A writer-editor-teacher’s quote of the week #28

“What we have right now is this ridiculous situation where if you criticize liberals, people say, ‘She’s a conservative!’ Now, what kind of a lack of information is this about intellectual history? Liberalism is only 200 years old. There are other points of view on the world besides that of liberalism in its present decayed condition. We of the Sixties were often in revolt against liberals. Lenny Bruce, when he recited all those dirty words, was trying to offend liberals, not conservatives. So in the present situation I don’t know what to call myself. I would maybe say ‘libertarian’ or something like that. I’m trying to create a new system— I call it ‘Italian pagan Catholicism.’ But that may be too esoteric! I’m thinking that I want to bring about an enlightened center. I would like to call it, maybe, ‘pragmatic liberalism,’ that is, a liberalism that has learned the political lessons of the past twenty five years.”

from “The M.I.T. Lecture: Crisis in the American Universities” in Sex, Art and American Culture by Camille Paglia. (The lecture transcribed here was given September 19, 1991.)

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