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Irving Kristol

September 18, 2009

irving kristol

The conservative movement has lost one of its wisest, most astute and most interesting thinkers — a man who built important institutions of the movement in addition to writing some of its most astute texts. Irving was also a very generous man, and always welcomed younger conservatives like myself with a special warmth and encouragement. His most famous remark — that a neo-conservative is a liberal who was mugged by reality — is wholly typical of the kind of wit and insight that characterized his work. I miss him as a guide and I miss him as a friend. He lived a long and fruitful life, and that’s all we can really wish for ourselves.

  1. Prudent Man, CFA permalink
    September 19, 2009 7:05 am

    I remember when Mr. Kristol was a radical Leftist. He showed his courage by facing reality and the errors in his reasoning. That takes an intellectual honesty that most Left/Liberals lack to today. Anyone who cannot understand that Free Enterprise, private ownership and Free Markets is more democratically efficient than “progressive” collectivism is either a totalitiarian by nature (only if he or she will be in control and have the power of other’s wealth), morally corrupt or intellectually running on empty.

    When Liberalism converted to the Socialized Welfare State, they lost many social libertarians including Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater. Hopefully many of the intellectual elite on campus will see and accept reality and rile up against their Administration and politically-correct,thought controlling masters.

  2. Susan Somerville permalink
    September 20, 2009 11:38 pm

    The Conservative movement has lost a champion of ideals and practical politics combined. Irving Kristol will be missed; but through his writings, his spirit will live.

  3. LanceThruster permalink
    September 21, 2009 10:25 am

    Irving Kristol, like many neocons and right wingers, saw the ends justifying the means.

    Irving Kristol in His Own Words, R.I.P.

    Irving Kristol explains where the economics articles he published in The Public Interest came from:

    Among the core social scientists around The Public Interest there were no economists…. This explains my own rather cavalier attitude toward the budget deficit and other monetary or fiscal problems. The task, as I saw it, was to create a new majority, which evidently would mean a conservative majority, which came to mean, in turn, a Republican majority – so political effectiveness was the priority, not the accounting deficiencies of government…


    No wonder Pres. Bush was told that, “Reality has a well known liberal bias.” – Stephen Colbert, White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, 4/29/2006


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