March 7, 2004

Founding Father

William McGurn's review of The Norman Podhoretz Reader includes this comment on the complications in defining neoconservatism...

a movement in which he (Podhoretz) enjoys Founding Father status but which has never been sufficiently defined in positive terms. Negative definitions abound, from those on the right who see it as a Trojan Horse for liberalism to those on the left who see it as a conservatism with a friendlier face (not to mention those who use it as a crude euphemism for “Jewish”). Positive definitions have been more difficult to supply, and not only because neoconservatism is probably most frequently deployed as a pejorative. In its actual manifestations, it has not really been a creed along the lines of the cultural conservatism of the Russell Kirks, the libertarian consistency of a Hayek, or even the fusionism of a William F. Buckley, Jr. To my mind, the Reader confirms that neoconservatism is more a disposition that divided those on the left who adjusted their theories to reality from those who did vice versa.

(via Arts & Letters Daily)

Posted by dan at March 7, 2004 1:47 PM