Saturday, October 3, 2009

Neoconservatives Make a Comeback

Brett Stephens had a great essay last week, "The Neocons Make a Comeback." But check out Dr. Sanity, "NEOCONSERVATIVE REALISM":

Neoconservatism has been pronounced dead by its opponents many times in the decades since its ideas were first formulated. The reasons tha these rumors of its death are constantly exaggerated is due to the fact that the philosophy underlying neoconservative policies is extremely threatening to today's postmodern political left.

Today's left is a nothing more than the hallow shell of what was once known as "liberalism"; and it is held together by the empty and meaningless rhetoric of postmodern intellectual nonsense, otherwise known as political correctness and multiculturalism (or, cultural relativity).

Neoconservatism as an intellectual theory actually arose from the observation in the 1960's that classical liberalism had been hijacked by the left and its essence literally reconstructed to suit the needs of dead-end socialists and communists, finally beginning to realize that the jig was up for them.

All over the world it was becoming more and more obvious that political and social collectivism was an abject failure. Wherever these ideologies were implemented, their policies led to intractable poverty and economic misery; and inevitably the economic policies were accompanied by oppression, tyranny, and the crushing of the human spirit.

I have discussed elsewhere how the recent revival of socialism and its collectivist/totalitarian agenda in the late 20th and early 21st century was made possible by the adoption of postmodern epistemology, rhetoric and politics by western intellectual elites:

The rise of neoconservatism in the latter part of the 20th century represents the only modern intellectual counter and the only known antidote to the infection of postmodernism and its resultant toxic effects on philosophy, politics and rehtoric.

In order to succeed in undoing and undermining the clear and unambiguous evidence of socialism's and communism's utter human toxicity, the totalitarians of the political left had to undermine nothing less than reality, reason, and truth.

Furthermore, they had to deconstruct and invalidate human consciousness, making sure that the everyone understood that the only apparatus available to humans for perceiving reality--the mind--was completely unreliable, and that the evidence of the senses must therefore be discounted. This intellectual strategy has resulted in a pervasive moral and cultural relativism; and an intellectual nihilism that has permeated all aspects of society and intellectual thought.

Words and language are redefined to mean whatever is wanted/needed in the moment to persuade; history is deconstructed--ostensibly to expose it's lies, but really to render it meaningless and irrelevant to the present; and the ideas and values that are the foundation of Western Civilization are mocked and shown by postmodern "logic" to be no better than any other random ideas.

For the left, freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose--and not much different from slavery anyway; democracy is just as much a fraud as tyranny; that which was always considered the good, is really just as evil as evil; and so on. Twentieth century postmodernists thus set themselves up as culturally and morally superior to all other humans in history, and with the postmodern relativistic advantage, they could pass judgement on everyone and everything. Thus from the superior postmodern perspective, there was nothing of value to learn from a slave-holding--and clearly imperfect-- Thomas Jefferson; there is no moral superiority in a system that strives toward increasing individual human freedom and dignity compared to a system that doesn't even recognize the rights of the individual. There is no difference between right and wrong; good and evil--all are suspect, all are hypcritical, all are imperfect; and thus all such concepts are rendered irrelevant.

By disgarding reason and reality; by abandoning the past and embracing moral and cultural relativism, the left has brought us to this place where we are morally and physically paralyzed. We place greater value on beautiful words and rhetoric than on behavior; what is said, instead of what is done; we seem unable to distinguish between the deliberate targeting and killing of innocents and the accidental and unavoidable killing of innocents despite herculean efforts to avoid it; between waging war to give people a chance at freedom and democracy; and waging war for domination and imperialism; between standing up for what is right and accepting the consequences, and abandoning one's values and surrendering with "honor" to the scum of the earth.

Do our current leaders have the moral will to actually win the war in Afghanistan now that the morally bankrupt left is calling the shots? I sincerely doubt it. Even as I write this, our Dear Leader is heading off to lobby for the Chicago Olympics and
can't be bothered to meet or discuss strategy with the General he appointed to oversee the war . This more than anything highlights the ridiculous priorities and broken moral compass of the political left.Yet, these are the same political ideologues who have established themselves as the arbiters of moral behavior by enabling and encouraging amoral and immoral behavior; of being "reality-based" without the necessity of having to acknowledge reality; of speaking "truth" to power, without being capable of recognizing truth (isn't all truth relative, after all?).
I put the palecon-libertarians in there along with Dr. Sanity's discussion of the radical left. They've made common cause with our enemies as well.

Image Credit:
The Anti-Neocons (Lew Rockwell fan-boys).


Stogie said...

Donald, well I like Dick Cheney a lot. Lew Rockwell has no business telling anyone what a "true conservative" is; and you are right about the paelos making common cause with our enemy. The Paleos to me have long seemed like political schizophrenics: they believe in free markets but they also believe in appeasement. They are half conservative and half far-left. I discounted them long ago.

AmPowerBlog said...

Thanks Stogie! I like Dick Cheney a lot too, and Liz!

Old Rebel said...

What a hoot! And what delusional nonsense!

The funny thing is that everything he says about leftist ideology is true -- but it's also true of Neoconservatism, the bellicose love child of atheists Leon Trotsky and Ayn Rand.

For example:

"By disgarding reason and reality; by abandoning the past and embracing moral and cultural relativism, the left has brought us to this place where we are morally and physically paralyzed."

Fact is, the Neocons are the ones who have abandoned the past and genuine conservatism. Conservatism is about preserving tradition, the social intelligence accumulated over long generations of experience within an historical community. As Edmund Burke observed, "Society is a contract between the past, the present and those yet unborn." The Neocons, on the other hand, believe in "creative destruction" of ALL historical cultures, including our own. That's why the Neocons have abandoned Burke.

And make no mistake -- the Neocons have been working arm-in-arm with all of the leftist enemies of traditional America, including the "gay" rights lobby and the Open Borders traitors to grant amnesty to illegal aliens as part of their government-sponsored demographic revolution. Meanwhile, well-meaning, patriotic Americans who submitted to a government demanding greater power over them have unwittingly advanced the Neocons' alien, hostile agenda. While paleoconservatives believe in constitutionally limited small government, the Neocons push for bigger government, from No Child Left Behind, to gutting the Bill of Rights. A government that now claims the power to spy on Americans and lock them up without a trial is a threat to our liberty, a threat even If you disagree with that liberal path that President Obama's taken the country down, you may soon catch the attention of the Department of Homeland Security."

Then there's this:

"Twentieth century postmodernists thus set themselves up as culturally and morally superior to all other humans in history, and with the postmodern relativistic advantage, they could pass judgement on everyone and everything."

This from the Neocons, who think they can judge all other nations and bomb the ones they see fit. And if they don't like it, they should just "suck it up," according to Neocon nutjob Tom Friedman.

But here's my favorite part:

"Yet, these are the same political ideologues who have established themselves as the arbiters of moral behavior by enabling and encouraging amoral and immoral behavior; of being "reality-based" without the necessity of having to acknowledge reality."

Holy cow! The other-worldly Neocons have declared all-out war on reality. Remember William Kristol? In testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in February, 2002, he assured the Senate that invading Iraq would generate boundless good: "The political, strategic and moral rewards would also be even greater. A friendly, free, and oil-producing Iraq would leave Iran isolated and Syria cowed." In a pre-invasion interview on National Public Radio, he dismissed warnings that "the Shia can't get along with the Sunni" as "pop sociology."

Days before Bush unleashed his shock and awe campaign against Iraq, Bill Kristol gave the American people this tidy summary of why the US was justified in launching an aggressive war against Saddam’s regime:

"He's got weapons of mass destruction. ...Look, if we free the people of Iraq we will be respected in the Arab world....France and Germany don't have the courage to face up to the situation. That's too bad. Most of Europe is with us. And I think we will be respected around the world for helping the people of Iraq to be liberated."

How can one man be so wrong so often about such vital matters? And no, he still hasn't admitted his errors.

But Kristol got his war, which has cost over 4,700 American lives, and put us in hock to Japan and Red China for generations.

So who's the real enemy of America?

Rich Casebolt said...

Tuggle, the Duelfer Report documented that Saddam was ready and willing to reconstitute his WMD programs once sanctions were lifted (and IMO, once the UN had been fully milked via Crude-for-Food).

Did you anticipate this?

If not, YOU are as wrong as the President was about the existence of stockpiles.

The war was justified -- stockpiles or no stockpiles -- because Saddam & Sons were as clear and present a danger to world peace as the Taliban were in February 2001.

The difference is, we didn't realize that about the Taliban, until September 2001.

And you don't speak for the bulk of conservatives ... for true conservatism is not merely about preserving "tradition".

It is about preserving what WORKS ... and discarding what does not, like the paleoconservative positions on foreign policy in the 21st Century.

You are an obsolete anachronism.

Old Rebel said...

Rich Casebolt,

I wasn't familiar with the Duelfer Report, so I googled it. Here's what I found:

Charles A. Duelfer, whom the Bush administration chose to complete the U.S. investigation of Iraq's weapons programs, said Hussein's ability to produce nuclear weapons had "progressively decayed" since 1991. Inspectors, he said, found no evidence of "concerted efforts to restart the program."

The findings were similar on biological and chemical weapons.

That's from a news story entitled US Almost all wrong on weapons.

You say "true conservatism is not merely about preserving 'tradition." But an alien ideology aiming to destroy tradition certainly doesn't qualify as conservative.

Face it -- you're not defending our culture, conservatism, or our security -- you're for endless war, personal enrichment, and vicarious conquest.

If standing for the real America makes me an anachronism, fine.

Rich Casebolt said...

Read the report, Tuggle ... not the WaPo.


You're standing for an America that sits on its hands, in a world that is too highly interconnected to us for that to be prudent in our time.

Your position will lead to more deaths ... not less ... and how is that "traditionally American"?

My position demands the decisive defense of life and liberty, by the most prudent means available.

That is not just "American" ... it is consistent with the notion that those unalienable rights are the proper possession of ALL men, not just Americans.

And here's preserving some history for you ... nations that have embraced our respect for those rights HAVE NOT -- AND DO NOT -- THREATEN OUR LIFE AND LIBERTY.

It is prudent that such nations be supported ... defended ... and even constituted through the removal of dysfunctional regimes and replacing them with rights-respecting governance.

That, IMO, is the central tenet of neoconservatism.

Not world domination ... by corporations, Jews, or any other boogyman in your own paleolithic mind.

The prudent protection of life and liberty, in keeping with what history and human nature have taught our civilization.

Old Rebel said...

Rich Casebolt,

You're hallucinating. Again.

The U.S. has supported dozens of murderous dictators both financially and militarily: for example, Joseph Mobutu of Zaire, Augusto Pinochet of Chili, Suharto of Indonesia, Saddam Hussein of Iraq, the shah of Iran, Anastasio Somoza of Nicaragua, Fulgencio Batista of Cuba, and dictatorships in Greece, Portugal, Pakistan, Egypt, and many other countries. In 1954 the CIA sabotaged the elected government in Guatemala. The U.S. invaded Panama in 1989, killing 3,000 to 4,000 civilians. It trained and supported death squads in El Salvador. It supported the Taliban, brought the Ba’ath Party to power in Iraq, and sold material for chemical weapons to the regime of Saddam Hussein.”

Gerald Ford and Henry Kissinger assisted Suharto of Indonesia in murdering 200,000 Christian Timorese, providing arms and intelligence. When Suharto told Ford and Kissinger that he was about to order an invasion, the response was only to caution that "it would be better it it were done after we returned" (the invasion began the next day.

Your tax dollars at work. Feel the pride?

And as historian Chalmers Johnson writes, "We now station over half a million U.S. troops, spies, contractors, dependents, and others on military bases located in more than 130 countries, many of them presided over by dictatorial regimes that have given their citizens no say in the decision to let us in." So stop pretending that DC used to be isolationist, but is now forced to reconstruct the world by bomber. In fact, we paid the price — at least part of it — for our endless meddling on 9/11. Obama's response? More intervention in other's people's backyards.

Sad how Americaneocon picks a fight and sends his unequipped foot soldiers to fight his battles.