This coming weekend — specifically, February 15 — marks the 128th anniversary of the birth of radical individualist, essayist, and newsletter publisher Frank Chodorov, born in 1887.

One of my favorite Chodorov essays is titled “Washington, the American Mecca.” It was first published in Human Events in June 1954. Here’s how it begins:

“It’s June in Washington. It’s June all over the country, of course, but to the capital city the month has special significance. It inaugurates the annual trek of gaping sightseers from all over the country to this American mecca.

“Soon the vacationing schoolteachers will be ah-ing and oh-ing before the wondrous temples of government, while prizewinning high school students will pay their worshipful respects to the pompous dignitaries and official hirelings who carry on the affairs of state. Honeymooning couples, already taking one another for granted, will transfer their admiration and adoration to the indicia of political power, while farmers, satiated with the wonders of nature in their native habitats, will be propitiating the gods of government in their air-conditioned apses. In summer, it is the proper thing for Americans to come to Washington and view with awe.”

Chodorov’s writing was always a beautiful mix of elegance and vitriol, as the above quote shows. And his essays were always inspirational and challenging. Quoting again from “Washington, the American Mecca”:

“The debunking of Washington is the great need of the country. It is a colossal job, seeing that billions are spent each year for the specific purpose of deifying political power. But, it is a job that ought to commend itself to the young writer looking for a rather virgin field to work in. It will require the satirical skill of a Stephen Leacock, the epigrammatic ingenuity of a Charles Graham Sumner, the classical incisiveness of an Albert Jay Nock. Perhaps a Gilbert and Sullivan would be most effective.”

Frank Chodorov died in 1966. I read my first Chodorov essay in 1991. For five years in the 1990s, I published out of step, an independent political newsletter that was produced in memory of Frank Chodorov and took its name from the title of his autobiography. Since 2004, I’ve launched two blogs, including this one at, again under the Chodorov banner, out of step.

Frank Chodorov lives on.