Neoconservatism in the United States is a branch of American conservatism. Since 2001, neoconservatism has been associated with democracy promotion, that is with assisting movements for democracy, in some cases by economic sanctions or military action.[1]

In contemporary usage, the term "neoconservative" was used from 1973 to criticize American liberals and social democrats who had criticized the ambitions and outcomes of the Great Society's welfare programs. Although neoconservatives favor free-market policies in economics, they accept a role for the national government in fighting poverty and promoting the public good, like traditional conservatives in Europe and Canada and unlike most American conservatives, influenced by libertarian traditions.[2][3] During the 1970s, "neoconservative" was applied to "Scoop" Jackson Democrats; while a liberal on domestic policy and an advocate of anti-poverty welfare-state policies, Jackson supported an escalation of the Vietnam War.[4] "'Scoop' Jackson Democrats" later criticized the foreign policy of President Jimmy Carter, particularly his support of detente and criticism of anticommunism. Neoconservatives like Jeanne Kirkpatrick were approached by the presidential campaign of Ronald Reagan, which criticized the detente of the Carter Administration; a few neoconservatives like Jeanne Kirkpatrick served in the Reagan Administration. During the late 1970s through 1983, neoconservatives like Kirkpatrick criticized Carter's human rights policies, arguing that they had facilitated the rise of the Sandinistas in Nicaragua and risked helping other Marxist-Leninist movements come to power. Neoconservatives were initially skeptical about the AFL-CIO's support of the Polish labor-union Solidarity, but came to support the National Endowment for Democracy's aid to movements for liberalization and democratization in the former Soviet Union. After the fall of Soviet communism, American politics featured less discussion of neoconservativism in the 1990s. Most neoconservatives supported a military response against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and many supported invading Iraq in the prelude to the Second Gulf War.



The term "neoconservative" was popularized in the United States in 1973 by Michael Harrington, the author of The Other America, which helped to inspire the War on Poverty. Harrington applied the term "neoconservatism" to the policy writings by Daniel Bell, by Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and by Irving Kristol.[5] In the 1970s, "neoconservative" was used as a pejorative label by Harrington and other American socialists and by new politics liberals,[who?] particularly those who had supported George McGovern's immediate-withdrawal candidacy in 1972.[citation needed] However, the "neoconservative" label was embraced by Irving Kristol in his 1979 article "Confessions of a True, Self-Confessed 'Neoconservative.'"[6] His ideas have been influential since the 1950s, when he co-founded and edited Encounter magazine.[7] Another source was Norman Podhoretz, editor of Commentary magazine from 1960 to 1995. By 1982 Podhoretz was calling himself a neoconservative, in a New York Times Magazine article titled "The Neoconservative Anguish over Reagan's Foreign Policy".[8][9] In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the neoconservatives were driven by "the notion that liberalism" had failed and "no longer knew what it was talking about, " according to E. J. Dionne, [10]

The term neoconservative, which originally was used by a socialist to criticize the politics of Social Democrats, USA,[11] has since 1980 been used as a criticism against proponents of American modern liberalism who had "moved to the right".[6][12] The term "neoconservative" was the subject of increased media coverage during the presidency of George W. Bush,[13][14] with particular focus on a perceived neoconservative influence on American foreign policy, as part of the Bush Doctrine.[15] The term neocon is often used as pejorative in this context.


Senator Henry M. "Scoop" Jackson, inspiration for neoconservative foreign policy in 1970s

Through the 1950s and early 1960s the future neoconservatives had supported the American Civil Rights Movement, integration, and Martin Luther King, Jr..[16] From the 1950s to the 1960s, there was broad support among liberals and social democrats to support military aid to the government of South Vietnam to prevent a communist victory.

Neoconservatism was triggered by the repudiation of coalition politics by the American New Left:

  • Black Power, which denounced coalition-politics and racial integration as "selling out" and "Uncle Tomism" and which frequently gave rise to anti-semitic outbursts,
  • anti-anticommunism, which seemed indifferent to the fate of Southern Vietnam, and which in the late 1960s included substantial support for Marxist Leninist movements, and
  • the "new politics" of the New left, which upheld students and alienated minorities as the agents of social change (replacing the majority of the population and the labor movement).[17] Irving Kristol edited the journal The Public Interest (1965-2005), featuring economists and political scientists, focused on ways that government planning in the liberal state had produced unintended harmful consequences.[18]

Norman Podhoretz's magazine Commentary of the American Jewish Committee, originally a journal of the liberal left, became a major voice for neoconservatives in the 1970s. Commentary published an article by Jeanne Kirkpatrick, an early and prototypical neoconservative, albeit not a New Yorker.

Jeanne Kirkpatrick

A former member of the Young People's Socialist League (1907) and member of the Democratic Party platform commitee, Jeanne Kirkpatrick criticized the foreign policy of Jimmy Carter, which supported detente with the Soviet Union. She served the Reagan Administration as Ambassador to the United Nations.

Kirkpatrick joined the Young People's Socialist League (1907) of the Socialist Party of America: Her grandfather had helped to found the Populist and Socialist Parties in Oklahoma.[19] As a political scientist, she supported the campaigns of former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Hubert Humphrey. Along with Humphrey, she was close to Henry M. Jackson, who ran for the Democratic nomination for President in 1972 and 1976.[20] She was opposed to the candidacy of George McGovern. In 1976, she helped to found the Committee on Present Danger for the purpose of warning Americans against the Soviet Union's growing military power and the dangers of the SALT II treaty.[21] She also served on the Platform Committee for the Democratic Party in 1976.[22]

Skepticism towards democracy promotion

Kirkpatrick criticized the foreign policy of Democratic President Jimmy Carter in "Dictatorships and Double Standards," which published in Commentary Magazine in November 1979.[23] In that piece, Kirkpatrick distinguished between authoritarian regimes and the totalitarian regimes such as the Soviet Union; she suggested that in some countries democracy was not tenable and the U.S. faced a choice between supporting authoritarian governments, which might evolve into democracies, or Marxist-Leninist regimes, which she argued had never been dislodged once they achieved totalitarian control. In such tragic circumstances, she argued that allying with authoritarian governments might be prudent. Kirkpatrick argued that by demanding rapid liberalization in traditionally autocratic countries, the Carter administration had delivered those countries to Marxist-Leninists that were even more repressive. She further accused the administration of a "double standard", of never having applied its rhetoric on the necessity of liberalization to Communist governments. The essay compares traditional autocracies and Communist regimes:

"[Traditional autocrats] do not disturb the habitual rhythms of work and leisure, habitual places of residence, habitual patterns of family and personal relations. Because the miseries of traditional life are familiar, they are bearable to ordinary people who, growing up in the society, learn to cope . . . ."
"[Revolutionary Communist regimes] claim jurisdiction over the whole life of the society and make demands for change that so violate internalized values and habits that inhabitants flee by the tens of thousands . . . ."

Kirkpatrick concluded that while the United States should encourage liberalization and democracy in autocratic countries, it should not do so when the government is facing violent overthrow, and should expect gradual change rather than immediate transformation.[20] She wrote: “No idea holds greater sway in the mind of educated Americans than the belief that it is possible to democratize governments, anytime and anywhere, under any circumstances... Decades, if not centuries, are normally required for people to acquire the necessary disciplines and habits. In Britain, the road [to democratic government] took seven centuries to traverse... "[24]


Before 1982, neoconservatives were skeptical about democracy promotion and criticized the prudence of the Carter administrations policies on human rights. Kirkpatrick and Norman Podhoretz before 1982 argued that communism could not be overthrown and that the Polish labor-union Solidarity was doomed. Podhoretz and Kirkpatrick were originally skeptical about the AFL-CIO's support of Solidarity and about the use of U.S. economic aid to promote liberalization and democratization in Poland.[25][26]

New York Intellectuals

Many neoconservatives had been on the left in the 1930s and 1940s, where they opposed Stalinism. After WWII, they continued to oppose Stalinism and to support democracy during the Cold War. Of these, many were emerged from intellectual milieu of New York City and many of these were Jewish.[27][28]

Michael Lind on Jewish Trotskyist roots and criticism

Michael Lind wrote the following about neoconservatives:

"They are products of the influential Jewish-American sector of the Trotskyist movement of the 1930s and 1940s, which morphed into anti-communist liberalism between the 1950s and 1970s and finally into a kind of militaristic and imperial right with no precedents in American culture or political history. Their admiration for the Israeli Likud party's tactics, including preventive warfare such as Israel's 1981 raid on Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor, is mixed with odd bursts of ideological enthusiasm for "democracy." They call their revolutionary ideology "Wilsonianism" (after President Woodrow Wilson), but it is really Trotsky's theory of the permanent revolution mingled with the far-right Likud strain of Zionism. Genuine American Wilsonians believe in self-determination for people such as the Palestinians."

"The major link between the conservative think tanks and the Israel lobby is the Washington-based and Likud-supporting Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (Jinsa), which co-opts many non-Jewish defense experts by sending them on trips to Israel."[29]

Lind's "amalgamation of the defense intellectuals with the traditions and theories of 'the largely Jewish-American Trotskyist movement' [in Lind's words]" was criticized in 2003 by University of Michigan professor Alan M. Wald,[30] who had discussed Trotskyism in his history of "the New York intellectuals".[31][32] Most were socialists, social-democrats, or liberal Democrats into the 1960s, when they were confronted with the New Left and rethought their positions. Many supported Senator Henry M. Jackson, a liberal Democrat in domestic affairs who criticized the human-rights violations of the Soviet Union in the 1970s.[33]

Rejecting the American New Left and McGovern's New Politics

Kirkpatrick's political evolution was similar to those of other socialists, social-democrats, and liberals who became neoconservatives. They rejected the counterculture of the 1960s New Left, and what they saw as anti-Americanism in the non-interventionism of the movement against the Vietnam War. When the anti-war element took control of the party in 1972 and nominated George McGovern, the democrats among them followed the lead of Washington Senator Henry Jackson and revolted. Historian Justin Vaïsse calls this the "Second Age" of Neoconservatism, with its emphasis on the Cold War.[34]

As the policies of the New Left pushed the Democrats to the Left, these intellectuals became disillusioned with President Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society domestic programs. The influential 1970 bestseller The Real Majority by Ben Wattenberg expressed that the "real majority" of the electorate supported economic liberalism but social conservatism, and warned Democrats it could be disastrous to take liberal stances on certain social and crime issues.[35]

Many supported Democratic senator Henry M. "Scoop" Jackson in his unsuccessful 1972 and 1976 campaigns for president. Among those who worked for Jackson were future neoconservatives Paul Wolfowitz, Doug Feith, and Richard Perle. In the late 1970s neoconservative support moved to Ronald Reagan, the Republican hawk who promised to confront Soviet expansionism.

In another (2004) article, Michael Lind also wrote [36]

Neoconservatism... originated in the 1970s as a movement of anti-Soviet liberals and social democrats in the tradition of Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Humphrey and Henry ('Scoop') Jackson, many of whom preferred to call themselves 'paleoliberals.' [After the end of the Cold War]... many 'paleoliberals' drifted back to the Democratic center... Today's neocons are a shrunken remnant of the original broad neocon coalition. Nevertheless, the origins of their ideology on the left are still apparent. The fact that most of the younger neocons were never on the left is irrelevant; they are the intellectual (and, in the case of William Kristol and John Podhoretz, the literal) heirs of older ex-leftists.

Leo Strauss and his students

Neoconservatism draws on several intellectual traditions. The students of political science Professor Leo Strauss (1899-1973) comprised one major group--indeed Unger says that Strauss "is often said to be the intellectual godfather of neoconservatism",[37] while Sheppard notes that, "Much scholarship tends to understand Strauss as an inspirational founder of American neoconservatism."[38] Strauss was a refugee from Nazi Germany who taught at the New School for Social Research in New York (1939-49) and the University of Chicago (1949-1958).[39]

Strauss asserted that "the crisis of the West consists in the West's having become uncertain of its purpose." Resolution lay in a restoration of the vital ideas and faith that in the past had sustained the moral purpose of the West. Classical Greek political philosophy and the Judeo-Christian heritage are the pillars of the Great Tradition in Strauss's work.[40] Strauss laid great emphasis on spirit of the Greek classics and West (1991) argues that for Strauss the American Founding Fathers were correct in their understanding of the classics in their principles of justice. For Strauss, political community is defined by convictions about justice and happiness rather than by sovereignty and force. He repudiated the philosophy of John Locke as a bridge to 20th-century historicism and nihilism, and defended liberal democracy as closer to the spirit of the classics than other modern regimes. For Strauss, the American awareness of ineradicable evil in human nature, and hence the need for morality, was a beneficial outgrowth of the premodern Western tradition.[41] O'Neill (2009) notes that Strauss wrote little about American topics but his students wrote a great deal, and that Strauss's influence led his students to reject historicism and positivism. Instead they promoted an Aristotelian perspective on America that produced a qualified defense of its liberal constitutionalism.[42] Strauss influenced Weekly Standard editor William Kristol, editor John Podhoretz, and military strategist Paul Wolfowitz.[43][44]


During the 1990s, neoconservatives were once again in the opposition side of the foreign policy establishment, both under the Republican Administration of President George H. W. Bush and that of his Democratic successor, President Bill Clinton. Many critics charged that the neoconservatives lost their influence following the collapse of the Soviet Union.[45]

The movement was galvanized by the decision of George H. W. Bush and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Colin Powell to leave Saddam Hussein in power after the first Gulf War in 1991. Many neoconservatives viewed this policy, and the decision not to support indigenous dissident groups such as the Kurds and Shiites in their 1991-1992 resistance to Hussein, as a betrayal of democratic principles.[citation needed]

Ironically, some of those same targets of criticism would later become fierce advocates of neoconservative policies. In 1992, referring to the first Gulf War, then United States Secretary of Defense and future Vice President Dick Cheney said:

I would guess if we had gone in there, I would still have forces in Baghdad today. We'd be running the country. We would not have been able to get everybody out and bring everybody home.... And the question in my mind is how many additional American casualties is Saddam [Hussein] worth? And the answer is not that damned many. So, I think we got it right, both when we decided to expel him from Kuwait, but also when the president made the decision that we'd achieved our objectives and we were not going to go get bogged down in the problems of trying to take over and govern Iraq.[46]

Within a few years of the Gulf War in Iraq, many neoconservatives were pushing to oust Saddam Hussein. On February 19, 1998, an open letter to President Clinton appeared, signed by dozens of pundits, many identified with neoconservatism and, later, related groups such as the PNAC, urging decisive action to remove Saddam from power.[47]

Neoconservatives were also members of the blue team, which argued for a confrontational policy toward the People's Republic of China and strong military and diplomatic support for Taiwan.

In the late 1990s Irving Kristol and other writers in neoconservative magazines began touting anti-Darwinist views, in support of intelligent design. Since these neoconservatives were largely of secular backgrounds, a few commentators have speculated that this – along with support for religion generally – may have been a case of a "noble lie", intended to protect public morality, or even tactical politics, to attract religious supporters.[48]


Administration of George W. Bush

The Bush campaign and the early Bush administration did not exhibit strong support for neoconservative principles. As a presidential candidate, Bush had argued for a restrained foreign policy, stating his opposition to the idea of nation-building[49] and an early foreign policy confrontation with China was handled without the vociferousness suggested by some neoconservatives.[50] Also early in the administration, some neoconservatives criticized Bush's administration as insufficiently supportive of Israel, and suggested Bush's foreign policies were not substantially different from those of President Clinton.[51]

U.S. President George W. Bush with the (at that time) President of Egypt Hosni Mubarak at Camp David in 2002. In November 2010, Bush wrote in his memoir Decision Points claiming Mubarak supported the administration's position that Iraq had WMDs in the lead up to the war with the country, but kept it private for fear of "inciting the Arab street."[52]

Bush's policies changed dramatically immediately after the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Bush laid out his vision of the future in his State of the Union speech in January 2002, following the September 11, 2001, attacks. The speech named Iraq, Iran, and North Korea as states that "constitute an axis of evil" and "pose a grave and growing danger". Bush suggested the possibility of preemptive war: "I will not wait on events, while dangers gather. I will not stand by, as peril draws closer and closer. The United States of America will not permit the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most destructive weapons."[53][54]

Some prominent defense and national-security personalities have been quite critical of what they believed was neoconservative influence in getting the United States to war with Iraq.[55]

Nebraska Republican U.S. senator Chuck Hagel, who has been critical of the Bush administration's adoption of neoconservative ideology, in his book America: Our Next Chapter wrote:

"So why did we invade Iraq? I believe it was the triumph of the so-called neo-conservative ideology, as well as Bush administration arrogance and incompetence that took America into this war of choice. . . . They obviously made a convincing case to a president with very limited national security and foreign policy experience, who keenly felt the burden of leading the nation in the wake of the deadliest terrorist attack ever on American soil."
Bush Doctrine

The Bush Doctrine of preventive war was explicitly stated in the National Security Council text "National Security Strategy of the United States," published September 20, 2002. "We must deter and defend against the threat before it is unleashed . . . even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy's attack... The United States will, if necessary, act preemptively."[56]

The choice to not use the word 'preventive' in the 2002 National Security Strategy, and instead use the word 'preemptive' was largely in anticipation of the widely perceived illegality of preventive attacks in international law, via both Charter Law and Customary Law.[57]

Policy analysts noted that the Bush Doctrine as stated in the 2002 NSC document bore a strong resemblance to recommendations originally presented in a controversial Defense Planning Guidance draft written in 1992 by Paul Wolfowitz, under the first Bush administration.[58]

The Bush Doctrine was greeted with accolades by many neoconservatives. When asked whether he agreed with the Bush Doctrine, Max Boot said he did, and that “I think [Bush is] exactly right to say we can’t sit back and wait for the next terrorist strike on Manhattan. We have to go out and stop the terrorists overseas. We have to play the role of the global policeman. . . . But I also argue that we ought to go further.”[59] Discussing the significance of the Bush Doctrine, neoconservative writer William Kristol claimed: “The world is a mess. And, I think, it’s very much to Bush’s credit that he's gotten serious about dealing with it. . . . The danger is not that we’re going to do too much. The danger is that we're going to do too little.”[60]

2008 Presidential election and aftermath

John McCain, who was the Republican candidate for the 2008 United States Presidential election, supported continuing the Iraq War, "the issue that is most clearly identified with the neoconservatives". The New York Times further reported that his foreign policy views combined elements of neoconservative and the main competing view in conservative circles, pragmatism, also called realism:[61]

Among [McCain's advisers] are several prominent neoconservatives, including Robert Kagan . . . Max Boot . . . John R. Bolton . . . [and] Randy Scheunemann. "It may be too strong a term to say a fight is going on over John McCain’s soul," said Lawrence Eagleburger . . . who is a member of the pragmatist camp, . . . [but he] said, "there is no question that a lot of my far right friends have now decided that since you can't beat him, let's persuade him to slide over as best we can on these critical issues."

Barack Obama campaigned for the Democratic nomination in 2008, by attacking his opponents, especially Hillary Clinton, for originally supporting Bush's Iraq-war policies. He gave the impression he would reverse such policies. However, Obama adopted the main points of the Bush policy in Iraq, naming Clinton to the State Department and keeping Robert Gates (Bush's Defense Secretary), and David Petraeus (Bush's top general in Iraq), as well as implementing the Bush "surge" of military force. However, by 2010, U.S. forces had switched from combat to a training role in Iraq.[62]

Evolution of views

Usage and general views

In the early 1970s, Socialist Michael Harrington was one of the first to use "neoconservative" in its modern meaning. He characterized neoconservatives as former leftists – whom he derided as "socialists for Nixon" – who had moved significantly to the right.[citation needed] These people tended to remain supporters of social democracy, but distinguished themselves by allying with the Nixon administration over foreign policy, especially by their support for the Vietnam War and opposition to the Soviet Union. They still supported the welfare state, but not necessarily in its contemporary form.

Irving Kristol remarked that a neoconservative is a "liberal mugged by reality", one who became more conservative after seeing the results of liberal policies. Kristol also distinguished three specific aspects of neoconservatism from previous forms of conservatism: neo-conservatives had a forward-looking approach drawn from their liberal heritage, rather than the reactionary and dour approach of previous conservatives; they had a meliorative outlook, proposing alternate reforms rather than simply attacking social liberal reforms; they took philosophical ideas and ideologies very seriously.[63]

In January 2009, at the close of President George W. Bush's second term in office, Jonathan Clarke, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, proposed the following as the "main characteristics of neoconservatism":

  • "a tendency to see the world in binary good/evil terms
  • low tolerance for diplomacy
  • readiness to use military force
  • emphasis on US unilateral action
  • disdain for multilateral organizations
  • focus on the Middle East
  • an us-versus-them mentality".

"Critics of neo-conservativism have sometimes sought to portray it as an exclusively Jewish phenomenon. But while many of the best-known neo-cons are Jewish, this is incorrect."[64]

Views on foreign policy

In foreign policy, the neoconservatives' main concern is to prevent the arrival of a new rival. Defense Planning Guidance, a document prepared in 1992 by Under Secretary for Defense for Policy Paul Wolfowitz, is regarded by Distinguished Professor of the Humanities John McGowan at the University of North Carolina as the "quintessential statement of neoconservative thought". The report says:[65]

"Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power."

According to Lead Editor of e-International Relations, Stephen McGlinchey, "Neo-conservatism is something of a chimera in modern politics. For its opponents it is a distinct political movement that emphasizes the blending of military power with Wilsonian idealism, yet for its supporters it is more of a ‘persuasion’ that individuals of many types drift into and out of. Regardless of which is more correct, it is now widely accepted that the neo-conservative impulse has been visible in modern American foreign policy and that it has left a distinct impact" [66]

Neoconservatives hold the "conviction that communism was a monstrous evil and a potent danger".[67] They supported social welfare programs that were rejected by libertarians and paleoconservatives.

Neoconservatism first emerged in the late 1960s as an effort to combat the radical cultural changes taking place within the United States. Irving Kristol wrote: "If there is any one thing that neoconservatives are unanimous about, it is their dislike of the counterculture."[68] Norman Podhoretz agreed: "Revulsion against the counterculture accounted for more converts to neoconservatism than any other single factor."[69] The movement began to focus on such foreign issues in the mid-1970s.[70]

In 1979 an early study by liberal Peter Steinfels concentrated on the ideas of Irving Kristol, Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Daniel Bell. He noted that the stress on foreign affairs "emerged after the New Left and the counterculture had dissolved as convincing foils for neoconservatism .... The essential source of their anxiety is not military or geopolitical or to be found overseas at all; it is domestic and cultural and ideological."[71]

Neoconservative foreign policy is more idealistic. Thinking that human rights belong to everyone, neoconservatives support democracy promotion by the U.S. and other democracies. They criticized the United Nations and detente with the Soviet Union. On domestic policy, they support a welfare state, like European and Canadian conservatives and unlike U.S. social conservatives. According to Norman Podhoretz,

"the neo-conservatives dissociated themselves from the wholesale opposition to the welfare state which had marked American conservatism since the days of the New Deal" and . . . while neoconservatives supported "setting certain limits" to the welfare state, those limits did not involve "issues of principle, such as the legitimate size and role of the central government in the American constitutional order" but were to be "determined by practical considerations."[72]

Democracy promotion is supported by a belief that freedom is a universal human right and by polls showing majority support for democracy in countries with authoritarian regimes. Democracy promotion is said to have another benefit, in that democracy and responsive government are expected to reduce the appeal of Islamicism. Neoconservatives have cited political scientists[citation needed] who have argued that democratic regimes are less likely to start wars. Further, they argue that the lack of freedoms, lack of economic opportunities, and the lack of secular general education in authoritarian regimes promotes radicalism and extremism. Consequently, neoconservatives advocate the democracy promotion to regions of the world where it currently does not prevail, notably the Arab nations of the Middle East, communist China and North Korea, and Iran.

In July 2008 Joe Klein wrote in TIME magazine that today's neoconservatives are more interested in confronting enemies than in cultivating friends. He questioned the sincerity of neoconservative interest in exporting democracy and freedom, saying, "Neoconservatism in foreign policy is best described as unilateral bellicosity cloaked in the utopian rhetoric of freedom and democracy."[73]

In February 2009 Andrew Sullivan wrote he no longer took neoconservatism seriously because its basic tenet was defense of Israel:[74]

The closer you examine it, the clearer it is that neoconservatism, in large part, is simply about enabling the most irredentist elements in Israel and sustaining a permanent war against anyone or any country who disagrees with the Israeli right. That's the conclusion I've been forced to these last few years. And to insist that America adopt exactly the same constant-war-as-survival that Israelis have been slowly forced into... But America is not Israel. And once that distinction is made, much of the neoconservative ideology collapses.

Neoconservatives respond to charges of merely rationalizing support for Israel by noting that their "position on the Middle East conflict was exactly congruous with the neoconservative position on conflicts everywhere else in the world, including places where neither Jews nor Israeli interests could be found—not to mention the fact that non-Jewish neoconservatives took the same stands on all of the issues as did their Jewish confrères."[75]

Views on Economics

While Neoconservatism is primarily concerned with foreign policy, there is also some discussion of internal economic policies. Neoconservatism is generally supportive of free markets and capitalism, favoring supply side approaches, but it shows several points of disagreement with classical liberalism and fiscal conservatism: Irving Kristol states that neocons are more relaxed about budget deficits and tend to reject the Hayekian notion that the growth of government influence on society and public welfare is "the road to serfdom".[76] Indeed, to safeguard democracy, government intervention and budget deficits may sometimes be necessary, Kristol argues.

Further, neoconservative ideology stresses that while free markets do provide material goods in an efficient way, they lack the moral guidance human beings need to fulfill their needs. Morality can only be found in tradition, they say, and, contrary to the libertarian view, markets do pose questions that can't be solved within a purely economic framework. "So as the economy only makes up part of our lives, it must not be allowed to take over and entirely dictate to our society".[77] Stelzer concludes that while neoconservative economic policy helped to lower taxes and generate growth, it also led to a certain disregard of fiscal responsibility.[78] Critics consider neoconservatism a bellicose and "heroic" ideology opposed to "mercantile" and "bourgeois" virtues and therefore "a variant of anti-economic thought".[79] Political scientist Zeev Sternhell states that "Neoconservatism has suceeded in convincing the great majority of Americans that the main questions that concern a society are not economic, and that social questions are really moral questions."[80]

Distinctions from other conservatives

Some influential members of the early neoconservative movement, such as Elliot Abrams, were originally members of the Democratic Party, where they advocated for "cold war liberalism".[81][82] They have been in electoral alignment with other conservatives and served in the same presidential administrations. While they have often ignored ideological differences in alliance against those to their left, neoconservatives differ from paleoconservatives. In particular, they disagree with nativism, protectionism, and non-interventionism in foreign policy, ideologies that are rooted in American history, but which have fallen out of the mainstream U.S. politics after World War II. Compared with traditionalist conservatism and libertarianism, which may be non-interventionist, neoconservatism emphasizes defense capability, challenging regimes hostile to the values and interests of the United States[citation needed]. Neoconservatives also believe in democratic peace theory, the proposition that democracies never or almost never go to war with one another.

Neoconservatives are opposed to realist (and especially neorealist) theories and policies of international relations[citation needed], often associated with Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger. Though Republican and anti-communist, Nixon and Kissinger made pragmatic accommodation with dictators and sought peace through negotiations, diplomacy, and arms control. They pursued détente with the Soviet Union, rather than rollback, and established relations with the Communist People's Republic of China. On the other hand, American neoconservatives are often held up as exemplars of idealism (often, paradoxically, called liberalism) in international relations, on account of their state-centered and ideological (as opposed to systematic and security-centered) interpretation of world politics.

Criticism of terminology

Some of those identified as neoconservative reject the term, arguing that it lacks a coherent definition, or that it was coherent only in the context of the Cold War.

Conservative writer David Horowitz argues that the increasing use of the term neoconservative since the 2003 start of the Iraq War has made it irrelevant:[citation needed]

Neo-conservatism is a term almost exclusively used by the enemies of America's liberation of Iraq. There is no 'neo-conservative' movement in the United States. When there was one, it was made up of former Democrats who embraced the welfare state but supported Ronald Reagan's Cold War policies against the Soviet bloc. Today 'neo-conservatism' identifies those who believe in an aggressive policy against radical Islam and the global terrorists.

The term may have lost meaning due to excessive and inconsistent use. For example, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, and Donald Rumsfeld have been identified as leading neoconservatives despite the fact that they have been life-long conservative Republicans (though Cheney and Rice have supported Irving Kristol's ideas).

Some critics reject the idea that there is a neoconservative movement separate from traditional American conservatism. Traditional conservatives are skeptical of the contemporary usage of the term and dislike being associated with its stereotypes or supposed agendas. Columnist David Harsanyi wrote, "These days, it seems that even temperate support for military action against dictators and terrorists qualifies you a neocon."[83] Jonah Goldberg rejected the label as trite and over-used, arguing "There's nothing 'neo' about me: I was never anything other than conservative."


Some writers and intellectuals have argued that criticism of neoconservatism is often a euphemism for criticism of Zionist Jews, and that the term has been adopted by the political left to stigmatize support for Israel. In The Chronicle of Higher Education, Robert J. Lieber warned that criticism of the 2003 Iraq War had spawned[84]

a conspiracy theory purporting to explain how [American] foreign policy... has been captured by a sinister and hitherto little-known cabal. A small band of neoconservative (read, Jewish) defense intellectuals... has taken advantage of 9/11 to put their ideas over on [Bush]... Thus empowered, this neoconservative conspiracy, "a product of the influential Jewish-American faction of the Trotskyist movement of the '30s and '40s" ([Michael] Lind)... has fomented war with Iraq... in the service of Israel's Likud government (Patrick J. Buchanan and [Eric Alterman).

Time magazine's Joe Klein has suggested it is legitimate to look at the religion of neoconservatives. He does not say there was a conspiracy but says there is a case to be made for disproportionate influence of Jewish neoconservative figures in US foreign policy, and that several of them supported the Iraq war because of Israel's interests, though sometimes in an unconscious contradiction to American interests:

"I do believe that there is a group of people who got involved and had a disproportionate influence on U.S. foreign policy. There were people out there in the Jewish community who saw this as a way to create a benign domino theory and eliminate all of Israel's enemies....I think it represents a really dangerous anachronistic neocolonial sensibility. And I think it is a very, very dangerous form of extremism. I think it's bad for Israel and it's bad for America. And these guys have been getting a free ride. And now these people are backing the notion of a war with Iran and not all of them, but some of them, are doing it because they believe that Iran is an existential threat to Israel."[85]

David Brooks derided the "fantasies" of "full-mooners fixated on a... sort of Yiddish Trilateral Commission", beliefs which had "hardened into common knowledge... In truth, people labeled neocons (con is short for 'conservative' and neo is short for 'Jewish') travel in widely different circles..."[86] Barry Rubin argued that the neoconservative label is used as an antisemitic pejorative:[87]

First, 'neo-conservative' is a codeword for Jewish. As antisemites did with big business moguls in the nineteenth century and Communist leaders in the twentieth, the trick here is to take all those involved in some aspect of public life and single out those who are Jewish. The implication made is that this is a Jewish-led movement conducted not in the interests of all the, in this case, American people, but to the benefit of Jews, and in this case Israel.

Trotskyism allegation

Critics of neo-conservatism have charged that neo-conservatism is descended from Trotskyism, and that Trotskyist traits continue to characterize ideologies and practices of neo-conservatism. During the Reagan Administration, the charge that the foreign policy of the Reagan administration was being run by Trotskyists: This claim was called a "myth" by Lipset (1988, p. 34).[88] This "Trotskyist" charge has been repeated and even widened by journalist Michael Lind in 2003 to assert a takeover of the foreign policy of the George W. Bush administration by former Trotskyists;[89] Lind's "amalgamation of the defense intellectuals with the traditions and theories of 'the largely Jewish-American Trotskyist movement' [in Lind's words]" was criticized in 2003 by University of Michigan professor Alan M. Wald,[90] who had discussed Trotskyism in his history of "the New York intellectuals".[91][92]

Trotskyism is a form of Leninism. The charge that neoconservativism is related to Leninism has been raised, also. Francis Fukuyama identified neoconservatism with Leninism in 2006.[14] He wrote that neoconservatives:

…believed that history can be pushed along with the right application of power and will. Leninism was a tragedy in its Bolshevik version, and it has returned as farce when practiced by the United States. Neoconservatism, as both a political symbol and a body of thought, has evolved into something I can no longer support.[14]


The term neoconservative may be used pejoratively by self-described paleoconservatives, Democrats, liberals, progressives and by libertarians.

Critics take issue with neoconservatives' support for aggressive foreign policy. Critics from the left take issue with what they characterize as unilateralism and lack of concern with international consensus through organizations such as the United Nations.[93][94][95]

Neoconservatives respond by describing their shared view as a belief that national security is best attained by actively promoting freedom and democracy abroad as in the democratic peace theory through the support of pro-democracy movements, foreign aid and in certain cases military intervention. This is a departure from the traditional conservative tendency to support friendly regimes in matters of trade and anti-communism even at the expense of undermining existing democratic systems and possible destabilization.

Republican Congressman and libertarian leaning 2012 Presidential candidate Ron Paul has been a long time critic of the neoconservative movement as an attack on freedom and the U.S. Constitution, including an extensive speech on the House floor addressing neoconservative roots and how neoconservatism is neither new nor conservative. That speech can be seen in a variety of places online.[96]

Paul Krugman in a column named 'Years Of Shame' commemorating the tenth anniversary of 9/11 attacks, criticized the Neoconservatives for taking America to a war unrelated to 9/11 attacks and fought for wrong reasons.[97]

Imperialism and secrecy

John McGowan, professor of humanities at the University of North Carolina, states, after an extensive review of neoconservative literature and theory, that neoconservatives are attempting to build an American Empire, seen as successor to the British Empire, its aim being to perpetuate a Pax Americana. As imperialism is largely seen as unacceptable by the American public, neoconservatives do not articulate their ideas and goals in a frank manner in public discourse. McGowan states,[65]

Frank neoconservatives like Robert Kaplan and Niall Ferguson recognize that they are proposing imperialism as the alternative to liberal internationalism. Yet both Kaplan and Ferguson also understand that imperialism runs so counter to American's liberal tradition that it must... remain a foreign policy that dare not speak its name... While Ferguson, the Brit, laments that Americans cannot just openly shoulder the white man's burden, Kaplan the American, tells us that "only through stealth and anxious foresight" can the United States continue to pursue the "imperial reality [that] already dominates our foreign policy", but must be disavowed in light of "our anti-imperial traditions, and... the fact that imperialism is delegitimized in public discourse"... The Bush administration, justifying all of its actions by an appeal to "national security", has kept as many of those actions as it can secret and has scorned all limitations to executive power by other branches of government or international law.

Friction with paleoconservatism

Starting in the 1980s, disputes over Israel and public policy contributed to a sharp conflict with paleoconservatives, who argue that neoconservatives are an illegitimate addition to the conservative movement. For example, Pat Buchanan calls neoconservatism "a globalist, interventionist, open borders ideology."[98] The open rift is often traced back to a 1981 dispute over Ronald Reagan's nomination of Mel Bradford, a Southerner, to run the National Endowment for the Humanities. Bradford withdrew after neoconservatives complained that he had criticized Abraham Lincoln; the paleoconservatives supported Bradford.

Neoconservatism in other countries

The movement has been influential in other countries. Variants of neoconservatism can be found in the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom and Japan.

Notable figures connected to neoconservatism

The list includes public figures identified as personally a neoconservative at an important time or a high official with numerous neoconservative advisors, such as George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Some are dead, or are ex-neoconservatives.


Government officials


  • Robert Kagan --Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, Historian, founder of the Yale Political Monthly, adviser to Republican political campaigns.
  • Francis Fukuyama --Senior Fellow at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford, former-neoconservative, political scientist, political economist, and author.
  • Victor Davis Hanson --Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, columnist and author.
  • Michael Ledeen --Freedom Scholar chair at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, former US government consultant, author, columnist.
  • Sidney Hook --Political philosopher; called himself a social democrat and rejected the "neoconservative" label; nonetheless, he has been listed by a historian[108]
  • Nathan Glazer --Professor of sociology, columnist, author.
  • Harvey Mansfield --William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Government at Harvard University, author.
  • Bernard Lewis --Cleveland E. Dodge Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University, author.

Public intellectuals

Related publications and institutions



See also


  1. ^ Justin Vaïsse, Neoconservatism: the biography of a movement (2010) p. 221
  2. ^ Irwin M. Stelzer, The neocon reader (2004) p. 4
  3. ^ Irving Kristol, "The Neoconservative Persuasion: What it was, and what it is," The Weekly Standard August 25, 2003 online
  4. ^ Robert G. Kaufman, Henry M. Jackson: a life in politics (2000) p 168
  5. ^ Harrington, Michael (Fall 1973). "The Welfare State and Its Neoconservative Critics". Dissent 20.  Cited in: Isserman, Maurice (2000). The Other American: the life of Michael Harrington. New York: PublicAffairs. ISBN 1891620304. "...reprinted as chapter 11 in Harrington's 1976 book The Twilight of Capitalism, pp. 165–272. Earlier in 1973 he had sketched out some of the same ideas in a brief contribution to a symposium on welfare sponsored by Commentary, "Nixon, the Great Society, and the Future of Social Policy", Commentary 55 (May 1973), p.39" 
  6. ^ a b Goldberg, Jonah (2003-05-20). "The Neoconservative Invention". National Review. Retrieved 2008-03-30. 
  7. ^ Kristol, Irving (1999). Neoconservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea. Ivan R. Dee. ISBN 1-56663-228-5. 
  8. ^ Gerson, Mark (Fall 1995). "Norman's Conquest,". Policy Review. Retrieved 2008-03-31. 
  9. ^ Pohoretz, Norman (1982-05-02). "The Neoconservative Anguish over Reagan's Foreign Policy". The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved 2008-03-30. 
  10. ^ Dionne, E.J. (1991). Why Americans Hate Politics. New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. 55–61. ISBN 0-671-68255-5. 
  11. ^ Lipset (1988, p. 39)
  12. ^ Kinsley, Michael (2005-04-17). "The Neocons' Unabashed Reversal". The Washington Post: p. B07. Retrieved 2008-03-30. 
  13. ^ Marshall, J.M. "Remaking the World: Bush and the Neoconservatives". From Foreign Affairs, November/December 2003. Retrieved on December 1, 2008.
  14. ^ a b c Fukuyama, F. (February 19, 2006). After Neoconservatism. New York Times Magazine. Retrieved on: December 1, 2008.
  15. ^ see "Administration of George W. Bush".
  16. ^ Nuechterlein, James (May 1996). "The End of Neoconservatism". First Things 63: 14–15. Retrieved 2008-03-31. "Neoconservatives differed with traditional conservatives on a number of issues, of which the three most important, in my view, were the New Deal, civil rights, and the nature of the Communist threat... On civil rights, all neocons were enthusiastic supporters of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965."" 
  17. ^ Benjamin Balint, Running Commentary: The Contentious Magazine That Transformed the Jewish Left Into the Neoconservative Right (2010)
  18. ^ Irving Kristol, "Forty good years," Public Interest, Spring 2005, Issue 159, pp 5-11 is Kristol's retrospective in the final issue.
  19. ^ "Socialism: What Happened? What Now?". symposium transcript. Notesonline and the New Economy Information Service. June 27, 2002. Retrieved 2006-12-09. 
  20. ^ a b "Jeane Kirkpatrick and the Cold War (audio)". NPR. 2006-12-08. Retrieved 2007-08-16. 
  21. ^ Allen, Richard V. (2006-12-16). "Jeane Kirkpatrick and the Great Democratic Defection". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-08-16. 
  22. ^ William, Buckley (August 10, 1984). "Prime time for Mrs. Kirkpatrick?". National Review. Retrieved 2007-08-16. 
  23. ^ Jeane Kirkpatrick, "Dictatorships and Double Standards," Commentary Magazine Volume 68, No. 5, November 1979, pp. 34-45. & Related book
  24. ^ "Jeane Kirkpatrick". The Economist. 2006-12-19. Retrieved 2007-08-16. 
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^ Alexander Bloom, Prodigal sons: the New York intellectuals and their world (1986) p. 372
  28. ^ Murray Friedman, The Neoconservative Revolution: Jewish Intellectuals and the Shaping of Public Policy (2006)
  29. ^ Lind, Michael. "How Neoconservatives Conquered Washington", Salon, April 9, 2003.
  30. ^ Wald, Alan (27 June 2003). "Are Trotskyites Running the Pentagon?". History News Network. 
  31. ^ Wald, Alan M. (1987). The New York intellectuals: The rise and decline of the anti-Stalinist left from the 1930s to the 1980s'. University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 0-8078-4169-2. 
  32. ^ King, William (2004). "Neoconservatives and 'Trotskyism'". American Communist History (Taylor and Francis) 3 (2): 247–266. doi:10.1080/1474389042000309817. ISSN 1474-3892. ISSN 1474-3906. 

    King, Bill (March 22, 2004). The question of 'Shachtmanism'. "Neoconservatives and Trotskyism". Enter Stage Right: Politics, Culture, Economics (3): 1 2. ISSN 1488-1756. 

  33. ^ Robert Kaufman, Henry M. Jackson: a life in politics (2000) p. 398
  34. ^ Justin Vaïsse, Neoconservatism: The Biography of a Movement (2010) ch 3
  35. ^ Mason, Robert (2004). Richard Nixon and the Quest for a New Majority. UNC Press. pp. 81–88. ISBN 0807829056. 
  36. ^ Lind, Michael (2004-02-23). "A Tragedy of Errors". The Nation. Retrieved 2008-03-30. 
  37. ^ Craig Unger, American Armageddon (2008)
  38. ^ Eugene R. Sheppard, Leo Strauss and the politics of exile: the making of a political philosopher (2005) p 1
  39. ^ Allan Bloom, "Leo Strauss: September 20, 1899-October 18, 1973," Political Theory, Nov 1974, Vol. 2 Issue 4, pp 372-392, an obituary and appreciation by one of his prominent students
  40. ^ John P. East, "Leo Strauss and American Conservatism," Modern Age, Winter 1977, Vol. 21 Issue 1, pp 2-19 online
  41. ^ Thomas G. West, "Leo Strauss and the American Founding," Review of Politics, Winter 1991, Vol. 53 Issue 1, pp 157-172
  42. ^ Johnathan O'Neill, "Straussian constitutional history and the Straussian political project," Rethinking History, Dec 2009, Vol. 13 Issue 4, pp 459-478
  43. ^ Barry F. Seidman and Neil J. Murphy, eds. Toward a new political humanism (2004) p 197
  44. ^ Sheppard, Leo Strauss and the politics of exile: the making of a political philosopher (2005) pp 1-2
  45. ^ Jaques, Martin (2006-11-16). "America faces a future of managing imperial decline". The Guardian (London).,,1948806,00.html. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  46. ^ Pope, Charles (2008-09-29). "Cheney changed his view on Iraq". Seattle Post Intelligencer. Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  47. ^ Solarz, Stephen, et al. "Open Letter to the President", February 19, 1998, online at Retrieved September 16, 2006.
  48. ^ Bailey, Ronald (July 1997). "Origin of the Specious". Reason. Retrieved 2008-03-31. 
  49. ^ "Bush Begins Nation Building". WCVB TV. 2003-04-16. 
  50. ^ Vernon, Wes (2001-04-07). "China Plane Incident Sparks Re-election Drives of Security-minded Senators". Newsmax. Retrieved 2008-03-30. 
  51. ^ Harnden, Toby; Philps, Alan (2001-06-26). "Bush accused of adopting Clinton policy on Israel". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2008-03-30. 
  52. ^ "Bush: Mubarak wanted me to invade Iraq", Mohammad Sagha. Foreign Policy. November 12, 2010. Accessed June 8, 2011
  53. ^ "The President's State of the Union Speech." White House press release, Jan. 29, 2002.
  54. ^ "Bush Speechwriter's Revealing Memoir Is Nerd's Revenge". The New York Observer, Jan. 19, 2003
  55. ^ Douglas Porch, "Writing History in the "End of History" Era--Reflections on Historians and the GWOT," Journal of Military History, Oct 2006, Vol. 70 Issue 4, pp 1065-1079
  56. ^ "National Security Strategy of the United States". National Security Council. 2002-09-20. 
  57. ^
  58. ^ "The evolution of the Bush doctrine", in "The war behind closed doors". Frontline, PBS. February 20, 2003.
  59. ^ "The Bush Doctrine.” “Think Tank,” PBS. July 11, 2002.
  60. ^ "Assessing the Bush Doctrine", in "The war behind closed doors." Frontline, PBS. February 20, 2003.
  61. ^ Bumiller, Elisabeth; Larry Rohter (2008-04-10). "2 Camps Trying to Influence McCain on Foreign Policy". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-16. 
  62. ^ Stephen McGlinchey, "Neoconservatism and American Foreign Policy", Politikon: The IAPSS Journal of Political Science, Vol 16, 1 (October, 2010).
  63. ^ Kristol, Irving. "American conservatism 1945-1995". Public Interest, Fall 1995.
  64. ^ "Viewpoint: The end of the neocons?", Jonathan Clarke, British Broadcasting Corporation, January 13, 2009
  65. ^ a b McGowan, J. (2007). "Neoconservatism". American Liberalism: An Interpretation for Our Time. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. pp. 124–133. ISBN 0-807-83171-9. 
  66. ^
  67. ^ Muravchik, Joshua (2006-11-19). "Can the Neocons Get Their Groove Back?". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2006-11-19. 
  68. ^ Kristol, What Is a Neoconservative? 87
  69. ^ Podhoretz, 275.
  70. ^ Vaisse, Neoconservatism (2010) p 110
  71. ^ Steinfels, 69.
  72. ^ Francis, Samuel (2004-06-07) Idol With Clay Feet, The American Conservative
  73. ^ Klein, Joe "McCain's Foreign Policy Frustration" TIME magazine, July 23, 2008
  74. ^ Andrew Sullivan,"A False Premise", Sullivan's Daily Dish, February 5, 2009.
  75. ^ Joshua Muravchik: The Past, Present, and Future of Neoconservatism Commentary October 2007.
  76. ^ Irving Kristol: The Neoconservative Persuasion. Weekly Standard, August 25th, 2003
  77. ^ Murray, p. 40
  78. ^ Stelzer, p. 198
  79. ^ William Coleman: Heroes or Heroics? Neoconservatism, Capitalism, and Bourgeois Ethics. Social Affairs Unit.
  80. ^ Zeev Sternhell: The Anti-Enlightenment Tradition. New Haven, Yale University Press, 2010 ISBN 978-0-300-13554-1 p. 436.
  81. ^
  82. ^
  83. ^ Harsanyi, David (2002-08-13). "Beware the Neocons". FrontPage Magazine. Retrieved 2008-08-31. 
  84. ^ Lieber, Robert J. (2003-04-29). "The Left's Neocon Conspiracy Theory". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 2008-03-31. 
  85. ^ Jeffrey Goldberg: Joe Klein on Neoconservatives and Iran The Atlantic blog, July 29, 2008.
  86. ^ Brooks, David (2004). Irwin Stelzer, ed.. ed. The NeoCon Reader. Grove. ISBN 0-8021-4193-5. The Neocon Cabal and Other Fantasies. 
  87. ^ Rubin, Barry (2003-04-06 accessdate=2008-03-31). "Letter from Washington". h-antisemitism. 
  88. ^ "A 1987 article in The New Republic described these developments as a Trotskyist takeover of the Reagan administration" wrote Lipset (1988, p. 34).
  89. ^ Lind, Michael (7 April 2003). "The weird men behind George W. Bush's war". New Statesman (London). 
  90. ^ Wald, Alan (27 June 2003). "Are Trotskyites Running the Pentagon?". History News Network. 
  91. ^ Wald, Alan M. (1987). The New York intellectuals: The rise and decline of the anti-Stalinist left from the 1930s to the 1980s'. University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 0-8078-4169-2. 
  92. ^ King, William (2004). "Neoconservatives and 'Trotskyism'". American Communist History (Taylor and Francis) 3 (2): 247–266. doi:10.1080/1474389042000309817. ISSN 1474-3892. ISSN 1474-3906. 

    King, Bill (March 22, 2004). The question of 'Shachtmanism'. "Neoconservatives and Trotskyism". Enter Stage Right: Politics, Culture, Economics (3): 1 2. ISSN 1488-1756. 

  93. ^ Kinsley, Michael (2005-04-17). "The Neocons' Unabashed Reversal". The Washington Post: p. B07. Retrieved 2006-12-25.  Kinsley quotes Rich Lowry, whom he describes as "a conservative of the non-neo variety", as criticizing the neoconservatives "messianic vision" and "excessive optimism"; Kinsley contrasts the present-day neoconservative foreign policy to earlier neoconservative Jeane Kirkpatrick's "tough-minded pragmatism".
  94. ^ Martin Jacques, "The neocon revolution", The Guardian, March 31, 2005. Accessed online December 25, 2006. (Cited for "unilateralism".)
  95. ^ Rodrigue Tremblay, "The Neo-Conservative Agenda: Humanism vs. Imperialism", presented at the Conference at the American Humanist Association annual meeting Las Vegas, May 9, 2004. Accessed online 25 December 2006 on the site of the Mouvement laïque québécois.
  96. ^
  97. ^ Paul Krugman, [" Years Of Shame]", NYT, Sepetember 11 2011. Accessed online September 17, 2011. (Cited for "criticism by a significant source".)
  98. ^ Tolson 2003.
  99. ^ Adam Wolfson, "Conservatives and neoconservatives," Public Interest, Winter 2004, Issue 154, p32-48
  100. ^ Spencer C. Tucker and Priscilla Roberts, Encyclopedia of Middle East Wars (2010) vol 1 p 893
  101. ^ L. Edward Purcell, Vice Presidents: A Biographical Dictionary (2009) p. 449
  102. ^ Michael Ryan and Les Switzer, God in the corridors of power: Christian conservatives, the media, and politics in America (2009) p 167
  103. ^ Gary J. Dorrien, Economy, Difference, Empire (2010) p 218
  104. ^ Justin Vaisse, Neoconservatism: the biography of a movement (2010) p. 14
  105. ^ Michael Ryan and Les Switzer, God in the corridors of power: Christian conservatives, the media, and politics in America (2009) p 167
  106. ^ L. Edward Purcell, Vice Presidents: A Biographical Dictionary (2009) p. 449
  107. ^ Justin Vaisse, Neoconservatism: the biography of a movement (2010) p. 14
  108. ^ Stelzer, The neocon reader (2004) p 46
  109. ^ McClelland, Mark J.L. (April 2011). "Exporting virtue: neoconservatism, democracy promotion and the end of history". The International Journal of Human Rights 15 (4): 520–531. ,
  110. ^ Bill Steigerwald. "So, what is a 'neocon'?". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. 
  111. ^ C. Bradley Thompson. "Neoconservatism Unmasked". Cato Unbound. 
  112. ^ Mann, James (September 2004). Rise of the Vulcans (1st paperback ed.). Penguin Books. p. 318. ISBN 0-14-303489-8. 


Further reading



  • Fukuyama,,Francis. "After Neoconservatism". Archived copy of original New York Times article. Also available in .pdf
  • Thompson, Bradley C. (with Yaron Brook). Neoconservatism. An Obituary for an Idea. Boulder/London: Paradigm Publishers, 2010. ISBN 978-1-59451-831-7.

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.