Neoconservatism

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Overview

The usage of the term "neocon[servative]" has changed substantially since it was first used, so it is necessary to distinguish the Bush-era variety from other uses.

"Bush neoconservative" is a term of convenience to refer to members of the group usually labeled simply "neoconservatives", or "neocons", beginning with the Republican revolution of 1994. They rose significantly in power with the advent of Republican George W. Bush's presidency, and gained further prominence after the beginning of the US Invasion of Iraq as they allied with Bush to give the office of the Presidency unprecedented powers ostensibly towards the pursuit of the War on Terror.

Bush neoconservatives in the post-9/11 era tend to support or favor most of the following:

There may be other characteristics shared in common as well.

Bush neoconservatives generally reject the term "neocon[servative]" and instead self-describe as conservative, despite the fact that they philosophically differ with the traditional conservative views on items such as small government (a basic tenet of conservatism) and the (classically liberal) idea of nation-building.

Brin definitions

Author David Brin says that the Bush neoconservative movement consists of three main components [1]:

  1. A sub-set of aristocrats seeking (with great success) to use government as a free source of new wealth.
  2. A sub-set of messianic "Left Behind" Christianity that actively hungers for a final confrontation between Good and Evil, culminating in a stage-drama end of the world predicted in Revelations.
  3. A movement of doctrine-focused intellectuals – many of whom are neither Christians nor aristocrats – pushing a particularly aggressive version of nationalism with a theoretical, neo-platonic basis and its own fervid sense of non-religious but messianic mission.

Links

Reference

Essays

Articles

  • 2006-11-03 Neo Culpa: As Iraq slips further into chaos, the war's neoconservative boosters have turned sharply on the Bush administration, charging that their grand designs have been undermined by White House incompetence.

Notes

From David Brin:

What appears stunning to me is how few have pointed out the deep commonalities between American neoconservatism, Islamic fundamentalism, and every other prescriptive dogma that wracked and afflicted the Twentieth Century. The one common theme uniting all of these ideology-based systems is a burning contempt for the secular, pragmatic, accountable and tolerant legacy of the Enlightenment. Especially its promotion of skepticism toward the subjective, self important mind games that allow each of us to play tricks upon ourselves.
For 14 years and more, Rove & allies have bent all efforts toward maintaining a Big Tent coalition, uniting a melange of contradictory groups. With the sole aim of achieving and holding actual political power, they managed to wed together:
  • Xenophobic-isolationists... and interventionist-adventurers.
  • Free-marketers... and big government contract-parasites.
  • Lifestyle libertarians... with bedroom-voyeur fundamentalists.
  • Deficit hawks... and spendthrift pork barrel hogs.
  • Snooty Straussian neocon eggheads...and proudly anti-intellectual know-nothings.
  • Small business owners... with megacorp monopolists.
  • Nativist border worriers... and exploiters of cheap, undocumented labor...

... and so on.

A great... nay incredible... morass of contradictions! How on Earth did they manage that? There is one simple answer. By getting every last one of these forces to call themselves “conservative.”

The Roveans do not ACTUALLY GIVE ANYTHING to the teeming masses under their big tent. Only three of the many "conservative" groups in the Red America coalition have received anything more than lip service from the real masters of the movement.
  • Radical Straussian transcendentalist neocons were given their New Crusade in the Middle East. Driven by a utopianism fully as romantic, militant and intolerant as the first Crusades, this coterie of overcompensating, frenetically snooty-intellectual draft dodgers were given toy soldiers (our military) to play with... as part of the neo-feudalists' grander agenda.
  • Anti-future fundamentalists are given mostly lip service, but occasional sops of real policy. Millions of tax dollars for their foundations. Hundreds of appointments of young zealots to our military academies.
  • The Klepto-feudalists are the real masters. "nuff said about that (except that their topmost tier is not American, or even western... and its agenda is more destructive than anyone is yet willing to imagine).

Except for these groups, none of the "conservatives" gathered under Rove's Big Tent are getting a damned thing they wanted.

  • Nativists are seeing LESS control over our borders... yet they stay mostly loyal.
  • Small businessmen are raped by a government that favors top-level cronies... yet they stay loyal.
  • Deficit hawks should, by any rights, yearn for Bill Clinton... yet they stay loyal to people who betray their every desire.
  • Both lifestyle and economic libertarians get nothing, yet continue to call the GOP a "lesser of evils."