From: An Anonymous Student Of James Burnham [Email him]
I am an avid reader of VDARE.com articles and very much enjoy Pat Buchanan's perspective. However, I believe he (and others) have misstated the late James Burnham's argument:
"What the ex-Trotskyite turned Cold Warrior meant was that by faithfully following the tenets of liberalism, the West would embrace suicidal policies that would bring about the death of her civilization."What Burnham actually meant was that the West (for some reason other than liberalism) was adhering to suicidal policies that it rationalized with liberalism. Essentially, liberalism alleviates psychological discomfort. It makes Western man feel good about losing his power and status (and land and property...) in the world.
Of course, liberalism does seem to expedite and contribute to this suicide, but liberalism itself was not in Burnham's opinion the primary factor of causation. Burnham admits he was uncertain as to what the underlying cause of the West's suicide was...but he does allude to "sitting on top for too long" and the rise of secularism.
For more on this, please see Samuel Francis' excellent book: James Burnham: Thinkers of Our Time (published in 1999).
James Fulford writes: Also , of course, see Suicide Of The West, especially Chapter 10, The Guilt Of The Liberal.