Irving Kristol, Father of Neconservatism, Dead At 89

Bookmark and Share   Irving Kristol published his most comprehensive and influential writings on politics and economics in his book “Neoconservatism”. It consisted of some of his greatest essays on religion, society education, aneoKristolculture, literature and most of all, values that have come to define neoconservative assessments of modern day politics.

The book and its articulation of the cause set the stage for the neoconservative movement which provided the intellectual foundation for the resurgence of American conservatism in our time. So much so that it can be said that Irving Kristol is its architect and paternal nurturer.

Kristol was educated in the radical socialism of the 1930’s but grew disillusioned with its process and thinking and eventually became an ideological proponent of the Soviet Union and in time as an active editor, publisher and writer, he helped move a generation of intellectuals to the conservative cause.

In an August 20, 2003 in a commentary for the regularly published collections of opinion that came from the American Enterprise Institute, where Kristol was a John M. Olin Distinguished Fellow, he wrote an article entitled “The Neoconservative Persuasion,” and in it he stated

“that the United States, for better or worse, is the most powerful country in the world and that it will either “find opportunities to use it or the world will discover them for it.”

He wrote: ” Barring extraordinary events, the United States will always feel obliged to defend, if possible, a democratic nation under attack from non-democratic forces, external or internal. That is why it was in our national interest to come to the defense of France and Britain in World War II. That is why we feel it necessary to defend Israel today, when its survival is threatened. No complicated geopolitical calculations of national interest are necessary. Behind all this is a fact: the incredible military superiority of the United States vis-à-vis the nations of the rest of the world, in any imaginable combination. This superiority was planned by no one, and even today there are many Americans who are in denial … The older, traditional elements in the Republican Party have difficulty coming to terms with this new reality in foreign affairs, just as they cannot reconcile economic conservatism with social and cultural conservatism. But by one of those accidents historians ponder, our current president and his administration turn out to be quite at home in this new political environment, although it is clear they did not anticipate this role any more than their party as a whole did. As a result, neoconservatism began enjoying a second life, at a time when its obituaries were still being published.”

aneoToday those on the left try to create their own definition of neo-conservatism. They try to create a derogatory and often false description of conservatives that is as negative as the contemporary impression of liberalism and the label of being a liberal.  But in truth, neo-conservatism, both the word and its meaning, have been abused by both liberals and even conservatives. As indicated in Irving Kristol’s remarks of August, 2003, true neo-conservatives understand the responsibilities, both moral and strategic, that come with the leadership role that, like it or not, we as, as the most powerful and influential nation in the world have. This was his understanding and it is one that should not be casually written off.

Kristol was born on January 20, 1920 to Orthodox Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine. He later attended the City College of New York where he studied history and received his B.A..

20 years later he graduated from the City College of New York with a B.A.. He majored in history and had views that made him a Trotskyist.

Than in WWII he became a combat infantryman and fought in the 12th Armored Division, Upon returning home, his evolution to conservatism began and in 1942 he met and married Gertrude Himmelfarb, who later became a renowned historian. Later they had two children Elizabeth and William, who is best known as Bill, Bill Kristol a man who in his own right, advances the conservative cause and is best know as the editor of the Weekly Standard fame.

On this day, September 18, 2009 at the age of 89, Irving Crystal left us. But as his physical presence left us, his philosophical and ideological genius left us with the perpetuity of an ideological foundation that, if implemented properly, as they relate to the future that unfolds, can keep us safe, strong and prosperous.


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