Wednesday, February 27, 2008

RIP Mirthful Leader

Let us not forget that WFB, Jr. was as good-natured and fond of wit and humor as our other great star, President Reagan.

This morning, William F. Buckley, Junior dead at 82. Of course, National Review and conservatism lives on.

I should add a few items, one of which is Jonah Goldberg's column on the occasion of National Review's 50th year (and Buckley's 80th).
Buckley understood that anyone, even barbarians, can be “individualists.” Individualism, properly understood, requires a larger moral and political context to work. The liberalism of the American founders was formed with a moral and metaphysical superstructure, which had been eroded by industrialization, urbanization, and the steady flotsam of various statist ideologies washing up on our shores. Pragmatism, reform Darwinism, progressivism, socialism and countless other isms had belittled and diminished the “old dogmas” of liberty, as the desiccated carapaces shed off by History on the March. The secular collective, not the Christian individual, was the form the God-state chose to manifest itself in this time.

Hence National Review got to work trying to craft a new ideology which stood up to Hegel’s historicist God-state. Indeed, had not Hegel proclaimed that the state was the “march of God on earth”? That is the History National Review was founded to stand athwart and yell “Stop” to.


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