Politics, Technology, and Language

If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought — George Orwell

“Bush Is No Conservative”

Posted by metaphorical on 7 December 2006

The categories “conservative” and “liberal” not only don’t map at all to “Republican” and “Democrat,” but they were never very good in their own right. Leo Strauss, for example, in an icon of conservatives, but called himself a liberal. And which is John Stuart Mill?

Paul Craig Roberts has a good, quick explanation of why the term “conservative” is particularly problematic in the Bush era. Who is this guy? Among other things, Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration.

Bush Is No Conservative

by Paul Craig Roberts

The conservative movement in the United States has been stamped out, not by liberals but by neoconservatives. Conservative philanthropic foundations, conservative print media, and conservative think tanks have been taken over by neoconservatives, who have exiled real conservatives to voicelessness and joblessness.

Neoconservative translates as “new conservative.” However, there is nothing at all conservative about neoconservatives. The name is a misnomer of the first rank. Neoconservatives believe that the US can deracinate foreign cultures and remake foreign countries in America’s image. True conservatives, following Edmund Burke, do not believe that a country can be shorn of its social, political, economic and cultural ways and made anew from the ashes.

Roberts then compares the neoconservatives to the Jacobians, the Bolsheviks, and Mao. I’ll quote his conclusion, but the article isn’t long and is well worth reading.

Bush is America’s first Jacobin president. He is as far from a conservative as it is possible to be.

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