Oliver Revilo Pendleton - Can 'liberals' be educated ?


Author : Oliver Revilo Pendleton
Title : Can 'liberals' be educated ?
Year : 1966

Link download : Oliver_Revilo_Pendleton_-_Can_liberals_be_educated.zip

I have been asked to discuss with you tonight the grave social and biological problem presented by that noisy band of persons who currently call themselves "liberal intellectuals." It is not a new problem. The contemporary specimens have inherited the whole of their little stock of phrases and notions, which they are pleased to call "ideas," from their predecessors in the 18th Century, when they called themselves *philosophes*, since France was the country in which they were then making the most noise. But they represent a biological tendency which you can trace back historically until you see that it is much older than civilization itself. That there may be no misunderstanding, let me make it clear that tonight I shall consistently use the word "intellectual" within quotation marks as the designation that a group of persons have given themselves. I shall not use the word as a common noun with its correct English meaning. If we used the word in that sense, we could do little more than agree with Ayn Rand, who, in a recent book, says quite bluntly: "Our present state of cultural disintegration is not maintained and prolonged by intellectuals as such, but by the fact that *we haven't any*. The majority of those who pose as 'intellectuals' today are frightened zombies, posturing in a vacuum of their own making.... The key to their souls is their longing for the effortless, irresponsible, automatic consciousness of an animal. They dread the necessity, the risk, and the responsibility of rational cognition." So tonight we shall talk about "*intellectuals*." The problem, however, is particularly urgent today. It concerns all of us. As we all know, the Communist takeover of the United States, now in progress, would have been impossible, had not the self-styled "intellectuals" done so much of the Conspiracy's work for it. But Bolshevism is a subject that we cannot consider tonight, for I must limit myself strictly to "liberal intellectuals" as distinct from members of the International Conspiracy, although I admit that in many cases it is very difficult to tell the difference. We must all cope with "intellectuals' every day, but I particularly hope that the suggestions that I am going to offer may be useful to those members of this audience who are most besieged and harassed. ...

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