Saturday, February 17, 2007

What is a neo-con?

If you google neo-con you get a lot of hits that give you the name of prominent neo-con s and what they've been up to, but no actual definition.

Formally a Conservative is one who holds to traditional attitudes and values, and is cautious about change or innovation in relation to politics or religion. Typically conservatives either seek to preserve the status quo, or seek a return to the values of an earlier time. Conservatives are generally perceived to believe in the rule of law, the importance of personal rights, and small government.

Neo-conservatives are not conservatives. A neo-con pretends to be a conservative. A neo-con loves to wrap themself in the flag and the trappings of religion. They profess their regard for nationalism and religion, but in practice contradict what those institutions represent. While a conservative respects tradition and the rule of law, neo-cons look at the constitution and treaties as simply ink on a page.

They are tyrants and bullies, that far too frequently profess the use of violence toward anyone who opposes them. They are authoritarians, that believe in an imperial prerogative. While they won't admit it, they support bloated government run for the benefit of special interests (oil, defense, big industry).

Neo-cons function on the premise that the truth is what they want it to be, regardless of evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or actual facts. The Zaius Nation reminds us of the perfect word to describe the neo-cons sense of reality - sophism. The essential claim of sophistry is that the actual logical validity of an argument is irrelevant (if not non-existent); it is only the ruling of the audience which ultimately determines whether a conclusion is considered "true" or not. By appealing to the prejudices and emotions of the judges, one can garner favorable treatment for one's side of the argument and cause a factually false position to be ruled true. Stephen Colbert referred to this delusional thinking as truthiness. It is the key trademark of neo-cons.

Fascists and neo-cons have a lot in common. So do neo-cons and the violent radical left. What these three groups have in common is that their goals and methods pose a severe threat to an open and free democracy.