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Thursday, September 29, 2005

National Review Celebrates 50 yrs of Buckley

The National Review is planning a big bash to celebrate 50 years. A colleague of mine ran across some material published by Buckley's rag in the fifties that should make them blush with shame (a doubtful but surely enjoyable occasion). See the article in American Renaissance, but also consider the following:

A famous example of the early NR stance on race was an unsigned
editorial of August 24, 1957, titled "Why the South Must Prevail." It
was almost certainly written by Mr. Buckley, since he uses similar
language in his book Up From Liberalism. The editorial argued against giving blacks the vote because it would undermine civilization in the South:

"The central question that emerges . . . is whether the White
community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are
necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas in which it
does not prevail numerically? The sobering answer is Yes – the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race. It is not easy, and it is unpleasant, to adduce statistics evidencing the cultural superiority of White over Negro: but it is a fact that obtrudes, one that cannot be hidden by ever-so-busy egalitarians and anthropologists."

"National Review believes that the South's premises are correct. . . . It is more important for the community, anywhere in the world, to affirm and live by civilized standards, than to bow to the demands of the numerical majority."

"The South confronts one grave moral challenge. It must not exploit the fact of Negro backwardness to preserve the Negro as a servile class. . . . Let the South never permit itself to do this. So long as it is merely asserting the right to impose superior mores for whatever period it takes to effect a genuine cultural equality between the races, and so long as it does so by humane and charitable means, the South is in step with civilization, as is the Congress that permits it to function."

The use of certain words (obtrudes) shouts that it was written by Buckley himself. I've been listening to his autobiography (in short doses) and the sense of privilege that obtrudes and exudes is saddening and breathtaking. I fail to understand why we celebrate this guy.
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