The Cult of Neoconservatism

The word “cult” is a term often abused by Progressives, because it carries with it negative connotations. They like to us it to slander their enemies. Frankfurt School types convinced the world that Nazism, for example, was a cult, in order to make their case that anyone finding fascism appealing is not just mistaken, but crazy. Progressives picked up on this to brand their enemies as well. Still, it is a useful concept as the cult seems to be a feature of human behavior. We have records of cults going back to the Bronze Age.

In the modern sense, we think of a cult as having certain features, like a charismatic leader and a sense of isolation. A cult always has a set of beliefs that are so convincing to the adherents, in terms of defining their existence and their relationship to the world, that they almost seem brainwashed. It’s as if they are controlled by them. The identity of the cult and its purpose becomes the identity and purpose of the adherent. As a result they operate like an ant farm or a beehive. The suicide cult is the extreme example of this.

Neoconservatism has many of the features one would associate with a cult. The members are increasingly isolated from the rest of the world, both physically and emotionally. There is the sense of the embattled minority, ready to martyr themselves for the cause. The members seem to operate in an ideological fog, unable to recognize the massive disconnect between their beliefs and observable reality. Then you have the fact that to the neocons, their ideology is perfectly rational, but to outsiders it seems dangerously nutty.

The late great Eric Hoffer pointed out that all mass movements can get along without a god, but they always need a devil. You see that with the neocons. They don’t have the charismatic leader, like we normally associate with cults, but perhaps to the adherents, Bill Kristol is charming. Despite his unpleasant demeanor and long list of failures, they do seem to venerate him. Still, what holds the cult of neoconservatism together is their list of devils, that are all cast as a manifestation of the great authoritarian villain.

That comes through in this piece by Anne Applebaum in the Spectator. The piece is a good example of the paranoid fantasy. Mx. Applebaum is a neocon rage head, who specializes in scanning the eastern horizon for signs of Alexander III of Russia. The neocons all have an obsession with Russia that borders on the pathological, which leads many to assume it is biological. As a result, resistance to cosmopolitan globalism in the east is cast by the neocons as the return of authoritarianism and you know who.

A feature of neoconservatism that is shared by Progressive Jews is they are haunted by the thought of exclusion. Being left out is their greatest fear. This manifests as an abhorrence to limits, borders and clear definitions. This mania for formlessness has been picked up by other tribes of the Left. Feminists, for example, rage against biology, because definitions of sex are by nature exclusionary. The BLM activists toppling over statues do so because they hate whitey, but also because it is not their history.

This is why neocons favor open borders and recoil in horror at efforts to restore some sense of national unity. When the neocon thinks of borders, he thinks of fences and then starts to think about you know who. You’ll note that the the bad guys of the Visegrad are talked about by neocons as an implementation of the all-purpose bogeyman, the authoritarian Übermensch. The neocons, like liberal Jews, have this imaginary, all-purpose bogeyman, that manifests in the real world, but exists in the world for forms.

Another cult-like aspect of the neocons is their internalization of fundamentally irrational and contradictory ideas. For example, after 9/11, the neocons advocated importing millions of Muslims into the US, while at the same time advocating the bombing of Muslim homes and villages.  People can be forgiven for thinking the creation of the “home grown” terrorist, the pissed off Muslim living in the West, radicalized by US foreign policy, is intentional. To people inside the neocon cult, however, this all makes perfect sense.

What argues against calling neoconservativism a cult is how well it fits in with the other two pillars of the ruling orthodoxy. The heirs of William Bradford, with their neo-covenant theology and sense of communal salvation, fit in neatly with Progressive Jews and their paranoid fear of exclusion and anti-majoritarian animosities. Together, they domestically form the Progressive orthodoxy we see today. In a way, the neocons are a complimentary piece, that extends this mode of thought into the areas of foreign policy.

On the other hand, American Progressives are showing all the signs of devolving into a cult, with their strange siege mentality and bizarre internal logic. The fact that their pantheon of heroes are referred to by three initials may not a pointless affectation. It could be part of the ritual of sacralizing their former leaders. Perhaps the inevitable move by the neocons back to the Left, is the completion of some cosmic puzzle. Or perhaps like a UFO cult, they see it as the final piece of the cosmic puzzle, signifying the end times.

In a seriousness, there is a strong case that neoconservativism is now a cult, one based on an obsession with public policy and haunted by nightmares of the authoritarian bogeyman. Their inability to adapt to present reality, in fact they are becoming more extreme in the face of disconfirmation, is the sort of thing you expect from a cult. Perhaps it runs its course peacefully disappearing into the dustbin of history. Still, prudence suggests caution as end times cults tend to end with a bang, rather than a whimper.

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Alex
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Alex

Jeez Zman, do you have a background in psychology or are you just really good at noticing?

Once I started figuring out the immediate visceral reaction by the left to anything that could be construed to be exclusionary, its impossible now to not hear Monty Python coconuts shells clopping in the background.

Member

“The fact that their pantheon of heroes are referred to by three initials…”

MLK: Marx, Lincoln, King

Or?

Mcleod
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Mcleod

I freely admit that I haven’t wrapped my brain around the neocon and progressive hatred for Russia. I’m I wrong in the assumption that the US gave assurances that NATO wouldn’t encroach into the Ukraine and other border areas such as Georgia? We did, and Putin reacted. Given Russia’s history, their reaction seems understandable if not defensible. Yes, I am well aware of Putin’s manipulations and corruptions, but the response from the neocons seems, I don’t know, overly excited. If it was me, I’d rather deal with Russia than China. I have read, but really don’t understand, that the members… Read more »

Member

Think Jews, Bolshevism, collapse of Communism, expulsions and removing certain oligarchs after collapse. That will lead you to reason for hatred.

Ann Arbor guy=cassian from rogue one?
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Ann Arbor guy=cassian from rogue one?

Read my post below—I think I’ve cracked another chapter of it. I wonder if the Cossack/Jew war may be something spiritual and instinctive in Russian culture, not unlike our own cold civil war, which has been characterized as the old Puritan/cavalier dichotomy of the Anglo American cultural sphere?

calsdad
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calsdad

Russia gave up the one true religion. That’s where the progressive hate comes from. There’s been accusations in the past that Neoconservatism has roots in Trotskyism – so that may be where some of the Neocon hate comes from. In either case – since Neocons are not really conservative in the American sense and have more in common with progressives – they can feed off of both for their Russia hate. Neocons are responsible for much of the shit this country has turned into IMHO. Their war mongering is what laid the foundation for BHO to get into office –… Read more »

Severian
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Back in the 30s, some historian remarked that the greatest threat to world peace was “huge, organized forms of self-righteousness.” He’s right, and the only difference between the lunatic beliefs of a cult and the Very Serious Stuff of an official ideology is the number of believers. Marxism, for instance, is as oogily-boogily a creed as you’ll ever want to see, but they won the war against the other oogily-boogily lunatics, so they must be right. That suggests a faint ray of hope, though — cause-heads switch seamlessly between different forms of lunacy. (cf. here in America, where all the… Read more »

Dutch
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Dutch

Ther are quite a few cults going around these days. Very similar to the time of the fall of the Roman republic. But this time around, mass communication allows them to form up into major religious and political movements, led around by the nose by the millions.

BTW, when I hear the “Russia, Russia, Russia” argument, all I can think of is Jan Brady saying “It’s always ‘Marcia, Marcia, Marcia’”. Showing my age and demographic, I suppose.

Alzaebo
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Alzaebo

Ha ha! I always think “Brady Bunch” too!

TomA
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TomA

Clarity in language has great value to society, and also aids in promoting rationality among individuals. A more accurate term for neoconservative is warmonger. If people used that term more commonly, then those nuts would be exposed for what they are and their flock would disperse rather quickly.

Babe Ruthless
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Babe Ruthless

Well, I think the Zman has successfully defined The Whole Game:

The exclusionists/borderists vs. the inclusionists/no-borderists.

Establishing border integrity is just the first step. Expulsion is the second, and harder, step. It may sound impossible, but recently there have been some hopeful real-world actions from both Israel and Italy that point the way.

Although Trump’s walk-to-talk ratio is approaching zero, and I despair that he’ll ever build the damn thing, this article illuminates why The Wall was such an electrifying political symbol (for both sides).

DeBeers Diamonds
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DeBeers Diamonds

The use of the neocons was in winning over a subset of Reagan Democrats, who in any case should properly be described as “Eisenhower Democrats”. Their avatar was Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York. Thus they were described as “liberals mugged by reality”. Since our big cities have gentrified, not much remains of neoconservatism except Zionist imperialism. These days they only seem to be on the payroll out of the co-ethnic sentiment of the billionaires that fund them. Only liberals seem to interact with them, but they will never serve as the brain trust of a party swerving towards the… Read more »

Ann Arbor Boy=Cassian from Rogue One?
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Ann Arbor Boy=Cassian from Rogue One?

Interesting, but to me cult connotes marginalization. Can a group that dominated the foreign policy of at least two major administrations and launched wars to topple countries be considered a cult? How have they been disconfirmed? They have geopolitical objectives, however loopy these may be, the crusades were loopy too though, and they have achieved the objectives at least partially. Could the alt right (or wn or whatever label) be considered a cult? To me one could make a stronger argument for that being a cult. Charismatic leader are your Richard spencers, etc. Satan are your sjws, international Jews, neocons,… Read more »

David Davenport
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David Davenport

” The Warsaw Pact supplied weapons to the Arabs during the 1973 war, which proved more effective than western weapons!”

Huh? Cite some evidence for that.

Gravity Denier
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Gravity Denier

For the Tribe, enemies are ranked on a scale of how useful they are as examples of real or supposed anti-semitism, today or generations ago. Nazis are by far the winners and still champions. Doubtless they always will be.

But Russia also offers loads of opportunities to push emotional buttons. Pogroms! Cossacks! The St. Petersburg massacre!

(((Neocons))) have learned the fine art of bending ordinary people’s goodwill and distaste for presumed oppression into support for spending money and blood to enable Israel.

Babe Ruthless
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Babe Ruthless

From NYT, with quotes from George Soros’ son: “[George Soros] had not been eager to advertise his Judaism because ‘this was something he was almost killed for.’ But he had always ‘identified firstly as a Jew,’ and his philanthropy was ultimately an expression of his Jewish identity, in that he felt a solidarity with other minority groups and also because he recognized that a Jew could only truly be safe in a world in which all minorities were protected. Explaining his father’s motives, he said, ‘The reason you fight for an open society is because that’s the only society that… Read more »

Brooklyn
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Brooklyn

“That comes through in this piece by Anne Applebaum in the Spectator. The piece is a good example of the paranoid fantasy. Mx. Applebaum is a neocon rage head, who specializes in scanning the eastern horizon for signs of Alexander III of Russia.” Applebaum has been howling about Russia for a while but I don’t think she fits as a good example of the standard neoconservative position; her focus on Russia can be summed up in two words: Radosław Sikorski. “A feature of neoconservatism that is shared by Progressive Jews is they are haunted by the thought of exclusion. Being… Read more »

DeBeers Diamonds
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DeBeers Diamonds

The continued importation of Muslims has a lot more to do with foreign policy that you might think. The military-intelligence complex has the belief that without an “integrated Muslim minority” in the US, we will have no pull with the “Muslim street”. These people are also valued as a source of intelligence agents and assets. The DoD also has a loophole in the immigration law that allows them to bypass normal restrictions for anyone they say is an “interpreter” in Iraq/Afghanistan. One would call this appeasement, except neocons normally claim to be against that sort of thing.

Chaotic Neutral
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Chaotic Neutral

Baloney. It’s always some brilliant argument about why we need to bring in more third worlders. It always goes one direction is how you can tell.

calsdad
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calsdad

I’ve always argued with conservatards – who over the last twenty years have supported war, and not having immigration from the Mideast – that you can have one but you can’t have the other. Without getting too much into the details – it’s pretty easy to notice that in the history of the US over that last 100 years or so – every time we get militarily involved with some part of the world – that part of the world starts immigrating here. The only exception I can think of to that is with the Japanese. You can trace it… Read more »

DeBeers Diamonds
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DeBeers Diamonds

We should consider ways of getting people to leave this country. Not just illegals. The concept of a “refugee” is meant to be temporary in nature. In reality the word is used as a euphemism in place of the less positive “immigrant” or “settler”. Anyone admitted as a refugee should be expected to return at the end of the conflict. This should include the several million admitted to the US since 1980. Financial inducements would be a start, on the condition that citizenship is renounced.

jaqship
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jaqship

The idea that we’re in such *desperate* need for pull with the “Muslim street”, that we need to bring that street here, is laughable.
We’re better off ditching our “need” for such pull.

Likewise with the idea that we’re in such dire need for translators etc., as if we can’t buy the few we need, as we’ve done for generations, via CIA $$.

Member

Sikorski. Yet another Bullingdon Club member. I wonder if he saw Cameron do the thing with the pig’s head…..

Jaqship
Guest
Jaqship

“The Jewish part, when they think about it at all, is an accident of birth for them. ”
Exactly, Brooklyn.

And, another angle (also for Gentile Progs) is that Putin is obviously *proud* to be Russian, and pays no/ minimal lip service to “we are the world” cosmo-ism.
And, moreover, c. 5 years ago, the Duma passed an anti-gay-propaganda law.

Toddy Cat
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Toddy Cat

I regarded the Neocons as allies back during the old Cold War days, and they were, sort of. But I hated the USSR because it was Communist, while, as it turns out, the Neocons hated it because it was Russian, and because it had betrayed “True Communism” ie, Trotsky. Never mind the fact that Trotsky was a bloodthirsty madman who actually made Stalin look like a moderate.

And of course, in 1991 came the ultimate betrayal…

Dr. Dre
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Dr. Dre

I agree re: Neocons hating the USSR b/c it was Russian. These same folks never hissed out the words “Soviet Union” with even a fraction of the disparaging tone they use in saying the word “Ruuu-sha”. That’s why they love the Fuhrer Mueller and his “Ruuuu-shan” Collusion investigation, b/c you get to say the word over and over! Remember a month or two ago when the Special Counsel came up with indictments against 15 or so Russians, how it was laughable to imagine that these folks would ever show up in a US court, but how each name on the… Read more »

Member

Z: “…perhaps to the adherents, Bill Kristol is charming. Despite his unpleasant demeanor.” Funny you mentioned this. I used to catch glimpses of him on the morning talk shows while channel surfing about 15 years ago. He’d be smiling that sweet smile, and giggle-talking. I thought, I can’t truly hate this guy. He must hate having to bomb people. A decade later I started listening to the Weekly Standard podcasts where his underlings would interview him, and I got a totally different impression. He’s dry, mumbles, and is actually taciturn. Kind of a dick really. I could easily see him… Read more »

Lance_E
Member

Part of the Russia obsession is definitely former Trotskyites nursing a grudge. It’s not a mere accusation; the links are provable, the only debate is over whether or not they truly abandoned Trotskyism (answer: no – in the same sense that Richard Spencer followers never truly abandoned globalism and Rational Skeptics™ or “liberalists” never truly abandoned progressivism). But not everything they say is 100% wrong, either. America has a global empire, whether we like it or not, and abandoning that empire carelessly won’t usher in a golden age of Westphalian sovereignty, it’ll simply create a power vacuum where one of… Read more »

wxtwxtr
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wxtwxtr

Balance? Full Spectrum Dominance? A psychotic NeoCon murder cult on one side and the Progressive CULT of Projection Displacement Disorder on the other? The carrion eater needs two wings.

slumlord
Guest
slumlord

Grant Havers and Paul Gottfried have written about this at length.

Executive summary: Neoconservativsm= Conservatism minus Christianity. Strauss’s whole “Athens and Jerusalem” schtick was a conscious effort to delegitimise Rome and Geneva.

https://www.lawliberty.org/2014/04/28/critiquing-leo-strauss-from-the-right/