Sunday, September 02, 2007

Neoliberal and Neoconservative

In an article published in Commondreams, George Monbiot writes about the rise and meaning of neoliberalism. While the term is is heard frequently, few people know what it means. According to Monbiot, it means the maximum freedom to corporations, and the withdrawal of the state from everything except defense of private property and the nation's perimeter.

If that is neoliberalism, what is neoconservatism? One may suppose it is the similar, defiant, twist of an old label to a new and opposite one, rather like Leon Trotsky being an adopted name, that of Trotsky's (whose real name was Lev Bronstein, I think) jailer.

Neoconservatism is the revision of all things conservative, the active intervention of the state to promote a political agenda. From muscular use to suborning of the state is usually an inevitable journey, and its tale in 21st century America is captured by two fine articles, also in Commondreams; one by Ted Rall, the cartoonist, "We are all Gonzaleses now", and the other by Paul Campos (Gonzales & Son: The Legacy of An Honest Day’s Work).