Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What was That?

The question gets posed, and then ..
===
Do we know what we stand for today? Do none of us have pride in our achievements?
"Has there ever been a civilisation more bent on collective suicide than the contemporary West?"
www.theaustralian.com.au
THE future of Egypt following the departure of president Hosni Mubarak remains opaque.
23 hours ago · · · Share
    • Vikas Nayak
      you know i can agree with the article on the inconsistency of the left wing over foreign affairs, but it seems to indicate that somehow we should have helped them oust Mubarak by invading Egypt?

      There is fundamentally no difference between the islamic fundamentalists contesting in national elections than when we have parties like the CDP contesting elections either. Odds are that they will be marginalised by the democratic sway of the people over time (just as the religious right is in Australia).
      22 hours ago ·
    • David Daniel Ball That first line overstates the issue .. Egypt's future was opaque with Mubarak in charge. I notice when a member of the liberal media write 'neo con' they seem to spit too ..
      22 hours ago ·
    • Vikas Nayak
      well neo-cons are nothing to be proud to have the support of david. They have the worst of both worlds. They're big government conservatives that foster the creation of a welfare state for the middle class with hawkish behavior and callous disregard for the purpose of the military to rush off on foreign adventures to spread their cultural vision.

      I think you'll find people who are conservatively minded and libertarians would have no problem showing contempt for neo-cons.
      22 hours ago · · 1 person
    • David Daniel Ball ok Vikas, but I feel we have widely differing understandings of what a neo con is.
      21 hours ago ·
    • Vikas Nayak
      The generally accepted definition of neoconservative is pretty much as i described it. This wiki article can explain the origins of the neoconservative movement :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoconservatism from "The Great Society" to Reagan's big tent "Freedom Movement" and its latest iteration in the promotion of "The Bush Doctrine" and the notion of pre-emptive wars against perceived threats.

      I dont know how else you can define a movement that shaped the middle class of the US over the course of a century.
      20 hours ago ·
    • David Daniel Ball
      The historical choices of the movement do not define its present stances. I supported the ALP (non materially) as a child because my mum was so gung ho and I thought she was right because of her arguments. I now know I was wrong to do so, and the flaws of my mothers arguments.

      There is considerable venom and spin in the links. To suggest a neo conservative is somehow beholden to Trotsky or Marx is very misleading. Similarly it is misleading to say that neo cons want to have big government or to control the world using military force.

      Presidents Bush and Reagan and PM Howard fit into the Neocon mould and none of them adored big government or wanted the military to run the world. Although they were willing to spend big bucks on things and willing to use military force. The over stating of things becomes a slur and isn't representative of intent or achievement. Wikipedia is like media watch .. it is gung ho lefty .. I know because I get beaten up by my fellow editors there regularly.
      19 hours ago ·
    • David Daniel Ball In terms of Egypt things have to play out. Mubarak was useful to Obama as both despise the US's historical contributions to world peace and achievement. Mubarak was also useful to Rudd as Rudd tries to get a collective supporting his UN bid. As with Palestine things could get very bad. But then things could get better too .. probably both will happen.
      19 hours ago ·
    • Vikas Nayak
      Even if you dont want to use Wikipedia, theres source watch, urban dictionary, mirriam web dictionary, dictionary.com, the oxford dictionary (just to take the first 5 hits on Google) all which concur with that definition.

      They do have some roots in Trotsky-ism (since trotsky held up the idea of democratic rule on social issues, and that government had a rule in regulating culture). Similarly they also have roots in "the great society" of Teddy Roosevelt's day. You're picking one thing you didnt like despite that the wikipage cites the growth of the movement through all its historical roots.

      Bush, Reagan and Howard all increased the size of government and were quite cavalier in their use of military force. I'm sorry, you seem to be focusing on what people say, rather than what they do. Such a position would be akin (to take a simpsons reference) to having nelson making you slap yourself while repeating "why are you slapping yourself?".
      19 hours ago ·
    • David Daniel Ball
      Howard and Bush both decreased government .. if you are going by civil service numbers. However service improved and increased under them too. Reagan expanded US government employing "Reagonomics" and managed to improve the US budget doing so not through raising taxes but through improvements with economic performance .. fewer people on unemployment, more business and so more money being paid .. however, some accuse Mr Howard of expanding government with things like a baby bonus and housing subsidy. I would point out that Howard's reforms meant that those measures were fiscally responsible. Similarly, Bush has had accusations made against him for his measures made after the collapse was seen coming .. and when the Democrats had both houses in the US.
      18 hours ago ·
    • David Daniel Ball
      The invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan are things I supported and support. With the caveat that for us to remain in Afghanistan we need to support our troops and if we don't do that we should withdraw them.
      The border protection issue for Howard is counter to your representation.
      18 hours ago ·
    • David Daniel Ball It is remarkable that Iraq has been so successful and so many are keen to paint it as a mistake.
      18 hours ago ·
    • David Daniel Ball As for FDR's great society, I believed the propaganda about that growing up, it was tempting. I would point out that where I am from is not where I am. There are lots of reasons to admire such things, but anyone viewing what they mean not recognizing them for what they are .. that is wrong.
      18 hours ago ·
    • Vikas Nayak
      Only by Civil Service numbers? I'm sorry, but the military is still a publically funded institution. Cutting the civil service and putting that money into the military is just redistributing public funding, not really "reducing the size of government". Infact, Howard didn't reduce the size of government at all, he just reduced the rate it expanded at.

      Bush actually increased the size and role of government, by creating 43 new executive appointee's, a new civil service branch and ramping up government spending. Reagan quadrupled national debt (nuff said imo).

      BTW, i love how you create straw-men so willingly David. Where is border protection even relevant to the discussion of big government conservatism? I wish neo cons weren't so intellectually dishonest, but its a marking trait of the political position.
      18 hours ago ·
    • David Daniel Ball Civil service and military are distinct in democratic states.
      18 hours ago ·
    • Vikas Nayak Yeah David. The Military answers to the civil service in democratic states rather than being a distinct and seperate body. In our country, the military is wholly subservient to the whims of the legislative branch. Shifting money from 1 government dept to another doesnt count as reducing the size of government.
      18 hours ago ·
    • Vikas Nayak I should also point out, the ATO and Centerlink grew in size the largest since Whitlam in Howard's tenure as PM, with the implementation GST and FTB had multiple requirements for compliance and monitoring. Infact, the growth in those 2 departments from 2000-2007 wiped out any cuts he made in 1996.
      18 hours ago ·
    • David Daniel Ball
      You are very selective with your definitions and agreements. The police are domestic and serve as public servants. The military are not public servants which is why they need to be invited to support a state .. like with a state of emergency. Any public service increase under Howard must be measured by the fact it was affordable. I note the population increased substantially under Howard.
      The expression of a Neocon you introduced from leftwing roots suggests that neocons want expansion of civil service at the expense of budget which isn't right. Also you overstate your 'facts' about civil service. You do get it that the military work happened after Bali and 911? An increase in a department is not an increase in all departments .. you note the cuts of '96 and diminish them too.
      You make claims based about the military and wedge them among domestic service as if Iraq, Afghanistan and the like were planned, or not responsibly handled. Yet you haven't established those facts.
      It is wrong to say neocons are Trotskyist.
      18 hours ago ·
    • David Daniel Ball I just noticed you like Thomas Jefferson .. do you also approve of Adams? Could you criticise Jefferson? I could .. Jefferson was eloquent with his writing, but a failure in his practice.
      18 hours ago ·
    • Vikas Nayak
      David, your argument jumps around a fair bit, but the gist of it seems to be "The military aren't public servants and they're good". The military are a branch of the public service which deals specifically with issues relating to that of national security, because technically, anything that operates under the supervision and funding of the government is a public service.

      Your example of the military needing to be invited to deliver assistance in disaster is no different from the AFP needing to request the permission of the NSW police to handle a case within NSW. This is a question of jurisdiction rather than designation. But to further put an end to this differentiation of military from public services, the only historical era in which the military was intrinsically a different body from other public services, was in Feudal Europe and in military dictatorships around the world. Simply put, the military is always but under the control of the civilian population with good reason, because the other way around always results in the loss of liberty for the citizenry.

      To address your next point, are you basically saying that growing the public service is fine as long as it's affordable? While such rationalisations aren't inherently wrong, you cant then turn around and say "We're for small government", when what you really mean is "We're for a government that grows as long as its affordable". Your support for the increase of the civil service under howard is diametrically opposed by what are considered "conservative virtues" of "small government" and "individual liberty".

      For your 3rd critique, the neocon's are well known to have roots in the left wing of the 40's and 50's, this point shouldn't even be in contention. Infact in Australia this is no more plainly evident than what was described as "the great split" in the labor party between the left wing communists and working class social conservatives who formed the DLP and subsequently joined the liberal party in droves throughout the 60's and 70's. The poor economic management of this cohort was in no greater display than in Howard's years as Treasurer in the late 70's and 80's. Even Howard is quick to give credit to Costello (who by no means is a neo-con) and Hawke (probably the most free-market promoting PM we've ever had) where it is due.

      Lastly, Adams was a typical New England Federalist. He stopped short of Hamilton in setting up the Presidency as a defacto monarch. Jefferson and Adams enjoyed a friendship that has been immortalised in the letters they sent to each other. Jefferson's lack of oratory ability is wholly irrelevant to his ability to articulate what went on to become wording of the first 10 amendments (the bill of rights) and the very wording of the declaration of independence. If you really just wanted to attack the man, you could have brought up the hypocrisy of his constant theme of the individual rights of men to self-determination while owning slaves.
      17 hours ago ·
    • David Daniel Ball
      Vikas, I have only asked what you meant by things. I haven't given you my take on things as it seems we are semantically at odds. I will remind you what you wrote "They have the worst of both worlds. They're big government conservatives that foster the creation of a welfare state for the middle class with hawkish behavior and callous disregard for the purpose of the military to rush off on foreign adventures to spread their cultural vision."
      Note the present tense.
      The issues of the day include Afghanistan, Gitmo, Iraq, Middle East politics and Israel, Islam, GFC, Green policy and Global Warming Alarmism, Chinese expansion, the collapse and resurgence of the conservative vote and I am sure through contraction or expansion more can be found.
      I think it is absurd to claim that Bush's foray into Iraq and Afghanistan was a plan .. it suggests 911 was a set up and only truthers do that .. and no one admits to being a truther that wants to be respected.
      Bush outlined his intended path of his presidency at inauguration and he highlighted the issues of housing which later imploded to become the GFC. The GFC was something that was a result of Democrat policy dating back to Jimmy Carter and expanded under Clinton. Bush's dealing with the GFC was not an afterthought, but action which had to result after a Democrat congress blew up their economy trying to bring their pork barrels online.
      It is untrue to say that Bush tried to expand government to intrude into peoples lives. However, Bush took extraordinary security steps which in hindsight were responsible steps to be taken. He had to work with a Democrat congress which forced him to choose inflationary measures .. not conservative ones. You cannot point to his work as Governor or President and show where he was different to a conservative as a neocon .. but I am sure you are right he is a neocon.
      13 hours ago ·
    • David Daniel Ball
      Similarly with Howard. Howard made excellent conservative decisions during his Prime Ministership. He worked to lessen government regulation, improve taxation and workplace reform even though such things were not popular.
      I note at the end of Howard's time as PM, the ALP thought it a good idea to claim that that such things like the baby bonus and housing stimulus were too much. Rudd promised to 'cut such wild spending.' Rudd called himself a conservative .. he even called himself an economic conservative like Howard. I don't dispute Howard is a neo con, but he is an economic conservative (unlike Rudd) and he did not expand bureaucracy to interfere in peoples lives as you seem to claim.
      Further, the expansion of the military you refer to is overstated. Both the US and Australia maintain volunteer forces. Not, as some egomaniacle world dominating supposed neo con might do were they to be like your assertion.
      13 hours ago ·
    • David Daniel Ball
      Furthermore, Jefferson and Adams defined the left right schism through their politics. And Jefferson was of the left. Jefferson stands for the left values which openly despise neocons of today. Adams politics is a much older generation of conservatism .. but he is a grandfather to neocons.

      Neoconservatives are held to be those who initially embraced social policy that was progressive .. and changed their minds. That last bit is rather important. Kristol, Gerard Henderson and many others were leftwing before they became conservatives .. and so are rightly said to be of the neo conservative tradition.

      Traditional conservatives are called social conservatives and they are the ones who tend to act as you describe. They tend to hand out in the so called centre of the ALP and US Democrats. I note the ALP and their supporters are the ones who spit on the neo cons. Economic conservatives, ironically, became part of the Reagan bandwagon .. Ironic when you realize how expansionist he was .. for the military.

      One final anecdote. Reagan lifted military spending to 5% GDP. The Soviet Union, before collapsing exceeded 100% of GDP on their military spending .. but the US outspent the Soviets .. the economies were that disparate. Reagan is now spoken of in glowing terms in the US (except among Democrats).
      12 hours ago ·
    • Vikas Nayak
      Daniel, i used present tense because that's what Neo-con's are. BTW, if you're just going to keep making stuff up as you go along (which is what your entire argument tactic has been so far), you're just going to look like every neo-con (basically a rabid mouth-breather that belongs with the trots). Noone claimed Bush running into Iraq and Afghanistan was planned (if anything the incompetence of the handling of both war's puts Bush in the Gillard/Rudd playground of handling the military). It is absolutely true to say Bush expanded the government into intruding into people's lives, the patriot act signed by a republican congress and him circumvented the 4th,6th,7th and 8th amendment rights of citizens. Sorry, Bush was just plain bad news for individual liberty.

      Volunteer military or not, increasing military spending still counts as increasing the size of government. Either you dont understand this point, or are under some mystical fantasy land where money that the government pays the military is somehow intrinsically different from money the government pays the tax collector.

      To your last post, wow. I normally see such historical revisionism from marxists, but you sir take the cake. The federalist v republican argument was over big central government (the federalist case) vs state government regulated by a federal institution (the republican case). If jefferson stood for the "left values"...then you know, what...i'd be proud to stand by him (as would any modern day conservative). Infact, if you pay attention to the TEA parties, next to Franklin and Jefferson are the two most quoted founding fathers (both of whom were republicans).

      Also your portrayal of Adams does the memory of the 2nd president a great disservice. Adams above all, stood for the rule of law. In 1770 he defended 3 british soldiers accused of killing some boys in Boston during a riot in court. This earned him the respect of the governor of the time as well as that of the fledgling group of revolutionaries. Further from this point, your last statement is factually incorrect.

      http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/russia/mo-budget.htm

      At its height, the Soviet Union spent 13% of GDP on the military. The key part Neocon's always seem to forget, is the role the Solidarity movement played on the other side of that wall.

      Daniel, if you're just going to make up things that are blatently lies, keep strawmanning and being completely clueless about world history, i'm afraid you prove the very worst of what everyone says about Neo-cons. You're just a very very very confused left winger.
Post a Comment