October 14, 2008

HL Mencken Club—“The Egalitarian Temptation”

The idea for something like an HL Mencken Club came about when Paul Gottfried and I were discussing the need for American conservatives to generally open up what they consider to be the “conservative canon.” When William F. Buckley was in his 20s, he planned to write a volume entitled Revolt Against the Masses, taking his inspiration from Friedrich Nietzsche and Ortega y Gasset. A half century later, the conservative movement Buckley founded is not nearly so broad-minded: Nietzsche is opposed as a “moral relativist” (and thus an unlikely supporter of Washington’s freedom agenda) and Gasset is either ignored or else rejected due to his insufficient admiration for democracy. Vitally important questions—though ones currently unwelcome, “out of season,” and, most certainly, politically incorrect—simply aren’t being asked.

Our new group will take a shot at transforming this state of affairs, and Takimag readers are invited to attend our inaugural meeting in Baltimore on November 21-23. The full schedule is included below. Taki will be there!     

The name for the club came naturally. As Paul remarks in our press releases, “In the spirit of H.L. Mencken, the Baltimore sage who revolutionized American journalism with his wit and take-no-prisoners mentality, our club hopes to jump-star independent thinking on the intellectual Right.? We also plan on being highly ecumenical—bringing in scholars and writers who will talk about issues seriously and honestly and not checking any “paleo,” “neo,” “liberal,” “libertarian” passports at the gate. 

Mencken would certainly approve of our first conference in which we’ll be looking at the problem of (in)equality and its relation to politics, culture, and American foreign policy.     

You can visit our official website here.

If you’re on Facebook, you can join the HL Mencken Club event page here

The meeting will be held at the Holiday Inn/BWI (890 Elkridge Landing Road, Linthicum, Maryland) near the Baltimore/Washington International Airport. Rooms should be reserved in advance by calling 410-859-8400.   

Full registration is $135 per person. (If you can’t make it for the entire weekend, you can attend the conference piecemeal: $35 for the Friday-night dinner and program only, and $50 for the programs on Saturday and Sunday plus Saturday lunch only.)

There are be a limited number of walk-in spots available, so I urge you to register. Checks can be made out to the HL Mencken Club and sent to

William Regnery
P.O. Box 1369
Boca Grande, FL 33921

* * *

Speakers include

? Peter Brimelow, financial journalist, founder of VDARE.com and author
? Taki Theodoracopulos, editor, columnist, and socialite
? John Derbyshire, mathematician, author and cultural commentator
? James Kurth, Swarthmore Professor of Political Science
? Charles Murray, American Enterprise Institute fellow
? Marshall DeRosa, Florida Atlantic University history professor
? E. Christian Kopff, the Director of the Center for Western Civilization at the University of Colorado
? Robert Weissberg, New York University professor of Political Scinece
? Paul Gottfried, Humanities professor and historian of the American conservative movement
? T. Hunt Tooley, Professor of History at Austin College
? Lee Congdon, author of _George Kennan: A Writing Life_ (2008),
? Stephen Sniegoski, author of _The Transparent Cabal_ (2008),
? Richard Spencer, managing editor of Taki’s Magazine
? Jim Kalb, Brooklyn attorney and author
? Tom Piatak, Cleveland attorney and contributor to Chronicles magazine

Contact: Fran Griffin at [email protected] to make a press/media reservation.

The agenda is as follows:

The Egalitarian Temptation
November 21-23, 2008

Holiday Inn at Baltimore Washington International Airport
890 Elkridge Landing Road
Linthicum, Maryland 21090

Friday, November 21, 2008

7:30 p.m.: Dinner with keynote address: ?(In)equality and Immigration? ? Peter Brimelow

Saturday, November 22, 2008

9:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Panel: First World War and the Crusade for Democratic Equality:

Moderator: Tom Piatak
?The War and the Collapse of the Old Order?—James Kurth
?The Costs of the Great War? ? T. Hunt Tooley
?The Disintegration of the Habsburg Empire? ? Lee Congdon

12:00 p.m. -1:30 p.m. Luncheon

?Equality: The Elusive Ideal? ? John Derbyshire

2:00 p.m.- 3:45 p.m. Panel: Education and Intelligence
?The War on Gifted Education? ? Robert Weissberg
?Classical Education: Tradition & Excellence in the 21st Century? ? E. Christian Kopff
?The American Views of Civics Education? ? Marshall DeRosa
?Nurture vs. Nature? ? Charles Murray

4:15 p.m.-6:00 p.m. Panel: Mencken, Nietzsche and their American Disciples
?Mencken’s Nietzsche? ? Richard Spencer
?Nietzsche and the Left: A Poor Fit? ? Paul Gottfried
A Response to Spencer and Gottfried ? John Derbyshire

7:30 p.m.-9:00 p.m. Dinner

Speaker: Taki Theodoracopulos

Sunday, November 23, 2008

9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Panel: Descent of Liberalism into Madness

Jim Kalb, “The Tyranny of Libealism”

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