Front Page Titles (by Subject) RONALD HAMOWY AND WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY, Jr., National Review : Criticism and Reply - New Individualist Review
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RONALD HAMOWY AND WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY, Jr., “ National Review ”: Criticism and Reply - Ralph Raico, New Individualist Review 
New Individualist Review, editor-in-chief Ralph Raico, introduction by Milton Friedman (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1981).
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“National Review”: Criticism and Reply
The following articles are presented as a contribution to the continuing debate among libertarians and conservatives. The opinions expressed are the authors’ and do not necessarily represent the viewpoint of the Editorial Board of the “New Individualist Review.”
SINCE ITS INCEPTION IN 1955, National Review has gradually assumed the leadership of the Right in America until today it stands practically unopposed as the intellectual spokesman of conservatism throughout the country. It boasts a staff of sophisticated and witty editors, the chief of whom is William F. Buckley, who has, in fact, achieved the status of national celebrity. Well-educated and self-assured, he has, in his countless appearances on television, at public lectures, and on dozens of college campuses including his own beloved Yale, impressed the general public with the fact that conservatives do not fall into the category of what H. L. Mencken used to call “yahoos.”
So much is Mr. Buckley identified with everything intelligent on the Right that if in the common image of modern conservatism Senator Goldwater can justly be portrayed as the sword, William Buckley is, without doubt, the pen. Given this phenomenon of Buckley as one of the directors of the Right, it becomes incumbent on all those who would attach themselves to this movement to carefully investigate the policies which he and his group espouse and to answer the crucial question of just where they are leading us. Nor should we be drawn away from this task by loud cries for “unity.” It is the duty of all thinking men to reflect and examine before falling into step behind any leader. Indeed, it has always been an unfortunate disposition of most Right-wingers uncritically to follow the man and not the principle.
It is the contention of this article that William Buckley and National Review are, in fact, leading true believers in freedom and individual liberty down a disastrous path and that in so doing they are causing the Right increasingly to betray its own traditions and principles.
Better to see how far the Conservative movement has been straying under National Review guidance, let us briefly examine its genesis. The modern American “Right” was, in essence, a much-needed and healthy reaction against the New Deal, that revolution in domestic and foreign affairs wrought by Franklin D. Roosevelt which aimed at the radical transformation of the role of the State in American life and whose goal was the aggrandizement of government power at the expense of the individual. This modern Right represented the emerging opposition to such a shift and was, therefore, a movement stressing individual freedom. Domestically, the corollary of individual liberty was a call for free enterprise as against the socialist tendencies of the State; in foreign affairs, it stood for peace, neutrality, and isolationism as opposed to the Rooseveltian drive towards collective security, foreign entanglement, and war.
At a time when the Left had a virtual monopoly on all intellectual activity, during the early 40’s, a small but ever-growing libertarian movement began to emerge. Its leaders were such eminent publicists and political thinkers as Isabel Paterson, Rose Wilder Lane, Garet Garrett, Albert Jay Nock, and Frank Chodorov. Philosophically, it was firmly dedicated to individual liberty, and consequently embraced free enterprise in economics, a strict adherence to the civil liberties of the individual, and peace. Historically, it ranked among its heroes JeffersoN, Tom Paine, Thoreau, and Herbert Spencer.
Six years ago, however, a revolution took place “within the form,” as Garet Garrett once wrote of the New Deal. The articulate publicists of National Review, founded at that time, have succeeded in remoulding the American Right until it travesties the intent of its original founders. Mr. Buckley and his staff have been able to achieve this transformation with such apparent ease simply because there has been no journal of opinion to oppose it, or even to call attention to the surgery that has been committed on the American Conservative movement.
How far this revolution within the form has gone may be gauged, for example, by the current conservative attitude towards Mr. Justice Frankfurter. Fifteen years ago, Justice Frankfurter was generally regarded by the Right as the personification of collectivist jurisprudence, as a destroyer of the Constitutional guarantees of liberty against the State. Today, he is considered to have become part of the Conservative movement and his name has actually been cheered by groups of conservative youth. To those who would take the trouble of investigating the judicial philosophy of Mr. Frankfurter, however, it immediately becomes apparent that his position remains unchanged. He is guided solely by the principle that the courts must legitimize nearly every power the government decides to exercise. He is, and has always been, a thorough Statist. But now he is hailed by the Right because his most publicized decisions, especially in the Wilkinson and Uphaus cases, show him trampling upon the civil liberties of Leftists. His continued willingness to compromise with property rights is totally ignored by those who now reserve their zeal for the coercing of as many Communists and Communist sympathizers as they can lay their hands on. It is not Justice Frankfurter’s position which has shifted, but that of the American Right.
And in this shift the lead has been taken by Mr. Buckley and his colleagues. National Review has time and again exerted its considerable intellectual influence against individual liberty. Through issue after issue of the journal we read of the “rights of the community,” of five thousand years of conservative tradition, of authority and order, of the duty of the West to uplift the Negro with Bible and bullwhip, of the sacred obligation all free men have to coerce Communists at home and slaughter them abroad. Where once the Right was fervently devoted to the freedoms propounded in the Bill of Rights, it now believes that civil liberties are the work of Russian agents. Where once it stood for the strict separation of Church and State, it now speaks of the obligation of the community to preserve a Christian America through a variety of Blue Laws and other schemes for integrating government and religion. Where once the Right was, above all, dedicated to peace and opposed to foreign entanglements, it now is concerned with preparing for war and giving all-out aid to any dictator, Socialist or otherwise, who proclaims his unbending “anti-Communism.” Where once the Right wanted America to exert its moral effect upon the world by being a beacon-light of freedom, it now wants to turn America into an armed camp to crush Communism wherever it appears. Can it be less than fifteen years ago that the right-wing members of Congress voted against NATO and aid to Greece and Turkey? Can it be only a decade ago when Joseph Kennedy and Herbert Hoover were calling for withdrawal of our armies to our shores and when Howard Buffett, Taft’s mid-west campaign manager, denounced this country’s military bases abroad and the growing militarism in America?
It is not only on the Communist issue that the Right has abandoned its libertarian principles. All foreign policy questions are considered solely from the point of view of “historic traditions” or “American national interest.” National Review’s applause for the British-French-Israeli invasion of Suez is typical: for here was a situation where it could blend its fanatical opposition to anyone considered pro-Communist with its contempt for non-European and non-Christian peoples. The foreign policy position of the libertarian Right was essentially that held by Cobden and Bright in the nineteenth century: opposition to aggression, to imperialism, and to war. The foreign policy position of the new Right is that of Colonel Blimp and Rudyard Kipling, the pseudo-aristocratic outlook of “cane the bloody wogs” and “send the marines,” coupled with the ever-present background mutterings of retired Generals and Admirals of “what they need is a whiff of grape.”
These differences concerning foreign policy are of much greater importance than might first be realized, for they call into question the philosophic problem of moral principle. One of the outstanding features of National Review is its pretension of moral superiority, its insistence that it alone represents the conservator of two thousand years of Western Civilization and Christianity. But surely one who believes in natural law must hold that it be eternal and fixed, and that the natural rights of the individual apply at any time, for any place. Yet the position that National Review holds grants rights only, and then begrudgingly, to Anglo-Saxons. Spain must respect its heritage of the dictatorial Caudillo; Central Europe must revert to the divinely-inspired Crown of St. Stephen; British colonies must be subjugated to the Mother Country; France’s historical role is to be governed by a clique of fascist generals whose function it must be to hurl still more conscripts into the sacred task of crushing Moslems in Algeria. Surely there is no appreciable difference between this system of double morality and the contention often heard on the Left, when asked how they can reconcile a demand for civil liberties at home with support of such dictators as Nkrumah and Toure in modern Africa, that “the same standards cannot apply to the developing countries,” and that “the African must be studied as a part of his cultural milieu.”
The great moral principle of individual liberty has been superceded by the arrogance of the pseudo-aristocrat who preserves his civilized airs by exploiting the serf labor of “inferior” people; the libertarian principle of peace and non-intervention has been replaced by the heroics of a barroom drunk who proudly boasts that “he can lick anybody in the room.” This posture is rendered tragic by the fact that the National Review group who proclaim “give me liberty or give me death” are willing to cremate countless millions of innocent persons whom they give no opportunity to make a choice.
Another touchstone of how far the Right has travelled is its position on conscription. Before and after World War II it fought the draft as unconstitutional, as slavery, and as the ultimate aggrandizement of the State. To the current conservative, anyone who dares to raise a principled voice against conscription is labeled a Communist or Communist dupe. The same libertarians who during the Second World War were accused by the Left of being “mouthpieces of the Goebbels line,” are now accused, this time by the Right, of “doing the work of the Communists.” One would expect libertarians to be reviled and slandered by the apologists of the State. It is, in fact, both noble and honorable to have such enemies. But that National Review should take the lead in this slander can mean only one thing: that the Right, under the aegis of National Review has itself become a leading minion of the State. From an advocate of individual liberty against the State, the Conservative movement has now become a champion of the State against individual liberty. The entire concept of “right-winger,” as it has been understood in America since the 1930’s, has been taken by the Buckley group and, like the old word “liberal” at the hands of the Left, has been transformed into its very opposite.
We are left with one significant area: the economic. And even here, modern conservatism fares no better. It is true that there is still much talk about the free market, but a careful study of the literature of the Right today makes it quite clear that it is engaged in beating a steady, persistent retreat from libertarianism even in the economic sphere. One searches in vain, for example, in the concrete political programs of the Young Americans for Freedom, whose organizational meeting was held at Mr. Buckley’s estate in Sharon, Conn., for any clear statement on the reduction of the economic intervention of the State. Nowhere, any longer, does a rollback or repeal of the New Deal seem to be seriously contemplated. The only real goal of the National Review Right is to keep the Federal government from advancing much further down the socialist road—a goal in itself contradicted by the war economy that it desires. And one is at a loss to find any genuine attempt on its part to examine the relationship between an ever-increasing military establishment and government interference in the economic affairs of the country. At no time has a disarmament agreement with Russia been given as serious consideration as it deserves nor has it been viewed as a welcome possibility. Rather, editors of National Review proceed to look on increased government spending not only as permissible but as desirable if it is earmarked for the production of bombs and other paraphernalia of death. On such questions the libertarian is almost forced to stand with the Leftists. If government spending is to be kept at such a high level, better that it be used to build roads, schools, playgrounds, and other things which have some value, no matter how small, rather than be employed to manufacture a new and better type of H-bomb or rocket-launching satellite or used to finance some new inquisitorial government investigatory committee. A return to the free market is indeed hardly a burning issue on the Right today.
The new American Right would seem to reserve its real passion for such causes as giving Khrushchev bi-weekly ultimatums and suppressing civil liberties at home. Mr. Buckley himself has begun, of late, to show increasing asperity towards those misguided souls who still cling to individual liberty as their main political preoccupation by chiding us that social security is, after all, here to stay and really isn’t so bad and by denouncing those libertarian “extremists” for cleaving to consistency and truth in speaking against government monopoly control of the roads and post-office. It seems that the desired unity behind our self-appointed leaders is being threatened by the tiny minority who have remained true to those very ideals of individual freedom which led them to become Right-wingers in the first place.
Just what is the direction in which National Review is leading the Right and would lead America? There is, of course, an inevitable diversity among the luminaries of that august journal. Willmoore Kendall believes that the Greek “community” had the duty, a fortiori the right, to murder Socrates. Frank S. Meyer finds the vision of a total nuclear holocaust not entirely unappealing. Garry Wills finds his pet peeve in capitalism. Frederick Wilhelmsen desires above all other earthly things that we venerate the Crown of St. Stephen. Hugh Kenner finds solace not only in the poetry but in the economics of Ezra Pound. But underneath this collection of attitudes there are manifested certain features that generally characterize them all. They may be summed up as: (1) a belligerent foreign policy likely to result in war; (2) a suppression of civil liberties at home; (3) a devotion to imperialism and to a polite form of white supremacy; (4) a tendency towards the union of Church and State; (5) the conviction that the community is superior to the individual and that historic tradition is a far better guide than reason; and (6) a rather lukewarm support of the free economy. They wish, in gist, to substitute one group of masters (themselves) for another. They do not desire so much to limit the State as to control it. One would tend to describe this devotion to a hierarchial, warlike statism and this fundamental opposition to human reason and individual liberty as a species of corporativism suggestive of Mussolini or Franco, but let us be content with calling it “old-time conservatism,” the conservatism not of the heroic band of libertarians who founded the anti-New-Deal Right, but the traditional conservatism that has always been the enemy of true liberalism;* the conservatism of Pharonic Egypt, of Medieval Europe, of the Inquisition; the conservatism of Metternich and the Tsar, of James II and Louis XVI, of the rack, the thumbscrew, the whip, and the firing squad. I, for one, do not very much mind that a philosophy which has for centuries dedicated itself to trampling upon the rights of the individual and glorifying the State should have its old name back.
Three Drafts of an Answer to Mr. Hamowy
Dear me, thumbscrews, whips, firing squads, war, colonialism, repression, white supremacy, fascism—what a lot of things for National Review to have foisted upon the Right in a mere six years! There was a time when Associate Imperialist Henry Hazlitt, who appears on our masthead, was interested in personal liberty: now he wants war and white supremacy. Associate Torturer Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, a founder of the neo-Liberal movement in Europe, and author of Liberty or Equality, has abandoned his views, to go authoritarian, along with National Review. “[What] a tremendous relief to read your periodical at a moment when we can only say, with Frederick the Great, ‘Toute la boutique va au diable’.” wrote Wilhelm Roepke, author of Civitas Humana, teacher of Ludwig Erhard, president of Mt. Pelerin Society, in a letter to National Review a week ago—how sad, to turn one’s back on freedom, after so noble a lifetime spent in pursuit of it. (Contributing Torturer Kirk—what would you expect?—writes admiringly about Roepke in the current issue of National Review* .) Senior Warmonger Frank Meyer argues that freedom is the meaning of life, that without freedom there is no life, that indeed that is why he would rather be dead than Red. He does not know that to be a true libertarian you must love freedom, but not that much—you must prefer to be Red than dead, or you cannot be in the libertarian tradition. Sad, is it not, to see Contributing Executioner John Chamberlain, who opposes the income tax, become a part of a statist movement: and Senior Suppressor James Burnham, who has written that the government has no business regulating the use of fireworks, end up trampling upon the rights of the individual and glorifying the State. And Associate Colonialist Frank Chodorov cracking the whip: “Call me Massa Frank,” he growls at all black men, yellow men, and non-Christians, from the poop-deck of National Review. “Six of the best for the next man who says Uhuru,” echoes Associate Racist Morrie Ryskind . . .
1. The editorial section of the current issue of National Review includes: a) an analysis of the inflationary policies of the Federal Reserve, deploring the state’s bureaucratic impositions on business; b) a joyful run-down on the accomplishments of the European Common Market, made possible by the dissipation of statist-enforced economic boundaries; c) a pat on the back for the government of Portugal for its phased increase of self-government in Angola and Mozambique, including extended programs for multiracial integration (a traditional Portuguese policy); d) an account of a poll by the Council for the Advancement of Small Colleges, yielding the happy news that two-thirds of the student leaders of the small colleges are unsympathetic to “the current trend of the federal government to increase its influence in all areas”; e) an analysis of the shifty leg-work of the National Labor Relations Board which has the effect of circumventing the state right-to-work laws by the evasion of the agency shop, which requires a non-union member to contribute to the union’s kitty; f) a report on the creeping sanity of Professor Paul Samuelson, who in the last five editions of his famous book on economics has reduced from 5 per cent to 1½ per cent the tolerable annual inflation; g) an appreciative obituary account for two men who had battled the overweening state for years; and h) renewed support for Editor William F. Rickenbacker’s refusal to sign the Census Department’s prurient questionnaire . . .
2. The Sharon (Charter) Statement of the Young Americans for Freedom includes the following asseverations: “political freedom cannot long exist without economic freedom . . . the purposes of government are to protect . . . freedoms through the preservation of internal order, the provision of national defense, and the administration of justice . . . when government ventures beyond these rightful functions, it accumulates power which tends to diminish order and liberty . . . the market economy, allocating resources by the free play of supply and demand, is the single economic system compatible with the requirements of personal freedom . . . when government interferes with the work of the market economy, it tends to reduce the moral and physical strength of the nation; when it takes from one man to bestow on another, it diminishes the incentive of the first, the integrity of the second, and the moral autonomy of both . . .”
3. The last paragraph of the most recent address I have delivered is (in part): “. . . the direct problems that face the world are the making of governments in action; for only government can exercise the leverage necessary to transform individual vices into universal afflictions. It took government to translate Mein Kampf into concentration camps; it takes positive action by government to preserve many of the imbalances in our economic system; only government, with its monopoly of force, can perpetuate injustice that individuals, given the freedom to do so, might redress. It was long ago understood, in the evolution of political theory, that just about the only intolerable answer to big government is no government. Government there must be, this side of paradise, so that the challenge is, and always will be, how to restrain and direct that government without which we cannot get on. The facile answer of the 19th century, when the body of the world’s progressive social theorists seized intoxicatingly upon literacy and self-rule as the solvents of the enlightened and domesticated state, has proved naive. The insufficiency of democracy as a sole guarantor of enlightened public action is now perceptible. The only defense against the shortcomings and abuses of collective action by the state is concerted resistance by individuals. That resistance can only issue from an undamaged critical faculty and moral sense. If the entire thinking class indulges itself in the suppression of the intellect and the conscience, anything can happen: wars that should not be fought, are fought; and wars that should be fought are not fought; and human impulses that should be restrained are not restrained, and human impulses that should not be restrained, are restrained; and great nations are humbled.”
Dear Mr. Hamowy:
Your article contains a number of factual errors (when on earth did National Review ever celebrate the existence of Felix Frankfurter? We have merely applauded his position on certain issues, as we applaud the position on certain issues of Sidney Hook or Paul Douglas or Lucifer); and, of course, your article seeks to make its points by caricature, which is okay by me, although by so doing, you impose upon me the responsibility of deciding where you are being merely playful, and where you mean to be taken seriously.
Putting aside the thumbscrews, I judge that your criticisms revolve around two central assumptions of National Review, which I herewith state, and attempt briefly to show why I judge that they come naturally to American conservatives. The first assumption is that freedom can only be defended in our time by the active use of one’s strategic intelligence; and this calls for understanding the position of the Soviet Union in world affairs.
Among the corollaries of this assumption are: 1) it becomes necessary to forfeit a part of the freedom one might ideally exercise, in order to secure the greater part of our freedom; and corollary 2) our nation’s role in world affairs, to the extent it is the state’s responsibility to enact it, should turn on and be confined to the question of the national security.
The national security is a proper concern for the libertarian because without it he stands to lose—in this case—all his freedom. The conservative, who is a libertarian but other things, too, supports the large national effort that aims at neutralizing the Communist threat, because a conservative must be prepared to face reality. A conservative is not one of those pure and seraphic intellectualists Bishop Parker spoke about who, forsooth, despise all sensible knowledge as too gross and material for their nice and curious faculties. We conservatives are all for paradigmatic self-examinations from time to time, that aim at drawing attention to all those freedoms we do not have: but we never lose sight of the value of what we do have, and the reason why we have it, namely, because we have a formidable military machine which keeps the Soviet Union from doing to us what it did to the Hungarians, and the Cubans. There is room in any society for those whose only concern is for tablet-keeping; but let them realize that it is only because of the conservatives’ disposition to sacrifice in order to withstand the enemy, that they are able to enjoy their monasticism, and pursue their busy little seminars on whether or not to demunicipalize the garbage collectors.
* * * *
And the second assumption shared by the editors of National Review is that an approach to any human problem that calls for the ruthless imposition of any social schematic, whether Marxist or Benthamite, is self-defeating, for the reason that ideology can never replace philosophy. While it is true that freedom is good, it is not true that freedom can be promulgated in any given country simply by saying, Ready, Set, Be Free. The count-down is much longer. Sometimes it takes centuries. A conservative will argue for that system in a given country which will maximize freedom. But that system is not necessarily one that is based on one man, one vote; or even, necessarily, on the right of self-rule. We cannot, merely by renouncing colonialism instantly, write a script that will bring eudemonia to Upper Volta.
The American conservative needs to proceed within the knowledge of history and anthropology and psychology; we must live in our time. We must indeed continue to cherish our resentments against such institutionalized impositions upon our prerogatives (see my books) as social security. But we must not, if we are to pass for sane in this tormented world, equate as problems of equal urgency, the repeal of the social security law, and the containment of the Soviet threat. The problem of assigning priorities to the two objectives is not merely a problem of intellectual discrimination, but of moral balance. Mr. Hamowy should examine the processes of thought even among his associates on the Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy, which I am informed he has recently joined. I hope he will find there still is a difference between him and the moral and intellectual emasculates among whom he mingles; I hope the difference is still discernible; I, and I am sure all conservatives, hope that.
—William F. Buckley, Jr.
A Rejoinder to Mr. Buckley in One Draft
It is always enjoyable to hear from Mr. Buckley; his style and wit make for relaxing reading. However, it is a fact of life which Mr. Buckley appears to ignore, that an abundance of charm coupled with good intentions is an inadequate substitute for cogency of thought. Had he dealt with my arguments, my task in defending them would have been simpler. As it stands, I can find few points worthy of serious reply. Therefore, I dismiss Mr. Buckley’s First Draft with the admission that all those whose names appear on National Review’s masthead are not, in any sense, consistent conservatives in the Buckley tradition and that, in particular, Henry Hazlitt and Frank Chodorov share few, if any, of the sentiments with which my article deals. Just one point more. Pray, of what neo-Liberal movement in Europe is Mr. Kuehnelt-Leddihn a founder? Does Mr. Buckley regard an intellectual attachment to enlightened despotism in Central Europe as in the tradition of Cobden and Bright?
Concerning the Second Draft. (1) The current issue of National Review also contains, (a) plaudits for the Supreme Court ruling on the registration of the Communist Party with the Justice Department. We are told that this is “a bright day for freedom.” Someone or something (it is not indicated who or what) is “resourceful enough to bear down upon the unassimilable political minority for whom the normal rules cannot apply”; (b) an essay by James Burnham to the effect that one can either be for peace or against Communism but that to hold strongly to both positions is “a source of trouble”; (c) a defense of Franco Spain by Lev Ladnek. Mr. Ladnek feels that it is unrealistic to suppose that when idealists call for freedom they are not confining that freedom to just one group in Spanish society at the expense of another. He goes on to say that to champion freedom of expression and free elections is to invite civil war; (d) a report on the Mt. Pelerin Society by Russell Kirk in which he gleefully reports that Liberalism is slowly passing out of fashion as the new Conservatism sweeps all before it. We are informed that some old 19th-century individualists detracted from Kirk’s enjoyment of the meeting but that on careful consideration “the moral and political doctrines of Bentham ‘the great subversive’ are fallen from favor nowadays, except in their reductio ad absurdum, Marxism.”
(2) Despite the high-sounding phrases of the Sharon Statement, no concrete political program of the Young Americans for Freedom has concerned itself with a call for the reduction of the economic intervention of the State. Instead, they have devoted their time and energy to picketing in support of the House Committee on Un-American Activities and the American government’s invasion of Cuba and against negotiations on Berlin. A charter member of this organization informs me that its Policy Committee has voted to decline to take a stand against the John Birch Society and State segregation laws. That they pay lip-service to freedom indicates nothing.
(3) Mr. Buckley’s speech indeed expresses a noble sentiment. However, it bears no relevance to the arguments I present in my article.
The Third Draft presents 2 arguments, the first, that the external threat of Communism is of such magnitude that internal freedom becomes of minor importance. To this is added a sub-argument that it is ony thanks to people like Buckley sacrificing themselves “in order to withstand the enemy,” that “tablet-keepers” like me might “enjoy their monasticism and pursue their busy little seminars on whether or not to demunicipalize the garbage collectors.”
It might appear ungrateful of me, but I must decline to thank Mr. Buckley for saving my life. It is, further, my belief that if his view-point prevails and that if he persists in his unsolicited aid the result will almost certainly be either my death (and that of tens of millions of others) in nuclear war or my imminent imprisonment as an “un-American.”
Mr. Buckley would seem to imply that my position rests on a personal fear of death, and if this is the case, it indicates a total misreading of the facts. I hold strongly to my personal liberty and it is precisely because of this that I insist that no one has the right to force his decisions on another. Mr. Buckley chooses to be dead rather than Red. So do I. But I insist that all men be allowed to make that decision for themselves. A nuclear holocaust will make it for them.
The second argument has as its underlying premise that “freedom cannot be promulgated . . . by saying, Ready, Set, Be Free,” that it is something which is earned and often takes centuries to achieve. Promulgated by whom? Earned? Who is the paymaster? No one gives anyone else his freedom nor is anyone indebted to others for it. Mr. Buckley either rejects or is unfamiliar with the premises of political philosophy upon which our nation was founded. Namely, that freedom is, in fact, not earned, but the right of each human being. Mr. Buckley, I hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
[* ] Ronald Hamowy is an Associate Editor of New Individualist Review.
William F. Buckley, Jr., the Editor-in-Chief of National Review, is widely known as a writer and lecturer. His published works include God and Man at Yale and Up From Liberalism.
[* ] I use the term “liberalism” as it was employed in the 19th century in the hope that the dedicated libertarian might one day have his historic name again.
[* ] October 21, 1961