The Road to Neoconservativism

Have you ever wondered why people like Christopher Hitchens made the switch from Trotskyite to neocon? Matthew Yglesias has a theory:

The real lesson Hitchens ought to be taking away from this isn't about the death penalty, it's about the danger of utopian dreaming and overestimation of threats. If you make your hypothetical omelette tasty enough (democracy everywhere! freedom and equality for all!) or the dangers of failure sufficiently grave (terrorists blowing up cities!) then you wind up eliminating all constraints on the quantity of eggs you're willing to break. This is, I think, something's that's fairly widely understood. Most people involved in politics are not wild-eyed utopians sure that if you just take these three drastic steps all problems will be solved. But one common thread between Hitchens' former Trotskyism and his current neoconservatism (and, of course, he's not the only one to have made that particular journey) is a failure to appreciate the point.

Read the whole thing.

[via Radley]

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