Two good pieces on William F. Buckley's life and death appear today: Patrick Martin's Marxist-oriented obit, which does an especially good job taking apart the bourgeois media's obsession with and gushing praise over Buckley, and David Michael Green's "tribute" to Buckley's spectacular historical wrongness. Both essays, coincidentally, share a common theme: Buckley not only missed history, but wanted to end history, to stop the clock, to preserve the inequality and privilege of his time, and even to return to a more hierarchical time. Green sums it up nicely:
So who do you think history will judge to have gotten this question right, eh? --Martin Luther King Jr. or Bill Buckley? One could say that Buckley's position was just about the most spectacular example ever recorded of the missing of a historical train. There was Ol' Bill (who actually didn't even have the excuse then of being old), standing on the (whites only) platform, watching the Morality Express go whooshing by.
But then, wasn't missing just such trains precisely the point of conservatism?