Vol. 34 No. 1 1967 - page 54

a conspiracy, it is (or was ) that of the more enlightened national leaders
hitherto largely selected by the eastern seaboard plutocracy. They en–
gineered the precarious acquiescence to liberal goals that has prevailed in
this country for over a generation-a superficial consensus made possible
by the strongly apolitical character of a decentralized electorate mainly
preoccupied with local issues.
the Bill of Rights were put to a national
referendum as a new piece of legislation, it would meet the same fate as
New York City's Civilian Review Board. Most of the people in this
country believe what Goldwater believes, and always have. But most of
them don't know it. Let's hope they don't find out.
4. I do not think white America is committed to granting equality
to the American Negro. So committed are only a minority of generous
and mostly educated, affluent white Americans, few of whom have had
any prolonged social contact with Negroes. This is a passionately racist
country; it will continue to be so in the forseeable future.
5. I think that this administration's foreign policies are likely to lead
to more wars and to wider wars. Our main hope, and the chief restraint
on American bellicosity and paranoia, lies in the fatigue and depoliticiza–
tion of Western Europe, the lively fear of America and of another world
war in Russia and the Eastern European countries, and the corruption
and unreliability of our client states in the third world. It's hard to lead
a holy war without allies. But America is just crazy enough to try to do it.
6. The meaning of the split between the Administration and the
intellectuals? Simply that our leaders are genuine Yahoos, with all the
exhibitionist traits of their kind, and that liberal intellectuals (whose
deepest loyalties are to an international fraternity of the reasonable) are
blind. At this point, moreover, they have nothing to lose by proc–
laiming their discontent and frustration. But it's well to remember that
liberal intellectuals, like Jews, tend to have a classical theory of politics,
in which the state has a monopoly of power; hoping that those in posi–
tions of authority may prove to be enlightened men, wielding power just–
ly, they are natural, if cautious, allies of the "establishment." As the
Russian Jews knew they had at least a chance with the Czar's officials
but none at all with marauding Cossacks and drunken peasants (Milton
Himmelfarb has pointed this out) , liberal intellectuals more naturally
expect to influence the "decisions" of administrators than they do the
volatile "feelings" of masses. Only when it becomes clear that, in fact,
the government itself is being staffed by Cossacks and peasants, can a
rupture like the present one take place. When (and if) the man in the
White House who paws people and scratches his balls in public is replaced
by the man who dislikes being touched and finds Yevtushenko "an inter–
esting fellow," American intellectuals won't
so disheartened. The vast
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