Lawrence Auster died early this Good Friday morning. May he rest in peace and come to know what here below one can only believe. Here is Laura Wood's obituary. Auster's site will remain online and is well-worth reading. I must say, however, that I consider him an extremist and share Steve Burton's misgivings about his work. Auster's attacks on distinguished fellow conservatives are often wrongheaded and always tactically foolish, demonstrating as they do a failure to realize that politics is a practical business and that the best and the better are often the enemy of the good. We need a broad coalition to defeat leftists and Islamists. A certain amount of intramural squabbling is to be expected and may even be healthy, but not if it ramps up to internecine warfare. Dennis Prager is not the enemy because he is optimistic about e pluribus unum while you are not. Know who the enemy is.
With Auster and other ultra conservatives, however, it seems one can never be too far Right, and that one who grants the least scintilla of validity to any liberal notion is just as much an enemy as the hardest hard-core left-winger. From a practical point of view, such extremism is profoundly stupid. The ultras will end up talking to themselves in their narrow enclaves and have no effect on the wider culture all the while feeding their false sense of their own significance.
Ideological extremism is a fascinating topic. There are leftists for whom one cannot be too far Left, rightists for whom one cannot be too far Right, and, as we have recently observed in the case of Thomas Nagel and his latest book, atheistic naturalists for whom one cannot be too much of an atheist and too much of a naturalist.
Poor Nagel: atheist, naturalist, liberal. But still too reasonable and balanced and philosophical for the fanatics and hard-liners of scientistic ideology. Shunned by his own kind, Nagel must turn to theists, anti-naturalists, and conservatives for appreciation and serious discussion.