Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Philosophical Underpinnings of Conservative Thought

"To understand what is distinctive about today's Republican Party, you first need to know about an obscure and very conservative German political philosopher. His name, however, is not Leo Strauss, who has been widely cited as the intellectual guru of the Bush administration. It belongs, instead, to a lesser known, but in many ways more important, thinker named Carl Schmitt."

Proto-nazi dude. Advocated that the executive should proclaim a permanent state of emergency to rule without restraints---that politics should not be be regarded as dialogue or compromise, but rather as combat in which the opponent is to be destroyed. I have an idea that Karl Rove & John Yoo read him when they were impressionable young boys...

"Liberals think of politics as a means; conservatives as an end. Politics, for liberals, stops at the water's edge; for conservatives, politics never stops. Liberals think of conservatives as potential future allies; conservatives treat liberals as unworthy of recognition. Liberals believe that policies ought to be judged against an independent ideal such as human welfare or the greatest good for the greatest number; conservatives evaluate policies by whether they advance their conservative causes. Liberals instinctively want to dampen passions; conservatives are bent on inflaming them. Liberals think there is a third way between liberalism and conservatism; conservatives believe that anyone who is not a conservative is a liberal. Liberals want to put boundaries on the political by claiming that individuals have certain rights that no government can take away; conservatives argue that in cases of emergency -- conservatives always find cases of emergency -- the reach and capacity of the state cannot be challenged."

The controversy over the Yoo Memorandums and the Influence of Schmitt---

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