Editors’ Note: The following post obligatorily strikes a sober chord. It wouldn’t do to start a blog about ideas without a serious post about the value of our central idea: Freedom. So take a look if you’re curious about our reasoning and background. Otherwise, just check out the last couple of paragraphs and then hang on because things are about to get fun, really fast.

The bug bit after Buckley passed away. I don’t know what it was. Maybe all of the videos of Firing Line I watched. Maybe all of the obituaries. Or maybe it was the conscious knowledge that we had lost one of the intellectual giants of the last sixty years–and our leader.

When President Reagan died, I mourned. When Milton Friedman died, I mourned. When Buckley died, I jolted bolt upright. This is not to diminish Reagan and Friedman, but to laud Buckley. His death and the outpouring of sympathy, interspersed with recognition of his intellectual acumen by the Right and, perhaps more significantly, the Left, helped rekindle my enthusiasm not for politics, partisanship, or even conservatism but for freedom itself.

Freedom is the most important value of all. Morality, equality, tolerance, respect–none of these can exist without the life-giving breath that is freedom.

But as history has shown and Jefferson noted, “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” Though the days of the Great Society have passed–minorities plunged into poverty by the unintentionally devilish device of government welfare still toil to recover–Americans see more threats to freedom daily. They abound. Mississippians elected a representative to their state congress who proposed making it a crime for restaurants to serve obese people. California has mandated that thermostats contain radio-transmitters allowing the government to control them during “times of need”–whatever those may be. Public schools suspend students for making market transactions with each other in the form of the sale of a bag of Skittles.

William Somerset Maughan said, “If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and the irony of it is that, if it is comfort or money it values more, it will lose that too.” He was right. Many among us value a great many things more than freedom. The cry “make a law” echoes in our ears nearly as often as “please” and “thank you” are heard, and certainly more than anyone dares utter the name “Jesus” in public (unless in epitaph form, which is perfectly acceptable). It is these gradual encroachments–good intentions made law–that will pave the way to hell.

We have been down this road before, the difference is that those who tried statism in the past tried to rapidly implement it. This failed miserably, though not before tens of millions died grasping, gasping deaths. Moralists took lessons from this and continue their flirtation with statism, hoping that gently prodding the beast instead of fully awakening it will invoke blessing not ruinous blast. But they play a dangerous game, the consequences of which can only be a diminution of that most sacred of all values: freedom.

In 1955 William F. Buckley said that the National Review “stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it.” Things are not so grim as they were then. Some today are inclined to yell “stop.” The rise of talk radio, internet news, and the blogosphere has given voice to many who love freedom as we do. But others urge the state on, praising the fetters it inflicts on freedom. To them we join with the chorus Bill Buckley started some 53 years ago, and yell “Stop!”

In the days ahead, we hope to provide commentary and discussion on the news of the day, articles on prescient issues, and not a little entertainment mixed in. It’s unimaginable that many of our submissions will approximate this post’s length or somber demeanor. We’re a diverse group of writers, from objectivists to evangelicals, neo-cons to libertarians. With that mixture, the discussions should be robust, and we will do everything we can to keep the mood light and humorous when possible. This space will be a playground for us to explore ideas on the Right, debunk fallacies on the Left, and give a good dose of pop-culture and irreverent media analysis in between.

So pull up a mouse and chair, pick up a volume of the Federalists or PJ O’Rourke, and join in.

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