Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Buckley’s View of Conservative Intellectualism

William F. Buckley, Jr. was convinced that the conservatives would cease to matter unless they shed their cliche-ridden approach of appealing to the grassroots. He observed in 1955 that the conservatives did not have a single journal of opinion while the liberals had eight. He said: “They [the liberals] know the power of ideas, and it is largely for this reason that socialist-liberal forces have made such a great headway in the past thirty years.” He started the National Review with the aim of revitalizing conservatism by appealing to the conservative intellectuals and not the conservative masses. He said that it was the intellectuals “who have midwifed and implemented the revolution. We have got to have allies among the intellectuals, and we propose to renovate conservatism and see if we can’t win some of them around.”

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