06-03-2002, 08:54 AM
So I've got a meeting for drinks etc at a local place to interview for the position of General Manager for a new publisher. They're launching a new conservative magazine and defined themselves as 'paleo-conservative' and not 'neo-conservative'.
Now, I've worked for political publishers in the past but for some reason I'm missing this one.
Anyone want to help a poor, downtrodden publishing guy and give me a precis about what the difference is?
06-03-2002, 09:01 AM
Were they a bunch of Neanderthals?
Rocks in their heads?
Can you tell I'm just guessing?
It's gotta be something post-modern. Just toss out names like Derida (or whoever he is.)
06-03-2002, 04:07 PM
The difference between "neo-conservative" and "paleo-conservative" often has far less to do with positions on given issues than with ethnicity, religion, and background.
A "neo-conservative" is, generally, someone who WAS a left-leaning intellectual (sometimes even a Communist) in the 1960s, but whose thinking changed and evolved, and who eventually became a conservative Republican in the 1980s. Famous examples include Norman Podhoretz, Irving Kristol and his son William, and Charles Krauthammer.
"Paleo-conservatives" are people like Pat Buchanan. The type who supported Barry Goldwater in 1964, when everyone else was calling him a dangerous nut. The folks who were conservative when conservative wasn't cool. The folks who think America went to Hell in the 1960s, and still harbor dreams of undoing the New Deal and the Great Society.
(You'll note that I haven't included people like George Will or Bill Buckley in either category- that's deliberate.)
Paleo-cons and Neo-cons often agree on the major issues, but regard each other with some suspicion, and even hostility. For starters, almost all the Paleo-cons are hard-core Christians, while most of the leading Neo-cons are intellectual, secular Jews. Moreover, Paleo-cons are usually most fixated on social issues, like abortion. Neo-cons are usually more interested in foreign policy. Indeed, many of those folks shifted to the right precisely because they came to see the USSR as a dangerous force, and viewed the U.S. as the only force that could contain it.
As long as the USSR existed, the two sides generally made common cause. But in the post-communist world, the two sides have grown apart. You can see the tension between the two sides in any of the major conservative magazines. A big difference is, Neo-cons generally see the USA as the greatest nation on Earth, a force for good in the world, a nation with a destiny to share its blessings and way of life with the world. Paleo-conservatives are generally far more negative. They DON'T see the USA as a force for good, but as a weak, immoral nation that's under siege.
A Charles Krauthammer says, "Let's fight for democracy around the world." A Buchanan says, "The rest of the world is none of our business, let's pull our troops home." An Irving Kristol says, "The USA is a beacon of hope around the world, and we should welcome immigrants who want to become Americans." A Buchanan says, "Foreign immigrants will never fit into our culture, and we should keep them out." Neo-cons see problems in the USA, but generally believe things have never been better. Paleo-cons look around and see an America deluged by crime, drugs, porn, and decadence. They think things have never been worse.
Me, I'm not Jewish and never went through a left-wing phase, but I generally side with the Neo-cons. The Paleos can be a troubling bunch.
06-03-2002, 06:01 PM
Bill Buckley, who wasn't catagorized by Astorian, whote a very long essay on the movement approximately 8-10 years ago in NR. He broke down conservatism into 6 or 7 sub-genres.
If you're from the publishing world, you may want to Nexus / Lexus it...search National Review; W.F. Buckley author: using Paleo-con, Neo-Con, Libertarian, John Birch, Bill Kristol, Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan and funding for lighthouses (which he hypocritically supports over the objections of paleo-cons) and you may find it
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