Skip to main content

tv   From Benito Mussolini to Hugo Chavez  CSPAN  September 30, 2017 10:30am-12:01pm EDT

10:30 am
>> host: the book, roy moore, >> host: the book, roy moore, "so help me god: the 10 commandments, judicial tyranny, and the battle for religious freedom," thanks for coming. >> if you would like to view other afterwards programs go to our website at booktv.org, type "after words" into the search bar and all previous "after words" episodes will be available. you are watching booktv on c-span2, television for serious readers which is our primetime lineup. 6:30 eastern northeastern university president argues for better and continuous education to keep up with changing technology. 7:30 political strategist dick morris offers his thoughts on the russia investigation of the trump campaign.
10:31 am
that all happens tonight on c-span2's booktv. >> i'm a senior policy analyst with the center for global prosperity and i run a website called human progress.org. during the 20th century and 21st century, political dictators were not only popular in their own country but admired by numerous highly educated and
10:32 am
idealistic westerners. the object of this political hero worship included benito mussolini, adolf hitler, joseph stalin, mao seton, fidel castro and more recently hugo chavez. few people remember it today but the original lyrics of call border's popular musical anything goes originally read you are the talk, mussolini, today, you are an o'neill drama, you are whistlers mama. some progress there. whereas few people today openly praise hitler or mussolini it is not uncommon to see young men and women in our nation's capital wearing t-shirts, to see american entertainers like michael moore and intellectuals
10:33 am
like noam chomsky praise the castro brothers and hugo chavez. decades trying to understand why intelligent and educated people are attracted to totalitarianism and why they persist in doing so even today after a century of bloodshed perpetrated by government against their own people. he was born in 1932 in hungary and fled to the west, the hungarian revolution of 1956 was put down by soviet forces, he is a well-known political sociologist, communist study and nonfiction author, in 1973, soviet and americans and american society, a comparison. in 1981, the best-known work,
10:34 am
many faces of socialism followed in 1983 and the survival, decline and discontent, anti-americanism, critiques at home and abroad, postmodern and post-communist, the end of commitment, the only superpower, extravagant expectations and other books, we are here to talk about a book that came out last year from -- "from benito mussolini to hugo chavez: intellectuals and a century of political hero worship" paul hollander or the hollander -- a phd in 1963 and ba from london school of economics in 1959. he is professor emeritus of sociology at the university of massachusetts amherst and center
10:35 am
associate of the davis center for russian and eurasian studies at harvard university, member of the advisory council on victims of communism memorial foundation. >> you heard something about my background, have to explain my interests, what my wife considers my morbid fascination with dark chapters of human history. she could never understand how i can read these terrible stories about how people did these things for various reasons. these interests of mine are extending, i started out as a kind of soviet allah just --
10:36 am
then i shifted to looking at the country, society and american intellectuals and western intellectuals, as was just said to, my best-known book, this recent book actually, this book was published this year in 2016, it was published last winter. anyway, this book has a lot in common with political pilgrims but i would like to draw your attention to what differs from it and recite from it occasionally. the major similarity between the two books that are concerned with political misjudgments of western intellectuals.
10:37 am
people who reviewed the focus on the similarities they brought about with intellectuals, indeed has been a long-standing preoccupation and somewhat controversial point as to what proportion of western intellectuals are characterized as leftist or pro-soviet or procommunist and some people criticize me for overgeneralizing. i always point out we don't know because we don't know what proportion of western intellectuals are sympathetic to the soviet union or mao's china or cuba because there are no opinion surveys of western intellectuals as such. a portion of physical and vocal intellectuals who are sympathetic to political system
10:38 am
this and my approach to this topic led me to propose a number of times, the surviving conceptions of intellectuals need revision and i would like to read you one characterization of intellectuals i have found dated and dubious. this was by edward said. he said, quote, the figure of the intellectual as a being set apart, speaking the truth, courageous and angry individual for whom no worldly powers too big and imposing to be criticized and pointedly taken to task and he also said in the same views that through intellectual, obviously an
10:39 am
outsider, feverishly integrated on the margins of society and this is the same one who was a university professor at columbia and his books are required reading, numerous forces on college campus, not exactly a marginal figure but again he had this view of intellectuals which many still believe it or maintain but clearly dated, there was a time intellectuals were marginal figures and also depends what society we are talking about so i thought the misperceptions of intellectuals demand or justify some revision since they were capable of completely suspending critical faculties and act like the
10:40 am
proverbial believers but again, the major concern over easy perception -- can i have my glass rather than focusing on leaders. another similarity in this one were intellectuals interested in that connection between personal and political, and needs with political belief, still interested in that, with personal and political, very tricky because forced to reduce political beliefs to how a person is toilet trained or some such thing but on the other hand i have been struck by
10:41 am
connections between personal experience and political attitudes or as my own case illustrates this. sorry about my voice. certainly the 1960s, it was the prevalent view, it validates the personal political 60s catchphrase and this originated with the left and how personal influence is political depends on many things and contexts. in this book at the end of this book i have a long list of distinguished american and western intellectuals who have never been sympathizes with communist systems and movements
10:42 am
and avoided temptations which others succumb to. i should add i have also been interested in other instances of misjudgments or distortions of reality not only in the political sphere but commercial advertising and political propaganda and in general i have been interested in how people deal with differences or similarity between appearance and reality and the major preoccupation of intellectuals, appearance and reality. you could say identity politics is a reflection of this connection between personal and political that some people believe certain kinds of
10:43 am
identities determine political outlook. so how ideas influence behavior is an interesting issue and once more, shamelessly cut from what i was written earlier, and this is perhaps the key to the relationship between personal and political, political attitudes and beliefs often stem from political forces, that includes orientation towards transcendent self-expression and personal problem-solving through political action and immersion. that is to say many intellectuals i have written about tried to find answers and solutions for personal problems which couldn't be found in the
10:44 am
social, political realm. another good comment about this matter of intellectuals and attitudes and beliefs comes from a hungarian, he was an academic in england and he wrote at some point in his life, what struck him about involvement of progressive intellectuals in politics, political commitment had a fundamentally non-intellectual nature, almost invariably an emotional attitude or through the process of reasoning, associates with the word intellectual. so these are generally shoes of interest with intellectuals. i have written about earlier.
10:45 am
as i said, i have to some degree more interest in psychological direction than sociological, i am a sociologist though i have never been a quantitative sociologist but again, both of these books reflect my preoccupation with spiritual problems of the byproducts or an heroic aspects of modernity with special reference to social isolation and leaning in the decline of community and social solidarity and secularization. i am tempted -- the late danielle bell, who made a good point on this subject, problems of modernity, the problem of
10:46 am
belief. the problem of modernity's problem of belief and the problem is bourgeois society falls short of responding adequately to the full range of man's spiritual nature. it is religious vacuum, lack of meaning in their own lives he was writing about. the absence of larger purpose in their society that provokes them to alienation and indignation. so this is a persistent strain in my bank, who made this political misjudgments, one difference, in this book i was
10:47 am
not limiting myself to communist systems but also nazi germany and fascist italy and italian systems in the arab world like north korea, which received some admiration on the problem of intellectuals. i am very interested in stalin, how that might be compared with hitler and mussolini. that is one big difference and the other was i focused on leaders, political leaders and dictators which i didn't do with political pilgrims so the range was wider because i was interested in issues of the beliefs of intellectuals and came to the not very original
10:48 am
conclusion, displayed religious or quasireligious yearnings in search for meaning so that they went along with the hero worship of leaders and dictators who were deified. the veneration of hitler and mussolini, for obvious reasons, and irrational component for these attitudes. one of the most interesting findings was what intellectuals admire most in leaders and dictators had more to do with their personalities and policies, intellectuals, this conception of the philosopher
10:49 am
kings that all these leaders of philosopher kings and dictators themselves contributed to dismiss and thought of themselves as great intellects and many have written books, almost all of them have written books, great theorists and hitler attended an exhibit of degenerate art, stalin and mao very much at war with stalin in particular red manuscripts before they were published so they had this myth they were fellow intellectuals and castro mirrors the famous sociologist, low and behold castro, one of his books, and accident obviously so intellectuals
10:50 am
actually -- phenomenal politics and techniques of hospitality read by intellectuals in communist systems come encountered ordinary citizens familiar with their writings and that is the impression of intellectuals in their own countries they were underappreciated and the influence. these are the major differences. i'm interested in the phenomenon of political hero worship and not limited to communist ones. some of my major findings or conclusions, what these leaders had in common, different political ideologies, not even
10:51 am
communist and fascists, they projected the sentence that was very important and again this made a big impression on intellectuals who thought their own politicians were inferior and idealistic, politicians in western countries, great leaders believed to be revolutionary idealists possessed by an absolute sense of moral superiority, based on an ideology that claimed to explain everything, this sense of certitude can justify horrors in the name of sanctity, purity and general improvement of life and
10:52 am
so many political scientists. so western politicians were not interested in a fundamental change of society or human nature whereas people i have written about, leaders or dictators claim to be interested in just that, fundamental transformation of society and human nature. and of course the other interesting thing about this phenomenon which is called the cult of personality, and applied it to stalin, you could apply to hitler and mussolini and the rest of them. the interesting thing was this enormous, astonishing gap between perception or images of
10:53 am
these leaders and actual personality, to use an understatement they were not very nice people, none of these. this somehow -- the intellectuals and admirers and one factor, the misperception of ignorance, sheer ignorance. as to what went on in society or the policies of particular leaders. but again i should mention many people tried to explain western intellectuals who came to these illusions of power they themselves wanted power and were under the impression intellectuals whether they were communists or fascists, they had more power and influence which
10:54 am
they didn't have a. and these same leaders, hitler and mussolini and mao and stalin and castro have intellectuals in contempt but they could use them as much as they could. i'm not inclined to believe this misjudgment for the desire for power, there is ignorance and unhappiness with their own society and problems with modernity, lack of meaning, sense of community, and one thing in my opinion, very important characteristic intellectuals have in common, whether or not they admired
10:55 am
stalin or hitler, they had high expectations. you could say high expectations morph into idealism, faith thought the new chapter in history could be opened by these leaders. so, as to my findings, these might be called secular religious or quasireligious, political expression. most of these people didn't actually meet personally, intellectuals in question, many of them did and when they did they made very favorable impressions and these people, hitler and stalin and mussolini and the rest of them were quite good at projecting the
10:56 am
personality which intellectuals found attractive. as i said, this philosopher king image and idealism and assumption or belief these dictators used political power wisely and benevolently, that they were kind, this is the most important, they bridged the gap between theory and practice, they did what they claimed to believe in. it is debatable. that they were authentic, this is an important issue. modern intellectuals, especially american intellectuals have been bothered by this feeling they live in an inauthentic society,
10:57 am
so much modern social criticism of western and especially american society is focused on inauthenticity rather than injustice. the critique of capitalism, much of the critique of capitalism is focused on inauthenticity, like advertising and public relations are products of capitalist society. so by contrast these great heroic leaders do what they believe in. again, the most important, from the point of view of the admirers, good intentions, this comes up repeatedly. this made a huge impression of many intellectuals, people of good intentions even when they acknowledge they didn't succeed
10:58 am
to realize these good intentions, and other thing many leaders, dictators, give the impression they were successful in trying to somehow blend tradition and modernity with an emphasis on community. the idea that i have to say i was going to say in the case of communist systems they succeeded in modernizing without alienation. that was the claim. the nazis were very self-consciously involved with the notion of national community as being more important than class, class division but i think this attempt to blend tradition and modernity is more important, the belief -- in
10:59 am
these countries. here again, just to give you a very few quotes of this grotesque misperception western intellectuals engage in. for example, shea guevara is not in the same class as castro but an important figure. this is a quote, he was the most complete human being of our age. ..
11:00 am
this was a remarkable exhilaration that of course the evidence of the society will not or human beings. the projection while so obvious in many of these instances. another intellectual not the same class but some of hume i know sure. he was perceived and he has
11:01 am
his own news letter. under the misperceptions. one desire to heal. that he had set out to combat with the powers of the world. he was like taking refuge in the desert. only that can be that purity of the face. you know that he was indeed an ideologist. he died in an attempt to start the movement. and he was executed he himself
11:02 am
killed people in the course of the cuban revolution. he was a ruthless idealist. but of course there had been very few people. they take action. another explanation with the high expectations the high expectations could be connected with the very useful complex. and it originated with the american sociology.
11:03 am
with the high expectations. people feel deprived because they compare the condition. with some idea or possibility or was with some other societies. when they say for example that with the united states as impossibly tolerable and inequality are so enormous. in the country is so rich that it can be much more inequalities. i think this is an important idea that they have high expectations and maybe they had diminished over time.
11:04 am
it could be much more improved. therefore there were they were much more critical of their own societies which have some flaws which were familiar with them. i think this would probably be the case. with human nature. the second is many intellectuals have higher hopes than history with what they would justify to everyone. again on the personal and political as i approached the end of this session i alluded to this but i just wanted to give you one more quote which comes to the 1960s. it was not well known.
11:05 am
he said we have a tension in our existence. so that the perceiving sentence doesn't become evidence of any psychological theories. this is the key to his belief. it should be pointed out that the psychological problem are very directly the fault of capitalism. the very virtue of capitalism. it allows the relief i think this is a very interesting statement. this person believed this at
11:06 am
the time he made the statement. this is just curious. he is now a law professor. that they can corrupt and undermine people. i am just suggesting that it's very difficult to draw the line between the social and personal and people respond to similar experiences in different ways. i think the view with for a
11:07 am
johnson the devastating critique of intellectual. he believed that the person have a very negative impact that intellectuals and many of the sources tried to rationalize. social critics tend to blame them for personal feelings. with the injustices of the political system. i think the two points can be reconciled. with a social setting. it seems to be purely personal problems. what the lack of purpose. with on the larger social
11:08 am
processes that we connect with them. and social change they have this problematic impact on this. anyway i could talk more about the things and it should be time for the questions and comments. i would just conclude by observing that a number of true believers might have diminished but there are still many left. given the imperfections of human beings. [applause].
11:09 am
they are an associate professor of politics. the key they became remarkably low. variation in this. was used to explain in the five largest countries. he has written for the new york times and the washington post's the national review in the weekly standard and in national affairs. he is a proud member of the academy founding member of the account academy.
11:10 am
his current research concerns factors affecting the size and role of government. and how they influence the welfare states. please help me welcome alexandra. for joining us and sharing sort of summaries and highlights from the recent project. it should be clear. let me just run over some basics. some basics from the book. we know a little bit about each other. paul's basic argument is that
11:11 am
for decades far too many they have assassination with an attraction to even to tell it. toilet. projects. he asks as he has made clear today why intellectuals might be especially susceptible to the views. and then attract such fascinations in support for regimes. you may have thought would have been immune to this. he suggested it is difficult even impossible. from support to the policy goals of those regimes. vertical social or economic. he insists that these dynamics in assassination in the enduring support they may
11:12 am
surely not apply to the majority of intellectuals but the fact that intellectuals are as it general idealistic and may have higher than typical expectations on policy and other social outcomes. the likely might play a role in their capacity to come to admire and defend non- democratic projects so that you don't have to he works through theories proposed by a number of important thinkers including edward shells. considering in the process whether some characteristics unique to intellectuals for example as has been ask and many past years is that the distinctive social position that mixes high social procedures. he adds to that well-known
11:13 am
formulation many other more pointed questions might intellectuals for example had been at attracted to what is stated as his project because they understand themselves attracted to top-down programs. imagine themselves playing important roles or at least had them played by people like themselves. our idealist met at least as much especially susceptible to the charisma of extraordinary leaders in extraordinary leaders who promise to achieve outcomes that others cannot and that mundane procedures like those characteristic of democracy cannot. are they defined in that sense attracted in some special way to totalitarian products in particular in that formulation we would say that they are attracted at too high a rate.
11:14 am
and even totalitarian projects that may be especially that offer and i legalistic. his book and then as he suggests catalogs specific intellectuals and journeys of admiration for one dictatorship or another. have been happy to abide by to celebrate a lack of concern with constraints on governmental power the exercise of clearly authoritarian and nonconstitutional constraint powers of the state and in that sense they are explosively reconciled with the notion of that as a power. after reading the quantity of quotes in analysis that he cites from a wide range of
11:15 am
intellectuals i have to say it is hard to think quite the same way about them if you thought well about them before to begin with. it's a very sobering read to go to. reading the kinds of discourses that intellectuals have been happy to generate over decades praising such deeply obnoxious regimes people and political projects in history. i want to focus on challenging one important aspect of analysis however. although even then let me say if my critique is right it what if anything included the analysis to much greater spectrum of individuals that even he portrays. it is a critique but it is one that is concerned that his analysis is even more applicable than it might seem at first glance. it is obviously correct of him
11:16 am
to notice it for more than half a century that people have asked to what extent this admiration by intellectuals was in effectuation of intellectuals in particular that there was something distinctive and helping in that class a people the simple category of people with self-selected. and something peculiar for those things. if it's something distinctive about that is it something about the intellectual case in which they happen to operate and live. it forms their values and worldviews. i think while that focus on intellectual has a particular cast was understandable with public intellectualism. in particular is understand a question.
11:17 am
there is substantial reason to think that admiration for non- democratic procedures. they have thoroughly depressed us all. discuss them in a little more detail. to say only one example has re- cast political teams and left right ideological terms. much more thoroughly in the past. i don't mean more intentionally and much more thoroughly than in the postwar time secondly in accompanied
11:18 am
political tribalism that indicates to people they should feel and should voice loyalties. something else that has become more persuasive in the time. the procedural norms. that based solely an individual's mind on whether of that.
11:19 am
and on case-by-case basis. in the postwar. there is little need to describe this. a substantial liberal ring. the can conservative one. that insured. in both houses of congress it does not exist at all today. it still noticeably to the right. it was not the case when i was young. the earlier state of affairs was partly if not entirely in
11:20 am
the change has been substantial and entirely driven by a nationalization of politics that overcame or superseded those regional decisions. i submit that because of that change at least one emergent property. with a tribalism to the politics it's always prone to some degree. they have long observed that human beings by which we are more likely. the tendency to voice and field support.
11:21 am
and to oppose those associated with one's opponents. this issue of the procedural norms. i'm concerned that those two developments in the intensified tribalism spill over into people's attitudes not just towards individual policies but towards the procedural boards norms. the decision rules and the organized decision-making. you also had diverse norms. the notion that people's attitudes towards procedural norms may be driven more by ideology than any other commitment to the norm itself in a town in which they seem to be divided by which party has a majority in the senate
11:22 am
this year. but we know that substantial members of the people. they see fit to change that position. my concern here is that that tendency to subordinate those attitudes towards political norms to the outcomes they are likely to lead to in the short term and just a technical matter like a role inside one legislature. and it can extend to many more people than just the political junkies who sit around worrying. bear with me for a moment while i described some research that i'm currently doing with it: author.
11:23 am
it is related to but doesn't mean the exact same thing. we have asked a large battery of americans whether they would support the in french nakedly on core civil liberties and other core civil liberties. they are only partial today. it is responding and pretty significantly more likely to support such policies that infringe core civil liberties. one champion by politicians.
11:24 am
the co- citizens it may will be the case that self identified american liberals are considerably more likely to support the infringements on political liberties like the freedom to disseminate. when they are championed by politicians described as liberals and applying to groups clearly associated with that. when they are championed by politicians. in directed at groups clearly associated. a more nuanced discussion will emerge with time. being struck by the incredible range was to ask whether he was sure that they might not
11:25 am
form admiration. associated with their side of the political divide. it may not extend far deeper than merely intellectuals. intellectuals and average citizens might not function in different ways. that has already been hinted at at least in passing and in some of the empirical chapters. comments with some people that were really identify to others who did not seem to fit that description. in that they had tended to and
11:26 am
understandably polarized earlier and more consistent. the use to even champion a leader or regime with which one has some left to right affinities and in some case not just apologize for the abuses of power but maybe even in buyer them because they are understood. deeply concerning. the challenge i wanted to make today. is to suggest thatthe more
11:27 am
people that he thinks or discusses what should be enough to ruin our days. each [applause]. certain points in the book. between the efforts and intellectuals.
11:28 am
i live in that these are the people that i have done fairly well. the major virtue. critical intellectuals. in all reflective and ignored. this was a shocking contrast. and finally the third reason i was inter- rested in this. with the ideas and the
11:29 am
influence of ideas on behavior. in other people hold up to certain ideas and try to incorporate them into their behavior. this is been the reasons. we will open it to q&a. i would ask you to please wait after i call on you. say your question. other people. thank you. with the institute of western
11:30 am
civilization. it's an honor and a pleasure to be here and that's when i say thank you for hosting both of these wonderful speakers. the question that i have specifically to gerard. i think he puts here the finger on the key reason why professor hollander discussion is indeed so relevant today. what he discusses is the utopian dimension of both left and right. you indicate that there is indeed a third relevant perspective and as a procedural and it is of course what the libertarians are all about.
11:31 am
mainly to allow for a system that promotes a liberty of people whether the preferences on the left or right. that means to pursue those interests. the specific question is and perhaps both of you if you would like what are left in right mean nowadays. when we speak of left the liberal fashion is him is what he refers to as right wing and left wing together. but then what is left. is it liberal think you joanna. good to see.
11:32 am
it is peculiar for those of us that take the classical formulation within which a great deal of activity can happen. into allow it to rain and thrive in that way. one does it worry that as with the 70 other things that is not the instinct of large numbers of people. and i do fear that the question could be misstated. they did seem devoted to procedural constraints. how can we recover. i think that may be wrongly formulated. it's possible of course that made that willingness to see the power constraint or whatever the specific example might have been.
11:33 am
was because for historical reasons american politics were jumbled and completed enough that people from many different perspectives could say i can imagine myself to be an majority and some others. better to preserve a framework at times i may be protected. with the political polarization. members a big political groups contended to include that they are majority or they could imagine remaining once. for your i suspect even i have no evidence on this that matters in the last 15 years and norma's number of progressives had convinced themselves that history is on their side.
11:34 am
there could be a majority. the reasons to inhibit yourself with procedural constraints it just seems to fall away. why is that perception that you are to be in charge of history would have survived the last 12 months of american politics. i don't take it's a coincidence that that voicing is most fully articulated. they see themselves as overwhelmingly powerful. and highly unlikely to be dislodged anytime soon. but once the campus gates and they present you with some four complexity that anything to take away from last year would have been every validation of caution and concern with liberties and rights and protection as a persuasive phenomenon. we don't see to be in a moment of realization in appreciation of that. >> the only thing i might add to this is i fully agree. many of my findings are
11:35 am
relevant today. i think to summarize does summarize the way i would summarize that. with this immense human capacity. what do the per five professional intellectuals do when their professors turned out to be thugs. >> i am waiting for the narrative to emerge with times the debt replaced him with that mediocrity.
11:36 am
the ability to talk oneself. it is capacious. i wonder what the evolutionary psychologists would say. with the defeating beliefs. anybody on that side. and obviously we have felt the intellectuals coming down. and many others but then suddenly when they are almost
11:37 am
as bad as they have ever been. up comes the goldman sachs the horrific government. where does that fit into with the intellectuals. what has been the uproar's is not the silence. what is really worse in here. do you wish to direct yours to anyone specifically. they're been very few intellectuals who can realize the earlier mistake in belief.
11:38 am
with the experience. we have tons of books. with the british -- british press. and the people and they have some intellectuals. it is a difficult process. they used to be huge. especially on campuses. there is a lot of group support. people don't like to admit that they have made serious mistakes. specifically because it is a worldview and defended for decades.
11:39 am
you can just dismiss it. them that make some obvious mistakes. a bad marriage. it is to examine that. to wallow in their mistakes. >> i'm wondering if you need to look at that the definition of what is an intellectual. and to what extent does assert amount of self filling prophecy in aspects.
11:40 am
that is what separates an intellectual from a journeyman historian or political scientist at the local state teachers college. may very will be writing in his or her field. but doesn't achieve the status of intellectual. i'm wondering if embracing totalitarian movements to some extent helps propel an individual into the ranks of the intellectuals. they've taken out a position which was kind of outrageous and then gains a certain amount of notoriety. but also and the support for the totalitarian movement. that for most of that individual's ideas be on that which might be the ordinary scrivener who happens to be
11:41 am
with political science or history but is not necessarily it is not necessary to gain that profile. the very act of embracing totalitarian with you. i have wrote a great deal about this. in. and in this book. people disagree. especially when you see who is a true intellectual. i proposed that there had been positive and negative stereotypes of intellectuals and something we forgot to mention was a concept of the misjudgment of intellectuals.
11:42 am
they too like ordinary people have problems with their sense of identity. and perhaps you are alluding to that also. they had had to booster a sense of identity. what do you think of that. i don't think of intellectuals as people that are highly intellectualized. with that problematic measures. and they are not highly specialized. i think that information to resource the critics. to be fearless social critics. idealist.
11:43 am
we are looking for something that is attainable. i don't want to comment too much on this on the particular status in nature. maybe we should limit our focus to them. i would not be the first by any means and paul has obviously written a great deal on how we should think about this as a cast. on the high water marks. how much the massive growth in university since 1945 has changed the face of intellectualizing to the point where i think many people would use the term scholar or academic almost interchangeably. as a lot of oxygen has been sacked out of the others of this world who were intellectuals but not academics. and the in the ranks of those
11:44 am
that were academic had grown so anonymously. that said i think most of it. is that a lot of academics would not properly be called intellectuals. i mean this in no particularly insulting sentence. they are not intellectual innovators. they are not necessarily living a life of ideas which we might have made that early in the 20 centric. one comfort that should come from that is that many of them are not the kind of romantic idealist who might be attracted to full-blown tech. with the age of high water mark. still feels past the queer ushering in a new age of that. with the 20th century it does seem as passive now as it
11:45 am
did 20 or 30 years ago. what should be more worrisome is the mundane erosions not the great big ones. not a resurgence of totalitarian instincts on the part of average academics. it's the notion that numbers of them might be relaxing their sense. of important context. at the surface it seems a lot more worrisome. and yet it is more of that.
11:46 am
with the american university. i am similarly curious. we definitely had been talking about a lot of standards intellectuals and definitely the main source of debate. in the united states. the narrative that is away from that debate into a debate that involves intellectuals. as a professor alexander was just sane. a focus on your party when he. you taking points for your side. rather than the ideologically moving forward. so in this sort of society where we have intellectualism potentially going by the wayside what then do we see when we come to positions
11:47 am
where there are political occurrence that is negotiated under procedures. what then is the future of our political identities looking like. i don't know how i can respond to your question. it is the discussion that it didn't use the expression that i use in my book. with the modern-day intellectuals it may be viewed as a moralizing elite. that's important for understanding the intellectuals. they have this conflict between their high levels of intellect visual is in. and the impulses. it sort of unresolved.
11:48 am
sell me. gentleman in the back. let's make this as quick as possible. how would you regard intellectual admiration for acceptable authoritative leaders. who has been praised by henry kissinger. thank you. >> if one was more sympathetic to the outcomes in the policies that they were understood to head champion there is a tendency to be more tolerant of the procedural nicety tom friedman finding
11:49 am
things admiral. about the decisive decision-making on this. if you're asking whether this is as applicable across the spectrum i think the answer is yes. in a way we are being invited to have that conversation about some free-market. the notion that they were indulgent on peter shea and other governments that compromise. whether it turns out to apply to buchanan after i don't see any reason why we don't have that conversation. these are those. the only thing i would like to add is i had been talking about they are not that
11:50 am
interested in means and obviously some intellectuals are. they are idealistic and there are things that politicians just deal with trivial matters. and they disapprove of that. let's go to the back. and then well had time for a couple more. the cahill institute. question for gerard. the theme that the thesis is more broadly applicable. combine that with the utopian is a bit is not universal. or at least some of it like to believe it.
11:51 am
i would ask does the thesis that was more poor allies than ever it seems to be does it suggest that it cries out for an explanation. why that is so. in one possible explanation that has the welfare state. that is larger and larger that we want to look at. the behavior of the margin where people were inclined towards rational explanation. is it a possible explanation of why we are more divided and it doesn't pay to be rational under those circumstances. let me just play a thought experiment. humor have seen pulls up in
11:52 am
the last few years the find of the liberals and conservatives are more likely to support even the same policy proposed by politicians and the people that are described as republicans. that something my people are doing. i'm probably okay with it. that may come across as the purely hypothetical or laboratory ready we don't see the two parties supporting them. that. we do find them much more conservatives. in that sense notice that while respondents may say in a survey i will endorse whatever my site said. in that sense you might say it while it doesn't carry over to the real world. people really do sort by different kind of goals. we also know that progressive who found mass surveillance
11:53 am
techniques of the national security state really disturbing other george bush the laboratory findings the laboratory findings and aren't limited to just hypotheticals to which respondents are presented. it does carry into some real-world behavior and that said is that the possibility is that they are saying in that scenario i don't care if he does mass surveillance that's fine because he's for healthcare. we need that second half of that sentence. is not just that these are my people but these are my people because certain issues are what create the identification. they may play a significant role in that. i would not be surprised to find that what was for so long called lifestyle issues are connotations for many equally
11:54 am
important. it is equally important agenda right there. only a very general comment about that. i think this has always been a society of high expectations and they generate high expectations. this is the most loving society because people have the highest expectations. i think high expectations are likely to lead to polarized conceptions of what is a good society. the particular time. i'm not sure why now. it has to do with the conflicting expectations a very good question. with his hand up. we have about five minutes left.
11:55 am
as the problem because we are self segregating into groups able to say i really don't know anyone like that. basically everything charles murray's bores in his coming apart. i've been thinking for some time that maybe we need a different kind of political redistricting to maximize competitiveness. unless in the advantages. thank you. a fair amount of that the sorting is becoming geographical in which it is what we have to think about. and it would have to be transcendentally created.
11:56 am
it would be a revolution in the thinking on the subject. >> stephen shore. a very interesting discussion. i for one would not do that. there's nothing really new in digging out rotations in the last hundred years of that. there is an inherent bias in looking at people that have gone off the deep end left and right and it could be instructed to find intellectuals they lost their lives in defense with the values in the great democracy. the other point is there has been true conversions. a people who gave up useful infatuation and the move towards the center so i don't think it's always instructive just to take an accurate quotation of someone who said
11:57 am
something as a drunken undergrad or it and then sobered up. it is another story is people never advance and they go to their death beds with the same totalitarian impulses that sustain them through what passes through their lives. i have a book on the same topic. it's about this phenomenon. in the last chapter i have a list of intellectuals that belong to this more praiseworthy group. who have the libertarian system. the big question is why some people go one way and the others another way. i haven't been able to answer this question i guess it is a testament to the quality of
11:58 am
the conversations. unfortunately we have to end it here. i like to invite you to please join us for lunch. and thanks for speakers. [inaudible] every weekend. tell a vision for serious readers. it airs sunday noon to 3:00 p.m.
11:59 am
the angry days and the in the most recent about great britain. on this weekend's afterwards program you will also see coverage of the baltimore book festival and the radical book fair production meghan o'sullivan looks at the impact. .. ..
12:00 pm
>> will take place in baton rouge. and in early november, the wisconsin book festival in madison, and that same weekend look for us live at the texas book festival in austin. for more information about upcoming book fairs and festivals and to watch previous festival coverage, click the book fairs tab on our web site, booktv.org. >> and now on booktv, we bring you coverage from last week's baltimore book festival. we've got a full lineup of authors who appeared at the radical book fair pavilion and discussed a range of topics from gender and race to a history of the black panther party and the 2015 baltimore riots and protests. first up, it's georgetown university professic

14 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on