[R-G] Fw: NEOCOSERVATISM, WHERE TROTSKY MEETS STALIN AND HITLER
info at cinox.demon.co.uk
Thu Jul 31 08:04:31 MDT 2003
July 23, 2003
The neoconservatives are often depicted as former Trotskyites who have
morphed into a new, closely related life form. It is pointed out that many
early neocons -- including The Public Interest founder Irving Kristol and
coeditor Nathan Glazer, Sidney Hook, and Albert Wohlstetter -- belonged to
the anti-Stalinist far left in the late 1930s and early 1940s, and that
their successors, including Joshua Muravchik, and Carl Gershman, came to
neoconservatism through the Socialist Party at a time when it was
Trotskyite in outlook and politics. As early as 1963 Richard Hofstadter
commented on the progression of many ex-Communists from the paranoid left
to the paranoid right, clinging all the while to the fundamentally
Manichean psychology that underlies both. Four decades later the dominant
strain of neoconservatism is declared to be a mixture of geopolitical
militarism and "inverted socialist internationalism."
Blanket depictions of neoconservatives as redesigned Trotskyites need to
be corrected in favor of a more nuanced analysis. In several important
respects the neoconservative world outlook has diverged from the
Trotskyite one and acquired some striking similarities with Stalinism and
German National Socialism. Today's neoconservatives share with Stalin and
Hitler an ideology of nationalist socialism and internationalist
imperialism. The similarities deserve closer scrutiny and may contribute
to a better understanding of the most influential group in the U.S.
foreign policy-making community.
Certain important differences remain, notably the neoconservatives'
hostility not only to Nazi race-theory but even to the most benign
understanding of national or ethnic coherence. On the surface, there are
also glaring differences in economics. However, the neoconservative
glorification of the free market is more rhetoric, designed to placate the
businessmen who fund them, than reality. In fact, the neoconservatives
favor not free enterprise but a kind of state capitalism -- within the
context of the global apparatus of the World Bank and the IMF -- that
Hitler would have appreciated.
Some form of gradual but irreversible and desirable withering away of the
state is a key tenet of the Trotskyite theoretical outlook. The
neoconservatives, by contrast, are statists par excellence. Their core
belief -- that society can be managed by the state in both its political
and economic life -- is equally at odds with the traditional conservative
outlook and with the non-Stalinist Left. In this important respect the
neoconservatives are much closer to Stalinism and National Socialism.
They do not want to abolish the state; they want to control it --
especially if the state they control is capable of controlling all others.
They are not "patriotic" in any conventional sense of the term and do not
identify themselves with the real and historic America but see the United
States merely as the host organism for the exercise of their Will to
Power. Whereas the American political tradition has been fixated on the
dangers of centralized state power, on the desirability of limited
government and non-intervention in foreign affairs, the neoconservatives
exalt and worship state power, and want America to become a hyper-state in
order to be an effective global hegemon. Even when they support local
government it is on the grounds that it is more efficient and responsive
to the demands of the Empire, not on Constitutional grounds.
The neoconservative view of America as a hybrid, "imagined" nation had an
ardent supporter eight decades ago: in Mein Kampf Adolf Hitler argued for
a new, tightly centralized Germany by invoking the example of the United
States and the triumph of the Union over states' rights.
He concluded that "National Socialism, as a matter of principle, must lay
claim to the right to force its principles on the whole German nation
without consideration of previous federated state boundaries."
Hitler was going to make a new Germany the way he imagined it, or else
destroy it. In the same vein the Weekly Standard writers are "patriots"
only insofar as the America they imagine is a pliable tool of their global
design. Their relentless pursuit of an American Empire overseas is coupled
by their deliberate domestic transformation of the United States' federal
government into a Leviathan unbound by constitutional restraints. The
lines they inserted into President Bush's State of the Union address last
January aptly summarized their Messianic obsessions: the call of history
has come to the right country, we exercise power without conquest, and
sacrifice for the liberty of strangers, we know that freedom is the right
of every person and the future of every nation: "The liberty we prize is
not America's gift to the world, it is God's gift to humanity."
Such megalomania is light years away from a patriotic appreciation of
one's nation. A psychotic quest for power and dominance is the driving
force, and the "nationalist" discourse its justification. The reality is
visible in ultimate distress: Towards the end of the Second World War
Josef Goebbels welcomed the Allied bombing for its destruction of the old
bourgeois cuckoo-clock and marzipan Germany of the feudal principalities.
Driven by the same impulse, Bill Kristol's "national greatness" psychosis
seeks to sweep away the old localized, decentralized America of bingo
parlors and little league games.
Most heirs of the Trotskyite Left are internationalists and one-world
globalists, whereas all neoconservatives are unabashed imperialists.
The former advocate "multilateralism," in the form of an emerging
"international community" controlled by the United Nations or through a
gradual transfer of sovereign prerogatives to regional groupings
exemplified by the European Union. By contrast the neoconservative urge
for uninhibited physical control of other lands and peoples bears
resemblance to the New European Order of six decades ago, or to the
"Socialist Community" that succeeded it in Eastern Europe. Even when they
demand wars to export democracy, the term "democracy" is used as an
ideological concept. It does not signify broad participation of informed
citizens in the business of governance, but it denotes the desirable
social and political content of ostensibly popular decisions. The process
likely to produce undesirable outcomesUan Islamic government in Iraq, say
-- is a priori "undemocratic." Whereas the Trotskyite Left is
predominantly anti-militarist, the neoconservatives are enthusiastically
militarist in a manner reminiscent of German and Soviet totalitarianism.
Their strategic doctrine, promulgated into official policy last September,
calls for an indefinite and massive military build-up unconnected to any
identifiable military threat to the United States. Their scribes demand
Tcitizen involvement,' in effect, militarization of the populace, but the
traditional Tcitizen soldier' concept is reversed.
Their goal is to get suitably indoctrinated young Americans to go and risk
their lives not for the honor and security of their own country, but for
the missions that have to be misrepresented to the public (e.g. the
non-existant Iraqi WMDs) in order to be made politically acceptable. As
Gary North has pointed out, neoconservative foreign policy is guns before
butter: "Butter always follows guns, but this is regarded as the
inescapable price of American regional presence abroad." The
neoconservatives' deep-seated distaste for the traditional societies,
regimes, and religion of the European continent, particularly Russia and
East European Slavs, is positively Hitlerian.
The sentiment was most glaringly manifested in the 1999 NATO war against
the Serbs: William Kristol's urge to vicariously "crush Serb skulls" went
way beyond the 1914 Viennese slogan "Serbien muss sterbien." In terms of
strategic significance for the United States, however, the neocons'
visceral Russophobia is mush more significant.
In the aftermath of the Cold War the neoconservatives have continued to
regard Moscow as the enemy, enthusiastically supporting Chechen
separatists as "freedom fighters" and advocating NATO expansion. Their
atavism is comparable to Hitler's obsession with Russia, an animosity that
was equally unrelated to the nature of its regime. It is only a matter of
time before some neocons start advocating a new Drang nach Osten, in the
form of an American-led scramble for Siberia.
The neoconservative mindset is apocalyptic (which is a Nazi and Stalinist
trait), rather than utopian (which characterizes the Trotskyite Left). The
replacement of the Soviet threat with the more amorphous "terrorism"
reflects the doomsday revolutionary mentality that can never rest. New
missions and new wars will have to be engineered, and pretexts
manufactured, with the same subtlety that characterized the "attack" on
the German radio station at Gleiwitz on August 31, 1939. Even the tools
for the enforcement of domestic acquiescence are not dissimilar: the
Patriot Act followed 9-11 as smoothly as the suspension of the Weimar
constitution followed the Reichstag fire. Echoing the revolutionary
dynamism and the historicist Messianism equally common to fascists and
communists, Michael Ledeen wrote that "creative destruction" is America's
eternal mission, both at home and abroad, and the reason America's
"enemies" hate it: "They cannot feel secure so long as we are there, for
our very existence -- our existence, not our politics -- threatens their
legitimacy. They must attack us in order to survive, just as we must
destroy them to advance our historic mission." The neoconservatives'
mendacity apparent in the misrepresentation of the Iraqi crisis to the
American people recalls the Goebbelsian "hypodermic needle approach" to
communication, in which the communicator's objective was to "inject" his
ideas into the minds of the target population. "Why, of course, the people
don't want war," Goering said when it was all over, in his prison cell in
Nuremberg in 1946:
"Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when
the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one
piece? But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine
the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along,
whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a communist
dictatorship ... That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are
being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and
exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."
It does indeed. Goering's observation is echoed in our time by the
Straussian dictum that perpetual deception of the citizens by those in
power is necessary because they need to be led, and they need to be told
what is good for them. On this, at least, Trotsky, Stalin, and Hitler
would all agree. (As Hitler had said, "The receptive powers of the masses
are very restricted, and their understanding is feeble.") In the
Straussian-neoconservative mindset, those who are fit to rule are those
who realize there is no morality and that there is only one natural right,
the right of the superior to rule over the inferior.
That mindset is America's enemy. It is the greatest threat to the
constitutional order, identity, and way of life of the United States, in
existence today. Its adherents have only modified the paradigm of
dialectical materialism in order to continue pursuing the same
eschatological dream, the End of History devoid of God. They are in
pursuit of Power for its own sake -- thus sinning against God and man --
and the end of that insane quest will be the same as the end of the Soviet
empire and of the Thousand-Year Reich.
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