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    Since the beginning of the War on Terror much slander has been directed at the ideological tendency known as "neoconservatism", which had its origins in the United States of America and has gained prominent adherents here in the UK such as the journalist Douglas Murray.

    When people use the term "neoconservative", or, still more derisively, "neocon", it is meant to be a form of derision, a manifestation of ugly contempt for a person or their position. It is meant to obfuscate and to derail meaningful debate by mischaracterising someone's position and making them akin to a fascist or a Neo-Nazi. The word is bandied around as blithely and ignorantly as the terms "racist" and "Zionist" are in today's political discourse.

    Many people have observed that neoconservatism has become synonymous with "warmonger", "imperialist", or even, in more sinister corners, "Jew", or "Jewish conspiracy". The controversy resulting from the War on Terror and the lives and money lost as a result has sullied the reputation of neoconservatism presumably for all time. Now, few self-respecting politicians will dare label themselves neoconservatives for fear of the opprobrium it will bring.

    It is time to clarify once and for all, especially for the misguided and misinformed youth of today, what is neoconservatism?

    Neoconservatism: What is it?
    The Conservative New Right, also known as Neoconservatism, is a form of conservatism which developed in the 1970s as a reaction to what was regarded as the permissiveness of the 1960s counter-culture. Neoconservatives place a strong emphasis on authority and leadership in society, and seek to strengthen the state and reverse social reform. Neoconservative thought has been influenced by the German-Jewish US political philosopher Leo Strauss, who claimed that the “crisis of the West” was due to the West having abandoned the wisdom of ancient philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle. Neoconservatives were vociferously anti-communist and supported Ronald Reagan’s tough stance against the Soviet Union, as well as his military buildup which forced the Soviets to bankrupt themselves trying to catch up. After this neoconservative influence on foreign policy declined slightly as it seemed to have achieved its goal, but Samuel Huntington’s 1996 theory on the “clash of civilisation” encouraged neoconservatives to push for the USA to consolidate its “benevolent global hegemony” and maintain a unipolar world led by the USA. This neoconservative influence encouraged the USA to launch an aggressive foreign policy, especially after 9/11, which led to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Neoconservatives hold that military force should be used to spread liberal democracy and Western values worldwide and so usher in an era of global peace as it is believed that democracies will not go to war with each other. Such ideas have been encouraged by the philosopher Francis Fukuyama, who spoke of “the end of history” in which Western-style liberal democracy would be the norm throughout the world.

    Similarities With Other Forms of Conservatism
    Neoconservatism and the liberal new right (and, to some extent, libertarian conservatism) are similar in their desire to roll back the state’s economic responsibility. For example, the British journalist, Douglas Murray argued in his book Neoconservatism: Why We Need It (2006) for the withdrawal of state support for single mothers (p.185). Neoconservatives support the free market as a means of imposing social discipline, indeed, Burke argued that the laws of the market were “natural laws”. Both neoconservatives and libertarian conservatives would see the free market as helping, not hindering, the social order. Neoconservatism is also similar to some extent to paternalist conservatism in strongly supporting traditionalism, social duty, the concept of an organic society, hierarchy, social responsibility and a natural order. Neoconservatism is however most similar to authoritarian conservatism with its strong belief in authority and the necessity for its reassertion, which involves tough stances on law and order and the strengthening of the family. An example of neoconservatives’ belief in the necessity of the family is Murray’s suggestion that single mothers be compelled to live with “partners, parents or other relatives.” (p.186). This is nevertheless seen to be compatible with the neoliberal economics championed by the liberal new-right.Although Christian democracy is generally a phenomenon in mainland Europe, it has similarities with neoconservatism. Its emphasis on the social group rather than the individual and its strong support for religion as a means of ensuring tradition is something which it has in common with neoconservatism. Like in neoconservatism, in Christian democracy the market is not an end in itself but a means of generating wealth in order to achieve broader social goals.

    Differences With Other Forms of Conservatism
    Neoconservatism contrasts with elements of the liberal new right, whose belief in an atomistic society contradicts the belief of neoconservatives in an organic society linked by bonds of duty and obligation. Neoconservatives are also limited in their support for the free market, supporting it only to the extent that it preserves society, not out of a belief in the inherent virtue of free markets as an end in themselves, support social order over economic dynamism. As such, neoconservatives would be cautious but supportive of the liberal new right’s support for classical liberalism. Neoconservatives uphold traditional values over the idea of self-interest, and a strong state over a minimal one, as well as an insular nationalism over internationalism. They are also strongly opposed to the globalisation favoured by the liberal new right, believing strongly in the right of nation-states to make unilateral foreign policy decisions in their best interests, even if that involves using military force contrary to international law, and are sceptical of international bodies like the United Nations.

    Neoconservatism and the Pillars of Conservative Thought
    Neoconservatism is strongly tied to the conservative concept of tradition. Neoconservatives pine for a return to traditional values and are concerned about public morality. Unlike liberals who believe that moral pluralism is a good thing as it generates rational discussion and diversity in society, neoconservatives are concerned that a society in which everyone chooses their own morality will collapse if people choose “evil” or immoral values. A return to traditional values is favoured by neoconservatives to effect the stronger, more united and more homogeneous society that neoconservatives want. The Moral Majority and religious right in the USA in particular have campaigned for a return to “family values”. Neoconservatives are staunchly opposed to a permissive society which lacks unifying ethical or moral standards. Such a society is seen by neoconservatives as a “pathless desert” which leaves individuals lost and civilised society impossible to maintain. Perhaps the most important manifestation of neoconservatism’s respect for tradition is its strong support for religion. Irving Kristol, the “godfather of neoconservatism”, said, “People need religion. It's a vehicle for a moral tradition. A crucial role. Nothing can take its place.” This is linked to Burke’s idea of tradition being God-given rather than man-made, and any attempt to alter it being a challenge to the will of God. Neoconservatives are believers in human imperfection, and as such desire a stronger state to prevent society from falling into permissiveness and ensure that everyone feels secure and equipped with the right moral values to live in a civilised society. This explains neoconservatism’s preoccupation with public morality and its desire to preserve and uphold it. Neoconservatives’ tough stance on law and order links tightly with the concept of human imperfection in conservatism, as neoconservatives believe that only a harsh criminal justice system can deter criminality.Neoconservatives believe in an organic society rooted in shared values, history, culture and civic identity, which they believe gives individuals in a nation meaning in their lives. They believe that it is something that has developed naturally, much like the family has developed naturally with parents having authority over their children, and should be preserved and maintained for the good of all by a strong state. This explains neoconservatism’s preoccupation with strengthening the family. This also explains neoconservatism’s support for nationalism and its passionate belief in the preservation of the “host” community’s culture from other cultures and limited immigration. A manifestation of this is many British conservatives identifying themselves with Euroscepticism, believing the EU is a threat to Britain’s national identity. Neoconservatism is closely tied to hierarchy and authority. Neoconservatives are strong believers in the family and in the natural authority of parents over their children, of employers over their workers and of government over its citizens. Neoconservatives believe that only by strengthening authority can society be secure. The idea that the government knows best for its citizens was expressed by Douglas Murray when he criticised the Blair administration for giving the public “too much” information about the Iraq War. Neoconservatives are fearful of permissiveness and the cult of the individual which they feel encourages the questioning of authority. Neoconservatives’ enthusiasm for hierarchy and authority is seen even in their views on the family, which for neoconservatives is naturally hierarchical, with children listening to their parents, the husband providing and the wife home-making. This is buffeted with a strong stance on law and order to deter acting against authority. Neoconservatives, like all conservatives, are strong supporters of the idea of property, something furthered by their support for economic liberalism.

    Conclusion
    So as can be seen, neoconservatism is about a lot more than what the left caricatures it to be. Perhaps, in time, some of its ideas will be seen as necessary for the preservation of Western society today, crumbling as it is before the assault of runaway liberalism, permissiveness and cultural relativism. Granted, it is not perfect, and there are many features of it that could be legitimately criticised, but it helps to get the meanings of words straight. I recommend Douglas Murray's book Neoconservatism: Why We Need It (2006) for more insight on this peculiar and novel political philosophy. I am not a neoconservative, but it is nice to have some balance given the opprobrium neoconservatism has gotten over the past decade.
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    A fair and interesting guide- like you I would also recommend Murrays Neoconservstism book (although it's a bit dated now) and in particular this

    - https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5p4gltRsKQs)

    That said I think you've missed one if the central tenets of Neo Conservatism and what you call the New Right is that there is a universal ethical order which is why it has links with former marxists most famously C.Hitchens and Kristol SNR and is therefore utterly opposed to relativism and nihilism that is unfortunately in ascendance these days.
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    Humans have a lot more progress to do, we're only going to become more liberal. You want to survive on this planet keep up or you fall behind and become alone.
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    (Original post by ckfeister)
    Humans have a lot more progress to do, we're only going to become more liberal. You want to survive on this planet keep up or you fall behind and become alone.
    Lol, do you have evidence for this? There is plenty of evidence to suggest that we're regressing back to a more insular, authoritarian, nationalistic, anti-globalist world.

    And you aren't really making an argument against neoconservatism...you're just making a statement.
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    (Original post by Cato the Elder)
    Lol, do you have evidence for this? There is plenty of evidence to suggest that we're regressing back to a more insular, authoritarian, nationalistic, anti-globalist world.

    And you aren't really making an argument against neoconservatism...you're just making a statement.
    We had booming progress in early 21st century, now comes the war to change permeant to mature.
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    (Original post by Davij038)
    A fair and interesting guide- like you I would also recommend Murrays Neoconservstism book (although it's a bit dated now) and in particular this

    - https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5p4gltRsKQs)

    That said I think you've missed one if the central tenets of Neo Conservatism and what you call the New Right is that there is a universal ethical order which is why it has links with former marxists most famously C.Hitchens and Kristol SNR and is therefore utterly opposed to relativism and nihilism that is unfortunately in ascendance these days.
    Well I did touch neoconservatism's opposition to relativism in the OP.
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    (Original post by ckfeister)
    We had booming progress in early 21st century, now comes the war to change permeant to mature.
    What would this booming progress be exactly? Islamic terrorism, the rise of the far-right, the rise of Russia and China, the Great Recession...
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    (Original post by Cato the Elder)
    What would this booming progress be exactly? Islamic terrorism, the rise of the far-right, the rise of Russia and China, the Great Recession...
    Before the great recession.
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    (Original post by ckfeister)
    Before the great recession.
    Your examples being?
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    Cato the Elder You must be fun at parties.
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    (Original post by cbreef)
    Cato the Elder You must be fun at parties.
    I hate them. And not an argument.
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    (Original post by Cato the Elder)
    Your examples being?
    Mass immigration worked and globalisation as they were getting wealthier, now immigrants are blamed for wage stalling, NHS pressure (when it isn't their fault...) and globalisation is causing standard of living to drop... SINCE great recession.

    Of course politicians never tell the truth to gain, self interests win.
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    (Original post by Cato the Elder)
    I hate them. And not an argument.
    Wasn't supposed to be. I don't really like them either so at least we have one thing in common.
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    (Original post by ckfeister)
    Mass immigration worked and globalisation as they were getting wealthier, now immigrants are blamed for wage stalling, NHS pressure (when it isn't their fault...) and globalisation is causing standard of living to drop... SINCE great recession.

    Of course politicians never tell the truth to gain, self interests win.
    Relate this to neoconservatism, it seems you're derailing the thread.
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    Neoconservatism's gaping flaws can be most patently seen when divided into internal and external classification:
    Internally, the paternalistic notions espoused are idealised and impractical. To view every family in society as a 'normally' functioning, supportive one, which renders redundant the state'a duty to care for its citizens, is ludicrous. A state's number one priority is the protection of its citizens, hence to abrogate this responsibility is the nadir of negligence. Ironically, neocon dogma in this instance requires the antithetical state of anarchy to justify its hands-off approach to e.g. single mothers, the example thereof given in Murray.

    Externally, neocon ideals have been exposed as abject failure in foreign policy, most noticeably in the Middle East in the last 13 years. This failure is ultimately embedded in the fact that such a Manichaean concept of Good and Evil, as postulated by Bush post 9/11, is too reductionist and provocative of other cultures to work. Such a black and white stance on Good and Evil was also fatally undermined by the cognitive dissonance displayed in America's reaction to 9/11: in pledging unabating prosecution of the perpetrators yet turning a blind eye to Saudi Arabia's fundamental role in Wahhabism's growth (for the US's cynical reasons). Neoconservatism pursues the ultimate victory of Good no more than any other, less sanctimonious, ideology.
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    (Original post by Cato the Elder)
    Relate this to neoconservatism, it seems you're derailing the thread.
    Your as good as the politicians at changing the subject, I'll give you that. I said neoconservatism will never succeed, watch us rejoin EU and stay in single market,Theresa May is fooling you all.
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    (Original post by PariahEmir)
    Neoconservatism's gaping flaws can be most patently seen when divided into internal and external classification:
    Internally, the paternalistic notions espoused are idealised and impractical. To view every family in society as a 'normally' functioning, supportive one, which renders redundant the state'a duty to care for its citizens, is ludicrous. A state's number one priority is the protection of its citizens, hence to abrogate this responsibility is the nadir of negligence. Ironically, neocon dogma in this instance requires the antithetical state of anarchy to justify its hands-off approach to e.g. single mothers, the example thereof given in Murray.
    I think what neoconservatives like Murray are getting at is that the stability of the family unit is vital to the stability of society as a whole. Neoconservatives would view the state's subsidising of single mothers as an example of family values being broken down out of a misplaced sense of humanitarianism, since in their eyes it encourages promiscuous women to have children they won't be able to look after, making it the state's job to step in and help look after said child with taxpayer's money. Since human beings are irrational, it isn't far-fetched to think that subsidising single mothers simply encourages an epidemic of single-motherhood which increases the amount of unstable, one-parent families in existence, which increases the amount that taxpayers will have to fork out to make up for the absence of a bread-winning father.

    This view does, of course, have limitations. It's unfair to blame a woman entirely if she happens to make a bad choice of partner; I suppose it depends on the situation. If the woman in question is wildly promiscuous and irresponsible, and rushes into the relationship and has children without taking time to analyse the person she's with and really get to know him, then it's hard for me to feel sorry. If however the male starts off amazing and virtuous and blameless, and a few years down the line he turns into a cruel, sadistic monster or a useless alcoholic and runs away from home leaving the mother hanging, it's easier to feel sympathetic.

    What it boils down to is this: Is the risk of encouraging an epidemic of single-motherhood made up for by the negative effects that might ensue from the state refusing all help to single mothers? I haven't looked at the empirical evidence in said direction, though I certainly think that single-motherhood is an increasing problem in the West today.

    (Original post by PariahEmir)
    Externally, neocon ideals have been exposed as abject failure in foreign policy, most noticeably in the Middle East in the last 13 years. This failure is ultimately embedded in the fact that such a Manichaean concept of Good and Evil, as postulated by Bush post 9/11, is too reductionist and provocative of other cultures to work. Such a black and white stance on Good and Evil was also fatally undermined by the cognitive dissonance displayed in America's reaction to 9/11: in pledging unabating prosecution of the perpetrators yet turning a blind eye to Saudi Arabia's fundamental role in Wahhabism's growth (for the US's cynical reasons). Neoconservatism pursues the ultimate victory of Good no more than any other, less sanctimonious, ideology.
    How neoconservatives view other cultures may be simplistic, but it is refreshing that they actually stand up for Western values and for the West's cultural superiority at a time when cultural relativists would have us believe that there is some sort of equivalence between Islamic terrorists and Westerners, especially right-wing Westerners. Part of the West's weakness has been the fact that we are self-critical and reflect on our failures and where we have gone wrong as a civilisation, which can cause us to become paralysed with self-doubt and pathological guilt and self-hatred. Our enemies, (for the most part, Islamists) have no such qualms. They believe that the West is a decadent, depraved civilisation worthy only of destruction, and that their system will inherit the Earth and lead humanity to a utopia of peace and justice under Sharia law, anarcho-communism, etc. They don't care for self-criticism or introspection, but are convinced of the unfailing superiority of their system. Do you think that if the likes of Iran had nukes they would hesitate to use them against the vile, sub-human infidels? It was only with great trepidation that the West used nukes at all, against Hiroshima and Nagasaki in WWII, and then only to prevent more deaths. Neoconservatism is a response to the moral, intellectual and geopolitical challenges that the West has been faced with ever since that disastrous decade known as the 1960s. If Third World countries feel emboldened and patriotic and full of renewed confidence and misplaced arrogance vis-a-vis their relations with the West, then it's only logical that we should reassert our own confidence in the face of threats from the enemies of our civilisation, and show them that we will not back down to their threats or their guilt-tripping tactics.

    The problem with the War on Terror was how it was handled. Iraq could have been a success story if Bush and his cabal had managed things better, and Obama and his cronies hadn't played politics with it, pulling out all U.S. troops in 2011 and letting the place go to hell. Not long ago, Joe Biden boasted that Iraq would be remembered as one of the Obama administration's great successes. (The very same administration whose President called the Iraq War a "dumb war".) We all see how that turned out. Imagine if the U.S. had maintained troops in Iraq and maintained peace and stability. Imagine how much of an example Iraq would have been to the rest of the Middle East, and how frightened anti-Western tyrants would be right now. In the end, it was not to be. The left wanted the Iraq War to be a failure so they could blame it on the neocons. Obama and his cabal sabotaged the war effort and they've walked away scot-free. Now seems like a good time for the Swedes to revoke the Nobel Peace Prize they awarded that blowhard.

    If in adopting neoconservative policies in foreign affairs we were being "provocative" towards other cultures, then that's probably because said cultures hated us in the first place and didn't like seeing us act in a tough manner against those that crossed us. Now thanks to Obama the West has been humiliated and exposed as a paper tiger that can easily be defeated if only the Assads and Erdogans of this world stick to their guns. What matters, in the end, is not being "liked" by other countries. What matters is that we are feared. No dominant political entity has ever been "liked" by those whom it lords it over. The Roman Empire wasn't liked much by the barbarians. Imperial Germany wasn't liked much by its rivals. The nations of Africa didn't like being colonised by the West. None of that mattered as long as said political entities were able to impose their will on weaker foes. Do you think that if the Middle East was in our position they'd behave any differently? I'm grateful that it is Western countries, and not Middle Eastern ones, that are the most powerful in today's world.

    As for Saudi Arabia, it's not ideal, but what else do you expect us to do? In WWII we allied with Joseph Stalin to beat Hitler. Now we must ally with the Saudis to defeat a greater threat, the Islamic Republic of Iran, which has expansionist, imperialistic designs on the Middle East, and is the world's greatest exporter of Islamic terrorism.
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    (Original post by ckfeister)
    Your as good as the politicians at changing the subject, I'll give you that. I said neoconservatism will never succeed, watch us rejoin EU and stay in single market,Theresa May is fooling you all.
    Not an argument.
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    Christ a reasonably intelligent argument on TSR who'd have thought it.


    My other 2 pence worth.


    It annoys me that the War on terror in the ME is regarded as a total failure- Isis is being destroyed piecemeal- the Kurds are slowly gaining independence- Iraq is a democracy - and whilst struggling, Afghanistan is slowly being liberalised. Yes people are dying but what do you think would have happened if we'd have left it?


    As for the Saudis- to the Neocons they are the lesser of two evils, are authoritarian (rather than totalitarian) and also various realpolitik reasons (oil, influence) aren't going to be screwed with.


    Saying that I disagree- but I don't think it renders the neo cons position untenable,
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    (Original post by Cato the Elder)
    I think what neoconservatives like Murray are getting at is that the stability of the family unit is vital to the stability of society as a whole. Neoconservatives would view the state's subsidising of single mothers as an example of family values being broken down out of a misplaced sense of humanitarianism, since in their eyes it encourages promiscuous women to have children they won't be able to look after, making it the state's job to step in and help look after said child with taxpayer's money. Since human beings are irrational, it isn't far-fetched to think that subsidising single mothers simply encourages an epidemic of single-motherhood which increases the amount of unstable, one-parent families in existence, which increases the amount that taxpayers will have to fork out to make up for the absence of a bread-winning father.

    This view does, of course, have limitations. It's unfair to blame a woman entirely if she happens to make a bad choice of partner; I suppose it depends on the situation. If the woman in question is wildly promiscuous and irresponsible, and rushes into the relationship and has children without taking time to analyse the person she's with and really get to know him, then it's hard for me to feel sorry. If however the male starts off amazing and virtuous and blameless, and a few years down the line he turns into a cruel, sadistic monster or a useless alcoholic and runs away from home leaving the mother hanging, it's easier to feel sympathetic.

    What it boils down to is this: Is the risk of encouraging an epidemic of single-motherhood made up for by the negative effects that might ensue from the state refusing all help to single mothers? I haven't looked at the empirical evidence in said direction, though I certainly think that single-motherhood is an increasing problem in the West today.



    How neoconservatives view other cultures may be simplistic, but it is refreshing that they actually stand up for Western values and for the West's cultural superiority at a time when cultural relativists would have us believe that there is some sort of equivalence between Islamic terrorists and Westerners, especially right-wing Westerners. Part of the West's weakness has been the fact that we are self-critical and reflect on our failures and where we have gone wrong as a civilisation, which can cause us to become paralysed with self-doubt and pathological guilt and self-hatred. Our enemies, (for the most part, Islamists) have no such qualms. They believe that the West is a decadent, depraved civilisation worthy only of destruction, and that their system will inherit the Earth and lead humanity to a utopia of peace and justice under Sharia law, anarcho-communism, etc. They don't care for self-criticism or introspection, but are convinced of the unfailing superiority of their system. Do you think that if the likes of Iran had nukes they would hesitate to use them against the vile, sub-human infidels? It was only with great trepidation that the West used nukes at all, against Hiroshima and Nagasaki in WWII, and then only to prevent more deaths. Neoconservatism is a response to the moral, intellectual and geopolitical challenges that the West has been faced with ever since that disastrous decade known as the 1960s. If Third World countries feel emboldened and patriotic and full of renewed confidence and misplaced arrogance vis-a-vis their relations with the West, then it's only logical that we should reassert our own confidence in the face of threats from the enemies of our civilisation, and show them that we will not back down to their threats or their guilt-tripping tactics.

    The problem with the War on Terror was how it was handled. Iraq could have been a success story if Bush and his cabal had managed things better, and Obama and his cronies hadn't played politics with it, pulling out all U.S. troops in 2011 and letting the place go to hell. Not long ago, Joe Biden boasted that Iraq would be remembered as one of the Obama administration's great successes. (The very same administration whose President called the Iraq War a "dumb war".) We all see how that turned out. Imagine if the U.S. had maintained troops in Iraq and maintained peace and stability. Imagine how much of an example Iraq would have been to the rest of the Middle East, and how frightened anti-Western tyrants would be right now. In the end, it was not to be. The left wanted the Iraq War to be a failure so they could blame it on the neocons. Obama and his cabal sabotaged the war effort and they've walked away scot-free. Now seems like a good time for the Swedes to revoke the Nobel Peace Prize they awarded that blowhard.

    If in adopting neoconservative policies in foreign affairs we were being "provocative" towards other cultures, then that's probably because said cultures hated us in the first place and didn't like seeing us act in a tough manner against those that crossed us. Now thanks to Obama the West has been humiliated and exposed as a paper tiger that can easily be defeated if only the Assads and Erdogans of this world stick to their guns. What matters, in the end, is not being "liked" by other countries. What matters is that we are feared. No dominant political entity has ever been "liked" by those whom it lords it over. The Roman Empire wasn't liked much by the barbarians. Imperial Germany wasn't liked much by its rivals. The nations of Africa didn't like being colonised by the West. None of that mattered as long as said political entities were able to impose their will on weaker foes. Do you think that if the Middle East was in our position they'd behave any differently? I'm grateful that it is Western countries, and not Middle Eastern ones, that are the most powerful in today's world.

    As for Saudi Arabia, it's not ideal, but what else do you expect us to do? In WWII we allied with Joseph Stalin to beat Hitler. Now we must ally with the Saudis to defeat a greater threat, the Islamic Republic of Iran, which has expansionist, imperialistic designs on the Middle East, and is the world's greatest exporter of Islamic terrorism.
    You raise many good points which in principle are sound. I suppose, like most political concepts and scenarios, a middle-path is most judicious. It is good to encourage family unity, as the bedrock of a functioning and prosperous society, as indeed I am a strong believer in localism and the empowering of local government. But in the case of those who are unfortunate and fall below the belt (whether through fault of their own or not) the state should then step in and support them. I think it is possible to do so without appearing to condone actively the turn of events.

    On the foreign policy side, I am more sceptical. Again, it is good to intervene in countries and regimes where important values are being assaulted, but it is rarely as crystal clear as this. When it is not, Neoconservatives have a tendency still to see it through an extremely simplified lens (such as in Iraq, Afghanistan) and this is when trouble ensues. The ultimate question is whether the state's priority is to its own citizens and their protection, or to morally upholding its values across the globe so that people of all nations can benefit? If it is the former, and the actions of a foreign body do not actively endanger that objective (such as Assad) then a difficult choice must be made over intervention or isolation. I personally believe that the pursuit of a dogmatic blanket-approach, regardless of particular circumstances, is dangerous.
 
 
 
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