Skip to comments.The Indispensable Man
Posted on 03/03/2008 2:01:32 AM PST by MartinaMisc
In my high school yearbook (Collegiate School, class of 1970), theres a photo of me wearing a political button. (Everyone did in those days. I wasnt that much dorkier than everyone else.) The button said, Dont let THEM immanentize the Eschaton.
There you see an example of the influence of Bill Buckley, who died last week at age 82. For it was Buckley who had promulgated this slogan, as an amusing distillation of the thinking of the very difficult historian of political philosophy Eric Voegelin. Id of course not read Voegelin then (theres a lot of him I still havent read, to tell the truth). But the basic thought was: Dont let ideologues try to create heaven on earth, because theyll deprive us of freedom and make things a lot worse.
To read Buckley growing up in the 1960s was bracing. Buckley and his colleagues some merrily, some mordantly mercilessly eviscerated the idiocies of the New Left. They also exposed the flaccidity of the older liberalism. If, like me, you already had a sense from listening to most of your peers and some of your elders that a lot of what they believed was silly (or worse), you couldnt help but be attracted to Buckley.
It was the beginning of an education. Everyone knows of American conservatism as a political movement. But conservatisms recrudescence (a term Im borrowing, needless to say, from Buckley) was an intellectual odyssey as well. Buckleys efforts helped introduce his readers to thinkers like Voegelin and Leo Strauss and Friedrich Hayek, writers neglected by a complacent and uninterested liberal orthodoxy.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Not even the Christian church tried to immanentize the eschaton until recently when leftist evangelicals and liberation theologists started infecting their respective organizations—well, various cults have tried to do this repeatedly, but they’re more consistent with other ideologies in their belief that either their system is the catalyst by which the entire order of creation will be remade or the only remaining instance of the-way-things-spozed-to-be.
Dont let THEM immanentize the Eschaton.