Sadly news has arrived of the passing on of Lawrence Auster. Laura Wood has written a fine tribute to him at her site. I can't write as personal a recollection of him as she has, as I never met Lawrence and only corresponded briefly.
I do however want to express my admiration for Lawrence Auster and my gratitude for what he achieved. He began his work at View from the Right in 2002 at a time when there were so few of us. I remember a comment he made to me very early on expressing his astonishment at just how isolated we were.
Over the years the readership of VFR grew until it became the flagship journal of traditional conservative thought. By 2009 VFR was getting almost a million page views per month, making it possibly the most read traditionalist publication in history.
What attracted readers to his site? I read VFR daily and was rarely disappointed because in one of the posts there would usually be a moment of creative insight. Perhaps it would be a matter of drawing together different strands of thought; perhaps a matter of political clarity in which something once vaguely perceived would find clear expression; or perhaps it would be an identification of some key aspect of an argument or belief.
At VFR you had the sense of traditionalism developing intellectually. This not only gave traditionalism an early sense of momentum but it also drew in an intelligent audience, a critical gain for a fledgling movement.
What allowed Lawrence Auster to sustain such creative insight over so many years? I don't think it was just a matter of talent. Having read Lawrence Auster's writing for so long, I believe that his output was sustained by a love of, and identification with, both the American and the larger Western traditions and, recognising the danger these traditions were in, a desire to understand the reasons for the decline. It was a serious endeavour to get to the truth of what was happening; a pursuit of knowledge in the service of the traditions he identified with.
Although realistic in his assessment of the political situation, he was never defeatist.
Lawrence Auster's passing is a great loss to us. My hope is that the movement he did so much to establish will continue to gain ground so that he will be remembered with gratitude by future generations of traditionalists.
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