Neo … what? 19

We had supposed that Neoconservatives were persons who had been on the Left, seen the light, and so become conservatives.

We thought they charmingly but mistakenly considered it possible to spread democracy, love of liberty and Austrian School economics round the world.

But it seems we were largely wrong.

Jack Kerwick explains, at Townhall, what Neoconservatism is all about:

In spite of the ease with which the word “conservatism” is thrown about these days, most people who associate with the “conservative” movement are not really conservative at all. In reality, the so-called “conservative” movement is a predominantly (though not exclusively) neoconservative movement.

Contrary to what some neoconservatives would have us think, “neoconservatism” is not an insult, much less an “anti-Semitic” slur. The word, rather, refers to a distinct intellectual tradition — a point for which some neoconservatives, like its famed “godfather”, Irving Kristol, have argued at length.

To start with then, neoconservatism is not entirely neo; it refers to a tradition. Though not a conservative tradition –

In The Neoconservative Persuasion, Kristol argues for another claim: neoconservatism and traditional or classical conservatism are very different from one another. “Neocons,” he states, “feel at home in today’s America to a degree that more traditional conservatives do not.” Unlike conservatism, neoconservatism is “in the American grain”.  And this is because it is “hopeful, not lugubrious; forward-looking, not nostalgic; and its general tone is cheerful, not grim or dyspeptic”.

Furthermore: “Its twentieth-century heroes tend to be TR [Teddy Roosevelt], FDR [Franklin Delano Roosevelt], and Ronald Reagan,” while “Republican and conservative worthies” like “Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Dwight Eisenhower, and Barry Goldwater are politely overlooked.”

FDR a hero of American conservatism! Coolidge and Goldwater overlooked!

Neocons view the United States as “a creedal nation” with a “‘civilizing mission’” to promote “American values” throughout the world, to see to it “that other governments respect our conception of individual rights as the foundation of a just regime and a good society”.

But what creed would that be? What American values? And what individual rights did FDR nurture, protect, and promote?

Kristol is unambiguous in his profession of the American faith: the United States, given its status as a “great power” and its “ideological” nature, does indeed have a responsibility “in those places and at those times where conditions permit it to flourish”, to “‘make the world safe for democracy”.

Democracy, eh? In its “civilizing mission”. So there we go. We weren’t wrong in all our suppositions.

Here, Kristol articulates the foreign policy vision — “Democratic Realism” is what Charles Krauthammer calls it — for which neoconservatism is known. Yet to Kristol’s great credit, he readily concedes what most neoconservatives readily deny: Big Government abroad is, ultimately, inseparable from Big Government right here at home.

Kristol is refreshingly, almost shockingly honest: Neoconservatism, he informs us, endorses “the welfare state”. Its adherents support “social security, unemployment insurance, some form of national health insurance, some kind of family assistance plan, etc.” and will not hesitate “to interfere with the market for overriding social purposes” — even if this requires “‘rigging’” it instead of imposing upon it “direct bureaucratic controls”.

And this is “really conservatism”, and it “predominates in the conservative movement”?

As Kristol says, neoconservatives are “always interested in proposing alternate reforms, alternate legislation (to the Great Society), that would achieve the desired aims”—the eradication of poverty — “more securely, and without the downside effects”.  Neoconservatives don’t want to “destroy the welfare state, but … rather reconstruct it along more economical and humane lines”.

In vain will we search the air waves of “conservative” talk radio, Fox News,National Review, Commentary, The Weekly Standard, or any other number of mainstream “conservative” publications for a negative syllable regarding Irving Kristol. Though Kristol, like his son, Bill, is commonly referred to as a “conservative”,  he himself not only explicitly embraced neoconservatism as his “persuasion” of choice; Kristol happily embraced the distinction of being “the godfather” of this persuasion.

In other words, if anyone can be said to be the intellectual standard bearer of neoconservatism, it is Irving Kristol.

And yet here he is unabashedly conceding what some of us have long noted and for which we’ve been ridiculed: neoconservatism is every bit as wedded to Big Government as other species of leftism — even if its proponents want to use it in other ways and for other purposes.

Because Obamacare is woefully unpopular, neoconservative Republicans, both in politics and the “conservative” media, have nothing to lose and everything to gain from trashing it. But at this time leading up to the midterm elections, more traditional conservatives would be well served to bear in mind that, in principle, neoconservatives do not object to “some form of national health insurance”, as Kristol tells us.

So now we know. Neocons are socialists.

  • Burro

    I read your opus on Washington et al. and I think it is very much bang on! How can a limited number of people make decisions for 300 million others in their need to run other people’s lives?

    Of course they cannot do that – yet the Socialist among us always knows best. I used to be one so I know only too well how the Beast thinks. Was it not Ms. Clinton who stated, in response to a question as to why she would not agree to let individuals manage their own money and save what they felt like, “Oh, they would only spend it?” Such savoir-faire, such compassion, such omniscience and such ability to read minds. And such utter none-sense.

    It is a stunning thing to see otherwise entirely reasonable people follow the path to servitude so admirably laid out in The Road to Serfdom by Hayek so long ago. What can they be thinking, or shall we say NOT thinking?

    But allow me to digress, just a little. Moved by your observation recently that Friedman was a Socialist, and the attached text you supplied, I thought it a good idea to look into that. So I decided to ring Friedman up.

    This was a problem, as I had forgotten he was deceased. So I naturally went to Plan B. I rang up (by indirect means) his son, David Friedman. Alas I was not able to meet him due to pursuit of wealth, but I sent an emissary – my learned son – with instructions to seek knowledge of those items you raised. As an emissary, I had my son present himself in appropriate regalia, namely, dressed as Henry VIII. Henry, you may not realize, was a former King of England with a passion for sharp objects, and a great benefactor to what my American cousins would call my “alma mater.”

    The meeting proved most interesting and stimulating for both sides. So much so that my emissary completely forgot his reason for being there but did learn a great deal and had a most wonderful time. He is now looking for a new job as an advanced theoretical mathematician in differential geometry.

    So you can now feel pride in causing all manner of good things to happen and I will commit to follow up with further insight with you re: Friedman and possibly road pricing theory after I digest your suggestion.

    I have also recontacted a number of my old teachers in Cambridge of the Keynes variety for further insight into their views. It seems on initial observation, that several are perhaps modifying their views as a result of the events of recent years.

    To be continued Old El.

    • Don L

      Ah. Interessting. I was in fact thinking you the other day. I was actually re-reading Ron Paul’s “End The Fed”. In it Ron Paul relates the discussions he had with Milton about his incessant sticking to the idea that America cannot grow without a central bank inflating the money. Obviously Milton didn’t waiver…yet the facts, should one chose to actuially seen them as opposed to holding to long-held-indoctrination, is that NO GOOD has ever come from FIAT money, intentional inflation of money of any kind.

      Now, back to the socialism and Friedman assertion. I would suggest “Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Change” by Jonah Goldberg: “Fascism versus Capitalism” by Llewellyn H Rockwell Jr; and, “Free Prices Now!: Fixing the Economy by Abolishing the Fed” by Hunter Lewis.

      I think those three establish the ‘socialist’ ascertion; whereas Friedman’s gov’t bank control of the economy (the money) and his private property pretense (If gov’t has the gold…what’s private property…infalation is theft of private property) is by definition fascistic. Goldberg’s book is recognized as the definitive description of fascism (contrary to popular usage, a socialist ideology); Rockwell’s book speaks for itself; and, the Lewis book defines the problem of Central Banking as to it’s unavoidable destruction of free economies. The point is, it matters not what someone says…but rather what they do. In Friedman’s case he promoted central banking a core & central element of .socialism…hence, he be one. Sorry.

      By the way, I can’t imagine you haven’t, if you haven’t read Paul’s”End The FED”…….I’d recommend Rothbard’s “The Case Agaibnst The FED” too but…LOL……..It is an excellent view of inside Congress and Paul’s fight for economic sanity.

      Later, I look forward to hearing from you ! Take care Burro!

      Oh, relative to the Cambridge boys and ‘Ol commie (LOL) Keynes’ nonsense…heres an interesting tangential PDF: Harry Veryser “Recovering Economics”.

      • Burro

        Good suggestion Donski (given Ukraine etc I thought it a most appropriate greeting)! I had read Veryser some time ago and am impressed you know of him.

        I rang Harry up and was interested in a few points, in particular how an economist can survive in Detroit (where he teaches). But we got distracted as I recall on a different subject – perch farming I believe. It turned out Veryser was an economics teacher who had in his past a real job. Past? No – he still had real jobs and was very impressive. An economist who has met a payroll – about as likely as seeing a dog rise on its back legs and sing God Save the Queen!

        I’ll re-read the article and get back to you soon if the pursuit of wealth doesn’t get in the way.

        Oh, before I forget, the best description of Keynes’ interpretation of the economic world I know of is in Schumpeter’s book “Ten Great Economists.” Pages 220 to 228 give such a clear description of what he was about. It is almost humourous since it shows Maynard assuming almost everything is fixed except for two items, G and Y which means they must be related. So change one and the other changes. QED. You can get the book free on digamo. Whatever you do do not try to read The General Theory – talk about heavy going!

        It is starting to look to me as if we should combine our two fertile minds to establish just what exactly the Aussies assert, as there seems much confusion everywhere about them.

  • Burro

    Well, Don El, good to see you back in the saddle!

    • Don L

      Hi Burro…glad to see you out and about yourself. I hope you are well!
      I haven’t read your larger post yet…More later! LOL

      • Burro

        Don’t know if you got the last transmission but wanted to give you a great example of unintended consequences.

        As a result of our discourse and then re-contacting of my Keynesian teachers, I discovered an old mate had snuffed it, one Tim Munby, librarian of King’s College, Cambridge. Now a fund had been set up to complete his work……on compiling the papers of one Maynard Keynes. I made a decent donation under the name of A. Nony Mouse. Mr Mouse and Mr. Burro are good friends.

        It could be misunderstood to be financing non-Aussies, but consider the future finger-wagging, nashings of teeth, howls of indignation, throwings of hands in the air etc we will be able to do as more of the Master comes to life and light!

        Best be careful about what we say/write, Old El……

        • Don L

          So, as my friend Paul Rabinowitz would remark, ” So, an A Nony Mouse donation to a nice charity in your booby’s name, you couldn’t do?

          Say, I’m curious why you are using the image of “Donkey”. from Shrek. Is he not the loud, obnoxious, eventually moral & decent, less than sharp and a not to be taken seriously meshugenah?

          • Burro

            There is a good reason. It is meant to be “a beast of burden.” Also the one “what does all the work.”

            I, in fact, have a much better image but I recently upgraded to Win 8.1 and the image seems to dislike the OS and vanished. I’ll have to have a word with Mr Ballmer when I next see him, and give him what for. That will be in October. What an OS!

            I will get another if it offends you but I assure you it is not meant to offend, and I strive to be provocative but not obnoxious. As regards not to be taken seriously, well, I find if I start to take things seriously I get urges to kill myself so I try to avoid it.

            A meshugenah! Hee-haw, I like it!! I have to be crazy to deal with the wonderful benefits of a welfare society which I do on a daily basis. Oh! The stories I could tell…but I digress. Let us make the most of the time online we have with Donkey (temporarily until new image) as I may not be able to do it much longer. I regret to say I was “cursed” yesterday by one of the persons I dealt with and at any moment may be attacked by a horde of flying locusts, carnivorous as Hell, and starved for days.

            My ex-fiancees all say a jack-ass is entirely appropriate.

            Can you send the name of the item on roads to me? I want to investigate the latest thinking on roads and their pricing. I recently purchased a building and the legal description was wrong and it now appears I bought a large portion of Polk street in Sin Francisco, a large bordello to the North of me most days. I was wondering what to charge when I set up the toll booth.

            Off I go to respond to the incentives of free enterprise.

            The Burro

            P. S. Maybe we could get the fabulous Jill to let us start a sub-section of our experiences re: welfare society. I have some ideas for what we could call it. How about, “From the Cesspool?” Or, “Periscope Up in the Sewage Farm?” And believe me, I am an optimist……………………………

            • Don L

              Donkey is not offensive to me…was just pulling your leg.

              Windows 8.1…the wonderful thing about capitalism is that the entrepreneur can be a complete slime ball. As long as the SOB delivers a productive and useful offering…money exchanges hands. I’m sticking with 7 and one machione still on XP (dies in a couiple of days…big movement for anXP 2.0).

              MSFT did not have any significant lobbying until the bogus competitor driven antitrust cases came about. Now Gates & co are right down there with the rest of the firms extorted into participating in the DC contribution to the camp[aign game.

              OK..I forgot what I might have posted as to roads…so here is what I have on Road Privatization,. There were some other articles I can’t find at the moment.: “The Privatization of Roads and Highways” – Walter Block


              Sorta related:”The Myth of National Defense” & The Private Production of Defense” – Hans-Hermann Hoppe



              And, why does Mises Institute make all their books available for free (they do have a store too): “Against Intellectual Property” – Stephan N Kinsella.


              I don’t like the names you come up with. Why not “two for the road” and since you’re english…you can be Hepburn! LOL. Not really! And, now that I think about it…I think Audrey was actually dutch?

              Oh…something wild and crazy geometry…I forgot to compliment you on…Your son sounds like a contributor…congrats!!!

              Later…off to hospital for my steroid shots…don’t have anything that will kill me…the treatments will!

  • Don L

    Will someone shoot the president?

    DO NOT REPLY…Just reflect on your 1st response. Alternatively, Read a book, convince someone else to do the same, and another, and another…these are bullets too…start firing!!!

  • liz

    Buckley was one? Reagan? Then I suppose all the rest are, too.
    If someone actually, in real life, made history and restored a constitutional government, they would probably all explode from that excess of gall they’d have to choke down.

    • Don L

      Reagan, regretably surrounded himself with fascistic elements . His chief of staff Regan manipulated him quite a bit. Reagan actually worked with Ron Paul on the potential of restoring the gold standard. But, he told Paul, as Paul knew, it was really not in the cards. And it was Regan who sabotaged and killed the idea.

      Reagan did pick Stockman, an Austrian leaner, for treasury. But even the Reaganites went after him…voodoo economics. Then, Art Laffer showed up…the Laffer curve was not a boon for taxpayers or consumers. It was a device for maximizing revenue to the government.I’m going to post a UTube link to a video I cosider one of the most important videos an American can watch.

      The video is a compilation of leading economists, financial experts, business news anchors and journalists and just a small sample but telling of the mindset of the economics & financial intelligence foisted on America. It covers a period just before the 2007 great depression hit and all are laughing, scoffing and insulting an Austrian economics adherent Peter Schiff. Schiff has been warning, as have all Austrian devotees, of the coming downtuen. The video is titled Peter Schiff was right.

      Now, what they are saying isn’t important. It is, as usual, glossy meaningless pablum. It only matters that what they are, have been, saying is America-hurting wrong. On the other hand, Peter Schiff is pretty common sensical in his comments and his wrnings are proven right…he should be, henceforth, listened to…right?

      Further, I’m including a URL for a video made 2 years later…No apologies for Schiff. Here’s the deal. None of these experts was right…none. They were prevalent before and they are still and contnually trotted out as experts. Were is Peter Schiff…the only guy who was right? To the Point…none of these experts should be listened to. They are raving idiots tools & stooges for the ruling-class!

      Peter Schiff Was Right –

      Laugh At Art Laffer –

    • Don L

      Liz…Thanks for thanking me for referring the Lincoln book. yet, I know It has an amazingly despairing affect on those who get hit with the depth of government conditioning we have all been exposed to.

      Obama, maybe be our savior…again, the salami tactic violation. Tea Party is the consequent. Yeah, REALBEING likes the christian Colonel West, I like the Paul kid Rand…over the last few years new candidates standing for limited government are showing up. Even the born again Rick Perry has seen the capitalism light.

      I truly believe the country IS waking up…Christ (LOL) you’re part of that!!! It can happen…tough fight, but certainly worth fighting. You’re a great thinker and an asset to atheism as a way of prosperous and peaceful living…screw it, let’s kill something…arghhh!!!!

      • liz

        Thanks! Yes, people are waking up and a lot are fed up.
        We win midterm elections but they just keep pushing us back down with these establishment approved candidates for president.
        It begins to feel like we’re the inmates in “One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, and we’ve reached the point of losing control and strangling nurse Rachet.
        Either everyone joins the fight and finishes her off, or we’ll all end up as vegetables.

  • Don L

    William F Buckley Jr was the worst!!!

    “Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Change” by Jonah Goldberg:

    This is without question the definitive analysis and definition of socialism and it’s derivatives: communism and fascism. It is an eye-opener. Finally, the answer to why these two sides of the same coin despise each other is explained. It’s because…Ah, I don’t want to ruin it for you. It’s mind boggling and so simple.


    “Fascism versus Capitalism” by Llewellyn H Rockwell Jr:

    Neoconservative is merely the new misnomer for fascism. Rockwell exposes the fascistic trends over the past decades and compares the ideologies and practices to the solution…capitalism.


    “End The FED” – Ron Paul; “The Case Against The FED” – Murray Rothbard; and, “Free Prices Now! Fixing the Economy by Abolishing the Fed” – Hunter Lewis

    Now read this:

    The article below is neutral, neither anti-republican or anti-democrat. Based on an article by Charlie Reese, a retired reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, it hits the nail on the head, clearly exposing who is behind the judgments made that impact each one of us every day. Ultimately, however, the failed government programs, the loss of liberty and the theft of the nation’s wealth lies with citizens who fail their duty to provide INFORMED CONSENT of THE GOVERNED; for having allowed themselves to be lulled and gulled to accept the misdirections, obfuscation and outright lies of the unavoidably-obvious self-serving & duplicitous, intentionally-deceptive mis-named, ‘PUBLIC SERVANTS’!

    545 vs 330,000,000 People

    Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

    Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

    Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation, unemployment and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation, unemployment and high taxes?

    You and I don’t propose a federal budget. The President does.

    You and I don’t have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

    You and I don’t write the tax code, Congress does.

    You and I don’t set fiscal policy, Congress does.

    You and I don’t control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

    One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 330 million that are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems [the country teetering on the brink of bankruptcy; the U.S. dollar at the point of collapse; NOT ONE segment of the economy free of costly, crippling and patronage-motivated anti-consumer, anti-entrepreneur, anti-innovation and anti-competetive regulation; and, the staggering burden of unfathomable generational debt] that plague this country.

    Excluded are the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank system [an ecto-constitutional, politically-influenced, uncontestable & unanswerable and cartelized banking, otherwise fraudulent, inflationary counterfeiting scheme].

    Excluded are all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. It doesn’t matter if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator’s responsibility to determine how he votes.

    Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con/scam/hoax/fraud/sham regardless of political party.

    What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the unmitigated gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits. A bald-faced lie, an intentional misdirection, whereas the President can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

    The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House? John Boehner. He is the leader of the majority party. He and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

    It seems inconceivable that a nation of 330 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted — by present irrefutable facts — of incompetence, irresponsibility and, if not actual, bordering on criminal behavior. There is not one single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

    If the tax code is unfair, it’s because they want it unfair.

    If the budget is in the red, it’s because they want it in the red.

    If the Army & Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it’s because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan …

    If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it’s because they want it that way.

    There are no insoluble government problems.

    Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like “the economy,” “inflation,” or “politics”…contrived deceptions; ubiquitous and false deflections of blame…they claim prevent them from doing what they raised their hand and swore an oath to do.

    Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible…PERIOD!

    They, and they alone, have the power.

    They, and they alone, must be held to account by the people who are their bosses.

    This, however, requires that the voters, the governed, acknowledge complicity and finally accept the reponsibility for managing their own employees…recruitment-employment-termination…and, that can’t happen until the voters actively engage to discover the difference between being ruled and being the goverend by INFORMED consent.

    • Jillian Becker

      This is a hard-hitting and convincing essay, DonL.

      We’re talking about it among ourselves.

      • Don L

        Just so’s ya know. If you search, there turns out to be several versions of this Reese last Article. I received mine by email 3-4 years ago and it was a discombobulated copy: paragraphs split…disjointed sentences. I patched it and addedsome of my own comments The enclosed italics didn’t come through. It is however, 99% compatible with the versions floating around. I cannot find, however, anything wrong with the concepts, assertions and arguments presented.


      The Socialist agenda is as clear as a bell……push it anyway we can.

      These charlatans would call themselves Jesus Christ if they thought it would help them acquire a new country!

      As I stated once before on this site, Socialists are only Communists looking for a country to take from people who aren’t using it at the moment!

  • liz

    Well, that would explain why not much ever seems to get done once it gets down to Republicans actually doing anything about big government.
    And since when is being pro- free market, small government “lugubrious”, “grim” or ” dyspeptic”? Sheesh.