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Friday, May 13, 2005

I am aware that I’m a little behind on this, but I am not a full-time blogger or journalist so forgive me: The Public Interest has come to its end. For those who are not in the know, this is the magazine that founded by Irving Kristol and Daniel Bell back in 1965, when both were becoming increasingly disillusioned with the direction that the contemporary American liberalism, that they were a part of, was taking. Eventually the magazine by gradual development became to be recognized as the breeding ground of neoconservatism.
Today neocons are thought to be a small clique of foreign policy hawks only interested in expanding American power and spreading democracy by military force. A simple look back in intellectual history and the back issues of the Public Interest shows that its origins clearly in domestic policay. In actual fact, there was never any distinctly neoconservative view on foreign policy issues. I would in fact go as far as doubting whether there really is one today. The desire to secure America by spreading democracy by force or vice versa, is fairly open to people of many ideological backgrounds, and it is thus probably more apt to use Ivo Daalder and James Lindsay’s descripton of that worldview as “democratic imperialism”.
So the actual relevance of neoconservatism is a domestic policy one, an area where it has been spectactularly successful. In part this is due to the intellectual depth this provided to the American right. For better or for worse this enabled a process that has given conservatives in the US a new lease on life. I have commented before that this is something where we in the UK are lagging rather behind. So this is all well worth a look.
I’m going to follow up on this post in a week’s time and provide a few more links and sorts.

Until then I’m going to be off-station as it were.



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