Neoconservatism is a branch of conservative political philosophy, which was born in the 1960s. This was born as a response to the foreign policy that the United States Democratic Party was adopting during the protests that arose with the war of Vietnam.

Neoconservatism, thus, was a term widely used during the presidency of George W. Bush. It refers to a movement, to the turn taken by the anti-Stalinist left, which oriented its thinking towards American conservatism. In this sense, a current that advocates democracy and intervention in international politics.

Thus, the neoconservative movement is against communist ideologies such as Soviet ideology. Reason why they supported interventionism against the USSR.

Central elements of neoconservatism

Neoconservatism is defined as a political philosophy that is integrated by some central elements. That is to say, a series of elements that characterize the neoconservative movement, differentiating it from others such as the progressive one.

Thus, the central elements that characterize neoconservatism are:

  • Neoconservatism, unlike progressivism, focuses on supporting the military. Always focusing ideas in the field of foreign policy and international relations.
  • It is shown as a political philosophy that is in opposition to progressivism. Therefore, the neoconservative is defined as the opposite of the progressive.
  • Neoconservatism has a diversity of views on free trade. Being able to be, in this way, for or against.
  • Neo-conservatism, supporting liberalism and individualism, is against any current that advocates collectivism.
  • Religion is a very marked field within neoconservatism. Especially western religions and the Christian religion.
  • Neoconservatism is skeptical of idealistic movements as defined by the progressive movement.
  • Neo-conservatism is totally against Soviet ideas.

Great authors have defined these elements as the central elements of neoconservatism.

Neoconservatism principles

As a political philosophy, neoconservatism is based on a number of principles. That is, some defined principles that try to implant a message in society.

The principles of neoconservatism that should be highlighted are:

  • Full support for the military forces in the country.
  • Support for religion. Especially Christian religion.
  • Rejection of communism, as well as philosophies that advocate collectivism.
  • Promotion of economic freedom, as well as individualism.
  • Support for state intervention in certain very marked issues.
  • Promotion of state management in foreign policy matters.

In short, these would be the principles of the neoconservative movement. However, in its breadth, more principles can be collected, as well as variations of those shown here.

Differences between conservatism and neoconservatism

Being such similar terms, many are the people who wonder how the two concepts are different.

Thus, to understand it clearly, we must attend to the neo-conservative message. Well, being a political philosophy, the messages differ greatly from each other, even if they come from the same bosom. We must understand the difference between conservatism and neo-conservatism as a process of transformation, in which new ideas are integrated into conservatism.

The neoconservative is more interventionist in the field of international relations and foreign policy than the conservative. Of course, the latter is usually more isolationist. On the other hand, the neoconservative, in the same way, differs from the conservative in other fields such as collectivism and individualism, the latter being the one that most represents the neoconservative, while the conservative tends to be collectivist.

However, many critics have harshly criticized the term neoconservative, since they do not consider the prefix "neo" valid to refer to this philosophical branch.

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