Swans Commentary » swans.com February 12, 2007  



Two Views: Reasonable/Rational and Neocon/Born Again


by Milo Clark





(Swans - February 12, 2007)   Harvard Business School is famous for its case method of teaching. Given reality-based data and context, aspirants apply reasonable and rational analyses to develop action recommendations.

Many classes open when the instructor calls on a student to present the case assigned. The student will then lay out the data, discuss the relevance of the context, and make recommendations appropriate to the situation. The rest of the period will revolve around critique of that presentation.

George W. Bush, I am embarrassed to say, is class of 1975 at Harvard Business School.

Harvard Business School uses a pass/no pass grading system. The top grade is high pass and the lowest is an unsatisfactory. From a reasonable/rational perspective, the Iraq quagmire and now escalation in Iraq gets an unsat, no pass.

George W. Bush is also in thrall to the neoconservatives and describes himself as a born-again Christian with direct channels to his God.

Leo Strauss is often described as the guru of the neocons (see my Swans commentary from 2004). In Straussian logic, to survive, democracies must be willing to use force against evil as defined by Strauss or a Straussian leader, aka The Decider.

Strauss had no tolerance for the great masses so easily seduced by other demagogues, advertisers, and spin doctors. In Platonic terms, a philosopher-king is better. The p-k is assumed by Strauss to be a benign autocrat with Machiavellian tendencies, lying and conniving, devious and cunning, all for the greater good of society, civilization, democracy.

Tiring of Trotsky and various Internationals, Irving Kristol and, later his son, William (Bill), spun 180 degrees and took up the Straussian cudgels in the 1960s. Irving's first publishing effort was The Public Interest begun in 1965, which has now morphed into The Weekly Standard under Bill. A major milestone was takeover of the once respectable American Enterprise Institute.

A full coterie of neocons came bundled with Ronald Reagan in 1980. Iran-Contra emerged as a classic neocon operation. Finance war against Nicaragua by selling arms to the abominable Khomeni's Iran, perfect by Straussian logics. Reagan's blank memory under testimony is very Straussian.

The list of neocons from Reagan's days now arrayed around George W. Bush includes, but is not limited to: Dick Cheney (now vice president), Donald Rumsfeld (formerly secretary of defense), Paul Wolfowitz (now president of the World Bank), Douglas Feith (formerly undersecretary of defense, who orchestrated the Iraq obfuscations), John Bolton (formerly ambassador to the UN), Zalmay Khalilzad (formerly ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq, and member of the National Security Council now nominated to succeed Bolton at the UN), Elliot Abrams (formerly undersecretary of state, who was pardoned by G. H. W. Bush for perjury in his Iran-Contra testimony), Richard Perle (who has held many top jobs over the years), and others too numerous to catalog.

The core neocon agenda can be boiled down to two points: secure oil and protect Israel.

To secure oil and to protect Israel, George W. Bush risks Armageddon, tempts apocalypse, and courts rapture. Perfect neocon/born-again reasoning.

George W. Bush in his NeoCon/Born Again mode is above and beyond criticism. See why I am embarrassed by his HBS degree?

I am curious to note that the punditry and talking heads seem to have missed this point.


· · · · · ·


If you find our work valuable, please consider helping us financially.

· · · · · ·


Internal Resources

Patterns which Connect


About the Author

Milo Clark on Swans (with bio).



Please, feel free to insert a link to this work on your Web site or to disseminate its URL on your favorite lists, quoting the first paragraph or providing a summary. However, please DO NOT steal, scavenge, or repost this work on the Web or any electronic media. Inlining, mirroring, and framing are expressly prohibited. Pulp re-publishing is welcome -- please contact the publisher. This material is copyrighted, © Milo Clark 2007. All rights reserved.


Have your say

Do you wish to share your opinion? We invite your comments. E-mail the Editor. Please include your full name, address and phone number (the city, state/country where you reside is paramount information). When/if we publish your opinion we will only include your name, city, state, and country.


· · · · · ·


This Edition's Internal Links

Oil and War - Michael Doliner

Lubricating Our Megamachines - Gilles d'Aymery

A Mess Of Potage - Carol Warner Christen

On Obligation In A Participatory Democracy - Michael DeLang

Attitude - Martin Murie

A Freak Speaks - Troy Headrick

Beware Of Those Desperate Hawks - Philip Greenspan

Pimps and Ponces at War - Film Review by Peter Byrne

"The Producers" In Denmark - Charles Marowitz

Another Chekhov Worth Meeting - Book Review by Peter Byrne

Islamorada - Book Excerpt by William T. Hathaway

Satori - Poem by Guido Monte

Blips #47 - From the Martian Desk - Gilles d'Aymery

Letters to the Editor

· · · · · ·


[About]-[Past Issues]-[Archives]-[Resources]-[Copyright]



Swans -- ISSN: 1554-4915
URL for this work: http://www.swans.com/library/art13/mgc202.html
Published February 12, 2007