Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Why the Far Right is Always Wrong

Neoconservatism of the type practiced in the U.S. and worshiped at the secret shrine in the closet at 24 Sussex Drive is a mental infirmity. That's why since it was spawned during the Clinton years (the Project for the New American Century) to its rise to power during Bush/Cheney and its tenacious grip on survival under Obama, it's been consistently wrong. The Iraq disaster was its crowning achievement but there's been so much more and all of it wrong, dead wrong.

Harvard prof. Stephen Walt dissects the neoconservative malfunction in "So Wrong for So Long, Why Neoconservatives are Never Right."


Owen Gray said...

An excellent piece, Mound. Everything that Walt says about American neo-conservatives applies likewise to Stephen Harper's foreign policy.

The Mound of Sound said...

Yes that's quite true, Owen. They create this fantasy bubble in which they live and operate. Do you recall Harper's hubristic pronouncement that Canada would stay in Afghanistan until the Taliban were crushed and the place was a paradise of democracy and human rights? The man is a fool embracing an entirely belief-based existence that denies fact and reality.

The Tory Pirate said...

Perhaps you could clear something up:

What is the difference between a neo-liberal and a neo-conservative?

The Mound of Sound said...

I've always associated neo-conservatives with the now defunct Project for the New American Century, or PNAC. Neo-conservatism took hold, principally in the United States, post 9-11. During the Clinton era they had a web site where they posted their manifesto premised on American exceptionalism and American domination of foe and friend alike.

Most of PNAC's manifesto, considered radical and bellicose when first published, was adopted into the Bush Doctrine. One proviso stipulated that the US reserved unto itself the right to wage pre-emptive war against any nation or bloc of nations that challenged American economic or military superiority. Theoretically that might include the E.U.

Neo-liberalism is best understood by its core objects - free market fundamentalism and deregulation. It has been our default operating system since the Reagan era responsible for ushering in a host of notionally free trade pacts, each of which required the surrendering of some incidents of national sovereignty such as taxes and tarrifs. Neoliberalism has been the engine that fueled and continues to fuel inequality and the demise of our once robust middle class. It works at cross purposes to liberal democracy and paves the way for the ascendancy of illiberal democracy, corporatism and authoritarianism. the Americans are plainly much further down this path than we are but, true to form, we're heading in the same direction.

Askingtherightquestions said...

The piece is very good and further heightens the concern that these folks can still receive a platform for failed concepts and actions. Why have these "losers" paid no consequences for their abysmal ?!?recommendations? So many lost and wasted lives, TRILLIONS of taxpayer dollars squandered in Iraq and Afghanistan ... and now they wish you to believe that war with Iran is required?!? The hubris and stupidity required is only matched by their incompetent, macroeconomic views (austerity) in the face of the zero bound. I would recommend Henry Giroux's recent book (2008) Against the Terror of Neoliberalism: Politics Beyond the Age of Greed to your readers as another excellent read on related problems.

The Mound of Sound said...

I have the book, ARQ. What do you imagine it would do if all these self-styled progressives had a chance to read it?