The Writings of Revilo P Oliver 1908-1994


by Professor Revilo P. Oliver

(Liberty Bell, July 1989)

Last autumn the Christian Science Monitor devoted a full page to what would have been a 'scoop' in the old days of independent and competitive journalism. It predicted that on the first of January 1989, William F. Buckley, Jr., would retire from active management of National Review and, dignitatis causa, move himself upstairs as "Editor in Chief," turning over the actual editorial responsibility to an imported editor named John O'Sullivan. It hinted that important changes in staff and policy would follow, and presented a "mock up" of an appropriate cover for the first issue in 1989, which would announce the abdication of the founder of the journal and Mr. O'Sullivan's ascension to the editorial throne.

In America's Decline I sketched the origin of National Review, as planned by Professor Willmoore Kendall of Yale, and its conversion into what he called "just another Liberal journal" when he severed his connection with it. The periodical, originally a weekly, became a fortnightly, survived heavy losses and the enforced liquidation of the original publishing company, National Weekly, Inc., and eventually survived the loss of the best mind ever associated with it, James Burnham, who (for cash) had lent his name to the masthead, given advice (sometimes disregarded), and written articles. (1)

(footnote 1. Mr. Burnham owed his reputation (and prosperity) to his Managerial Revolution (1941), in which he identified the fatal separation of control from ownership which has made our society hopelessly vulnerable. His greatest book is The Machiavellians (New York, Day, 1943; paperback reprint, Chicago, Regnery, 1963), in which he examines the real bases of politics in the traditional and favorable sense of a word which is now currently used to designate a form of criminal activity. His Suicide of the West (New York, Day, 1964) is a sequel, identifying clearly the intellectual and spiritual disease, the "AIDS" of civilization, that is called "Liberalism." Mr. Burnham died of cancer last year, and, sad to relate, just before his death, a pack of Christians invaded the sick room and harassed the dying man until they succeeded in splashing on him some holy water that would reserve for his ghost a comfortable apartment in old Jesus's famous retirement home up in the stratosphere. It is shocking that that indignity was inflicted on Burnham, who was a rational man and regarded Christianity as a crude fiction, which had been useful as a myth so long as it provided an effective means of social control (see The Machiavellians).)

The fortnightly eventually became a solvent, soundly established, and perhaps quite profitable business, and certainly the most literate representative of the kind of "conservatism" that was promulgated by old Ronnie Reagan's speech-writers, including, of course, slavish obedience to Yahweh's Master Race. Since its primary objective was more or less subtle promotion of the Jesus-cult, preferably in the version vended in Rome at the time the journal was founded, it was exposed to acute embarrassment when the Papacy was made just another mouthpiece for the international socialism that is only nominally and superficially distinct from Bolshevism, but Mr. Buckley was able adroitly to avoid with editorial finesse commitment to either endorsement of or opposition to the ecclesiastical revolution. (2)

(footnote 2. The equivocation did not content Mr. Buckley's brother-in-law, Brent Bozell, the author of The Conscience of a Conservative by Barry Goldwater. He seceded and founded an admirably forthright journal, Triumph, which, however, was short-lived, since most Catholics have the American habit of refusing to consider or even perceive uncomfortable facts.)

Given the position that National Review attained through the wit of its editor and two or three of its writers, the news in the Christian Science Monitor was of interest. It was not, however, entirely accurate. Mr. O'Sullivan did become the editor, and Mr. Buckley did move up to the journalistic penthouse, but that happened many weeks before the first of the year, and there has been no announcement of Mr. Buckley's retirement--not even a preparatory hint. The latest issue I have at hand is dated 24 February 1989. It contains, as usual, reprints of "Bill" Buckley's syndicated newspaper columns (in which he waxes sentimental about a performance by Ronnie and Nancy Reagan, even alluding to Philemon and Baucis, quoting the story, not from Ovid, but from Whittaker Chambers). There is a book review by him, and his dextrous hand is visible in the editorial section. If the Monitor was right about the eventual change, the transition is being slowly and cautiously prepared.

On the other hand, there has been a notable change in staff with the departure of William A. Rusher, the publisher (i.e., the man legally responsible for the contents of the journal). Rusher, who joined the staff as a young lawyer--"a Wall Street lawyer," he likes to say--had great influence on the conduct of the magazine, and some members of its large staff (just read the long column of names under the masthead!) believe that he was primarily responsible for the management that eventually made it unnecessary for him to write periodically letters begging for another $375,000 immediately so that National Review would not have to stop publication with the issue then in press. Some credit him with the very considerable improvement in typography and format that followed financial stability. The extent to which he influenced editorial policy is variously estimated.

Rusher is the author of The Rise of the Right, an oddly naive book that I reviewed in Liberty Bell, July 1984, pp. 7-11. In some ways it resembles the recent book by Donald Regan, For the Record, which leaves the reader uncertain whether the author is an ingenious propagandist engaged in sanctifying Ronnie at the expense of Mrs. Reagan, Admiral Poindexter, et al., or a simple-minded man who worked in a brokerage house in Wall Street and never thought seriously about politics or the world outside the stock market.

Rusher was given a farewell party on the Zoo City's excursion boat, and some pictures of it were reproduced in the magazine's issue dated 27 January. Since the party was given by lowly Aryans, it was doubtless a modest affair, although some dinner jackets were in evidence. The lower races never presume to emulate their masters, God's Own, who hire ocean liners or the Metropolitan Museum for a night's shindig that may cost a million dollars or more.

Rusher's farewell speech is printed in full, as is the witty toast to which he replied. Noteworthy is the complacent pride with which he affirms that National Review "contributed substantially to the success of the conservative movement."

The "conservative movement," we are given to understand, succeeded when the old ham actor was installed in the White House to consummate the bankruptcy of the United States while taxing his serfs to give every holy family in the Holy Land $5000 every year, provide God's Own with the weapons they need to beat into submission to God's Law the wicked Palestinians, meddle with the domestic affairs of every country in the world that has not yet become a howling wilderness of black or Bolshevik savages, create a legal basis for Jewish terrorism in the United States, and import into this country hundreds of thousands of anthropoid pests, in preparation for Integration, when the occasionally troublesome White people will have been replaced by a fetid mass of half a billion coffee-colored mongrels with the minds of rats.

Old Ronnie, you see, was a model of Conservatism because he adored the worshipful Sheenies and mumbled nonsense about Bible Prophecy and the Christians' ferocious god. That isn't what "Conservatism" meant a few decades ago, but Mr. Rusher is probably right in saying that is what it means now.

When Jewish murderers, financed by Jewish bankers in the United States and Europe, seized control of the Russian Empire in 1917-1920, a large number of Americans became confusedly alarmed. They did not perceive that they had already begun the Communist Revolution in their own country in 1913, when they threw away their personal liberty and subjected themselves to the White Slave Act, then commonly known as an Income Tax, the first step in the procedure for imposing communist rule outlined by Mordecai, alias Karl Marx. They were still allowed to have real money, but did not understand that they could do so only so long as the Federal Reserve did not tighten the other noose they had put about their own necks. In a fit of righteousness they had imposed on themselves the tyranny of Prohibition, thus providing a precedent for every kind of Communist slavery that could be advocated in words that would stimulate the glands of do-gooders. But the Americans were nevertheless alarmed when they saw Bolshevik agitators at work in their own country, stirring up the niggers and the dregs of the proletariat.

The anti-Communists styled themselves, quite appropriately then, Conservatives, since their purpose was to conserve what was left of the American Republic, which the righteous had wrecked in 1861, and to conserve at least what freedom they had left as American citizens.

Like Hercules in the famous apologue by Xenophon, the Conservatives were faced with a choice between two widely diverging paths. They could base their opposition to the Bolsheviks on sound scientific grounds, recognizing biological reality and following the lead of Madison Grant, Lothrop Stoddard, and other rational and learned men. Alternatively, they could be taken in by the Communists' propaganda device of professed atheism and by the battered but still unbroken veneer that had been put on Christianity to make it acceptable to our race, thus following R.M. Whitney and other superficial journalists, and catering to the holy men, who had thus far been careful to conceal from their customers the proletarian communism implicit in primitive Christianity, which had been revived in the Marxian Reformation of their bedizened religion.

The Conservatives chose their road in the 1920s and now they have reached the dead end. On their downward path they surrendered, a little at a time, title to every real thing they had hoped to retain. They are now trapped in the cul-de-sac of their choice. They have no future. They had best sit down quietly and read their fairy tales or smoke opium while waiting for Jesus in whom many of them never actually believed anyway. They have become irrelevant to reality. The only thing they can do for us is to stop squawking.

This article originally appeared in Liberty Bell magazine, published monthly by George P. Dietz from September 1973 to February 1999. For reprint information please write to Liberty Bell Publications, Post Office Box 21, Reedy WV 25270 USA.

Copyright ©1999 Kevin Alfred Strom.  Back to Revilo P. Oliver Index