You are here:   Columns >  Manchester Square > Moving the World

“When you have a good idea, start a magazine.” This, according to our board member Gertrude Himmelfarb, is the motto of her husband Irving Kristol. In a long and fruitful life, he has started three. (Their son Bill has started one, too.) The first was Encounter, which Kristol co-founded with the late Stephen Spender in 1953. It was a transatlantic monthly in which the intellectuals of the free world could debate with one another and their communist counterparts. To write for Encounter was a privilege.

Ever since it folded at the end of the Cold War, many people in Europe and America have lamented the old Encounter. But it was only when a new kind of assault came from a very different quarter on 11 September 2001 that a new Encounter again became an urgent necessity. The aftermath revealed such moral cowardice and intellectual confusion on both sides of the Atlantic that the battle of ideas has sometimes seemed in danger of being lost by default. To defend and celebrate Western civilisation is not merely desirable; it is imperative.

This is the mission of Standpoint — “quite a tall order for anyone, let alone a small-circulation magazine,” as one competitor noted. With the climate of political opinion in Britain changing fast, it is high time to launch a new magazine — the first of its kind for over a decade. The word “magazine” (from the French magasin, which was borrowed from the Arabic) implies both a marketplace of ideas and a storehouse of intellectual ammunition. Standpoint aims to provide both.

View Full Article
September 6th, 2009
4:09 PM
I think that this is wonderful project for the magazine - I will be keeping up to date with it :) Eddie Glorioso

Dr J
January 14th, 2009
1:01 AM
Remember what is most important: those who disagree with you (Eurotrash and Kiwis) should aspirate and then asphyxiate. A fitting end to moral relativists and Islamofascists.

Albert Judd
July 7th, 2008
12:07 PM
I welcome the start of an intelligent magazine. The mission to "defend and celebrate Western civilization" is particularly praiseworthy. However, your statement of principles contains some points that may be at odds with your stated aim. "Free speech and a free press" - wonderful. "The dignity of the individual and the family" - Ah. 'I want to defend the dignity of my family by executing my slut of a daughter. Will 'Standpoint' support me'? "the liberty to worship and to refrain from worship" - interesting. "scientific enquiry limited only by respect for human life" - Ah. So, the liberty to worship is not to be limited by respect for human life, as science is. The mullas among us (moslem and christian) should all subscribe to that. Science, on the other hand, is to be so limited. Really, if you wanted to start a magazine for religious enthusiasts who want to limit scientific enquiry, you should put it on your masthead. I would guess you didn't really mean to give that impression. How about some clarification on this rather important point? "the rule of law" - good. "parliamentary democracy" - OK, but don't you care about hurting Americans' feelings? "the free market" - excellent. "human rights balanced by reciprocal duties" - good, but is there a hidden agenda here that I am missing? "toleration of minority views and practices, but not at the price of moral relativism" - Ugh, that moral relativism! No way! "These ideas come from ancient, medieval and modern thought that we call Western civilization." - great. But wait a minute, what is that in parentheses? "Judeo-Christian"? What is that? One thing it is not, is the origin of western civilization. It has more the ring of a desperate historical sleight of hand with the aim of reassuring an ignorant and easily flattered Jewish reader (sponsor?) that his views are taken seriously. Of course, they should be, if he supports free speech, the rule of law, democracy, human rights, etc. And then there is the bit about limiting science and not religion.... Anyway, lots of luck in your new publishing venture, and even more luck in refining your basic principles.

Ruslanas from Lithuania
June 2nd, 2008
12:06 PM
What an amazing project! The Western world is craving for such a magazine. You have mentioned 9/11. However, the other side of the Western civilisation should not be forgotten. Despite the fact of membership in the Western Club, the Baltic States are often feel neglected by our Western colleagues. Those three states often left alone to face the new threats from the authoritarian Russia. The West is not willing to acknowledge that the Russian information sphere is ‘rolling back’ to the Baltic States. Therefore, new ideas and new encouragement is needed in the last boundary of the West bordering Russia. Such magazine is needed as an air!

June 1st, 2008
6:06 PM
Western Civilization's influence is not merely benign; it is gloriously beneficent. It has provided unexampled prosperity; it has improved itself and progressively diluted and purged its own worst elements; it is has advanced learning and realized for many the hope of a life that is neither nasty nor brutish nor short; it has nurtered the sciences and the useful and fine arts to a degree that astonishes the neophyte who approaches them. Unlike other systems, its survival relies on a paradox: it is the most virtuous, not the most brutal, who are most successful at using force to defend it. Those admirable soldiers are the envy of the world, and can defeat the enemy not just by force but by hope which wins his putative allies and makes them our friends. Our enemies want many things, but one thing binds them together: the need to make the world safe for barbarism. For only under barbarism can they thrive in the life they have chosen. We must see clearly what they want for us and work to deny them their goals at every step.

Isaac (USA)
May 31st, 2008
2:05 PM
What a wonderful statement of purpose! I'll be reading and watching this project with great interest. The best of luck to you.

Post your comment

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.