Quote note (#229)

Some discussion scrambling from ‘Spengler’ (arguing that “Neoconservatives are not Zionists”):

Asian observers try to understand American politics in rational terms. When the chips are down, the neo-conservative movement has nothing to do with American power, or with Mideast oil, or with Israel. It is a cult that believes that democratic institutions as such are the solution to the world’s problems, and will continue to believe this no matter how much evidence accumulates to the contrary. It is a well-defined cult, with a network of academic gurus and a standard literature, including (but not limited) to the late Prof. Leo Strauss. Like all cults, it bands together to defend its illusions against its enemies, even if those enemies are friends of Israel. One might call the neo-conservatives the Cult of Rationalism. That is, they are obsessed by an irrational faith in rationalism, and will do manifestly irrational things to defend their obsession from the cruel depradations of the real world. They are also willing to throw Israel’s interests under the bus.

As he notes previously (and more topically) in the article:

Trump notoriously has said that America could work with Russia’s Vladimir Putin against terrorists, and argued that toppling Saddam Hussein and Muammar Qaddafi benefited the terrorists. One cannot quite say that Trump paints with a broad brush; rather, he throws the bucket of paint against the wall. But the neo-conservatives’ defining dogma is to undermine dictators and promote democracy. Trump’s view is closer to that of the Israeli consensus. Israel is pragmatic, generally preferring the Arab dictatorships to the chaos that replaced them. Israel’s relations with Russia are complex but generally good, especially in operational matters in Syria.

March 10, 2016admin 34 Comments »
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34 Responses to this entry

  • Quote note (#229) | Neoreactive Says:

    […] By admin […]

    Posted on March 10th, 2016 at 5:42 pm Reply | Quote
  • Aristocles Invictus Says:

    Ignoring the founding members of the neocon movement and the fact that most of the leading intellectuals are Jewish-American is the only possible way one could come to this conclusion.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    On the contrary, an unquestioning assumption that the (obviously massive) Jewish character of Neoconservatism can be immediately translated into an alignment with Israeli interests is at least over-hasty. If you don’t agree, please indicate specifically where you think Goldman’s argument fails. (He’s an emphatic Zionist who despises Neoconservatives, and there’s no reason to think he’s being disingenuous about either of those commitments.)

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    Izak Reply:

    It’s a stupid argument because he’s assuming that a Zionist automatically has the correct strategy. The whole article is one gigantic “no true Scotsman.” His reasons for assuming that Trump is more pro-Israel than Hillary are also spotty, at best.

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    Irving Reply:

    He isn’t saying that the neo-cons aren’t Zionists because they haven’t the right strategy as it relates to pursuing and advancing Israeli interests, he’s saying that the neo-cons’ strategy has nothing to do with advancing Israeli interests whatsoever. I agree that this is probably a stretch, but in the grand scheme of things, there are all sorts of things that the neo-cons do that directly harm Israel, or else go against what most Israeli policymakers want.

    Izak Reply:

    It’s a complete stretch; one that ignores far more than it addresses.

    If he seriously thinks that all of the genuflecting neocons do for Israel is just lying or tricking the Jews (or whatever), then it’s pretty silly that he addresses his argument to the ostensibly paranoid “conspiracy theorists.” The war in Iraq definitely didn’t help Israel, but a lot of the BS intelligence about WMDs came from Israel, and much of the forward momentum towards starting that war came from lobbying groups that define themselves as pro-Israel. And all of that definitely went into neocon rhetoric about the war.

    I feel like if you presented all the evidence to Goldman that the neocons do, in fact, love the shit out of Israel and want it to do great, he would say something bland like, “Well, neoconservatism isn’t *primarily* about Israel, and love for Israel is not a necessary condition to being a neocon.” And everyone would agree with that, but it would also be the most boring and obvious point ever.

    Morkyz Reply:

    Alignment with Israeli interests has to be define, imo, in relative + marginal terms terms. The idea of “promoting democracy” is pro Israel, as I see it, relative to most of the other foreign policy dogmas the US could plausibly have. Maybe it’s worse than “promote stability” or maybe it was worse at some point, but whatev.

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    Posted on March 10th, 2016 at 5:48 pm Reply | Quote
  • Brett Stevens Says:

    A better way is just to view the situation in HBD terms: Israel is a quasi-Asiatic first world state, while Arab and Russian entities are Asiatic third-world states. Israel is the Japan of the middle east.

    Trump seems correct about terrorism. “Every population gets the government it deserves,” so any time you see a group of people living under tyranny, it’s worth realizing that the majority are idiots without impulse control, and that is why the tyrant exists. If you “free” them, they will merely bring that insanity into Europe.

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    Peter A. Taylor Reply:

    What did the North Koreans do to deserve a government so much worse than what the South Koreans have?

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    frank Reply:

    Misery and poorness aside, NK is probably at least as secure as SK. Probably the only big difference between NK and SK is wealth. I would expect social trust, work ethics, corruption, etc. to be quite similar in both Koreas.

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    michael Reply:

    you know i watched a recent documentary on NK where the filmaker had a lot of access and it made me wonder if its really so bad as we are told, they seem genuinely happy and thriving, and democracy is not an asian thing they dont miss not having it Dear leaders eccentricities seem trivial in fact given the accomplishments I saw in the video and given anti NK rhetoric from west it might actually be appropriate. Im no scholar on topic but the doc seemed like it couldnt possibly have been a faked entire Potemkin country.

    [Reply]

    Planted Weight Reply:

    michael, what’s the name of the NK documentary?

    Posted on March 10th, 2016 at 6:24 pm Reply | Quote
  • Orthodox Says:

    When the term neo-con was created it meant exactly what Spengler says it means. Then the neo-cons themselves created the idea that it was anti-semitic code for Jewish, and used it to slur anti-war advocates such as Ron Paul.

    Reminds me of back in 2002 when the left went around loudly proclaiming that Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11, and that the Bush admin was wrongly tying them together (even though the Bush admin never claimed any connection). The number of people who thought Iraq was involved in 9/11 went up, not down as the leftist campaign marched on.

    Most people are idiots.

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    Posted on March 10th, 2016 at 7:34 pm Reply | Quote
  • Augustus Pugin Says:

    Since when was Leo Strauss enthralled with Democracy or its institutions

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    Morkyz Reply:

    Strauss was a literal demigod with the superpower of creating institutions with teleology.

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    Dick Wagner Reply:

    That’s what I was thinking Pugin. Is neocon praxis indicative of what is ‘between the lines’? Or perhaps did the neocons take Rosen’s route and pay back their master by killing him (which Strauss implored following his master Zarathustra)? Would love some straight-talk from Land on this…

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    Posted on March 10th, 2016 at 9:31 pm Reply | Quote
  • Morkyz Says:

    I’m starting to think all deep right confusion about Jews comes out of 1) assuming that either ideological or social systems have consistent motivations and principles, and 2) assuming historical events have causes in any other than the loosest sense. Actually all arguments about zionism and Jews are arguments about semantics.

    [Reply]

    Cichlimbar Reply:

    You are gravely mistaken about who is confused about Jews. Your (1) is neither here nor there; your opposition to (2) is bizarre. Lastly, postmodernist sleight-of-hand notwithstanding, biology is not a matter of semantics.

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    Posted on March 10th, 2016 at 10:42 pm Reply | Quote
  • Walter Oleg Says:

    Neo-Cohens

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    michael Reply:

    LOL I used that on an actual neocon commenter called Cohen the other day

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    Posted on March 11th, 2016 at 1:52 am Reply | Quote
  • pyrrhus Says:

    Trump’s statement about the disastrous consequences of overthrowing pro-western leaders in the ME is so obviously true that debate would seem superfluous. Similarly, the desirability of working with Putin can only be questioned by the (nonexistent??) jewish neocons who dislike Putin….

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    Posted on March 11th, 2016 at 3:04 am Reply | Quote
  • Kgaard Says:

    Jewish dislike of Trump seems largely instinctual, driven by fear of being pogrommed and/or Holocausted by a self-aware white majority. Based on just general observation, it seems to me the more physically attractive and more Ashkanazi Jews tend to be more open to being pro-Trump because they have had an easier time getting along with the white Christian masses in their life. If push came to shove, they know they could “pass.”

    Goldman’s argument that Neocons aren’t really thinking about Israel doesn’t pass the smell test with me. It doesn’t make any SENSE for starters. The whole line of reasoning reminds me of David Frum’s deviousness in accusing Iraq-War opponents of anti-Semitism back in 2003.

    Maybe Goldman has a point in here somewhere … but overall it feels like he is trying to get ahead of what could be an outbreak of anti-semitism as people start to put two and two together and realize neocons basically hijacked US foreign policy for 15 years. If Trump wins those 15 years come to a screeching halt (hopefully).

    [Reply]

    michael Reply:

    plausible its got to be disturbing to see trump call Bush a liar in military states then win a landslide GOP primary there. I read the military families are privately feeling scammed while publicly circling wagons.The whole globalist thing is at a point where it cant be hidden any longer its clear both parties are behind it and western people will be losers. Because the whole project is so racially fraught its going to be tough not to notice the JQ earned or not. And I like jews a lot but in my opinion its earned and I really wish they would own it repent and amend by switching sides with a vengeance.

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    Posted on March 11th, 2016 at 3:19 am Reply | Quote
  • VKR Says:

    > nothing to do with American power, or with Mideast oil, or with Israel. It is a cult that believes that democratic institutions as such are the solution to the world’s problems

    Democracies are uniquely suited to be controlled by the mass media – and we know who controls the media. Neocons are spreading democracy because it is handing more control to the jews.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    That’s the opposite of Amy Chua’s thesis (which looks more robust to me).

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    Seth Reply:

    The “policy implication” quote at the end of that article . . . Jesus. Has a person ever been so intelligent in her diagnosis and so idiotic about a cure?

    [Reply]

    Seth Reply:

    Although I suppose it might be smokescreen on Chua’s part, especially given the controversy surrounding her other work.

    Dotplot Reply:

    as they quote her there, it sounds like she’s saying “democracy is great, but it should b accompanied by redistribution, and redistribution is unlikely, so [be brave, comrades! / maybe hold off on revolution, comrades]. I can’t tell which bracketed completion seems more correct

    admin Reply:

    She’s a stereotypical Cathedral Brahmin, but with an unusual ability to register and communicate reality.

    michael Reply:

    she does that a lot its something i notice others do it might be a clever ploy to make the reader complicit in the thought crime

    VKR Reply:

    There is a contradiction only if we assume neocons are aware of and operate according to Chua’s thesis. They may not, esp considering that none of those other market dominant minorities control the global/local media, only jews.

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    Posted on March 11th, 2016 at 4:58 am Reply | Quote
  • antonimous Says:

    This is all quite natural, but surely you can do better than that, Mr. Land.

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    SVErshov Reply:

    I can move my hand over Trump picture on my tablet and his hair will move phisically in USA. Sound as a bizarre statement indeed, but in physics it is known as Butterfly Effect – amplification by chaos. have a crazy weekend and watch your hiar gentlemen.

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    Posted on March 11th, 2016 at 1:03 pm Reply | Quote
  • Froude Society Says:

    After speaking with a quite rigorous Jewish neoconservative about Strauss and their movement, it seems to me that there is a lot more to him than what we have gotten from Gottfried’s book. Strauss is apparently an esoteric writer who, just behind the veil, is radically anti-democratic and elitist, in contrast to what him and his followers portray at the surface. [I don’t fully buy my friend’s take, he is pandering to me after all…]They utilize lessons from the classics to essentially defend Western civilization as is, celebrating its triumph in a way no one else does. This is probably the key point one must take home, that Straussians are one of the few intellectual traditions that proudly and boldly proclaim love for the West. We at HRx and NRx certainly do not love the West as it has evolved into, we want to kill it and bring it reborn. The Left certainly hates it, that’s obvious. We also accept a relativistic stance, willing to cede ground to those who disagree as long as we may have our patch/empire, Straussians proclaim the West + subtextually the Jews I suppose are /objectively/ superior: its laws, governments, history, institutions all of it. Which is of course the likely greatest weakness, its total lack of syncretism, and also its bullheaded devotion to Greco-Roman source material.

    Goldman is wrong though, neocons don’t love Israel because they are democratic, but because they see them as the last colonial project that is fundamentally defined by Western institutions (which seem to somehow include “Judaeo-Christian” legacies). Strauss’s devotion to Israel was passionate and uncompromising, so has been basically every last one of his followers devotion. Many also see the struggle between Israel and Iran as a continuation of the old Roman-Persian conflicts. Regardless, love of Churchill is their more suspect obsession.

    [Reply]

    Posted on March 13th, 2016 at 10:11 am Reply | Quote

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