A collection of thoughts ... from a boy in Toronto.
WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY, JR.: You say the war is simply an obscenity, a depraved act by weak and miserable men.
NOAM CHOMSKY: Including all of us, including myself.
WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY, JR.: Oh, sure, sure, sure. Sure, because you count everybody in the company of the guilty.
NOAM CHOMSKY: … the point that I’m trying to make and I think ought to be made is that the real, at least to me — I say this elsewhere in the book [American Power and the New Mandarins] — what seems to me a very, in a sense, terrifying aspect of our society and other societies is the equanimity and the detachment with which sane, reasonable, sensible people can observe such events. I think that’s more terrifying than the occasional Hitler or LeMay or other that crops up. These people would not be able to operate were it not for this apathy and equanimity, and therefore I think that it’s in some sense the sane and reasonable and tolerant people who should — who share a very serious burden of guilt that they very easily throw on the shoulders of others who seem more extreme and more violent.
Btw, Buckley argued in his 1957 editorial “Why the South Must Prevail” (from the conservative magazine he founded, the National Review) that white surpemacy should be upheld in the South. He wrote:
The central question that emerges-and it is not a parliamentary question or a question that is answered by merely consulting a catalogue of the rights of American citizens, born Equal-is whether the White community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas in which it does not predominate numerically? The sobering answer is Yes-the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race. It is not easy, and it is unpleasant, to adduce statistics evidencing the median cultural superiority of White over Negro: but it is a fact that obtrudes, one that cannot be hidden by ever-so-busy egalitarians and anthropologists. The question, as far as the White community is concerned, is whether the claims of civilization supersede those of universal suffrage.
= racism under the guise of the “elegant”, “rational”, and “cultured” prose of the highly ”intellectual” William F. Buckley Jr.
I remember being reminded by one of my “award winning” History professors that I shouldn’t be judging history from today’s perspectives. Therefore, I shouldn’t look with disgust at slavery in the USA or the Vietnam War — that I should instead be judging it from the perspectives of the time. However, such a view homogenizes historical perspectives by suggesting that everyone at the time was supportive of slavery, and everyone at the time supported the war in Vietnam — which of course was not the case. Such contrived efforts to have a depoliticized (so called “neutral”) account of history seems apologetic to me. I found such studies of history both boring and irrelevant. Needless to say, historians like Howard Zinn and his book A People’s History of the United States were never mentioned in her courses. I had to get out.
The radical ideas of one generation become the common sense ideas of the next. What will people in the future be looking back at, and be repulsed by what people of today thought? What side of history will they find themselves on? … patriarchy(?), ableism(?), speciesism(?) [using animals as resources; as a source of decadent pleasures], racism(?) [which, yes, still exists], zionism(?) [of the more racist/colonialist variety], capitalism(?)… Maybe it will be people looking back at their own lives and regretting which side of history they were on.