Neoconservatism as a Jewish Movement Kevin MacDonald Over the last year, there has been a torrent of articles on neoconservatism raising usually implicitly some difficult issues: Are neoconservatives different from other conservatives? Is neoconservatism a Jewish movement? The thesis presented here is that neoconservatism is indeed a Jewish intellectual and political movement.
See Article History Neoconservatism, variant of the political ideology of conservatism that combines features of traditional conservatism with political individualism and a qualified endorsement of free markets. Neoconservatism arose in the United States in the s among intellectuals who shared a dislike of communism and a disdain for the counterculture of the s, especially its political radicalism and its animus against authority, custom, and tradition.
Intellectual influences Among their intellectual ancestors neoconservatives count the ancient Greek historian Thucydides for his unblinking realism in military matters and his skepticism toward democracyas well as Alexis de Tocquevillethe French author of Democracy in America —40who described and analyzed both the bright and the bad sides of democracy in the United States.
Culture and religion In its respect for established institutions and practices, neoconservatism resembles the traditional conservatism of the 18th-century Irish statesman Edmund Burke. Neoconservatives, however, tend to pay more attention than traditional conservatives to cultural matters and the mass media—to music, art, literature, theatre, film, and, more recently, television and the Internet —because they believe that a society defines itself and expresses its values through these means.
Western and particularly American society, they charge, has become amoral, adrift, and degenerate. As evidence of the moral corruption of Western culturethey cite violent and sexually explicit films, television programs, and video games, and they point to popular music that is rife with obscenities that have lost their capacity to shock and disgust.
Actions once regarded as shameful are now accepted as normal. For example, most people in the West now consider it perfectly acceptable for unmarried men and women to live together and even to have children. Such degenerate behaviour, say neoconservatives, indicates a broader and deeper cultural crisis afflicting Western civilization.
The American political scientist James Q. Wilsonfor example, traced the crisis to the 18th-century European Enlightenmentwhich encouraged people to question established authority, to criticize religion, and to reject traditional beliefs.
Whatever its source, neoconservatives maintain that this degeneration represents a real and present danger to Western civilization. People without a sense of something larger than themselves, something transcendent and eternal, are apt to turn to mindless entertainment—including drugs and alcohol—and to act selfishly and irresponsibly.
Religion at its best is a kind of social cement, holding families, communitiesand countries together. At its worst, however, religion can be fanatical, intolerant, and divisivetearing communities apart instead of uniting them. Most neoconservatives thus believe that the principle of the separation of church and stateas enshrined in the First Amendment to the U.
Constitutionis a good idea. They also believe, however, that it has been pursued to extremes by adherents of modern liberalism, who are bent on banishing religion from public life, resulting in a backlash from religious-right conservatives.
Neoconservatives also hold that the modern liberal ideal of cultural diversityor multiculturalism —the principle of not only tolerating but also respecting different religions and cultures and encouraging them to coexist harmoniously—tends to undermine the traditional culture of any country that tries to put it into practice.
These trends, they believe, are likely to produce a conservative backlash, such as those that took place in Denmark and the Netherlands, where anti-immigrant political parties became increasingly popular in the s and early s.
Economic and social policy In economics, neoconservatives believe that markets are an efficient means of allocating goods and services. They are not, however, wholehearted advocates of free-market capitalism. As Kristol remarked, capitalism deserves two cheers, not three, because its innovative character produces almost-constant social upheavals and disruptions.
Capitalism presupposes a willingness to save, to invest, and to defer gratification; at the same time, through advertising and marketing techniques, it encourages people to indulge themselves, to live on credit, and to pay little heed to the farther future.
Unregulated capitalism, moreover, creates great wealth alongside dire poverty; it richly rewards some people while leaving others behind.
And since great disparities of wealth make the wealthy contemptuous of the poor and the poor envious of the rich, capitalism can create conditions that cause class conflict, labour unrest, and political instability.
At the same time, however, neoconservatives warn that well-intentioned government programs can produce unintended and unfortunate consequences for the people they are meant to help.Amid separate conflicts with Russia and China, the U.S. has attempted to force the two countries to adhere to sanctions on North Korea and enlist their support in achieving peace.
Kevin MacDonald is Professor of Psychology, California State University (Long Beach), and the author of A People That Shall Dwell Alone (), Separation and Its Discontents (), and The Culture of Critique (), all published by Praeger. This document has been revised in October-November In the first part of the document I have attempted to summarise some of the main developments in education policy between and but, very unfortunately, even my summary will have to be drastically shortened for use under examination conditions.
Apr 28, · It is hard to believe that a phrase as dry as “epistemic closure” could get anyone excited, but the term has sparked a heated argument among conservatives in recent weeks about their movement. This article is part of a series on: Conservatism in the United States.
The party of Buckley and Reagan is now bereft and dominated by the politics of Limbaugh. A conservative's lament.