Antiwar.com, the site he co-founded, has the obituary of this “fierce advocate of peace who hated war” who “regarded the irreconcilable conflict between interventionists and traditionalists as the defining struggle over the heart and soul of American conservatism” — Justin Raimondo, RIP (1951-2019). An excerpt:
Known for gay rights activism and radicalizing the Libertarian Party, Justin nevertheless did not for the most part identify with the left. He found more intellectual inspiration in the Old Right, people like John T. Flynn, Albert J. Nock, Frank Chodorov, Isabel Paterson, and other mid-20th century figures who defended the vision of a constitutional republic and protested the progressive leviathan’s despotic powers at home and abroad.
An interesting anecdote from his childhood:
When Justin was six, he was, in his own words, “a wild child.” This will surprise no one who knows him. In “Cold War Comfort,” which he wrote for Chronicles Magazine, he tells how he dashed out of his first-grade class with his teacher chasing him. Because this was a daily occurrence, he writes, he was sent to a prominent New York psychiatrist named Dr. Robert Soblen. Just this decade, Justin got his hands on Soblen’s notes on his case and learned that Soblen had concluded that Justin was schizophrenic. Soblen’s reason? Justin was Catholic, claimed to have seen the Virgin Mary, and believed in miracles. Soblen recommended locking up young Justin in a state mental institution. The one Soblen had in mind was Rockland State Hospital, which, according to Justin, was the backdrop for the movie The Snake Pit.
Soblen was not just a psychiatrist. He was also a top Soviet spy and friend of Stalin who was tasked with infiltrating the American Trotskyist movement. He was ultimately convicted of espionage and sentenced to life imprisonment in 1961. Ultimately, in 1962, Soblen committed suicide after jumping bail, fleeing to Israel, and seeking asylum in the UK.
His Antiwar.com as been a daily read of mine for 16 years now. His tome Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement was fundamental in my reeducation.
“Blessed are the peacemakers.” Requiescat in pace.
UPDATE 1: A note on “a loyal friend and brave man who bore his suffering with dignity and was indispensable to the cause of keeping our country out of these damnable wars” — Pat Buchanan on Justin Raimondo’s Passing.
UPDATE 2: National Review remembers “a young radical libertarian, a gay-liberation activist, and an indefatigable support of Pat Buchanan’s presidential campaigns” — Justin Raimondo, RIP. “I will always retain his libertarian-flavored hatred of war, which grows government, is destructive of our liberties, and tears families apart.”
UPDATE 3: The podcast that broke the news — 6/27/19 Scott Horton on the Life and Death of Justin Raimondo.