To Think about Thinking…

Dr. John Lukacs

Dr. John Lukacs

“…it is not among the common people that the slowness in the development of new ideas is most apparent.  As Arthur Koestler wrote in The Sleepwalkers (1958), “The inertia of the human mind and its resistance to innovation are most clearly demonstrated not, as one might expect, by the ignorant mass―which is easily swayed once its imagination is caught―but by the professionals with a vested interest in the monopoly of learning. . . . Innovation is a twofold threat to academic mediocrities: it endangers their oracular authority, and it evokes the deeper fear that their whole, laboriously constructed intellectual edifice might collapse.”  And not only to academic mediocrities.  Perhaps it is not even so much the hold of old ideas as of certain habits and tendencies of thought which is so deadening.  “In our minds and speech the world is still Darwinian, Marxian, Wagnerian, but beneath the thick crust are the fires of new thoughts which must modify or destroy the old,” Barzun wrote in 1941.  But the crust is very thick [Lukacs’ italics].” ― Remembered Past; On History, Historians, and Historical Knowledge, by John Lukacs, Chapter I, Page 80, edited by Mark G. Malvasi and Jeffrey O. Nelson, ISI Books, Wilmington, Delaware, © 2005 ISI Books.

About Michael

Retired military officer; retired Air Force civil servant; retired executive, DS Information Systems Corporation; writer; researcher; reader and avid yachtsman.
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