freedom is one of those things where you know when you are unfree, but it is not always so clear when you are free. After all we think of freedom as the default position, we are free until something or someone makes us unfree.

My Heinemann Australian Dictionary (1976) defines Freedom as:

"the state or condition of being free".

Free is define as:

"not restrained by authority or external forces".

Does that mean that obeying the law makes us unfree?

Liberalism defines freedom as the ability to choose, to make your own decisions. However Liberalism has been the dominate political position for two or three centuries in some places, and what is obvious is that for much of that period people did not always get to choose. But Liberalism is a promise, today you are not totally free but tomorrow we will help you to become free. And the range of choices has grown over that time. That is why Conservatives have always opposed Liberalism because we could see the logic of Liberalism, that no matter how small it's claims were today they would not and could not remain small. The logic of Liberalism said that choice had to be the objective, that choice had to be above all other reasoning and that choice had to destroy all other reasoning.

So the reason abortion is regarded as good, is because the women did not choose to become pregnant but she can choose to have an abortion. The reason that Transgenderism is regarded as good, is because the person chose their own gender. The reason drug legalisation is regarded as good is because people should be free to choose. Choice is supreme and any other reason for doing something is wrong, choice destroys all other reasoning because under Liberalism freedom is absolute.

This is a radical departure from Traditional definitions of freedom, traditionally freedom was regarded as freeing yourself from your base desires. We all experience emotions and not all of our emotions are positive ones. To be free we must fight a constant battle against our own nature, ironically being able to fight that battle is a normal part of our nature. We are not being asked to do something unnatural, instead we are being asked to do what we are capable of...controlling our desires. We are free when we control our desires, we are slaves when our desires control us.

Traditionalists say that we are free when we fight against our fears. Liberals say that we are free when we choose not to fear. However if someone was to choose to be fearful, doesn't that also make someone free according to Liberalism? And if not isn't that an Unprincipled Exception?

A drug user may choose to use drugs, but if they should become dependent upon drugs just how free are they? Just how much choice do they have? In this as in other so called choices, Liberalism gives us enough freedom to become a slave.

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