Friday, February 16, 2007

Theory of Everything (10)


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- A government is a body that has the authority to make and the power to enforce laws within a civil, corporate, religious, academic, or other organization or group. In its broadest sense, "to govern" means to administer or supervise, whether over a state, a set group of people, or a collection of assets.
The word government is ultimately derived from the Greek κυβερνᾶν (kybernan), which means "to steer" or "to control".
Typically, "the government" refers to the executive function of the state. In many countries (particularly those having parliamentary systems), the government refers to the executive branch of government or a specifically named executive, such as the Blair government (compare to the administration as in the Bush administration in U.S. usage). In countries using the Westminster system, the party in government will also usually control the legislature.
Forms of government
Governments are often classified according to the number of people who hold political power.
In Autocracies one individual holds all the power. This category includes absolute monarchies as well as dictatorships with an all-powerful president or other central figure.
In Oligarchies political power is held by a small group of individuals who share interests. For example a plutocracy is composed of the wealthiest members of society.
Democracies are governments where the people as a whole hold political power. It may be exercised by them (direct democracy), or through representatives chosen by them (representative democracy).
The lines between some of the above forms of government can sometimes be ambiguous. For example, during the 19th century, most self-proclaimed "democracies" restricted voting rights to a minority of the population (e.g. property-owning males). This could qualify them as oligarchies rather than democracies. On the other hand, the voting minority was often quite large (20-30% of the population) and its members did not form the compact group with common interests that is the hallmark of most oligarchies. Thus, this form of government occupied a space between democracy and oligarchy as they are understood today.

Ideas about the origin of government
There are a wide range of theories about the reasons for establishing governments. The four major ones are briefly described below. Note that they do not always fully oppose each other - it is possible for a person to subscribe to a combination of ideas from two or more of these theories.

Force Theory
Many political philosophies that are opposed to the existence of a government (such as Anarchism, Nihilism, and to a lesser extent Marxism), as well as others, emphasize the historical roots of governments - the fact that governments, along with private property, originated from the authority of warlords and petty despots who took, by force, certain patches of land as their own (and began exercising authority over the people living on that land). Thus, it is argued that governments exist to enforce the will of the strong and oppress the weak, maintaining and protecting the privilege of a ruling class. It states that the government emerged when all the people of an area were brought under the authority of one person or group.

Order and tradition
The various forms of conservatism, by contrast, generally see the government as a positive force that brings order out of chaos, establishes laws to end the "war of all against all", encourages moral virtue while punishing vice, and respects tradition. Sometimes, in this view, the government is seen as something ordained by a higher power, as in the divine right of kings, which human beings have a duty to obey.

Natural rights
Natural rights are the basis for the theory of government shared by most branches of liberalism (including libertarianism). In this view, human beings are born with certain natural rights, and governments are established strictly for the purpose of protecting those rights. What the natural rights actually are is a matter of dispute among liberals; indeed, each branch of liberalism has its own set of rights that it considers to be natural, and these rights are sometimes mutually exclusive with the rights supported by other liberals. As a result, there is some debate between natural rights theorists, ranging from modern writers such as Tibor Machan to Enlightenment thinkers such as Locke, Kant, or Jefferson.

Social contract
One of the most influential theories of government in the past two hundred years has been the social contract, on which modern democracy and most forms of socialism are founded. The social contract theory holds that governments are created by the people in order to provide for collective needs (such as safety from crime, poverty, illiteracy) that cannot be properly satisfied using purely individual means. Governments thus exist for the purpose of serving the needs and wishes of the people, and their relationship with the people is clearly stipulated in a "social contract" (a constitution and a set of laws) which both the government and the people must abide by. If a majority is unhappy, it may change the social contract. If a minority is unhappy, it may persuade the majority to change the contract, or it may opt out of it by emigration or secession. This theory is based on the idea that all men live in a state of nature which is not ideal to perfect harmony. It is also an agreement among the members of an organized society or between the governed and the government defining and limiting the rights and duties of each. Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau are three of the most famous philosophers of contractarianism. Today, natural rights are the basis for many issues involving the constitution and ones right to privacy under the government.

Governmental operations
Governments concern themselves with regulating and administering many areas of human activity, such as trade, education, or medicine. Governments also employ different methods to maintain the established order, such as secrecy, censorship, police and military forces (particularly under despotism, see also police state), making agreements with other states, and maintaining support within the state. Typical methods of maintaining support and legitimacy include providing the infrastructure for administration, justice, transport, communication, social welfare, etc.; claiming support from deities; providing benefits to elites; providing shops for important posts within the state; limiting the power of the state through laws and constitutions; and appealing to nationalism. Different political ideologies hold different ideas on what the government should or should not do. The modern standard unit of territory is a country. In addition to the meaning used above, the word state can refer either to a government or to its territory. Within a territory, subnational entities may have local governments which do not have the full power of a national government (for example, they will generally lack the authority to declare war or carry out diplomacy).

Size of government
The scale to which government should exist and operate in the world is a matter of debate. Government spending in developed countries varies considerably but generally makes up between about 30% and 70% of their GDP. One major exception is the United States, where central government spending takes up less than 20% of GDP.[citation needed]

World Government
Some speculate that technological changes such as the Internet and the global English language would bring a World Government into existence. Some consider some governments such as the European Commission as trends towards such a system; however, others do not see this as possible

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- Democracy (literally "rule by the people", from the Greek demos, "people," and kratos, "rule"[1]) is a form of government. Today, the term democracy is often used to refer to liberal democracy,[2] but there is no necessity that democracies be liberal (i.e. respectful of individual liberty and property) and in some cases may be illiberal democracies. There are many other varieties and the methods used to govern differ. While the term democracy is typically used in the context of a political state, the principles are also applicable to other bodies such as intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, grassroot organizations, labor unions, industry trade groups, professional bodies, and learned societies.
The definition of democracy is made complex by the varied concepts used at different periods of history in different contexts. Political systems, or proposed political systems, claiming or claimed to be democratic have ranged very broadly.

Aristotle contrasted rule by the many (democracy/polity), with rule by the few (oligarchy/aristocracy), and with rule by a single person (tyranny/monarchy or today autocracy). also thought that there was a good and a bad variant of each system (he considered democracy to be degenerate counterpart to polity).[8]HYPERLINK ""[9].

Sortition/Allotment have formed the basis of systems randomly selecting officers from the population:[10] For example, Aristotle described the law courts in Athens which were selected by lot as democratic[3] and described elections as oligarchic.[4]

Tribal democracy
Certain tribes organised themselves using forms of participatory democracy.[11]

Consensus democracy and deliberative democracy seek consensus among the people.[12]

Direct democracy is largely referred to as a political system where the citizens vote on all major policy decisions. It is called direct because, in the classical forms, there are no intermediaries or representatives. All direct democracies to date have been relatively small communities, usually city-states. Although, some see the extensive use of referenda, as in California, as akin to direct democracy in a very large polity with over 20 million potential voters.[5]
Today, a limited direct democracy exists in some Swiss cantons. Other current examples include many small civic organizations (like college faculties) and town meetings in New England (usually in towns under 10,000 population).
Direct democracy obviously becomes difficult when the electorate is large. Modern direct democracy tries to accommodate this and sees a role for strictly controlled representatives. It is characterized by three pillars; referendums (initiated by governments or legislatures or by citizens responding to legislation), initiatives (initiated by citizens) and recall elections (on holders of public office).[13]

Representative democracy is so named because the people select representatives to a governing body. Representatives may be chosen by the electorate as a whole (as in many proportional systems) or represent a particular district (or constituency), with some systems using a combination of the two. Some representative democracies also incorporate some elements of direct democracy, such as referenda.

Liberal democracy
Liberal democracy is a representative democracy (with free and fair elections) along with the protection of minorities, the rule of law, a separation of powers, and protection of liberties (thus the name liberal) of speech, assembly, religion, and property. [14] [15] Conversely, an illiberal democracy is one where the protections that form a liberal democracy are either nonexistent, or not enforced. The experience in some post-Soviet states drew attention to the phenomenon, although it is not of recent origin. Napoleon III for example used plebiscites to ratify his imperial decisions.

Socialism is a broad movement and has several different views on democracy. Social democracy, democratic socialism, Soviet democracy, and the dictatorship of the proletariat are some examples.

Some anarchists oppose democracy while
others favor it. Pierre-Joseph Proudhon argued that the only acceptable form of direct democracy is one in which it is recognized that majority decisions are not binding on the minority.[6] However, anarcho-communist Murray Bookchin criticizes individualist anarchists for opposing democracy[7], and says "majority rule" is consistent with anarchism,[8] There are also some anarchists who expect society to operate by consensus.[9]
The notion of direct democracy, or participatory democracy, is very common to many anarchist movements, especially in libertarian communism, as a form of organizing and management based upon consensus, collective action, freedom and responsibility. This goes with the fundamental anarchist principle of denying authoritarian or alienating organizational structures.

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- A Republic is a form of government maintained by a state or country whose sovereignty is based on popular consent and whose governance is based on popular representation and control. Several definitions stress the importance of the rule of law as part of the requirements for a republic.
Often republics and monarchies are described as mutually exclusive.[1] Defining a republic as a non-monarchy, a common short definition,[2] is based on this idea. Although largely covering what is usually understood by a republic such definition has borderline issues, for example while the distinction between monarchy and republic was not always made as it is in modern times, while oligarchies are traditionally considered neither monarchy nor republic,[3] and while such definition depends very much on the monarch concept, which has various definitions, not making clear which of these is used for defining republic.
The detailed organization of republics' governments can vary widely. The first section of this article gives an overview of the distinctions that characterise different types of non-fictional republics. The second section of the article gives short profiles of some of the most influential republics, by way of illustration. A more comprehensive List of republics appears in a separate article. The third section is about how republics are approached as state organisations in political science: in political theory and political science, the term "republic" is generally applied to a state where the government's political power depends solely on the consent, however nominal, of the people governed.

Heads of state
In most modern republics the head of state is termed president. Other titles that have been used are consul, doge, archon among many others. In republics that are also democracies the head of state is appointed as the result of an election. This election can be indirect, such as if a council of some sort is elected by the people, and this council then elects the head of state. In these kinds of republics the usual term for a president is in the range of four to six years. In some countries the constitution limits the number of terms the same person can be elected as president.
If the head of state of a republic is at the same time the head of government, this is called a presidential system (example: United States). In Semi-presidential systems, where the head of state is not the same person as the head of government, the latter is usually termed prime minister, premier or chancellor. Depending on what the president's specific duties are (for example, advisory role in the formation of a government after an election), and varying by convention, the president's role may range from the ceremonial and apolitical to influential and highly political. The Prime Minister is responsible for managing the policies and the central government. The rules for appointing the president and the leader of the government, in some republics permit the appointment of a president and a prime minister who have opposing political convictions: in France, when the members of the ruling cabinet and the president come from opposing political factions, this situation is called cohabitation. In countries such as Germany and India, however, the president needs to be strictly non-partisan.
In some countries, like Switzerland and San Marino, the head of state is not a single person but a committee (council) of several persons holding that office. The Roman Republic had two consuls, appointed for a year by the senate. During the year of their consulship each consul would in turn be head of state for a month at a time, thus alternating the office of consul maior (the consul in power) and of consul suffectus (the subordinate consul who retained some independence, and held certain veto powers over the consul maior) for their joint term.
Republics can be led by a head of state that has many of the characteristics of a monarch: not only do some republics install a president for life, and invest such president with powers beyond what is usual in a representative democracy, examples such as the post-1970 Syrian Arab Republic show that such a presidency can apparently be made hereditary. Historians disagree when the Roman Republic turned into Imperial Rome: the reason is that the first Emperors were given their head of state powers gradually in a government system that in appearance did not originally much differ from the Roman Republic.[4]
Similarly, if taking the broad definition of republic above ("a state or country that is led by people whose political power is based on principles that are not beyond the control of the people of that state or country"), countries usually qualified as monarchies can have many traits of a republic in terms of form of government. The political power of monarchs can be non-existent, limited to a purely ceremonial function or the "control of the people" can be exerted to the extent that they appear to have the power to have their monarch replaced by another one.[5]
The often assumed "mutual exclusiveness" of monarchies and republics as forms of government[1] is thus not to be taken too literally, and largely depends on circumstances:
Autocrats might try to give themselves a democratic tenure by calling themselves president (or princeps or princeps senatus in the case of Ancient Rome), and the form of government of their country "republic", instead of using a monarchic based terminology.[6]
For full-fledged representative democracies ultimately it generally does not make all that much difference whether the head of state is a monarch or a president, nor, in fact, whether these countries call themselves a monarchy or a republic. Other factors, for instance, religious matters (see next section) can often make a greater distinguishing mark when comparing the forms of government of actual countries.
For this reason, in political science the several definitions of "republic", which in such a context invariably indicate an "ideal" form of government, do not always exclude monarchy:[7] the evolution of such definitions of "republic" in a context of political philosophy is treated in republicanism. However, such theoretical approaches appear to have had no real influence on the everyday use (that is: apart from a scholar or "insider" context) of the terminology regarding republics and monarchies.[8]
The least that can be said is that Anti-Monarchism, the opposition to monarchy as such, did not always play a critical role in the creation and/or management of republics. For some republics, not choosing a monarch as head of state, could as well be a practical rather than an ideological consideration. Such "practical" considerations could be, for example, a situation where there was no monarchial candidate readily available.[9] However, for the states created during or shortly after the Enlightenment the choice was always deliberate: republics created in that period inevitably had anti-monarchial characteristics. For the United States the opposition of some to the British Monarchy played a role, as did the overthrow of the French Monarchy in the creation of the first French Republic. By the time of the creation of the Fifth Republic in that country "anti-monarchist" tendencies were barely felt. The relations of that country to other countries made no distinctions whether these other countries were "monarchies" or not

---"Democracy" and "Republic"
In historical usages and especially when considering the works of the Founding Fathers of the United States, the word "democracy" refers solely to direct democracy, while a representative democracy where representatives of the people are elected and whose power to govern is limited by laws enshrined in a constitution is referred to as a constitutional republic.[19] Constitutional Republics are a deliberate attempt to diminish the threat of mobocracy thereby protecting minority groups from the tyranny of the majority by placing checks on the power of the majority of the population. The power of the majority of the people is checked by limiting that power to electing representatives who govern within limits of overarching constitutional law rather than the popular vote having legislative power itself. Moreover, the power of elected representatives is also checked by prohibitions against any single individual having legislative, judicial, and executive powers so that basic constitutional law is extremely difficult to change. John Adams defined a constitutional republic as "a government of laws, and not of men."[20]Using the term "democracy" to refer solely to direct democracy, or to representative democracy without checks on the power of elected officials, retains some popularity in United States conservative and libertarian circles.
The original framers of the United States Constitution were notably cognizant of what they perceived as a danger of majority rule in oppressing freedom and liberty of the individual. For example, James Madison, in Federalist Paper No. 10, advocates a constitutional republic over a democracy to protect the individual from the majority. [21] The framers carefully created the institutions within the Constitution and the United States Bill of Rights. They kept what they believed were the best elements of majority rule. But they were mitigated by a constitution with protections for individual liberty, a separation of powers, and a layered federal structure.
However, In contemporary usage, the term "democracy" refers to a government chosen by the people, whether it is direct or representative.[27] The term "republic" has many different meanings but today often refers to a representative democracy with an elected head of state, such as a President, serving for a limited term, in contrast to states with a hereditary monarch as a head of state, even if these states also are representative democracies with an elected head of government such as a Prime Minister.[28] Therefore, today the term is used by states which are quite different from the earlier use of the term, such as the Islamic Republic of Iran and the former German Democratic Republic.
Republicanism and Liberalism have complex relationships to democracy and republic. See these articles for more details.

Constitutional monarchs and upper chambers
Initially after the American and French revolutions the question was open whether a democracy, in order to restrain unchecked majority rule, should have an elitist upper chamber, the members perhaps appointed meritorious experts or having lifetime tenures, or should have a constitutional monarch with limited but real powers. Some countries (as Britain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Scandinavian countries and Japan) turned powerful monarchs into constitutional monarchs with limited or, often gradually, merely symbolic roles. Often the monarchy was abolished along with the aristocratic system (as in the U.S., France, China, Russia, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Greece and Egypt). Many nations had elite upper houses of legislatures which often had lifetime tenure, but eventually these senates lost power (as in Britain) or else became elective and remained powerful (as in the United States).

Democratic state
Though there remains some philosophical debate as to the applicability and legitimacy of criteria in defining democracy what follows may be a minimum of requirements for a state to be considered democratic (note that for example anarchists may support a form of democracy but not a state):
A demos—a group which makes political decisions by some form of collective procedure—must exist. Non-members of the demos do not participate. In modern democracies the demos is the adult portion of the nation, and adult citizenship is usually equivalent to membership.
A territory must be present, where the decisions apply, and where the demos is resident. In modern democracies, the territory is the nation-state, and since this corresponds (in theory) with the homeland of the nation, the demos and the reach of the democratic process neatly coincide. Colonies of democracies are not considered democratic by themselves, if they are governed from the colonial motherland: demos and territory do not coincide.
A decision-making procedure exists, which is either direct, in instances such as a referendum, or indirect, of which instances include the election of a parliament.
The procedure is regarded as legitimate by the demos, implying that its outcome will be accepted. Political legitimacy is the willingness of the population to accept decisions of the state, its government and courts, which go against personal choices or interests.
The procedure is effective in the minimal sense that it can be used to change the government, assuming there is sufficient support for that change. Showcase elections, pre-arranged to re-elect the existing regime, are not democratic.
In the case of nation-states, the state must be sovereign: democratic elections are pointless if an outside authority can overrule the result.

Advantages and disadvantages of liberal democracy
Direct democracy
Some argue that "liberal democracy" does not respect absolute majority rule (except when electing representatives). The "liberty" of majority rule is restricted by the constitution or precedent decided by previous generations. Also, the real power is actually held by a relatively small representative body. Thus, the argument goes, "liberal democracy" is merely a decoration over an oligarchy. A system of direct democracy would be preferable. New technology, such as E-democracy, may make direct democracy easier to implement.
Others would say that only a liberal democracy can guarantee the individual liberties of its citizens and prevent the development into a dictatorship. Unmoderated majority rule could, in this view, lead to an oppression of minorities. Another argument is that the elected leaders may be more interested and able than the average voter. A third that it takes much effort and time if everyone should gather information, discuss, and vote on most issues.
Some liberal democracies have elements of direct democracy such as referenda and plebiscite. Switzerland and Uruguay are some examples; likewise several states of the United States. Many other countries have referenda to a lesser degree in their political system.

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- Communism is an ideology that seeks to establish a classless, stateless social organization, based upon common ownership of the means of production. A branch of the socialist movement, communism as a political goal is generally a conjectured form of future social organization, even though Marxists have described early forms of human social organization as 'primitive communism'. Self-identified communists hold a variety of views, including Maoism, Trotskyism, council communism, Luxemburgism, anarchist communism, Christian communism, and various currents of left communism, which are generally the more widespread varieties. However, various offshoots of the Soviet (what critics call the 'Stalinist') and Maoist interpretations of Marxism-Leninism comprise a particular branch of communism that has the distinction of having been the primary driving force for communism in world politics during most of the 20th century. The competing branch of Trotskyism has not had such a distinction.
Karl Marx held that society could not be transformed from the capitalist mode of production to the advanced communist mode of production all at once, but required a transitional period which Marx described as the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat, the first stage of communism. The communist society Marx envisioned emerging from capitalism has never been implemented, and it remains theoretical; Marx, in fact, commented very little on what communist society would actually look like. However, the term 'Communism', especially when it is capitalized, is often used to refer to the political and economic regimes under communist parties that claimed to embody the dictatorship of the proletariat.
In the late 19th century, Marxist theories motivated socialist parties across Europe, although their policies later developed along the lines of "reforming" capitalism, rather than overthrowing it. The exception was the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. One branch of this party, commonly known as the Bolsheviks and headed by Vladimir Lenin, succeeded in taking control of the country after the toppling of the Provisional Government in the Russian Revolution of 1917. In 1918, this party changed its name to the Communist Party, thus establishing the contemporary distinction between communism and other trends of socialism.
After the success of the October Revolution in Russia, many socialist parties in other countries became communist parties, signaling varying degrees of allegiance to the new Communist Party of the Soviet Union. After World War II, Communists consolidated power in Eastern Europe, and in 1949, the Communist Party of China (CPC) led by Mao Zedong established the People's Republic of China, which would later follow its own ideological path of communist development. Among the other countries in the Third World that adopted a pro-communist government at some point were Cuba, North Korea, North Vietnam, Laos, Angola, and Mozambique. By the early 1980s almost one-third of the world's population lived in Communist states.
Since the early 1970s, the term Eurocommunism was used to refer to the policies of communist parties in western Europe, which sought to break with the tradition of uncritical and unconditional support of the Soviet Union. Such parties were politically active and electorally significant in Italy(PCI), France(PCF), and Spain(PCE).
There is a history of anti-communism in the United States, which manifested itself in the Sedition Act of 1918, the subsequent Palmer Raids, and the later period of McCarthyism, for example.
With the decline of the Communist governments in Eastern Europe from the late 1980s and the breakup of the Soviet Union on December 8, 1991, communism's influence has decreased dramatically in Europe. However, around a quarter of the world's population still lives in Communist states, mostly in the People's Republic of China. There are also communist movements in Latin America and South Asia that have significant popular support.
Early communism

Karl Marx saw primitive communism as the original, hunter-gatherer state of humankind from which it arose. For Marx, only after humanity was capable of producing surplus, did private property develop.
In the history of Western thought, the idea of a society based on common ownership of property can be traced back to ancient times.[1] In his 4th century BCE The Republic, Plato considers the idea of the ruling class sharing property. [2] In the republic, the ruling or guardian classes are committed to an austere and communistic way of life, with the aim of devoting all of their time and efforts to public service. [3]
At one time or another, various small communist communities existed, generally under the inspiration of Scripture.[4] In the medieval Christian church, for example, some monastic communities and religious orders shared their land and other property. (See Christian communism) These groups often believed that concern with private property was a distraction from religious service to God and neighbor. (Encarta)
Communist thought has also been traced back to the work of 16th century English writer Thomas More. In his treatise Utopia (1516), More portrayed a society based on common ownership of property, whose rulers administered it through the application of reason. (Encarta) In the 17th century, communist thought arguably surfaced again in England. In 17th-century England, the Diggers, a Puritan religious group known as advocated the abolition of private ownership of land. (Encarta) Eduard Bernstein, in his 1895 Cromwell and Communism [4] argued that several groupings in the English Civil War, especially the Diggers espoused clear communistic, agrarian ideals, and that Oliver Cromwell's attitude to these groups was at best ambivalent and often hostile.[5]
Criticism of the idea of private property continued into the Enlightenment of the 18th century, through such thinkers as Jean Jacques Rousseau in France. (Encarta) Later, following the upheaval of the French Revolution, communism emerged as a political doctrine.[6] François Noël Babeuf, in particular, espoused the goals of common ownership of land and total economic and political equality among citizens. (Encarta)
Various social reformers in the early 19th century founded communities based on common ownership. But unlike many previous communist communities, they replaced the religious emphasis with a rational and philanthropic basis. (EB) Notable among them were Robert Owen, who founded New Harmony in Indiana (1825), and Charles Fourier, whose followers organized other settlements in the United States such as Brook Farm (1841–47). (EB) Later in the 19th century, Karl Marx described these social reformers as "utopian socialists" to contrast them with his program of "scientific socialism" (a term coined by Friedrich Engels). Other writers described by Marx as "utopian socialists" included Charles Fourier and Saint-Simon.
In its modern form, communism grew out of the socialist movement of 19th-century Europe. (Encarta) As the Industrial Revolution advanced, socialist critics blamed capitalism for the misery of the proletariat—a new class of poor, urban factory workers who labored under often-hazardous conditions. (EB) Foremost among these critics were the German philosopher Karl Marx and his associate Friedrich Engels. (EB) In 1848 Marx and Engels offered a new definition of communism and popularized the term in their famous pamphlet The Communist Manifesto. (EB) Engels, who lived in Manchester, observed the organization of the Chartist movement (see History of British socialism), while Marx departed from his university comrades to meet the proletariat in France and Germany.
The emergence of modern communism
Like other socialists, Marx and Engels sought an end to capitalism and the systems which they perceived to be responsible for the exploitation of workers. But whereas earlier socialists often favored longer-term social reform, Marx and Engels believed that popular revolution was all but inevitable, and the only path to socialism.
According to the Marxist argument for communism, the main characteristic of human life in class society is alienation; and communism is desirable because it entails the full realization of human freedom.[7] Marx here follows Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel in conceiving freedom not merely as an absence of restraints but as action with content. (McLean and McMillan, 2003) They believed that communism allowed people to do what they want but also put humans in such conditions and such relations with one another that they would not wish to exploit, or have any need to. Whereas for Hegel the unfolding of this ethical life in history is mainly driven by the realm of ideas, for Marx, communism emerged from material forces, particularly the development of the means of production. (McLean and McMillan, 2003)
Marxism holds that a process of class conflict and revolutionary struggle will result in victory for the proletariat and the establishment of a communist society in which private ownership is abolished over time and the means of production and subsistence belong to the community. Marx himself wrote little about life under communism, giving only the most general indication as to what constituted a communist society. It is clear that it entails abundance in which there is little limit to the projects that humans may undertake. In the popular slogan that was adopted by the communist movement, communism was a world in which each gave according to their abilities, and received according to their needs.' The German Ideology (1845) was one of Marx's few writings to elaborate on the communist future:
"In communist society, where nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes, society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner, just as I have a mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or critic."[8]
Marx's lasting vision was to add this vision to a positive scientific theory of how society was moving in a law-governed way toward communism, and, with some tension, a political theory that explained why revolutionary activity was required to bring it about. (McLean and McMillan, 2003)
In the late 19th century the terms "socialism" and "communism" were often used interchangeably. (Encarta) However, Marx and Engels argued that communism would not emerge from capitalism in a fully developed state, but would pass through a "first phase" in which most productive property was owned in common, but with some class differences remaining. The "first phase" would eventually give way to a "higher phase" in which class differences were eliminated, and a state was no longer needed. Lenin frequently used the term "socialism" to refer to Marx and Engels' supposed "first phase" of communism and used the term "communism" interchangeably with Marx and Engels' "higher phase" of communism.
These later aspects, particularly as developed by Lenin, provided the underpinning for the mobilizing features of 20th century Communist parties. Later writers such as Louis Althusser and Nicos Poulantzas modified Marx's vision by allotting a central place to the state in the development of such societies, by arguing for a prolonged transition period of socialism prior to the attainment of full communism.

Socialism referement to a broad array of doctrines or political movements that envisage a socio-economic system in which property and the distribution of wealth are subject to social control.[1] This control may be either direct—exercised through popular collectives such as workers' councils—or indirect—exercised on behalf of the people by the state. As an economic system, socialism is often characterized by state or community ownership of the means of production.
The modern socialist movement had its origin largely in the working class movement of the late-19th century. In this period, the term "socialism" was first used in connection with European social critics who condemned capitalism and private property. For Karl Marx, who helped establish and define the modern socialist movement, socialism implied the abolition of money, markets, capital, and labor as a commodity.
A diverse array of doctrines and movements have been referred to as "socialist." Since the 19th century, socialists have not agreed on a common doctrine or program. The various adherents of socialist movements are split into differing and sometimes opposing branches, particularly between reformist socialists and communists.
Since the 19th century, socialists have differed in their vision of socialism as a system of economic organization. Some socialists have championed the complete nationalization of the means of production, while social democrats have proposed selective nationalization of key industries within the framework of mixed economies. Some Marxists, including many 20th-century Communists inspired by the Soviet model of economic development, have advocated the creation of centrally planned economies directed by a state that owns all the means of production. Others, including Communists in Yugoslavia and Hungary in the 1970s and 1980s, Chinese Communists since the reform era, and some Western economists, have proposed various forms of market socialism, attempting to reconcile the presumed advantages of cooperative or state ownership of the means of production with letting market forces, rather than central planners, make decisions about production and exchange. [2] Anarcho-syndicalists and some elements of the U.S. New Left favor decentralized collective ownership in the form of cooperatives or workers' councils. Others may advocate different arrangements.


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- Liberalism is an ideology, philosophical view, and political tradition which holds that liberty is the primary political value.[1] Liberalism has its roots in the Western Age of Enlightenment, but the term has taken on different meanings in different time periods (for example now in the United States generally it means new liberalism while in the rest of the world has the meaning of classical liberalism).
Broadly speaking, liberalism emphasizes individual rights. It seeks a society characterized by freedom of thought for individuals, limitations on power (especially of government and religion), the rule of law, the free exchange of ideas, a market economy that supports free private enterprise, and a transparent system of government in which the rights of all citizens are protected.[2] In modern society, liberals favor a liberal democracy with open and fair elections, where all citizens have equal rights by law and an equal opportunity to succeed.[3]
Many new liberals advocate a greater degree of government interference in the free market, often in the form of anti-discrimination laws, universal education, and progressive taxation. This philosophy frequently extends to a belief that the government should provide for a degree of general welfare, including benefits for the unemployed, housing for the homeless, and medical care for the sick. Such publicly-funded initiatives and interferences in the market are rejected by modern advocates of classical liberalism, which emphasizes free private enterprise, individual property rights and freedom of contract; classical liberals hold that economic inequality, as arising naturally from competition in the free market, does not justify the violation of private property rights.
Liberalism rejected many foundational assumptions which dominated most earlier theories of government, such as the Divine Right of Kings, hereditary status, and established religion. Fundamental human rights that all liberals support include the right to life, liberty, and property.
A broader use of the term liberalism is in the context of liberal democracy (see also constitutionalism). In this sense of the word, it refers to a democracy in which the powers of government are limited and the rights of citizens are legally defined; this applies to nearly all Western democracies, and therefore is not solely associated with liberal parties.

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- Conservatism in the United States comprises a constellation of political ideologies including fiscal conservatism, free market or economic liberalism, social conservatism,[1] bioconservatism and religious conservatism,[2]HYPERLINK \l "_note-2"[3] as well as support for a strong military, opposition to internationalism,[4] and promotion of states' rights.[5]
In the United States modern conservatism coalesced in the latter half of the 20th century, responding over time to the political and social change associated with events such as the Great Depression, tension with the Soviet Union in the Cold War, the American Civil Rights Movement, the counterculture of the 1960s, the deregulation of the economy in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the overthrow of the New Deal Coalition in the 1980s, and the terrorist threat of the 21st century. Its prominence has been aided, in part, by the emergence of vocal and influential economists, politicians, writers, and media personalities. While conservatives were once significant minorities in both major parties, the conservative wing of the Democratic party has all but died out and most conservatives today identify themselves as Republicans. In 2000 and 2004, about 80% of self-described conservatives voted Republican.[6]HYPERLINK \l "_note-6"[7]
Founding Fathers
The Loyalists of the American Revolution were mostly political conservatives, some of whom produced political discourse of a high order, including lawyer Joseph Galloway and governor-historian Thomas Hutchinson. After the war, the great majority remained in the U.S. and became citizens, but some leaders emigrated to other places in the British Empire. Samuel Seabury was Loyalist who returned and as the first American bishop played a major role in shaping the Episcopal religion, a stronghold of conservative social values.
The Founding Fathers created the single most important set of political ideas in American history, known as republicanism, which all groups, liberal and conservative alike, have drawn from. The Federalist Party, followers of Alexander Hamilton, developed an important variation of republicanism that can be considered conservative. Rejecting monarchy and aristocracy, they emphasized civic virtue as the core American value. The Federalists spoke for the propertied interests and the upper classes of the cities. They envisioned a modernizing land of banks and factories, with a strong army and navy.
On many issues American conservatism also derives from the republicanism of Thomas Jefferson and his followers, especially John Randolph of Roanoke and his "Old Republican" followers. They idealized the yeoman farmer as the epitome of civic virtue, warned that banking and industry led to corruption, that is to the illegitimate use of government power for private ends. Jefferson himself was a vehement opponent of what today is called "judicial activism".[8] The Jeffersonians stressed States' Rights and small government. In the 1830-54 period the Whig Party attracted conservatives such as Daniel Webster of New England.
Types of conservatism
Defining "American conservatism" requires a definition of conservatism in general, and the term is applied to a number of ideas and ideologies, some more closely related to core conservative beliefs than others.
1. Classical or institutional conservatism - Opposition to rapid change in governmental and societal institutions. This kind of conservatism is anti-ideological insofar as it emphasizes process (slow change) over product (any particular form of government). To the classical conservative, whether one arrives at a right- or left-leaning government is less important than whether change is effected through rule of law rather than through revolution and sudden innovation.
2. Ideological conservatism or right-wing conservatism -- In contrast to the anti-ideological classical conservatism, right-wing conservatism is, as its name implies, ideological. It is typified by three distinct subideologies: social conservatism, fiscal conservatism, and economic liberalism. Together, these subideologies comprise the conservative ideology of people in some English-speaking countries: separately, these subideologies are incorporated into other political positions.
3. Neoconservatism, in its United States usage, has come to refer to the views of a subclass of conservatives who support a more assertive foreign policy coupled with one or more other facets of social conservatism, in contrast to the typically isolationist views of early- and mid-20th Century conservatives. Neoconservatism was first described by a group of disaffected liberals, and thus Irving Kristol, usually credited as its intellectual progenitor, defined a "neoconservative" as "a liberal who was mugged by reality." Although originally regarded as an approach to domestic policy (the founding instrument of the movement, Kristol's The Public Interest periodical, did not even cover foreign affairs), through the influence of figures like Dick Cheney, Robert Kagan, Richard Perle, Ken Adelman and (Irving's son) William Kristol, it has become more famous for its association with the foreign policy of the George W. Bush Administration.
4. Small government conservatism -- Small government conservatives look for a decreased role of the federal government, and as well weaker state governments. Small government conservatives rather than focusing of the protections given individuals by the Bill of Rights, they try to weaken the federal government, thereby following the Founding Fathers who were suspicious of a centralized, unitary state like Britain, from which they had just won their freedom.
5. Paleoconservatism, which arose in the 1980s in reaction to neoconservatism, stresses tradition, civil society, classical federalism and heritage of Christendom. They see social democracy, ideology, and managerial society as malevolent attempts to remake humanity.[8] Supporters say that the dominant forces in Western society no longer support conserving the traditions, institutions, and values that created and formed it.[9] Therefore, they say true conservatives must oppose the status quo. In statecraft, they call for decentralism, local rule, private property and minimal bureaucracy.[10] In society, they are traditionalist, support a Christian moral order and proclaim the nuclear family is a wise system. Some like Samuel P. Huntington argue that multiracial, multiethnic, and egalitarian states are inherently unstable.[12] Paleos are generally noninterventionist, arguing that American entry into foreign wars is unnecessary and unwise.

Conservatism as "ideology," or political philosophy
Classical conservatives tend to be anti-ideological, and some would even say anti-philosophical,[13] promoting rather, as Russell Kirk explains, a steady flow of "prescription and prejudice." Kirk's use of the word "prejudice" here is not intended to carry its contemporary pejorative connotation: a conservative himself, he believes that the inherited wisdom of the ages may be a better guide than apparently rational individual judgment.
In contrast to classical conservatism, social conservatism and fiscal conservatism are concerned with consequences as well as means.
There are two overlapping subgroups of social conservatives—the traditional and the religious. Traditional conservatives strongly support traditional codes of conduct, especially those they feel are threatened by new ideas. For example, traditional conservatives may oppose the use of female soldiers in combat. Religious conservatives focus on rules laid down by religious leaders. In the United States, they especially oppose abortion and homosexuality. They often favor the use of government institutions, such as schools and courts, to promote Christianity.
Fiscal conservatives support limited government, limited taxation, and a balanced budget. Some admit the necessity of taxes, but hold that taxes should be low. A recent movement against the inheritance tax labels such a tax a death tax. Fiscal conservatives often argue that competition in the free market is more effective that the regulation of industry, with the exception of industries that exhibit market dominance or monopoly powers. For some this is a matter of principle, as it is for the libertarians and others influenced by thinkers such as Ludwig von Mises, who believed that government intervention in the economy is inevitably wasteful and inherently corrupt and immoral. For others, "free market economics" simply represents the most efficient way to promote economic growth: they support it not based on some moral principle, but pragmatically, because it "works".
Most modern American fiscal conservatives accept some social spending programs not specifically delineated in the Constitution. As such, fiscal conservatism today exists somewhere between classical conservatism and contemporary consequentialist political philosophies.
Throughout much of the 20th century, one of the primary forces uniting the occasionally disparate strands of conservatism, and uniting conservatives with their liberal and socialist opponents, was opposition to communism, which was seen not only as an enemy of the traditional order, but also the enemy of western freedom and democracy.

Now that we understand gov't in all its major shapes and forms in America --- Understanding NEOCONSERVATIVISM
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- Neoconservatism is a political movement, mainly in the United States and Canada, which is generally held to have emerged in the 1960s, coalesced in the 1970s, and has had a significant presence in the administration of George W. Bush.
The prefix neo- refers to two ways in which neoconservatism was new. First, many of the movement's founders, originally liberals, Democrats or from socialist backgrounds, were new to conservatism. Also, neoconservatism was a comparatively recent strain of conservative socio-political thought. It derived from a variety of intellectual roots in the decades following World War II, including literary criticism and the social sciences.
Irving Kristol,[1] Norman PodhoretzHYPERLINK \l "_note-1"[2] and others described themselves as neoconservatives during the Cold War. In general, however, the movement's critics use the term more often than supporters.[3] In fact, some people described as "neocons" today say that neoconservatism no longer exists as an identifiable movement.
Many associate neoconservatism with periodicals such as Commentary and The Weekly Standard, along with the foreign policy initiatives of think tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and the Project for the New American Century (PNAC). Neoconservative journalists, pundits, policy analysts, and politicians, often dubbed "neocons" by supporters and critics alike, have been credited with (or blamed for) their influence on U.S. foreign policy, especially under the administration of George W. Bush.

Neoconservative: Definition and views
According to Irving Kristol, the founder and "god-father" of Neoconservatism, there are three basic pillars of Neoconservatism:
1. Economics: Cutting tax rates in order to stimulate steady, wide-spread economic growth and acceptance of the necessity of the risks inherent in that growth, such as budget deficits, as well as the potential benefits, such as budget surpluses.
2. Domestic Affairs: Preferring strong government but not intrusive government, slight acceptance of the welfare state, adherence to social conservatism, and disapproval of counterculture
3. Foreign Policy: Patriotism is a necessity, world government is a terrible idea, the ability to distinguish friend from foe, protecting national interest both at home and abroad, and the necessity of a strong military.
Shortcomings and criticism of the term "Neoconservative"
Some of those identified as neoconservatives refuse to embrace the term. Critics argue that it lacks coherent definition [citation needed], that it is coherent only in a Cold War context, or is used as a pejorative by anti-Semites. See e.g. Barry Rubin, director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Institute, Interdisciplinary Center of Herzliya, in a letter from Washington for Sunday, April 6, 2003:
First, "neo-conservative" is a codeword for Jewish. As antisemites did with big business moguls in the nineteenth century and Communist leaders in the twentieth, the trick here is to take all those involved in some aspect of public life and single out those who are Jewish. The implication made is that this is a Jewish-led movement conducted not in the interests of all the, in this case, American people, but to the benefit of Jews, and in this case Israel.
The fact that the use of the term "neoconservative" has rapidly risen since the 2003 Iraq War is cited by conservatives as proof that the term is largely irrelevant in the long term. David Horowitz, a conservative author, offered this critique in a recent interview with an Italian newspaper:
Neo-conservatism is a term almost exclusively used by the enemies of America's liberation of Iraq. There is no "neo-conservative" movement in the United States. When there was one, it was made up of former Democrats who embraced the welfare state but supported Ronald Reagan's Cold War policies against the Soviet bloc. Today neo-conservatism identifies those who believe in an aggressive policy against radical Islam and the global terrorists.
Similarly, many other supposed neoconservatives believe that the term has been adopted by the political left to stereotype supporters of U.S. foreign policy under the George W. Bush administration. Others have similarly likened descriptions of neoconservatism to a conspiracy theory and attribute the term to anti-Semitism. Paul Wolfowitz has denounced the term as a meaningless label, saying:
[If] you read the Middle Eastern press, it seems to be a euphemism for some kind of nefarious Zionist conspiracy. But I think that, in my view it's very important to approach [foreign policy] not from a doctrinal point of view. I think almost every case I know is different. Indonesia is different from the Philippines. Iraq is different from Indonesia. I think there are certain principles that I believe are American principles – both realism and idealism. I guess I'd like to call myself a democratic realist. I don't know if that makes me a neo-conservative or not.
Jonah Goldberg and others have rejected the label as trite and over-used, arguing "There's nothing 'neo' about me: I was never anything other than conservative." Other critics have similarly argued the term has been rendered meaningless through excessive and inconsistent use [citation needed]. For example, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld are often identified as leading "neoconservatives" despite the fact that both men have ostensibly been life-long conservative Republicans (though Cheney has been vocally supportive of the ideas of Irving Kristol). Such critics thus largely reject the claim that there is a neoconservative movement separate from traditional American conservatism [citation needed].
Other traditional conservatives are likewise skeptical of the contemporary usage of the term, and may dislike being associated with the stereotypes, or even the supposed agendas of neoconservatism. Conservative columnist David Harsanyi wrote, "These days, it seems that even temperate support for military action against dictators and terrorists qualifies you a neocon."
During the 1970s, for example in a book on the movement by Peter Steinfels, the use of the term neoconservative was never identified with the writings of Leo Strauss. The near synonymity, in some quarters, of neoconservatism and Straussianism is a much more recent phenomenon, which suggests that perhaps two quite distinct movements have become merged into one, either in fact or in the eyes of certain beholders.
Administration of George W. Bush
Thus, neoconservative thinkers were eager to implement a new foreign policy with the change in Administrations from Clinton to George W. Bush. Despite this, the Bush campaign and then the early Bush Administration did not appear to exhibit strong support for neoconservative principles, as candidate Bush stated his opposition to the idea of "nation-building" and an early foreign policy confrontation with China was handled without the vociferous confrontation suggested by some neoconservative thinkers. Also early in the Administration, some neoconservatives criticized Bush's Administration as insufficiently supportive of the State of Israel, and suggested Bush's foreign policies were not substantially different from those of President Clinton.

China spy plane incident
The Bush Administration was criticized by some neoconservatives for their non-confrontational reaction during the U.S.-China spy plane incident. On April 1, 2001[citation needed], a Chinese J-8 fighter collided with a U.S. Navy EP-3E spy plane over the South China Sea, killing the Chinese pilot and forcing the EP-3E to make an emergency landing on the Chinese island of Hainan, where the twenty-four members of the American crew were held and interrogated for eleven days while their plane was searched and photographed by the Chinese. The Bush Administration conducted diplomacy and then issued a statement of regret to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.[15] President Reagan's former Assistant Secretary of Defense, Frank Gaffney, wrote in an article in National Review Online that President Bush "should use this occasion to make clear to the American people that the PRC is acting in an increasingly belligerent manner. Mr. Bush needs to talk about these threats as well as his commitment to defend the American people, their forces overseas and their allies."[16]
September 11, 2001
The influence of neoconservatism in the Bush administration appeared to have found its purpose in the shift from the threat of Communism to the threat of Islamic terrorism. The administration undertook an invasion of Afghanistan shortly after the September 11 attacks, to remove the al-Qaeda-supporting Taliban from power. The administration also began planning and obtaining political and diplomatic support for an invasion of Iraq, citing Iraq's dictatorial government, support for terrorism, purported links to al-Qaeda, work on chemical and nuclear weapons, and refusal to abide by U.N. resolutions regarding inspection of weapons programs.
Neoconservative identification with the State of Israel's struggle against terrorism was furthered by the September 11 attacks, which served to create a perceived parallel between the United States and Israel as democratic nations under the threat of terrorist attack. Moreover, some neoconservatives have long advocated that the United States should emulate Israel's tactics of pre-emptive attacks, especially Israel's strikes in the 1980s on nuclear facilities in Libya and Osirak, Iraq.

"Bush Doctrine"
The Bush Doctrine, promulgated after September 11th, incorporates the concept that nations harboring terrorists are themselves enemies of the United States. It also embraces the Clinton Doctrine, which is the view that pre-emptive military action is justified to protect the United States from the threat of terrorism or attack. Both doctrines state that the United States "will be strong enough to dissuade potential adversaries from pursuing a military build-up in hopes of surpassing, or equaling, the power of the United States."
This doctrine can be seen as the abandonment of a focus on the doctrine of deterrence (in the Cold War through Mutually Assured Destruction) as the primary means of self-defense. While there have been occasional preemptive strikes by American forces, until recently preemptive strikes have not been an official American foreign and military policy.
Neoconservatives won a landmark victory with the Bush Doctrine after September 11th. Thomas Donnelly, a resident fellow at the influential conservative think-tank, American Enterprise Institute (AEI), which has been under neoconservative influence since the Reagan Administration, argued in "The Underpinnings of the Bush doctrine" that
"the fundamental premise of the Bush Doctrine is true: The United States possesses the means—economic, military, diplomatic—to realize its expansive geopolitical purposes. Further, and especially in light of the domestic political reaction to the attacks of September 11, the victory in Afghanistan and the remarkable skill demonstrated by President Bush in focusing national attention, it is equally true that Americans possess the requisite political willpower to pursue an expansive strategy."
In his well-publicized piece "The Case for American Empire" in the conservative Weekly Standard, Max Boot argued that "The most realistic response to terrorism is for America to embrace its imperial role." He countered sentiments that the "United States must become a kinder, gentler nation, must eschew quixotic missions abroad, must become, in Pat Buchanan's phrase, 'a republic, not an empire'," arguing that "In fact this analysis is exactly backward: The September 11 attack was a result of insufficient American involvement and ambition; the solution is to be more expansive in our goals and more assertive in their implementation."
President Bush has expressed praise for Natan Sharansky's book, The Case For Democracy, which promotes a foreign policy philosophy nearly identical to neoconservatives'. President Bush has effusively praised this book, calling it a "glimpse of how I think". [17]
As of 2006, the most prominent supporters of the neoconservative stance inside the Administration are Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
At the same time, there have been limits in the power of neoconservatives in the Bush administration. The former Secretary of State Colin Powell (as well as the State department as a whole) was largely seen as being an opponent of neoconservative ideas. However, with the resignation of Colin Powell and the promotion of Condoleezza Rice, along with widespread resignations within the State department, the neoconservative point of view within the Bush administration has been solidified. While the neoconservative notion of tough and decisive action has been apparent in U.S. policy toward the Middle East, it has not been seen in U.S. policy toward China and Russia or in the handling of the North Korean nuclear crisis.

Impact of 2003 Iraq War on Neoconservative philosophy and influence

Neoconservatism and charges of appeasement
Neoconservative proponents of the 2003 Iraq War likened the conflict to Churchill's stand against Hitler. Former United States Secretary of Defense Donald RumsfeldHYPERLINK \l "_note-16"[18] likened Hussein to Stalin and Hitler. President George W. Bush singled out Iraq's dictator as the "great evil" who "by his search for terrible weapons, by his ties to terrorist groups, threatens the security of every free nation, including the free nations of Europe."
In the writings of Paul Wolfowitz, Norman Podhoretz, Elliott Abrams, Richard Perle, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Max Boot, William Kristol, Robert Kagan, William Bennett, Peter Rodman, and others influential in forging the foreign policy doctrines of the Bush administration, there are frequent references to the appeasement of Hitler at Munich in 1938, to which are compared the Cold War's policies of détente and containment (rather than rollback) with the Soviet Union and the PRC.
While more conventional foreign policy experts argued that Iraq could be restrained by enforcing No-Fly Zones and by a policy of inspection by United Nations inspectors to restrict its ability to possess chemical or nuclear weapons, neoconservatives considered this policy direction ineffectual and labeled it appeasement of Saddam Hussein.
Neoconservatism, American Jews, and "Dual Loyalty"
Some opponents of neoconservatives have sought to emphasize their interest in Israel and the relatively large proportion of Jewish neoconservatives, and have raised the question of "dual loyalty". A number of critics, such as Pat Buchanan, Juan Cole, and Kathleen and Bill Christison have accused them of putting Israeli interests above those of America[21]. In turn these critics have been labeled as anti-Semites by prominent Jewish organizations.[22]
David Duke and some other white nationalists attack neoconservatism as advancing Jewish interests. They say a "Jewish supremacist" movement exists in the United States[23]. Similarly, during the run-up to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, the politically left-wing magazine AdBusters published a list of the "50 most influential neocons in the United States", noting that half of these were Jewish,[24] and insinuating that the preponderance of Jews in neoconservatism leads them to "not distinguish enough between American and Israeli interests". The article asks "For example, whose interests were they protecting in pushing for war in Iraq?", and ends with the statement "And half of the them are Jewish."
Political commentators like those in the AdBusters article state that their criticism is not aimed towards the political views of American Jewry as a whole, but rather that the commentary is specifically about neoconservative Jews and their apparent success in steering American Mideast policy in a pro-Israeli direction (at times to the detriment of American interests) [25] [26].
Neoconservatives say that they were much less interested in Israel before the June 1967 Six Day War. It was only after this conflict, which raised the specter of unopposed Soviet influence in the Middle East, that the neoconservatives became interested in Israel's security interests. They promote the view that Israel is the United States' strongest ally in the Middle East as the sole Western-style democracy in the region, aside from Turkey.
Commenting on the alleged overtones of this view in more mainstream discourse, David Brooks, in his January 6, 2004 New York Times column wrote, "To hear these people describe it, PNAC is sort of a Yiddish Trilateral Commission, the nexus of the sprawling neocon tentacles". In a similar vein, Michael Lind, a self-described 'former neoconservative,' wrote in 2004, "It is true, and unfortunate, that some journalists tend to use 'neoconservative' to refer only to Jewish neoconservatives, a practice that forces them to invent categories like nationalist conservative or Western conservative for Rumsfeld and Cheney. But neoconservatism is an ideology, like paleoconservatism and libertarianism, and Rumsfeld and Dick and Lynne Cheney are full-fledged neocons, as distinct from paleocons or libertarians, even though they are not Jewish and were never liberals or leftists."[11]
Lind argues that, while "there were, and are, very few Northeastern WASP mandarins in the neoconservative movement", its origins are not specifically Jewish. "...[N]eoconservatism recruited from diverse 'farm teams' including Roman Catholics (William Bennett and Michael Novak) and populists, socialists and New Deal liberals in the South and Southwest (the pool from which Jeane Kirkpatrick, James Woolsey and I [that is, Lind himself] were drawn)".[11]

So your question is, what does this neoconservative group and the PNAC have to do with anything? That's just bogus information created to scare people... No, the information used to scare people is the legislation that we all have to live with today. I won't say more, you have to read this to believe it. There goes the constitution out the window, We had a good run though:

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