Watching the video of Rich Lowry that Marcus Epstein directs us to was rather shocking for me. I haven’t had a TV in the home for some years now so I remember Dr. Gottfried and others referring to the NR staff as youths but I didn’t really know what he was talking about.
When the C-Span interviewer started, he introduced Rich Lowry as the editor of National Review and I didn’t believe my ears. I waited until they showed the little graphic on the screen to verify that this fresh-faced young man was the editor of an ostensibly conservative magazine.
I realize now how fully Murray Rothbard’s critique of the “modal libertarians” applies to these National Review folks. Part of his critique was that modal libertarians think they can take a simple ideological maxim and understand how to apply it in all situations without a detailed knowledge of history or detailed study of ethics, religion, etc. Thus, for example, before embarking on military adventures into the Middle East it would be nice to know a lot about the history of the area and the history of military adventures in general. Great conservative thought and analysis has tended to come from knowledgeable people (think of Burke, Kirk, Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Weaver, etc.) and the thing about knowledge is that we aren’t born with it and, outside of The Matrix, we can’t just instantaneously pump it into our brain… Gaining wisdom tends to be even more time consuming. But I gather that the whole time consuming knowledge gaining process is considered fairly optional over at NR these days.
I guess my point is just this, the editor of a conservative magazine (esp. the supposed “flagship” conservative magazine) shouldn’t look like the summer intern.1:22 pm on August 29, 2003 Email Stephen W. Carson