Intellectual the self-styled and
ueee-e so l.iliil.il hv definition of
the Russian-devised term—
"i-iiuse varying Bentiments. A
trading American intellectual,
Author-Philosopher James Burn-
'uini (lower rifrlii) is featured ill
"'is analysis with panelists: Author William I". Buckley, Jr.,
'-"Illilientator George Hamilton
'-•nulls, and Professor Charles
Hodges ol New York University,
'tardy Unit served as moderator.
I d like lo refer lure to a
historical analogy. In the six-
i'a nih century tbe great courtier and poel emd warrior. Sir
Philip Sieliiiv. wrote a marvelous essay called "In De-
tense ,,l Poesy." If vou read
Over lhal essay you'll sec thai
hi ii he attacks nearly all the
poets of ihe time, llui he attacked them
"' tin- name of belter and purer and
more adequate poetry for which he
stood and which, as a mailer of fail, he
Was helping lo usher in by lhal work.
In lhe same weiv it seems to me we
have reached a poinl where il would be
Well if someone would write- in defense
M intelligence. In lhat defense he would
necessarily find thai he weis making
a sharp attack on mosl of those who
have pretended to speak in its name
*s intellectuals over lhe past generation.
Hodces: I think in one of Mr. Burn-
ham's hooks dealing with containmenl
,lr Liberation he makes a verv strong
Poinl lhal ihe American is nol ee
uieorelician. lie's nol concerned with
'deologies which have so marked the intellectual in lhe last generation, Id's sav.
therefore, there's a strong anti-ideologi-
'■'I tendency. I Ibink vou used those
We have in the vetlues of America lhe
'"ipliei-is on practical doing so feu as
he popular mind goes, eunl we forget
'"'I before you can do. you have lo
«10V, how le> elee. I ihink ihal lhal has
'"'''ii lost io sighi under ihe influence of
"nr American life
Combs: I will nol sav that the ques-
""i is somewhat semantically unfortun-
'• I would merely prefer rephrasing
Is the average American intellectual
'''''Tested in government's fulfilling its
"■action and duty lo lhe people?
'It RT: You're saying this is the same
Covins: Yes, emd I would nol regard
thai ;is governmenl interference, in use
the splendidly objective word used by
my professorial colleague, ll seems to
me absolutely necessary thai intellectuals
recognize lhal we are no longer in ihe
miniuny clothes of an Egyptian century,
and lhat il is necessary to do ei certain
amount of planning . . .
I am tremendously impressed by Professor Burnham's commenl in one of
his hooks in which he is referring to
liberal intellectuals, lb- says they are
mistaken in their predictions, falsi' in
their analyses, wrong in their advice,
eunl. through lhe resull of their actions,
injurious lo lhe interests of lhe nation.
That is reason enough lo strive lo free
the conducl of the country's affairs from
the influence of them eiml their works.
Ill iKI.KV : Hear, hear!
COMBS: And Mr. Buckley in a hook
in which he approvingly quotes ihis seivs
some day the' patience of America mav
al lasl be exhausted and we will strike
out againsl lhe liberals.
Mr. Buckley sen- that Mr. Burnham
weis mosi clearly advocating social seine
linns ageiinsl them. Whal eire' social
sanclions? Well. Mr. Ilitekley refers to
social sanctions in somewhat indefinable
terms, hut if 1 can define them making
life uncomfortable for lhe target individual, schools refusing lei hire teachers,
radio stations closing their doors lo
errlisls and so on and so forth. I sug-
gesl ilieil tin- i- rather harsh medicine' In
use against lhe "intellectual."
PACTS FOUUM NEWS, June, 1955
Buckley: I suggest
that ils a very dangerous game to misquote
me in mv presence.
Combs: No. no. I'm
nol misquoting you in
your presence. 1 haw
lhe book here...
Buckley: What Mr.
Burnham—I will let him
-pell oul the exact meaning of those phrases
which have . . .
COMBS: Maybe il was
L. Brent Bozell's footnote down here: "Mr.
Burnham wets clearly
enlv ocating social sanctions against them."
Buckley: The question is what does Mr.
Burnham mean, and
whal do Mr. Bozell and
I mean in subscribing
lo the notion lhat il is
time lo free the conducl
of the country's affairs
from lhe influence of
lhe liberal intelligentsia.
My point is lhat there is
constantly a struggle in
every society for control.
It's manifested politically in a democracy by
a struggle for control of Congress, for
example, lis ei struggle for control of
the \\ hite House.
I suggest that the liberals have been
extremely effective. I would even go so
far as to say ruthless and coarse and
brutal in their struggle for power, and
have been completclv successful in dispossessing conservatives of emv power.
whether political power or social power,
or even intellectual power.
What Mr. Burnham land I will let
him talk for himself lure I was suggesting in the passages that you quote, and
wheel I weis hoping would turn into a
prediction, is lhat sooner or later the
American people would recognize lhal
the dominanl liberal intellectuals in ibis
country have steilehe-d them in the back;
that they had been inadequate in their
counsels; thai thev had been superficial:
einel lhal thev had been totalitarian. Anel
Im that nelson we would turn and ask
someone else In assume positions of control: i.e.. for example, the conservative
Combs: That's a verv euphemistical
wav of putting somewhat blunt language ...
Ill CKLEY: Socieil sanction . . .
Combs: Yes, social sanction, and social sanctions mean lo you definite interference in lhe economic life...
Buckley: I would suggest that it's
nothing less than a social sanction the
facl lhat you are hired regularly lo talk
over radio and TV here in New York
whereas Mr. Burnham i- not.