Saturday, 14 April 2007

The End of Neoconservatism: Part One

Farewell, then, to neoconservatism. Iran turned out to be the question that it simply could not answer. It was magnificent to behold the incandescence of John Bolton at being denied the whole point of it all: the destruction of Iran’s multiethnic emerging democracy outside the global hegemony (in accordance with the precedent set in Yugoslavia), and the theft of Iran’s oil (in accordance with the precedent set in Iraq). This will never now happen. What has Bolton’s life been for?

Not so amusing, but actually more interesting, was the sound of Denis MacShane holding up as a triumph the peaceful resolution of the "hostage" situation in Iran. In so doing, he repeatedly denounced neoconservatism. Yet MacShane is a signatory both to The Henry Jackson Society and to the Euston Manifesto. Will he now be withdrawing his signature? Will every other signatory to either or both? And if not, why not?

Neoconservatism is now, or was until very recently, in government in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Israel, Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal. And it also has a politically substantial presence in France, the Irish Republic and New Zealand, among other places. Its erstwhile Portuguese leader is now President of the European Commission.

Yet it has no roots whatever in the mainstream political tradition of any country on earth. Even in the United States, its intellectual debts are to Max Shachtman, Leo Strauss and Ayn Rand. Shachtman tried to make Trotskyism Americanist. Meanwhile, Strauss and Rand gave life to Huey Long’s prediction that America would one day produce its own Fascism, but would call it anti-Fascism.

Then add in, first, the sort of Zionism that denies the very existence of the Palestinians as a people. It would annex the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to the State of Israel, along with Lebanon south of the Litani River. And it would clear all non-Jews from Israel thus expanded: they could go to Jordan or to a northern Lebanon annexed to Syria, or they could be put to death.

Add in, secondly, a stock Irish-American saloon-bar rant against a perceived Anglophile network within the WASP élite. What are David Trimble, Paul Bew and Tim Collins doing, associating with this sort of thing through The Henry Jackson Society? Neoconservatism takes this anti-British hysteria even further, demanding the wholesale Americanisation of Britain’s, Canada’s, Australia’s and New Zealand’s economic, social, cultural and political systems, though without the conferral of American citizenship, and thus without representation in Congress or the Electoral College.

So much for the Anglosphere, from which America is in any case busily detaching herself by means of the unrestricted immigration supported by the neoconservatives. That support is because they rightly recognise that there cannot be a "free" market in goods, services and capital but not in labour (or vice versa), there being nothing less conservative than capitalism.

But it is also because insistent non-English-speakers are cheap labour for the neoconservatives’ financial backers, and provide an electoral base for their standard-bearing dynasty. And it is because they actively want to make America as unlike the hated Britain (and by extension Canada, Australia and New Zealand) as possible. Indeed, they want to make Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand into totally dependent carbon copies of this America purged of real or imaginary British influence.

Their definition of the Anglosphere so as to exclude the West Indies is because they deny the economic, social, cultural and political Christian heritage common to the Anglo-Celtic and the West African slave-descended peoples. That heritage includes not only their common English language (which the neoconservatives’ immigration policies are doing so much to displace in the United States), but also their common blood ties. And those ties are not only in the Americas, but also here in these islands, and thus also in later settler societies.

By excluding the West African slave-descended and the Christian dimensions abroad (in American terms), the neoconservatives very deliberately exclude both the West African slave-descended and the Christian dimensions at home (in those terms), and thus also in their narrowly defined Anglosphere as remade in the image of their own racist, anti-Christian remaking of the United States.

Not that the neoconservatives have no interest in the Commonwealth countries of the Caribbean, with which so many British Citizens have such close connections. It is possible in principle for any of the Commonwealth Realms to retain or abolish the monarchy regardless of the decision of any other of them. But it is very difficult to see how any of those in the Caribbean could do so in practice if the forcible Americanisation of Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand had included (as, of course, it would have to) the abolition of the monarchy in all four of those countries. Thus will the Commonwealth Realms and British Overseas Territories of the Caribbean be made ripe for invasion and colonisation, along with the two republics (Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago) to which they are so intimately related. Something very similar will happen in the Pacific.

It is striking how many neoconservatives are self-hating Canadian subjects of the Crown and products of the Keynes-Beveridge settlement: David Frum, Mark Steyn, Conrad Black, Barbara Amiel, and so on. Not that Canada is the only, or even the worst, case of the closely related rise of hostility to that settlement, hostility to the Crown, and support for American neoconservative foreign policy.

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