Category Archives: Neoconservatism

American ‘Experts’ Call You Crazy If You Mention Our ‘Deep State.’ But Russia, Says US ‘Expert,’ Certainly Has One.

Left-Liberalism, Neoconservatism, Political Economy, Propaganda, Russia, The State

To be accepted into polite company, we Americans are instructed to denounce the very concept of a Deep State (the unelected, extra-constitutional, entrenched, state apparatus).

Oddly, I first heard this eloquent, apt term  from Bill Moyers, considered an august force on the Left.

But now, leftists in the era of Trump, joined by neocons and cuckservatives insist that the concept is all the product of Deplorable minds gripped by conspiracy.

Except when it comes to Russia. The American state apparatus they consider virtuous, but Russia certainly has a Deep State.

The Russian Deep State one American “expert” calls: “the natural state.”

Yes, the same kind of American experts who denounce Deep State when applied to the US government, have a term for the Russian Deep State: “the natural state.

Douglass North, an American political economist, alludes to what sounds like Deep State reality, only it pertains to Russia.

[Putin] presides over the sort of power structure that Douglass North, an American political economist, has called the “natural state”. In this, rents are created by limiting access to economic and political resources, and the limits are enforced by “specialists in violence”. In Russia these are the siloviki of the assorted security and police forces, serving the system as they did in Soviet times. …

Our government goons may not kill us in the name of compliance, but they certainly marginalize us.

MORE: “Gorbachev’s grandchildren: A new generation is rising in Russia: Vladimir Putin’s election victory does not mean that there is no hope.

No Daylight Between ‘Conservatives’ & The Far Left About The South, American History & Nation’s Founding

Conservatism, Cultural Marxism, History, Neoconservatism, Racism, States' Rights

By Dr. Boyd Cathey

Today I want to discuss vaunted “conservative” Victor Davis Hanson who, it seems, possesses a fixation about the Confederacy and the Old South. The pre-War Between the States South was a region dripping with racism and bigotry, he repeatedly exclaims, that deserved its “punishment” from those Godly soldiers who went marching, burning and pillaging through to bring to the poor, unenlightened Southerners all the fruits of democracy, equality and “righteousness.”

In the past, Hanson has praised Sherman’s March as “holy work” and “actually not that hard” on Southern civilians, and called any decent or fair treatment of Confederates in cinema as glorifying “folksy racists.” Obviously John Ford, who treated Confederates with respect, if not sympathy (think here of John Wayne’s Ethan Edwards in the classic, The Searchers, or Pvt. John Smith, AKA General Rome Clay, CSA, in She Wore A Yellow Ribbon, for instance), did not get the memo.

Hanson is a prominent senior contributor to the “conservative” magazine National Review, and his views are shared by its other contributors, including editor Rich Lowry. It is a view that partakes of the very same narrative as the Marxist writers, historians and journalists on the “farther Left.” It is the same viewpoint that is now being foisted off every Sunday evening by Fox News in its televised “history” program titled, “Legends & Lies: The Civil War.” It is a theme that posits that the United States was founded specifically on an “idea,” and that “idea” was equality, which, they quickly point out, is proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence.

But it is an idea that the Founders rejected and, in fact, understood was and would be the death of the American republic.

In several columns and published articles over the past few years, I have cited the twenty year correspondence and series of debates between the late Professors Mel Bradford and Harry Jaffa regarding the American Founding and the idea of “equality.” Bradford’s volume, Original Intentions, gives the lie to those who pose the ideology of equality as this nation’s founding principle. And, more recently, Professor Barry Alain Shain (Colgate University), in his mammoth study, The Declaration of Independence in Historical Context: American State Papers, Petitions, Proclamations, and Letters of the Delegates to the First National Congresses (2014), provides overwhelming documentation of Bradford’s view and the ahistorical views of Hanson and those like him. An excellent, if detailed, summary can be found in Bradford’s essay in Modern Age quarterly, “The Heresy of Equality” (Winter 1976). [The essay may be online; I have a PDF of it, should anyone desire a copy.]

In short, the arguments of Hanson, Lowry, and other Neoconservatives violate the basic standards of historical investigation and writing.

There is no daylight historically between the Neocons and those now leading the establishment “conservative movement,” and the far Left Marxists when it comes to interpreting American history and our nation’s Founding. Indeed, George W. Bush’s point man and vaunted political consultant, Karl Rove, has praised anti-Southern Marxist historian Eric Foner as his “favorite historian.”

Given that fatal historical myopia, is it any wonder that “conservatism inc.” is now a miserable and losing proposition when it comes to opposing the forces of the farther Left in the battle for what is left of the American republic and our inherited culture? Needless to say, any traditional American who claims to be a real conservative and who continues to accept the tutelage of such individuals and their organs—indeed, any Southerner who continues to conflate such historical drivel with a defense of his own heritage—needs to re-examine his views and undergo a reality check.

***

RELATED: “Victor Davis Hanson’s Attack On Southern Heritage Is Vintage Leftist, Cultural Marxism.”

~ DR. BOYD D. CATHEY is an Unz Review columnist, as well as a Barely a Blog contributor, whose work is easily located on this site under the “BAB’s A List” search category. Dr. Cathey earned an MA in history at the University of Virginia (as a Thomas Jefferson Fellow), and as a Richard M Weaver Fellow earned his doctorate in history and political philosophy at the University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain. After additional studies in theology and philosophy in Switzerland, he taught in Argentina and Connecticut before returning to North Carolina. He was State Registrar of the North Carolina State Archives before retiring in 2011. He writes for The Unz Review, The Abbeville Institute, Confederate Veteran magazine, The Remnant, and other publications in the United States and Europe on a variety of topics, including politics, social and religious questions, film, and music.

UPDATE III (4/10): Victor Davis Hanson’s Attack On Southern Heritage Is Vintage Leftist, Cultural Marxism

Conservatism, Critique, Cultural Marxism, History, Left-Liberalism, Neoconservatism, Propaganda, Racism, States' Rights

Victor Davis Hanson’s “The Confederate Mind” is an attack on the South, which is, as Prof. Paul Gottfried points out, “fully consonant with the Cold War left-liberal tradition that one finds, for example, in the work of Arthur Schlesinger. Note that in The Vital Center, and in other tracts, Schlesinger repeatedly compares Confederate leaders to Nazis, Communists and other unsavory types that the US had been at war with.” Gottfried is the historian of the American and European Right.

“This may be the most loathsome thing I’ve seen by Hanson in quite a while,” ventures historian Dr. Boyd Cathey (who contributes to the Unz Review and to Barely a Blog)“The Confederate Mind’ is just one more piece of screaming evidence that the neoconservatives and the establishment ‘Conservative Movement Inc.’ is not only no friend of traditionalists, but rather is collaborating with zeal with the far Left in the destruction and the extinguishing of what is left of Southern heritage.”

Yet, all so-called conservatives, Rush Limbaugh included, continue to quote Hanson admiringly.

A brilliant scholar himself, historian of the South Clyde Wilson regularly critiques Hanson for being a poor historian; primary sources are hardly the primary focus in Hanson’s “work.”

This is an interesting angle (and Wilson a most interesting thinker). Ignorance of the historic method is in fact a must for the likes of Hanson, explains Prof. Wilson, in “The War Lover,” with reference to Hanson’s ideological relative, Dinesh D’Sousa. For if you cleave to primary sources, as the historic method demands, it becomes difficult to reduce the warp-and-woof of history to the abstracted, desiccated principles the neoconservative seeks out in support of his theories:

… D’Sousa actually knows less about the real history, the real lived human experience, of his adopted country than I do about Paraguay. … But in ignorance is strength, because by the Straussian cult ritual, which D’Sousa here popularizes, you are not supposed to know any history. In fact, knowing history and giving it any weight is prima facie evidence of fascist tendencies. It demonstrates that you are incapable of seeing the universal principles by which proper interpretations are made. That is, the universal and eternal meaning of history is only to be obtained by Straussian exegesis of a few sentences which Straussians select, from a few documents which they select, written by a few men they select.

This methodology is perfection when one wants to sacralize Lincoln and what he wrought. All one need do is quote a few pretty phrases that evoke nationalist and egalitarian sentimentality. Though the methodology does tend to break down when challenged by the well-informed, as when Professor Harry Jaffa, in his debate with Professor Thomas DiLorenzo, was reduced to irritable denials of plain historical facts.

Hanson first came to notice by pointing out how Greek democracy was a product, not of theory, but of the importance to the state of the body of armed citizen-soldiers. There was not much really original about this – it is the old story of the Anglo-American yeoman—but it was useful to point it out.

Since then, Professor Hanson has gone on to writings about modern history that appear to glorify war, at least war as carried out by the armed forces of what he regards as democratic societies. This celebration (not too strong a word, I think), of the allegedly wholesome benefits of war has obviously provided comfort to the “democratic” global imperialists with which America is cursed today – and has thus made Hanson something of a celebrity.

In “A Class War” Hanson glorifies the great democratic achievements of General Sherman’s notorious March through Georgia and South Carolina in the winter of 1864-1865. Let us quote the blurb: “How 60,000 armed Midwestern men, in a 300-mile march taking less than 40 days, squashed aristocracy in America, and changed the entire psychological and material course of our national history.”

One might ask where, exactly, General Sherman got the moral and constitutional authority to change the psychological and material course of American history, but such questions do not occur to those who are preaching crusades. This is not a new story. It is the same old stamping-out-the-grapes-of-wrath rationalization: Northerners rising in righteous might to put down the treason of Southerners who, corrupted by slavery, harbored an evil desire not to want to belong to The Greatest Nation on Earth. It’s the same familiar story, but the old girl has had a make-over. She has a new hair-do and different cosmetics.

Here is a fair summary of Hanson’s description of Sherman’s March: a brave and democratic army of sturdy, idealistic Midwesterners performed a great military feat. In the process their democratic spirit was outraged by haughty Southern aristocracy and by the oppression of black people, whom they heartily embraced. As a result they resolved to destroy Southern society once and for all, and thereby bestowed on the universe a new birth of freedom.

There are so many things wrong about this paean to Sherman’s March that it amounts to a fantasy. Historians, before the era of PC, were expected to study primary sources, documents of the time, before they expounded on the meaning of historical events.

Anyone who has spent some time with the primary sources knows what a dubious characterization Hanson has made. That war was an immense event, occupying a huge area and involving several million people, and one can snip quotations to provide examples of anything one wants to find. I am referring here to the bulk and weight of the evidence and only the evidence left by Northern soldiers.

You do not have to pay heed to a single Southern testimony to understand what happened on Sherman’s March and why. It is all in the letters and diaries of the participants. I urge anyone who lives above the Ohio and Potomac to go to your local historical society or state library and read some of those letters and diaries for yourself. You will see how “A Class War” creates a fantasy of righteous virtue and intention that badly distorts the weight of the evidence.

Why would anyone who wanted to celebrate American military prowess pick out one of the US military’s most inglorious episodes, and one which involved brutality against other Americans? When there are a hundred more edifying examples?

To begin with, the march was not a military feat. What was left of the main Confederate army, after self-inflicted wounds at Atlanta, was in Tennessee trying to attack Sherman’s supply lines and deal with two huge federal armies that were holding down the people of Tennessee and Kentucky. Sherman’s advance from Chattanooga to Atlanta, opposed by a small but seasoned Confederate army, had not been so easy. The March through Georgia and Carolina was contested only by a few thousand cavalry and old men and boys of the home guard. When Sherman got to North Carolina he was met by the remnants of a genuine Southern army and was defeated by a small force at Bentonville. …

… READ “The War Lover.

UPDATE I: Should we believe Russell Kirk or Victor Davis Hanson?” Brion McClanahan responds:

… Hanson has a strange fixation on the South, one that involves a constant effort to attach progressivism to Southerners like Calhoun and every American evil to the Confederacy. His truth is marching on.

The most recent example was an intellectually vapid piece in National Review Online titled “The Confederate Mind.” To summarize, Calhoun and the South invented the sectional conflict by insisting that their society was “superior to the grubby, industrial wasteland of the north,” despised the “deplorables” of their day, led the “secesh” movement with “evangelical style” language, and through their “regional chauvinism” caused the destruction of the Union.

The sheer a-historical stupidity of these positions almost merits no response. The sectional conflict was born in the North almost immediately after the Constitution was ratified. Northern sectionalists, under the guise of “nationalism,” insisted on secession as early as 1794. Northern “religious” leaders called Southerners devils while her political sons said that Southern statesmen were the drunken vomit of civilization. Seems the nastiness flowed from North to South for most of the antebellum period. …

…THE REST.

UPDATE II (3/28): You’d think it would be difficult to forget, alas: Sherman’s March was actually a war against civilians, reducing as many as possible to homelessness and starvation.

UPDATE III (4/10):

Leftists often parade as rightists. Hallmarks of a consummate leftist: 1. Rabbits on about evil McCarthyism, when McCarthy was an American hero. 2. Compares ‘bad’ countries to apartheid South Africa, showing a lefty sensibility and no clue about the latter.

UPDATED (3/13): The Great Negotiator Never Negotiated With Nikki Haley. Trump Gave Her Power And Let Her Keep John McCain’s Foreign Policy Positions

Donald Trump, Foreign Policy, John McCain, Neoconservatism

Another mainstream Republican President Trump has empowered big time is Nimrata Nikki Haley, the 46-year-old daughter of immigrants from Punjab, India, former governor of South Carolina (where she disrespected Southern history by removing Robert E. Lee’s battle flag), and now US ambassador to the United Nations. I wonder which wars Haley will launch when her time comes to really call the shots?

Haley, heavily pushed by the Ivanka-Jared wing of the White House, waltzed into her job without conditions, having been given “a free hand to set foreign policy.”

Diplomats say “She doesn’t know enough about foreign policy to know what is her foreign policy.” Well, she knows enough to “distance herself from the new president on multiple key foreign-policy fronts, carving out an approach that hewed closer to Republican foreign-policy leaders in the Senate, including Bob Corker, Lindsey Graham, and John McCain. She pilloried Russia, denouncing Putin as an untrustworthy rival and dismissing the prospects of working productively with Assad in the war against the Islamic State.”

Even as she accepted Trump’s offer to serve at the U.N., Haley distanced herself from the new president on multiple key foreign-policy fronts, carving out an approach that hewed closer to Republican foreign-policy leaders in the Senate, including Bob Corker, Lindsey Graham, and John McCain. She pilloried Russia, denouncing Putin as an untrustworthy rival and dismissing the prospects of working productively with Assad in the war against the Islamic State….
Haley’s European colleagues noted that her core positions from Russia to Syria and Ukraine aligned neatly with their own, making her a potential partner who might soften the contours of the president’s controversial policies. “She couldn’t have been better from our point of view,” says one U.N. Security Council member. “She positioned herself comfortably at our end of the administration’s spectrum.”

MORE: “Candidate Haley: The portrait that emerges is of a retail politician turning U.N. diplomacy into a ticket to the White House.”

UPDATE (3/13):

The newly hired has Haley’s approval:

Neocons are happy about Mike Pompeo:

The woman who should have had the job. An old-school Democrat: