So what am I?
Much of the political dialogue
in my lifetime has been based on the illusion that political parties
can be classified along some
1-dimensional line from
But if so, why are the extremes - communism
and fascism - so similar?
The answer is that the whole
1-dimensional left-right division is
(and always has been) rather inaccurate and misleading.
defines a much clearer,
where one axis measures free-to-unfree on personal liberty,
and the other axis measures free-to-unfree on economic liberty.
This model is made for someone like me
- a common voter type
who is disillusioned with the "1-dimensional" parties.
I like left-wing parties' commitment to personal liberty
freedom from religion,
but am turned off by their lack of support for
I like right-wing parties' support for a strong capitalist economy,
but am turned off by their social conservative
and religious conservative wings.
I want to vote for parties that support a free market
and a free private life
- I can never understand how you can be in favour of one of these and against the other,
as most left-wing and right-wing parties are.
The World's Smallest Political Quiz
my answers score 90% on personal freedom,
70% on economic freedom.
This puts me in the libertarian corner
of the 2-dimensional map.
I am not a doctrinaire libertarian.
I support free trade, an end to economic subsidy of
and the legalisation of porn and
But on the other hand
I still believe (to some extent)
in foreign aid,
the welfare state,
in banning guns,
and in increased state power and resources
on real crime
(assault, rape, murder, burglary).
So I am not a doctrinaire libertarian.
But I am still somewhere in their corner.
A longer quiz, still in 2 dimensions, is at
The Political Compass.
They have slightly different definitions.
My score was
+4.12 on economic freedom (Right)
-2.51 on personal freedom (Libertarian),
which puts me in the
But again, not in the extreme corner.
The site suggests that the UK party I am closest to
is the Liberal Democrats.
This feels right, only it leaves out foreign policy.
This is where
the Liberal Democrats fail totally for me.
To show how non-extreme I am,
Libertarian Purity Test,
by the purist
my answers scored only
This makes me a
In short, I am not a
hard-core libertarian, let alone an
anarcho-capitalist or anarchist
I do not want to abolish the state.
I believe modest, limited government is a force for good.
This is all about domestic policy
- what kind of society one wants to live in.
One could expand to 3-dimensions
by considering foreign policy
- whether one should
spread the model
to countries that do not have it
(my answer: yes),
or be isolationist unless attacked
(most doctrinaire libertarians,
e.g. the Libertarian Party in the US).
The Political Compass
rates Irish parties.
I am in the bottom RHS corner.
I liked the PDs, but they are now gone.
The rating leaves out foreign policy, which is where Labour (and all the left) fail for me,
and so I would go for FG or FF.
The Political Compass
rates UK parties.
I am in the bottom RHS corner.
The rating leaves out foreign policy, which is where the Lib Dems fail for me,
and so I would go Tory or Labour.
I am not a conservative myself.
My understanding of classic conservatism is that it
does not believe in a free private life.
Whether it is the
banning of contraception in Ireland,
the banning of "pornography",
the War on Drugs,
the oppression of homosexuals,
or the forcing of religion
2007 Pew survey:
Only 54 percent of Democrats said that "U.S. foreign policy should feature democracy promotion,"
compared with 74 percent of Republicans.
He made conservatives the party of hope
by Janadas Devan
- on Reagan, the right
He sums up my world, and why I find the right so attractive.
I am an idealist and optimist, and for those the left offers me nothing.
The left says that great tyranny can never be defeated - and there is no point trying.
In contrast, the right offers me excitement, optimism,
and the hope of coming victory:
"Why do Republicans seem to have a lock on the US presidency,
winning all but 3 of the past 9 presidential races? How did conservatives
.. become the standard bearers of the American Dream? How did the Republican Party
.. become the party of aggressive internationalists, out to enforce American values on the world?
Part of the reason was liberals gave up on the hopeful agenda."
"In place of the positive internationalism that animated Democratic presidents
from Franklin Roosevelt to John Kennedy, post-Vietnam liberals became doubtful and hesitant
about the uses of US power. In place of the universal, progressive liberal agenda
which steeled the US in its confrontation with the Nazis in World War II
and the Soviets in the Cold War, today's liberals emphasise relativism and ambiguity.
Liberals, not conservatives, have inherited the Burkean rejection of large purposes."
"Conservatives have been winning in America because they picked up where liberals left off.
A democracy cannot sustain itself unless it believes in something.
Liberals offered only a negative liberalism: They knew what they were against ..
but not what they were for. Conservatives offered a positive liberalism:
They knew what they were against .. but also what they were for.
Because politics, like nature, cannot abide a vacuum,
the new conservatism replaced the old liberalism as the dominant ideology."
Why the left hates Bush
(because he is a true liberal internationalist)
by Melanie Phillips
- "this hatred wildly exceeds the normal dislike of a political opponent.
It is as visceral and obsessive as it is irrational. At root, this is surely because Bush
has got under the skin of the post-moral left in a way no true conservative ever would.
And this is because he has stolen their own clothes and revealed them to be morally naked.
He has exposed the falseness of their own claim to be liberal.
He has revealed them instead to be reactionaries"
David Brooks on right-wing idealism after the fall of Iraq
- "one senses the cultural and political earth is
... Peoples' mental categories are going to
change. ... To
most Americans, supporting regime change in Iraq
seems like the progressive and optimistic course. The
people who oppose it look conservative and
reactionary. The soldiers now appear as the picture
of youthful idealism
- risking their lives to liberate a
people. The peace marchers who burned pictures of
Bush and Blair seem motivated by their prejudices."
Boots on the Ground, Hearts on Their Sleeves
by David Brooks,
on the young American soldiers in Iraq.
- "If anybody is wondering: Where are the young idealists?
Where are the people willing to devote themselves to causes
larger than themselves? They are in uniform in Iraq".
One US soldier risking his life to fight tyranny
is worth all the spoilt
that ever assembled
on daddy's credit card.
Democracy is the ultimate revolution
- article by Victor Davis Hanson
- Democracy is "a competing ideology that possesses a far more
revolutionary message than the Islamists' tired old culture of death that ruined Afghanistan and
Iran, wrecked the economy of the West Bank, tore apart Algeria, ended the tourist industry of
Egypt, brought international scorn on Saudi Arabia and Indonesia, turned the president of
Malaysia into an international laughingstock, nearly made Pakistan an outlaw regime - and led to
the reckoning after 9/11. Holdover Soviet-style Baathism didn't work; Islamic fascism was a
failure; tribal dictatorship and monarchies are no better; Pan-Arabism was a cruel joke. The
Arab world is running out of alternatives to democratic governments and free markets."
Unlike JFK's war, Bush fights for Iraqi liberty,
article by Mark Steyn
JFK did realpolitik,
Bush does idealism.
And the left, in one of history's greatest ironies,
is now the advocate of realpolitik,
trying to stop the toppling of tyrants:
"It's one thing to dislike Bush, it's one thing to hate America. But it's quite another to hate
America so much you reflexively take the side of any genocidal psycho who comes along.
terminal irrelevance, the depraved left has now adopted the old slogan of Cold War realpolitik:
like Osama and Mullah Omar, Saddam may
be a sonofabitch, but he's their sonofabitch."
He points out that "realism" was exactly the policy that the U.S. adopted
in the face of the rise of Hitler in the 1930s.
"Isolationism is nothing more than realism in an extreme variant.
... And it led directly to the most disastrous event in human history, a war that snuffed out some 60 million lives"
He points out that the victorious U.S. policy in the Cold War
was really a "neo-conservative" policy:
"While realist policy following the First World War led to unparalleled disaster, neocon policies after the second achieved what was arguably the most perfect success in the history of statecraft - our relatively bloodless victory over a foe possessing the most ponderous military machine ever assembled.
Of course, ... realists made their contributions ...
But the overall strategy was of neocon design, and it was brought to successful conclusion by the arch-neocon, Ronald Reagan. He rhetorically challenged the "evil empire"; fostered guerrilla war against Communist regimes in godforsaken places; promoted universal democracy; and undermined mutually assured destruction by means of "Star Wars." These successful tactics were decried by realists as reckless diversions, just as they were cheered at every turn by neocons.
The Soviet Union presented a challenge - partly conventional military, partly unconventional military and above all ideological - for which realism was not designed and to which it had no answers."
He describes the Rwanda genocide as
"a great triumph of realism".
He also asks why George W. Bush adopted neo-con ideas, a question few people have asked.
Bush, after all, was not always a neo-con (and still is not really one).
"Bush .. set out to precipitate change in the political culture of the Middle East
... This was a strategy of unmistakably neocon coloration.
Why did Bush, who came of realist stock, embrace it?
Because realism had virtually nothing to suggest in the face of terrorism or jihadism.
The closest thing to a realist solution was to break America's friendship with Israel in the hope of allaying the Muslim world's anger."
Matthew Yglesias' distorted reply, Oct 15th, 2008.
He talks as if the Iraq dead were killed by America rather than by America's enemies!
How can we take him seriously when he pulls such a rhetorical dodge.
I have no time for these people.
I am a Reagan man
- True stability and true security comes from the spread of human freedom.
The worst thing about realpolitik is that
it does not work.
It seems to lead to American defeat, not victory.
It is no coincidence that
the old-style realpolitik Republicans
presided over American defeat in Vietnam.
(It is often forgotten that
Vietnam was lost by the Republicans (Nixon and Ford), not by the Democrats.)
Nixon and Ford's supposedly "clever" realpolitik
seems to have achieved little.
Their years in office saw
a humiliating American defeat in Vietnam,
communist victory and democide across Vietnam and Cambodia,
the strengthening of the Soviet Union,
the disgusting appeasement of Mao's China,
and the encouragement of anti-Americans everywhere.
Bush senior'srealpolitik left Saddam in power
as a festering problem for the future,
wasting 15 years on reform in Iraq,
because Bush senior did not do what had to be done after the Gulf War.
Whereas Reagan's starry-eyed idealism led to the collapse of the Soviet Union
and American victory in the Cold War.
If you want American victory,
I would bet on idealism (like Reagan and George W. Bush)
over realpolitik any day.
In Britain, the Tory party also has a pessimistic, quietist, realpolitik tradition
that, for example, did nothing while
in Europe (in Bosnia) in 1992-5.
This Tory isolationist tradition is exemplified by:
I used to think Rockwell had good things to say about freedom at home (e.g. free enterprise),
while overlooking his isolationism
and lack of interest in freedom abroad.
But his site has got increasingly crazy.
Since the Iraq war
and the spending by America of billions of taxpayer dollars to promote freedom abroad,
Rockwell's site has become increasingly
indistinguishable from a hard-left anti-American site.
It even now hosts columns from
I'm finished with Rockwell now.
If I see "lewrockwell.com" on anything, I tend to avoid it now.
Some of the isolationists are so "anti-war"
that they have open sympathy for America's enemies.
Rockwell now hosts people who do actually cross that line, such as
and the isolationist, anti-Israel
have openly supported
Axis Japan, Milosevic's Serbia and Saddam's Iraq.
These hardly exist any more.
That is, there's still plenty of racism, but mainly in the third world
and the non-western world
(e.g. the black-hating racist state of Sudan).
And there's still plenty of anti-semitism, but
mainly on the left now.
Again, the neo-conservatives are the most anti-racist camp of all,
far more anti-racist
than the left.
The neo-cons think
western values are universal values
and everyone can adopt them.
While the left thinks Arabs are unable for democracy
and will always be ruled by tribal dictators.
Also, of course, the neo-cons, like me,
The right-wing racists and anti-semites
hate Jews and Israel.
In fact, they hate neo-cons.
Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush may be religious conservatives
they didn't actually force a religious conservative agenda
on the citizens,
as the Irish religious conservatives like de Valera did.
In short, I'm not like any of these groups.
I'm like the neo-conservatives.
It is true that the neo-cons do contain members of one
of the above groups
neo-con religious conservatives
like Reagan and George W. Bush,
Obviously I am a neo-con on matters of politics only.
When it comes to questions of science and religion,
I have no particular interest in what the neo-cons have to say.
I read other writers.
It seemed a bit intemperate, but alright, based on a very quick look.
I now know that if I had dug further,
I would have found a ton of stuff to disagree with.
Anyway, what caught my eye was a prominent icon saying that "Islamanazi"
supported the neo-Nazi
I couldn't believe that a supposedly "pro-Israel" site
would support an anti-semitic, Holocaust-denying, Israel-hating party.
Naively, I thought this might be an error by some foreigner (he is American)
impressed by some BNP statement against Islamist terror,
not realising that the BNP simply hates Muslims
(and Jews, blacks, gays, etc.).
So I emailed "Islamanazi".
And sadly, it's no mistake.
He really does support European fascists.
I should have known.
So I had to tell Cox and Forkum.
There's no way they would support the BNP, and they would be horrified to link to a site that did.
They agreed with me immediately, and removed the link.
This really drove "Islamanazi" mad.
He described me as "you vile little fascist"
"You disgust me. I consider you to be less than pond scum."
He said this was someone
"attacking me .. to stop Freedom of Speech".
So Cox and Forkum removing their link to him
is an infringement of his freedom of speech?
And me telling them is an infringement of his freedom of speech?
You might as well say that me criticising him at all
is an infringement of his freedom of speech.
In fact, he does:
"This is a fascistic attempt to force me to give up my Freedom of Speech"
Um, no. I criticised you.
Anyway, forget my opinions.
"Islamanazi" himself links to Cox and Forkum, so he clearly admires them.
Surely their disapproval, and refusal to link to him,
should make him think twice.
In fact, soon afterwards, he
Cox and Forkum cartoon
and yet seems unbothered by the fact that they just removed their link to him.
Remember, they never had to listen to me.
They could have ignored me.
Instead they agreed with me, and thanked me for tipping them off.
Doesn't this cause "Islamanazi" any doubts at all?
He and his commenters immediately label me as "This dhimmi-type", "pro-Islamic",
an Irish IRA supporter, etc.
Amusingly, neither him nor his idiot commenters have discovered this blog, (*)
with my support for Israel,
support for Britain and America,
and hostility to SF-IRA.
But why justify myself to them?
Their discussion is so childish.
It was pointless emailing this guy.
But I'm glad I told Cox and Forkum about him.
(*) They've discovered it now.
Don't expect any self-doubt to creep in, though.
They're not that sort of people.
Here's my favourite comment:
"That Irish fellow is definitely
And is a commie!"
I'm referred to as "the lefty".
This is comic gold.
While his readers deny the BNP is anti-semitic,
"Islamanazi" admits it.
In a first sign that his self-belief is cracking,
he changes his BNP icon to:
Yes, it's anti-semitic, so
Would you prefer Islam?
He's changed it again, to the rather feeble:
Still some racism, but
Would you prefer Islam?
In summary, the BNP oppose Islamism, yes,
but they also oppose many of the aspects of a modern, tolerant society.
"Islamanazi", like the BNP, cannot simply oppose Islamism.
He has to go much, much further.
He makes no attempt to distinguish between Islamism and Islam.
He thinks the US should end freedom of religion.
"Islam is pure, evil fascism.
Islam should be and it must be outlawed
in the United States and in all free Western nations."
As I say, people like him and the BNP will destroy the West, not save it.
I misunderstood his site at first.
Had I read this kind of thing, I would never have bothered emailing him.
I would only have emailed Cox and Forkum.
An amusing followup:
takes Islamanazi's side against me.
"Kudos to Rastaman of Islamanazi.com for not caving in."
But wait! What's that quote at the top of her blog:
"The West is the greatest, richest, freest, best part of planet Earth,
the heart of science and all knowledge, the best hope for mankind.
Anyone who seeks its destruction should be destroyed themselves."
Isn't that quote familiar?
Why, here it is
on my website
in Oct 2001!
And here it is on my site today!
In fact, I wrote that quote!
"Anti-Dhimmi" put up her site in February 2006.
She actually nicks a quote from me,
puts it as the unattributed banner on her blog,
and then attacks me!
"Kudos to Rastaman for not caving in,
but I quote Humphrys above!"
leader is still
"I am well aware that the orthodox opinion is that 6 million Jews were gassed and cremated and turned into lampshades.
Orthodox opinion also once held that the world is flat.
I have reached the conclusion that the 'extermination' tale is a mixture of Allied wartime propaganda,
extremely profitable lie, and latter witch-hysteria."
Membership of the BNP is still
only for whites:
"Membership .. is open to those of British
or kindred European ethnic descent."
Instead of opposing ethnic minority individuals who threaten us,
such as Islamists,
they want to remove all ethnic minorities:
"A massively-funded and permanent programme ..
will aim to reduce, by voluntary resettlement to their lands of ethnic origin,
the proportion of ethnic minorities living in Britain"
This will happen supposedly
by "voluntary" means (it used to be by compulsory means,
and would be again, if they ever got into power).
If non-whites are allowed stay in Britain,
it is not clear that they will have
the same rights as whites.
They say they want to give
"priority on housing and school places lists"
to whites, and
"We would abolish all laws against racial discrimination in employment".
The BNP on Zionism.
After a long history of hating Israel,
they are re-positioning as anti-Islamic, and pretending to be friends of Israel.
The BNP's legal officer
doesn't seem to have got the memo about Israel:
"After 9/11, the Neo-Conservatives and their Zionist allies saw an opportunity and developed a deceptive strategy of "Entryism" concealing their traditional anti-white Zionist supremacist bigotry with a facade of anti-jihadism.
The retarded Republican Right of the US public fell for it hook line and sinker - whilst waving the US flag they led their country into slavery to Zionism, Israel and AIPAC."
The BNP belittle
non-white defenders of Britain
They call his heroic actions in Iraq "routine".
They are unimpressed by a man who risked his life (and was badly injured) to fight Islamist jihadis
and save British troops.
Why? Because he is not white.
The clash of uncivilisations, Melanie Phillips, 24 October 2009:
"the BNP remains a racist party with strong neo-Nazi overtones. ... it is cynically using the Islamisation of Britain as cover for its animus against all Muslims and non-white people.
There are many British Muslims .. who are a threat to no one, who want to enjoy the benefits of a secular society and human rights and are themselves potential victims of Islamism and sharia law. But the BNP seeks to elide this distinction. It hates not just Islamism but all Muslims".
Though she does note (as I do) that people support the BNP
because the mainstream parties have hopelessly failed to oppose and fight Islamism.
To stop the BNP,
"all decent people must join in the fight against Islamic supremacism.
Support for the BNP would plummet if the political mainstream were to limit immigration, denounce cultural Islamic imperialism and refuse to give one inch to sharia law".
It is not racist (or recently racist) like the BNP,
but I am still not a fan.
It goes too far in opposition to Islamism
by protesting, say, the building of mosques.
Freedom of religion is a cornerstone of western freedom,
and should not be lightly thrown away.
It would be reasonable to
expel all Islamists from the UK.
It would not however be reasonable to
impose restrictions on Islamic worship.
The EDL are also uneducated street rioters,
liable, like all rioters, to attack not just Islamists and Islamist-lovers
but also the police and passers-by.
They perhaps express a primitive desire that we all feel
British Islamofascist marches
and the marchers deported.
But British Islamofascists must be restrained by the law,
not by street violence.
So I am not a fan of the EDL.
even if the EDL can be understood as a reaction to the disgusting emergence of
the EDL still achieves nothing:
"All they have achieved is media splashes of drunken white thugs fighting the police and getting battered and arrested. They have achieved little more than public disorder and have not seen one
identified, deported or arrested, despite their endless boasting."
Ben Gidley, June 24, 2010, cautions against labelling the EDL
They are a more complex group, with, for example, a
But he (like me) is still not a fan.
He does (like me) think the EDL fills a void because mainstream politicians have failed
to stand up against sharia and Islamism:
"we need a politics that mounts a robust defense of the best elements of the Western enlightenment tradition against the genuine threat posed by Islamism."
Ian O'Doherty on the EDL, 23 Mar 2012:
"There was a rather peculiar documentary hosted by Keith Allen about the English Defence League recently.
In it, he spoke to their leader Tommy Robinson who initially made some strong and perfectly valid points.
Wow, I thought, maybe this guy isn't the racist nutcase of media legend.
And then he got drunk and started throwing stones at some policemen.
Is this the best we can come up with to tackle radical Islam, which, lest we forget,
kills more Muslims around the world than any other country or ideology?"
The bottom line:
I can't imagine any circumstances in a democracy under which I would support a mob attacking the police.
Islamofascists march for sharia in London, June 2010.
All these people should be deported.
That does not mean, however, that:
(a) it would be reasonable for unelected street mobs to attack them,
(b) it would be reasonable to
impose restrictions on Islamic worship itself.
The EDL - uneducated street rioters.
I can't see
at the above protests, can you?
Spencer, Geller and
EDL leader Tommy Robinson
broke with the EDL
because of the losing struggle to keep out racists and anti-semites.
broke with Tommy Robinson
because of his new links to the anti-jihad Muslims
Now Quilliam are flawed, but not at all as bad as
Spencer and Geller paint them.
Spencer regards Tommy Robinson's links to Quilliam as a black mark against him.
Whereas I regard Spencer's links to Tommy Robinson as a black mark against him.
(A different case entirely is the pro-sharia
He deserves anything Spencer says about him.)
The break between Spencer and Robinson was however then
My bottom line on this feud:
I can't stand the EDL or Robinson or Mo Ansar. I will defend Quilliam and Spencer, despite their flaws.
"The war in Iraq grew out of Bush's neocon strategy, whether or not it was a necessary part of that strategy. Since the war turned into a fiasco, neocons rightly receive much blame, just as they or their ideological predecessors did over the war in Vietnam. But Vietnam was a flawed and painful episode in what proved ultimately to be a sound, even brilliant, strategy. The strategy that led us into Iraq may also in the end be vindicated. Meanwhile, neocons take their lumps for Iraq. But realism remains as barren of answers to the threat of global terrorism as it was to the threat of global Communism."
Joshua Muravchik still (rightly) defends neo-conservatism, Sept 2008.