Saturday, July 31, 2010

Marginal Revolution: *Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an Idea*

*Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an Idea*

The author is C. Bradley Thompson and this new book is in broad terms an Objectivist ("Randian") critique of neoconservatism and Leo Strauss.  Here is one summary bit:

Inevitably, the neocons are epistemological relativists (though of an anti-egalitarian nature), which is the source, as we shall see momentarily, of their moral relativism.  Because the political good in their world is mutable and always changing, the neoconservatives do not want fixed principles to which they are hbeholden, nor do they strive to be morally or politically consistent.  Their power and authority is generated and sustained by the illusion that the world is in a state of constant change and that it is governed by what Machiavelli called fortuna.  The truth or falsity of an idea is, according to the neocons, determined by its usefulness in a particular situation and for particular people.  What is true today, they argue, may not be true tomorrow if an idea or an action fails to work in new and different situations.  In such a world, there can be no certainty, no absolutes, no fixed moral principles.

Be sure to check out the link for Tyler's take on politics vs. principles.

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