Thursday, November 30, 2006

Will The Real Leonard Peikoff Please Stand Up

In the final lecture of his DIM series, Leonard Peikoff rails against George Bush I and II, Christianity, and the Republican Party. LP says that Bush I and II are the worst presidents in history. Concerning Bush I, Peikoff's complaint is that Bush didn't do enough about the Ayatollah's fatwa against Rushdie.

Peikoff says that all the really bad things start with the Republicans, and gives the Sherman Antitrust Act and Herbert Hoover's founding of the New Deal as examples. No mention was made of the Democrats Wilson and Roosevelt getting the US into World War I and II.

Yet in The Ominous Parallels, LP saw US involvement in the wars as the culmination of progressivism and appeared to support an isolationist position:

"But a group of determined intellectuals, religious leaders, and politicians did wish it [US involvement in WW I]. This group, which prevailed over an antiwar public, included in time almost all the leading Progressives." (P. 265.)

"Once again, a period of rising statism in the West was climaxed by a world war. Once again, the American public, which was strongly 'isolationist,' was manipulated by a pro-war administration into joining an 'idealistic crusade.'" (P. 272.)

Does Peikoff stand by his previous isolationism? If so, is he really of the opinion that Bush I's actions surrounding the Rushdie affairs are worse than Wilson and Roosevelt manipulating the US into these two wars?

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