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Long before there was such a thing as a libertarian movement, Frank Chodorov was one of the most genial defenders of freedom, of individual rights and sovereignty, and of properly-construed government (sole legitimate business, other than protecting her citizens from enemies abroad and predators - real predators, please, not mere vicemongers - at home: staying the hell out of your business, my business, every citizen's business, until or unless one citizen would abrogate a fellow citizen's equivalent rights) against the improperly consecrated State (which imposes itself upon every last shard of your business, though it be not competent nor Constitutionally sanctioned to do so). Across these forty-five essays, written with grace, wit, and gentility, you will get to know a clarity of thinking and of feeling uncommon in contemporary sociopolitical writing. You will also get to know a man who suffered neither fools nor collectivists left or right gladly, yet had the surety never to make it a personal or a venal rebuke. I could point to numerous examples of just how lyric, how embracing, was his way of enunciating all the reasons why we should be and remain suspicious of the encroachments of the State against the sovereignty of the individual, but perhaps this will do for an introduction, from his gentle rebuke to the militant wing of the anti-Communist movement, written at the threshold of the Smith Act trial of 1949, "How To Curb The Commies." Here is wisdom we would do wisely to heed even now, as only too many of our fellows seem sooner disposed to a curb upon our freedoms than a healthy defence thereof): "Heterodoxy is a necessary condition of a free society...Read more ›
Frank Chodorov was anything but an "ivory towered professor" as these essays will attest. He was a self-made man, and he was not swayed by the political trends of his times. He had little patience with the naive leftests, and he separated himself from what Lawrence Dennis called "The Dumb Right."
Chodorov was opposed to socialism. He was obviously at odds with the True Believing Communists, but he also expressed criticism at the New Dealers whom he thought would inaugurate socialism under different labels. He shared many of the same criticisms that John T. Flynn had of the New Deal programs.
One of the themes that Chodorov emphasizes is the fact that the "Capitalists" did not do a good job of defending themselves in refuting their Marxist and socialists critics. Chodorov is clear that anyone looking to the professors for intellectual support against Marxist and socialist criticisms was wasting their time. Chodorov was also against supressing Free Speech and Free Press of the Marxists and socialists. He remarked that to do so was to emulate the Communists wherevever they held power that emulating the Communists' tactics lowered Americans to their level. Chodorov's solution was for men to refute the ideas of the Marxists. In other words, one should confront the buzz words and phrases and slogans of the Marxists and socialists such as surplus value, greed, etc.
While Chodorov disagreed with Big Communism, he was no supporter of the Conservatives dreams of the U.S. Military State. In fact Chodorov was disillusioned with many Conservatives who wanted to build a garrison state in the U.S. and match such as state with a police state. Chodorov stated that the Conservatives would split over Anti-Communism, and Chodorov had little patience with "The Dumb Right.Read more ›
A collection of 45 essays ranging in topics from natural rights, socialism, individualism, foreign policy, as well as many others, Frank Chodorov lays out these essays with impeccable reasoning and clarity making for an excellent read. Chodorov demonstrates in his writings that he is an independent thinker who doesn't fit into the "left/right" paradigm with whom at times he is highly critical of. He doesn't use ad hominem attacks which is a relief, he just lays out the arguments in a straight forward logical manner which is quite refreshing given our day and age.
Clearly in the writings Chodorov takes issue with the aspects of big communism, but unlike many conservatives who advocated combating communism through military intervention, Chodorov argues that communism should be judged on the merit of its ideas. Chodorov reasons that using force to combat communism you actually submit yourself to the same tactics used by the communists, such as suppressing speech, military intervention, etc. Also, in his defense of nonaggression Chodorov criticizes American Cold War policy which asserts that we must use military force to stop the advancement of the ideals of communism. In the essay Reds Are Natives, he asks how the United States plans to stop the spread of communism in America. First he analysis our techniques of military intervention and then applies that logic domestically showing how such a position is erroneous for both foreign and domestic policies.
Chodorov also has interesting insights into the aspect of what is known as isolationism. He believed that an inherent feature of human nature was centered on the individual and localism.Read more ›