There's an op-ed in the Daily today by someone named Aaron Solem which basically claimed that Adri Mehra is wrong, that the two conservatives Bush appointed to the Supreme Court not neocons since Mehra is concerned that they will rewrite domestic policy instead of foreign policy.
My how the neocons have fooled the masses.
According to an essential article that recently appeared in Harper's, Earl Shorris clearly marks the birth of the neocon doctrine to one Leo Strauss, a longtime lecturer at the University of Chicago who spent his last days at St. John's College. He used to be a student of the more recent philosophers, most importantly Martin Heidegger. All that changed when Heidegger allied himself with the Nazis, betraying his overall philosophy and his follower, Leo Strauss, who fled to the U.S. to teach at the New School, itself a refuge for Jewish scholars. According to Strauss, the fall of Heidegger is the fall of modernism, an arc that he claimed was started by Machiavelli, whom he denounced as a "teacher of evil" for abandoning the principles of ancient philosophy.
It was the classics such as Plato, Aristotle and other ancients who revealed immutable truths and realities of how men lived that Leo Strauss found comfort in. And in these texts he formulated his principles that will later become neoconservatism. Among these principles that Shorris outlines is that "wise men tell noble lies", "all men are not created equal", "democracy is the rule of the wise over the unwise", all of which leads to the conclusion that "the answer to the human question is to avoid it." This basically means that those in the upper class should be free to rule over us with an iron fist, while fooling us into believing that we have some control over our own destinies, that democracy and self determination is anathema to the neoconservative cause, and the way to avoid such "nihilism" is to force upon us the doctrines of the Christian right. Even though a lot of the neocons don't buy into the Christian right doctrines, they felt it's necessary in order to keep the masses in line.
So that is why the two Bush appointees are neocons, since among Strauss's students were William Bennett, Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas, as well as the usual suspects like William Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith. Therefore the neocon philosophy is twofolds: keep the masses stupid while they fulfill their unitary goals abroad and at home. Also John Robert's last decision before being nominated to the Supreme Court was to overule a lower-court's decision on Hamdan vs. Rumsfeld that the way the military tribunals were run was unconstitutional, making Roberts a total neocon.