Unz Agonistes

I don’t quite know what to make of all this.


Ron Unz, publisher of The American Conservative, is apparently locked in a struggle for control with the Editor, Daniel McCarthy.


McCarthy complains, in essence, that Unz wants to use TAC as a forum for his own lengthy essays on HBD-related topics, instead of the magazine’s usual focus on “realism in foreign policy, a defense of constitutional civil liberties, and a humane Burkean conservatism.”


Unz responds, in essence, that it’s his money and his ideas that have kept the place afloat. In particular, he points out that his lengthy essays account for four out of five of the most-viewed stories at TAC.


So what to think?


Personally, I think Unz has been getting steadily more interesting (and better at statistics) in the last year or so, and he’s now pretty much the best thing TAC has going for it.

8 thoughts on “Unz Agonistes

  1. McCarthy’s writings have always made me wonder: In what sense is this guy actually a conservative? The same goes for some of the other stuff published in TAC. Unz has avoided discussing blacks in his previous race essays, so I wonder if the unflattering focus on blacks in his latest is what pushed McCarthy over the edge. Perhaps he worried how his liberal friends would react to TAC publishing it in these post-Trayvon days.

    On the other hand, I can imagine that Unz can be difficult to deal with. I think his big essays are great, but many of them also have fatal errors which he won’t admit to even when they’re explicitly pointed out to him.

    • +2

      Whenever a “conservative” makes a big deal out of Burke, I smell a rat. McCarthy won’t quit with him. Burkeanism is shorthand for a degree of separation (plausible deniability if you will, but it also makes the speaker ineffectual) between actual, living traditions, and the real world.

      If I didn’t believe in anything. I’d couch it in loudly proclaimed Burkeanism.

  2. Here’s the link to the National Review article on the power struggle at TAC:


    Unz’s piece some years ago on Hispanic crime was either dishonest or poorly researched, but he’s stuff has been getting much better since then. As noted, “His recent articles on college admissions / affirmative action and Chinese eugenics are probably the best articles published at TAC in the last couple years.”

  3. I have not always been a big fan of Unz, but he’s right about the whole gay marriage thing. TAC has always been an odd magazine, and it’s only gotten worse over time. And yeah, Unz’s stuff is the only reason I even go to TAC anymore.

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