The New Burkeian

Reflections on the Revolution in Conservatism

Friday, October 29, 2004

The Problem with Neocons

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll eat for a lifetime.

The same can be said for nation building. If, in the example of Japan, we encourage democracy and the education of the populace to better facilitate democracy, we can be successful in the process of building a nation. If, in the example of Iran, we impose leadership for the interest of America, we will most likely suffer defeat.

The responsibility of the new 'actionary' is to educate the world about democracy in an effort to promote a more peaceful world order. Obviously we cannot be everywhere at once. It will be a gradual process to create a beneficial world order for all peoples. Iraq and Afghanistan are the stepping stones to our new mission for the world. The UN has failed. So America, as a leader in the world, must help to establish a new international order that does not step on the feet of sovereign democratic nations, but also protects those very interests.

The problem with neocons is that they would establish a litmus test for American intervention. Then our mission becomes self-serving, and in the process, American policy is viewed with disdain. With neocons setting policy for conservatives, the dogma of the liberals that Republicans act only in the interest of oil and money is not far from the truth. I believe most Americans care more about people than property.

Neoconservatism is a remnant of the Cold War period. Neocons are essentially balance of power advocates in a bipolar world (the opposition being radical Islam). They do not believe in absolutes (good and evil), but push for relatives (better and worse) in relationship to American interests. As their goals fall in line with 'actionaries' (democratic nations do not go to war with each other) they have been allowed to dictate American policy. The real problem is that they are 'reactionaries'. The mission of nation building will only be enacted when American interests are threatened. I believe that to be selfish, self-serving, and in opposition to the general idea of liberty and justice.

As I have stated before, 9/11 changed everything. Conservatives can no longer perform their duties of preservation by being 'reactionary'. We must be vigilant. We must be active in the world. We must be passionate for democracy. We must actually believe that we are doing what is right. And we must set higher standards than solely American security and interest. In essence, we must be 'actionaries'.


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