Originally posted by ludaChris
Why do people refer to some of our nations as conservatives as neo-cons when they have been around for so long?
Because they haven't.
Neo conservatives technically or at least originally were people who had been on the left for a long while, but then became conservative. Not ala
dennis miller or what happens with most people as they get older and thus more invested in the system, but an actual specific group was the
part of what caused the change was concern over the status of israel, with lots of people on the left starting to dump israel in favour
of socialist groups amoung the arabs.
When people talk about Cheney or Rummsfeld being neo-conservatives, you're right, it doesn't make a lot of sense. The general idea is that
conservatives are isolationists, amoung other things, and that these guys represent interventionists amoung the conservatives. The 'Bush Doctrine'
is apparently something that Cheney was calling for a long time ago, the readiness to have pre-emptive/preventative war with nations that were a
building threat. It wasn't 'neo-conservative' then tho it was just 'extreme' or 'radical republican'.
THe usage of the term 'liberal' is even more confusing. Normally when someone calls another person a liberal they mean that they are someone who
supports a greatly expanded government intrusion into the private sphere, centrally regulated-planned economies, massive extension of the
welfare-state, and generally it means something like 'socialist'. There are
parties in the US that use the term in their name, like the
Liberal Party, for example.
But in reality 'liberal' used to mean someone that recognized the existence of human liberties and rights, and who felt that economy should not be
the domain of government, and that the government should be resitricted and the people should have the means of power. This is why the united states
can be said to be one of the most liberal nations out there. A Liberal Programme (in the historical sense), gives the people control of their guns,
takes a hands-off approach to the economy, doesn't provide a public dole nor much in the way of public works, etc. This is where the root for
'libertarian' comes from.
Also, in the historical sense, conservatives are merely
people who recognize that the authority of the government rests on the constitution of
the state, and that that constitution shouldn't be changed and that indeed the entire system shouldn't be changed. Thus there really weren't any
conservatives in the earlier history of the US, and the term is probably better thought of as refering to european conservatives, who'd back the
monarchies and the parliaments over radicalism. Radicalism being of course the desire to destroy the state and rebuild a new one, and this is often
opposed to Reactionaryism, where the desire is to change the state and system from with in response to external pressures (rather than start anew).
But generally its not liberal and neoconservative that people talk about. Its Liberal!!!!11!
. IE, insults and labels, not
actual real descriptions.