Britain — a nation of broken windows

Over at FrontPage Magazine, you can read an interview with Martin Durkin, describing Britain’s staggering social decline during its long years as a welfare state.  It was a slow decline at first.  When I lived there in the early 1980s, it still wasn’t clear that it was hovering on the verge of breaking entirely with a grand historic past that saw a plucky, independent, self-sufficient people who once (for better or worse) ruled the world.  In the past 20 years, though, Britain has been in free fall.  If you read the British press regularly, as I do, you’ll have no problem recognizing Durkin’s description of modern Britain:

Overall, I think in general the bigger evil effects of welfare have been enormously underestimated, even by commentators who regard themselves as more pro-capitalist in their sympathies. Welfare is the basic cause of the deleterious cultural changes we have witnessed in the West over the past 60 years.

The Welfare State, pioneered in Britain of course, has corrupted this country to its core. It has transformed the country caricatured by Noel Coward and others – essentially pretty decent, self-reliant, and plucky – into a country which is thuggish, selfish, mindless, dispirited and lost. Gone is the British stiff upper lip. Modern Britons are moaning, self-pitying inadequates. The welfare state has bred a generation of obnoxious, drug-addled criminals and ne’er-do-wells. It has also, incidentally, burdened what was once the world’s biggest, most dynamic economy with the dead weight of an obstructive and vastly expensive state machine.

I’m sorry to sound cross about this, but I don’t think people fully realise what’s happened. Britain has, I think, the highest crime rate of any industrialised country in the world. It is twice as high as the US. The violent crime rate is higher in London than New York. Britain has the highest rate of drug abuse, the highest teenage pregnancy rate and the highest rate of sexually transmitted disease in the modern industrial world.

The shrinking minority of Brits that hasn’t given up on maintaining some basic standards is increasingly finding itself beleaguered, not by fellow citizens, but by its own officials.  On the one hand, British officials are occupying themselves with every picayune rule conceivable, on such earthshaking subjects as paint, bicycles, food wrapping, or whatever other silly, bureaucratic pettifogging you (or, rather, they) can think of, and approach that seems them harassing and bankrupting the shrinking law-abiding, income-generating middle class.

On the other hand, those same officials have given up on the infinitely harder work of maintaining social order.  They’re doing the equivalent of allowing windows to remain broken and graffiti to scar the walls.  Here is just the latest story of British officialdom’s willingness to let the country slide in an amoral, unlivable morass:

A mother shocked by seeing two half-naked men having sex while out walking the dogs with her daughter was told by police to take a different route in future.

Marie Cragg, 44, spoke of her disgust at the officers’ reaction and said she feared the woodland beauty spot would be turned into a no-go area for ordinary members of the public.

The men seen by Miss Cragg and her 18-year-old daughter Jessica were stripped from the waist down and carried on with their activities even after they knew they had been spotted.

‘I called the police and never heard anything back,’ Miss Cragg said.

‘Then later I was talking to the community officers, and they said they knew what goes on and I should change our walk.

‘You should not have to see that, should you? They can go into the woods and go wherever they want  –  it’s sick.

‘They saw me and didn’t care and just carried on. I could have been a childminder with kids. I would rather go past a gang of hoodies  –  they are making the place seedy.’

The encounter happened on a public footpath where Miss Cragg was walking the family dogs, Molly and Ruby, near their home in Penwortham, near Preston, last week.

It follows a briefing last month by the deputy chief constable of Lancashire, Mike Cunningham, in which he called for police to turn a blind eye to outdoor sexual activity.

Under the Sexual Offences Act anyone who takes part in ‘dogging’, where couples meet for sex in car parks, and cottaging, where men meet for sex in public lavatories, face arrest for outraging public decency, voyeurism and exposure.

But Mr Cunningham, who is also a spokesman on homosexual issues for the Association of Chief Police Officers, argues that offenders should only be prosecuted as a last resort because of the potential impact on their lives of making their activities public.

Read the rest here.

I hesitate to weigh down the above-quoted Deputy Chief Constable Cunningham with some simple common sense, but I just have to say this:  Perhaps, just perhaps, if people knew public sexual activities would actually expose them to consequences (as opposed to just an audience), they might refrain.

Britain, while always far from perfect, was nevertheless something of a light among nations during its heyday.  It was the first amongst modern nations to give up some of the worst national vices, such as slavery, the political subjugation of women, child labor, and imperialism.  That is, it was not free of sin, but it stood out from other nations by recognizing and abandoning its wrongful conduct.  Now . . . well, now it’s a pathetic slum country, not even proud of, but instead embarrassed by, its rich and often honorable past.  It’s so sad.

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  • Oldflyer

    It is really a shame. I saw some evidence when I worked there in 1997. Every home had a security system and English friends told me that burglary was an endemic problem. Every car had an anti-theft alarm.

    I don’t know that violent crime was a problem in the areas I was in. But, one thing that struck me was that Brits would never make eye contact on the street. The other was the very high level of smoking among teens.

    Well, I won’t point fingers. I can remember how we would shake our heads and laugh at the Italians in the late 50s and 60s. The streets and walks in Naples were strewn with trash. Buildings under construction simply collapsed. There was anarchy on the roads. We could not imagine living that way. Now . . .

  • highlander

    Fascinating! It’s ok for homosexuals to have sex in a public park, but it is not ok for parents to take pictures of their children at sporting events. Have a look at Cheryl’s Story in Spike’s review of Frank Furedi’s book, Paranoid Parenting:

    http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/reviewofbooks_article/5951/

    What an upside-down world! It looks like the inmates really have taken charge of the asylum.

  • 11B40

    Greetings:

    My favorite bit of folk wisdom from my Army days was the alleged difference between the Boy Scouts and the Army. You see, the Boy Scouts had adult supervision.

    I grew up in the Bronx, back in the ’50s and ’60s, and saw large parts of it socially undermined and even put to the torch during a long period of governmental neglect as bureaucrats failed to protect the prevailing culture. We are in a lengthy era of cultural decline primarily due to the lack of awareness that a culture’s “mores” require some form of enforcement.

    I certainly understand Miss Cragg’s concern and agitation. I’m just glad she didn’t visit San Francisco and stumble upon the “Up Your Alley Fair.”

  • Ymarsakar

    Britain, while always far from perfect, was nevertheless something of a light among nations during its heyday. It was the first amongst modern nations to give up some of the worst national vices, such as slavery, the political subjugation of women, child labor, and imperialism. That is, it was not free of sin, but it stood out from other nations by recognizing and abandoning its wrongful conduct. Now . . . well, now it’s a pathetic slum country, not even proud of, but instead embarrassed by, its rich and often honorable past. It’s so sad.

    Every nation has to die someday. This time, Britain, parent of the Colonies, is going first. Just like Rome fell to the barbarians but the colony in Briton survived, for a time, until remade anew.

    The evolution of the child to the adult also applies to nations on the grand timeline of history. Just as some nations die as children, others die as old parents having brought about numerous offspring. Britain was first brought civilization by the Romans. Then the Saxons and numerous others controlled Britain and eventually Britain created their own self-government models. The process was similar to the ROman Republic. First with Kings than with the elimination of the king to be replaced by a republic. Then the republic falls to the Empire. Although Britain skipped a few steps, like adopting Constitutional Monarchy rather than a real Republic.

    Hopefully, each new generation learns something from the old and makes a better life for themselves than their parents or grandparents did. Where there have been some macroscopic snags concerning the various histories of the national entities in the Western World, it has ultimately culminated in the United States. The best and brightest child of Sparta, Athens, Rome, and Briton.

    The US’s children, smaller and weak nations that would have been killed if not for the protection of the parent, can be seen to be represented in Japan, South Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Germany. The Germans, of course, represent more the rebellious teen that lacks maturity than a dutiful and responsible young adult.

    It may come about in 200 years that Iraq and Afghanistan will take our place (they would need India’s or Pakistan’s population for true super power status, however). Just as we now look at the death throes of Europe and Britain, from whence many of America’s ancestors came from, so may the products of American protection and historical progression look at America, in a hopefully distant future, and see her death just as we are seeing EUrope’s.

  • Deana

    Y –

    The thing that bothers me about all of this is that this does NOT have to happen to America.

    I’m not saying that America is somehow exempt from history. It isn’t. But we do not need to be a shooting star – amazing, awe-inspiring, beautiful, and gone in the blink of an eye. We have ideas to honor and hold fast to, beliefs to promote, and an amazing history that proves what people are capable of if we commit to those ideas and beliefs.

    I realize, though, that not all Americans believe in America or value the ideas that made us what we are. They may deny that but their actions indicate otherwise.

    I don’t know. All of this makes me so sad. I feel like I’m looking at a beautiful, priceless tapestry and every day, someone goes over and pulls out a thread.

    America deserves better. We don’t have to go down this path.

    Deana

  • Ymarsakar

    I feel the same way you do, Deana.

    From my analysis of history, I would say that America still has around 200-400 years of superpower status. This assumes America isn’t defeated in a war, of course.

    It’s hard to project results from the Roman Empire’s expansion due to the fact that increased communications and decreased travel times have made the world a smaller, more compact place. This means that any change anywhere can have extraordinary and unintended consequences elsewhere. The Middle East would have been a blip on the Ancient Roman’s radar and only a threat to their provinces. In our world, it is not only Alaska and our farflung allies that are threatened but us as individuals, even if we live in the Capital. (Especially if we live in the capital). Mistakes we make now have greater consequences and higher chances for fatality but that also means we are less capable of complacency. It also means that threats will be eliminated faster precisely because we can’t be complacent, thus restarting the cycle and providing prosperity and security as the grounds from which corruption and decadence will then start moving on. This cycle tends to take hundreds of years, but we just saw it happen from 1990 to 2008. Not even 20 years passed before the cycle repeated itself. Look at the USSR’s Empire’s rise and fall. From 1916 (I think that’s the correct date for the Russian Revolution) to the Fall of the Berlin Wall didn’t take more than 100 years, Deana. Rome started up in 200 something BC and ended before the turn of 500 AD. That’s about 700 years and then almost another thousand for Byzantium, the Roman Empire’s successor state (which thought of themselves as the original state even though they did not have control of the capital to which their EMpire was named after).

    What I have seen is that certain technological progresses have resulted in the rise and collapse of empires to progress along faster rates. An Empire is only as good as the people in them and political systems do tend to decay from corruption, decadence, prosperity, and complacency. The Romans wouldn’t have become so complacent had their ancestors not won so many wars, for example. And yet, Rome would have never needed to worry about decadence had they lost their wars (Cause Rome would be gone like Carthage).

    Certain elements, like Rome’s huge territorial expanse, allows some cushion if it so happens one part of the Empire falls to barbarians or other factors like corruption and lawlessness. We don’t tend to have that cushion. Or rather, our cushion is a stable territory that doesn’t expand. This makes it hard for others to invade and take but it also means that once we lose any state, we will probably start losing them all. In that sense, it is incredibly hard to split this nation apart like the territories of Rome were or the USSR’s were.

    I feel like I’m looking at a beautiful, priceless tapestry and every day, someone goes over and pulls out a thread.

    There are always going to be destroyers and people who like making others suffer. Even if America should be gone, there will always be a need in the human species to raise her vision up once again. In this sense, we are caught in the inevitable tide of the human condition.

    America has a couple of advantages that Britain didn’t have. We are less homogenous and more capable of assimilating people from foreign cultures. The Brits have been using the Gurkhas for centuries now and they still don’t accept them as culture equals even though the Gurkhas have adopted British attitudes.

    If America had been using the Kurds for hundreds of years as our shock troops, you would bet that Americans would have successfully lobbied their full inclusion into America, with all the rights and duties of citizens.

    America is not based upon a parliamentary system, which is a good thing, since parliamentary systems are extremely weak without strong leaders (monarchs or PMs). Our system also relies upon a strong CINC, but it is ameliorated by Congress and the Supreme Court, as it was supposed to be. In Britain, a single charismatic individual like Tony Blair can make things irrevocably worse. In America, not even FDR with his four terms could fundamentally break the American system. At least, not for many decades to come. The Brits sacked Churchill at the end of WWII and started on the road to National Socialism. Although they lost the “national” part a long time ago. FDR started the New Deal and America is still pretty strong here. In fact, her military is even stronger. This is in part because the American economic engine can support welfare, and when it can’t support it, reforms are still possible and feasible in the system. In Britain, the system has now been fixed so that there is no possibility of reform. Parliamentary systems are population based entirely. And if you know how people in urban centers, which are most of a nation’s population, vote, then you know what that means.

    Had America allowed Iraq to fallen, I would say that our days as a unified nation were numbered in less than 100 years. (Check up Carthage for an example of what happens if you lose too many wars in a row, Also check on Constantinople) Now, however, the example of the Iraqis should bolster American morale. The Iraqis responded to the American ideal of personal responsibility and fixing their own problems with acceptable results, if not the heartfelt enthusiasm of the Kurds. This was a simple example that, with the support of a strong parent, any small and weak nation can grow up to be stronger, more unified, more secure, and more prosperous. These examples help both the child and the parent. The child because it can now grow strong enough to fight off predators and the parent because the parent learns from the child how not to give into despair.

    A child adapts and grows and learns because it must. It will do so or it will be killed and eviscerated by predators and competitors. IT is do or die. The parent doesn’t need to worry about such things for the parent can defend itself, just as the US can. But there are greater dangers for the parent in this case. The dangers of sloth, decadence, corruption, a sapping of will and morale, depression, ultimately ending in suicide.

    Britain gave up her Empire because WWII demonstrated that the British people no longer had the wisdom to tell other underdeveloped nations what to do. This was demonstrated by the fact that Britain couldn’t even win a war against their European brethren by themselves. How could such a nation, sapped of so much resources by a war they themselves partially caused and allowed to happen, successfully govern and control other nations around the globe, Deana? They could not. Churchill knew this and he accepted this fact. He let the colonies go. FDR’s pressure on him to do so in return for US assistance also was part of the reason.

    The US, however, is still strong economically and militarily. Our weaknesses are essentially born from our own vices and mistakes. We are the parent that has no enemies able to hurt us, but we can still die from suicide if nothing else. It is the child that teaches the parent that the parent has a duty to uphold stronger than the parent’s depression, selfish interest to end the pain, or internal weaknesses. The parent must become stronger and stay stronger for the child. The child becomes a symbol of the immortality of the parent, of the race and species. The genetic instinct to protect one’s loved ones is morphed into a need to uphold one’s nation and that is morphed into raising up weaker nations than ours.

    Just like generations can be broken with too many deaths, in war and famine for example, so can the example of Western Enlightenment principles. Remember, it was a long time after the Fall of Rome for the Enlightenment in Europe to occur. The Persians and Turks kept translated documents obtained from their conquest of Byzantium and the various cultural exchanges with the Roman Empire, while the barbarians in EUrope (the Gauls and the Germans and the Visigoths and what not) were the ones that started building up their own system of feudalism and monarchy and self-rule.

    The human species goes on, even if we as individuals die or our nations fade away. But, just because we are all fated to die does not mean I am going down without a fight.

  • Ymarsakar

    Ymar…

    What happens if one Target Focussed Trained individual meets another? What prevents people with bad intentions from getting the training?

    This is suek’s question to me from another thread. I have been absent from reading here for a few days, so apologies for the lateness of my answer.

    Concerning “what prevents people with bad intentions from getting the training”, the answer is “nothing”. The fact that it also doesn’t matter is a double nothing.

    Serial killers, rapists, murderers, and so forth were never trained in the use of violence. Contrary to Hollywood stereotypes, most criminals and people with assault weapons are not former military. At least not in America.

    Criminals already have the “training” because they comprehend how violence works on an intuitive level. Give me your money and you are going to get hurt by me, and you will continue to be hurt by me until you give me what I want.

    It is civilians and military personnel, law abiding citizens, that need training in the use of violence, suek. They are the ones that are at a disadvantage and they are the ones that must have this training to get rid of people with bad intentions.

    As for what happens when one TFT trained member meets another, that will rarely happen except in family groups that share this information amongst each other. For when it does, it will be no more problematic than two strangers that meet on a road in the middle of nowhere. Social restrictions still hold, laws still hold, and if they don’t hold, then it doesn’t matter if you are TFT trained or not. Violence will work for the criminal whether he is trained or not. Violence will work for you whether your opponent is a martial art black belt or not.

    Now for what you need to do against a TFT opponent, the primary objective is to injure them. Once injured, all their knowledge, training, and intentions become moot. THey are as helpless as babes. And you can crush a baby’s head very easily. Palestinians have demonstrated that in Israeli settler towns very often.

    British folks, for example, need TFT more than almost anyone else in Europe (except people living in Paris or third worlds. Then again, in third world nations you don’t have laws banning firearms mostly so it is better to acquire mines, explosives, and firearms instead). Tim Larkin recently held a 500 dollar 2 day live training in Britain, with two consecutive sessions. The people that attended that session are now more dangerous to the criminals than vice a versa. That’s a good thing, btw.

  • Ymarsakar

    TFT is far more adaptable and usable than firearms training since nations like Britain won’t allow you firearms. Airports won’t allow it. Governments may confiscate it from you. You may run out of ammo for your firearms. You may be prosecuted for murder if you kill someone with a firearm. You may etc etc et all.

    The only disadvantage to hand to hand killing ability is the range and the rate of fire. If they are in my range, .5 feet to 6 feet, they are going to die or be seriously and permanently maimed for life, suek.

    The nice thing about criminals is that they tend to want to get up close and personal to you. If they have a firearm, they will want to get really close up. You ever see videos of convenience store robberies with a firearm you will know what I am talking about.

    The closer they get, the higher the chance that they are going to get surprised by someone like me. These people also never look around them, like at their backs, because they don’t expect someone to attack with them when they have the almighty gun. In this sense, Hollywood has done people like me a favor. So long as they overestimate the power of the gun and think it is a substitute for fighting ability, they are extraordinarily easy targets for people like me.

  • Mike Devx

    Deana (#5)
    >> I feel like I’m looking at a beautiful, priceless tapestry and every day, someone goes over and pulls out a thread. >>

    Beautifully said!

    11B40 (#3)
    >> We are in a lengthy era of cultural decline primarily due to the lack of awareness that a culture’s “mores” require some form of enforcement. >>

    I agree. I’m reminded also of Book’s libertarians vs conservatives post, where – while it wasn’t clear to me – Book appeared to advocate the libertarian approach of laws based on individual rights, with no laws based on traditional community values.

    I think that approach is problematic, though I do lean strongly libertarian. I have, over the years since 9-11, come to value the strength of traditional values, and I recognize their worth as passed into law. I don’t want to see this reduced. I think the “broken window” syndrome is not fixed by a focus on libertarianism; it is fixed by a focus on traditional values.

    The sooner both sides realize we need both – a strong mix of both – the better off we’ll be, is my opinion.

  • Ymarsakar

    Here’s a email I got from the newsletter recently. Should answer some other questions concerning violence. Performance anxiety does exist. Book mentioned it with situations involving multiple attackers or the stronger, bigger, faster element. I know it personally because I’ve experienced it. Others know what I’m talking about if they have ever been placed in a situation where physical confrontation was required and they did not have any formal training to give them confidence on how to solve it (formal training is not actually a guarantee that your confidence is warranted, however).

    ********************************************

    Say a man approaches you on the street with a proposition:

    “See that guy over there?” He indicates a big, strapping fellow, his 6’4″ frame enrobed in 300 lbs. of muscle. “He’s coming over here to wrestle you to the ground and choke you out for a million dollars. If you can pin him instead, I’ll give you the million.”

    “B-but,” you stammer, “I don’t want to wrestle him!”

    The man sniffs. “Doesn’t matter — he wants the million. Here he comes — best of luck!”

    How does it feel to suddenly have this contest thrust upon you? To have to worry about your performance, and how it will stack up to his experience level? For all you know, he could be very good at wrestling — and even if you, yourself, are no slouch in the ring, he’s clearly way outside your weight class. And much, much stronger. As he begins to sprint toward you, you notice he’s a lot faster, too.

    How’s it feel now?

    Let’s try a different tack:

    Same set up, except the man says, “All you have to do is touch him, and I’ll give you the million instead.”

    Feel any different?

    How about if we qualify that touch a bit — “All you have to do is break something inside of him.” And you’ll get the million.

    In the first case, the contest is sprung upon you, you’re not prepared, you’re being asked to compete with the man’s physical size and athletic ability. You’re being asked to perform at a level most of us can’t reach. You’re being asked to compete in such a way that is clearly unfair, and puts you at a disadvantage.

    We could just as easily set up a scenario where you are suddenly tasked with debating international monetary policy, before an audience, with someone who may or may not be a Nobel laureate in economics. We’ve all got the basic tools, the components to compete in such a contest — we can speak out loud, we have experience with finances and money in general — and yet, the idea makes me sweat. Most of us can expect to get hammered and humiliated, everything we say twisted back on us with a sneer and derisive laughter from the audience.

    In the second case where, “All you have to do is touch him,” there is no performance pressure — we can all reach out and touch the guy, even if he wants to wrestle us. In fact, there’s really no way you can lose — how can he wrestle you down & choke you out without you touching him at some point? It’s so simple it’s ridiculous.

    And sure, that “touch” can easily be used to break something inside of him, as in the slightly more difficult scenario. We all know he can’t successfully wrestle you without you crushing his groin or gouging an eye at some point. Everything he would want to do just pulls you in nice and close to those delicate anatomical features. Another easy win.

    All of the above highlights another distinct difference between competition and violence — that impending competition brings with it performance anxiety as you realize you will be required to pit your skill against unknown thresholds (what if he’s the better wrestler? or speaker?). It’s the worry that your meager skills will be outclassed.

    When we remove the competition and go instead to a win condition that is not dependent on unknown thresholds (i.e., nothing about the other guy factors into the equation) there is no dread or anxiety.

    Now, I know what you’re thinking — what about performance anxiety around getting violence done? Well, how anxious did you feel about merely touching the guy, above? Really? Outside of counting coup, did your anxiety increase when it was qualified as causing an injury (“…break something inside of him.”)? If the answer is yes, then

    YOU’RE STILL LOOKING AT VIOLENCE AS COMPETITION.

    Violence, as the absence of competition, has no performance anxiety component. It really is just touching, if we mean it in the same way that we would smash a soda can flat, or slam a car door, or break a stick on the curb. The physics and biomechanics involved are all the same. Any considerations beyond that are imaginary. Hang ups, if you will.

    As with pretty much everything in this work, the solution is mat time. It’s the second best place to learn that competition has nothing to do with anything in violence, that size, speed and strength have no bearing on who wins and who dies. Those who still view violence as a form of competition, a high-stakes one, act hesitantly on the mats; they keep their distance (even when they think they’re penetrating), flinch, hide and otherwise give poor reactions, and rarely employ bodyweight. They behave as if they are fundamentally frightened of what’s going on. Which they are.

    Those who have figured it out by physically burning the idea out of their heads with hours of mat time throw themselves into the work with great relish, applying themselves bodily to every problem presented them.

    The physical realization that violence is about a failure to compete, an end-run around competition, is liberating. Gone is the worry about being big enough, fast enough or strong enough. The other guy’s skill counts for absolutely nothing. It’s all about you, and only you. The other guy is prey to be taken, meat to be butchered.

    The pressure’s off and you’re free to do as you will.

    Chris Ranck-Buhr
    Master Instructor
    Target-Focus Training
    http://www.targetfocustraining.com

  • Ymarsakar

    I think that approach is problematic, though I do lean strongly libertarian. I have, over the years since 9-11, come to value the strength of traditional values, and I recognize their worth as passed into law. I don’t want to see this reduced. I think the “broken window” syndrome is not fixed by a focus on libertarianism; it is fixed by a focus on traditional values.

    What does that actually mean in terms of policies? Traditional values are traditional because they aren’t there to “change” anything. However, if you want to fight the Left and their polices, you must Change them. Change them back to the tradition, which requires that you put more laws about stopping other laws that infringe on individual choice. This is very tricky since government laws are usually designed to deny rights or inflict cruelty and penalties on people violating a certain regulation or standard.

    But if you punish and regulate the Leftists, good things will result. That is not “Traditional values” but it is a very effective way to get back to traditional values by using an untraditonal method.

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    Mike,

    I do believe in strong community values. I think part of the problem with the decline in our community values is the more and more things are being usurped by a far-away federal government. People have less responsibility and feel less connected to the decisions their government makes. That’s what I meant about the fact that my neighbors will cheerfully applaud Obama for making abortion as easy to obtain as pierced ears (easier, indeed, because of the lack of parental notification), but would have an entirely different approach if one of their daughters came home pregnant. Libertarianism as I envision it — which simply means less federalism — would force people to deal on a community by community basis with social policies, and my bet is that they would lean conservative.

  • Mike Devx

    Ymarsaker (#11)
    >> What does that actually mean in terms of policies? Traditional values are traditional because they aren’t there to “change” anything. >>

    Y, I had New York City in mind. It suffered a “broken window” descent and a bankrupty descent at the same time, both while liberals ran the show. The focus was on honoring victimhood, with no one being to blame nor at fault for anything. A permissive, anything-goes approach. A permissive approach to crime and criminals – they are victims, too, and not at fault! Times Square descending into physical and psychic squalor. The liberals, quite frankly, see nothing wrong with collapse and squalor, as the state of New York City at that time clearly evidences.

    The aspects of conservatism I am promoting here is that the government must be tough on crime; the city government must maintain clean streets; promote regular business, and yes, move the sleazy, seamy businesses off into the shadows, where they will still gain their business. Be aggressive on impending squalor: graffiti is not art, it is a despoiling of the civic environment, and broken windows lead to worse, so fix them immediately.

    Two things in particular: civic responsibility is a traditional value, not a libertarian value; moving the sleazy and seamy businesses off the main streets back into the “shadows” of the back streets is not a libertarian viewpoint; it is a traditional one.

  • Mike Devx

    Thank you, Book, for #12. I was wondering. I think you are advocating moving government back closer to the people, which means moving many responsibilities back to the States from the National government? And perhaps devolving some State responsibilities back onto city/county/municipal/community?

    To me, a movement of responsibility back from National to State governments fits precisely with the intent and spirit of the 10th Amendment. Indeed, even with a casual reading of the damn thing! We ignore it completely these days.

    But I’ve always considered the idea of the 10th Amendment to be a conservative position, not a libertarian position. The libertarian position to me would be: If it’s not worth the national government doing it, then it’s not worth the state government either, nor ANY government. Hands off! So the question of local vs national control is to me a conservative position, not a libertarian one.

  • Ymarsakar

    A permissive, anything-goes approach. A permissive approach to crime and criminals – they are victims, too, and not at fault! Times Square descending into physical and psychic squalor. The liberals, quite frankly, see nothing wrong with collapse and squalor, as the state of New York City at that time clearly evidences.

    I agree with your views concerning New York, as well as my view that Rudy cleaned it up (New Yorker’s view as well), Mike.

    However, many of the policies, in today’s world, that can further traditional values, as you put it, requires progressive and pro-active actions and legislation. This is the potential conflict I am illustrating. People should not believe that tradition is only conservative. Tradition is also progressive, especially when fighting against regressive organizations like the Left and the looters of civilization.

  • Mike Devx

    Y,
    >> However, many of the policies, in today’s world, that can further traditional values, as you put it, requires progressive and pro-active actions and legislation. This is the potential conflict I am illustrating. >>

    I actually do agree. There is a fundamental contradiction between the core of libertarianism (Hands off!) and the core of conservatism (Our laws must represent and enforce our best values).

    But it is my hope that there is a middle ground where both can come together. It begins when libertarians admit that conservatives have a point; and when conservatives admit that libertarians have a point. It deepens when they respect each others’ points and positions.

    IF libertarians can identify that set of conservative positions and laws that are MOST important and support them, even though they do not view them from an individualist position as strictly necessary, then in my view we are better off.

    Equally, conservatives can agree that not every law that can be considered beneficial from a strictly moral viewpoint should be passed – that as much as possible, without violating integrity, you can leave free choice to the individual, then in my view we are better off.

    And around the debate on what is important, and what can be compromised, is where I hope the coalition can be rebuilt.