Skip to comments.Neoconservative Blind Spots
Posted on 12/06/2010 10:24:01 AM PST by Academiadotorg
Because the conservatives most likely to be employed in academia are of the neo variety, students may not get an accurate picture of conservatism or, for that matter, America.
In fairness, because many neoconservatives are reconstructed leftists, they can counter the Campus Left in ways that more mild-mannered conservative Ph.D.s could or would. The neocons have waged a matchless intellectual war against the practices of Americas tenured radicals, C. Bradley Thompson writes in Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an Idea. They have been trenchant critics of the major ideas that have dominated Americas universities since the 1960s, such as nihilism, relativism, historicism, and egalitarianism; they have been on the front lines of the culture war, opposing intellectual trends such as feminism, multiculturalism, environmentalism, postmodernism, deconstructionism and political correctness; and they have challenged the intellectual integrity of politically correct academic programs such as womens, black, Latino, and queer studies as well as any other kind of ideologically motivated academic programs that now define the American university.
The neocons have been particularly good at demonstrating how these ideas have percolated through American culture to affect deleteriously the manners and mores of ordinary Americans. Its when their own ideas percolate culturally that neoconservatives inflict nearly irreparable harm.
Remarkably, at the top of the neocons pantheon of American heroes are three individuals who did as much to destroy Americans individual rights republic as any three figures in American history: Herbert Croly, Theodore Roosevelt, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Thompson writes. The is the same Herbert Croly who bragged that his political philosophy was flagrantly socialistic both in its methods and its objects,
I keep hearing this “neocon” moniker being thrown around..what IS a neocon? A new conservative?
Most(not all) Neo-Cons are nothing but BAD news and are by-in-large inside-the-beltway elitists and academics.
This article is a pile of BS. It is the libertarian Ron Paul type of conservative who continually use the term neo-conservative in order to promote their anti-American agenda of appeasement for terrorists and defense of dictators.
A neocon has the foreign policy that if you can democracize your enemy, through force if necessary, they will become less hostile and eventually become an ally. It is essentially a justification for nation building. What it fails to take into account is that you will not sustain support for aggression at home unless your people are going to get something out of it. In other words, if we took Iraq’s oil and were paying 70 cents per gallon of gas, the people would be far more supportive than spending 100s of billions of dollars to build a nation when our own is deteriorating.
If you support a strong American defense and are against appeasing terrorists and dictators then you are a neo-con. Oh yeah plus if you consider Israel a strong ally then you are a neo-con.
“Neo-con” is often used as an anti-Semitic pejorative.
Depends on the context. Some people use it to refer to fiscal conservatives who are global interventionists. Others use it to refer to ex-liberals who have become conservatives, especially in the academic field. Still others use it as "code" for "Jewish conservative".
Needless to say, there is a lot of overlap between those three definitions, but differences as well.
Primarily ex-communists who grew disillusioned by the Soviets. They’re the kind of people that don’t want to abolish the Welfare state, just “reform it”. They also think that America’s mission is to spread democracy across the globe by any means necessary. Good examples are Bill and Irving Kristol, David Frum, and David Brooks.
Right so the paleo-conservatives would be happy if we just nuked all of our enemies and then left the area defenseless from the next dictatorship that would easily follow. God forbid if we try to help a nation rebuild after we removed a dictator who was a threat to our nation.
Right if you notice most people who use the term neo-con hate our friendship with Israel but always defend the dictatorships of Iran and the terrorists of the world.
You would have a hard time finding either “anti-American agenda of appeasement for terrorists and defense of dictators” on www.academia.org.
"Neoconservative" = libertarian catchall term for any conservative.
Not true. Neoconservativeism is simply a means to justify war. You can support war, defense, or aggression without being a neoconservative. In fact, neoconservativism is actually a liberal justification - nation building. Bush campaigned against this in 2000 and his about face is what pissed a lot of people off.
The original meaning referred to former leftists who had become anti-communist. They might still be left-leaning in various areas of their political or social thinking, but they had broken with the communists and adopted a pro-US view on national security.
It has tended since then to be used to refer to people who might be social liberals, might be “big government Repubs” but favor an aggressive US security posture.
It is sometimes used to refer to jewish Repubs, or pro-Israel Repubs even if they are also social and fiscal conservatives. Repubs who want to engage the jihadists on their own ground are referred to as “neoconservatives” by those who would prefer to pull back from foreign entanglements and try instead to secure the borders and be more aggressive against them on the home front.
I'm not jewish and I'm not a social liberal, but I might be thought of as a "neocon" because I'm pro-Israel and I do favor engaging the jihadists on their own ground. But I'm definitely a constitutionalist, so maybe I'm not a neocon. Depends on how you define it.
TheBigIf is right, however. Nearly every time, when you see someone using the term "Neo-Con," that person is using the term as a codeword for "dirty Jew."
Thanks everyone for your answers. I identify myself as a Reagan/Palin/Bachmann/West conservative. :)
The justification for the war in Iraq was never nation building. Saddam Hussein was a threat to this nation. And If we left and did nothing to provide security and help support a more free government then the same threat would likely arise again. The only justification has always been our national defense. The neo-con argument being made here is pure BS.
Bush used a lot of different reasons for war, but the underlying theme was always spreading democracy. Go back and read his speeches.
You're right in that the definition usually confers that connotation, but is wrong.
Down-thread it's defined as, "simply a means to justify war...In fact, neoconservativism is actually a liberal justification - nation building."
On this definition, I concur.
Again, I agree.
"Neoconism" is about "global" visions and policies - NOT about national and American visions.
Whioch also means the same thing as taking on all dictatorships around the world. So how is that liberal?
After 9/11 I could sum up my foreign policy as such:
“Death to All Dictators”
That is hardly liberal. I would say it is the BS appeasement attitude of those who think we can get along with dictatorships like Ron Paul and Bucchanon that are suffering from some sort of liberal delusion. Isolationism is not the answer.
American isolationism is not the answer. We will always be a target and dictatorships are the enemy.
Unnecessary American interventionism is not the answer either.
"Nation Building" is not enumerated anywhere in the US constitution, nor the responsibility of the US taxpayer to finance.
Globalist policies are killing US sovereignty and draining valuable resources.
Do you believe the trillion dollars spent in Iraq was a worthy investment?
The liberals use it as a code word for a Jewish Conservative. Check out peaceskank Cindy Sheehan, for example.
It is only the author and others who write articles like his, NOT "the Neocons" themselves, who claim, the troika identified above as "the top of the neocons pantheon of American heroes".
Instead of reading the Ultra-Libertarian critics of "Neocons" to learn what the "Neocons" think and believe, and instead of reading their critics out-of-context critiques, you should read the writings of "neocons" directly.
When the author says: The neocons have waged a matchless intellectual war against the practices of Americas tenured radicals,, the reader is given the impression that that is a "Neconservative" battle, when it is a Conservative battle that "Neoconservatives" joined, along with other Conservatives.
Lastly: There is no current active link at the "Accuracy in Media" website, for the text you quoted, searching on either the author, "Malcolm A. Klein", or the author he cited, "C. Bradley Thompson", or the tile of what Mr. Thompson wrote "Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an Idea".
If you are going to bring something to discuss, you need to provide the source, so that readers can read the entire text, and make their own judgments, on their own.
Death to All Dictators
In a odd twist, some feel the current leader of the US is becoming a "dictator." Never mind - I'm sure it's just my imagination.
Maybe it IS the answer to stay out of others’ affairs and defend our own borders, I don’t know the answer.
FWIW, I supported the Iraq war at the time and even bought into the idea of spreading democracy around the world. I have since changed my mind and I feel the effort was a waste of a whole lot of money. I don’t think Saddam was a threat to us and again, we got nothing out of it. It would be much easier to swallow the pill had gas prices not tripled in that period. Just a bad taxpayer investment IMO.
It was worth the effort.
“Our contest is not just if we ourselves shall be free, but if there is to be a refuge on Earth for civil and religious liberty” Samual Adams.
Looks like we are on the exact same page.
Saddam Hussein was a serious threat to this nation and the war in Iraq has been necessary and only the future though of course will tell what is and what is not worth it.
So then I guess you agree with the Paulites and other so-called conservatives who throw around the neo-con label that Iran has a right to nuclear weapons and is no threat to us?
No, I don’t blindly throw around the neo-con label because I know what the word means. I agree with Ron Paul on some things, but I am not a Paulite. There is no black or white. I would rather save our money in case a REAL threat arises (such as China, Russia, or Germany) instead of spending a trillion dollars to take out a third world dictator that could maybe hit a low flying helicoptor with a bottle rocket.
The events of July 16th, 1945 at the White Sands Proving Grounds in the New Mexico desert effectively destroyed American isolationism as a foreign policy strategy.
“and are by-in-large inside-the-beltway elitists and academics”
And that opinion is brought out by what facts?
Anyone could use some of the names of other “Conservative” writers and thinkers, among the names of publicly well-known Conservatives, and among those not recognized as “neocons”, and using some simple search tools link their policy positions to the policy positions of some prominent incumbent office holders in Washington D.C., and make the same claim. Would that prove those individuals either represent all “Conservatives” or would it prove those persons are simply “elitist academics” directly tied to those prominent incumbents? No.
Conspiracy theories are lazy excuses for not doing your own research, analysis and independent forming of your own opinion.
Academia is an elitist environment - a predominately Leftists elitist environment.
However, having come from that environment does not make one “an elitist” and in the case of most well known Conservative thinkers and writers who have been in academia in some way, in the past or currently (like Thomas Sowell) it most often has made them refugees, or hostages, not “elitists”, of that environment.
“Neo-con” for awhile meant Jews who supported Bush’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. That drove Libs nuts, and they couldn’t call them “Dirty Jews”, so they had to come up with a fresh name to denigrate.
I can't understand, much less explain it. Any idea where he picked up this blind spot?
AMEN! You DO know the answer. As American troops were dispatched half-way around the world guarding the Iraqi border, ours was inexplicably a sieve.
FWIW, I supported the Iraq war at the time and even bought into the idea of spreading democracy around the world. I have since changed my mind and I feel the effort was a waste of a whole lot of money. I dont think Saddam was a threat to us and again, we got nothing out of it.
It takes courage to admit this boondoggle of a misadventure was an ill-advised miscalculation by our CFR-neocon strategists. Saddam's demise did nothing much to rally the Iraqi people. ITMT, our troops behaved magnificently - the end result is NO reflection on them or their A-1 performance.
The truth is, the aftermath has helped cost America our wealth, our prestige, and our faith in those who make such decisions on behalf of We The People.
A. Germany and Japan were NOT Muslim, were they? Islam is a backwards Cult. HELLO.
B. Though 65 years ago the USA helped rebuild Germany and Japan, there was a tactical reason: To buttress them from expansionist USSR and Red China.
C) It needs to be noted that "Nation Building" remains un-constitutional and in no way is an obligation of the American citizenry to either finance or spill blood in/for other countries.
“A neocon has the foreign policy that if you can democracize your enemy, through force if necessary, they will become less hostile and eventually become an ally.”
Half truths amount to lies.
One half truth in your statement is that “neocons”, with respect to Iraq, were NOT joined by many other Conservatives in that position. That’s false, they were. Thus, whether or not “neocons” took that position, it had broad enough Conservative support to belie the claim that it was NOTHING BUT a “neocon” position.
The other half-truth in your statement is the mistake, the error, that such a position was taken, by “neocons” or anyone else as a unilateral, universal “policy position” that ought to be taken, no matter what, without regard to context. It never was.
You forgot that libertarians all want to eat small children and mandate heroin injections, too.
“Those who fear libertarians fear themselves.”
The Verdict is in right now.
Epic Fail. NOT worth it. On all counts.
Guess what? China has been a "threat" to us for decades and we pulled no trigger; As was the USSR. Cuba. North Korea. Iran. And now Venezuela.
Germany was Nazi, and Japan was just as bad.
Through years of rebuilding Iraq and Afghanistan there is a tactical reason, to butress them (and contain) an expansionist Iran.
Nationbuilding in Japan and Germany was un-Constitutional?
What provisions of the U.S. Constitution forbids it?
This should be interesting........
Don't change the course of the debate by attempting to smear someone as a "Paulite."
The fact is 0bama had a chance to change the dynamics of the recent elections in Iran - he chose to support Ahmadinejad instead. It's no secret Iran has been working on Uranium enrichment for years; We even helped that nut in N. Korea with his nuke projects.
You can NOT stop countries from developing nukes at this point in time. Well, you can - at the risk of launching WWIII.
As "bad" as the 1400 years of Cultist Islam as a constant marauder of ALL things, places, and persons? *eyeball roll*
Germany - the home of Luther - was a Christian nation gone awry. Japan's own leadership led them astray as well.
OTOH, no Muslim nation (or tribe) can be converted against their will to be "Democratic." THAT, my misguided friend is a pipe-dream worthy of Cheech and Chong.
Nationbuilding in Japan and Germany was un-Constitutional? What provisions of the U.S. Constitution forbids it? This should be interesting........
You realize "declarations of war" are constitutional, right? By the consent of Congress.
Moreover, you mean to say the US Constitution obligates the US military and US taxpayers to finance, bleed for, and "Nation Build" foreign countries?
In your dreams, pal. LMAO.
If it were up to YOU, we'd be "Nation Building" the entire continent of Africa, the rest of Asia, and South America.
This is true.
A good summary to which I would add a point or two. When Russell Kirk (an Edmund Burkian conservative — hardly an ex-lefty) gained promeanance in the mid-fifties from his work “The Conservative Mind” and was part of the new group writing for Buckley, hw was call a Neo-Conservative by the America-First / Robert Taft crowd from the 30s and 40s.
The ex-Communist that was also hired by Buckley that most deserved the appelation of Neo-Con was Frank Meyer, an ex-communist who saw himself as a libertarian.
But, even the Old Whig, classical liberal, Irving Kristol came to be called a Neo-Con. Russell Kirk (hardly in line with Kristol) wrote a defense and asked something along the line of “if they are at bottom an Old Whig as opposed to a rationalistic New Whig aren’t thay all just part of the conservative tradition?”
The Neo-Con’s of the Reagan to Bush 43 era were more about exporting Democracy as a manner of making the world safe for our republic — pragmitists all. Here we have Bill Kristol etc. Again, the Jewish heritage element plays too big a part in the description.
I have an old factoid. Who was Ron Paul’s later famous chief of staff when he was first in congress?
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