Neocons are not Libertarians

I’m questioning the viability of this term “neocon”, meaning
neo-conservative. A couple of decades ago, being politically
conservative meant you favored low taxes, low spending and less
government. This is a Libertarian position.

Today’s so-called neocons still do favor low taxation (especially
for the rich), but seem addicted to high-spending and a huge
government with greatly expanded powers. The various US agencies
have been consolidated into an enormous Department of Homeland
Security, the Patriot Act stripped away a number of rights such
as protections arbitrary arrest and detention without trial, and
even torture (outsourced) is being applied (and being applauded
by neocons). A recent bill means that America will soon have a
national ID card with biometrics (but it will be your driver’s
license, so you won’t notice), something the conservatives were
totally against.

A good article on this topic:

A Fascist America
How close are we?
by Justin Raimondo

Selected quotes:

There already exists, in the neoconized Republican Party, a
mass-based movement that fervently believes in a strong central
State and a foreign policy of perpetual war. The brownshirting of
the American conservative movement, as Paul Craig Roberts
stingingly characterized the ugly transformation of the American
Right, is so far along that the president can propose the biggest
expansion of federal power and spending since the Great Society
with nary a peep from the former enthusiasts of “smaller

While the Newt Gingrich Republicans of the early 1990s were never
really libertarians in any but a rhetorical sense - Newt himself
has always been a hopelessly statist neocon - the great
difference today is that the neocons are coming out with an
openly authoritarian program. David Frum and Richard Perle, in
their book An End to Evil, advocate establishing an Orwellian
government database and comprehensive electronic surveillance
system that not only keeps constant track of the whereabouts of
everyone in the country, but also stores a dossier, complete with
their religious and political affiliations. If anyone had brought
such a proposal to the table in the pre-9/11 era, they would have
been laughed out of town and mercilessly ridiculed for the rest
of their lives. But today, the neocon tag-team of Frum and Perle
not only gets away with it, but these strutting martinets are
lauded by the same “conservatives” who used to rail against “Big

The label “neoconservative” has always been unsatisfactory, in
part because the neocon ideology of rampant militarism,
super-centralism, and unrestrained statism is necessarily at war
with the libertarian aspects of authentic conservatism (the sort
of conservatism that, say, Frank S. Meyer or Russell Kirk would
find recognizable). Let’s start calling things by their right
names: these aren’t neoconservatives. What we are witnessing is
the rebirth of fascism in 21st century America…

Ironically, I used to consider myself somewhat conservative. I
was (and still am) most definitely a fiscal conservative. I
supported the Gramm-Rudman Act some years ago which would have
required a balanced budget. I supported Reagan’s promised Balance
Budget Amendment (which was pure smoke and mirrors - he never
tried to get it passed). Reagan was in fact the father of Big
Government. The irony of this situation never ceases to amaze me.


[quote=“Dog’s_Breakfast”] Reagan was in fact the father of Big
Government. The irony of this situation never ceases to amaze me.


It shouldn’t. Read Reagan’s biography Dutch by his “official biographer” and childhood friend Edmund Morris.

With regards to politics and politicians…“If it ever ceases to amaze ya, ya just ain’t payin’ close enough attention.”…me.

“Neoconservatives” have always been with us in modern times but until 9/11 they were the “crazies” on the fringes of Republican administrations.

Their only real defining features are a passionate hatred of Islam and fervent, unquestioning support of Israel.

National security, fiscal soundness, the ultimate welfare of the American people and sound stewardship of American traditions and principles – not to mention the reputation of the United States in the world – are all secondary concerns besides their twin true passions.

This is the only characterization which reasonably explains their irrational desire to extend a nearly broken U.S. military into new wars in Syria and Iran and a near total lack of concern – if not outright denial – about North Korea’s growing and real weapons of mass destruction arsenal and the undeniable danger they’ll one day be launched by that certifiable madman Kim Jong Il and his arsenal-for-sale ICBMs.

This also explains why they hate having their rock lifted up, exposing them , hate the defining name ‘neoconservative’ even though they themselves have used the term in simpler times, and particularly hate attention being drawn to their strong support for Israel even though they admit – if pressed – that it’s true. The ultimate point being that if the American people really understood what their true priorities were it would be back to the fringes and ignominious obscurity in the Senator Joseph McCarthy Hall of Shame.

[quote=“spook”]“Neoconservatives” have always been with us in modern times but until 9/11 they were the “crazies” on the fringes of Republican administrations…

The ultimate point being that if the American people really understood what their true priorities were it would be back to the fringes and ignominious obscurity in the Senator Joseph McCarthy Hall of Shame.[/quote]

Two letters. Much of the incisor’s edge in the bitterly divided American body politic (including the poisonous presidential election of 2004) can be explained, imo, by two letters in your post, spook.

All through late summer and the fall of 2004, the neocons tried desperately to convert those two letters into one, F, in the current version of our United States’ mythology. Even the most insignificant of their ends justifies any means, even if up is down.

It was heartening to see that their attempts to float that lead balloon - the Senator Joseph McCarthy Hall of Fame - failed significantly. Even red state Americans have instead largely decided that a limit on political expediency does exist, that McCarthy’s was indeed shameful behavior.

Hope yet exists for us all, I think.

lol, read some of the great anti-dpp/anti-chen editorials on that site. somehow i never understood how supporting unification was a “libertarian” goal.

this is exactly why the libertarian party never wins anything. nobody cares for a bunch of whining isolationists. pat buchanan without the grass roots support.

here’s a detailed history of “neo-conservatism”: … _States%29

Like prophets?

False prophets of doom would be more like it, I think. The one time they could have shown their true powers of prophesy – pre 9/11 – they missed so many obvious signs of impending danger that the Bush Administration delayed the full release of the 911 Commission’s report for months out of embarrassment.

Neoconservatives are a puzzling bunch and they certainly don’t help clear things up about who and what they are because they dislike discussing themselves. They’re not conservatives. One need only note the fact that they themselves criticize traditional conservatism and actively expunge conservatives like Colin Powell, James Baker and Brent Scowcroft from their ranks.

Reading Flipper’s excellent reference “what is neo-conservatism” still leaves one still fundamentally unsure who and what they are.

It’s stated for example that they are strong supporters of besieged democracies like Israel and Taiwan but that doesn’t seem supported by the facts. I have a hard time believing neo-conservatives would really go to the same lengths to protect Taiwan militarily that they go to to defend Israel. Nuclear weapons technology is one example. At the same time the U.S. was clandestinely supporting Israel’s expansion and modernization of its nuclear, chemical and biological weapons arsenal to protect it from its hostile Arab neighbors, it was thwarting efforts on the part of Taiwan to acquire such weapons. If Taiwan today had Israel’s weapons of mass destruction arsenal, it would be nearly immune from invasion by the P.R.C. Does anyone also reasonably doubt that if North Korea were in the Middle East, that it would be treated with the same sort of sporadic neglect it’s being treated with by the Bush Administration?

I agree that the term “neoconservative” is an inappropriate label and should be discarded. I propose instead the term “Biblican” on the grounds that the 9/11 tragedy seems to have unleashed a groundswell of latent religious fundamentalism in American society that seems to hold that the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights and other traditional bodies of law such as international law are obsolete and should be replaced by, what else?, a faith-based Biblical world view that trumps all other concerns. The fact that they represent the fringes of the Republican Party in normal times is almost beside the point.

flike -
Sen. McCarthy has been proven to be correct.
Google - Venona project…better yet, here, let me do it for you. This is one of the most remarkable projects I have ever came across in regards to the information it presents. All you have to do is start reading. And NO…this is not some wack job moonbat deal. Its the facts about the status of belligerents during the ‘Cold War’ years.

Venona Project search results on Google

You might also read the released KGB/NKVD archives of that period. It seems that Sen. McCarthy was way underestimating the number of agents/sleepers/moles in place in the US gov’t, media, acadaemia and entertainment/press fields.
Its quite interesting when you read what the facts actually are.

[quote=“TainanCowboy”]Sen. McCarthy has been proven to be correct…
Its quite interesting when you read what the facts actually are.[/quote]

Yes, and that makes McCarthy all the more pathetic.

I mean, let’s assume McCarthy was correct in 100% of what he had to say on the subject.

Like all good right wing wackos, he immediately assumed that any means he employed to bring this to the light of American justice was justified.

Do you think that - given our assumption that he was correct in all his claims, that there were indeed Communists who had infiltrated positions of power and influnce in the United States - that he picked, say, even the 100th best way to go about proving it? :loco:

flike -
Sen. McCarthy was indeed forceful, aggressive and determined in his execution. He was known for these traits, to expect otherwise would be wrong.
Also, as in so many things, it is also wrong to judge him by todays standards. His time was a different era. His resources were vastly inferior to what is now available. He was hampered in his investigation almost every step of the way due to his stepping on very powerful and influential feet.
Would he act the same in todays climate? Of course not.
Remember, he was the product of a much different era.
Does this excuse the errors you wish to see? No, but it does help to explain why he acted as he did. No attempt at justifying his methods, thats not for me to do, just putting things in perspective.
As to whether I think he proceeded in the best manner; probably not. But I cannot change history. It was a very politically charged atmosphere. I can remember my father and several friends having quite animated discussions of the proceedings. I was just a pup and didn’t have a clue wtf it was all about. But it was very controversial on many levels. Personal freedoms, anti-US actions, anti-Communist fears, personal privacy vs national security, 1st Amendment rights…gee…these things are still around…Hmmmm…

Leave it to Biblicans to rehabilitate Senator McCarthy as a misunderstood national hero. Figures.

The fact is McCarthy had no evidence whatsoever to base his accusations on. He accused innocent people without regard for the facts or due process which is why he ended up in disgrace.

Few if any doubted that the United States was locked in a vicious struggle for survival with the Soviet Union during the Cold War but victimizing innocent people in a misguided attempt to fight Stalinism with Stalinism was no substitute for the need for effective counter-espionage.

No evidence huh? How would that fit in with your demonization of neocons as putting Jewish or Israeli interests first?

Interesting. Apparently Joe McCarthy is in the process of being quietly rehabilitated by the Biblican Right:

“The myth of ‘McCarthyism’ is the greatest Orwellian fraud of our times. Liberals are fanatical liars, then as now. Everything you think you know about McCarthy is a hegemonic lie.”
Ann Coulter, Treason,

That’s the equivalent of the Pagan Left trying to rehabilitate Che Guevara on the sly after all these years – hoping that the odd inconvenient fact or two will have gotten lost in the mists of time by now.

I guess it’s just proof again of the verity that for ‘every action on the far left, there’s an equal and opposite reaction on the far right.’

GOP Agenda Conflicting with States’ Rights

I think this article underscores the point. Neocons love to borrow Libertarian language such as ‘keep the federal government off our backs’. They love to quote “Atlas Shrugged” and act as if they were all Objectivists (see my thread on [url= Doublespeak II[/url] for explicit examples of this.)

However, when it comes to push and shove, they only mean that in the economic sense of lowering federal taxes and de-regulating industry; IE, keep the federal government off the backs of businesses and entrepreneurs.

On issues like medical marijuana, right to die cases, international relations, gay marriage, and many others, however, the Republicans are as BIG GOVERNMENT as they always accuse the Democrats of being.

you’re completely confusing neo-con’s with hardcore republican with the religious right.

neo-conservatism is, for all intents and purposes, a foreign policy position. most leading neo-conservatives are pretty secular or even gasp non-christian.

you’re just using all these labels interchangably and adding to the confusion of people who think neo-conservatism is just another term for conservative republican. it’s NOT.

[quote=“Flipper”]neo-conservatism is, for all intents and purposes, a foreign policy position. most leading neo-conservatives are pretty secular or even gasp non-christian.

That’s a new one on me. Of course, we’ve argued about the definition of “neocon” on a different thread, and the fact is that no where is it written in stone what neocon really means. But to say it’s only a foreign policy position. You might have something when you suggest they are non-Christian - I suspect that Bush is an atheist, and just prostitutes himself for the Christian votes.

My definition of a neocon, by today’s standards, is: An extreme right-wing Republican (which is the vast majority of Republicans, as the moderates have been mostly run out of the party). I do not count Libertarians as neocons. And yes, I see the neocons as being decidedly “big government” (ie a police state, Homeland Security, welfare for big corporations (but not for the poor). It would seem that unrestrained deficit spending is part of the package too. Taking deliberate joy in watching the environment being trashed also seems to be part of the neocon philosophy. I might as well throw in Neo-Nazi-style dirty political tricks such as faux news, smear campaigns, denying blacks the right to vote, gerrymandering (thanks Karl Rove).

But I do agree that there is a definite neocon foreign policy position - massive military interventions, to the point of bankrupting the country so that we’ll probably not be able to fight a real war when we finally have to.

Interesting times we live in. Feels like Germany in the 1930s. And it may end roughly the same way (with the USA’s collapse).

So I think I will join the Libertarians, who oppose just about all of the above (though they are weak on environmental matters, which I don’t agree with).


did you even read the link i posted which detailed the history of the term “neo-conservative”? it seems like you’re just making up any random definitions you feel like.

Yes I did, but history of words means little (except maybe to people like William Safire). It’s how the term is being used in today’s political context that matters. Indeed, the word “republican” and “democratic” have taken on whole new meanings once they became the names of political parties. And even political parties morph - remember, it was the Republicans (under Lincoln) who freed the slaves, and as a result blacks used to be solidly Republican (and Republicans couldn’t get elected in the southern states for nearly 100 years). But today blacks are something like 95% Democrats, and the south is solidly Republican. Indeed, the Republican Party I knew as a kid no longer exists - there used to be such a thing as a “moderate Republican,” but they are nearly extinct. So politics change, and words change with it.

Anyway, I appreciate your comments. No doubt you remember that the definition of a neocon was discussed in another thread:

[What does neoconservative mean? Thoughtful discussion please

Perhaps I should have titled this thread “Republicans are not Libertarians.” My bad.

And as a footnote, symbols change too. The swastika was an Indian Buddhist symbol, but Hitler gave it a whole new meaning.


Neocons are not Libertarians

does this really need a thread? i thought it would be obvious