Vol. 34 No. 1 1967 - page 47

like them to back up its fictions but its best offer is: Sing, then shut up.
The intellectuals are willing to sing but
they shut up they lose their
identity as intellectuals. As Valery said: "This species complains; therefore
it exists." There is an impasse here. To the
House the intellectuals
are not so different from the Vietcong.
only they'd come out, fight like
men and get it over with.
In sum, what the
questionnaire calls the "split between the Ad–
ministration and the American intellectuals" is a split between competi–
tors. The government started the battle by moving into literary territory.
It declared war on the Indians. It wants to take us over. 'Tis the final
Washington gains complete control of the fabrication of illu–
sions and can prevent the exposure of its bad craftsmanship, it is all up
with us.
That integration became a popular idea had nothing to do with
Negroes. Integration is a passion of our atomized society in
body feels segregated in one way or another. The nuts on the Right oppose
Negro integration because through
opposition they can integrate them–
selves with other right-wing nuts. The blacks, held together by their
color, are in the minds of the whites the last cohesive social entity (today,
it's harder to say that "Jews stick together"). The white Liberal problem
is how to integrate this entity into disintegration. It can be done only by
disregarding its color. Treat each Negro as a separate individual. Make
the Negro into a social atom like the whites, each in his own sac. Since
the civil rights movement cannot of itself overcome the cultural break–
down that has been a feature of American life since the beginning of the
Eisenhower administration, Negroes must be, and will continue to be,
of two minds about integration and so will whites.
The activities of young people always contain "promise," by defini–
ti6n. The New Left, however, is barking up the wrong tree.
that the Old Left was too much ridden by ideology; to avoid this trap it
sets itself against systematic social analysis. This is merely to substitute
one form of futility for another. The essential question in politics is the
question of power. The Old Left veiled this question by its faith in
Communist clicbCs. It thought it was interested in the working class-ac–
tually, each Leftist was concerned with his own identity. The Communists
gave their adherents a uniform and a set of ideas through which they
could obtain group cohesion. Today, the same effect is achieved through
blue jeans, beards, marches, electronic music. One could be anonymous
a Party member and at the same time superior to outsiders. But
uniforms and ideology are magical substitutes for thinking about the
problem of political power. So are uniforms and anti-ideology.
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