THE PLANK FEBRUARY 10, 2009
Andrew J. Bacevich's response to Sam Tanenhaus's essay on the end of conservatism is welcome because it so clearly and succinctly expresses a paleoconservative sentiment that has growing numbers of champions online and may gather force over the coming years. Unlike the neocons, who marry conservative instincts in social policy to strong support for two of the least conservative practices known to man -- free-market capitalism and a militaristic foreign policy -- Bacevich is consistent. He rejects nearly everything about modern America: the culture of choice that gives us the unrestricted right to "fornicate, marry, breed, abort, divorce, and abandon"; the "Ponzi scheme" of advanced corporate capitalism and the fiscally irresponsible policies that facilitate it; and the foreign policy outlook of "global power projection" that has dominated both political parties since the end of World War II and led us into what Bacevich sees as an endless string of ruinous imperialistic wars. Conservatism, for Bacevich and other paleocons, demands an almost total overthrow of the status quo in favor of an alternative reality in which American citizens reject the ideal of individual autonomy, admire the virtues of self-denial and self-restraint, live financially within their means, and embrace a foreign policy driven by a narrowly defined national interest.
The rest of the argument is worth reading and can be found here.