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on WFB, Jr.’s guiding principles – with note to Rich Lowry

February 18, 2013 by
Filed under: Uncategorized 

27 buckley lgl on WFB, Jr.s  guiding principles   with note to Rich Lowry

By Brice Buckley (Editor at Large, Clarion Advisory) 2-18-13

I have obtained permission from the original author to post the following, which is a healthy snippet, from an article originally published by Clarion several years ago.  An article our friends over at The Heritage Foundation kindly referenced.  Here at Clarion, we are working on a series of editorial ideas and projects and will publish them….when we feel like it. I had to throw that in.  (parenthetically, I get that we shouldn’t end sentences in prepositions, but hey, we also shouldn’t be embracing socialism) 

In the meantime, I encourage you to review the following guiding principles as penned by William F. Buckley, Jr. some 57 years ago. Principles that are timeless.

I would also ask Rich Lowry over at National Review to 1) thoroughly review these principles or credenda (as WFB called them) and 2) re-publish the subject Credenda in NRO with a healthy dose of commentary. 


“……Mr. Buckley established specific operating principles for his flag-ship magazine, National Review, in 1955.  National Review is a publication still going strong while staying true to its original operating principles.  National Review has become one of the most highly read and respected political publications - becoming a top publication in New Media through National Review On-line under the direction of Mr. Buckley’s hand-picked Editor- in-Chief, Rich Lowry.

Immediately below are the seven original ‘Credenda’ [principles] as penned back in 1955 by William F. Buckley Jr.  Decide for yourself if Mr. Buckley, in addition to all of  his other attributes, may have also been well ahead of his time:

The Magazine’s Credenda

Among our convictions:

  1. It is the job of centralized government (in peacetime) to protect its citizens’ lives, liberty and property. All other activities of government tend to diminish freedom and hamper progress. The growth of government(the dominant social feature of this century) must be fought relentlessly. In this great social conflict of the era, we are, without reservations, on the libertarian side.                            
  2. The profound crisis of our era is, in essence, the conflict between the Social Engineers, who seek to adjust mankind to conform with scientific utopias, and the disciples of Truth, who defend the organic moral order. We believe that truth is neither arrived at nor illuminated by monitoring election results, binding though these are for other purposes, but by other means, including a study of human experience. On this point we are, without reservations, on the conservative side.                            
  3. The century’s most blatant force of satanic utopianism is communism. We consider “coexistence” with communism neither desirable nor possible, nor honorable; we find ourselves irrevocably at war with communism and shall oppose any substitute for victory.                            
  4. The largest cultural menace in America is the conformity of the intellectual cliques which, in education as well as the arts, are out to impose upon the nation their modish fads and fallacies, and have nearly succeeded in doing so. In this cultural issue, we are, without reservations, on the side of excellence (rather than “newness”) and of honest intellectual combat (rather than conformity).                            
  5. The most alarming single danger to the American political system lies in the fact that an identifiable team of Fabian operators is bent on controlling both our major political parties(under the sanction of such fatuous and unreasoned slogans as “national unity,” “middle-of-the-road,” “progressivism,” and “bipartisanship.”) Clever intriguers are reshaping both parties in the image of Babbitt, gone Social-Democrat. When and where this political issue arises, we are, without reservations, on the side of the traditional two-party system that fights its feuds in public and honestly; and we shall advocate the restoration of the two-party system at all costs.                            
  6. The competitive price system is indispensable to liberty and material progress. It is threatened not only by the growth of Big Brother government, but by the pressure of monopolies(including union monopolies. What is more, some labor unions have clearly identified themselves with doctrinaire socialist objectives. The characteristic problems of harassed business have gone unreported for years, with the result that the public has been taught to assume(almost instinctively) that conflicts between labor and management are generally traceable to greed and intransigence on the part of management. Sometimes they are; often they are not. NATIONAL REVIEW will explore and oppose the inroads upon the market economy caused by monopolies in general, and politically oriented unionism in particular; and it will tell the violated businessman’s side of the story.                            
  7. No superstition has more effectively bewitched America’s Liberal elite than the fashionable concepts of world government, the United Nations, internationalism, international atomic pools, etc. Perhaps the most important and readily demonstrable lesson of history is that freedom goes hand in hand with a state of political decentralization, that remote government is irresponsible government. It would make greater sense to grant independence to each of our 50 states than to surrender U.S. sovereignty to a world organization.

Given today’s political climate of liberal notions, it is worth pointing out that, progressivism’s objective is to continually reinvent itself into the contemporary.  This is what is at the core of liberalism; a core of variant interchangeable elements left only to the confines of one’s imagination. 

Imagination fuels lively thought but it should never become the substitute of principle nor the foundation of its conviction.  

William F. Buckley Jr. keenly understood this and set-forth building a conservative establishment based upon intellectual integrity.”   


One Comment on on WFB, Jr.’s guiding principles – with note to Rich Lowry

  1. Troy Riser on Wed, 20th Feb 2013 10:02 am
  2. Buckley’s point no. 5 remains especially timely, I think. I cringe inwardly whenever I hear a Republican national politician boast about his or her ability ‘to reach across the aisle’, or make a call for more bipartisan solutions, particularly when what is required is a principled stand: this far and no farther. It is true that compromise and unity are often keys to moving forward in negotiations or when drafting legislation, a way of circumventing gridlock, but it is also true that bipartisan action of any sort is effective only when both parties engaged are acting in good faith and the give-and-take is aboveboard and two-sided. Bipartisanship should be viewed as a means to achieve the greater good of the country, not as an end of itself. Getting along is great, sure, but sometimes it is better to fight it out.

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