Friday, February 29, 2008

William F. Buckley and conservative philanthropy

A lot has been written (blogs, news, technorati) and said over the past few days about the passing of conservative icon William F. Buckley. I personally like this one from Jane Hamsher over at firedoglake where she argues that Buckley was far preferable to today's Straussian Republicans who will say anything to achieve their aims, whereby Buckley was very upfront, i.e. he argued honestly, about his sometimes repugnant (and factually wrong) views.

It is an ironic fact that the career of the uber-capitalist free-marketeer was in large part underwritten by monies from conservative philanthropies and the American people, and that this subsidy has gone unreported in all the eulogies. His Corporation for Maintaining Editorial Diversity in America, the publisher of National Review magazine, was funded by the conservative philanthropies with at least $700,000. The tab for production of his public TV show Firing Line was funded with at least $2.3 million from the conservative philanthropies. The rest was picked up by the American taxpayer as part of the bill for that bastion of liberal media PBS.

1 comment:

erich said...

Don't know why Rob is so surprised to learn that Buckley was a paid shill.

As John Kenneth Galbraith has written:

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."

In 1936 Joan Robinson wrote of using economics as an ideological
defense of wealth. "Free to Choose" came out of the TV series, financed by major corporations as a propaganda piece.

After all, conservatives tend to work for corporations for the same reason Dillinger robbed banks - " That is where the money is".