Interesting examination of that much bantered about term…“neoconservative.”
In this light…I think I like it.
A British way of looking at neoconservatism.
by Peter Berkowitz
10/23/2006, Volume 012, Issue 06
(a review of a book)
Neoconservatism, Why We Need It
by Douglas Murray
“Murray emphasizes that, among the debilitating prejudices fostered by liberal democracy, was one that Strauss called relativism, and which consisted of the belief that the diversity of human views about right and wrong, and morality and immorality, were rooted in the diversity of cultures, and were all equally valid. Strauss diagnosed relativism as a decayed form of the admirable liberal doctrine of tolerance, and warned that it led to nihilism, or the belief that
nothing is true and everything is permitted.”
“The first generation of neoconservatives–led by Irving Kristol, Norman Podhoretz, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and Nathan Glazer–entered the 1960s as liberals and Democrats, but rebelled against relativism’s political symptoms, finding in the Johnson administration’s Great Society welfare programs an inability to draw crucial moral distinctions and an obliviousness to the dependence
of free and democratic institutions on character and culture. But by far the biggest and most dangerous expression of the relativist tendency, against which the first generation of neoconservatives
rebelled, was the failure to grasp the menace of Communist tyranny and to recognize the monumental stakes of the Cold War.”
"In contrast to traditional conservatives, neoconservatives are more comfortable with capitalism, always accepted the moral and political necessity of the welfare state, and consistently sought a prominent role for America in creating a stable and just international order.
In contrast to progressives, neoconservatives are more concerned about the costs of modernity’s disruptive ways to the family and traditional morality, strongly doubt the ability of the federal
government to improve America through higher taxes and more aggressive social policies, and are skeptical of the integrity and efficacy of the United Nations, while maintaining confidence in the
ability of the American armed forces, when diplomacy is exhausted, to advance American interests and ideals."
[color=blue]“Although the label neoconservative was originated on the left as a term of reproach, it captures an important truth. In post-1960s America, neoconservatism elaborated a new kind of
conservatism, one that made conserving and revitalizing the material and moral preconditions of a free society the top political priority.”[/color]
“Neoconservatism in America today, according to Murray, continues to do battle against relativism, which, he argues, fuels opposition to the global war on terror. To be sure, as Murray points out,
there has been no shortage of voices echoing Noam Chomsky’s incoherent assertion that U.S. support for Osama bin Laden against the Soviets in the 1980s, and for Saddam Hussein in his war with Iran during the 1980s, should disqualify America from fighting terrorists and the nations that harbor them. And there are plenty, he adds, who, glossing over the U.N.'s sorry record of coddling dictators and failing to prevent bloodshed, argue in the name of cosmopolitanism, democratic humanism, or the international community that Americans who put American interests and American ideals first pose a leading threat to world peace. Yet these criticisms of the war are less an expression of relativism than an expression of poorly reasoned moral disapproval of the United States and its role in the world.”
Selected excerts from quite an interesting view of ‘neoconservative’ in todays world