The Rolling Stones – Sweet Neo Con

Timeless protest songs aren’t so direct, but perhaps Keith and Mick were not trying to be metaphorical back in 2005. The song takes on George W. Bush, of course, who was quite the anti-muse for many artists.

“Neo con” is short for neoconservative. This goes back to the 1960s when the Stones started rocking. Conservatives were looking around at society and government and feeling that change was happening too fast. Conservatives are cautious of change, especially when alterations in public policy are untried and untested. But it just so happened that to get things back to the way they wanted them, would also require some dramatic shifts away from what they saw as socialism to classical liberalism.

Confused yet?

Neoconservatives were often like classical liberals who strongly value individual freedom and a limited role for government. They supported going back to the future, so to speak.

More informally, neo con is simply a put down, and the swearing and name-calling in this song might be considered intellectually lazy. It is not a Stones classic but an interesting, provocative part of their legacy, all the same.


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