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Saturday, June 18, 2011


Ben Abeyta

As usual, a well thought out and very well researched article. Great job!


Thanks, Ben.


I fear you have somewhat missed the point of the documentary, Curtis is not arguing that radical islam does't present a threat to society as an ideology. It obviously has. He is agruing that there is no threat from an organised, underground international terrorist network, because no such an organisation exist.

I think you've come down on the wrong side again - the purpose of the documentary was not to argue that the "greatest threat to liberal freedom is Straussian conservatism" or that somehow neo-conservatism is of greater threat than radical islam -Curtis never makes such a statement - but to follow the rise of both ideals, and particually how the neo-conservatists have used the fear of international terrorism to unite their ppl.


Dr. Schaff: Your correction is fair and I thank you for it. I probably misinterpreted Curtis's statements. While you're right that Curtis doesn't call Straussian conservatism the "the greatest threat" to liberal freedom, he does refer to the threat of radical Islam as "largely a myth." At the same, he tries to turn neoconservatism into something dark and oppressive.
Clive Davis (http://old.nationalreview.com/comment/davis200410211043.asp) seems to have viewed the documentary in much the same way I did. "In Curtis's world, it is Strauss, not Osama bin Laden, who is the real evil genius."

I concede that your reading is more fair and accurate than mine and I apologize if my comments were misleading.


No at all. I'm afraid my comments were rather hastily typed on my phone on my way to work (much as they are now typed on the way home). But always good to hear discussion on an excellent piece of documentary film making, I would recommend his bbc blog aswell, well worth a read.


Given the nature of Strauss's conservatism - he himself described "right-wing principles" as "fascist, authoritarian and imperialist" - it's no exaggeration to claim him as a threat. Ultimately, the takeover of the American conservatism, and through it one of the major American political parties in a two-party system, by an ideology of fascistic authoritarianism is more threatening to America than the loosely and poorly organized threat of terrorism. Curtis is also correct that Strauss was more of an "evil genius" than bin Laden: bin Laden whose appeal is waning in his own world, let alone in America. Whereas Strauss was a German who sympathized with America's fascist enemies, and yet was able to spread his ideas through the American conservative movement.

larry kurtz

Don Pay, thank you for your comments at this Montgomery piece in the RCJ: http://www.rapidcityjournal.com/news/article_d82f6692-9aa5-11e0-8975-001cc4c03286.html?mode=story it fits this post from Ms. Flint to a T.

"Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose."


"Is neo-conservatism really the greater threat?"

I don't beleive it is a greater threat, but it is an Ideilogical threat to many people around the world. By defintion a Neo-Conservative has little to do with Conservatism or the Conservative Movement.

Neo-Conservative Idiology is responsible for America being viewed in a negative light by the rest of the world, but is not the aggressive anti-Humanist it is made out to be. The Neo-Conservative vision is long term, where economics is a driving force behind the idea of using American Military Power to free people, and create economic growth. It is based on a theory of controling world violence by aggressively spreading freedom and prosperity on a world scale to appease class conflict and violent upheaval.

Examples of Modern Neo-Conservatives are:

G.W. Bush
David Frum
Bill Kristol
David Brooks
Newt Gingrich
Henery Kissinger
Charles Krauthammer
Rupert Murdoch
Karl Rove
Donald Rumsfeld
Paul Wolfowitz
Fred Barnes

larry kurtz

Good eye, Zionism is the real threat; you red state bozos should know that i don't have any beef with a "United States of Earth," where Israel would be moved to Utah. Check this out: http://expansionistparty.tripod.com/


Thanks, Jimi. I largely agree with your perspective. However, I would point out that anti-Americanism existed long before neoconservatism and that it is likely to continue. Obama, who could hardly be accused of practicing neoconservatism, seems to have gone out of his way to alienate American allies, including Poland, Israel and the UK. My point is not that neoconservatism is necessarily good. There have certainly been very negative consequences from our experiment with it, especially where Homeland Security is concerned. But to call the threat of radical Islam "largely a myth", while demonizing neoconservative figures and acting as if the two movements are similar is, I think, unfair.


"But to call the threat of radical Islam "largely a myth", while demonizing neoconservative figures and acting as if the two movements are similar is, I think, unfair."

Yep....I agree!

Ken Blanchard

Zionism is the real threat, says Kurtz. File under "Stupid".


i totally agree with jon and have to argue that you have indeed missed the point. i would also like to add that you have also missed curtis' explaination of how both the radical islamists and the neo conservative use similar methods of fear to spread their political influence across the world hence the title 'the power of nightmares'. i don't think he makes either side look worse than the other. but what he has pointed out is that while politicians of the past used their revolutionary and ideological vision of a greater world to gain power, the neo conservatives and radiocal islamists use fear and their ability to protect you from that fear as political means to achieve power. and in all fairness he does not describe either the radical islamists or neo cons as 'evil geniuses' and that despite the problems that both sides have created, there are reasons for this. they both want to create a better world but both like so many idealists before them ultimately fail.

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