Thursday, May 11, 2006

Irving Kristol (born 1920)

Irving Kristol wrote Neoconservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea (1). I will discuss this and another work by him at length as these give us some idea of what neoconservatism is really about.

Right in the preface he says some very revealing things. He says flat out that neoconservatism came out of the Left. Neoconservatives took over the Republican Party and brought it "into the present" which really means made it more "liberal" in the modern sense. Rather than becoming true conservatives (meaning more individual-freedom oriented) when they became Republicans, they changed the Republican Party into a party more like the "liberal" Democrats, endorsing big, active government. Today's policies prove that (2). The only real difference is (besides the details of in what areas of life the government is intruding the most) that much of the rhetoric actually is conservative sounding lip service to individual freedom, peace, privatization, tax relief, and generally a smaller government.

Early on Kristol shows that he believes people need some sort of authority to keep them in line. Anti-authority sentiments are "weak," he believes. This conclusion was reached while in the army, where he believed that army discipline was all that kept soldiers from running wild and committing misdeeds (3).

Partway through Chapter 1, "An Autobiographical Memoir," I realized that Irving Kristol had reached his thirties without a bit of knowledge of economics. He was still fairly "liberal" (meaning left-leaning). I think the die had been cast as far as his outlook on individual rights vs. government authority was concerned. While I don't think anybody is born with a set of ideas written on his genes, and I don't think a person is shaped and molded like clay by the environment unless he passively allows it, I do think that maybe a person is, to an extent, "wired" by God to have certain attributes. And a person forms certain habits early on. One might be born with the potential to attain a certain energy level if one takes care of one's health, and one might form the habit of being assertive, aggressive or passive, or of being deferential, or of looking out for number one. One is responsible to apply one's free will to use his God-given attributes in the best way.

In any case, Kristol did not seem to question authority. Of course, he grew up in a very conformist, obedient generation. Not knowing economics in the 1950s, he did not recognize the economic fallacies abundant in government policies, and did not start to wonder about it until the 1960s and the "Great Society." He always assumed what he had been told, that John Maynard Keynes had it all figured out, and that government monetary and fiscal policies could ensure sustainable growth and stability (whatever those mean at any given time). In other words, he was clueless. He knew that he was an anti-Communist, as he recognized that Communism was more than just an extreme of leftist thought, although he did seem to frown on “McCarthyism” (4). Of course, everyone goes on learning for life, and as one learns new things, one improves upon one's opinions based on the new knowledge. However, I think the basics of one's philosophy are formed in childhood and youth and then do not basically change.

Of course, there are bound to be some exceptions, but I do not believe Irving Kristol was one of them. The "godfather of neoconservatism," as he has often been called, has always been pro-government, and will most likely remain so (5).

Pro-government associates were pretty dismayed at the Democrat nomination of George McGovern, a far leftist, in 1972, and, being more moderate, they gravitated from the left wing. Not only that, but the youth movement of the 1960s had shown them they were really conservatives in the cultural sense.

Kristol and his neoconservative associates became involved with the American Enterprise Institute (6) and eventually took it over from the true conservatives who had been supporters of the strongly libertarian-leaning Barry Goldwater. The AEI is now one of the strongest engines in the pro-Bush movement, along with the Federalist Society (7) and the Project for a New American Century (8). Many of today's high officials in Washington have come out of these, including cabinet and judicial appointments.

With the 1970s came "stagflation," meaning inflation coupled with unemployment and economic stagnation, or recession. Nobody in the establishment could (or would) make heads or tails of that. We who have received an education in sound economics know that Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard had explained all of this, but the establishment did not, and still does not acknowledge them in any way. If they did, they would have to disprove Mises and Rothbard, and they cannot, as they are disproven by Mises and Rothbard!

Stagflation disproved Keynes, so the establishment cooked up "supply side" economics, which is actually Keynes lite. It didn't work. If it had, would the economy be teetering in 2006? No. So, today the establishment is pretending that the economy is going very strongly. Sure it is, Bush won by a landslide in 2004, the Emperor was wearing a new ski suit, and I have this bridge I would like to sell at a discount.

Well, I'd like to give "supply side" credit where credit is due. Its focus is on microeconomics rather than macroeconomics, so it deals a little less badly with economic incentives to produce by giving tax breaks. Problem is, if tax breaks are given (and I have never seen a tax break I don't like), government spending has to drop, too. If it doesn't, even if higher productivity still brings the tax money in, deficits will result. This happened during the Reagan years. It is also happening now. The microscopic tax break we have received from the Bush administration has done almost nothing at all to help anyone. Spending has skyrocketed. Neoconservatives are really quite liberal when it comes to your money.

But, as I said, beginning with LBJ's "Great Society," Irving Kristol did start to become interested in economics, and Chapter 9 of Autobiography, "Capitalism, Socialism and Nihilism," proved very interesting, even though it was written way back in 1973 (9). He cites Friedrich Hayek, a great Austrian school economist. The Austrian school is, of course, associated with Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard, and is the school most radical libertarians, myself included, belong to. He also cites Milton Friedman, who exemplifies the Chicago school, whose followers include more moderate libertarians and paleoconservatives (true conservatives as opposed to neoconservatives). He acknowledges the fact that the free, unhampered market will produce more and better goods and services, raising the standard of living for everyone. However, he does not acknowledge that economics is the study of human action (along with the study of the scarcity of resources, abundance of wants, and the conversion of resources into goods and services), and that includes all human action. It is more than just material wealth. He calls Ludwig von Mises to task (10) for saying that economics covers the means people use to achieve their ends, whatever their ends may be, and for saying it does not judge these ends. This is exactly where neoconservatives go wrong. They refuse to consider that individuals are capable of making responsible choices and they try to force value judgments into economic theory. As correct as I think they often are in the realm of moral values, economics is about how ends are attained, not about how right or wrong these ends may be.

He goes on to say that if someone wanted, according to some religious law or for some other reason, to choose a life of more modest means, even to take a vow of poverty, economics is of little use. This is not correct. The Austrian school of economics claims that even this is an "economic good." Economics covers everything, but judges nothing. If living according to a vow of poverty is the thing a person wants to do most, he strives for that, just as the person who wants riches strives for those. Your, my, or Kristol's judgment does not enter the equation in economics. Kristol seems (or seemed in 1973) to miss this. He believes there are absolutes in right and wrong. I certainly agree on that point, but economics does not deal with that. That is between the individual and God, and should be dealt with by the individual, family, church, etc.

Once it is believed that economics is judgmental, before you know it you will have the government deciding what preferences one should have, and that, as Kristol complained, was what John Kenneth Galbraith and the New Left wanted (11). Rather, he seemed to think that Misean economics was one of the things causing social deterioration.

I hardly think our system at that time under Nixon was anything even close to a free market. In fact, I think it was even more socialistic and regimented than it is today, what with the Nixonian price freeze and other follies. I am not really in a position to be sure. However, one thing is absolutely certain: We do not have anything even close to a free market in Bush's America in 2006, nor did we have one in Nixon's America in 1973. Both of these presidents and their administrations were fiercely anti-freedom, and the same, to a greater or lesser extent, can be said for state and local governments.

Irving Kristol supported Nixon too, according to Shadia Drury in her book on Leo Strauss, which I will discuss later on.

People are very, very ignorant regarding economics. Even most private schools and colleges teach this important subject very poorly, if at all. It is no wonder we have economic policies that benefit the rich and powerful. Thank goodness we still have some honest entrepreneurs, business people, investors, and hard workers who are seeing to their rational self-interest with intelligence, at least until they run afoul of the system at some point.

But Irving Kristol does (did) not seem to believe that these honest, hardworking people would stay that way very long without Big Brother to shepherd them like sheep. The free market would sink into some sort of den of thieves or some sort of Sodom and Gomorrah without the wise, paternalistic leash of Big Brother around its neck.

The ironic thing is, the free, unhampered market rewards the most to precisely those who adhere to what he praised as "Protestant ethos" or "bourgeois virtues." The fact that he did not see this is due to his lack of realization that in 1973 we already had a top-down, regimented economy that was geared to favor the rich and powerful.

One more thing: Those who, like Kristol, would like to see oversight of the market by Big Brother seem to forget that the power of oversight in the hands of a government friendly to their beliefs will be transferred to the next administration, which may be run by people of quite a different belief.

Another book by Irving Kristol, Reflections of a Neoconservative: Looking Back, Looking Ahead (12), is an older book but gives a lot of information on the origins of neoconservatism. In the Introduction (13) he says that many of the neoconservatives came out of the Left. My job is to find out why they left the Left, as some prominent libertarians such as Lew Rockwell and Harry Browne did, too.

Kristol seemed to think the old conservatism (true conservatism or classical liberalism) is nostalgic and not useful for today. For example, rather than to foster individual independence so as to dismantle welfare, they would use welfare to bring about conservative ends, meaning a carrot approach to getting people to act in a certain way. As far as the taxpayer from whom this money is extracted is concerned, Kristol doesn't seem to be aware of that aspect of welfare, i.e. he seems to be making the same mistake the Left does by thinking the government can create wealth by handouts. Even if he acknowledged this only redistributes what wealth already exists, like most people, he does not see that this prevents the creation of wealth.

Kristol was a leftist from the get-go, but always anti-Communist. He seems to have experienced being part of an "elite" in college (City College of New York) in the late 1930s as part of a radical Trotskyist student group called the Young People's Socialist League. These called themselves "Trotskyists" to differentiate themselves from official Communists, the Trotskyites or Stalinists. He felt that these elite students were "chosen" by history to "lead the masses" (14). We have already seen he still holds such a belief.

Later, in the 1950s, he co-founded a magazine called Encounter, an anti-communist "liberal" magazine, funded partly by the CIA (15), unbeknownst to him. (He did not want to work for the U.S. government.) The issue with Communism of the anti-Communist "liberals'" was its excesses, such as imprisoning thousands for next to no reason (16). He lamented the pro-Communist apologists for this; they were saying it was "historically necessary." (Kind of reminds me of Bush's "necessity" in the rights infringements.) The anti-Communist “liberals” saw the “thaw” in mid-’50s Russia under Khrushchev as a very hopeful sign.

I am now pretty sure that Kristol was very much what I would consider a socialist since he did not (in the '50s) seem to care about private property and a free market. And now I think the CIA underwriting of Encounter might have been exactly because of that. Editorial "freedom" was allowed by the CIA, but of course the writers could be depended upon to write from that viewpoint. He claims a belief in individual liberty (or did in 1968 when the chapter was written) and a "modified" (whatever that means) form of "capitalism" (whatever that means, as too often the word is used to describe what is really mercantilism, or the American system we now have, one that Henry Clay would really love).

Kristol discusses the Left, Marxism, and socialism at length in Chapter 3, which does show me that he is no longer part of the Left (as of 1979 when the chapter was written). In it, however he does give away some of the common ground between neoconservatism and Marxism. Without referring to neoconservatism (17), he describes a necessity on the part of socialist utopians to use "Machiavellian" methods to manipulate (maybe "strong-arm" would be a better word) the mass of people into a situation where "scientific socialism" could end want, just as FDR rammed Social Security down our throats. This manipulation, or "leadership" of the masses, would be done by a socialist "elite" (this also has a familiar ring to it) and we have to be alert to remember that in this book Kristol is trying to distance himself from the Left.

It must have been hard work, as he sputters and lurches like a car that is breaking down. The dilution of the First Amendment, for the people's own good of course, by pornography censorship is called for by Kristol (18), and I would have to presume that a chosen elite would decide for us all what is pornography and what is not.

He even points out that the socialist movement appeals particularly to intellectuals (19) since they imagine themselves in the elite positions. Well, pray tell, what advocate of authoritarian government does not imagine himself in a position of power? It never seems to occur to them that they might be on the receiving end of authoritarian rules they disagree with.

President Bush is going to learn this in about three years. All the power that he has managed to accumulate for himself in the White House will be passed on to another administration (unless he accumulates so much power that he can cancel the 2008 election and stay in office), and that new administration might use this power in a very different way.

But – where were we? – the socialist movement picked up steam as the post World War II era made it possible for more people to go to college. The "social sciences" made great strides, and economics followed with the Keynesian revolution and John Maynard Keynes' counterfeit teaching (as opposed to Mises' and Rothbard's reality teaching). Keynes taught that government could assure continued prosperity through monetary and fiscal interventions into the economy. Kristol seemed to frown on this in the 1979 chapter (20) but now, as anyone who has studied economics can see, the Bush administration is thoroughly Keynesian (21).

So, Kristol and the neoconservatives are not free market oriented. Although they might be better than some in this regard, they are far from the Austrian school in their outlook (22).

So how are they on personal freedom? Libertarians believe that human beings own their bodies and their lives as gifts from God (or nature, if you prefer). The rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness are also God-given rights. Corollary to these are the individual's responsibility for himself (or the parents' responsibility until children have reached sufficient maturity). This, of course, includes the right to be stupid, and to act stupidly. While I do not have any special hotline to God, I think certain actions are stupid. They are not criminal unless they actually infringe on the rights of someone else, and therefore should not be illegal. The only actions the government should be concerned about are actions that infringe on someone's rights, acts of coercion or fraud, not actions that are stupid or immoral or that someone thinks are stupid or immoral.

Quite honestly, I think the consumption of pornography or non-medicinal drugs is a waste of time and unhealthful. But a person's life belongs to the person and it is between that person and God.

But what does, or did, Irving Kristol think? And what do the neoconservatives and the Left think?

He wrote at length on this in 1971, a long time ago, but judging from what I have heard in recent years, they still think the same way (23). Pornography, he believed is harmful to the citizen. In fact, he is in agreement with the women's liberation movement on how pornography exploits women and is "part of a conspiracy to deprive them of their full humanity." Not a word about the free will of a person to just say "no." Someone needs to do it for a person. (No wonder they are called "feminazis.") Who would be so much better than you to do that for you? Also, not a word about exactly how it would be decided what constitutes "pornography" and "obscenity" and by whom. At least he admits that this is censorship, which is more than you can say for either the old women's liberation movement or the neoconservatives. I guess they trust the same elite that they entrust the economy and economics studies to. And, of course, they conveniently forget about the First Amendment, which forbids censorship of any kind (since it does not specify), at least on the part of the federal government.

The same goes for drug prohibition. The sovereign individual is totally forgotten. Even with a very limited censorship that harms little, the principle of freedom is violated. A little censorship or a little drug prohibition is like being a little pregnant.

Self-interest is discussed briefly (24) and Kristol shows that he really does not understand it; he insists on thinking inside the one-size-fits-all box. Going to war is an example. If the country were attacked by another country, a patriot might drop whatever he is doing and go to fight, even die, for his country. I think that to do this is indeed in the self-interest of this patriot, at least seems to the patriot to be, or else he would not go. Every person makes choices and the choice he makes is what he believes is the best alternative for him. He dies for his country, he gives a kidney to his ailing parent, child, or total stranger, or he puts his career on hold to run for office; he wants to do these things more than he wants a different choice. It is because each individual is unique and has his own scale of values. This entirely escapes Irving Kristol, the neoconservatives, and also the Left, and this is the second reason it is wrong for government (read the elite) to "protect" the people from themselves "for their own good." The first reason is, of course, the sovereign God-given rights of individuals.

Kristol listed the features of neoconservatism in the 1979 chapter (25). I get the idea that neoconservatism is an offshoot of modern "liberalism," but of course we knew that. Modern "liberalism," according to Drury (26), seems to consider itself the same as classical liberalism, only, you might say, a later model. (Libertarians do not think so at all, but think that, at the very best, modern "liberalism" is a perversion of classical liberalism.) Neoconservatism tries to hearken back. They claim to respect John Locke, advocate a "predominately" market economy as the best we can have in this world to promote economic growth and "stability." However, this would be attenuated by a welfare state, with consumer preferences "shaped" towards "elevation." Who will do the "shaping" and what will constitute "elevated" preferences, he does not say. My impression is that the economy would be managed and regulated by government (again, read the elite). In this manner, neoconservatism is simply modern "liberalism" (even socialism) "lite," or of a slightly different hue.

Neoconservatism gives a lot of lip service to the church and the family. Kristol did in this book (27) and Bush does now. My own belief is that the family and the church grow strong, independent, and free individuals (assuming it is done right). Their rhetoric notwithstanding, this flies in the face of neoconservatism and the goals of the Bush administration. This is so important, I believe, that I am planning a paper on how and why the establishment is destroying the family and the church. It has been going on for decades and, as a result, people are being taught from babyhood to conform and obey, being good and productive citizens at the ready to cooperate and team-play, rather than to be self-starters, to think things through for themselves, rely on themselves, compete, and question authority.

If this is "morally reinvigorated capitalism," then I am an immoral and weak capitalist. This makes me thankful that he was using neoconservative Orwellian newspeak.

The point made over and over again is the belief that people are depraved to a degree, or at least they are prone to error. Of course we are! I am not sure about the "depraved" part, but we all do make mistakes! I have made some potentially fatal ones, and I am grateful God saw fit to prevent any serious harm from happening, or I was just plain lucky. This is the case for everyone, including the vast majority who do the best they can. Additionally, there might be a few who do not care if they do harm, and even purposefully do harm.

We want to minimize this harm. Even we radical libertarians assign to the government the task of stopping criminals from infringing on our rights and forcing restitution from criminals who have infringed on rights (28).

However, the neoconservatives apparently want the government to be the answer to every ill that is the result of human "depravity." It would oversee every facet of life, imposing boundaries to limit all kinds of behavior. The insane wars on drugs and guns are good examples as they restrict or prohibit individuals' ownership and control of inanimate objects because officials fear (or so they claim) that we mere depraved mortals are not capable of handling such things properly. The assumption here is that those in the position of enforcing (again, read the elite) are not subject to the human depravities the rest of us are. In other words, government officials are better!

We have a situation right now that has been greatly aggravated under Bush (although this has been going on for much longer than his administration) where government people are to be considered as better. One example is that the penalty for killing a policeman is harsher than the penalty for killing a civilian. Why? Another example is that if one is on a "no-fly" list, one does not fly. The reason does not matter. If you have the same or a similar name as mine, you may not be able to make that long-awaited trip, just because I am a dissident who made a bureaucrat angry when I questioned a rule. And, if some airport security agent wants to search or grope you, or fine you a few hundred dollars, he or she does. There is no recourse.

They are better. End of story.

With the size and scope of government what it is today, this is a very dangerous concept. Believing in the general "depravity" of man might not have been so bad at the time of the American Revolution, since the Founders realized that those in office are not "better" and purposefully limited government to a very small size and scope, and saw to a system of checks and balances so one branch does not become more powerful than the other branches. Today, the Federal government is everywhere, even regulating your shower-head (29).

Kristol says (30) something entirely different about the Founders, that they thought self-government must only be in the presence of people who are qualified to self-govern because they have "republican virtues" (republican in this sense not referring to any political party) and are not "depraved." Possibly he was right in the sense that the vote was reserved to a select few. But, the Founders saw to it the common people were free to self-rule by keeping government within very restricted bounds as evidenced in particular by the Ninth and Tenth Amendments.

The American Revolution did not try to make people over, as he does point out, as do modern revolutions such as the Russian Revolution. This is something about the socialist Left. They want to change people in such a way they will be content to work their tails off for society as a whole rather than for their own betterment.

Nobody can tell me people are not working as hard (or almost as hard) now as they did two generations ago, despite great advances in labor-saving technology. They are doing so because of the tax and regulatory burden, meaning much of their time and effort is going to society as a whole (actually meaning the government). And they seem to be accepting it, which is what I worry about most.

It must be further recognized that, when this made-over person works for society as a whole, he is really working for the privileged elite in government and the privileged recipients of subsidies and lucrative government contracts (for example, Halliburton).

Indeed, contrary to the American Revolution, the neoconservatives have attempted (and succeeded too often) in making people over.

Chapter 10 in Reflections, "Socialism, an Obituary for an Idea" is particularly interesting and I recommend reading it. What Kristol says about socialism is such that I feel a deja vu. What he is describing is actually neoconservatism: communalism (or communitarianism), need for leadership, and the like. He says socialism has borrowed the best of Christianity, which I gather means the giving and sharing aspect of Christianity. However, one glaring thing is missing from his commentary, the bull in the china shop, and that is the coercive aspect of socialism. This puts socialism in diametric opposition to Christianity in the most important characteristic of socialism, which is coercion, and the second most important characteristic of Christianity, which is voluntarism. He says on P. 120 that there is "nothing socialist about the ability of an all-powerful state to get things done." Armament factories and steel mills were examples. Nothing socialist? Excuse me, but that is totally wrong. Either that or I am confused and Three Enemies, this work, and everything else I have ever done, said, or thought is entirely wrong. And, possibly it is bias, but I really do not think I am entirely wrong!

The neoconservatism Kristol is extolling looks very much to me like the socialism he is condemning.

I really could not find anything of note written by Irving Kristol more recently than 1995. However, Shadia Drury (31) did shed some more light on him. There were no real surprises. According to her, he is a super-nationalist, and very much a hawk (32). He thinks domestic policy should be based on a "friend or foe" premise, which I will say more about later. This sounds very much like, "If you're not for us, you're against us." It also makes me wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that so many people in high places are under indictment: Are they more corrupt than they used to be? Maybe so for a number of reasons, but maybe this is just politics. The Democrats and the Republicans pretend to be at such odds. (They are not, any more than government officials are better.) And it is this "us vs. them" mentality that accounts for some of the draconian laws and punishments that are now in effect. What comes to mind right now is an example of a man in Maryland who got eight years in prison for mooning a neighbor and her eight-year-old daughter. Fortunately, the court overturned the conviction.

As for the marketplace (33), Kristol wants some limits and government oversight. He does not want the market to determine society's values. We have been over this once. He contradicts Mises and Rothbard, the great free-market economists, who demonstrated that society's values (meaning the consuming public's desires) determine what goes on in the marketplace.

And, according to Drury (34), Kristol's nationalistic view is that American values are the only values. This does not wash with the libertarian. It would only wash with the non-thinking Bush supporter. First of all, these "American" values that he is claiming are by no means the same values that the country was founded upon. Second, if these values are so absolute, why should only the elite be privy to them and the rest of us locked out?

And it looks very much like Kristol does (or at least did when the Drury book was being researched) believe that only the elite should be privy to the truth, and the rest of us need to be fed myths manufactured to give us a good-behavior incentive (35). She was discussing Leo Strauss and saying Strauss believed the common people needed these myths, and she added Kristol was the same way. So, we have to ask, who is going to manufacture these myths? The elite, of course (meaning government people and I would have to presume their lapdog media lackeys); if anyone at all is allowed a handle on the truth, apparently it would be this elite. So this proves, at least to the extent I am able, that Irving Kristol, the godfather of neoconservatism, is for strong, powerful, omnipresent, and paternalistic government.

(1) Kristol, Irving, Neoconservatism the Autobiography of an Idea, The Free Press, New York, 1995.

(2) For specific examples see http://www.lewrockwell.com/gregory/gregory108.html Gregory, Anthony, "The Republican Ideology of the Total State." This outlines some current examples of how the Republicans, led by the neo-conservatives, have become modern liberals as they grow the government and do not even question unconstitutionalities.

(3) Kristol P. 13.

(4) Ibid P. 19.

(5) Claes, Ryn, in America the Virtuous: The Crisis of Democracy and the Quest for Power, does not think him typical of neoconservatives, and lists some others who are. These are even more pro-government.

(6) http://www.aei.org/ . Irving Kristol is a senior fellow at AEI. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Bush on July 9, 2002. Other well-known persons involved with AEI are Lynne Cheney, Newt Gingrich, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Michael Novak, Richard Pearle, and Dr. Sally Satel. In all fairness, there is still some pro-freedom advocacy there. For instance, John R. Lott, Jr., author of More Guns, Less Crime and "A Girl's Guide to Guns" is a fellow. These have gotten good reviews from libertarians. While Bush and most other neoconservatives are anti-gun as a rule, there are some in that camp who are almost sane in this respect, which is why some one-issue pro-gun voters tend to choose Republican candidates. This is a mistake in my opinion, as they cannot be relied upon to be pro-freedom on one issue when they are so anti-freedom on other issues.

(7) http://www.fed-soc.org/ There was no mention of Irving Kristol’s being involved with the Federalist Society. It is a lawyers' organization that claims to include both neoconservatives and libertarians, but I have also seen it described as an organization whose goal is to broaden executive branch power. It seems to me that nowadays neoconservatives and libertarians are working at cross-purposes. You look at it and decide.

(8) http://www.newamericancentury.org/ Irving Kristol is not involved that I can see, but his son, William Kristol, himself a well-known neoconservative, chairs this organization. They advocate keeping our troops in place in the Middle East. Because the Army and Marine Corps are stretched thin, they advocate increasing their numbers by 25,000 a year, per a January 28, 2005, letter to Senate leadership by William Kristol. See http://www.newamericancentury.org/defense-20050128.htm .

(9) In all fairness, in the Preface of the book Kristol states that these writings were written at different times during his growth, and had not been updated to reflect his present beliefs which might be different.

(10) Kristol P. 96.

(11) Ibid. P. 97.

(12) Kristol, Irving, Reflections of a Neoconservative: Looking Back, Looking Ahead, Basic Books, New York, 1983.

(13) Ibid. P. XII.

(14) Ibid. P. 6.

(15) Ibid. P. 19.

(16) Ibid. P. 21. Hmm, seems like I have read about someone who dropped his drawers in Maryland, a censored T-shirt in Washington, D.C., a mother and children thrown in jail for not wearing seatbelts in Texas, a subpoena no-show extradited to Las Vegas and held in unconstitutional conditions for several days, not to mention the millions who put a politically incorrect plant in their cigarette. The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world.

(17) Ibid. P. 34.

(18) Ibid. Chapter 4.

(19) Ibid. P. 34.

(20) Ibid. P. 39.

(21) http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul292.html Paul, Dr. Ron, "More of the Same at the Federal Reserve." Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas), who is a libertarian and the only consistent freedom advocate inside the beltway, points out that the new Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Benjamin Bernanke, is a real Keynesian. It should surprise nobody that President Bush would appoint a real advocate of monetary expansion. See also
http://www.mises.org/freemarket_detail.asp?control=571&sortorder=articledate Shostak, Frank, "New Face, Old Menace." Deluded Wall Street welcomes Bernanke who will continue the fallacious policies of his predecessor in a high office that should not even exist.

(22) For more on this famous Austrian school of Economics I keep praising, please go to http://www.mises.org/ . There are so many educational opportunities here that I do not think you can cover them all in a decade. Sound bites simply do not cut it so take your time. It is not a "dismal science." Rather, the study of human action is fascinating.

(23) Kristol, Reflections, Chapter 4.

(24) Ibid. P. 57.

(25) Kristol, Reflections, P. 75-77.

(26) Drury, Shadia Leo Strauss and the American Right, St. Martin's Press, New York 1997.

(27) Ibid. P. 77.

(28) Anarcho-libertarians have very sophisticated and, I believe, workable ideas for dealing with crime in the absence of civil government. See Hoppe, Hans-Hermann, The Economics and Ethics of Private Property, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Norwell (Mass.), 1993. The book also includes an Austrian school case against Keynes.

(29) http://www.mises.org/story/2007 Tucker, Jeffrey, "The Bureaucrat in Your Shower." Federal regulators even decide for you the design of your showerhead.

(30) Kristol, Reflections, P. 86.

(31) Drury

(32) Ibid. P. 153.

(33) Ibid. P.157.

(34) Ibid. P. 152.

(35) Ibid. P. 150.

1 comment:

Dissie said...

You have a moderate understanding of political philosophy but 0 understanding of people. Your conclusion that someone advocating "authoritarian" government seeks power is entirely unfounded and logically distant from the point. It might be wise for you to consider that the man is a renowned professor at one of the top philosophy schools in the world. While I disagree with the severity of his views on censorship, I find your entry presumptuous and in possession of faulty assumptions about human nature. Kristol's argument is flawless.