Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Many Faces of the Neocon

I’ve been hearing the phrase “neoconservative” hurled around a lot these days, usually as a term of opprobrium, and often used in name-calling tirades against those with whom one disagrees.

For people who would use the term: please define it.

At various times, depending on who is employing it, “neoconservative” seems to mean one or more of the following:

  • A social liberal who practices conservative foreign policy;
  • A starry-eyed idealist who favors massive American intervention abroad in order to promote democratic reform within backward dictatorships;
  • An exponent of international capitalistic enterprise with no respect for or interest in maintaining traditional national boundaries or cultures; or
  • A Jew.

I was a politically-aware adult back in the days when the word was first coined, and none of these is the meaning originally given to it.
- - - - - - - - -
The word “neoconservative” was coined to describe people who had once been liberals, leftists, radicals, or even communists, and who had come to their senses and adopted conservatism. Irving Kristol was considered its principal representative, although there were many other neocons in the field in the same period.

This is what the word means to me: “Someone who used to be a liberal and is now a conservative.” It’s mainly an American term.

Neoconservatives are constantly appearing in the political firmament like new stars forming in the dust and debris of interstellar space. 9-11 produced a fresh batch of them, including Roger Simon and (surprise!) Neo-neocon.

I am not now nor have I ever been a neoconservative. I went from being a youth of callow and inchoate political opinions straight to being a conservative some time in the late ’70s or early ’80s.

If you use the term “neoconservative” in this space, and consider it to have a meaning other than the canonical one given above, please define it before you fling it around as an epithet or term of praise.

It’s the first step in reasoned scholarly discourse: define your terms.

34 comments:

I R A Darth Aggie said...

A neocon is simply a liberal who thought the UN could fix the world's problems right up until s/he got mugged by UN "peace keepers", or the bad guys the "peace keepers" where supposed to keep in check.

Conservative Swede said...

A common characterization of a neo-conservative (also used by themselves) is that he's a "liberal mugged by reality". Ergo: he's a liberal! And as a liberal he's (by definition) incapable of doing anything about the reality, no matter how much he's mugged by it.

Liberalism is a hypnotic state of mind prohibiting any sort of political action; only allowing for large woolly gestures. Gestures that in best case are completely meaningless, and in worst case make the problems accelerate.

Also the whole Iraq affair (invasion, "democratization" etc.) is nothing but a large woolly gesture. A political theater with no meaning and no aim, except for upholding the hallucination of liberalism.

Neo-conservatism is a phenomenon that is best understood as a symptom of a dying liberalism. And even neo-conservatism is pretty dead by now, I think.

Lex said...

ConSwede--how would you then define certain "liberal" attitudes on certain social issues that are generally opposed vigorously by conservatives (in the U.S. generally ANY conservatives)? Are liberals who support gay rights, or even moderates who do the same, really secretly neocons, are they hypnotized into an inability for political action, or are they just not social conservatives?

I use gay rights as just one example. Regardless, many consider me to be either a raging neocon or a raging liberal based on my writings, so I'm well used to the hurling of labels, as is Baron. I must admit, the 2nd and 3rd options offered in The Baron's post are the ones I hear the most used to define "neocons", and people holding to those lines of thought I find repugnant (and anti-American).

But Con.Swede, by your logic, am I therefore a conservative for despising social conservatives and being able and willing to act to keep their influence at a minimum in my country, or just a different breed of liberal or something entirely different? I mean, surely there must be a category for people who hate the idea of any sort of religious based laws (be they Islamic in origin or Judeo-Christian) infringing on our personal freedoms; i.e. those unwilling to throw their lot in lock, stock and barrel with U.S. Republicans, major parts of the Conservative movement as it is now active here, etc. Any explanations on that phenomenon?

PRCalDude said...

I agree with ConSwede, but would add that neo-cons in this country (Bush, William F Buckley, etc) generally follow an "invade the world, invite the world" doctrine: fight the enemies overseas, but let them just spill in over the border at will and give them citizenship when they demand it.

Example: we went to war in Somalia in 1993. Now we're bringing in huge amounts of somalis into our country, who in turn bring their families and retain the same cultural presuppositions (namely Islam) that made their country the hell-hole it is. We're doing the same thing with Iraq. I'm sure we'll be intervening militarily in the "Somalia on the southern border" pretty soon.

Moreover, neocons seem to largely believe in either some sort of vague polytheism (all gods are the same, esp. Allah and Yhwh), or they are atheists that attempt to borrow Christian capital to fill their moral vacuums (Allahpundit, Charles Johnson). They can never outright say that Western civilization, which thanks to Christianity believes that everyone is created equally and has rights, ought to be the dominant cultural paradigm. It is the Bible's view that man is made in the imago Dei, therefore he has inherent dignity and rights, that led to the equal protection under the law that we see in the West. Both the atheist neocons and those of the polytheist Islam apologizers borrow this idea, but then denigrate Christianity at almost every turn.

gun-totin-wacko said...

Lex,

With all due respect... huh? Are you saying that social conservatives (which I tend to be, but not quite) are "infringing on [y]our personal freedoms"? How so? I don't believe anyone is coming into your house and limiting your actions.

Yes, there are those who would do so- outlaw homosexuality, sodomy, whatever. But they're a fringe element. Nobody takes them seriously (in the sense of wanting them to make the rules).

I am personally opposed to abortion. But it's none of my business, unless I'm directly involved. However, I also oppose Roe, for several reasons. Am I then a bad person? Am I even unusual?

You "despise social conservatives". Oh darn. I'm sure they (or we, depending on where I fall) don't care. People believe what they believe. Most people have beliefs which they've acquired through actual thought- at least the ones I know. Again, so what? I believe that being in favor of the war in Iraq is better than not, but I don't have any intention of forcing my beliefs on anyone.

It seems to me that you're simply opposed to religious law. That's fine. Most of us are. I don't see the need for any "label". In fact, I think there are plenty of labels that work- liberal, agnostic, and so on. People opposed to religious law tend to be an overwhelming majority. The only person I've ever heard complain about it is an old friend who was aghast that the Bush White House was bringing in interns from a christian college. Oh the horrors of a theocracy!

Didn't quite work out that way did it? Of course it didn't happen when Carter was in office either, another professed Born-Again christian.

Most conservatives that I know tend to be all about personal freedom and responsibility. That's what separates us from the left- we don't want to control your life or your beliefs.

I don't know or care much about the term "neocon". I don't use it, and agree that it's generally used as a pejorative. So what? If somebody calls me a name, then I ignore them.

rohan said...

Baron,

Thank you for the definitions. I have been wondering just what the hell a neo-con was. Of course, I still don't know what you would call me. I'm a former Libertarian Party member who quit in disgust after 9-11. I still favor most libertarian philosophies; however, I advocate a strong PRO-ACTIVE defense and secure borders. I also think Ron Paul is a nutcase.

xlbrl said...

Spot on, PRCalDude.
I would add that Neocons that are socially liberal--in such cases where that is true--are living a fiction. Entirely aside from abortion and homosexuality, socially liberal views quickly lead to a lack of individual responsibility and a weakening of the individual and culture, which leads to the dysfunction that drives some liberals away from the fold and into partial conservatism--without actually becoming conservative.
This is most easily seen in the person of Joe Leiberman. Because he has not risen to the level of neoconservative, we can even more clearly see the evils he would claim to fight are constantly conconcted in his own ideology.
The value of a principle is in the number of things it can explain, not in the exceptions we are forced to construct for it.

Conservative Swede said...

Lex,

"Gay rights" or abortion do not have anything more to do with politics, than whether we ought to serve beef or lamb in the school canteen.

Politics is about how to rule a country. How to build a nation, how to maintain an empire, how to defend your nation, how not to become swallowed by empires. How to create a rule of law, how to maintain it.

It's not the issue for Medicine to decide whether the patient should have red or green socks, or watch cable or network TV.

In hypnotic state of modern Western liberalism people are brainwashed into thinking that politics is about "green socks" vs. "red socks", while real politics is not even on their minds. It's considered a constant that may not be touched.

And yes, "social conservatives" are liberals too. And please note that when I use the terms 'liberalism' and 'conservatism" I refer to POLITICS! I'm only interested in politics, and that's the only thing I care for debating. So don't come back again about smallish matters about personal attitudes, such as "gay rights" or abortion. I do not care the least about whether this or that person poses as a "liberal" or a "conservative" in his personal life. This usage of the terms "liberal" and "conservative" is precisely indicative of the all-encompassing hypnotic state of *political* post-war liberalism, that I am talking about.

The surest way for a society to politically deteriorate, is for the society to entirely forget what politics is all about.

Kafir Canada said...

I don't know, frequently it's just used to malign conservatives.

Because calling someone a conservative lacks any negative connotations, but if you call them a neoconservative, now you're getting somewhere. It raises the image of a shifty guy who switches sides for less-than-noble or Machiavellian reasons.

But as an actual political movement, probably consists in the think tanks AEI and PNAC. That's about it.

Ypp said...

A person who believes that economic freedom, human rights and representative democracy, if properly enforced, can build Communism/Heaven on Earth

Homophobic said...

Here's an aphorism:

Christianity becomes Christian-o-fascism when
Democracy is the Fisher of Men.

For me the most disturbing thing of all is that millions of people still believe that the Iraq war was Capitalistic and Imperialist etc. It's just incredible, it's insufferable.

Noam Chomsky is probably the biggest America apologist (as it exists today) in the world. He reinforces the Hegemony because people can't see the true Hegemony if they believe that all the government authority figures are liars.

No, they honestly believe in this "freedom and democracy" stuff kids. Freedom and Democracy as they understand it at least. As in, Universalist Liberalism.

Homophobic said...

ypp is right. The Neocons haven't abandoned their morbid dream of one global united humanity. Which requires a one-world government naturally, no conspiracy needed.

"In hypnotic state of modern Western liberalism people are brainwashed"

Hey Conswede, consider this:

"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion" and "I disagree with what you say but I would die for your right to say it".

That these statements are so comprehensively employed yet completely unexamined only emphasises the hypnotic, brain damaging effect of liberalism. When these nostrums are uttered in the midst of an argument the effect they have is to arrest thinking. The argument may end, but no conclusion is reached. No principle, no insight is arrived at. That's what modern democracy is based on: Rights. Practically, this amounts to the Right to not think.

No I'm off to wave a placard and shout "No War for Oil"!!!

richardeverett said...

Sorry, the term "neo-con" is usually used in the US and, to some degree in other places as an anti-Jew slur, no matter what the Baron says. He may be right, but that's the truth of it. And the true, original nature of a "Conservative" qua Conservative is, essentially, to make change slowly. For those of you who are not sure, no change at all is a "Reactionary."
Further, one can oppose abortion and homosexuality in its actual meaning and in the political agenda playing out in today's world. You can be Conservative and oppose them for what they are, as well for the political issue.

Baron Bodissey said...

richardeverett --

You have neglected to notice meaning #4 in my list. Just because it's last doesn't mean it's the least important. In my experience, most of the time the word "neocon" is used to derogate, it is a code word for "Jew".

Alexis said...

Am I a "neo-conservative"?

I stand by my views about supporting the war in Iraq, for I do not desire any capitulation to Iran. Still, while my perspective is classically "liberal hawk" in many respects, I am well aware that critical blunders in Iraq have not helped America's cause. The United States may very well win a tactical victory in Iraq, but it has become a strategic defeat for the five following reasons.


1. Ambassador Bremer disbanded the Iraqi military. This act alone undermines America's ability to fight wars in the future because a future enemy soldier will fear unemployed defeat more than death with his widow getting a pension and his children getting scholarships.

2. Ambassador Bremer imposed a version of democracy that combines the worst features of Israeli and Lebanese politics. He exported European-style proportional representation and American-style racial quotas, with predictable results.

3. The Bush administration has adopted torture as an instrument of policy. Not only does this policy undermine America's moral standing throughout the world, but it acts as a solvent to undermine the fabric of the American Constitution. The Abu Ghraib scandal alone has probably nullified any strategic benefits the United States may have gained from liberating Iraq.

4. The United States Senate insisted upon Iraqi oil revenue being used for the Occupation of Iraq. Moreover, many Senators attempted to actively loot the Iraqi treasury by forcing an occupied country to accept loans to be repaid in Iraqi oil. This utter disregard for America's heritage of no taxation without representation acts as yet another solvent on our social fabric.

5. The Bush administration listened too much to Iraqi exiles, a folly specifically warned against by Niccolo Machiavelli in Chapter 31, Book Two of the Discourses, titled How dangerous it is to trust to the representations of exiles. This obvious blunder undermined foreign confidence in the ability of American leaders to make rational decisions.


Please note that I don't regret liberating Iraq from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein. Saddam Hussein celebrated the September 11 attacks, and from my perspective, that act and that act alone is a casus belli. (I never regarded weapons of mass destruction as a legitimate casus belli. I am also unhappy with the doctrine of "preemptive defense", which sounds like "unprovoked attack".) My problem is that the present administration's incompetence has become so toxic that it undermines our ability to fight wars in the future.

America's principal problem in warfare is that any war effort must become an expression of our will to win instead of a substitute for our will to win. To win against Islamists, we must both strengthen ourselves at home and show our resolve to fight abroad. Military warfare is not merely a symbolic means to show our willingness to fight, but it buys us time to act. It must not become a substitute for action. For example, shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energy must not be seen as a defensive means to ensure "energy independence" but instead as an offensive means to destroy the root economy that funds al-Qaeda, Iran, and the Saudi royal family. If a windmill could defeat the mythical Don Quixote, perhaps modern windmills can defeat the forces of Oriental Despotism funded by petroleum.

The criticism of many conservatives that introducing democracy to an Islamic country will merely lead to people choosing an Islamic state is well taken. Likewise, democracy means that if people freely choose Communism or Nazism, that is the will of the people. Despite what America's Declaration of Independence may claim, some people flatly do not desire liberty. To quote Machiavelli's title of Chapters 16 of Book One of the Discourses, "A people that has been accustomed to live under a prince preserves its liberties with difficulty, if by accident it becomes free." And to quote the title of the next chapter, "A corrupt people that becomes free can with greatest difficulty maintain its liberty." Free democracy could only be imposed upon West Germany and Japan because the people there saw American occupation as an improvement over the horrors of Communism; such cooperation did not come from a great love for either America or freedom, but rather from a fear of the alternative.

That said, my views are diametrically opposed to those of Patrick Buchanan on many social issues. So, if you do regarded me as a "neo-conservative", please regard me as a "neo-conservative with a brain".

Alex said...

New! Improved! Twice as offensive as old-style conservatism!

“Neocon” is simply an all-purpose contemptuous put-down. It is intentionally imprecise. It means whatever one sees in it, like a psychologist’s ink-blot.

Think of it as the conflation of “right-wing” and “icky”.

Lex said...

Gun-Toter--Whoa, whoa, whoa, don't be so quick to jump, I was posing questions and playing devil's advocate to some degree. We're all a bit mixed on where we stand on these issues (Americans in this case...no offense to others here). I said "the idea of any sort of..." laws which may infringe on our freedoms, I' didn't say that anyone is doing that now, and liberals who do are reactionary quacks as much as the fringe extremists on the right you mentioned. Anyone willing to go idiot over either political PARTY (or the loosely prescribed ideology of left/right) is already gone idiot enough to be scary, either side.

I was simply trying to say that this is on both sides. Actually, Gun, I don't support Roe nor abortion either, though most conservatives I meet (religious ones for instance)are shocked that I oppose this not from a Christian perspective. That is what baffles me, the idea of some people to not understand that someone could think out an issue themselves without certain dogmas influencing. That said, I agree, most conservatives are generally more for a hands off approach to personal freedoms than those schooled in liberalism. But we do need to recognize the dangerous elements in both camps, which I think is rather in keeping with what Baron was trying to say initially.

Con-Swede--point taken, hence my extensive writings on two-party politics during my time as a 'blogger' and the dangers of such thinking as played out in the U.S. Otherwise, I think that we are an accidental superpower and that many Americans aren't comfortable with that, particularly those Hamiltonians among us. Regardless, ConSwede, it is the little issues that are used to divide the populace in the U.S., regardless how many of us see them as not really important to general political discourse or philosophy, so the impact is tangible and therefore the issues do play a role, hence part of the biggest problem.

Bush and Buckley in the same category? If I weren't a Hamiltonian, I'd challenge you to a duel (J/K).

Homophobe--not for "Capitalistic and Imperialistic" reasons? Are you kidding, or am I just going to waste my time by absurdly paying attention to someone going by the misnomer "Homophobe"? My family owns a home in which that war was planned in part. In a PRIVATE HOME. No parties involved got any poorer, but you learn a lot living near CentCom.

Alexis--exactly. I trust no one in the coming election, furthermore, mind if I write you in?

Homophobic said...

They could have cut a dodgy deal with Saddam Hussein but they chose to invade. They have could have installed a strongman to rule in his place but instead chose representative government complete with affirmative action - and they payed for this with Iraqi oil money - after all, it's money spent on social work.

George Bush has hijacked one of the worlds great religions - Christianity. With his perverted understanding and theology of Christianity he has turned this religion of peace into a weapon of ceaseless war. He uses it demagogically to turn young people into violent Christianists or Christianofascists.

"It's idealistic to believe people long to be free. And nothing will change my belief. I come at it many different ways. Really not primarily from a political science perspective, frankly; it's more of a theological perspective. I do believe there is an Almighty, and I believe a gift of that Almighty to all is freedom. And I will tell you that is a principle that no one can convince me that doesn't exist."

George Bush, along with his govnernment, see's Democracy as the Fisher of Men. He thinks it's all things to all people, it can heal all conflicts, and sufeit all those yearning for justice and freedom.

Some of the biggest defenders of the Iraq war, the most demented, the most convinced, are leftists or so called 'former communists'.

Conservative Swede said...

Lex:
I think that we are an accidental superpower and that many Americans aren't comfortable with that

I completely agree with that. It appears to me as if America wanted to end evil by eradicating superpowers (think: WWI), but the result of this was that America emerged as the major superpower itself. Such a surprise! They probably thought that they could just go back home having barberques in the back of their gardens, while the rest of the world could live happily ever after once "evil" had been eradicated.

Lex said...

Homo & CS--that is my main problem at present. I'm not saying that "liberalism" hasn't weakened the West over the last century into a societal norm that is rather unlike other parts of the world in its guilt and self-abasement. But one cannot just dump all supposedly "liberal" ideals into the waste-basket, a la Coulter, as more guilt by association.

Being against the jihadis is normal, and frankly, they're pretty effing evil. It just strikes me as odd that many (and I'm not saying anyone here, but you know it's happening) "counter-jihadists" are rather advocating becoming a similar entity. Not all who raise opposition are foolish, "idiot liberals", nor necessarily against you personally. Again, "two-party thinking" and the dangers of political self-identification. Very, very dangerous, no matter which "side" you think you're on; hence discussions of what neo-cons really are becoming "blame the liberals" fun-fests.

Conservative Swede said...

Coulter rarely comments on politics. She's rather a socialite.

JR said...

I too went straight to being a conservative -- at age 13

So I have now had over 50 years of seeing the accuracy of my views confirmed by events

Very satisfying

Vol-in-Law said...

Most modern political philosophies were originally developed by Jewish thinkers (entirely or primarily) - neoconservatism, communism, cultural Marxism, even Italian Fascism! "Criticising our ideology makes you anti-Semitic" is a standard rhetorical trick, eg the Southern Poverty Law Center says talking about cultural Marxism is anti-Semitic*, neocons say criticising neo-conservatism is anti-Semitic. No self respecting person should use this argument IMO; argue your case on the merits.

*When I, not being Jewish, wrote an article on cultural Marxism I went to (neocon-ish) Jewish writer Melanie Phillips to get her blessing/confirmation that criticising Marcuse, Adorno et al didn't make me an anti-Semite. You might want to do the same criticising neo-conservatism, eg get the blessing of a prominent Jewish Paleocon like Paul Gottfried.

Vol-in-Law said...

Lawrence Auster is an ethnically Jewish traditionalist conservative who's also scathing of cultural Marxists and neocons alike. See:
http://www.amnation.com/vfr/

Also, unlike some paleocons he shares GoV's recognition that Islam(ism) is a genuine threat to the West.

Archonix said...

Wow, a visit by Jon Ray!

Sorry, do carry on...

There's another term. Paleocons. Is that the opposite of a neocon or is it something else entirely?

John Savage said...

Vanishing American has written a couple of posts that should help clarify what at least one segment of critics of neocons think the word means:

"The Other N-Word"
"The Other N-Word, Again"

See also Lawrence Auster's consideration of the issue. Auster is thoroughly pro-Israel, but seems to believe that neoconservative policies put Israel in greater danger.

The Baron's point is valid that "neoconservative" doesn't mean what it used to. Back in the Sixties, it had a lot to do with being skeptical of revolutionary change, especially as the architects of the Civil Rights Movement were trying to carry it out. Since 9/11, all the people we call neoconservatives are believers in the project of democratizing the Middle East, meaning that they're generally criticized for their utopianism. The original neoconservatives have been largely forgotten, as Francis Fukuyama has recently argued in America at the Crossroads.

To Archonix: Yes, paleocons define themselves in opposition to neocons, although not all those who oppose neocons are paleocons. Paleocons believe, with Ron Paul, that terrorism is caused by American intervention in the Middle East, and especially our support for Israel. Thus they either believe Israel can fend for itself, or are just plain anti-Israel. However, they distinguish themselves from liberals by their conservatism on issues like immigration, racial preferences, abortion, homosexuality, and feminism.

Those who believe that terrorism is mainly caused by Islam itself, and wouldn't be changed (indeed, would probably be worsened) by "democratization" of the Middle East would be critical of both neocons and paleocons. Some of us consider ourselves "traditionalists", as Auster does.

John Savage said...

I should add that I'd argue that "neoconservative" doesn't mean what it used to, specifically because neoconservatives themselves have redefined the term. I think that's part of Fukuyama's argument, in fact. By the present definition, some of the founders of neoconservatism would not qualify, although the neoconservatives prefer to bury this fact so they can lay claim to some sort of tradition.

Vol-in-Law said...

john savage:
"Those who believe that terrorism is mainly caused by Islam itself, and wouldn't be changed (indeed, would probably be worsened) by "democratization" of the Middle East would be critical of both neocons and paleocons. Some of us consider ourselves "traditionalists", as Auster does."

Yes, that pretty well describes my position (although I am not a religious man), also that of Vlaams Belang - and increasingly that of GoV, I think. I'm pro Israel, and Israel did need the USA's military supplies to win the Yom Kippur war, she may not always be able to fend for herself. But the constant ME intervention promoted by the neocons is destabilising the region, is weakening the not very dangerous secular dictatorships and is threatening to replace them with non-state actors like Hezbollah. And that is very much *against* Israel's interests.

Homophobic said...

Oh I read you loud and clear Lex. I can only smile sadly. I see it like this: General Musharraf is the Colonel Kurtz of our time. His methods, we are told, are "unsound".

Gringo_Malo said...

Read "Thinking About Neoconservatism" by Kevin MacDonald. Of course, in view of the collapse of America's fiat currency, arguments about neoconservatism are probably moot. We Americans and our political factions will soon cease to be a factor in the affairs of other nations. I do hope that we'll be able to bring our troops home before the dollar falls to zero.

tommy said...

I could give many definitions touching upon the original liberalism (actually Trotskyism) of the neocons, mentioning the differences between heavy hitting first-generation neocons (like Iriving Kristol) and their dull-witted second-generation progeny who've become mouthpieces of mainstream conservatism via nepotism (think Bill Kristol, JPod). I could discuss how neocons only became obsessed with Israel after the Yom Kippur War, how the second generation has abandoned empiricism in favor of inane foreign policy tripe, and how the second generation has has surprisingly little to say about social issues (as Steve Sailer has pointed out), but I think the following definition better fits popular parlance:

Neoconservative: someone who got us into Iraq under the illusion that Islam and democracy were compatible, that moderate Muslims not only existed but were the norm, and that believed everyone across the globe wanted democracy, and only afterwards discovered otherwise in the works of Spencer and Fallaci; now too prideful to admit they were wrong and still insisting we must fight to the bitter end in Iraq, without defining what that end is; all the while, still fearing Nazis from Belgium and Bible-thumping theocrats from Kansas at least as much as Muslims, and suffering, undoubtedly, from massive cognitive dissonance.

Lex said...

Tommy--I think you will find in general that the amount of "moderates" generally plummets sharply when bombs are falling and bullets flying. I agree with your assessment that it is moronic to think that forcing our style of government on any people who did not come to the acceptance of its principles after centuries of philosophy. However, if the last bit was about me, I tend to knock the Bible-thumping theocrats in Kansas down hills and such or at least insult them down meanwhile knowing plenty of Muslims who are about 1% as into proselytizing than the extremist "Christians".

I see no "cognitive dissonance" in being able to not hyper-focus on only the threats of both liberal fallacies and Muslim wahhabists. I see such a hyper-focus as quite a disability in thought, actually.

leadpb said...

I would go along with John Savage's comments and expand on a few things.

The globalism aspect is I think the key to understanding what neoconservatism is really about at its core. It makes all the pieces fit, in particular the striking neglect of domestic issues and the drive for concentrating the power of international markets in a few major centres. People seem to reflexively include Israel in their laundry list of neocon fixations, but China must rank well ahead of it.

At home neoconservatism has drained conservatism in its broad sense (formerly represented by the Republican Party) of anything resembling a set of recognizable, principled beliefs in order to gain electorate support. Think of Reagan and his legacy, what is left of it; he was not a globalist and the feelings he roused in people are a fright to modern neocons. The more concrete political aspirations of this period have been replaced by consumerism and a shallow, limp universalism. There is little that is traditionally conservative about G. W. Bush and it is shocking that he can promote an agenda that is pure modern liberalism when it comes to immigration, interventionism and "free trade"-- NAFTA and the promised North American Union atrocity. As if that were not enough, he has corrupted the working model of executive branch power by his team's questionable tactics and interpretations in a decidedly anti-conservative manner. George W. Bush is the emblematic Neocon at this time.

The Iraq War is but a further example of one of neoconservatism's linchpin doctrines, the one that says we not only can but we *must* democratize all the larger geopolitical regions of the earth. This in order to fulfill globalism's ultimate promise of peace and prosperity for everyone, an attitude that assumes that people will forsake other values for these relative comforts. Have we?

Halting immigration of Muslims into the West would have been a much more sensible and effective and inexpensive means of diminishing both terrorism and the demographic quest for sharia law than what we have got ourselves into in Iraq. But I suppose it is a lot easier to sell a war than to sell a scheme that would discriminatorily *restrict* immigration.

A good source of info on globalism is the "August Review" website.

[Note: the above is a shameless rehash of my own comments from the "Intellectual Hemophilia" post from 2 days ago].

USpace said...

At least some people are abandoning the lies of modern liberalism, they should be commended for that. But it must be a Jewish conspiracy...

Jew hating began -
they were first to proclaim
there is just one God

ancient blasphemy angers
those hooked on older views


absurd thought -
Gods of the Universe said
JEWS say there is just one God

HOW DARE they challenge
your polytheist beliefs


absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
go ahead and blame the Jews

IslamoFascists and YOU
believe the same crazy shit

.