Liberal and Conservative Countries

All the countries below I have visited except North Korea.

LIBERAL

United States – The US is a highly liberal country though it is quite segregated. The segregation has more to do with income and social-economic status than mistrust among the races (though there is some of that). The whites have a much higher income and net worth than the blacks and Hispanics. The wealth disparity is among the highest in the developed world. The US is a melting pot of different races and different ideologies. It is highly atomized and divided along political and religious lines. America has much tolerance of devious behaviors though not as high as many Western European countries. Criminals in finance and Wall Street often do not get punished. In fact they are rewarded. Crony capitalism is tolerated to a very high degree. There is a strong religious ‘right’ element in the US, unlike that of any other Western country. Americans are probably more disconnected from reality than most other people on this planet. They have a poor perception of the outside world. Americans are extremely dependent on the government, the corporations, the banks, and the media. Americans have a poor sense of trust of one another and establishing deep friendships is difficult.

The Netherlands – The Netherlands is extremely liberal. They are among the least patriotic country in the world. Prostitution is legal as well as gay-marriages. The country has high tolerances for deviant and rebellious behaviors. Graffiti is everywhere in the country and the youths are heavily engaged in it. The vast majority of the Dutch rarely attend religious services. The Dutch are fairly social people and the sense of trust among fellow their Dutchmen is high. Knowledge of English is widespread and is among the best of countries where English is not the official language. The Dutch are very open minded people.

Thailand is fairly liberal for a developing country. The countryside is conservative but the cities are liberal. The official religion is Buddhism which is a highly liberal religion. The sex industry, which began in the 1970s during the Vietnam war, is huge. The country welcomes foreigners and ex-pats. Because of their liberal attitudes towards sex, Thailand attracts many devious male tourists, especially from Europe. Deviant behavior is tolerated from visitors because of the income they bring in.

Singapore is a highly developed Asian city-state. It is religiously diverse having almost equal representations of Buddhists, Christians, Muslims, and atheists. Singapore has a significant white minority, who are part of the large white collar workforce. Singapore imposes harsh punishment for crimes which earns it points for conservatism. Crime rates therefore are very low. Singapore is ranked high on economic liberties (ranking first on Heritage rankings) though discourages private ownership of automobiles through high taxes.

Cuba – The country is a multi-ethnic country made up of indigenous, whites, blacks, and mixed black/whites (Mulatto’s). Discrimination is almost non-existent and race-mixing is the norm. Purely white people are a small minority. The country is highly secular and few Cubans attend religious service on a regular basis. The state owns all private property and income is fixed regardless of occupation. There is absolutely no wealth disparity. Everybody is equally poor. From that standpoint, they are highly liberal. If there are conservative values it is that the Cubans act as one large family. It seems like everybody knows everybody. The sense of trust among Cubans is extremely high. Polarization is non-existent as there is nothing like politics or religion to split them apart. Superficiality is non-existent. Cubans know how to network like no others. They will pick each other up and look after each other. They pretty much have to do this in order to survive. Unlike many Latin American countries, crime rates in Cuba is very low. The punishment for crime is severe.

CONSERVATIVE TO SEMI-CONSERVATIVE

North Korea – I would classify North Korea as a mainly conservative country, though it is difficult to know what exactly is going on there. Korea was split after the War and the northern half (North Korea) was taken over by communist forces. The country is impoverished due to having almost no trading partners, thanks to the policies of the West. North Korea is almost entirely homogeneous and they have no plans to open their borders to outsiders. This alone would score points for conservatism. They have also closed their country to the outside world and made it very difficult for one to visit, let alone do business. Internet connectivity is limited to handful of people. Because of all this, there is little chance that the country can be corrupted by those on the outside looking in. They cannot be corrupted by capitalism, social media, the internet, and pornography. That is additional points for conservatism. North Korea has a nuclear weapons program, which acts as a deterrent against the powerful liberal regimes that want to annihilate or rearrange it’s politics.

Syria – Syria is a semi-conservative society. It is mainly Arab in population with a significant southeastern European minority. The sense of trust among Syrians is high, at least before the war. Despite the distorted media coverage of Syria, there is (or was) little polarization in the country even among the Muslims and Christians. Nationalism is high. Syria, like many Arab countries, is anti-Capitalist. Consumerism, usury, and speculative activities are highly frowned upon. Pornography and gambling is illegal. Those are highly conservative stances. On the other hand, Christianity and Islam, while solidifying the people, are liberal religions whose principles do not protect the adherents from infiltrators and deviant outside groups.

Israel – Israel is a semi-conservative society. Israel established itself as a safe haven for Jews around the world.

Israel has been a “democracy” since it’s establishment in 1948. Though a democracy, discrimination against non-Jews, especially against the Arabs, is rampant and heavily encouraged. The Israeli government continues to encroach on Palestinian territory by building settlements. The eventual plan is perhaps the eventual takeover of all of Palestine. The Israeli government makes it difficult for non-Jews to acquire citizenship. These are all conservative stances. Israel is one of the world’s most segregated society. Israel is religiously diverse, though rarely will different religious groups intermingle. Segregation is extreme. Though there are no laws in Israel against interracial marriages, few engage in those practices to begin with. Mistrust among the different groups are extreme, though Jew have more mistrust of the Arabs than the other way around. Jews are proud to be Jews and are encouraged to be proud of their race. Far-right groups such as the Lehava are tolerated, though not without criticisms. The Israeli media propagates tremendous amounts of paranoia and fear of Gentiles, particularly against the Arabs.

A 2008 poll by the Center Against Racism found that 75% of Israeli Jews would not live in a building with Arabs; over 60% would not invite Arabs to their homes; 40% believed that Arabs should be stripped of the right to vote; over 50% agreed that the State should encourage emigration of Arab citizens to other countries; 59% considered Arab culture primitive. Asked “What do you feel when you hear people speaking Arabic?” 31% said hate and 50% said fear. Only 19% reported positive or neutral feelings…

A Pew Research poll released in March 2016 showed that close to half of all Israeli Jews are in favor of “transferring or expelling” Israel’s Arab population. 48% of Israeli Jews strongly agree or agree with the idea, and 46% strongly disagree or disagree. The in-person polling was conducted in a relatively “calm” from late 2014 through early 2015…

In Palestine in Israeli School Books: Ideology and Propaganda in Education, Nurit Peled-Elhanan, a professor of language and education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, describes the depiction of Arabs in Israeli schoolbooks as racist. She states that their only representation is as ‘refugees, primitive farmers and terrorists’, claiming that in “hundreds and hundreds” of books, not one photograph depicted an Arab as a “normal person”. – Wikipedia

In regards to Israel’s fervent religious right element, there are fears among the secular Jews that Israel will eventually become a theocracy. The orthodox and ultra-orthodox in their society has gained traction over the past decades. Secular Jews fear that because of the high birthrates of Haredic Jewish women (7 children on average), their power and influence will grow to the point where they will rule the country. The divide between the secular and the ultra-orthodox is high. The ultra-orthodox are staunchly conservative and there have been reports of harassment and violence not only against the Arabs but also against secular Jews. Seculars (Hiloni) favor separation of religion and state while the Haredi do not. Israel has been tilting more and more to the right in recent decades. Many orthodox Jews would like to see liberalism in Israel disappear altogether. Military service is a requirement for all except the Haredi and Arabs.

The only forms of gambling allowed in Israel are sports betting through the Israeli Sports Betting Board and the National Lottery. All other gambling is prohibited including casinos and slot machines.

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