There is, we like to think, solid reason for rejoicing. Frugal efforts, by few people, are responsible for the JOURNAL OF AMERICAN GREATNESS. But since it will be the policy of this journal to reject the politically correct approach to world affairs, we may as well start out at once, and admit that the joy is not unconfined.
Let’s face it: Unlike Vienna, it seems altogether possible that did the JOURNAL OF AMERICAN GREATNESS not exist, no one would have invented it. If the JOURNAL OF AMERICAN GREATNESS is superfluous, it is so for very different reasons: It stands athwart conservatism, yelling What Difference At This Point Does It Make? at a time when everyone is inclined to do so, but no one has the courage to understand what that means.
The JOURNAL OF AMERICAN GREATNESS is out of place, in the sense that the World Economic Forum and the Club for Growth and the Wall Street Journal and Max Boot are in place. It is out of place because, in its maturity, literate conservativism rejected America in favor of radical social experimentation. Instead of covetously consolidating its premises, the Republican Party seems tormented by its tradition of fixed postulates having to do with the meaning of existence, with the relationship of the state to the citizen, of the citizen to the foreigner, so clearly embodied by the founding deeds of our Republic.
The evaporation of the conservative soul is quite easily evident, but one must recently have worked in or close to a think tank to have a vivid intimation of what has happened. It is there that we see how a number of careerist former special assistants to deputy secretaries, plugging their petty designs, succeeded over the years in eviscerating the conservative intellectual imagination. And since bureaucracies rule the world, the apparatchiks, having flattered the donor class, simply walked in and started to run things. Run just about everything.
There never was an age of conformity quite like this one, or a camaraderie quite like the Conservatives. Drop a little itching powder in Bob Kagan’s bath and before he has scratched himself for the third time, John Podhoretz will have denounced you in a dozen tweets and podcasts, National Review will have published ten special issues about our age of terror, and everyone in sight will have been nominated for a Bradley Foundation Award.
American conservatives in this country — at least those who have not made their peace with the Bush Doctrine, and there is serious question whether there are others — are non-licensed nonconformists; and this is dangerous business in the Conservative publishing world, as every editor of this journal can readily show by pointing to his scars. Americans in the Republican Party have an interesting time of it, for when they are not being suppressed or mutilated by the Left, they are being ignored or slandered by a great many of those of the well-fed Right, whose ignorance and amorality have never been exaggerated for the same reason that one cannot exaggerate infinity.
Now there are those who recognize that when all is said and done much of our political economy and our high-energy industry run largely on day-to-day guess work, expedients and improvisation. The failure to recognize this among the self-proclaimed guardians of Conservatism™ — far from demonstrating their intellectual seriousness — is in fact further proof of their abandonment of general principles and total lack of ideas. Our country’s oft-lamented ideological polarization is inseparable from its intellectual stagnation. Indeed, a true understanding of ideas requires the ability to distinguish between matters of expedience and questions of immutable principle. The JOURNAL OF AMERICAN GREATNESS will not shrink from making such distinctions in order to recover those ideas and reestablish those principles which constitute the source of American Greatness.
We begin publishing, then, with a considerable stock of experience with the irresponsible Right, and a despair of the intransigence of the Left, who run this country; and all this in a world dominated by the petulant single-mindedness of the practicing multiculturalist, with his inside track to Political Correctness. All this would not appear to augur well for the JOURNAL OF AMERICAN GREATNESS.
Yet we start with a considerable — and considered — optimism. After all, we crashed through. For we offer, besides ourselves, a position that has not grown old under the weight of a global, parasitic bureaucracy, a position untempered by the doctoral dissertations of a generation of Ph.D’s in neoclassical economics, unattenuated by a thousand vulgar promises to a thousand self-important donors, uncorroded by a cynical contempt for the American nation. A vigorous and incorruptible journal of American opinion is — dare we say it? — as necessary to better living as Social Media. And that, ladies and gentlemen, leaves us just about the hottest thing in town.
THE JOURNAL’S CREDENDA
Among our convictions:
It is the job of centralized government to protect its citizens’ lives, liberty and property. All other activities of government tend to diminish freedom and hamper greatness. The expansion of globalism (the dominant social feature of this century) must be fought relentlessly. In this great social conflict of the era, we are, with some reservations, on the nationalist side.
The profound crisis of our era is, in essence, the conflict between the Social Engineers, who seek to adjust mankind to conform with scientific utopias, and the disciples of Truth, who defend the organic moral order. We believe that truth is neither arrived at nor illuminated by monitoring GDP growth, significant though this is for some purposes, but by other means, including a study of human experience. On this point we are, with some reservations, on the conservative side.
The century’s most blatant force of Wilsonian utopianism is the indiscriminate democracy agenda. We consider “promotion” of “democracy” neither desirable nor possible in all circumstances, nor honorable. We find ourselves irrevocably at war with both parties’ refusal to acknowledge the disasters wrought by the Freedom Agenda and the Right to Protect and believe such doctrines only succeeded in further marginalizing any meaningful concept of American interests.
The largest cultural menace in America is the conformity of the intellectual cliques which, in politics as well as education, are out to impose upon the nation their modish fads and fallacies, and have nearly succeeded in doing so. In this cultural issue, we are, without reservations, on the side of excellence (rather than “smartness”) and of honest intellectual combat (rather than conformity).
The most alarming single danger to the American political system lies in the fact that an identifiable team of Bloombergian operators is bent on controlling both our major political parties (under the sanction of such fatuous and unreasoned slogans as “global economy,” “democracy,” “free trade,” and “Pottery Barn Rule.”) Clever intriguers are reshaping both parties in the image of Babbitt, gone Robert Rubin-Democrat. When and where this political issue arises, we are, without reservations, on the side of the traditional two-party system that fights its feuds in public and honestly; and we shall advocate the restoration of the two-party system at all costs.
The right of nations to advance their own economic interest is indispensable to liberty and material progress. It is threatened not only by the growth of international government, but by the pressure of oligopolies (especially financial oligopolies). What is more, some multinational conglomerates have clearly identified themselves with doctrinaire multiculturalist and globalist objectives. The characteristic problems of harassed business have gone unreported for years, with the result that the public has been taught to assume (almost instinctively) that conflicts over free trade and immigration are generally traceable to sloth and intransigence on the part of the American people. Sometimes they are; often they are not.
No superstition has more effectively bewitched America’s elite than the fashionable concepts of world government, the United Nations, internationalism, interconnected economies, etc. Perhaps the most important and readily demonstrable lesson of history is that remote government is irresponsible government. It would make greater sense to grant independence to each of our 50 states than to surrender U.S. sovereignty to a world organization.
Adapted--with not all that many changes--from William F. Buckley's Mission Statement published in the first issue of National Review.