Saturday, October 08, 2005

Happy 50th Birthday National Review



"It is an honor to be here to thank you for your service. I want to thank you for leaving us a magazine and a group of thinkers that will help make the advance of liberty over the last 50 years look like a dress rehearsal for the next 50 years." --G.W.B. to W.F.B.

Early this week the 50th anniversary of the launch of William F. Buckley's NATIONAL REVIEW magazine was celebrated, as most political conservatives probably know. It definitely played a central role in politically changing the direction that the nation was heading in, which was down. It played a key role contributing to the victory of the true forces of progress in the heated and arduous intellectual and spiritual warfare between the Evil Empire of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the Empire of Liberty, the United States of America. It is easy for many to take for granted that the struggle would ultimately be won by the right side. Its pretty easy to dismiss the whole painful struggle as being something that was inevitable and to discount the possibility that things could have turned out very very differently.

The Cold War was not always such for those in the middle of the battlefield, in the gulags, in the forced labor camps or in the dangerous and covert missions and confrontations by proxy that characterized this period of history. For those that do not really understand the phrase, it is nothing more than a hollow cliche, such as patriotism, and truth, but "Eternal Vigilance is The Price of Liberty." This suggests that one has to actually know what to look out for in the first place. This suggests that there is something to actually know, an actual basis upon which everything in the universe depends.

How did George MacDonald put it? "So long as we have nothing to say to God, nothing to do with Him, save in the sunshine of the mind when we feel Him near us, we are poor creatures, willed upon, not willing.. And how in such a condition do we generally act? Do we sit mourning over the loss of feeling? Or worse, make frantic efforts to try to rouse them?"

In God & Man At Yale, on the fourth page of the preface, William F. Buckley very insightfully wrote, "I myself believe that the duel between Christianity and atheism is the most important in the world. I further believe that the struggle between individualism and collectivism is the same struggle reproduced on another level." Bingo.

Here I recommend that people give a listen to Professor Ralph Raico's The Rise of the West lecture available by clicking here as well as his third lecture in The Struggle for Liberty series. I think that doing so would help anyone interested get a pretty good background on when liberalism (the soil out of which free markets and democracy developed) became defective and wedded to socialism, which is what "liberals" push for today. Usually, liberalism, in its unadulterated sense, is referred to as neo-liberalism or classical liberalism. Today, in the United States it is known as Conservatism.

As Professor Raico has explained, John Stewart Mill's argument "leads to pitting liberalism against non-coercive traditional values and arrangements... it also forges an offensive alliance between liberalism and the state..." Mill played an integral role in what Prof. Raico described as the fateful "linking of liberalism to an adversarial stance vis-a-vis tradition and social norms..." resulting in a "liberalism" that "is expressive of the ANTINOMIAN, lawless, normless, mentality of contemporary chattering classes than of liberalism historically."

It is ironic that Mill appears to challenge the censors (no doubt they existed in his day), but he really isn't part of the solution to political correctness or defeating the unholy alliance of the base and intellectual core, so to speak, of the left and Islamofascism. Its not surprising that today most people ignorantly would assume otherwise.

Norman Cantor, quoted by professor Ralph Raico, which I paraphrase here, expressed another crucial understanding that remains under assault from academia today, which is that In the model of civil society, most good and important things take place above and outside the universal level of the state [just as is the case with any other purely materialistic mechanisms and considerations of quantitativeness]. The family, the arts, learning and science, business enterprise, and technological processes, these are all above and outside the state level. These are the work of individuals and groups and the involvement of the state [should be] remote and disengaged.

Though civilization is still under a heavy assault from abroad as much as from "within" it is safe to say that today at least the political tide has significantly shifted in a positive direction to a noticeable extent. Now we need to focus on the academic corruption which produced the current epidemic of adolescents trapped in adult bodies as evidenced by the hopeless nonsense and moonbattery of the left today, collectively.

We're now dealing with this because "The West" lowered its standards educationally and morally by "teaching" that they were a burden upon modern civilization. Jan Paul Burr, commenting on Tom Brewton's "What Does It Mean To Be An American," pointed out that before the left dominated many of America's most important institutions,

We judged behavior and not the person. Since all “fell short” of the standard, we couldn’t very well judge the person since we were as guilty. We may not have been guilty of the same thing, but we were still unable to reach the mark set by the standard. Thus, we only judged behavior, including ours and whether it met the standard or not. We based our laws, mores and culture on that standard.

Since the standard came from a “higher authority” we couldn’t question the standard as being “some man made goal,” by someone who was no better than we were. No, it was set and agreed upon, that a “higher authority” had set down the “laws of nature” and “common sense” and “order.” and [whether considered] fair or unfair, they were to be the standard.

Now, we have decided that since we can’t reach the standard, we need to lower the standard. We have already done that in education and have seen the sad results of that. Now we are “hell bent” to lower the standards of morality, and ethics, and even common sense. We will “allow” behavior that spreads disease or mistrust, or abuse or mental stress and call it “normal” so we can reach the standard.

Yet, at one time we were much “happier” as a “nation under God,” even though we couldn’t reach the standard, but at least we knew what the standard was and we knew that we weren’t alone in not reaching it and knew that we had to help each other come as close as possible to reaching it. It was that helping one another that united us and strengthened us and taught us the discipline we needed for work and family and community and nation.

Just and equal application of laws based on the “standard” set by a “Higher Authority” [God] was what made this nation so strong and is the only thing that will make it strong again.

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