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The Anti-War WW II Veteran Who Laid the Foundations of American Conservatism

Written by Gary North on April 30, 2013

Robert Nisbet was a sociologist. Beginning in 1953, he established his intellectual leadership in the American conservative movement. Yet he was opposed to modern warfare, with its messianic claims and gigantic budgets.

While conservative Republicans usually favor Pentagon spending, this is because they do not understand how military spending expands the state and reduces our wealth. Nisbet fully understood, and he warned against it.

He thought the Pentagon spent way too much money. He saw military spending as undermining the American universities. While leftists got all the publicity, the Pentagon got the contracts. The money corrupted higher education.

Nisbet recognized that modern warfare calls for great crusades. Great crusades expand the state. The state rarely goes back to what it was before the great crusade. It did after World War I, but not for long.

If you are curious about an anti-war conservative who thought the foreign policy of the United States would eventually produce a widespread loss of liberties, including privacy, click the link. I have written an article on the stand he took against military spending in the era of Cold War spending.

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20 thoughts on “The Anti-War WW II Veteran Who Laid the Foundations of American Conservatism

  1. 2WarAbnVet says:

    A strong military is required not to support war, but to prevent it.

  2. Seymour Kleerly says:

    But our is so ridiculously huge that it needs to go to war constantly.

  3. Seymour Kleerly says:

    Sounds like Eisenhower! He be an America hating, Commie in today's pathetic GOP..

  4. 2WarAbnVet says:

    Nonsense. Only a strong military prevents aggression.

  5. The problem is, not many small nations have a strong enough military to prevent American aggression.

  6. Bob Marshall says:

    'America buys war like children gobble candy." Henry Kissinger "Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy." Henry Kissinger.

  7. 2WarAbnVet says:

    Care to elaborate?

  8. 6 new bases are under construction for drone training purposes and air drills. Why 6 new bases? Why not just use one of the many shuttered military bases (like the one I grew up near), since — as any Afghani will tell you — these drones have a considerable range. Obviously it's to launch future attacks against Americans, once the military-security-industrial complex has consumed all the wealth this country produces, along with all the peacetime jobs (except a career in the military or as a Blackwater contractor).

    Smedley Butler, the most decorated COMBAT vet is US history, nailed it when he wrote his memoir War Is A Racket: "I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism…Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”

  9. 2WarAbnVet says:

    The US military has a long history of bleeding and dying to protect small nations, and free people from bondage.; Don't permit your love of Obama, and hatred for the military to blind you to that truth.

  10. An FYI for everyone, my link shows Obama and the CIA ordering drone strikes on Pakistan and several other nations, a clear example of US aggression. 2WarAbnVet didn't even TRY for a rebuttal, instead he issued standard boilerplate talking points that would be expected from a bobble-head news guy on TV.

    "The US military has a long history of bleeding and dying to protect small nations"

    Number of drone strikes on Pakistan, where US military bled and died -> 0.

    "and free people from bondage."

    Number of drone strikes on Pakistan, where people were freed from bondage -> 0.

    "Don't permit your love of Obama"

    Utterly laughable nonsense from 2WarAbnVet, I don't love war criminals. I despise and pity them.

    "and hatred for the military"

    I despise the military using cowardly methods like drone strikes, especially when they kill civilians. Despise does not equal hatred.

    "to blind you to that truth."

    I see the US military for what it is, I suggest you take off your own blinders, ditch the boilerplate nonsense and try to do the same.

  11. Fool. And what has bleeding and dying for these nations reaped for us? Send your own family members to Iraq and Afghanistan if you think it is that important. Stop supporting people who would send mine. What happens over there is none of our damned business. Perhaps if your family member went to the sandbox and came back mentally retarded and requiring full-time care for the rest of their life due to a traumatic brain injury from an IED you could find comfort in the fact that he fought so some Iraqi or Afghani can be "free." But I doubt it. Ignorant fool.

  12. "Our forces don't need to serve in foreign countries. They can wait here for a dedicated enemy to come here, as they surely will."

    Exactly. And then we can show that "dedicated enemy" some real deterrence. Ever see the Gadsden flag? Precisely. The Swiss have maintained their freedom and neutrality for 700 years employing this policy you sneer at.

    Methinks you've got a little too much skin in the game, with your son and daughter, to see the situation for what it is. Read "War Is A Racket" by Brig. Gen. Smedley Butler, the most decorated Marine in the history of the Corps.

  13. The Swiss are a small populated country that collaborated with the Nazis and thus earned their freedom to be neutral. War is coming our way no matter what we do in Pakistan.Either we head it off now or later under deteriorated conditions.

  14. Seymour Kleerly says:

    Has the USA. ever been the "aggressor" or aided dictators who kept their people in bondage?

  15. How is bombing civilians heading off war?

    FYI, the more civilians you bomb, the more you deteriorate conditions.

    Your suggestion is that we should make sure war comes and make sure it is as bad as possible?

  16. Buckeye says:

    I have one sibling who is a quadriplegic from a wound suffered in Iraq; another who narrowly missed an IED that blew up the MRAP his friend was riding in leaving him with broken legs that he cannot stand on for more than 15 minutes without discomfort. I have met countless of Wounded Warriors…guys with missing limbs, horribly disfiguring wounds from IEDs, etc. After my sibling's injury, I started to educate myself in order to try and see the world as it really is, and not as I would see it or as others would have me see it. And I work for the Air Force. I've worked with the guys who bring the wounded back, with fighter pilots, and with the guys who operate drones. I've also taken the same Professional Military Education that officers take up through the O-5 rank. I think I know what I am talking about. And I know that given your daughter's rank she is definitely a propagandist for the military-industrial complex and for the Bush doctrine given what is taught in the PME, and that it is quite likely that affirmative action is the reason for her rank. Stop drinking the Kool-aid that has you thinking that if we don't go whacking everyone who doesn't like us that we'll be overwhelmed someday. It is our meddling (since WWII ended) all over the world in the affairs of other nations that has led to a lot of the blowback we have seen. Try reading "The secret history of the American empire : Economic Hit Men, Jackals, and the Truth about Global Corruption" and the Secret History of the CIA. Stop watching Hannity and O'Reilly. They are deceivers.

  17. Seymour Kleerly says:

    Drones are far better than "Shock and Awe on a country that did not threaten or attack us. Also better than napalm and scorching millions of innocents in Vietnam.

  18. I disagree that murder is better or far better than mass murder.

    Instead mass murder is even worse and more horrifying than murder.

    Why don't you take a look at this victim of a drone attack and then explain to me how this is better than napalm? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2077753/S

  19. I vote Republican , but I am a CONSERVATIVE , and no , I don't support the wars and the constant military expansion . The wars are necessary to the government FOR military expansion , in truth the founders were totally against a standing army , that is why defense funding has to be re-approved every two years . The intent of the founders was the STATE militias , a volunteer reserve only to called by the federal government for the defense of the United States . Just like everything else the feds have done in violation of the constitution to enhance their powers . Every foreign war we have been involved in has been in direct opposition to the constitution , which warned totally against " foreign entanglements . I not not any kind of genius , was a high school drop out , got a equivalency degree and then a two year community college degree in business , why do I know all this about the founders writings and intents and so many of my fellow citizens , including those elected to high office don't , maybe it is because I care to learn it , but then again maybe the progressive indoctrinators in our schools fail to teach it , intentionally . PLEASE READ THIS PEOPLE IT IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW .