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NeoCons
September 4, 2003 8:40 PM   Subscribe

Know Your NeoCons. Already the name "NeoCon" is used as an invective from the Left. But who are they? Here are some of their faces, brief biographies, and information about what a NeoCon is, at least as how they define it.
posted by kablam (27 comments total)

 
No Leo Strauss?
posted by tapeguy at 9:06 PM on September 4, 2003


I love how the URL is:
"http://www.csmonitor.com/specials/neocon/index.html#know_your_enemies"

Nice unbaised reporting from the CSMonitor.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 9:15 PM on September 4, 2003


Also, I thought that if you made a webpage like that, you needed to include their home and work addresses, so the snipers and bombers know where they're supposed to go?
posted by crunchland at 9:17 PM on September 4, 2003


Already the name "NeoCon" is used as an invective from the Left.

But neoconservative is a description that the neoconservatives applied to themselves! One of Irving Kristol's most famous books is titled Neoconservatism.
posted by jonp72 at 9:22 PM on September 4, 2003


Seriously, Steve, do you doubt that NewsMax might not use similar terminology? I certainly remember recent "expose's" of liberal college professors I've seen in ultra-conservative publications (which did provide addresses) made no effort to hide their hatred of the opposition.
posted by Jimbob at 9:25 PM on September 4, 2003


more christian empire talk
posted by clavdivs at 9:26 PM on September 4, 2003


Steve & Jimbob: I believe the anchor link in kablam's post was his own editorial comment. "know_your_enemies" does not appear in the HTML of that page. You can add an anchor link to any URL and if it doesn't appear in the HTML, it is ignored, i.e. this blog entry.
posted by gwint at 9:35 PM on September 4, 2003


neoconservative is a description that the neoconservatives applied to themselves

Yes, Irving Kristol was and is a neoconservative. But as of late The Left™ has decided to use NeoCon as a label for everything it does not like.

Jimbob -
Two things:
1. I don't think NewsMax is on the same journalistic level as The Christian Science Monitor. I expect more from CSM.
2. Upon further inspection, I suspect that kablam was being subtle in his post, and I was not quicky enough to 'get it'
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 9:36 PM on September 4, 2003


I thought this was going to be about another Transformer flop, like the Minicons.

It was better when they stuck with -bots. Dinobots, for instance.

GRIMLOCK HAPPY!
posted by linux at 9:36 PM on September 4, 2003


the NY Observer ran an interesting article in the spring on the neocon roots here and connections in media, academia, government...this is the google cache of another site's copy of it...
posted by amberglow at 9:49 PM on September 4, 2003


But as of late The Left™ has decided to use NeoCon as a label for everything it does not like.

I thought it was for neocons they didn't like. well, I will get with the program thusly.

just for kicks, have you ever called anyone a socialist, communist, or marxist?
posted by mcsweetie at 9:50 PM on September 4, 2003


With neocons today, what will they call the neocons of tomorrow? Postneoconservatives?
posted by Eloquence at 10:15 PM on September 4, 2003


I agree with Steve, I'm tired of Neocon being thrown out by people on the left as an insult. It reminds me of an old 2000 election put-down of "paleocon" to make fun of conservatives that want to go way back in time. I'm thinking a lot of liberals took Neocon to mean the same thing and it seemed slightly less insulting, but it sure sounds lame.

Granted, I also revile the way those on the right call everything and everyone they disagree with "ultraliberal" and "ultra-left". It's used as a similar lazy bit of hyperbole.

Howard Dean comes to mind as someone that is called ultra-left a lot in an attempt to make him somehow evil and america-hating. My vermont friends tell me Dean was historically centered and so fiscially conservative up there (he loves boosting military spending) that much of the left didn't like him all that much, but since he didn't think we had adequate justification for the iraq invasion, that makes him ultraliberal.
posted by mathowie at 10:16 PM on September 4, 2003


The word definitely gets thrown around a lot, but it has a real verifiable meaning. Does this gaucheness preclude one from being taken seriously when they are actually critiquiing neoconservatism? It's not like neoconservative is some irrelevant school of thought right.

But I don't really know how you can apply the term to an individual that is not "in the neocon club," yet I have seen that done here on Metafilter. It just destroys the ability to actually talk about the subject, like has already been done with "fascism."
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 10:52 PM on September 4, 2003


> But as of late The Left™ has decided to use NeoCon as a label for everything it does not like

Oh please. We have self-admitted neocons running the country and we are living in a historical period that will be talked about and argued until our dying days. I think the group that is running the US government deserves to be called on what they are - neocons. To even suggest that they are simply conservatives goes against everything this administration has been doing.

Its not like this is a handle cooked up by some Democratic caucus, its a real identifier for real people using it to do real things not the least is the war in Iraq.

Its also a decriptive identifier. A conservative in the classic sense would vomit in rage at how cavalier Bush and co. treat deficiet spending, blur the line between church and state, play 'world's police-man', play 'little empire builder', etc.

This article was probably created for the sole purpose of explaing what the hell a neocon is, now that the term has hit critical media mass. All too often, especially here, we have people saying, "Dude, do you even know what a neocon is." But now that someone wrote about them (in what I consider a way too flattering article) its some kind of smear attempt because the word is tossed around too much? Err, pick a side. Either information on the subject and informed people is good or will we just continue correcting everyone who misuses neocon from now on.
The reason why neocons are said to have so much influence is that their ideas are clearly and forcefully articulated – and they were proven right about so many things
Stop it you're killing me! Almost everythin the anti-war movement predicted has happened in Iraq and we sure as hell didn't get the "cakewalk instant democracy" we were promised. Heck the US is begging the UN for help.

Then again I'm not expecting Max Boot to say anything truly critical about neocons as he is one. Interesting how he downplays their influence in the White House.

"Nothing to see here folks." "These aren't the droids you're looking for."

Oh yes they are.
posted by skallas at 1:42 AM on September 5, 2003


It just destroys the ability to actually talk about the subject, like has already been done with "fascism."
Speaking of which...
posted by chill at 2:37 AM on September 5, 2003


Here's an excellent piece by AEI's Joshua Muravchik on the history of "neoconservatism". It's from this month's issue of Commentary Magazine.
posted by dagny at 2:43 AM on September 5, 2003


Squash the noise, raise the signal -- right there with the article is a link to Neocon 101, defining and identifying what neoconservatism is, and who the neocons are. There's also a handy quiz which you can use to find out if you are a Neocon (or a Liberal, Isolationist or Realist). Not that there's too much question how most MeFites will rate in that quiz.
posted by Dreama at 3:18 AM on September 5, 2003


What skallas said.
I use the moniker neocon because the folks self identify as such. Nothing wrong with that.
I agree that the neocons creating and using the derogatory term paleocon for true conservatives is despicable.
I also don't like many labels the Rush crowd try to make stick on those of a more progressive bent. What say you feminazis about that? ;-)
Unless someone self identifies it is inappropriate to paint them with a broad brush.
I am myself fiscally conservative yet quite liberal on social issues. I supported kicking Taliban ass yet strongly oppose the invasion of Iraq.
Is there a label for me? (other than nofundy)
posted by nofundy at 5:17 AM on September 5, 2003


I'm thinking a lot of liberals took Neocon to mean the same thing and it seemed slightly less insulting, but it sure sounds lame.

The difference between "neocon" and "paleocon" is that neoconservative is what these people call themselves. They originated and popularized the term. Calling William Kristol a neocon would not insult him any more than calling me a liberal.
posted by rcade at 5:38 AM on September 5, 2003


Still, at least we have *cons able to show humility, once in a while. That's a start - will the White House Cabal tm be so big, when the UN finally gets involved in Iraq peacekeeping (in my worst nightmares)?
posted by dash_slot- at 6:20 AM on September 5, 2003


With neocons today, what will they call the neocons of tomorrow? Postneoconservatives?

Howzabout quasineopseudopostconservatives? But not by me. I'm post-prefix, myself.
posted by jonmc at 6:25 AM on September 5, 2003


But neoconservative is a description that the neoconservatives applied to themselves! One of Irving Kristol's most famous books is titled Neoconservatism.

It's true that the so-named neocons embraced the label, but the term "neo-conservative" was coined as an insult by Michael Harrington to decribe his former leftist friends who he thought had betrayed their ideals.

Related, (for any who haven't read it) here's Kristol and Kagan's 1996 "Toward a Neo-Reaganite Foreign Policy", an excellent elucidation of a neoconservative foreign policy, and which Bush is following almost to the letter.
posted by Ty Webb at 9:50 AM on September 5, 2003


I didn't realize it began as an insult. But who had even heard the term at the point Irving Kristol coopted it in the '70s? Today, most uses of neocon are descriptive -- thanks to their complete takeover of our foreign policy -- rather than pejorative. Or both.

Side tangent: Irving Kristol and his son William are the royal family of neocons. Is there a prince Kristol out there waiting for the chance to orchestrate a future military quagmire for the next generation of Bushes?
posted by rcade at 11:11 AM on September 5, 2003


But as of late The Left™ has decided to use NeoCon as a label for everything it does not like.

If it had come from anyone else I would have taken this for a deliberate irony, a rhetorical way to expose the absurdity of meaningless stereotypes. But incredible as it may seem, it was probably said with all sincerity.
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:02 PM on September 5, 2003


of mention is our own Ignatius J. Reilly's PNAC Primer.
posted by mcsweetie at 3:13 PM on September 5, 2003


linux: They came out with both -bot and -con Transformers from the very beginning. The first "-bots" were the good and heroic Autobots, and therefore all the -bots were themselves just and valiant; the first "-cons" were the evil and murderous Decepticons, so all following -cons were also nasty and brutish.

Therefore, while neocons are clearly evil, right-wing fembots must be good.

Or something.
posted by ramakrishna at 9:47 PM on September 5, 2003


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