Neocons Believe Jack Bauer Is Real

Colin Colenso
Friday October 05, 2007

A significant difference between Ron Paul supporters and the establishment Republicans, known widely these days as neo-conservatives, or neocons for short, is that the neocons tend to believe that characters like Jack Bauer, and story-lines created in shows like 24 are a close reflection of what happens in real life.

Well, perhaps I shouldn't actually charge the true neocons with such naivety, really the naivety comes from the neocon followers, who like most of us, have been fed a steady diet of movies and TV shows glorifying an endless array of supermen representing the state, of good using force against evil time and time again, achieving near perfect possible outcomes. The difference is that the neocon followers have swallowed such fantasies as a guide to decision making in the real world.

I doubt figureheads of the neocon movement, such as Bill Buckley, Irving Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle are so naive as to think the world works like an episode of 24. In fact, many neocons are known to derive their political philosophy from the Straussian ideal of an elite few ruling over the people utilizing big lies to build their empire. The neocon figureheads gain power by convincing the gullible that government, through force, can create Hollywood-like solutions here on earth.

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Ron Paul supporters, on the other hand, have realized that the many stories sold to them by the neocons were but a fantastical portrayal of what was going on in the real world and that the government is no more capable of pulling off incredible movie-like miracle solutions than it is of providing good consumer products in a competitive market. To be a Ron Paul supporter doesn't require that one believes all government actions are evil, just that the government is not very good at solving all our problems. Hence, we would be better off with less, rather than more government power.

The neocon followers however, believe that despite some fallibility within government, there are some powerful, insightful departments and some incredibly talented super-people within government that can achieve great successes. That through some clever twist, the government, as a representative of good, can overcome evil, just as it always seems to happen in the movies.

The neocon followers should reflect upon their own lives, to the times when they may have tried to use force to overcome an opponent. Did it work as well as when Clint Eastwood took on a group of bikers, or as well as when Mel Gibson went psycho in Lethal Weapon when confronted by a couple of armed drug dealers? Did they come out of it looking cool, or did most people perceive them as an idiot with a lack of self-control?

In real life force, or the threat of force, is a poor choice of action, a last resort. Most of us learn that as part of growing up and getting along, of making friends rather than enemies. It is easier to understand this in the small scale of things that we experience in our day-to-day lives. It is when we have to conceptualize situations less familiar to us, such as terrorism or wars in faraway lands that we have little to refer to in our experiences than the absurd stories indoctrinated into us by movies, TV and much of the mainstream media. In those situations less familiar to us, we may only imagine force as a solution.

David Friedman wrote "The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem, it is generally employed only by small children and large nations."

It is little wonder that around 50% of all military contributions to Republicans have gone to Ron Paul. It is revealing that many who are close to the horrors and who see the ineffectiveness of this war close up doubt their presence will produce the results that neocons claim.

In the same way we all should doubt that Jack Bauer and his super-human team in the Counter Terrorist Unit represent anything close to the effectiveness of a real government agency nor that the wild scenarios concocted by the scriptwriters, however engrossing, accurately represent reality.

Neocon followers would do well to examine Republican tradition and the reasons it promoted small government. That there are good reasons to believe that the government is not able to fix all our problems through force and that war enables and encourages the growth of government.

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