The title of the show this week is taken from the title of a book by the guy most consider to be the founder of neoconservatism, Irving Kristol. He was one of the first far-left intellectuals to break with the Left and migrate to the new Right. He embraced the term neocon, in an “own the insult” way, which is probably why the term has remained with us, despite it originally being an insult. The Left used it as a way to criticize their former colleagues for their break with them over various issues.
Today, of course, our side uses the term as an insult. Even within what is left of mainstream conservatism, the term and the people associated with it is falling out of favor, especially as the neocons get nastier in their critiques of populism. David French now sounds like a less masculine version of Robin DiAngelo. That is not an exaggeration, as he sounds like Mickey Mouse, and she sounds like she has had one too many Pall Mall’s with her boiler makers.
Just as it is useful to understand the language of the Left, it is useful to know the intellectual history of the legacy Right. When the Left uses the slur “racist” they do not mean it in the way normal people understand it. This is why it is stupid to debate them on those terms. When you deny being a racist, you are legitimizing the term and their definition of it. If you try to own the insult, you do the same. Instead, when you know their definition, you can attack them from the moral high ground.
The same thing applies to the history of the neocons. Understanding why they say America is an idea, rather than a nation, is key to dealing with the claim. Someone like Ben Shapiro does not really know why he believes America is just an idea. He was simply taught that by his Straussian professors. The same is true of his chanting about Judeo-Christianity. You can strip away the intellectual authority of the claims when you know the source of it. Knowledge is power.
The other thing that we can learn from studying the neocons is how the conservative movement was so easily coopted by them. The reason is that the New Right, as it was called early on, had no moral philosophy of its own. The Buckley movement started from a disposition and then became a reaction to current events. They were not starting from a body of moral philosophy that contradicted the Left. The neocons supplied a morality framed by the founding documents.
It is why any genuine opposition to what is going on in the West must first start with a moral philosophy that stands outside of the prevailing orthodoxy. Only by being able to say, “this is who we are, this is what we believe, this is why we believe it, and this is why it is superior to the alternative” can a genuine alternative blossom. Simply starting with a laundry list of outcomes, desired or opposed, like the Buckley crew, means falling prey to the same sort of corruption that killed conservatism.
This week I have the usual variety of items in the now standard format. Spreaker has the full show. I am up on Google Play now, so the Android commies can take me along when out disrespecting the country. I am on iTunes, which means the Apple Nazis can listen to me on their Hitler phones. The anarchists can catch me on iHeart Radio. I am now on Deezer, for our European haters and Stitcher for the weirdos. YouTube also has the full podcast. Of course, there is a download link below.
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This Week’s Show
- 00:00: Opening
- 02:00: The Origin Story
- 22:00: Leo Strauss
- 42:00: Never Right
- 57:00: Closing (Be Like Me)
Full Show On Spreaker
Full Show On YouTube