towards a minimalist foreign policy

There’s an interesting post at the Upon Hope blog on the differences between traditional conservatism and paleo-conservatism, making the case that the chief difference is the approach to foreign policy, with paleo-conservatives favouring isolationism and traditional conservatives favouring an interventionist foreign policy.
Mostly I agree with the points made in this post. I agree that a do-nothing foreign policy is impractical. Where we possibly differ is in the nature of interventions that should be pursued. My own view is that the wisest course to follow is one of minimalist intervention. The objective should be to remove the immediate threat and then get out.
As an example, in 2003 I think the wise policy would have been to invade Iraq, destroy and weapons of mass destruction that were found, destroy Iraq’s capability to produce such weapons in future, give the Iraqi military the mother of all bloody noses, and then withdraw. I do not believe the objective should have been to change Iraq’s government. I believe Saddam Hussein should have been left in power.
This does not mean that I was a fan of Saddam Hussein. I simply believe that regime changes forced upon a country by outside intervention will generally not work. The result is likely to be massive instability and that instability is likely to result, in the fullness of time, in an even worse regime.
I do not believe it is possible for the West to impose “freedom” and “democracy” on other countries by force. If a country does not have the traditions that underpin democracy then it is unlikely to survive. Even more importantly if the basic cultural beliefs and structures that are necessary to democracy do not exist then democracy is very unlikely to survive. Most of the Islamic world does not have these traditions and cultural beliefs. To put it simply, these countries do not want democracy. They see democracy as a mortal threat to their culture, and they see democracy as being responsible for what they perceive to be the wickedness of the West.
In such circumstances it is better not to destroy an existing stable government, even if that government is by western standards an extremely unpleasant government. It is not only possible but probable that you will end up with a worse situation. By installing a weak democratic government you are providing a golden opportunity for radical Islamists to seize power.
Democracy will not work in situations where most of the population is hostile to the very idea of western institutions. 
There is another reason why exporting democracy is a bad idea. Democracy in South Africa was only achieved as a result of meddling by outside powers. The results have been catastrophic. Democracy can only work when the population is culturally and ethnically homogenous. When a nation is divided on racial lines the inevitable result is voting on racial lines. This means that minorities are rendered powerless and defenceless. Such is now the plight of the whites on South Africa, subject to slow genocide by a supposedly democratically elected government. 
The results in Zimbabwe, once again as a result of international meddling, have been even worse. As former Rhodesian leader Ian Smith pointed out years ago, democracy in Africa means one man, one vote, one time. The inescapable end result will be a one-party state.
I am certainly no pacifist, nor do I believe in isolationism. I do believe there are occasions when military action is desirable or even necessary. A weak foreign policy will always be disastrous. What is needed is a strong foreign policy that demonstrates our unwillingness to allow other states to threaten our vital interests. I do however believe that such a strong foreign policy should not be motivated by well-meaning delusions that western-style democratic institutions can be exported to the Third World.

homosexuality and choice

Liberals seem to be fond of the idea that just about everything is a social construct. They seem to be especially keen to view gender and race as social constructs. In the case of gender they have gone beyond the social construct idea and now view gender as something you can pick and choose at will.
Oddly enough they seem to be extraordinarily reluctant to view homosexuality as a social construct, and even more reluctant to view it as a choice.
This seems rather odd. While the whole concept of social constructs is largely nonsense it is, to many people, very attractive nonsense. It implies the possibility of freedom. So if it is seen as a positive thing that people can go shopping for the gender that most appeals to them then why do they not view sexuality the same way? Why do they cling to the notion that where homosexuality is concerned it is a biological given that cannot be altered?
My own personal experience suggests that homosexuality very often is a choice. Certainly there’s little doubt that lesbianism is a choice. I have personally known four lesbians who abandoned their initial choice of lesbianism and chose to become heterosexual. That is anecdotal evidence to be sure, but it is four separate anecdotes, and it has been noted that the plural of anecdote is data.
Homosexuality seems to be a much better fit for both the social construct and choice explanations than race or gender. Race is fairly obviously a reality. Gender on the other hand is an imaginary concept to begin with. Gender is a grammatical term. Words have gender. People come in two sexes, male and female, although you will have a very difficult job to convince liberals of such an obvious biological fact. Gender as applied to people is essentially meaningless. 
Homosexuality on the other hand seems highly likely to be at least partly a choice. A choice based to a considerable degree on peer pressure, social pressure, an immature desire to shock and fashion. You can’t change your race, your ethnicity or your sex but you can certainly choose to be homosexuality. I am not suggesting that is always the case but I suspect that in a substantial number of cases it is a choice.

time to give apartheid a second chance?

In the wake of the events in Ferguson Fred Reed argues for a new approach. In fact he seems to be arguing that we need to give apartheid a second chance. It might not only be the only hope for white civilisation but also the only hope for black culture, or for other “minority” cultures.

He may well be right. And in fact apartheid is simply multiculturalism taken to its logical conclusion.

Of course this would mean the inevitable destruction (or at least fragmentation) of any nation that tried it, but it might be a way to salvage something from the wreck.

It’s certainly obvious that our current approach, based entirely on wishful thinking, is never going to work.

Why I am not a Christian

I believe that the decline of Christianity has been a major factor in the decline of western civilisation. The nihilistic atheism that now dominates our culture fills me with sorrow. But I cannot be a Christian. This announcement by the Catholic League that they are quite happy with seeing Jesus being portrayed as a character who curses, smokes pot, drinks, hits on women and acts as the getaway driver for a drug deal.

There is something not only deeply unhealthy but actively nauseating about a religion that indulges in that amount of self-hatred and groveling to the forces that are openly attacking their faith.

This remark by Pope Francis on why gays are A-OK is another reason.

The worst enemies of Christianity are the leaders of the Christian churches. It is impossible to respect that kind of sniveling cowardice.

Christianity has become the ultimate loser religion. To some extent this kind of weakness has always been inherent in Christianity – an excessive desire to identify with the dregs of society, a tendency to wallow in guilt. In the past these weaknesses seem to have been counter-balanced by other factors that created a certain self-confidence. Self-confidence is now a quality entirely lacking in Christianity.

A society without religion will inevitably collapse into mindless hedonism, moral relativism and nihilism. But what do we do when we have a religion that encourages those very evils?