Saturday, March 01, 2014

A conservative critique of neoconservatism

"Andrew Bacevich on Washington’s Tacit Consensus":
"Although the Cold War has long since ended, this emphasis on an expansive, militarized foreign policy persists. If there’s a fresh element in today’s neoliberal consensus, it’s found in the realm of culture. As neoliberals see it, received norms related to family, gender and sexuality ought to be optional. What Hofstadter in his time described as a 'democracy in cupidity rather than a democracy of fraternity' has become in our day a democracy combining cupidity with individual autonomy at the expense of fraternity and self-restraint, all backed by the world’s most powerful, widely deployed and busily employed military establishment.

Are the troops in Afghanistan fighting for our freedom? If so, the package of things they fight for includes the prerogative of dispatching US forces to wherever it pleases Washington to send them, along with no-fault divorce, abortion on demand, gay marriage, and an economic system that manifestly privileges the interests of the affluent at the expense of those hard-pressed to make ends meet. To pretend otherwise, indulging in some sanitized or cliché-laced definition of freedom, is to engage in willful self-deception.

To imply that all Americans subscribe to this neoliberal consensus would be misleading, of course. A loosely-organized antiwar movement objects, however ineffectually, to Washington’s penchant for military adventurism. Moral traditionalists protest against the casting off of social conventions, again without discernible impact on policy. Risking the charge of engaging in class warfare, groups such as the Occupy Wall Street movement raise a ruckus about the yawning gap between the rich and everyone else. Again, the effects of their efforts appear negligible.

As far as their practical impact is concerned, these dissenters might as well be locked in a soundproof booth. They shout, but are not heard. Hofstadter had anticipated their predicament. 'The range of ideas … which practical politicians can conveniently believe in,” he observed, “is normally limited by the climate of opinion that sustains their culture.'"
This is a genteel way of putting it.  Others have noticed that the entertainment-industrial complex, the creators of 'culture' - from book publishing to television to music to movies to porn - is completely dominated by one very small group.  Income redistribution used to be an important policy idea until the Jews found themselves on the right side of the 1%.  Ending war used to be an important policy idea until the Jews found they needed to bleed the US dry to support the ridiculous and supremely immoral idea of Israel.  Now the two important policy ideas are gay marriage and how Americans can best ruin themselves in helping the Jews build an Empire across the Middle East.  The complete and total collapse of real progressive politics solely into identity politics isn't an accident, it is a conspiracy.
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