William F. Buckley, Jr. – Trumping Progressivism
By Matthew J. O’Connor (Editor, Clarion advisory) 11:59 AM PDT 5-6-10
Clarion Advisory entered into new media with the purpose of advancing conservative borne analysis in its treatment of politics, economics and the liberal establishment’s politically bovine end product; a liberal product found in ever increasing and steaming supply in the current field of ideas.
We gained our charter through self-appointment and have aligned ourselves with key players behind the scenes to bring you our take on all of the above.
We remain grounded from our bulwark of conservative vectoring built upon the foundation as originally set by William F. Buckley Jr.; a man of great intellectual charge, conviction, spirit, goodwill and humor. To describe him in a word, Mr. Buckley was, solid.
We are again reminded of William F. Buckley’s role in the formation of conservatism’s beginnings and the nature of the man himself through a May 5th essay written by one of his close friends, Lee Edwards.
Mr. Edwards’ essay is entitled, William F. Buckley, Standing Athwart History: The Political Thought of William F. Buckley, Jr., and we are pleased to be able to provide it to you below in its entirety as released by The Heritage Foundation. We would also highly recommend Mr. Edwards’ earlier biography entitled, William F. Buckley Jr.: The Maker of a Movement, released last month by ISI Publishing.
In reading Mr. Edwards’ essay, I am reminded of William F. Buckley Jr.’s core convictions and how steadfast he remained to them up until his death in 2008.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Requiescat in pace ~ W.F.B., Jr.
Standing Athwart History: The Political Thought of William F. Buckley Jr.
By Lee Edwards, Ph.D., The Heritage Foundation 5-05-10
Abstract: In the mid-1950s, the danger of an ever-expanding state was clear, but conservatives could not agree on an appropriate response, including whether the greater danger lay at home or abroad. The three main branches of conservatism—traditional conservatives appalled by secular mass society, libertarians repelled by the Leviathan state, and ex-Leftists alarmed by international Communism led by the Soviet Union—remained divided. Noting that “The few spasmodic victories conservatives are winning are aimless, uncoordinated, and inconclusive…because many years have gone by since the philosophy of freedom has been expounded systematically, brilliantly, and resourcefully,” William F. Buckley Jr. resolved to change that. His vision of ordered liberty shaped and guided American conservatism from its infancy to its maturity, from a cramped suite of offices on Manhattan’s East Side to the Oval Office of the White House, from a set of “irritable mental gestures” to a political force that transformed American politics.
In the summer of 1954, American conservatism seemed to be going nowhere.
Politically, it was bereft of national leadership. Senator Robert A. Taft of Ohio, the valiant champion of the Old Right, had died of cancer the previous year. Senator Joseph R. McCarthy of Wisconsin, the zealous apostle of anti-Communism, faced censure by the U.S. Senate and almost certain political oblivion. Barry Goldwater was an unknown freshman Senator from the electorally marginal state of Arizona. Pollsters were predicting that the Democrats would recapture the Congress in the fall and press their Fabian Socialist dream of making America into a social democracy run from Washington.
Intellectually, there was a near vacuum on the Right. There were only three opinion journals of import: the weekly Washington newsletter Human Events; the economic monthly The Freeman; and the once-influential American Mercury, now brimming with anti-Semitic diatribes. Aside from the Chicago Tribune and the New York Daily News, the major daily newspapers leaned left. Of the three weeklynews-magazines, only U.S. News & World Report was reliably right. Click hear to continue reading