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Origins of neo-conservatism - Essay Example

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Origins of neo-conservatism

"A number of future neoconservatives such as Jeane Kirkpatrick and Ken Adelman were Shachtmanites in their youth, while others were later involved with Social Democrats USA. Most neoconservatives, however, including those who have been close to SDUSA, will strenuously deny, even contrary to evidence, that they were ever Shachtmanites" (Dean, 2004,p.65). Disagreement with Dtente with the USSR and the ideas of New Left, who were against both Soviet and capitalist ideologies, which occurred as a reaction to the USSR's break with Stalinism ideology in the middle of 1950s, led the Neoconservatives to break with 'liberal consent' established in postwar years. The 'prototypical' neoconservative intellectuals I.Kristol and N.Podhoretz were connected to with the magazine named 'Commentary', and their academic development is quite apparent in those publications of that period (Stelzer, 2004). Over the course of the 1950s and early 1960s the original neoconservatives rejected communism, but accepted socialism and supported Civil Rights Movement initiated by Martin Luter King, and integration.
Whereas, at the beginning of its development, the ideas of neoconservatism became well-known among the followers of hardline Communists, usually Jewish immigrant families, who lived in great poverty and those who has now become famous neoconservative thinkers. "Many neoconservatives also came to despise the counterculture of the 1960s and what they felt was a growing "anti-Americanism" among many baby boomers, exemplified in the emerging New Left by the movement against the Vietnam War" (Steinfels, 1979,p.143).
As the reinforcement of the Neoconvervatives pushed these theorists farther to the right, they approached a more forceful militarism, whilst also being disappointed with the Johnson's Administration.
Scholars and intellectuals of these groups, many of whom were still Democrats, disapproved of the actions of Democratic Party's leftward 'subdivision' on defense problems and arguable questions in 1970s, in particular, after the appointment of George McGovern in 1972. Lots of prominent intellectuals clustered around Senator Henry 'Scoop' Jackson (known as 'Senator fron Boeing'), who was a representative of Democratic wing, but then they started supporting Ronald Reagan and the Rebublican Party, who promised to handle Cold War and Soviet expansion. Ronald Reagan and the Republicans, who promised to confront charges of Soviet "expansionism."
Michael Lind, who aligned himself to neoconservatism, wrote that this ideological doctrine "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. When the Cold War ended, many 'paleoliberals' drifted back to the Democratic center" (Lind, 2004,p.28) Modern neoconservatives are Today's neocons are a weak rudiment of the initially broad ...Show more

Summary

The term 'neo-conservatism' has several definitions. First of all, it can be defined as political movement, which has been taking place in the United States up to these days. Furthermore, the term refers to ideology and objectives of public policy of neo-conservatives in the United States, who are generally known for their relatively interventionist and hawkish attitudes towards foreign policies, and their unsufficient support for the "small government" standards and limitations of social spending, comparing to other American parties and classical conservatives in particular.
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