Thursday, April 3, 2008

In Memory of Frank Meyer

As a self described conservative Catholic libertarian, I owe an immense debt to Frank Meyer. Meyer was a collaborator of William F. Buckley. He was born into a Jewish family and was a communist as a young man. On seeing the horrors of Stalinism, he turned away from communism and embraced liberty. Before his death, he converted to Catholicism.

Meyer developed the philosophy of "fusionism" -- the combination of traditional conservatism and libertarianism that has become this thing we know as "American Conservatism." The other day it was the 36th anniversary of his death and in his memory, an acquaintance sent me this -- to the turn of "Oh MY Darling Clementine". Apparently, Meyer used to like to teach young conservatives this song to mock totalitarianism.

In the Kremlin
Up in Moscow
In the Fall of '39
Sat a Russian
And a Prussian
Drawing up the Party-line.

O! my darling
O! my darling
O! my darling Party-Line
Oh, I never
Will forsake you
For I love this
Life of mine.

Leon Trotsky
Was a Nazi
Oh, we knew it for a fact
Pravda said it
We all read it
Before the Stalin-Hitler Pact.


Once a Nazi
Would be shot, see?
That was then the party line.
Now a Nazi's
Trotsky's laying British mines.


Once the Russians
Would kill Prussians
That was then the Party-Line
Now the Russians
Love the Prussians
Volga boatmen sail the Rhine.


As a side note, the song actually came from a Fourth International conference in 1940 -- so viva Trotsky! (NOT!)

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