Historic Views on Government – Buckley

Honest opinion about government from William F. Buckley, Jr.:

There is nothing so ironic as the nihilist or relativist (or the believer in the kind of academic freedom that postulates the equality of ideas) who complains of the anti-intellectualism of American conservatives. Such is our respect for the human mind that we pay it the supreme honor: we credit it with having arrived at certain great conclusions. We believe that millenniums of intellection have served an objective purpose. Certain problems have been disposed of. Certain questions are closed: and with reference to that fact the conservative orders his life and, to the extent he is called upon by circumstances to do so, the life of the community.

It is a part of the conservative intuition that economic freedom is the most precious temporal freedom, for the reason that it alone gives to each one of us, in our comings and goings in our complex society, sovereignty–and over that part of existence in which by far the most choices have in fact to be made, and in which it is possible to make choices, involving oneself, without damage to other people. And for the further reason that without economic freedom, political and other freedoms are likely to be taken from us.

The salient economic assumptions of liberalism are socialist.
   Up From Liberalism, 1959

One of the most influential and prolific Conservatives of the second half of the twentieth century, William F. Buckley is the editor-in-chief of National Review, author of numerous books, including even some spy thrillers, and a syndicated columnist (for example, "On the Right"). His books include God and Man at Yale (1951), McCarthy and His Enemies (with Brent Bozell, 1954), Up from Liberalism (1959), Rumbles Left and Right (1963), The Unmaking of a Mayor (1966), The Jeweler's Eye (1968), Inveighing We Will Go (1972), Stained Glass (1978), A Hymnal (1978), Right Reason (1985), and Gratitude: Reflections on What We Owe to Our Country (1990). In addition, Buckley, whose remarkable debating skills are near-legendary, is known for having hosted since 1966 the extraordinarily literate PBS interview show "Firing Line."

Quotation and short bio from The Quotable Conservative: The Giants of Conservatism on Liberty, Freedom, Individual Responsibility, and Traditional Values. Rod L. Evans and Irwin M. Berent, editors. Holbrook, Mass.: Adams Publishing, 1996.