mugging anarchists

black eye small gene callahan dot orgGene Callahan, author of Economics for Real People, which I’ve previously recommended as a good place to begin developing economic literacy, was mugged in London two days ago.

He begins his blog post about it, “The old quip was that a neoconservative was a liberal who had been mugged.”

Now I first heard that joke in either the late 1980s or the early 1990s, when very few quippers knew what a “neoconservative” was.

I only knew because my highschool girlfriend explained it to me. Her mother, who was such a creature, worked for Norman Podhoretz, one of the founders of that now famous movement. (Which label too many leftists use as if it were synonymous with “conservative” or “right-wing”. Morons.) In fact, I interviewed my mother as a typical so-called liberal and my girlfriend’s mother as a typical so-called conservative (when they were actually a social democrat, and a neocon, respectively) for a high school history project on the different perspectives of different political persuasions. The topic was the Cuban Missile Crisis. One thing I remember from the neocon mom was that she rejected the “Old Right” (which I’d never heard of) and considered herself a JFK Democrat, a trade-unionist, etc., but the establishment Left had moved away from what she saw as the correct positions on the Cold War and culture. (She had a big blue campaign button that said “Reagan!” in Hebrew. I didn’t like that one very much.)

The way I heard the joke was this: A social conservative is a social liberal who has been mugged.

Another version: A social conservative is a social liberal with a teenaged daughter.

Anyway, I’ll write about neoconservatism some other time; I’ll write about my own experiences with muggings another time; right now I just wanted to point you to Callahan’s blog.

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9 Responses to mugging anarchists

  1. AC says:

    bk, the link to Callahan’s blog has a spurious space afterward causing my browser to ask for the link with a “%20” at the end, in turn, causing it to fail.

    Thanks for the update.

  2. bkmarcus says:

    Fixed. Thanks, AC.

  3. Pingback: an Orwellian interpretation of Orwell | Invisible Order

  4. Scott Lahti says:

    “Her mother, who was such a creature, worked for Norman Podhoretz, one of the founders of that now famous movement.”

    Marion Magid Hoagland and her daughter Molly, by any chance?

    • bkmarcus says:

      You know them?

      • Scott Lahti says:

        [after Homer Simpson] Hehehehehe … No.

        But New York intellectual magazines, Marion’s home base, Commentary, among them, have been among my specialties since my Wilton High School high years crosstown from Henry Hazlitt almost thirty-five years ago, and my years in Manhattan as an NYU economics major shortly after.

      • Scott Lahti says:

        Your first mention of her inspired my hunch, and then at the end of the paragraph, your adding the bit about her Hebrew-language Reagan button almost confirmed it for me, aided as that was by background articles, and her 1993 obituary in The New York Times (as you’ll note from the photo of Podhoretz, Magid and Ted Solotaroff, it was the law among intellectuals c. 1960 to not only smoke, but, among the men with something to prove in the way of street/Hollywood/Left Bank cool, to squint as well while doing so):

        “In his mid thirties [the distinguished essayist Edward Hoagland] married Marion Magid, a ‘formidably well read’ editor and translator from the Yiddish at Commentary. Marion introduced her ‘shabby-Ivy’ WASP husband to New York’s community of Jewish intellectuals, helped him become an accomplished essayist, and published him in her magazine. A daughter, Molly, was soon born … ”

        “Most spectacularly, Commentary published Isaac Bashevis Singer, whose ‘Yentl the Yeshiva Boy’ (translated by Marion Magid and Delmore Schwartz’s ex-wife, Elizabeth Pollet), first appeared there in English in September 1962 … ”

        The list of contributors, Marion among them, to the celebrated second issue, from June 1, 1963, of The New York Review of Books, provides a glimpse of her literary orbit when she was 30, two years before that citadel of Lincoln Center left-liberalism more or less <a href="shed its inaugural sliver of budding neoconservatives (one notes a Newtonian equal-and-opposite consolidation at The Public Interest, the influential neoconservative domestic-policy quarterly launched in 1965, whose inaugural issue featured such writers wholly uncharacteristic of its signature center-right cohort as the democratic socialist historian of economic thought and systems Robert Heilbroner; eight years in, and founding co-editor Daniel Bell, himself a Menshevik sort, resigned rather than strain his friendship with neocon “godfather” and newborn “silent-majority” Nixonite Irving Kristol).

        The fiction writer Allegra Goodman gives us this parting snapshot of Marion’s role in nurturing young writers:

        “I began writing short stories in high school, and the summer after I graduated in 1985, I submitted my story ‘Variant Text’ to Commentary magazine. I hoped that the editors there wouldn’t realize that I was only seventeen.

        “On a warm day in September I arrived at Harvard. I brought two suitcases, but no winter clothes, apart from a heavy black coat my mother had worn in the 60s. Stumbling through Harvard Square I made my way to Wigglesworth Hall. The phone rang. My father was calling to tell me that a letter had arrived from Commentary. Marion Magid, the managing editor there, had accepted my story. Years later, Marion told me, ‘Bubbe, don’t forget who discovered you.'”

    • Scott Lahti says:

      More on Marion Magid Hoagland here.

  5. Scott Lahti says:

    “Norman Podhoretz, one of the founders of that now famous movement”

    More insider baseball on Norman Podhoretz, Murray Rothbard, Inquiry, The American Conservative, UNZ.org – and even Li’l Ol’ (Fifty-One-Last-Sunday) DSL.!

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