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Old 11-13-2007, 02:05 PM   #31
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Originally posted by melon


No, but I don't blame people for mistaking "neocon" for "modernist" or just being plain-old "principled."

Many neocons were "leftist" (by 1940s standards) modernist academics who didn't take the 1960s and the arrival of postmodernism/relativism all that well. In particular, they tend to be heavily patriotic, and look at the aftermath of WWII and the Marshall Plan as evidence of America's greatness, where we slay an evil entity and use this moment to turn our enemies into powerful allies.

Fast forward to the 1960s, and these neocons perceive the Left as having lost all their principles. They take issue with words like "tolerance," because it implies that they'd have to tolerate people like Hitler if he were still alive; in other words, they believe that there are moments when it is perfectly acceptable to hate someone, and their modernist--and, by extension, futurist--tendencies are still intact. They want to see a world where it's always the end of WWII, and the U.S. is instrumental in overthrowing oppressive regimes and transforming a "Nazi Germany" into a powerful democratic, capitalist nation like today's Germany. It is, in many ways, the classic utopian fantasy of "world peace," coupled with the Trotskyite notion of "permanent revolution" to achieve it (although they would most vigorously disagree with the latter analogy here).

By the election of Ronald Reagan, these now-nominally Democratic neocons find a president who shares their ideas of "permanent revolution," and jump to the Republican Party, where they easily integrate and many become part of the presidential inner circle. It should be noted that Reagan, himself, had a similar background to these neocons. Reagan was a registered Democrat, and was even a stated admirer of Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal, but, unlike the neocons who left, due to foreign policy and philosophical shifts in the Left, Reagan left, because he thought that they had become the party of "big government." Nevertheless, it didn't take much for Reagan and the neocons to adopt each other's passions, and this is probably why Reagan had a series of military campaigns and spent heavily on the military during his presidency.

But I digress, to a point. The reason one might try and interpret Bono's article here as "neocon" is because it's essentially "modernist/futurist" in scope. And, yes, neocons, at their ultimate core, are modernists too. But it's my belief that "neoconservatism" is defined much more narrowly on the basis of philosophy (modernism, infused with the philosophy of Leo Strauss) and all the other baggage I listed above.

At the core, I do think it is time for the Left to figure out what it stands for today, and to put in all the heavy lifting involved to justify it philosophically and logically. I do think that these vague, ill-defined notions of "tolerance" and "pacifism" don't always stand up to vigorous academic scrutiny, and that's where we get into trouble, as then we let all the fanatics do the defining for us, whether its hawkish neocons on one end or reactionary religious fundamentalists on the other. Nature, after all, abhors a void.


One of the very few posts that doesn't blur the line between "neocons" and the Christian right / Palaeoconservatives.
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Old 11-13-2007, 06:39 PM   #32
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Originally posted by Jeannieco
And I do think Bush and his admin would hold it against him if B was more out spoken about the war.
And quite frankly, if they did indeed do that, that would pretty much kill any sort of respect I may have ever had for anyone in that adminstration. To deny helping out with the Africa crisis because someone dares disagree with your war policy would be about one of THE stupidest, coldest things anyone could ever do.

I like melon's post, too, I think that line of thought makes a lot of sense. And I totally agree that the left needs to get its act together-we've got some great ideas and thoughts, we just need to find a way to properly articulate them, and to be just as strong in our opinions as the opposing side is. Don't cave in just because someone dares to challenge you.

As for Bono himself, I love that article, I think he makes some excellent points in there regarding this issue. I see the argument about how it's more educated people who are part of terrorism-I think that makes some sense. But I also think poverty does play a factor. Maybe not a big one, but I think it shouldn't be dismissed.

Angela
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Old 11-13-2007, 06:56 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jeannieco


Yes, he is a self professed pacifist.

I have heard him say that in several interviews.


is he? doesn't he say that he sometimes supports military intervention when necessary -- be it WW2, bosnia, or even afghanistan?
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Old 11-13-2007, 08:07 PM   #34
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I thought he said he wasn't a pacifist, or that he tried to be but it just wasn't reality (which it isn't).
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Old 11-13-2007, 09:17 PM   #35
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
^The lack of evidence for a link between poverty and terrorism by Islamic fundamentalists should be matched by actual correlations.

Like that neat study into the over-representation of engineers in Islamist movements compared to other revolutionary organisations.
I think Bono has been framing this issue incorrectly. Whenever he comments on it, it sounds like poor people, by virtue of being poor, oppressed and powerless, are prone to terrorism and indoctrination. In fact, the statistics don't support that with respect to suicide bombers (except in the West Bank, where you do see substantial numbers of very desperate, very poor men acting in retaliation). What poverty does, however, is breed a certain kind of resentment which then predisposes the population at large to be supportive of terrorism, to at least some extent. So while poor people may not necessarily be contributing their sons in large numbers, their passive support makes the flourishing of these groups possible.
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Old 11-13-2007, 09:31 PM   #36
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^Great post...
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Old 11-14-2007, 04:03 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram


I think Bono has been framing this issue incorrectly. Whenever he comments on it, it sounds like poor people, by virtue of being poor, oppressed and powerless, are prone to terrorism and indoctrination. In fact, the statistics don't support that with respect to suicide bombers (except in the West Bank, where you do see substantial numbers of very desperate, very poor men acting in retaliation). What poverty does, however, is breed a certain kind of resentment which then predisposes the population at large to be supportive of terrorism, to at least some extent. So while poor people may not necessarily be contributing their sons in large numbers, their passive support makes the flourishing of these groups possible.
West Bank seemed to be the other way, with suicide bombers being on the whole from better of families.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/st...528062,00.html
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Old 11-14-2007, 05:01 PM   #38
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No, they by and large do, but in the West Bank you also see examples of retaliatory suicide bombing from the lower classes (I hesitate to even suggest there is an upper class there), whereas typically suicide bombers employed in the west, like the UK and the 9/11 group didn't have anyone who was not at least middle class, as far as I can recall.
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Old 11-14-2007, 09:02 PM   #39
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One might argue that those that aren't abjectly poor have the luxury of having spare time and mental energy to worked into a frenzy over this or that societal wrong?
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Old 11-15-2007, 12:40 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jeannieco


Yes, he is a self professed pacifist.

I have heard him say that in several interviews.
Bono on Larry King in 2002:

BONO: It's just -- you know, you understand when a child is born and you're watching the child born and you have all of these feelings as a man of -- you know, for me, I've kind of -- I just felt completely -- I was reduced to, you know, to nothing. And I didn't know what to do, you know, somebody that I love is in pain, and who do I have to slap, you know? And you know, that's the doctor and the nurses. They're on your side. And so, as a male, I think it's very confusing.

But then you understand from the feelings that you have for your children, you understand actually why wars are fought. You understand all of these terrible things. It brings -- it's not all wine and roses, you know. It's -- there's an acrid and bitter part, I think, to -- for me, when you realize that you -- you know, and I'm a -- I was a complete and utter pacifist, until I had children.....
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Old 11-15-2007, 01:48 AM   #41
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^
Wow. There are a whole hell of a lot of you knows in that bit.
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Old 11-15-2007, 05:48 AM   #42
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he only strives to be a pacifist

Quote:
Originally posted by Jeannieco


And I do think Bush and his admin would hold it against him if B was more out spoken about the war.
Something often ignored when considering his stance on things.

"I think you're wrong re: fighting terrorism and you're a bad President" just doesn't go along with "I want help for Africa".

He got the "war on terror is connected to war on poverty" bit from Colin Powell. Of course poor people won't turn into terrorists, but they will probably support them more willingly. Oppression is a bigger factor in producing a terrorist than poverty or religious hate IMO.
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Old 11-15-2007, 06:15 AM   #43
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Originally posted by indra
^
Wow. There are a whole hell of a lot of you knows in that bit.
Were he twenty years younger you probably would have had some "like" in it as well.

A teacher of mine is using basically pretty often. We've counted, in a block of 180 minutes lecture it was over 100 times "basically"
After a while you get so annoyed by the word you want to run.
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Old 11-15-2007, 07:48 AM   #44
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Is Al Qaeda a threat? Yes. Why? Because we made it a threat. Does invading random countries in the middle east solve the problem at all? NO!

I miss War-era Bono. While I do agree with some of what he said here, I have a feeling he buys into the 'war on terrorism' nonsense a bit too much.

However, he is certainly entitled to his opinions, and I'm not going to say 'shut up and sing'. Bono is a great person.
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Old 11-15-2007, 09:15 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally posted by digitize
Is Al Qaeda a threat? Yes. Why? Because we made it a threat.
Although that makes for a good sound bite--and while I'm quite loathe to play this card at all...



This made Al Qaeda a threat, not us. As for the proper course of action to deal with them, we can debate that. But let's not resort to self delusions in the meantime.
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