September 8, 2006

A pattern?

A reader has been going through old political magazines:

Several of the publications I've looked at are old hard-core Communist periodicals from the 1920s through 1950s, I mean "All Glory and Praise to Stalin and the Great Socialist Motherland"-type Communist periodicals.

Most recently, I worked through 40-odd years of National Review which I purchased on the Internet. The earlier decades have a decidedly conservative and restrained feel, even when discussing controversial matters. But the last decade or so, especially since 9/11, are filled with exactly the same sort of endless blood-curdling shrieks, vicious character assassinations of political adversaries, and instantaneous party-line-u-turns I'd only previously seen in publications such as The New Masses and The Communist...

I really do think that America's "conservatives" have reached a very weird state.

I suspect that the new NR looks worse compared to the old NR, which was a very good magazine. It had a suave air about it that's missing from the current version (and from almost every magazine today). Even when it ran we-are-all-doomed articles by, say, Whittaker Chambers, they were a lot more graceful than Cliff May's or Stanley Kurtz's (not to mention John Podhoretz). Of course, it was easier to be elegantly gloomy about the threat posed by the Red Army and a fashionable ideology than about the threat posed by guys in caves animated by a Dark Ages dogma.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

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