Neo-conservative



n.

also neoconservative; used in the modern sense by 1979:

My Republican vote [in the 1972 presidential election] produced little shock waves in the New York intellectual community. It didn’t take long – a year or two – for the socialist writer Michael Harrington to come up with the term “neoconservative” to describe a renegade liberal like myself. To the chagrin of some of my friends, I decided to accept that term; there was no point calling myself a liberal when no one else did. [Irving Kristol, “Forty Good Years,” “The Public Interest,” Spring 2005]

The term is attested from 1960, but it originally often was applied to Russell Kirk and his followers, who would be philosophically opposed to the later neocons. From neo- + conservative.

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