The Threat

The neoconservatives, or the culture of hate and fear

Youssef Aschkar, online publication: Thursday 24 March 2005
français : La menace

These professionals of hate, madly thirsting for reprisals” (Duhamel)

Why do the neoconservatives hate the United States so much that they wish to change its spirit and image? Why do they hate the US people so much as to fanaticize it by a supposed war against fanaticism? Why do they make it insecure through its own fanaticism, depriving it of its rights and freedoms in the name of security? Why do they despise it so much that they lie to it so deliberately about itself and other peoples, confusing its references? Why do they rejoice to see it living in fear and hate, reducing the idea of its mission in the world to that of holy war, and its role to that of inquisitor and executioner? Why do they rejoice to see fear and hate of the US people increasing in the world, congratulating themselves for having abused US power by globalizing terror in its name?

Why do they so hate the US State, especially its legitimate political institutions and judiciary power, which they have abused, manipulated, sabotaged, controlled, or ignored to such an extent that the entire system has fallen into ridicule and lost its credibility?

Why do they so hate the US constitution, which has never before suffered any important setback to the rights and freedoms of man?

Why are they doing their utmost to remove from it, brutally and speedily, the fundamental principles, acquired over centuries of effort and sacrifice, which are intended to inspire US institutions and the US way of life?

Why do they hate the culture of the open society underpinning the good principles, values, and norms that the US enjoys, that give it strength and grandeur, and that are the object of its pride? Why do they appeal instead to that other, ignominious, facet of US culture, the closed society, which brings weakness and misery to all peoples, especially the US itself, and which reveals itself today as fatally dangerous for the superpower and the rest of the world? Why do they insist so much on “remodeling” the US, first, through the culture of the ghetto? Why do they glorify themselves on remodeling the world in the image of the ghettoized US? Why do they want to barbarize the universal mission of the US? Why do they want the US to hate the world and the world to hate it?

Why, to begin with, did the neoconservatives form themselves into an organization, and a secret one at that, at the centre of power? Why did this organization then work to take power, making itself a state within a state? This was a unique kind of coup d’etat because it did not announce itself as such at any precise time. Yet, the aftermath of this coup rolls onward: not content with the systematic conquest of state power, the influence of the coup extends into the whole of society. How did the neoconservative organization achieve this double coup of state and society, ongoing in space and time, terrorizing the world through the superpower, terrorizing the superpower through the world, and barbarizing both through the reciprocal monster of terror.

Do the neoconservatives hate mankind so much that they want to lead it back into barbarism?

Leading mankind into barbarism

Is the idea of leading mankind back into barbarism unimaginable in the 21st century? Are the achievements of civilization irreversible? Is the “world village” the guarantor of unshakeable human solidarity?

A negative answer is provided by the alarming deterioration in the state of the world during the last three years. The salutary achievements of civilization are opposed by the “clash of civilizations”. The bridges of solidarity needed in the new “global village” are replaced by walls of separation and opposition, lines of demarcation and confrontation. Common language is substituted by the dialogue of the deaf.

The ideology of fear and hatred is now seen to be more effective and dangerous than any arms, more murderous and devastating than any military operation, more destructive and contagious than any weapon of mass destruction. For it attacks man himself and all that makes him human, whereas other aggressions are generally limited to his body, possessions, resources, or environment. This strategy is what draws the new inquisitors into the conquest of societies rather than states.

Moreover, this ideology has been carried into the field of religion. It reduces religions into political fanaticism, politics and the public realm into the circle of sacred and profane, the human being and all human dimensions into the circle of beliefs and, finally, beliefs into primitive impulses moulded by hatred and terror, affirmed by violence and the demonization of the Other. This is no restoration of past theocratic regimes. This is a modern neo-regime projecting itself upon mankind’s future. This regime has taken power in the US and given itself the pseudonym of “neoconservative”, and it is active daily in the world. Its only “civil” attribute is power, and its only “religious” practice is to abuse all religions. As for its vision of a new world order, it far surpasses the level of control exercised by theocracies and dictatorships in the past. It promises to be totalitarian.

The new totalitarian order

The new totalitarians are inspired by Sparta rather than Rome. The legacy of Sparta accords with their vision conceptually, structurally, and functionally: an aristocracy or conquering elite transformed by the spirit of myth and politics into a totalitarian caste; the control and moulding of ideas and activities; the reduction of the homeland into an armed camp for the ruling caste’s security, and into the bulwark of oligarchic and totalitarian regimes in order to dominate the outer world; constant concern over the danger of demographic expansion among the “auxiliaries”, regarded as natural enemies, and the recourse to all means in order to prevent such an expansion.

The concordance is sufficient to make Sparta the best reference-point. The imperialism of Rome, on the other hand, does not suffice to carry the ideological principles and ambitions of the new Spartiates. Copied too much by the successors of Rome and popularized over the centuries, notably in the European colonial era, the Roman imperial concept seems to the neoconservatives to lack originality, and their new global project intends to be original. Regarded as unrevolutionary and too easy-going in conquest and occupation, building too much and demolishing too little, the Romans cannot inspire the new ideologues of “creative destruction”.

But in the eyes of these new ideologues, the rulers of Rome committed the impardonable error of being too concerned for the conventional interests of their country at the expense of the exceptional demands of their world project. They, in contrast, the new modelers of the world, feel responsible only towards their project, for which no sacrifice is too great. Thus, the US authorities must not act as being responsible to the people, but as a headquarters invested with the mission of remodeling the world by perpetual and ubiquitous war. Instead of acting as a legitimate authority elected by the people and invested with a well-defined mandate limited by the constitution, they must act as an initiated elite whose legitimacy derives from their political will to accomplish their project, and whose mandate need not conform to any obligation or obey any law. Finally, the legitimacy and mandate of these authorities is to be confirmed by victory.

All this is insane and incredible, but it is a fact and has been so since the eve of 11th September. Sceptics should recall the fact that most insanities of history, notably those of totalitarian ideologues, were only fully revealed as such to later generations. However, we should note here three major differences between the follies of the past and that of the present – differences that act, unfortunately, to our disadvantage and force us to be alarmed. The first consists in the relatively local character of past follies, whereas the present folly has a global range. The second is related to the special ideology of the new totalitarian caste, which appeals in all societies to instincts of repulsion. Most totalitarian follies of the past, in contrast, were content to dominate persons and activities without reducing them to their instincts; in this sense, they were more understandable and less sanguinary. The third difference, which derives from the second, is that damage in the past was reparable, whereas the demolitions of the present are intended to be irreversible. These three reasons should suffice to warn us of the dangers that mankind is incurring as the victim of this ultra-murderous mesh.

The culture of the lie

The continuous lie is the controller of the mesh. This is not the ordinary lie of daily life or the occasional lie forged according to circumstance, but a founding principle of the neoconservative global project. It is not simply a means, but an end. It is a whole culture. This kind of lie is embodied in a philosophical tradition culminating in the United States in the circle of Leo Strauss and his disciples. The lie is metamorphosized into the supreme “truth” held by the neoconservatives, who substitute it for reality. The lie thus rises to the level of historical vector through the double action of destruction and creation. The neoconservative project, which consists in transforming the United States and the world, fits into this context and perspective.

The neoconservatives cannot renounce the culture of the lie without renouncing their project as a whole. They cannot retreat or stop, for they are bound to advance. They cannot loosen a single link, for the credibility of the whole chain depends on it. The survival of their project will always depend on their ability to create new “truths” by a mesh of events and situations that must seem probable in order to be convincing and seem irreversible in order to inspire fatalism and, consequently, resignation.

This edifice of forged scenarios rests on two pillars – disinformation and the manufacturing of events – that go hand in hand, accompanying or succeeding each other according to needs and circumstances.

Disinformation can prepare, accompany, and follow an event.

It is active in all directions and covers important areas in the United States and the world at all levels – the state, the public, and intermediary zones. It reaches all categories: officials and institutions, influential groups and circles, and ordinary citizens. It can use and abuse the president, Congress or a congressman, a parliament or a parliamentary group, a cartel or a combination of cartels, a lobby, an intelligence service, and, finally, the public at large. All are open to exploitation as accomplice or victim.

Disinformation has many functions: to provoke persons or actions; to lead persons, institutions, and even states into error; to justify an action; to misinterpret an event or speech; to hide the truth; to falsify facts, thoughts, or documents; to sabotage justice; to weave scandals, and so on. All these diverse functions aim at the goal fixed by the disinformers according to the sole needs of their project.

The manufacturing of events falls partly within the context of disinformation, but it goes even further. For it is not enough to deceive. It is necessary to demolish, to apply “creative destruction” through events that are provoked and provocative at the same time.

The event is a surer, more effective and more durable means than simple disinformation. Unlike disinformation, which can be accepted, rejected, or ignored, the event is a fact that imposes itself and so must be dealt with. Moreover, the kind of event created or facilitated by the neoconservatives unleashes a series of other events, leading to a mesh of actions and reactions in which it is difficult or impossible to distinguish cause and effect. This is the basic law of the mesh – every effect is transformed into a cause. And the initiators of the mesh may intervene to restore this law whenever it is inoperative, in order to prolong their so-called “creative destruction”.