Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Neoconservatism: a CIA Front?

This article first appeared in 1997. I have no trouble believing it but I have no idea how true it all is. Presented strictly FYI. Take from it what you will.

Not long after the Central Intelligence Agency was founded in 1947, the American public and the world were subjected to an unprecedented level of propaganda in the service of US foreign policy objectives in the Cold War. The propaganda offensive of the government centered around its obsession with securing the emerging US-dominated world order in the wake of the Second World War. It was a time when Europe lay in ruins and when subservience to US planners, in government and business, was the order of the day.
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The conservative movement that culminated in the elevation of Ronald Reagan to the presidency was a product of those turbulent Cold War years, and perhaps more so a product of domestic intervention by the security state than many of its participants would care to admit. The armchair warriors in the neoconservative camp and the inveterate interventionists at National Review can both trace their roots straight back to the propaganda efforts of the CIA.
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Today, the war-mongering right is self-sustaining. Money flows like milk and honey to neoconservative activists from the major conservative foundations. Irving’s son Bill Kristol has his sugar daddy in the form of media tycoon and alien Rupert Murdoch. National Review is boring, but in no danger of going under financially.
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At the height of the Cold War, opposition to interventionism was largely isolated to the anti-war Left. While marshaling an impressive analytic literature on the evils of US imperialism, particularly in the context of Viet Nam, the Left was suspect for its support of socialism and its sometimes overt sympathies for totalitarian regimes. On the right, things were different. Except for a noble band of libertarians lead by Murray Rothbard, conservatives and many libertarians were front and center in support of the security state and its nefarious activities. Now, virtually the entire right is opposed to interventionism. Traditionalists and even nationalist right-wingers are generally opposed to foreign military actions. The dominant anti-war force on the right is the growing number of explicitly isolationist libertarians, who want no truck with the warfare state on principle. The Weekly Standard acknowledged as much and identified Murray Rothbard as the guiding spirit behind today’s antistatist, antiwar movement. And the nonliberal left, lead by long-time noninterventionists like Noam Chomsky, remains opposed to US global hegemony. The neocons and their corporate liberal cronies are the only spokesman for militarism.

The grassroots are hated by the neocons for precisely that reason. The man on the street, the movement conservative, the Perot voter, the Libertarian Party man – they all want the troops brought home and the tyranny of the US empire brought to a halt. When the leaders of the empire try to talk down to normal people, they are jeered off the stage. The RRR position – no more war – is more and more the position of the American people. That’s a strike for peace and a strike for liberty.
At last, it seems as if there may be something I can agree with Libertarians (right-wing Anarchists, as opposed to Anarchists, who are left-wing Libertarians. It's confusing...) about. Scary thought.

7 comments:

Paul Bibeau said...

Good post (and thanks for the link below).

I personally used to be an unapologetic interventionist Republican, and I converted to hippy liberalism primarily because facts on the ground convinced me interventionism was threatening our security. It seems like there are growing numbers who agree, from across the political spectrum. Maybe we could get some kind of new consensus on the uses of American power, even. Wouldn't that be darling?!

But as my old college roomie used to say: "There's still time for things to go horribly wrong."

Ralphoo said...

I am hoping for a coalition of libertarians and liberals. According to Libertarian web sites, the word "liberal" used to mean what "libertarian" means now. So how about "liberterials" as a nice compromise term? You say you don't like that word? Make up your own.

Gordon said...

I don't think "liberal" EVER meant what "libertarian" means today. Libertarians are the right-wing equivalent of left-wing anarchists. I'm glad there aren't very many on either end.

Gordon said...

Paul, your roommate was right. Heh.

Paul Bibeau said...

Yes he was.

Anonymous said...

In my experience, libertarians tend to be white dudes who are pissed at "those people", for ruining their free market paradise. In this dream world, the true randian believer would be hugely successful, due to their superior intellect, (see Greg Mankiw) and not dragged down by parasites like, uh, old people, veterans, disabled people, students, or those people with vaginas.
If only gov't would get out of the way, they can get out of mom's spare bedroom, and get their much deserved slot on Wall St., as their superior intellect would prevail.

Gordon said...

Nicely put.