What could be more anachronistic–in the media culture and political climate of 2006–than the founding of a quarterly journal of ideas? In light of the venomous screeds, discourses on "framing" and political positioning, or any of the other obsessions progressives have adopted of late, who would think that there was an appetite for a meaningful discussion devoted to facts and the basic questions of progressive philosophy? It’s almost as if we were to announce the return of poodle skirts and pet-rocks. But we believe that, to regenerate the strength of the progressive movement, big ideas are vitally important. And Democracy represents our bet–and the bet of our supporters–that they will matter.
National Review "stands athwart history, yelling Stop," wrote William F. Buckley in its first issue. The conservative consensus forged, to a large extent, in those pages–along with the neoconservative ideas that came out of the Public Interest, Commentary, and the National Interest–was built on a foundation of serious thinking by serious people grappling with essential questions about how the world works and how it should work. They embarked on this process in order to challenge the dominance of New Deal progressivism. And four decades later, the consensus and the ideas developed in those journals and honed over the years have transformed America.
I’ve registered (that’s free) and am bookmarking the site. I welcome serious engagement by serious people on the left.
No time to read anything right now, but I’ll dip into it and offer some reactions later today.
Update: WaPo columnist David Broder notes this journal, as well as this one, which seems to involve many of the same people, though with a focus on politics rather than ideas. I wonder if the presence of an article by Jerome Armstrong in the latter is evidence of an effort by "serious" people to engage and, er, "domesticate" the Kossacks.