The largest cultural menace in America is the conformity of the intellectual cliques which, in education as well as the arts, are out to impose upon the nation their modish fads and fallacies, and have nearly succeeded in doing so. In this cultural issue, we are, without reservations, on the side of excellence (rather than "newness") and of honest intellectual combat (rather than conformity).
The amount of money and of legal energy being given to prosecute hundreds of thousands of Americans who are caught with a few ounces of marijuana in their jeans simply makes no sense - the kindest way to put it. A sterner way to put it is that it is an outrage, an imposition on basic civil liberties and on the reasonable expenditure of social energy.
... to say that the CIA and the KGB engage in similar practices is the equivalent of saying that the man who pushes an old lady into the path of a hurtling bus is not to be distinguished from the man who pushes an old lady out of the path of a hurtling bus: on the grounds that, after all, in both cases someone is pushing old ladies around.
A capitalist is someone who derives a substantial share of his income from his equity in producing companies. On this scale the figures are discouraging. Approximately ninety percent of the capital of this country is owned by five or less percent of the American people.
The government of the United States, under Lyndon Johnson, proposes to concern itself over the quality of American life. And this is something very new in the political theory of free nations. The quality of life has heretofore depended on the quality of the human beings who gave tone to that life, and they were its priests and its poets, not its bureaucrats.
A good debater is not necessarily an effective vote-getter: you can find a hole in your opponent's argument through which you could drive a coach and four ringing jingle bells all the way, and thrill at the crystallization of a truth wrung out from a bloody dialogue - which, however, may warm only you and your muse, while the smiling paralogist has in the meantime made votes by the tens of thousands.
Arlen Specter is the man who voted in favor of Bill Clinton during impeachment, voted against Robert Bork for the Supreme Court, voted against school choice for the District of Columbia, endorses an absolutist interpretation of abortion rights. He is bright and he is tough and he belongs elsewhere.
In the hands of a skillful indoctrinator, the average student not only thinks what the indoctrinator wants him to think . . . but is altogether positive that he has arrived at his position by independent intellectual exertion. This man is outraged by the suggestion that he is the flesh-and-blood tribute to the success of his indoctrinators.