Neocons and Neoliberals: Two Masks, One Face


Obama might very well be classified as a “neoliberal”. He appears to be appointing leading neoliberals to key positions in his administration.

If you’re a liberal, you might think this is great. Instead of the Neoconservatives who have been in power for the last 8 years, we’ll now have neoliberals. You may assume that “neoliberals” are new, smarter liberals — with liberal social policies, but with a stronger, more realistic outlook.


In reality, neoliberalism is as dissimilar to true progressive liberal politics as neo-conservatism is to true conservative politics (if you don’t know it, most leading neoconservatives are former followers of Trotsky communism – not very conservative, huh?)

For example, did you know that Ronald Reagan was a leading neoliberal? In the U.S., of course, he is described as the quintessential conservative. But internationally, people understand that he really pushed neoliberal economic policies.

As former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer Philip Giraldi writes:

Neoconservatives and neoliberals are really quite similar, so it doesn’t matter who gets elected in 2008. The American public, weary of preemptive attacks, democracy-promotion, and nation-building, will still get war either way.

And leading neo-conservative strategist Robert Kagan recently said:

Until now the liberal West’s strategy has been to try to integrate these two powers into the international liberal order, to tame them and make them safe for liberalism.”

So neoconservatives are not really conservative and neoliberals are not really liberal.

But neocons and neoliberals are very similar to each other. Neocons are alot more similar to neoliberals than to true conservatives; neoliberass are more similar to neocons than to real liberals.

Do you get it? Both the Republican and Democratic party are now run by people with identical agendas: make the big corporations richer and expand the American empire.

There is only one party, which simply puts on different faces depending on which “branch” of the party is in power. If its the Democratic branch, there is a slightly liberal social veneer to the mask: a little more funding for social programs, a little more nice guy talk, a little more of a laissez faire attitude towards gays and minorities, and a little more patient push towards military conquest and empire.

If its the Republican branch, there’s a little more tough guy talk, quicker moves towards military empire, a little more mention of religion, and a tad more centralization of power in the president.

But there is only a single face behind both masks: the face of raw corporatism, greed and yearning for power and empire.

Until Americans stop getting distracted by the Republican versus Democratic melodrama, America will move steadily forward towards war, empire and — inevitably as with any country which extends too far — collapse.

Neoliberalism is neither “new” or liberal. Neoconservativism is neither new or conservative. They are just new labels for a very old agenda: serving the powers-that-be, consolidating power, controlling resources. Whether the iron fist has a velvet glove on it or not, it is still an iron fist.

A true opposition party is needed to counter the never-changing American agenda for military and corporate empire.

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  • “The left wants a dictatorship of the poor, and the right wants a dictatorship of the rich. Both want a dictatorship.” -Ayn Rand

    • Alejandro Moreno

      Ayn Rand – 2 bit philosopher and a hypocrite to boot. SO not worth quoting. Ever.

  • Indeed. One Party. The Corporate party. GOP-DEM are little different than Sunni and Shia! GET OUT WHILE YOU STILL CAN!!

    • anon

      This is just ignorance–the Republicans and Democrats are the same, but Sunni and Shia Islam are not just arbitrary branches of some terrorist collective called Islam. I suggest you read more about Islam, it’s extraordinarily misunderstood AND–I might add–misinforming people about Islam is an integral part of the agenda of the corporate GOP-DEM elite. I’m not a Muslim, for the record.

    • anon

      This is just ignorance–the Republicans and Democrats are the same, but Sunni and Shia Islam are not just arbitrary branches of some terrorist collective called Islam. I suggest you read more about Islam, it’s extraordinarily misunderstood AND–I might add–misinforming people about Islam is an integral part of the agenda of the corporate GOP-DEM elite. I’m not a Muslim, for the record.

  • You are confusing the issue. The work neoliberal applies to an economic philosophy which is also sometimes called the Chicago School or the Washington Consensus. It is related to what we often call globalization, and it has to to with “liberalization” of economies, in other words privatization of publicly held industries etc. Liberal in the American political sense it totally unrelated to neoliberal. Neoconservatism is a political philosophy that espouses vanguardism and militant foreign policy. They are related in that their goals dove tail, kind of like apples and oranges are similar in that they are both edible.

    • Shannon Lee Martin

      WHO is confusing the issue? If anyone is trying to confuse the issue, it is you sir. Why do I say that? What the article says is pretty plain and simple. What you are saying is actually confusing.

  • Mike… read up:The “Third Way”In truth, it’s just a merger of right/left socialism.Translation: The socialists and the corporo-fasciscts hold hands together and say.”Kumbaya.”

  • Thanks for writing this piece.I agree 100% that the Republicrats represent 2 faces of the same agenda. I wonder, though, how do we effectively communicate this to people, in such a way that they believe it enough to get behind a legitimate third party? Also, who are the right people that we should spend time convincing? How do we target powerful, influential people and convince them that this Republicratic system needs a counterpointing voice? It is a conundrum.

  • …why are you people buying into this article? It does nothing but repeat itself over and over and over saying the same thing over and over and over about how they’re the same party but there is NOT ONE example of how. I’m sorry, but some of us still use the rules of objective opinion, we require evidence, not hyperbole. You would do well to do the same, otherwise you’re just what they want, dumb, uneducated sheeple that can be manipulated with any invented rumor they want.Like the one where Obama is a communist muslim that eats babies.

    • Shannon Lee Martin

      Well, looks like you need to so your homework sweetie 😀

    • Grey Winters

      Liberalism, statism, is at the top of the heap in almost every country on this planet. Government as god is the rule of our day.

  • Thank you for this article! As an author you always seem to be one step ahead of me in articles I’ve been planning to write! I too have been asserting [in comments mostly at OpedNews] that the economic right political ‘values’ found in NeoLibs, [short for both NeoLibertarians and Neoliberals] NeoCons, and TheoCons are predominantly the same for months now ever since these corporate bailouts started. This author has a firm grasp on political ideologies as evidenced in his other articles correctly identifying the now $2 trillion in US corporate bailouts as the economic policy of Fascism.The TheoCons-NeoCons-NeoLibs have taken the country so far to the economic right and up in to an authoritarian level since 2000 that most all in the democratic party, excluding a few like Kucinich and Sanders, have moved from a ‘centrist’ political ideology to an authoritarian right and moderate conservative political ideology. Like Anna here more fully displays, the overwhelming majority of Americans just do no have a realistic grasp on global political ideologies, much less their own personal political values. Political party indoctrination and mud slinging has the population wrongly convinced democratic politicians are for the most part ‘liberals’ when they’re economic right NeoLiberals and moderate conservatives while republicans calling themselves ‘conservative’ are instead radically authoritarian and economic right TheoCons and NeoCons. When Americans don’t understand their own political values, much less those of the candidate they vote for, they will continue to make the wrong choices. This would seem to be exactly what the ‘1’ party corporatist system wants so Americans will only continue making the wrong choices from choosing between ‘moderate conservative’ Democrats like Obama-Biden, and NeoCon/TheoCon republicans like McCain-Palin. Who better to assert this 1 party economic right NeoLiberal reality than one of the most renown liberal authors and intellectuals than Chomsky in his recent article the Anti-Democratic Nature of US Capitalism is Being Exposed. Chomsky cites America as a “one-party system, the business party, with two factions, Republicans and Democrats” while putting the blame on this economic crisis where it belongs on the very people who created it, America’s NeoLiberals. Anna, if you need more proof I suggest you take a trip to the non partisan web site created by a group of doctorate degreed political ideology professors, political experts and sociologists called Political Compass. I guarantee you these experts are far more learned than you are about political ideologies and political values not just in the US, but around the globe. It will surely shock you to learn based on speeches, public statements and most crucially voting records that Obama is firmly in the authoritarian right quadrant as a moderate conservative. There you’ll see their reasons for this based on his voting record and speeches briefly cited in “While Cynthia McKinney and Ralph Nader are depicted on the extreme left in an American context, they would simply be mainstream social democrats within the wider political landscape of Europe. Similarly, Obama is popularly perceived as a leftist in the United States while elsewhere in the west his record is that of a moderate conservative. For example, in the case of the death penalty he is not an uncompromising abolitionist, while mainstream conservatives in all other western democracies are deeply opposed to capital punishment. The Democratic party’s presidential candidate also reneged on his commitment to oppose the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. He sided with the ultra conservative bloc in the Supreme Court against the Washington DC handgun ban and for capital punishment in child rape cases. He supports President Bush’s faith-based initiatives and is reported in Fortune to have said that NAFTA isn’t so bad.”A way to realistically determine if the candidate you vote for actually represents your own political values is to take the political values test found at political compass here and afterward learn about the inadequacies inherent in the limited age-old traditional left-right economic view of political ideologies. Then you Anna, along with a host of others, may actually start voting in support of candidates that factually represent your own political values. Or you may find you really aren’t this liberal you think you are after all. Regardless, only by learning more about ones’ own political values and those of the candidates Americans support will they get the political leaders, type of leadership, and government they actually want….

    • Alejandro Moreno

      Written 8 years ago and yet STILL true, Sanders and Kucinich are still of, by and for the people.

  • As someone who opposes empire it is bizarre that you emulate Federalist icon George Washington. Federalism was the precursor to the American empire. Why model yourself on its figurehead?

    • MisterReason

      Yea, seems they forget about the Whisky Rebellion.

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  • J R Thompson

    This article does much to confuse and disinform. NeoCons are essential modern day Fascists. If you don’t recall your politics, Fascists are to the right of Conservatives on the political spectrum. They have nothing to do with Communists who are far to the left. During the 1930s Nazis were the NeoCons. They were Fascists, and they also had the overwhelming support of Muslims, who are also Fascists. Today’s NeoLiberals are basically Right Wing and hardly middle of the fence. There is virtually no politics to the left of centre and this is the catalyst for massive economic stagnation, economic collapse, rapidly growing global instability, indemic poverty, and an ongoing threat of pandemic disease and general global conflict. Until we have some form of political balance, we’re on the brink of catastrophe, and will probably end up with an enormous mess to clean up.

    • JoeMonday

      The Wiki page disagrees with you.

      It says that Neo-Conservatives descend from Trotskeyism.

    • Grey Winters

      Fascism is statism and nothing represents the ultimate power of the state then the liberal. No liberal supports our constitution or a smaller government . But it’s innately typical of a liberal to project their agenda onto others.

    • MisterReason

      Your communist professor lied to you.

      Communism and Fascism are one degree apart. In Fascism, instead of the elite being part of the government, they are part of the private sector. That is the only difference. They are both mainly concerned with consolidation of power and shaping the culture though control of information. Internationally they operate the same as well, expanding their influence through wars of occupation.

      • Malcolm Scott

        Spot on. It takes a lot of work to see through the indoctrination that right and left are on some opposite sides of the spectrum.

    • Malcolm Scott

      Fascism, Communism are just different faces of Totalitarianism or Statism. Fascism gives “private” owners (oligarchs) the illusion of freedom.

    • Zeconte

      The thing is fascists and “communists” like Stalin or Trotskey or Mao are also two masks of the same thing: Dictatorships. When you can look at a communist country and say “this is the sole person responsible, this is the undisputed leader” you are not looking at a communist country, you are looking at a right-wing dictatorship masquerading as a communist country. That is why we have terms like Leninism or Stalinism or Trotskeyism or Maoism, because none of these people actually achieved anything that could in reality be called “communism.” To argue otherwise is to utilize the same idiotic logic as claiming Nazis were socialists, or North Korea is a Democratic Republic, just because you call yourself something doesn’t mean you actually are something, doesn’t mean you actually adhere to the values and ideologies of what you call yourself.

      If a government responds to criticism and dissent through punishment and elimination of the critics and dissenters, it is a dictatorship, because it dictates what is going to happen and no one is allowed to question it. It doesn’t matter if that dictatorship calls itself a Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or a Democratic People’s Republic or National Socialist, it is what it is and not what it claims to be. It is simply part of a dictatorship’s need to control the population through not just fear and violence, but through lies and deception and distraction. It is why these places need an enemy, an other, to point to and blame everyone’s problems on. It is what Trump and the neocons/libs have been doing in America with regards to Mexicans and Muslims, for Hitler, it was the Jews and gypsies and homosexuals and anyone they could use eugenics to argue were undesirable, for Stalin, it was religion and capitalism/the West, for North Korea and Islamic terrorists like ISIS, it’s the US/the West. And once you other people, once you put yourself and/or people like you above anyone else, once you claim you must dominate and crush/oppress those others, you have sailed right out of anything resembling leftist philosophy and have simply subverted leftist philosophy in order to pursue a right-wing agenda.

      It also should be pointed out that the claim itself is very muddled and vague, the article it links to to make the claim is even more muddled and vague. It states that “Troskyism is a zombie idea” meaning, it never really dies, it just keeps coming back in different forms. Which is a fancy way of saying “neoconservatism isn’t actually Troskyism, but some of Trosky’s ideas can be found within it, some of the people leading the political movement can be said to be inspired by Trosky, therefore, it’s Troskyism reborn”. It is a fallacious claim with extremely tenuous support that basically attempts to argue that if you found inspiration in something, the credit belongs to what you were inspired by, not to you. But the thing is, just because it was inspired by something, doesn’t mean it’s not something new, doesn’t mean there aren’t also other influences and inspirations behind it. To claim otherwise is to claim that the human race hasn’t come up with anything new in millennia, since everything we do, everything we think, everything we create, was built off of what other people have done and thought and created before us.

      What neoconservatism/liberalism actually is is a new political party who pursues a political philosophy of corporatism/right-wing libertarianism and uses the ideas of Lenin and Trosky that their success relies upon constant global revolution in order to institute a globally unified dictatorship under their control so no one can challenge it.

  • 777dave777

    Libertarian Party.

    • SuperTech86

      Doesn’t do anything to stop the advance of corporatism which ultimately leads to tyranny and fascism.

      • Ian

        Its debatable. Corporations won’t be near as interested in a small government that is less willing to do favors for them. What do you suggest as a solution to stop the advancement of corporatism? If your answer is to tax the rich more and grow the government you would just get tyranny. Currently with big government we have both tyranny and fascism.

  • MisterReason

    I know this is old now, but it’s just as true today as in 2008. In fact every day from 2008 to 2015 has confirmed the author’s thesis and made his case stronger.

  • oldirish

    The social agendas of each are only to divide and distract us while wealth and power become more and more concentrated to the very few.

  • nikto

    I prefer to use the word, Corporatist, in place of Neoliberal, just because so many people are still confused by the word, Neoliberal.

    But this is a good piece to link to, to basically explain
    Neoliberalism/Neoconservatism.Corporatism—All of which deliver horrendous outcomes
    for all except the elites who favor these ideas so much.

  • Morgunn47

    Only thing I have to say is watch the movie Rollerball, either release will do.