Freedom, responsibility and the “New Left”

Many who are in power on the New Left today were students when this was written in Education in America:

Meaningful freedom has always implied responsibility, and responsibility demands self-control. Self-control presupposes guidelines within which the individual attempts to live in accord with accepted and acceptable standards. The denial of those standards and of the necessity for self-control in the name of “academic freedom” is as much a denial of true freedom for the individual as is an attempt to censor student and teacher in the classroom. Either way, genuine academic freedom suffers.

The lapse of self-control in favor of the “humanitarian” view of life partially explains how the dreamer of utopian schemes menaces civilization. While all such revolutionaries share a willingness to destroy the existing order, their ideas of what should be erected in its place tend to vary from vision to vision, reflecting not merely a pipe dream untouched by reality, but a series of pipe dreams as unstable as the personality of the dreamer. Once self-control is abandoned and reality rejected, all that remains are half-formed, bizarre visions of typically unfulfilled revolutionary personalities. Such fuzziness in goals, such lack of personal fulfillment within the existing order, are both evident in the rhetoric of the New Left.

Of course we must be humanitarians, but let us achieve self-control and a realistic understanding of society first in order better to progress towards our compassionate goals.

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