from Pressure Points and Middle East Program

Neocons and Zombies

June 18, 2013

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Is neoconservatism dead and gone?  In the June issue of the London-based magazine Standpoint, I discuss the movement’s past and its future.

Here’s the opening:

Zombies, the dictionary tells us, are "animated corpses revived by mystical means, such as magic or witchcraft". This is how their many enemies have often regarded neoconservative foreign policy ideas and those who propagate them. Foreign Policy magazine once happily concluded that neoconservative ideas "lie buried in the sands of Iraq", but back they came, dominating the 2012 Republican Party presidential campaign and dominating the party still. Can this be explained — except by black magic?

What do neocons believe in? I suggest that it’s an amalgam, of:

patriotism, American exceptionalism, a belief in the goodness of America and in the benefits of American power and of its use, and a conviction that democracy is the best system of government and should be spread whenever that is practical. It should not be shocking that such views win wide popularity in the United States, though perhaps that last idea — spreading democracy — is the most controversial. The continuing relevance, indeed power, of these ideas is clear, and it is equally clear that they are not held only by a small coterie of intellectuals in Washington.

The full article can be read here.

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