View Poll Results: Are Neocons really conservatives?

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  • Yes

    14 46.67%
  • No

    16 53.33%
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Thread: Are Neocons Really Conservatives?

  1. #111
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    Re: Are Neocons Really Conservatives?

    Quote Originally Posted by MildSteel View Post
    I would like to add that traditional conservatism places an emphasis on slow gradual change, rather than radical change.
    Which, I might add, became a thing that domestic policy neoconservatives began to appreciate over time (starting in the 1950s and really taking shape in the 1960s and 1970s). The difference with the "new conservatives" of the 1950s (your Buckley, Goldwater conservatives), however, was that the 1960s-1970s neoconservatives argued that the welfare state was both a political reality and a necessity. What domestic policy neoconservatives saw, however, was that many of the expansions of government policy, or attempts to radicalize public policy (through the Community Action programs) often worked counter-intuitively in at least some instances and that it was much harder to change society for the better than many liberals (or even conservatives) could appreciate.

    The thing to understand about this whole conservative divide thing is that neoconservatives, paleoconservatives, whatever, emphasize different parts of Edmund Bourke, but they still have a place in his intellectual lineage. Many times, for instance, paleoconservatives or traditionalists idealize the past, even though they thought the past was no longer recoverable. Southern agrarians facing a more industrialized south in in the first half of the 20th century wanted a return to what it saw as traditional values: free from the fast-paced world of industrial commerce and travel, free from the materialism of capitalism, and so on. Religion also struck with unrecoverable traditionalist tones at times, because Americans were so distanced from the greatness of European religious institutions of centuries past. Many conservatives wanted a U.S. free from the concerns of the welfare state, even though it was here to stay in Eisenhower U.S. society. There was even a desire to jam back near the end of the 1980s, because of the climbing influence of neoconservatives and the post-industrial society.

    To seek an unrecoverable past is often a dramatic, radical act, because it refuses to acknowledge the status-quo and the gradual nature of change. It wants the change now. So to is the push from free-marketers. There is an idealism that seeks to eschew the status-quo and slow change in favor of dramatic, radical change, with an often-times utopian vision.

    I think the problem with the Neo-Reaganites is that while they proclaim to be a hard-nosed Wilsonianism, it's too misty-eyed about America's ability to change global affairs and institute complimentary political institutions internationally.
    Last edited by Fiddytree; 09-12-14 at 06:46 PM.
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  2. #112
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    Re: Are Neocons Really Conservatives?

    Quote Originally Posted by MildSteel View Post
    The problem with the neocon notion of preemption is that the assessment of a threat, a priori, is highly speculative in nature and therefore prone to error. As a result it can lead to unnecessary change, which is something that is quite hostile to the traditional conservative position.
    If you changed that to "harmful change", I would agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by MildSteel View Post
    I disagree with you in the strongest terms that radical change is something that is acceptable in traditional conservatism, because in fact radical change is something that people like Edmund Burke were hostile to. Burke, while recognizing the need for change, felt that such change should be slow and incremental, rather than radical and abrupt. This is a result of the view that the traditions and hierarchical structures structures that exist in society have evolved over time and are in their current state for good reason. Because these structures have withstood the test of time, they are more likely to provide stability than those put in place by radical change. As such, radical change is shunned in favor of the preservation, conservation if you will, of the status quo. Hence the term conservative. The problem with preemption is that it naturally begs the question of the necessity of regime change, which in turn makes radical change more likely to occur. Therefore preemption, because of it's inherent nature to promote radical change, stands in clear opposition to the core principle of traditional conservatism.
    I'd say a revolution that overthrows the rule of monarchy by force and replaces it with a republic, is a radical form of change.
    If one considers Burke's "Reflections on the Revolution in France" in isolation, your point would not seem wholly unreasonable, but if you add his thoughts on the American revolution, it doesn't add up.
    Removing tyrants by force has always been quite acceptable to Conservatism, hence interventionism is not anathema to it. What matters is how it is done, and there it differs considerably from your average revolutionary movement.
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  3. #113
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    Re: Are Neocons Really Conservatives?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiddytree View Post
    Which, I might add, became a thing that domestic policy neoconservatives began to appreciate over time (starting in the 1950s and really taking shape in the 1960s and 1970s). The difference with the "new conservatives" of the 1950s (your Buckley, Goldwater conservatives), however, was that the 1960s-1970s neoconservatives argued that the welfare state was both a political reality and a necessity. What domestic policy neoconservatives saw, however, was that many of the expansions of government policy, or attempts to radicalize public policy (through the Community Action programs) often worked counter-intuitively in at least some instances and that it was much harder to change society for the better than many liberals (or even conservatives) could appreciate.

    The thing to understand about this whole conservative divide thing is that neoconservatives, paleoconservatives, whatever, emphasize different parts of Edmund Bourke, but they still have a place in his intellectual lineage. Many times, for instance, paleoconservatives or traditionalists idealize the past, even though they thought the past was no longer recoverable. Southern agrarians facing a more industrialized south in in the first half of the 20th century wanted a return to what it saw as traditional values: free from the fast-paced world of industrial commerce and travel, free from the materialism of capitalism, and so on. Religion also struck with unrecoverable traditionalist tones at times, because Americans were so distanced from the greatness of European religious institutions of centuries past. Many conservatives wanted a U.S. free from the concerns of the welfare state, even though it was here to stay in Eisenhower U.S. society. There was even a desire to jam back near the end of the 1980s, because of the climbing influence of neoconservatives and the post-industrial society.

    To seek an unrecoverable past is often a dramatic, radical act, because it refuses to acknowledge the status-quo and the gradual nature of change. It wants the change now. So to is the push from free-marketers. There is an idealism that seeks to eschew the status-quo and slow change in favor of dramatic, radical change, with an often-times utopian vision.

    I think the problem with the Neo-Reaganites is that while they proclaim to be a hard-nosed Wilsonianism, it's too misty-eyed about America's ability to change global affairs and institute complimentary political institutions internationally.


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  4. #114
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    Re: Are Neocons Really Conservatives?

    Quote Originally Posted by shrubnose View Post
    What do we need? Patience. When do we need it? Now!
    That's sig material right there
    Ok, that does it! I waste Professor Plum with the lead pipe.
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  5. #115
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    Re: Are Neocons Really Conservatives?

    1. Who cares?

    2. You gotta love the insane level of neocon hatred exhibited by some people. It's a political ideology, just like libertarianism, paleoconservatism, liberalism, and socialism. I don't necessarily agree with what they advocate - aggressive promotion of American values and interests via unilateral military force - but I feel no need to see those beliefs as somehow evil.
    Quote Originally Posted by ecofarm View Post
    Hah. If someone put me in their sig, I'd never know. I have sigs off.

  6. #116
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    Re: Are Neocons Really Conservatives?

    Quote Originally Posted by MildSteel View Post
    Here's an interesting piece from the American Conservative:

    What’s a Neoconservative? | The American Conservative

    According to this author, the neoconservative view of America policing the world to rid it of evil is not really traditional conservative value, but rather a liberal one:



    So, to quote a message board MC, what say ye? Are the neocons really conservatives?
    I guess I never felt it necessary to dive into all the sub-lables to begin with. I'm unclear on what a 'neoconservative' is actualy supposed to be, but I know I support American economic dominance yet oppose wars all over the place. To me, 'conservative' more regards domestic policy anyway. The label means diferent things in diferent places. In the UK I would be considered a Liberal just for my support of lose gun laws.
    Last edited by Jerry; 09-13-14 at 11:14 PM.

  7. #117
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    Re: Are Neocons Really Conservatives?

    Quote Originally Posted by MildSteel View Post
    The thing that differentiates the neocons, with regards to policing is that they take it to an extreme level, e.g. the doctrine of pre-emption, which is a very dangerous way of formulating foreign policy as it's paranoid approach which tends to create new threats and increase the level of threat of existing ones.
    Admittedly preemption bears risks. The problem is that international security is alway fraught with danger and waiting can be more dangerous than preemption. That is why preemption is legal and legitimate. (The same goes for r2p, which makes the game more dangerous a priori. It is necessary, however, if you want a system that reduces risk by internalization.)
    So, it might make sense to use that type of criterion as a differentiator. But it is the difference between rational and peacenick and not between neo con, liberal and conservative policy.

  8. #118
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    Re: Are Neocons Really Conservatives?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteEU View Post
    Of course they are. Just because the NeoCon label has become negative because of Iraq, Bush, the crisis, does not change the fact that they are conservatives... fallen conservatives maybe, but never the less conservatives.
    Say the pretend centrist.
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  9. #119
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    Re: Are Neocons Really Conservatives?

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    Say the pretend centrist.
    He is from across the oceans. His area's centrism is likely very different. After all, Denmark moderates are not much different from our stringent Democrats.
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    Re: Are Neocons Really Conservatives?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiddytree View Post
    He is from across the oceans. His area's centrism is likely very different. After all, Denmark moderates are not much different from our stringent Democrats.
    You're a neocon centrist and he's a Democrat centist.
    "He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
    "Fly-over" country voted, and The Donald is now POTUS.

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