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Heterodoxy Lives! By: Peter Collier
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, August 26, 2005


Today FrontPagemag.com begins the re-publication of all eight years of Heterodoxy magazine whose issues will appear every Friday on this page.
 
A Bibliographical Note by Peter Collier:
 
"The cultural equivalent of a drive by shooting:" That's how I once described Heterodoxy on a radio program shortly after David Horowitz and I began the magazine in 1992. The comment got the expected outraged reaction from the liberal radio host who blustered about the "immoral comparison" and asked how I would feel if I was a black from South Central LA terrified by gang violence and heard such a comment. I replied that the targets of Heterodoxy's journalistic drive bys were the left wing slave masters who were determined to withhold manumission from terrified blacks and keep them on the liberal planation. 
 
David and I began Heterodoxy at about the time of the occupation of Washington by the Clintons which seemed to us at the time to be the political equivalent of the triumph of Faulkner's Snopes family in Yoknapatapha County.Their rise to power was parallaled by that of the tenured radicals in the universities, some of them people we had known on the Left in the 60s.  Back then their deepest ambition had been to burn the university down. Failing in that objective, as in so many others, they had dived back into academia and gotten onto the tenure track when the revolutionary going got rough in the late 70s. They had accomplished the destruction of the university firelessly, so to speak, by marrying the thoughts of fascist leaning foreign intellectuals such as Paul De Man who denied the objective existence of truth to the thoughts of Marxists like Antonio Gramsci in the intellectual equivalent of the Hitler-Stalin Pact. This putsch, which had taken place silently and in slow motion, had produced a new and sinister phenomenon opponents were calling political correctness which spread outward like an airborne toxic event into the larger culture. George Orwell's "smelly little orthodoxies".seemed to be taking over the world. A cultural war had broken out, but our side didn't have an army in the field.  We decided that there was only one antidote for the new orthodoxy: Heterodoxy.
 
It could have been an intellectual journal. But it occured to us that, mutatis mutandis, those of us who opposed this new treason of the clerks were in a position similar to the one we had been in the early 60s--a counter culture fighting against an establishment. (Except that in the historical turning of the tables this ruling elite was now leftist with a deconstructive agenda.) And our publication should therefore resemble the counter cultural underground papers of our wicked youth--irreverent and provocative and willing to enter the house of power and rearrange its furniture.  Heterodoxy therefore set out, in the famous formula of A.J. Leibling, to comfort the oppressed and oppress the comfortable. For the next eight years, we attacked the world of PC relentlessly, fingering its villains and forcing them to do the perp walk.  We named names. We ridiculed the fatuous.  We constructed an intellectual CT-scan of the malignancy that was spreading throughout high culture. Heterodoxy was funny and brash.  It took no prisoners.  The magazine sometimes seemed inconsequential to us even as we produced it because its targets were, in the final analysis, such paintywaists and lightweights.  But examined once again after more than a decade, it has integrity as an artifact from an era when bad ideas were in the saddle riding man kind. Then it gave our side ammunition and camp songs for the culture war.  Today it is a rich archive chronicling the dada and nihilism of the plague years of Clintonism. 
 
When Bill and Hillary left power with their political wrecking crew, it seemed to us that the plague had lifted -- or that our little combat journal was no longer required, since a new generation of culture warriors had wised up to the scam. We celebrated the symbolism by closing Heterodoxy down when George Bush was inaugurated. We look back on the experience of putting the magazine out with pleasure.  There were so many enemies, so little time. 
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Read the entire premier issue of Heterodoxy, from April 1992 (Volume 1, No. 1), by clicking here.

Every week, a new Heterodoxy issue will be posted in its original sequence on Frontpage, until.the complete set is available. All the issues of Heterodoxy will be archived in the "Issues" section of www.DiscoverTheNetworks.org under the link "Heterodoxy" which can be found here.


Peter Collier co-authored seven books with David Horowitz, including the widely read Destructive Generation: Second Thoughts About the ‘60s. He is also the author of many other books including, biographies on the Fords, Rockefellers, and Kennedys.


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