Neoconservatism is considered to have started with Leo Strauss at the University of Chicago in the 1950's.
Strauss believed the aim of government should be to encourage "human excellence" (social engineering) and that individual freedom got in the way of those goals. He believed that the government should use "noble lies" and myths as propaganda in order to shepherd the people to "excellence" and to strengthen the government.
Strauss was an admirer of Leon Trotsky and his "world democratic revolution"(spreading democracy militarily) and the platonic idea that the government's need for land and resources in order to maintain a cohesive power should trump that of private property and inheritance.
The next major figure is Irving Kristol, the "godfather of neoconservatism" and the father of Fox News talking head Bill Kristol.
Irving believed in big government and that deficit spending is good and necessary (Rove's "deficits don't matter").
Irving and the other students of Strauss left the democratic party in the 1970's and set up shop in the Republican party. Reagan hated them.
Following are some quotes from an article wrote in 2003 entitled "The Neoconservative Persuasion"
"one can say that the historical task and political purpose of neoconservatism would seem to be this: to convert the Republican party, and American conservatism in general, against their respective wills, into a new kind of conservative politics suitable to governing a modern democracy. "
Neoconservatives aren't fans of the Old Right conservatism that Reagan portrayed in his speeches of small govt, non-interventionism and staying out of your lives. They think it is old-fashioned and unworkable.
"Neocons would prefer not to have large budget deficits, but it is in the nature of democracy--because it seems to be in the nature of human nature--that political demagogy will frequently result in economic recklessness, so that one sometimes must shoulder budgetary deficits as the cost (temporary, one hopes) of pursuing economic growth."
Neoconservatives are Keynesian after a bit of whining first...
"Neocons do not like the concentration of services in the welfare state and are happy to study alternative ways of delivering these services. But they are impatient with the Hayekian notion that we are on "the road to serfdom." Neocons do not feel that kind of alarm or anxiety about the growth of the state in the past century, seeing it as natural, indeed inevitable."
Neoconservatives are pro-welfare state after a bit of whining first...
"People have always preferred strong government to weak government."
Well, a lot of us really don't. :)
"Neocons feel at home in today's America to a degree that more traditional conservatives do not. Though they find much to be critical about, they tend to seek intellectual guidance in the democratic wisdom of Tocqueville, rather than in the Tory nostalgia of, say, Russell Kirk."
Traditional conservatives such as Hayek and Kirk suck...
"The steady decline in our democratic culture, sinking to new levels of vulgarity, does unite neocons with traditional conservatives--though not with those libertarian conservatives who are conservative in economics but unmindful of the culture. The upshot is a quite unexpected alliance between neocons, who include a fair proportion of secular intellectuals, and religious traditionalists."
Neoconservatives like to be "mindful" of culture. This has to do with "noble lies" and "noble myths" to unite society behind the govt. Plato, Machiavelli, etc.. They dislike libertarians.
"patriotism is a natural and healthy sentiment and should be encouraged by both private and public institutions."
They like government propaganda to further "myths" that create cohesion between their big govt and society.
"Finally, for a great power, the "national interest" is not a geographical term, except for fairly prosaic matters like trade and environmental regulation. A smaller nation might appropriately feel that its national interest begins and ends at its borders, so that its foreign policy is almost always in a defensive mode."
Neocons like meddling in other countries affairs, well.. because we are just so damn great!
"Barring extraordinary events, the United States will always feel obliged to defend, if possible, a democratic nation under attack from nondemocratic forces, external or internal.... That is why we feel it necessary to defend Israel today."
Neocons not only see it as our duty to defend other democratic nations from external attacks... but INTERNAL also (regime change).
The rest of the article is about how we are so powerful it is our duty to run and control the world. And:
"The older, traditional elements in the Republican party have difficulty coming to terms with this new reality in foreign affairs, just as they cannot reconcile economic conservatism with social and cultural conservatism."
I.E. - the old conservatism is stupid. The cool new shiny conservatives recognize the need for big govt, big govt spending, global military adventurism and global dominance, and to meddle in the social and cultural life of the citizenry to unite them behind the govt.
In other words, neoconservatives are fascists... :)
~wobbles but doesn't fall down~
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