What is a NeoCon? – A Symposium

Back in the heyday of the Fondanistas, the Tom Haydens and the other assorted leftist tripe in our country, there was little to glean from the newspapers that was not worthy of publication in Pravda or Uncle Ho’s party newspaper. After all, the Dhimiratz had a monopoly on the media. In a divided country such as we had then, truth was hard to come by.

For a conservative kid growing up in such a world, finding alternative voices that embraced American exceptionalism and the brilliance of the Founders could rarely be found outside of the Public Library or the Encyclopedia Britannica.

However, there were voices of dissent out there. The Greatest Generation thankfully was alive and well. Patriotism to them was still more about asking what you can do for your country. It was not the last refuge of a scoundrel; as it was then, and still is today, to the left.

As to TV, well, Walter Cronkite was still the most trusted man in America, while David Brinkley was just the other news channel dude.

Into this morass of liars, commies and supporters of Uncle Ho, Che and Mao, came the voices of reason and conservatism. They were in no special order: Adam Smith, William F Buckley, Ronald Reagan, and Irving Kristol.

Yeah, that’s what I said…Irving Kristol. Now here’s a man that trod a similar path to David Horowitz. A man who morphed from a Trotskyite to a conservative. Gertrude Himmelfarb (Kritol’s wife) attributed his change of heart to his ‘neo-gene’. It just means that people can change.

This philosophical change is best described in Irvin Kristol’s cultural views:

“In his later years, he wrote less about literature, religion, and philosophy and more about politics, economics, and foreign affairs, not as separate disciplines but as parts of a whole, imbued with a common purpose and disposition. Thus he reminded economists of the political and ethical dimensions of their subject—“political economy,” as Adam Smith (himself a professor of moral philosophy) had termed it. He urged politicians to embrace a “new economics,” supply-side economics, which would invigorate the polity and society as well as the economy. He cautioned statesmen and foreign policy experts to be wary of the simplicities and ideologies that pervert the best-intentioned policies and subvert the national interest. And he advised all of them that the success of their endeavors depends on an ethos, a culture, and—that enduring token of “American exceptionalism”—a religious disposition that make for a stable and decent society.”

Well now, is the author saying that Irving Kristol embraced American Exceptionalism?
Oh yeah. She is. Nice definition by the way.



Continuing…

Kristol – “Meanwhile, for myself, I have reached certain conclusions: that Jane Austen is a greater novelist than Proust or Joyce; that Raphael is a greater painter than Picasso; that T.S. Eliot’s later, Christian poetry is much superior to his earlier; that C.S. Lewis is a finer literary and cultural critic than Edmund Wilson; that Aristotle is more worthy of careful study than Marx; that we have more to learn from Tocqueville than from Max Weber; that Adam Smith makes a lot more economic sense than any economist since; that the Founding Fathers had a better understanding of democracy than any political scientist since; that. . . . Well, enough. As I said at the outset, I have become conservative, and whatever ambiguities attach to that term, it should be obvious what it does not mean.”

Sounds good to me.

Now to the crux of the matter. What exactly is neo-conservativism anyways?

From the article – Persuasion” is also a “most apt term” for neo-conservatism. If neo-conservatism is not, as he repeatedly insisted, a movement or an ideology, let alone a party, it is something more—a “moral perspective” deriving from a broad spectrum of ideas, beliefs, and sentiments that inform politics, to be sure, but also culture, religion, economics, and much else.

Those who use the term neocon as a pejorative are implying by their use of the term that they have an alternate agenda. Maybe they do not embrace the Founders, Tocqueville or Adam Smith. Or perhaps instead, they like to use the term pejoratively, to decry Zionists whether they be Christian or Jewish. Those that support the state of Israel, who wish to uncover the dark secrets of the Jihad, those that would rather take monies from the Ikwan in Egypt, Hamas, and the PLA and put those monies where they’d be better spent, and with a greater return …in the only real ally that we have in the ME which is God’s people Israel.

The term is also used by the left as a pejorative to describe what those on the right call “ultra conservatives” which are those whose views are built upon the cornerstone, the very foundation of the tenants of the noble “I Am”. As such, these so-called “ultraconservatives” abhor the sin of the Canaanites; to the utopian left and the half-stepping right’s everlasting contempt.

In my estimation, the very reason why Ronald Reagan was so successful in bringing so many disparate groups together was because he understood something that Mrs. Kristol hit on in her piece.

“Parties do not have anything so formal as an ideology, but they do—and must—profess something more explicit than a general ethos. “Persuasion” is a most apt term for what in fact issues from this predicament.”

Persuasion is the emotional commitment – yes the very “moral perspective” – which must tie our party together; which can then be presented to the American public, in order to convince them also, that we are the better alternative to the leftist utopia as envisioned by Barack Obama.

You can call that “moral perspective” by anything that floats your boat. But whatever word one chooses to describe such a movement, it had better be the direct opposite of the totalitarian leanings of the left.

Read the whole article here.

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Yazz55
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Yazz55

Annoy a liberal today.

Next time one of ’em calls ya a neocon – just say “thank you for the compliment”

Ray
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Ray

Notice the term is NeoCON, not NeoRepublican, They ARE republicans. WE ARE CONSERVATIVES, and we had better start understand we are different from Republicans. They are Big government supporters and have been from their beginning. They are not for the people, they are for the government. They do not even talk about shrinking the size of government, they talk about slowing down the growth of government, but that is still growth. They believe in a strong central government, and do not like the states having power enough to tell the federal government NO to mandates they do not want. They have said they would get rid of agencies to get us to vote for them but that never comes to fruition, because they lie to us and do not intend to do what they say in order to get our votes. Conservatives had a chance 30 years ago with Reagan,… Read more »

brooksbayne
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brooksbayne

neocons have outed themselves as having an “alternate agenda”. http://www.vdare.com/articles/kristol-confesses-neoconservatism-is-not-conservative

be careful defending what you don’t know.

Paul Zummo
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Paul Zummo

One of my grad school courses was one titled, simply, “Conservatism.” It was taught by Claes Ryn, a professor perhaps familiar to a few. He tied neoconservatives to Leo Strauss, although many would dispute a linkage between Strauss and neoconservatives. It was a great class, but I still am not quite sure what neoconservatism really represents. It seems Ryn thought that neocons, who consisted of a lot of former Trotskyites, had not really left the leftist mindset behind. In other words, neocons were basically liberals who now sought conservative solutions to modern problems. I think the only consistent application of the term is to denote neocons as conservatives who are at least more comfortable with the modern welfare state. Ramesh Ponnuru once wrote that President Bush (the more recent one) was more of a neocon when it came to domestic spending policy than on foreign affairs. Whatever the case may… Read more »

SheerPolitics
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SheerPolitics

I think libs like to throw out the word “neocon” because they think it sounds like “neo-Nazi” their favorite claim on against the right even though the Nazi were a socialist party. My definition of neocon or “new conservative” has been former conservative democrats who became republicans. Unfortunately, a lot of them don’t really embrace true conservative principles or call themselves fiscally conservative, but socially moderate. Which is an oxymoron: If you are moderate or liberal socially, then you believe in government spending money on social concerns–which means you can’t be a true fiscal conservative. These are the ones who become RINOs.

sjmom
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sjmom

Moral perspective; something which the GOP seems to have lost along the way. Wonder what Reagan the Great Communicator would say to his party today? Methinks he would say what he did about the Democrats I didn’t leave them, they left me. Actually, they have left all of us.

Kudos, 911 Infidel.

Indiana
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Indiana

Factions in the Republican Party: 1) Traditionalists 2) Conservatives – Fiscal conservatives – Social conservatives – Neoconservatives 3) Moderates 4) Libertarians ———————————————————————————— President Ronald Reagan was able to win in 1980 and 1984 because he was able to build a coalition between the factions of the party. The coalition originally consisted of five factions: the libertarians, the traditionalists, the anti-communists, the neoconservatives, and the second religious right. We need to stop this traditionalists vs. conservatives vs. moderates vs. neoconservatives vs. libertarians WAR. We have to stop calling people RINOs because they are moderate instead of conservative. We have to stop this idea that someone cannot be successful in the Republican Party if they happen to be pro-choice or pro-gay marriage. The Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud support the Republican party on basically every fiscal issue, foreign policy issue and many are pro-life. Should they be left out of the party… Read more »

PhillyCon
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PhillyCon

One of the main reasons that drew me to conservatism in college? Irving Kristol. He was required reading in one of my classes. One of his main critiques of capitalism was that business leaders never explained nor defended it to the Leftists. How timeless.

Thanks for this post. Despite William’s various machinations over the years, his father was a brilliant political philosopher. He was the one who coined the term, “a liberal that was mugged reality.”

whitewolf2009
Member
whitewolf2009

Another great post 911Infidel Thank you! I remember some time ago I was on another forum mostly filled with lefties and Socialists arguing with them and trying to talk some sense to their nonsense. One of them called me a “Neo-Con” expecting me to be insulted. I wrote back “Oh, thank you! That’s the nicest thing anyone has called me in ages” and floored him. I always find that the best way to defeat the personal attacks of trolls is to make a joke of their attack and mock them. They have no idea how to come back being humorless warts that they mostly are.

cabensg
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cabensg

Humorless and factually retarded. Without media and liberal Democrat talking points they’re lost.

whitewolf2009
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whitewolf2009

SPOT ON!

BlueGood
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BlueGood

Yes very well done Infidel911, hope you don’t mind me copying & pasting to a few NEO-CONSERVATIVE friends on my list….

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