More Distillation of the Liberal Witches’ Brew

Fred Siegel's The Revolt Against the Masses

Fred Siegel’s The Revolt Against the Masses

“For Croly, businessmen and their allies ─ the jack-of-all-trades latter-day Jeffersonians ─ were blocking the path to the bright future he envisioned for the specialists of the rising professional classes. America’s business culture, he warned, threatened individuality, because businessmen “have a way of becoming fundamentally alike,” despite their differences. Their individualities are forced into a common mold because the ultimate measure of the value of their work is the same, and is nothing but it results in cash. … In so far as the economic motive prevails, individuality is not developed; it is stifled.” ─ The Revolt Against the Masses, copyright © 2013 by Fred Siegel, Encounter Books, Page 12.

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“The first articulation of what we would today recognize as modern liberalism was shaped by the lyrical left of pre-WWI Greenwich Village and also by the split within the Progressive movement between those who supported American involvement in WWI and the philo-German opponents of the war.” The Revolt Against the Masses, copyright © 2013 by Fred Siegel, Encounter Books, Page 14.

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“For the Greenwich Villagers of 1915, H.G. Wells was a seer. The influential literary critic Van Wyck Brooks, who coined the term “highbrow,” “lowbrow,” and “middlebrow” to demarcate the levels of taste in American life, was the first American to write a book on Wells. “Without doubt,” wrote Brooks, “Wells has altered the air we breathe and made a conscious fact in many minds the excellence that resides in certain kinds of men and modes of living and odiousness that resides in others.” Hope for the Wellsian future, Brooks argued, was to found in “the rudiments of a socialist state,” which he located “in the Rockefeller Institute, the Carnegie and Russell Sage Foundations, the endowed universities and bureaus of research, and in the type of men they breed.” The Revolt Against the Masses, copyright © 2013 by Fred Siegel, Encounter Books, Page 14.

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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