We need your help. Some of our critics object to National Review’s recent blast against what we see as resurgent socialism. Hasn’t this dragon been slain? Aren’t you fighting the old fights?
No. (And we hope you will help us to continue the endless struggle by making a donation.)
The vanguard of intellectuals and elected officials who call themselves socialists is still small. But polls show majorities of young people embracing this discredited governing philosophy. And most troubling of all is that we see a quintessentially socialist spirit rising in the hearts of men and women, one that would impose political doctrines on every institution of common life, every corporate board, every HR meeting, every parent–teacher conference, every church, and every home.
Socialist societies strangle and eventually kill the institutions of civil society, by co-opting them all to the same political goal of “building socialism together.” So in socialist countries, not just the press but the print shop, the priesthood, and even the local fence painters are dragooned into projects that do not interest them, or are hateful to them. Or all these institutions are simply corrupted from the political pressure put on them.
This is usually an advanced symptom of socialist societies, and yet we see it happening today in America and many other countries of the free West. Children’s books that fail the purity tests of the Left are now pulped and destroyed before publication. Movie studios now quake in fear, not from a government censor, but from the unofficial censors that operate across media and academia; an emerging government in fact, if not yet in law. The whole culture of political debate and dispute is subjected to a conformist spirit. If you don’t say the magic words, suddenly an online mob will command major corporations to boycott you, to deplatform you, to make it as if you no longer existed.
We see how this perverted instinct cares little about dismantling the power of Google and Facebook, and not at all about redistributing their wealth, because socialism never was about equality, but about power and subjection. Our modern socialists see these behemoths as tools that can be used to build socialism together. Digital technologies and publishing disruption have destroyed most of our local newspapers. These companies have essentially brought the public square under their own control. And this culture is bidding them to censor voices like ours, and yours.
NR stands athwart this malign spirit of censorship. And you must do so as well. We have to be strong. It is in the storm that a ship’s crew comes together, doing their various jobs and proving themselves. You have a role to play in these stormy times.
Our readers are as much a part of the institution of National Review as the writers, the editors, and the business team. William F. Buckley Jr. always depended on the readers of National Review to keep the magazine — this little platoon of sanity — running. Just as the editors and writers are bound by a sense of trusteeship to honor what others built before us, to pass it down in better shape than we had it, so it is true for the readers. You too are part of this great tradition, and must do your duty as well.
We are in the fight of our lives, against enemies more powerful than ever before. Please, donate today.