Harry Jaffa on William F. Buckley on Harry Jaffa

Harry Jaffa has an excellent, if self-aggrandizing article in National Review today. In it, he discusses his relationship with the late WFB and makes some excellent points that ought to underpin any political philosophy. First, he notes that, in any political philosophy, primacy should be given to the human soul. Our superficial disagreements often have deep roots:
At bottom, the disagreements concerning the American political tradition were disagreements concerning the nature of the human soul. And it did not take any argument to convince Bill Buckley that, when you came to the human soul, you did not fool around. Bill never forgot that my first book was on Aristotle and Aquinas.
Elsewhere he notes that we cannot begin to philosophize without
knowing why certain self-evident truths were the basis, not only of justice, but of sanity. [And that] there is no ground for human rights in positive law unless there is a prior ground in natural law recognizing that human beings are neither beasts nor God.
He concludes with yet another example of WFBs famed generosity
One final note. In 1974 my younger son — the same who had driven Bill from Riverside to Claremont — graduated from Yale. To see him through, we had scraped the bottom of the family barrel until there was no bottom to the barrel. We simply had no money to go to the graduation. How Bill found out about this, I have no idea. But his check for one thousand dollars arrived, with instructions to go to the graduation, and later to stop at his New York home for dinner! I cannot begin to express how moving the experience was to attend my son’s graduation from Yale, thirty five years after my own. During the weekend there was a strange bonding of classmates who had been close friends and their families, the memory of which shines ever brighter through the years. To have missed that occasion seems now inconceivable. Once again, and forever, many thanks, Bill. And may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

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