Lew Rockwell

Bill Buckley and the Return of the Old Right


Lew Rockwell, president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute and proprietor of LewRockwell.com, discusses the life and death of William F. Buckley, his early CIA ties, exile of the antiwar Right from the conservative movement, the centrality of militarism and imperialism to modern conservative thinking, the real political spectrum, paleo-libertarianism, the American complex of fear and vaunting, the reality of red state fascism, the coming National Service Corps, whether or not war is good for the economy and the hope inspired by the Ron Paul Revolution and the New York Philharmonic’s recent visit to the DPRK.

MP3 here. (53:27)

Lew Rockwell is the founder and President of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama, Vice President of the Center for Libertarian Studies in Burlingame, California, and publisher of the political Web site LewRockwell.com. He served as Ron Paul’s congressional chief of staff between 1978 and 1982.

26 thoughts on “Lew Rockwell”

  1. Would there were more Lew Rockwells! As for Buckley, I corresponded a little with him. I loved to hear his voice (though slightly pompous) I was disappointed when he fired Pat Buchanan and Joe Sobran. Sadly, he became a Judas Goat, keeping conservatives from outing Zionist traitors.

  2. As a conservative republican, I thank you Antiwar.com and LRC for your solid stance for freedom and for the truth about the neo-con takeover of the GOP.

  3. To play the entire interview, click on MP3 even if you don’t have one. It errored out and then connected to my Windows media player.

  4. Excellent interview. I live in Mississippi, and am surrounded by fundamentalist christians. As a non-denominational christian, I am outside of the mainstream. To hear such Christ-like comments from Mr. Rockwell is quite refreshing. Would that preachers in America’s pulpits would take a cue from him and preach the Golden Rule!

    I firmly believe in Red State Fascism. I’m a barber and have military as about 20% of my business here. I listen close and kind of keep my mouth shut, but even the gung-ho ones are sick of it. The military is a big employer around here. Lew is right on target about the warrior like spirit of many a southern boy; patriotism and militarism combined with religious zeal is a terrible thing.

    Thanks again for the excellent interview.
    Scott, I’d really like to submit someone to you for an interview, would it be possible for you to contact me?

    Mark Tribble

  5. Don’t laugh about dumping millitary equipment into the ocean. I have heard from a person who was in the Navy talk about dumping equipment into the ocean to protect annual budgets!!!

  6. Great interview Scott. I’m a contributor to Antiwar.com because of the Scott Horton interviews.

    Lew struck a chord with me about Americans view of foreigners as less than human, and the discussion of how the media fosters that horrible perspective with its portrayal of other societies.

    This empire is on its last legs. Let us hope that it breaks down peacefully.

  7. A great interview, hitting the major points but one bit of trivia involving the categories: Jacksonianism is generally described now as an example of the Red State Fascism and Scotch Irish War Mentality………Big Government militants. This may be so but it is equally true that Jackson was also a Rothbardian of sorts, going to war against the Federal Bank and in fact, one of his best quotes is about the U.S. Bank (something to the effect)
    “The United States Bank is trying to kill me, I think I will kill it first”.

    This is why the categories fail libertarianism and should be eschewed in favor of real characterizations, real descriptions instead of partisan categories.

    Good people do bad things, bad people do good things…..so what, we need to emphasize the intelligent strains of action of all people.

  8. Great Interview!

    I wonder if you could consider interviewing Sean Gabb (of Libertarian Alliance in the UK) or Kevin Carson (of mutualist.blogspot.com) who represent (methinks!) a very different strain of libertarianism. Check out Carson’s definition of vulgar libertarian – a type who is so often represented on Lew Rockwell’s; or Gabb’s arguments that show how liberty was lost when corporations were granted the same rights as people (http://www.seangabb.co.uk/flcomm/flc152.htm).

    The state is not the only enemy of freedom; It could be the company that runs your neighborhood supercenter.

  9. Gen. Robert E. Lee said the following:
    ” What a cruel thing war is. To separate and destroy families and friends and mar the purest joys and happiness God has granted us in this world. To fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors and to devastate the fair face of this beautiful world.”

  10. Mr. Paul Craig Roberts has an excellent column that is always worth reading…His kind is in short supply: A thoughtful conservative-the kind that almost seems to have died out in the 80's..Also read Patrick J. Buchanan's new book…

  11. What is going to destroy the libertarian message, unfortunately, is offshoring of US production for US markets, which is destroying US job opportunities and the tax base of many communities, transferring US labor income to corporate fat cats and shareholders, busting unions as a countervailing power, and preventing any real income gains for the majority of the American people. Libertarians have unconsciously positioned themselves as favoring freedom for capital at the expense of labor. Libertarians are seen as partisans for capital freedom at all cost. The dismantling of the ladders of upward mobility in the US limits the ability of the libertarians to reach the majority of the American people who are under tremendous economic pressure.
    This is unfortunate, because it is an ideological blindness not based in fact, and it will cost America its liberty.

  12. just wanted to say – great interview. Very informational especially regarding the history of the “conservative” and libertarian movements.

  13. The broken window fallacy [destruction creates jobs] has been disproven some time ago. It is used today by irrational people stuck in the 5,000 year old tradition of trying to create empires that always fail. In this sense humanity is like the matrix movie.

    If wars are so great for the economy, as the current admin is claiming, why hasn’t the dollar gained valued? Why hasnt more jobs been created? Why has the GDP slowed to 2%? Why hasnt fuel prices stabilised? Why is inflation rising? Why is Bush talking about sellling 400 tons of gold the IMF is holding?

    As for the free market myth I hear espoused on libertarian sites its more of the same Buckley type rhetoric and leads to more of the same problem we have today.
    he U.S. Senate voted [Republican ruled] in 1999 to approve S. 900, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which repealed the Depression-era barriers that separate banking, insurance and securities.

    Sen. Phil Gramm, chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, issued the following statement:
    “I believe we have passed what will prove to be the most important banking bill in 60 years. It overturns the key provision of the Glass-Steagall act that divided the American financial system. -Phil Gramm

    Yeh, riiiiiight.

  14. History will say of William F. Buckley that he charmed, like a sophist, the American middle class while all along serving as the mouthpiece for the elite/aristocratic US military-industrial establishment responsible for the greatest national debt an empire ever inherited. Thanks Bill!!!

  15. Regarding Paul Craig Roberts’ assertion that most Americans will reject pure laissez faire economics, so what?
    Most Americans reject the pure forms of EVERY political philosophy.
    Why is it news that certain aspects of libertarianism might also be unpopular at a given time in history?
    Let us instead focus on purely libertarian proposals that ARE popular.
    For example, when ultra-liberal Massachusetts voted in 2002 on the boldly libertarian ballot question to END their income tax, a stunning 45% voted YES. The question is back on the ballot again this year. So let us see how it does before we conclude that liberty is being “destroyed” by its “ideologically blind purists.” (www.SmallGovernmentAct.org).

  16. Buckley wore his Catholicism as a cloak and fit well with Gandi’s comment on Christianity “A great idea, someone should try it!!” He was most comfortable with country club and marina sets than having any compassion for those less fortuntate. I imagine he would not allow Jesus into his inner circle if the opportunity presented itself. Buckley was a son of inherited wealth and though ranking in the top entelligentia somehow never managed to imitate others who also shared his privileged status but did empathize with them. Perhaps the one story exposing his inner-self was when he was seen talking to an elderly couple with an Iris background. One of his upper-echelon journalists commented “Well you had a lot in common with them.” “How, so?” “Well, Irish, Catholic of course.” “They’re nobodys!!” Of course Buckley identified with the “somebodys” and despite his enormous intellectual gifts this statement will always define his characted to me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.