Neo-conservatism is the name of a robust strain in American intellectual life and American politics, a strain with a very rich history. But although some of its leading figures over the years have pronounced the end of neo-conservatism usually on grounds of its merger with (or perhaps take over by) the conservative mainstream, the term remains very much alive. This is especially true when it is used to describe a certain group of people who have sought to influence American public policy, most notably foreign policy in the post-Cold War era, and who, in the administration of George W. Bush, obtained that influence. One needs to explore the future of neo-conservatism - specifically, the ways in which it has evolved according to its own premises in the direction of current and future politics dedicated to the preservation and extension of liberal order, need to be properly understood. To get to neo-conservatism's liberal legacy, however, it is necessary to begin with liberalism's origins in the nature of politics itself.