April 24, 2014

When William F. Buckley Met Saul Alinsky


If you don't know who Saul Alinksy is, you need to learn (biography here, Rules for Radicals here). Many of the tactics, especially on the left, are drawn from his ideas. Below is a five minute segment of William F. Buckley interviewing Alinsky in 1967 on Buckley's Firing Line program. Source: Hot Air Download the transcript (.pdf). Unfortunately, only five minutes of this December 1967 edition of Buckley’s seminal Firing Line program is online the above clip, but you can read a transcript of the entire interview at the Hoover Institute, or buy a DVD of the program for ten dollars from Amazon. At one point, Buckley describes Alinsky’s philosophy: Look, this is a program of things we want, if you don’t give it to us, we’re going to make it impossible for Chicago to continue commercial or civic life at all. Alinsky eventually argues: I’ll put it another way. I said that evolution is a chronological term used by non-participating historians to denote a time … [Read more...]

Acton Institute: Atlas Shrugged – See the Movie, Skip the Book [VIDEO]


I received permission to reprint this blog post by Acton Institute blogger Bruce Edward Walker. Walker, correctly in my view, draws out the authoritarian impulse in Rand's philosophy of "Objectivism" that can be distilled down to this: The libertarianism (man's moral agency is self-referencing) that describes Rand's Objectivism stands against the classical liberalism (what we today would call moral conservatism) of a Burke, Kirk, or even Tocqueville which see the bonds between people and thus society and culture as fundamentally religious in character. Rand stood against the cultural leveling of statism, particularly the loss of character and mediocrity it fosters. That is the appeal of her philosophy. There is little difference between, say, Soviet materialism and the state-sponsored corporatism of the modern welfare state (Europe in particular but increasingly so in the United States). However, the final refutation of this debilitating journey into what Friederich Hayek warned is … [Read more...]

Remembering WFB

The passing of William F. Buckley last week at the age of 82 produced an outpouring of remembrances that continued through the weekend with Michael Kinsley's "Tales from the Firing Line" in the New York Times. National Review Online has assembled some of the best here, of which one of the best of the best is William McGurn's "God and Man and Bill" originally published in the Wall Street Journal. Christianity Today also republished a fascinating 1995 interview with Buckley on the subject of Christian political activism. In "Conversations: W. Buckley: Listening to Mr. Right" Buckley tells interviewer Michael Cromartie this about the growing influence of conservatives in politics: What we see here is a mobilization of people who are properly horrified by what they see going on in Hollywood, in the growth of single-parent families, and so forth. They've figured out that our foundations need restoring, and I have never doubted that those foundations are religious. So this is how … [Read more...]