William F. Buckley is all Liberal Inside

by | Dec 20, 2002

William F. Buckley Jr., in the 12/12/02 “Wall Street Journal” writes: “Conservatives (unlike anarchists, or Objectivists) know that sacrifices are necessary, even as diet is necessary for organic health.” Specifically, he refers to the example of a peace through strength policy against the Soviet Union as an example of “sacrifice.” It’s true that Objectivism (the […]

William F. Buckley Jr., in the 12/12/02 “Wall Street Journal” writes:

“Conservatives (unlike anarchists, or Objectivists) know that sacrifices are necessary, even as diet is necessary for organic health.”

Specifically, he refers to the example of a peace through strength policy against the Soviet Union as an example of “sacrifice.”

It’s true that Objectivism (the philosophy of Ayn Rand, who wrote “Atlas Shrugged“) opposes self-sacrifice, and it also opposes anarchism. However, paying taxes to win the arms race against the Soviets is not an example of self-sacrifice. Even without the coercion of taxation, rational Americans would gladly have paid for a military to defend us against Communist thugs.

Drafting individuals to fight in Vietnam without their consent was an example of self-sacrifice. It also proves that self-sacrifice never works. We lost in Vietnam, but we still won the Cold War. We didn’t start to win the Cold War until Ronald Reagan–who actually cut taxes, and refused to reinstate the draft–morally and militarily stood up to Communism.

Dictators, be they Nazi, Communist or religious, all have one thing in common: they denigrate the individual in favor of authority. Unless you defend the morality of individualism, you can’t win the war against any force that opposes it.

Conservatives like William F. Buckley actually belong on the liberal side. While Mr. Buckley opposes the policies of the liberals, such as the welfare state, socialized medicine, and appeasement of dictators, he endorses the moral principle of self-sacrifice that makes those policies possible.

Dr. Michael Hurd is a psychotherapist, columnist and author of "Bad Therapy, Good Therapy (And How to Tell the Difference)" and "Grow Up America!" Visit his website at: www.DrHurd.com.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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