Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What This Blog is About

"It stands athwart history, yelling Stop." This comes from the mission statement of National Review. At first glance, it is rather reactionary, isn't it? Yet I don't view conservatism - American conservatism - as reactionary. William F. Buckley saw a rushing tide of statism and saw his magazine, and the nascent modern conservative movement, as the one thing that might stand in its way. He didn't mean recreating America as it was in the nineteenth century, warts and all.
"I happen to prefer champagne to ditchwater," said the benign old wrecker of the ordered society, Oliver Wendell Holmes, "but there is no reason to suppose that the cosmos does." We have come around to Mr. Holmes' view, so much so that we feel gentlemanly doubts when asserting the superiority of capitalism to socialism, of republicanism to centralism, of champagne to ditchwater — of anything to anything.
Buckley wrote this in 1955. After the events of September, 2008, we are again hearing about a crisis of capitalism, about how no crisis should be "wasted", about how Americans should stop debating and start acting. In short, we are again at a key moment in our history, where the very relation between the state and the individual may be changing. Like Buckley, I wish to yell Stop.

For the most part, what I'll be doing is commenting on books I'm reading, current events, and other interests of mine such as the arts, science and philosophy. What I won't be doing is original reporting. That sounds too much like real work. The point of this blog is to have some fun. So let's get to it!

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