The Necessary Holiday
If our nation's Founders could visit us on this, our 232nd Independence Day, what would they make of us? What would they declare of us?
A hint can be discerned in a letter from John Adams to his wife, Abigail, on July 3, 1776, as the Declaration of Independence had just been approved. "It ought to be commemorated," said the man who would become our second president, "as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Day's Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not."
Americans have maintained the "Pomp and Parade" for more than two centuries now, and the "Bonfires and Illuminations" are commonplace, but how often do we recognize Independence Day as "the Day of Deliverance?" How often do we honor it with "solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty"? How often do we contemplate the cost of our freedom, "the Toil and Blood and Treasure?"
Our Founders believed that independence was more than a choice; they viewed our break from royal rule as necessary.
Consider the first statement of the Declaration: "When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."
The signatories were emphatic that separation from the crown was not only an objective, but an obligation: "But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.-Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government." In conclusion, the Founders wrote, "We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation..."
Their cause, of course, was not anti-government. Rather they objected to the misgovernment of the king, saying, "He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good." Furthermore, the Americans had been patient, petitioning their British rulers for redress for over a decade. Armed hostilities had commenced on April 19, 1775, at the battles of Lexington and Concord, and the colonists faced the full power of the British Empire in their quest for American independence.
One year before taking that step for nationhood, on July 5, 1775, the Continental Congress adopted the Olive Branch Petition, beseeching the British king for a peaceful resolution of the American colonies' grievances. A day later, that same Congress resolved the "Declaration of the Causes and Necessities of Taking Up Arms." King George III refused to read the peace petition and assembled his armies. On July 2, 1776, Richard Henry Lee's proposal for a formal declaration of separation passed, and the document was ordered printed on July 4.
The war-weary among us today might ask, was independence really necessary? To pose the question at the outset of the Revolutionary War was to answer it. Representatives of the colonial Americans realized that, in voicing this query, they already possessed proof that they, not the King of England, were legitimate instruments of self-government for their countrymen. How could circumstances be otherwise when the king offered no remedy for his subjects' complaints, no guarantee their rights would be respected, and no means for them to govern themselves in their new lands?
The founders knew, however, that power could not be its own justification. They recognized that only an appeal to overarching laws, binding the king as much as his subjects, was legitimate. And abuse of authority demonstrated disqualification of any governor, whether a monarch or a purported representative. We would do well to apply this insight to the political debates of today.
Indeed, two competing philosophies of government at odds during the American Revolution have reappeared, with the anti-republican form seen in those politicians who would seek to gain favor by manipulating language and misrepresenting their positions. Royalists, on the other hand, believed that the king was divinely ordained to rule over the people and was therefore above the law. This view is manifest currently in government officials-especially our elected officers-who believe they may properly command the citizenry to whatever they please, to whichever they purport to be for the good of the people.
As Thomas Jefferson observed, "Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread." Yet the prevailing philosophy of government proposes exactly this-that directions from Washington as to how we must conduct ourselves, in matters large and small, will lead inexorably to scarcity and will inevitably erode our freedom. Our system of government today is not so different from the monarchy we escaped, except that a swarm of bureaucrats have taken up the throne.
A necessity thus presents itself to us as well: We must reconnect with the timeless principles that inspired our Founding Fathers; those same principles that long ago gave birth to a good, great and God-blessed nation.
"[W]hat do we mean by the American Revolution?" reflected John Adams. "Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations... This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution."
Let us celebrate this Independence Day 2008 in a manner that Adams himself might recognize-with "solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty," and with a rededication to the principles of our necessary American Revolution. And as always, in the words of George Washington, "Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism."
An Irrelevant Europe - Best for the World?
In a recent op-ed Robert Kagan laments that (Western) Europe is sliding into irrelevance. But that might be the best thing for the rest of the world.
Don't get me wrong, the world owes plenty to Europe. It's given the world great art, architecture, literature, and music. It's also given the world the ideas of universal education, the scientific method, research institutions, property rights, rule of law, democracy, religious freedom, and freedom of thought and expression, among other things. These ideas and institutions coalesced to power the engine of progress that drives the economic and technological development that have improved human well-being - not only in Europe but elsewhere - to levels far beyond what our ancestors could have imagined. Consequently, today we live longer, healthier, more educated, freer, and wealthier than ever before. But for the past century, Europe seems determined to undo all the good it's ever done.
Europe gave the world the ideologies of Fascism and Marxism, which were responsible - or provided rationalizations - for 100-150 million deaths worldwide, including many outside Europe, most notably in China, Cambodia and North Korea. Then in a few short decades, despite having risen Phoenix-like from the ashes of destruction of World War II, instead of brimming with optimism, Europe has taken a decidedly pessimistic turn.
It no longer believes in progress. Its birth rate has dropped below replacement rates, yet, despite its protestations of equality, fraternity, secularism, and respect for human rights, it's unwilling or unable to welcome or integrate immigrants of different colors or religious backgrounds into its societies. And one by one it's abandoning the great ideas that brought it, and the rest of the world, progress, and advanced human well-being.
Its political leadership, although democratically elected, has abandoned democracy in its pursuit of a united Europe. The more the idea of the EU fails in democratic tests - most recently in Ireland - the more devious its politicians' machinations to bypass popular approval.
It has abandoned scientific inquiry, relying instead on mantras such as the "science is settled." Having abandoned science, it now relies on superstition, manifested in the notion of a global-warming-triggered apocalypse of Biblical proportions if average temperatures exceeds 2 degrees Centigrade above pre-industrial levels - an apocalypse complete with death, disease, pestilence, droughts, famines and floods. Not only is there no evidence for this, this superstition persists despite the current reality that more Europeans die in winter than in summer, Europe's long history of misery and want during cold periods and plenty during warm eras, and that even as media coverage of extreme weather events becomes more compelling and ubiquitous, globally the deaths and death rates from such events are in long term decline. If Europe had spent a fraction of the resources in adapting to climate change as it did on complying with the futile, but politically-correct Kyoto Protocol, it might have reduced by thousands the death toll of its 2003 heat wave.
Europe is now on the verge of abandoning the quest for technological progress, preferring instead to be ruled by the so-called precautionary principle which, as applied by Europe, actually increases human misery and death. It does this by discouraging, if not vetoing, new and safer technologies that could displace older and less safe technologies on the grounds that "safer" is not good enough - it has to be absolutely safe.
The precautionary principle was used to justify relinquishing its use of DDT, which was easy, because Europe had already conquered malaria. It is also used against genetically modified crops. The misapplication of the precautionary principle, coupled with its abandonment of scientific inquiry evident in the torching and destruction of experimental trials on genetically modified crops and its reliance on superstition, has resulted in a de facto ban on such crops in most of Europe. But giving up such crops isn't hard either. Western Europe is well fed - in fact today it worries more about obesity than hunger - and its farmers' excessive productivity is actually a drag on its taxpayers. Some Europeans would also give up nuclear and coal, but that would actually be giving something up, so protestations to the contrary, that will come about only after renewable energies mature and are better able to pay for themselves without subsidies.
But worst of all, Europe is once again exporting dangerous, misanthropic ideas, which unfortunately are echoed even in the US where many are in thrall of European ideas, no matter how ill-conceived. These ideas are couched in doublespeak, such as the European version of the precautionary principle, which could kill as many people as the failed ideologies of Fascism and Marxism.
Europe talks endlessly of helping developing countries and offering token amounts of aid but then refuses to reform its agricultural policies which would do a lot more for helping the latter help themselves. At the same time it bemoans the new prosperity of long-suffering Asia that has lifted over a billion out of a poverty that Europe has not known since even before the French Revolution because it's enabled by and rides on greater energy use. And for that, some Europeans threaten punishment through carbon tariffs.
But energy use and economic development are inextricably linked not only in China and India but in Europe and elsewhere. Even as energy use fueled economic development, it freed human beings from back-breaking physical labor, allowed women to escape the drudgery of household work, equalized economic opportunities for women, reduced the need for child labor, liberated animals from being our beasts of burden, and enabled brains to displace brawn, laying the foundation for a less energy-intensive economy.
Europe campaigned actively, but fortunately unsuccessfully, to ban DDT. Despite this, African nations, deferring to European "expertise" on matters technological while fearing a European boycott of their agricultural exports if even trace amounts of DDT are found on them, have been slow to adopt DDT to combat malaria - fears that Europe did nothing to dispel and may, in fact, have actively encouraged. For the same reasons, Africans have been reluctant to turn to genetically modified crops to reduce hunger and malnutrition. And once again, Europe is standing silently by if not actively discouraging the use of genetically modified crops.
For context, consider that over 6 million people die each year from malaria, hunger and malnutrition, a toll that annually rivals that of the entire Holocaust. Yet Europe has done little to help or reassure Africa in this regard, thereby abandoning one of the Holocaust's most important lessons, namely, inaction can be no less culpable than active participation.
Europe may be able to walk away from further economic and technological development, but the rest of the world can't afford to, not if it values human and environmental well-being. An irrelevant Europe could save innumerable lives in the developing world. And that might be best for this world.
Why the Iraq war Was Inevitable
According to an April 2008 poll in U.S. News & World Report, fully 61 percent of American historians agree that George W. Bush is the worst President in our history. Some of these scholars cite the President's position on the environment, or on taxes, or on the economy. For most, though, the chief qualification for obloquy lies in Bush's decision to go to war in Iraq.
In this, of course, the historians are hardly alone: five years after the launching of Operation Iraqi Freedom, both the mainstream media and America's political elites treat the Iraq war as a disaster virtually without precedent in our national experience. But while politicians and journalists are not necessarily expected to be adepts of the long view, for professional historians the long view is a defining necessity. As the English historian F.W. Maitland wrote more than a century ago, "It is very hard to remember that events that are long in the past were once in the future." Hard it may be, but the job of historians is not only to remember it but to judge events accordingly.
In this light-that is, in light of what was actually known at the time about Saddam Hussein's actions and intentions, and in light of what was added to our knowledge through his post-capture interrogations by the FBI-the decision to go to war takes on a very different character. The story that emerges is of a choice not only carefully weighed and deliberately arrived at but, in the circumstances, the one moral choice that any American President could make.
Had, moreover, Bush failed to act when he did, the consequences could have been truly disastrous. The next American President would surely have faced the need, in decidedly less favorable circumstances, to pick up the challenge Bush had neglected. And since Bush's unwillingness to do the necessary thing might rightly have cost him his second term, that next President would probably have been one of the many Democrats who, until March 2003, actually saw the same threat George Bush did.
It is too often forgotten, not least by historians, that George W. Bush did not invent the idea of deposing the Iraqi tyrant. For years before he came on the scene, removing Saddam Hussein had been a priority embraced by the Democratic administration of Bill Clinton and by Clinton's most vocal supporters in the Senate:
Saddam Hussein must not be allowed to threaten his neighbors or the world with nuclear arms, poison gas, or biological weapons. . . . Other countries possess weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. With Saddam, there is one big difference: he has used them. Not once, but repeatedly. . . . I have no doubt today that, left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will use these terrible weapons again.These were the words of President Clinton on the night of December 16, 1998 as he announced a four-day bombing campaign over Iraq. Only six weeks earlier, Clinton had signed the Iraq Liberation Act authorizing Saddam's overthrow-an initiative supported unanimously in the Senate and by a margin of 360 to 38 in the House. "Iraqis deserve and desire freedom," Clinton had declared. On the evening the bombs began to drop, Vice President Al Gore told CNN's Larry King:
You allow someone like Saddam Hussein to get nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, chemical weapons, biological weapons. How many people is he going to kill with such weapons? . . . We are not going to allow him to succeed.What these and other such statements remind us is that, by the time George Bush entered the White House in January 2001, the United States was already at war with Iraq, and in fact had been at war for a decade, ever since the first Gulf war in the early 1990's. (This was literally the case, the end of hostilities in 1991 being merely a cease-fire and not a formal surrender followed by a peace treaty.) Not only that, but the diplomatic and military framework Bush inherited for neutralizing the Middle East's most fearsome dictator had been approved by the United Nations. It consisted of (a) regular UN inspections to track and dispose of weapons of mass destruction (WMD's) remaining in Saddam's arsenal since the first Gulf war; (b) UN-monitored sanctions to prevent Saddam from acquiring the means to make more WMD's; and (c) the creation of so-called "no-fly zones" over large sections of southern and northern Iraq to deter Saddam from sending the remnants of his air force against resisting Kurds and Shiite Muslims.
The problem, as Bill Clinton discovered at the start of his second term, was that this "containment regime" was collapsing. By this point Saddam was not just the brutal dictator who had killed as many as two million of his own people and used chemical weapons in battle against Iran (and in 1988 against Iraqis themselves). Nor was he just the regional aggressor who had to be driven out of Kuwait in 1991 by an international coalition of armed forces in Operation Desert Storm. As Clinton recognized, Saddam's WMD programs, in combination with his ties to international terrorists, posed a direct challenge to the United States.
In a February 17, 1998 speech at the Pentagon, Clinton focused on what in his State of the Union address a few weeks earlier he had called an "unholy axis" of rogue states and predatory powers threatening the world's security. "There is no more clear example of this threat," he asserted, "than Saddam Hussein's Iraq," and he added that the danger would grow many times worse if Saddam were able to realize his thoroughly documented ambition, going back decades and at one point close to accomplishment, of acquiring an arsenal of nuclear as well as chemical and biological weapons. The United States, Clinton said, "simply cannot allow this to happen."
But how to prevent it? An opportunity arose later the same year. In October 1998, Saddam threw out ten Americans who were part of a UN inspection team, and on the last day of the month announced that he would cease all cooperation with UNSCOM, the UN inspection body. On December 15, UNSCOM's director, Richard Butler, reported that Iraq was engaged in systematic obstruction and deception of the internationally mandated inspection regime. Although the UN hesitated to invoke the technical term "material breach," which would almost certainly have triggered a demand for a response with force by the world body, Clinton himself was determined to act. He had already received a letter from a formidable list of U.S. Senators, including fellow Democrats Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, and John Kerry, urging him to "respond effectively"-with air strikes if necessary-to the "threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its WMD programs." After consulting with Great Britain and other allies, Clinton ordered Butler to pull out the remaining inspectors. On December 16, he launched Operation Desert Fox.
For four days, American and British planes and cruise missiles bombarded Iraqi sites in an effort to degrade Saddam's programs. The key objective was to knock out communication-and-control networks-and in this, a Clinton official would assert, Desert Fox "exceeded expectations." But the attacks did virtually nothing to destroy facilities suspected of housing weapons, most of which were in unknown locations. The only way to find out where they might be was by reintroducing UN inspectors, something Saddam now adamantly refused to permit.
Thus, in the end, Desert Fox proved a failure, not because of insufficient American firepower but because of Saddam's defiance-and because of a lack of forceful follow-up. True, passage of the Iraq Liberation Act meant that the United States now had a regime-change resolution on the books and was providing a certain amount of money and aid for covert internal action against Saddam. True, too, Vice President Al Gore was a particularly strong supporter of these initiatives. But in the wake of Desert Fox, Saddam had conducted his own violent crackdown on potential opposition figures, which meant there was no hope for Iraqis to retake their country without massive outside help.
As 1999 dawned, the choices narrowed. Inspections had failed. So had air strikes and covert action. So had international trade sanctions, which imposed a new level of misery on the Iraqi people without putting any pressure on Saddam himself. The UN's Oil-for-Food Program, created in 1996 in order to allow Iraq to sell some of its oil in exchange for food and other necessary supplies, appeared to be still another failure: Iraqis continued to starve, while Saddam seemed to grow only richer.
And so, "starting in early 1999," as Kenneth Pollack, an official in Clinton's National Security Council, would later recount, "the Clinton administration began to develop options to overthrow Saddam's regime."
Much more here
How to Kill Poverty
By JAY NORDLINGER
For years, socialists and collectivists held a monopoly on discussion of how to help the Third World poor. But lately the advocates of an open economy have made inroads. There are reasons for this: Socialism has been proven a failure, and an open economy works. Is that too blunt, or pat? The facts argue, "Not really."
Of interest is a new book from the Independent Institute, which is a think tank in Oakland, Calif. The book is edited by one of the organization's stars, Alvaro Vargas Llosa. He is the son of the writer Mario, who once ran for president of Peru. Alvaro is a liberal economist and social critic - and by liberal, I mean classical-liberal. He wrote a book called "Liberty for Latin America: How to Undo Five Hundred Years of State Oppression."
In Latin America, the socialists have the upper hand, politically. But that region has given us more than its fair share of excellent liberal thinkers. If for Hernando de Soto alone, the region would have given us more than its fair share of such thinkers.
The new volume bears an intriguing title: "Lessons from the Poor." It is largely case studies from the world over - or rather from Latin America and Africa. Surrounding the case studies are essays, starting with a foreword by James D. Gwartney, who is an econ prof at Florida State. He says, "Entrepreneurship as a source of economic growth and as a weapon against poverty is underappreciated" - there is a great understatement. He further says, "Innovative thinking and alertness to opportunity is present in all societies. Indeed, it is often found in unusual places." Yes, every society is stocked with Horatio Alger figures, or those who would be, if given half a chance. The world lacks for opportunities, not ability.
Reflecting on the case studies in this book, Gwartney says, "No central planner or development official would have chosen any of these people or business options as a tool to reduce poverty. Nonetheless, . . . all of these entrepreneurial activities have substantially upgraded the lives of millions of poor people."
What were the roadblocks placed in the way of our model entrepreneurs? There were many, and Gwartney lists a few: "confiscation of property, pollution of the currency, bureaucratic corruption and inefficiency, excessive taxation, and unnecessary regulation." And he makes a crucial distinction: between genuine entrepreneurship and "legal plunder," which may be defined as gaming the system. Mercantilism is not to be confused with free economic activity.
In his introduction, Vargas Llosa is blunt, saying, "After half a century of failure, foreign aid can no longer be the preferred tool for lifting the masses of Africa and Latin America out of their economic prostration." I would amend that statement: Foreign aid should no longer be the preferred tool. Vargas Llosa marvels that people can accomplish as much as they do: "The fact that, today, millions of people manage to eke out a living in very creative ways under stifling bureaucracies, elitist systems, and despotic governments indicates that entrepreneurship is part of the human spirit and not the exclusive preserve of those countries that have generated astronomical wealth."
And he is adamant that entrepreneurship should not be seen as a merely selfish undertaking. He says, "Many people fail to understand that an entrepreneur who discovers opportunity and transforms resources into wealth provides the most `social' service possible to the rest of the community, even when that is not the original intention." That is elementary, of course, but necessary to repeat, over and over. And, as a respecter of facts, Vargas Llosa has no doubt about what lifts up the Third World: "entrepreneurship, not Western guilt."
The case studies begin with the A¤a¤os family in Peru, which founded Kola Real - soft drinks "priced within reach of the poor." This family started with next to nothing, and now has next to everything: and has employed thousands of people in the process. They have also faced enormous odds, in a business environment that is not exactly, um, Californian. How easy we Americans have it! For one thing, the family had to dodge the Shining Path. For another, they had to cope with the illogic and unfairness of the Peruvian government.
We next have another Peruvian case, this one involving Aquilino Flores, who came to Lima at the age of twelve. He arrived from the hinterland "with one hand covering his front, the other his rear" (which is Peruvian for "without a pot to [you-know-what] in"). This boy started washing cars. And then he sold some T-shirts. And then he found ways to figure out what people wanted, and sold a lot of shirts - becoming Topy Top, a textile company with annual sales in excess of $100 million.
A quick word about the character of the people described in this book: The authors use such words as "gumption," "tenacity," "charisma," "determination," "intuition." Do all people have those qualities? No, at least not in generous doses - but they tend to have some of those qualities, in whatever doses. And they need not become a cola giant, or a textile giant, to improve themselves, and others.
Move next to Kenya, and the case of a supermarket chain, Nakumatt. The authors of this study - June Arunga and Scott Beaulier - state, "In the Western world, we take supermarkets for granted; many of us are, in fact, highly critical of these institutions. But in extremely poor parts of the world, such as Kenya, one would be hard-pressed to find a more important source of human flourishing." Amen.
Kenya is a disaster of an economy, and a disaster of a country, where life expectancy is 48. But the people behind Nakumatt managed to find a way. "This story helps us understand that the entrepreneurial spirit cannot be destroyed, even when governments are providing a weak and perverse institutional environment." That word perverse is exactly right. Almost everything in Kenya conspires against the individual, and therefore against the people at large. One local economist made a moving statement. There is nothing wrong with the country, he said - not really, not fundamentally. All that Kenyans need is "a government that will leave them alone to run their businesses and their lives."
From the authors' description, Nakumatt is an African Wal-Mart, selling anything and everything, promoting sales clerks to management, being almost fanatical about customer care. Nakumatt's success, say the authors, "has led to the rise of a new class of farms growing fruit and vegetables in Kenya." The company has been accused of corrupt dealings, and in particular of tax evasion. Whether the charges are true is unclear. In any event, as the authors state, "we should not allow the perfect to become the enemy of the good."
We then go to Nigeria, where the clothing-design industry employs thousands of people - "most of them women with little or no education who have used their entrepreneurial drive to make a living and create wealth where there was previously only misery." And we later read of the "barter clubs" in Argentina, which arose when that country's economy collapsed. These clubs "were not a permanent solution but a private attempt to solve a public problem." The resilience and imagination of people in the face of desperate circumstances are astounding.
In a concluding essay, Joshua C. Hall and Russell S. Sobel write, "Entrepreneurship is the catalyst for economic growth and progress." Note, the catalyst, not a catalyst. They continue, "A primary determinant of entrepreneurship is economic freedom." I hate to sound like a global-warming hard-liner, but the case is closed - or pretty much so. There is scarcely any need for extended debate. We know what works in defeating poverty: entrepreneurship, the rule of law, transparency in government, low taxation, light regulation, a disinterested judiciary - freedom.
If that is so, why do socialists and kleptocrats do so well at ballot boxes, even when the elections are fair? Well, as Jeane Kirkpatrick once explained - to an exasperated and inquiring Bill Buckley on Firing Line - the rhetoric of socialism and collectivism can be stronger than the rhetoric of economic freedom. More alluring. And it is certainly more easily mixed with demagoguery. In addition, people may shy from entrepreneurship, even from opportunity. Thomas Edison once said, "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."
Lessons from the Poor is not a page-turner, and is unlikely to be a bestseller. The case studies are laid out in painstaking detail, complete with charts and graphs. This is technical, B-school stuff - but infinitely important stuff. The book returns you to the basics of economic life, and even somewhat to life itself. As in all elevated economic texts, there is a dose of spirituality here. I intend to keep this book on my shelf, for factual reference and even, perhaps, for inspiration.
One of the glories of this book is that there is nothing ideological about it. It simply searches the questions, "What works and why?" Material progress is not everything in life, but, as V. S. Naipaul once observed, the poor need it - and they could have it, if only others would get off their throats.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.