Posted by on 15 January 2007 at 6:13 am  Recommendations
Jan 152007

Hooray! Brad Thompson’s excellent 2006 OCON lecture “Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an Idea” is now available from the Ayn Rand Bookstore. Here’s the description:

This lecture examines the intellectual history of the neoconservatives and their plan for governing America. Dr. Thompson introduces the neocons by tracing the evolution of their thought from their youthful Trotskyism in the 1930s to their anticommunist liberalism in the 1940s and ’50s and finally to their development of a new kind of conservatism in the 1960s and beyond.

The neoconservatives are generally regarded to be the most intellectually impressive faction of the post-war intellectual Right: they seem to take ideas seriously, they seem to be principled, they seem to support the principles of the American founding, and they seem to support capitalism. But, as Dr. Thompson demonstrates, behind their rhetorical facade, the neocons scorn principles, they scorn morality, they scorn capitalism and, ultimately, they scorn America. Despite their pro-American rhetoric and their appeals to, and defense of, America’s ideals and institutions, Dr. Thompson demonstrates that the neoconservatives advocate singularly un-American principles: mysticism over reason, altruism over egoism, duty over rights, collectivism over individualism, socialism over capitalism, war and empire over peace and trade.

Dr. Thompson’s lecture focuses on the neocons’ attempt to transform the Republican Party and the conservative intellectual movement into a permanent ruling majority, their pragmatic philosophical method, their advocacy of a conservative welfare state, and their attempt to turn America toward a form of Platonic republicanism. Ultimately, he argues, the neoconservatives are a threat to a free society.

Audio CD; 2-CD Set: $21.95 (90 min., with Q & A)

Also, someone recently pointed me to this conservative attack on Brad Thompson’s excellent article “The Decline and Fall of American Conservatism” from The Objective Standard. The critic begins with some serious confusions about Thompson’s basic position, plus some Divine Command Theory: “As always with libertarians, he offers a subjective philosophy rather than an objective set of standards for behavior, which is what morality requires and is why morality is dependent on God.” More inanity ensues. And to top it off, the post ends with the following: “For all his talk of conservatism, there is nothing of America or its Judeo-Christian/Western inheritance that his egoism would conserve. This kind of extreme selfishness is the rot that has destroyed the rest of the West and conservatives do well not just to reject it but to fight against it tooth and nail.”

Well, at least he knows who his enemies are.

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