Friday, February 29, 2008

William F Buckley Jr.

Bill Buckley died couple of days ago. Tributes and articles flowed in by the dozens in most American media.

Bill Buckley was a towering figure of American conservative movement. The tributes that keep pouring in stand as a testimony to his larger-than-life persona. For all its ills, America deserves credit for having cracked few problems. The problem of communism, socialism is one such. Bill Buckley was yet another in the long line of lone Americans who helped bring down Communism. The menace we lived with was torn asunder by somebody else. This is not to belittle the contribution of scores of nationalist Indians who held the torch of our nation's cause in trying times. Their efforts were valiant but they were largely outmaneuvered in terms of resources. Mitrokhin archives are replete with the untold stories of the perfidy of the other side which basked in the glory of progressive, secular, mult-culti ethos. There was a decade when the progressive hegemony on Indian state was near total. We largely came out free due to the intellectual battles waged by the likes of Bill Buckley.

Socialism ruined a whole generation, in India more so than other places. As Lionel Trilling quipped, liberalism was the only idea in the intellectual world. Bill Buckley not only put a stop to this boast, but also turned tables on it so much so that conservative right became the ideas party in the US.

His National Review spawned an intellectual movement that first won back their own party from compromising power brokers. Literally scores of right wingers have found shelter in the institutions that Bill Buckley helped form. And he did so when it was fashionable to be liberal and a career liability to be on the right.

If there ever is accounting of the triumph of right in the war of ideas, of course in America, Bill Buckley and Irving Kristol will come out with top honors.

There is much to learn from them. They've shown it can be done. The secularist monopoly can be broken.

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