The Primary Source of Liberal Presumptiveness

Fred Siegel's The Revolt Against the Masses

Fred Siegel’s The Revolt Against the Masses

“The American thinkers who did the most to carve out the enduring assumptions and mental gestures that streamed into liberalism as an ideology were Herbert Croly, editor and co-founder The New Republic, and Randolph Bourne, a spirited young prophet full of righteous anger. Croly has a slow-fire political piety, and Bourne a tendency to not so much live as burn intensely, but both argued eloquently in the tradition of John Stuart Mill and H.G. Wells for a secular priesthood that could Europeanize America. Their legacy not only endured; it thrives down to the present.” The Revolt Against the Masses, copyright © 2013 by Fred Siegel, Encounter Books, Page 9.

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“Croly and Bourne hoped for a re-founded regime that would break with the “monarchism” of a totemic Constitution. “Disinterested” intellectuals, as well as poet-leaders, experts, and social scientists such as themselves would lead the new regime.” The Revolt Against the Masses, copyright © 2013 by Fred Siegel, Encounter Books, Page 10.

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“Like Wells, Croly called for a centralized power that might be, he acknowledged, “injurious to certain aspects of traditional American democracy.” But this was no great loss, because “the average American individual is morally and intellectually inadequate to serious and consistent conceptions of his responsibilities as a democrat.” The “erroneous and misleading” democratic tradition, he concluded, “must yield before the march of a constructive national democracy” remodeled along French lines.” The Revolt Against the Masses, copyright © 2013 by Fred Siegel, Encounter Books, Page 10.

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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