Neo-conservatives emphasize their opposition to feminism. This is an identifying thread in their work.  One major Neoconservative thinker, Harvey Mansfield, published Manliness to facilitate supposedly emasculated American males in regaining pride in their inner selves, while persuading emasculating American women it was good for this to happen.[1]  What Mansfield produced persuaded few women and offered remarkably little to most men, but is an excellent example of the pathological foundations underlying Neoconservative thought, and secular right wing thought in general.

Mansfield begins, as I did in chapter 3 when discussing masculinity, by distinguishing “manliness” from biological characteristics.  In fact, he frequently identifies former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as a contemporary example of “manliness.”  But Thatcher aside, men are usually more “manly” than women.[2]

Mansfield never defines manliness, writing it “exists only in its instances, the instances define it better than any definition.”[3] Very revealingly I think, early on Mansfield observes approvingly “John Wayne is still every American’s ideal of manliness.”  His observation comes with this warning:  “This tells you something about the standing of manliness because John Wayne is not of our generation; in fact he is dead.”[4]  Mansfield’s choice of Wayne as his manly ideal is appropriate, but not in ways he seems to expect.

Jimmie Stewart was drafted in 1940, early in WWII, failed the physical because he weighed too little, then worked out in a gym getting his weight up.  When he succeeded, he joined.  Because Stewart had joined before Pearl Harbor, he became the first American movie star to wear a uniform in WWII and flew many combat missions.  Clark Gable joined the Army Air Force and flew combat missions in Europe. David Niven, who was English, had served his country twice, first in peace-time and then, when war broke out in 1939, returning to England to serve again. Henry Fonda enlisted in the Navy, and served three years as an air combat intelligence officer. When he enlisted Fonda said “I don’t want to be in a fake war in a studio.”[5]

By contrast, when John Wayne was reclassified 1-A, making him prime draft material, his studio appealed and got him a deferment until after the war ended.[6] “Fake war in a studio” was Wayne’s preference; a truth not lost on Marines wounded at Iwo Jima and Okinawa.  They booed him when he came to a hospital to visit them.[7]  Mansfield’s choice of John Wayne as his ideal suggests his conception of manliness is strutting show without substance. The suggestion is remarkably accurate, as we will see.

Setting Wayne aside, let’s look more closely at what Mansfield considered manly. I believe what follows is a fair summation of the various perspectives Mansfield offers.

Manliness is “knowing how to be confident in situations where sufficient knowledge is not available.”[8]  It is aggression, but not purely selfish aggression.  Instead, “it is aggression that develops an assertion, a cause it espouses.”[9] Mansfield distinguishes the aggression associated with animals from manliness because assertion combines our natural aggression with higher claims.  Nature and nurture meet to differentiate manly assertion from animal aggression.[10]  Assertiveness seeks to prove a point to others.[11]

In the case of manliness, aggressive assertion demands that others “pay attention to me.”[12] The manly man “is stubborn for the sake of something and yet also and always on his own behalf.”[13] The “manly man thinks and asserts that he matters.”[14]  Risk is therefore inherent in manly action because it challenges others, if for no other reason than by demanding their attention he runs the risk he will be ignored.

Of course risk is everywhere, and Mansfield grants we all “accept risks in small things.”  As an example of a “small thing” he refers to women, who take on the “piecework enterprise of reproducing.”  But these risks pale when compared to those taken by manly types “who welcome risk in large enterprises [and so] do the rest of us a great benefit.”  Supposedly these benefactors free us from outside forces and “represent human freedom.”[15]

Selfishness is inherent in manliness, but it ends up serving a larger purpose because to be noticed, the manly man must connect his claim to  attention with advocating a general principle of justice.  He thereby transforms a private grievance into a claim of “a public wrong.”[16] Manly action then seeks the power to redress this wrong.   The manly man should be noticed because of the cause with which he associates himself. For Mansfield, “redefining [an issue] from private to public is a manly act.”[17]

Mansfield admits that “not all men are like this.”[18]  But to the degree they are, aggression is transformed by being subordinated to honor, which is “a claim to protect one’s person, family, and property – and the beliefs embodied in them.”[19]  The underlying issue here is this “honor that manly men want to defend.”[20]

Crucially, Mansfield then argues “Honor is an asserted claim to protect someone, and the claim to protect is the claim to rule.  How can I protect you properly if I can’t tell you what to do?”[21]  Here Mansfield’s ‘manliness’ departs from liberal principles, embracing instead those underlying pre-liberal chivalry and serfdom, where honor-bound aristocrats ruled over peasants they occasionally protected from other honor-bound aristocrats.  But unlike the older ideologies of domination, rule for Mansfield is not justified by reference to a higher moral order.  It is thoroughly modern and nihilist.

Today when meaning is challenged by nihilism, manliness is “the assertion of meaning when meaning is at risk.”[22]  Here we find the Neoconservative counterpart to the pre WWII European right’s emphasis on Nietzschean Will and Power as a response to the ultimate meaninglessness of reality.  Meaning exists because I say it does, and seek to impose it on others.  This is a philosophy of domination for its own sake; another exaltation of will as authority over reason or myth. It is an example of nihilism masquerading as opposition to nihilism.


A Conceptual Sleight of Hand

Mansfield defines manly risk away from its potential impact on the risk-taker to its impact on the rest of us. I take the risk that my Big Project might not succeed.

Women in childbirth take a more traditional risk.  For most of our history childbirth was a leading cause of death for women.  Even today the risk is not trivial.  In the absence of modern medicine at least one dear to me would have died while giving birth, and in this regard I am hardly alone.  Voluntarily taking life and death risks and accepting the inevitability of great suffering to achieve a valued goal describes every woman who chooses to be a mother.  As Euripides observed a very long time ago in his Medea, “I would rather face the enemy in the shield wall three times than face childbirth once.”

Mansfield turns risk from a personal venture confronting the highest of stakes into a spectator sport where “manly men” seek to be noticed by others through doing great deeds. For Mansfield, success as a man apparently depends entirely on the eye of the beholder. This appears to be a slightly more sophisticated case of little boys showing off to be noticed.  But no one mistakes them for men.

Most of these “large enterprises” carry vastly less risk than does giving birth.  In arguing they are somehow more risky, Mansfield manages simultaneously to devalue both what women do that no man can and masculine personal courage.  This move is crucial to his position, even if unsustainable by logic or evidence.

Secondly, Mansfield appears to praise the great man alone, the architectonic hero, the Trotskyite revolutionary, a Duce who seeks to transform a society.  Here we find the manly princes Machiavelli hoped would unite Italy to throw off the oppression of northern barbarians.  Here manliness becomes ‘wholesale’ greatness, unlike the mere womanly ‘piece work’ of taking great risks to bring another being into the world.  This view relegates most men to irrelevance, except in their roles as audience and natural resources to be used by the ‘manly.’

Thirdly, Mansfield’s arguments about protection and ruling are truly bizarre.  People hire night watchmen all the time to protect them without thereby making night watchmen their rulers.  As the night watchman is not our ruler, neither should be generals responsible for leading an army, policemen in a city, or the agents people elect to serve them.  Even the greatest scientists and entrepreneurs, the Darwins and Einsteins, the Fords and Gates, do not create society according to their vision.  In a free society no one does.

The greatest architectonic rulers, such as Justinian, Roger I, Peter the Great, and Napoleon, create great enterprises while ultimately leaving their subjects more powerless and poor than before.  In pursuing their visions they necessarily undermined everyone else’s, sapping society’s future energy and creativity.  No architect wants the bricks in his building to have minds of their own.  With few exceptions, left in their wake are piles of bodies, weeping widows, and lots of orphans; the little noted “collateral damage” to these acts of “greatness.”  How this represents “human freedom” is beyond me.

Liberals hold that no one should rule society, that no one should simply be the raw material for other’s dreams and desires, that no one is wise enough to remake a people.  We hold that an individual’s moral worth trumps the power fantasies of privileged Harvard professors like Harvey Mansfield, along with everyone else.

But Mansfield seems to back off from the implications of his words.  He says politics today is mostly “assertive speech” against opponents blocking our enterprises, even if it is always “against” someone.”[23]  I will grant this is an improvement over killing them.  But is losing an election more risky than giving birth?

In addition, Mansfield “makes war or conflict central to politics and manliness the inspiration of both.”[24]  After all, manliness “is best shown in war.”[25]  Politics is like war in that it “is always intentionally divisive, our group against yours.”[26]  It remains a struggle for domination by some over others. This position evidences an inability to comprehend democratic principles, reflecting instead European traditions such as Nazi sympathizer Karl Schmitt’s emphasis that “The hallmark of authentic politics is the moment when the enemy emerges in concrete clarity as the enemy.”[27]

Mansfield’s is the opposite of the perspective developed by James Madison in Federalist 10, where the constitutional rules of the game ideally fetter any group’s attempt to influence government successfully except along lines acceptable to most of the community.  Disagreement is inevitable, so the rules of constitutional politics sought to minimize the bad effects arising from our different perspectives.  Madisonian politics, the politics of our constitutional system, intentionally seeks to minimize divisiveness and reward finding common ground.  It wants to get as far from war as is practical.  This is why ideologues from both the right and the left dislike it – there is too much compromise, too much attention to the prescription drugs for the elderly so despised by Irving Kristol.


The Problem of Women Who Challenge Manly Domination

In response Mansfield might reply that “manliness is both good and bad.”[28] To avoid the “altogether bad” manliness must be tempered by moderation.[29]  Otherwise we get horrors such as Nazism, a case of manliness running amok.  Manliness must stay within the confines of morality.[30]  Because at its core manliness is the assertion of domination over women and other men who are weaker, Mansfield cautions manliness can go too far.  The dominators must not become barbarians.

Here is where his attack on feminism begins.

According to Mansfield, women prevent manly barbarism only if they behave appropriately. Because they are incapable of doing so themselves “manly” men need womanly women to keep their aggressiveness under some control.  (This admission apparently equates emotional immaturity with manliness.)  Women must use their femininity to get men to hold their aggression in check by requiring them to practice virtue, and to succeed at this women must be virtuous.  Women can hold “manly” aggressiveness at bay only if they are virtuous enough.  He even applies this claim to sexual violence, asserting women can resist rape through “a certain ladylike modesty enabling her to take offense at unwanted encroachment.”[31]  I imagine the women incarcerated in Bosnia’s rape camps would offer another perspective, those who survived anyway.[32]

By implication, insufficiently virtuous women share responsibility for “manly” violence against them, for they brought it on themselves. Blaming women for men’s violence against them is a feature, not a flaw, of pathological masculinity.

Mansfield tells us that by accepting a subordinate role women can use men’s emotional dependence on them to criticize their bad behavior in private.  Subordination is inevitable for most women anyway due to their physical weakness and the habits of mind this weakness inculcates.  To accomplish their civilizing role, however, women must be wily, relying on “cunning and deceit.”[33]  They are “not in a position to ask for something directly.  They’re either obliged to smile a lot and persuade, or make a scene.”[34]   But in so doing women help civilize men who are too manly, and so help preserve what Mansfield calls civilization.  In terms of my analysis, Mansfield’s cure for the pathological excesses of Mansfield’s “manliness” is pathological femininity.[35]


The Apotheosis of Mastery

Despite his occasional words cautioning us against an ‘excess’ of manliness, Mansfield’s preferred ‘balance’ is what most Americans would call an excess.  In a Wall Street Journal editorial,” Mansfield clarifiesthe Neoconservatives’ antagonistic relationship to the American democratic traditions.  “In quiet times” he writes, “the rule of law will come to the fore, and the executive can be weak. In stormy times, the rule of law may seem to require the prudence and force that law, or present law, cannot supply, and the executive must be strong.”[36]

This statement reflects pre and anti-liberal European thinking rather than that of our Founders, who would have had none of it.  They would have inclined instead towards Thomas Paine’s observation, written in response to English lawlessness before the Revolution  “Let a day be solemnly set apart for proclaiming . . . that in America, THE LAW IS KING.  For as in absolute governments the king is law, so in free countries the law ought to be king; and there ought to be no other.” [37]

The Constitution also makes it plain to all but some Harvard professors and Republican lawyers that Congress comes first. Not the executive. Congress has the power to pass laws, even over the President’s veto.  Congress can impeach any government officer in the Executive or Judicial branch.  The President cannot.  The President exists to enforce the law, receive ambassadors, name ours, make treaties with Senate approval, and serves as commander in chief of the armed forces, but not of the country.  Article II, sec. 3 of our Constitution states the president must “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”  The common Neocon outrage at president Obama for consulting congress over his Syrian policy is evidence Caesarism remains strong, a feature not a flaw of Neoconservatism.

The Constitution gives no circumstances where its explicit provisions can be set aside, save only for overriding habeas corpus during times of rebellion and invasion. Neither war nor “stormy times” are enough.  Nothing in the Constitution suggests the President is ever above the rule of law. ‘Signing statements’ are nowhere mentioned.[38] With the growing importance of foreign policy and national policy the president’s importance has increased from earlier times, but constitutionally the President remains under the ultimate power of Congress.

For Madison and the other Founders, government is not sovereign the American people are.  Government is their trustee.  But Neoconservatives like Mansfield explicitly conceive government to be the people’s master, a stern, competent and ultimately benevolent master, but our master nonetheless..

Mansfield correctly argues the President was intended to provide “energy” in the execution of his office.  That is why the Founders rejected a plural executive as too indecisive and difficult to hold responsible for its decisions.  But Mansfield then writes:

The best source of energy turns out to be the same as the best source of reason–one man. One man, or, to use Machiavelli’s expression, uno solo, will be the greatest source of energy if he regards it as necessary to maintaining his own rule. Such a person will have the greatest incentive to be watchful, and to be both cruel and merciful in correct contrast and proportion. We are talking about Machiavelli’s prince, the man whom in apparently unguarded moments he called a tyrant.


It is difficult for me to understand how a competent scholar, let alone someone at Harvard, could write this.  If science proves anything, it is that knowledge advances best and most rapidly through competition within a deeper cooperative social context.  This point was clearly understood regarding politics as early as Aristotle.[39]  But perhaps Mansfield’s conception of reason is akin to his understanding of freedom: “A free government should show its respect for freedom even when it has to take it away.” With a single man in charge “reason” usually turns into willfulness, and autocratic willfulness is always defined, by the tyrant and his courtiers, as enlightened reason.  As Lord Acton rightly observed “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”[40]

Niccolo Machiavelli is the political thinker with whom Mansfield is most professionally associated.  A brilliant Renaissance figure, Machiavelli wrote at a time when the closest approximations to democracies were small Italian city states, republics with highly limited franchises  under continual and growing threat from national monarchies many times their size and power.  Had he been queried, Machiavelli would have said republics required small populations, not large ones.  In extensive territories kings were more appropriate.  Writing before Dutch experience with religious toleration or Madison’s insights on how the same insights applied to politics, a democratic republic such as the United States would have appeared completely impossible to him.

Even so, Machiavelli would still disagree with Mansfield.  In the Prince he wrote: “Any sole ruler, who is not required to give an account of himself, and who rules over subjects all equal or superior to himself to suit his own interest and not theirs, can only be exercising a tyranny of this third kind.  Hence it is endured unwillingly…”[41] For Machiavelli a leader of Mansfield’s preferred type destroys a free society.

Compare Machiavelli’s view with the words of George Bush: “I’m the commander.  See, I don’t need to explain why I say things.  That’s the interesting thing about being the president.  Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don’t feel, like I owe anybody an explanation.”[42]  Mansfield has written in defense of giving George Bush, a man who in Machiavelli’s terms has the mind and character of a tyrant, the power to circumvent the rule of law.

Mansfield’s argument is breath taking in rejecting both the Classical and the liberal intellectual traditions in favor of dictatorship.[43]  It is more related to Karl Schmitt than to Aristotle, Machiavelli, or Locke.  Remember Hamilton’s warning that with frequent war, popular governments must “strengthen the executive arm of government, in doing which their constitutions would acquire a progressive direction towards monarchy.”  If these circumstances last “we should, in a little time, see established in every part of this country the same engines of despotism which have been the scourge of the old world.”[44]  Despotism is another word for the tyranny Mansfield recommends for us today.[45]

Mansfield might object that his recommendation applies only in dangerous times.  But times are always dangerous.  If suicidal attacks by 19 terrorists armed with box cutters and unsuccessful attacks by guys with exploding shoes and burning underwear justifies setting aside our 200 year old constitutional system, anything can. Certainly, using Mansfield’s logic, we would be justified in abandoning the rule of law during both world wars, and the Cold War.  That is, for most of the 20th Century.


It’s Not Just Mansfield

Mansfield’s acceptance of tutelary tyranny is not unique among Neoconservatives.  Let us return to Michael Ledeen.  Ledeen is also a fan of Machiavelli, but not the Machiavelli who praised Republican government in his Discourses, nor the subtle Aristotelian Machiavelli I find when I read the Prince.  Like Mansfield, Ledeen prefers Machiavelli as read by those seeking guidance in dominating others.[46]

Ledeen’s view of human nature is darkly Hobbesian.  In his book on Machiavelli, Ledeen argues Frederico Fellini’s The Orchestra Rehearsal provides an important political lesson for us all.  It certainly supplies an important lesson in understanding Ledeen.  In the movie a guest conductor arrives, only to be rejected by the musicians who believe they can perform the music better without a conductor.  The result is chaos, injured musicians and destroyed instruments.  Finally the conductor is asked to return  to restore order and realize a wider vision.  “Leave us to our own devices” Ledeen writes, “and all hell breaks loose.”  He concludes[47]

Therefore, we must not be left to our own devices.  We must be forced or, under ideal circumstances, convinced or inspired to do good. . . . Properly led, we can achieve glory.  But the task is hard and never ending, for we must overcome our own ruinous impulses as well as thwart those who seek to dominate us for their own satisfaction.  And since we will do anything to satisfy our ruinous impulses, all manner of nastiness may be required to keep us under control, and to defeat our enemies.


According to Ledeen, in 1999, when the United States was at the height of its economic and military power, a power historically unrivaled, “[I]f new and more virtuous leaders do not emerge, it is only a matter of time before we are either dominated by our enemies or sink into a more profound crisis.”  Such a situation would put the US in the “same desperate crisis that drove Machiavelli to call for a new dictator to set things aright.” He adds, “In either case, we need Machiavellian wisdom and leadership.” [48]

What does this leadership look like?  Very much like Mansfield’s, though Ledeen is less subtle.  “Paradoxically, preserving liberty may require the rule of a single leader—a dictator—willing to use those dreaded ‘extraordinary measures, which few know how, or are willing, to employ.”[49] Therefore, “Just as it is sometimes necessary temporarily to resort to evil actions to achieve worthy objectives, so a period of dictatorship is sometimes the only hope for freedom.”[50]

Thomas Sowell, a fellow traveler of the Neoconservatives, agrees: “ When I see the worsening degeneracy in our politicians, our media, our educators, and our intelligentsia, I can’t help wondering if the day may yet come when the only thing that can save this country is a military coup.”[51]  Love of political authoritarianism is not a Neoconservative flaw, it’s a feature.

Ledeen even endorses the Christian Right’s vision of dominion, not because Ledeen is a Christian, he is a secular Jew, but because “Good religion teaches men that politics is the most important enterprise in the eyes of God.”[52] Ledeen approves of the religious right because   “American evangelical Christianity is the sort of ‘good religion’ Machiavelli calls for. The evangelicals do not quietly accept their destiny, believing instead they are called upon to fight corruption and reestablish virtue.”[53]

For Ledeen, virtue can only be established through fear.[54] His other favorite political leader, Moses, illustrates this point.   “Moses created a new state and a new religion, which makes him one of the most revolutionary leaders of all time…The execution of the sinners was necessary to confirm Moses’ authority.”[55]  Ledeen tells us, “The combination of fear of God and fear of punishment—duly carried out with good arms—provides the necessary discipline for good government.”[56]

Surreally, Ledeen tells us “Moses exercised dictatorial power, but that awesome power was used to create freedom.”[57]  Freedom? Ancient Israel was never a model for a free society, and the laws described in Leviticus more closely approximated the fantasies of the Taliban than anything a free people would accept. If there was any freedom in Israel, it was the collectivist freedom of a group free from domination by other groups while dominating and often slaughtering their neighbors.  Like Mansfield, Ledeen represents the polar opposite in political values from the American tradition, though again, like Mansfield he attempts to claim our Founders agreed with him.[58] They didn’t.

Ledeen is an insightful historian of Italian fascism, but he is not a democrat in the American tradition.  Whatever freedom means to him, as with Mansfield it is not the freedom of free men and women.  Apparently it is freedom to do the right thing as determined by authority, or suffer deadly consequences as enforced by glory seeking virtuous rulers.  That historically such virtuous rulers have been all but unknown; and the few possible claimants proved incapable of institutionalizing their virtue, seems unimportant to him.

In his cautionary “Flirting With Fascism” John Laughland, a genuine conservative, described Ledeen’s youthful admiration for the Italian fascist movement. While describing it Ledeen had written “Clearly the act of destruction that would produce the flowering of the new fascist hegemony would sweep away the present generation of Italians, along with the rest.”[59]  He apparently was transfixed by Mussolini’s vision that “Everything that exists must be destroyed.”[60]

Compare his early sentiments with Ledeen’s more recent praise of Moses and still more recent statement about his vision for America: “Creative destruction is our middle name, both within our own society and abroad.” The result, Ledeen says, is eternal war with traditional peoples.  “They cannot feel secure so long as we are there, for our very existence – our existence, not our politics – threatens their legitimacy.  They must attack us in order to survive, just as we must destroy them to advance our historic mission.”[61]

With respect to the inevitable deaths and maimings that arise from pursuing our “historic mission,” Ledeen casually observes “I think the level of casualties is secondary. I mean, it may sound like an odd thing to say, but all the great scholars who have studied American character have come to the conclusion that we are a warlike people and that we love war.…”[62]  With a similar lack of personal experience of warfare, Mansfield agrees: “War is hell but men like it.”[63]

Beginning with the War of 1812 American history has always brought forth powerful peace movements.   In chapter six I referred to the peace movement that arose against the Mexican American War, a movement that ultimately led Abraham Lincoln and other Congressmen to censure President Polk for starting the war.  The Vietnam protests were in a fine American tradition.  Ledeen may know his Italian history, he does not know ours.

Those doing the actual fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan often enlisted to defend their homeland and possibly earn a post-service ticket out of poverty.  They did not join  to pursue a “historic mission” to attack others to fulfill the dreams of Neoconservative academics and pundits.  As of this writing one in three veterans of America’s post 9-11 conflicts believes the wars are not worth fighting.[64] And these are the men and women who volunteered for the military and sometimes for these specific engagements.

Most of the rest of us need the lash of a draft in-order to be persuaded to indulge in our supposed love of killing others for glory.  That so many prominent Neoconservatives cannot distinguish between wanting to defend your country when attacked, and being bloodthirsty bullies enforcing the “Ledeen Doctrine” demonstrates a profound sickness penetrating to the core of their nihilistic souls. That they have not served while strutting about as if they had shows the aptness of Mansfield’s infatuation with John Wayne. Fakers are attracted to fakers.

We see now where Kristol and Kagan’s logic of perpetual war leads: not to the extension of free societies, but to their death in bloodshed and tyranny.  But their executioners will be manly.


[1] Harvey C. Mansfield. Manliness. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.  A number of excellent responses to Mansfield have appeared.   I particularly recommend Martha Nussbaum, Man Overboard The New Republic,  June 22, 2006. http://www.powells.com/review/2006_06_22.html , Gowri Ramachandran, Book Review: Manliness by Harvey Mansfield, Yale Journal of Law and Feminism, 19: 1, 2007.

[2] Mansfield, op. cit., 64, see also 206.

[3] Mansfield, Manliness, op. cit., 202.

[4] Ibid.,17.

[5] Henry Fonda joins U.S. Postal Service legends of Hollywood stamp series, May 20, 2005, http://www.usps.com/communications/news/stamps/2005/sr05_025.htm

[6] Cecil Adams, Was John Wayne a Draft Dodger?  July 10, 1998, http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a5_004.html .  See also Glenn Greenwald, Great American Hypocrites, (NY: Crown, 2008), 13-33.

[7] William Manchester, Goodbye, Darkness: A Memoir of the Pacific War, (Back Bay Books, 2002). 12.

[8] Ibid., 21.

[9] Ibid., 49.

[10] Ibid., 204.

[11] Ibid., 58.  Actually much animal ‘aggression’ does the same, as in establishing hierarchies in a pack.

[12] Ibid., 50.

[13] Ibid., 60.

[14] Ibid., 201.

[15] Ibid., 70-1.

[16] Ibid., 61.

[17] Ibid., 62.

[18] Ibid., 64.

[19] Ibid., 65.

[20] Ibid., 65.

[21] Ibid., 66.

[22] Ibid., 201.

[23] Ibid., 71.

[24] Ibid., 72. Also 206.

[25] Ibid., 75.

[26] Ibid., 206.

[27] Quoted in Richard Wolin The Seduction of Unreason, 139.

[28] Ibid., 20, 17, 225, 236.

[29] Ibid., 226.

[30] Ibid., 119-21.

[31] Ibid., 144.  See also 155.

[32] Chris Hedges, War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, (NY: Anchor Books, 2003), 104.

[33] Mansfield, Manliness, op. cit., 213.

[34] Quoted in Cathy Young, The Cult of ‘Manliness’ reasononline, http://www.reason.com/news/show/36735.html

[35] Mansfield’s list of feminine wiles to control dominant males is strikingly similar to many of the traits slaves were often accused of having.  For the same reasons.

[36] Harvey Mansfield, The Case for the Strong Executive: Under some circumstances, the rule of law must yield to the need for energy, The Wall Street Journal, May 2, 2007.

[37] Thomas Paine, Common Sense.  Quoted by Glenn Greenwald, The right’s explicit and candid rejection of “the rule of law.” Salon, May 2, 2007. http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2007/05/02/mansfield/index.html

[38] Charlie Savage, Bush challenges hundreds of laws, Boston Globe, April 30, 2006. http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2006/04/30/bush_challenges_hundreds_of_laws/

[39] Aristotle, Politics, Bk. III, chapter XI.

[40] John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton to Bishop Mandell Creighton, April 3,1887.

[41] Machiavelli, (IV, x, p. 264)

[42] Bob Woodward, Bush at War. (Riverside, NJ: Simon and Schuster, 2002). 145-6.

[43] Mansfield in defense might point to Aristotle’s defense of kingship. (217) But Aristotle’s discussion of kingship explicitly states no such men exist and includes an extended discussion of why kingship is inferior to decision-making by many citizens.  Politics, VII, xiv; III, xv.  See also diZerega, Persuasion, Power and Polity, op. cit., 22-5.

[44] Alexander Hamilton Federalist No. 8.

[45] Mansfield along with William Kristol  admires Carnes Lord’s The Modern Prince, (New Haven: Yale 2003).which recommends as models democracy leaders should admire people like Pakistani military dictator Pervez Musharref and Lee Kuan Yew, the authoritarian ruler of Singapore who, happily from Lord’s perspective, suppressed American style liberalism.  Mansfield gushed “This wonderful book covers everything you need to know about politics today . . . . As counselor to his readers, Carnes Lord shows statesmen what they must think about and the rest of us how to assess them.”  William Kristol wrote “Our politics will be a lot healthier if our politicians can be persuaded to read Carnes Lord’s engaging and penetrating book. And even if the politicians don’t take Lord to heart, we should, so we can learn how to select better leaders.”  For a discussion in depth, see Anne Norton, Leo Strauss and the Politics of the American Empire, (New Haven: Yale, 2004) 130-36.

[46] Michael Ledeen, Machiavelli on Modern Leadership: Why Machiavelli’s Iron Rules Are as Timely and Important Today as Five Centuries Ago. (Truman Talley Books (St. Martin’s Press), 1999).  And yet he contradicts himself later when he describes the power and creativity of free people. see146, 151.

[47] Ibid., 89-90.  What is it about NeoConservatives that leads so many to using movie heroes and scripts to make central points about a reality much more complex than any story?

[48] Ledeen, op. cit., 187-188.  Since Machiavelli sought to defend an Italy of small city states repeatedly invaded by foreign national monarchies and the US is the world’s strongest economic and military power and has never been invaded, we can rightly wonder at Ledeen’s motives for making this comparison.  Machiavelli wanted a strong man to unite Italy so it would be able to resist the continual invasions and destruction from its powerful northern neighbors.  We would be in an analogous situation if Canada frequently invaded and despoiled us.

[49] Ibid., 173.

[50] Ibid., 174.

[51] Thomas Sowell, Don’t Get Weak, National Review Online, May 1, 2007. http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YmU0NGQ0ZTQzZTU4Zjk4MjdjZWMzYTM4Nzk2MzQ0MGI  While currently a Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, he won the Francis Boyer Award at AEI.  What is it about AEI that explains its war on our traditions?

[52] Ledeen, Machiavelli, op. cit. 117.

[53] Ibid., 159.  I believe this confirms Ronald Bailey’s perceptive analysis. Op. cit., www.reason.com/news/show/30329.html

[54] Ibid., 115.

[55] Ibid., 102-3.

[56] Ibid., 117-8.

[57] Ibid., 174.

[58] Ibid., 109.

[59] John Laughland, Flirting With Fascism, The American Conservative, June 30, 2003, www.amconmag.com/06_30_03/feature.html

[60] Quoted in Wolin, Seduction of Unreason, op. cit., 61.

[61] Michael Ledeen, The War Against the Terror Masters: Why It Happened. Where We Are Now. How We’ll Win., (St. Martion’s Griffin, 2003). Quoted in Laughland, op.cit.

[62] Michael Ledeen to American Enterprise Institute, 3/25/2003.

[63] Mansfield, Manliness, 76.

[64] Associated  Press, Poll finds 1 in 3 post 9/11 veterans believes neither Iraq nor Afghan war was worth fighting, Washington Post, Oct. 5, 2011. http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/polls-finds-1-in-3-post-911-veterans-believes-neither-iraq-nor-afghan-war-was-worth-fighting/2011/10/05/gIQATu8QML_story.html