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Firing live with William F. Buckley I discussed the placement and dots on the body to. The topic of discussion between Mr Buckley and disgust. Is heaped on my right to a. Firing Line is produced by the Southern educational Communications Association and is distributed by National Public Radio. Now here is Mr Buckley. We are discreetly removed from the not innocent yesterday on the campuses and in the academic journals. So on a postulates of fives. And in walking when Bruce to has described as an eerie tranquility is perhaps regrouping to strike again. At what. Out America is the easiest way to put it. Meanwhile the literature. Is quickly growing. Examining the particular you read or tease of the counterculture. Most problem of the season is on hold by Chapman's 9 lies about America. Despite the intense disappointment of his critics is not an American right winger.
He is a lecturer at the University of Massachusetts and political science he was city editor of the left wing PM in New York City years ago. He has worked for a dozen years with the trade union movement. He took early the side of the separatists in Algeria he briefed Senator Robert Kennedy on South Africa to which country he was denied a visa. The second time around. But he could not see the correspondence between the country he inhabits and the country as described by our militant dissatisfied among whom is Mr. Dotson Rader. He has been a member of the students for a democratic society and he figured prominently in the Columbia riots. Nine hundred sixty eight. He's added one book and written two. I marchin anymore a title which is self-explanatory. And government inspected meat and other fun things a title which is not. He's contributing editor of Evergreen Review and I've AAGAARD journal with. Heavy sexual
preoccupations. I should like Begin by asking Mr bites. Whether he detects any sense of guilt among those American intellectuals who were indulgent. Of the militants during the recent Willet war. No I don't think there's any sense of guilt since they say they've sat in judgment on everybody else. The judge never finds himself guilty. I would say that perhaps he quickly. They may feel they made an error but I don't see that there's been any great revulsion from what they did to the American University and it turned out to have been a pretty disastrous thing for themselves as well. Are you saying there's no such thing as a potent class among intellectuals. This is a historical observation. Well yes because the intellectual as a rule takes the position he's never been wronged. For example in the current issue or an issue a few weeks ago I guess Jack Newfield has a letter in The
Village Voice in which he talks and he describes how he lied for Bella Abzug a Bella Abzug he said he heard you first and want to tell the truth about it I would be. Yeah well you see he said he was. I was there he says Jack Newfield of the sting wished intellectual. If I may call him that. Without contradiction says I was there when Bella said in 1970 she was against the Jets for Israel and then I watched her deny she ever said it and finally I laud and denied she ever said it so that she might defeat Barry Farber. I am now ashamed of the Lord and He is penitent. But you see it's amazing how this apology and this present act of penance can become a sort of an act of arrogance because if one had said at that time it's like in the old days if you forgive this invidious comparison when people were saying that Stalin was a monster a despot a killer and a destroyer of genocide and so on. There are many people who lied for Stalin but when
they heard what question didn't his ex expose a speech they suddenly said Oh yes Stalin was always right. Now they didn't admit it in the sense that they'd committed a great crime against truth. They turned their confession into an act of virtue and I think Newfield is saying the same thing. See I've told the truth finally at last but how about it Mr. Burkley would say confession is a virtue. I don't find the parallel between Bella Abzug and Stalin particularly well I wasn't making that and that's a very you know left wing trick to suggest that I was comparing Bella Abzug and Stalin. She has got a talent for one thing but she might give him the idea to the thing. You mean what once women's lib succeeds she will then be stolen. I would say one of the original knitters at the guillotine probably read it. Well I missed Mr Wrong by from his hasn't evocative thing that he did do you think it is invidious to compare some of the
tactics of the people who shot down Columbia for instance with the tactics of the young Aust ominously young had a right to the comparison. Since 69 I've seen widely in print between. The radicals and this particular period in American history in the Weimar Republic. And. It's the argument goes that. In expanding the limits of public tolerance for dissent. And violence and so on that you so. Eat away at democratic institutions that they collapse. And I've never found that I find culturally in terms of the arts. Certain correspondence between this period and the Weimar Republic. I politically don't see a correspondence. Well did you mean to press this analogy. If nobody wants to press it I want to go.
Something Something caused you although I disagree first with the concept of the word radical in terms of the students I disagree very strongly that they were radical. What they were is very much like some of our elders say like Professor Andrew Hacker who in his book talks about what is called The End of American or America. What they really what he really is a sort of a conservative. I don't mean conservative in the sense bill that I would talk about he was a conservative kind of a sense of elitism. The Americans have no right to think well of themselves. It should be denied to them. This kind of superiority about the intellectual has to watch the great unwashed masses. And I think very largely the attitude of many of the young at Columbia whom I knew as a fellow graduate student in 68 and 69 and 70 was very much a contempt as they were saying all power to the people you always wondered what people were they talking about what
people were talking about. Will you have it in your book to fight. All part of the people. Is your signature line about it's a basically a populist position. People not that the hot hatch you would want them to know I think the heads I think the basic thrust of. The. New Left and that's a bad term of the new left until I would say 69 when the weatherman was born the day I don't think I think we always make a mistake because we assume the New Left is Marxist which is not. And you know I think essentially it's it's just a culturally biased. No I think in spirit it's basically 18th century. That's how it's beginning. And that coupled with the populism if you read the report here on State of STDs which was really the beginning. Of the left in the context now reads very highly constitutionalist highly moderate. Social
democratic kind of statement. What occurred in 68. And 69 is that they. Though the new left for various reasons began to adopt a Marxist. Or an overlay of Marxist terminology on what really in fact wasn't. Marxist consciousness because I don't think traditional Marxism is particularly applicable to the American situation. This coupled with. Disillusionment with American institutions coming largely out of the response of those institutions to what were rather good natured. Traditional protests of grievances. The war was a way to make good natured I mean. I think they were good natured. And the resulting disillusionment produce bitterness resentment and very severely a nation in the sense that you could no longer work. Constitutionally and you
had to peel the X constitutional means and it was in that period in 68. 69 that the left began to. Examine the possible uses of political violence. Why do you call them leftists instead not Marxist really except at the superficial level and not Leninist except for some war slogans. Why do you use the word left as it is accidental is the geography of the Constituent Assembly in 1780 I think within I think within the spectrum of American Fascists within the spectrum of American political opinion. By a fascist right. Exactly. Let me agree with you in terms of the relationship of forces and the relays in America to be social democratic even if you're not traditionally Marxist. Even Be So is democratic in the sense that Harold Wilson is because he's not he's not he's not talking about the social brief social democratic phase. Yes yes and he's written about the STDs that is associated with stopping the universities the kind of thing that happen in Colombia. Well I think it I think is post the good natured phase or do I think there I think during the
Columbia thing. That Colombia it was it was still in a reformist. Image in Britain a reformist kind of political. Thrust and I think it was the response of the police in that situation out on the call on the coast. That produced this continual movement to the left and as the and you know and movement into Marxism. I mean but that the reason the new left and I I mean that's the phrase The reason the left was forcing these issues a strong as it was to get violence and this violence from the police with thereby exposed the inherent fascist nature of the state so there was a sort of a contrived conspiratorial approach are you confusing two books. Well misquoted you know you have you taken to court to put them together. Colombia and Colombia second book post good natured. Yes. Columbia day.
The whole point of the occupation. Followed the whole idea of confrontation politics as developed from 1965 in the first demonstrations in Washington i.e. that through confront and there was that if you take young men and the left is active left is like 80 percent young men by young I mean between 16 and 20. And 16 and 17. Maybe you take young men who have a natural. Rebellion and the desire to posit personhood and. Independence and couple of the kind of romanticism which is innate to. American students to many Americans soon. You've got to give them an enemy. And I think we very quickly learned as if the end if they could come to realize that the enemy was around the corner in the form of the police or in the form of the school or whatnot. And go through a violent situation they would be radicalized by it it is almost like Christian conversion was in the course of several days literally could abandon. One set of political beliefs for
another. Well that me see if I can pick up a theme here it is a fact that. During one hundred sixty eight 69 970. Certain kinds of protest if you like. A big game. Quite common. And during that same period there was an academic orchestration. Provided for people who thought that they had a sovereign right for instance to prevent their fellow students from listening to people that want to listen to it. And if very very sophisticated explanation was given for this for instance and Mr. vitamines book he quotes a professor. Of English in Harvard University. Who when confronted by the fact that some students invited scholars to. Defend the Vietnam War and were prevented from doing so in the spring of 1970 when he made the point that well after all the people
who were protesting. Those who were speaking with themselves exercising their freedom of speech and under the circumstances all you got was neutralized situation. That kind of history would not have been widely. Tolerated. Ten years ago even five years ago the ACLU would have it all if there was a severe sudden poison in the system I think that's a point of vitamin D book not lies against America. Would you do with a very complex. I don't care how complex it is I want us to understand I think I see I think you can a lot of rhetoric whether it's right or left you can't take at face value or one of them and you have to take in terms of the the reasons it's being the motives behind it's an objective situation I'm trying to make it very honest. Some sort of understanding of why the left adopted certain tactics and whites adopting certain tactics now I think in the period of 68 69 is the pivotal year in the terms of the new letter gives the year which. The non passive has left and we all begin as driving on the student and we all begin as passive as
it is humanist an existentialist and the whole movement of my life and everyone I know in the left has been a movement away from the Pacific position. Too. A more violent one to the acceptance of more and more of. Of. Violent tactics in 69 is when the left began to go underground and when the left began to break up in terms of wide national organizational structures into affinity groups and began to respond very definitely to growing police repression. Now. In terms of rhetoric and in terms of the demonstrations in devices used even in terms of opposition to the war which I see largely as an organizational issue. The whole point of revolutionaries if you will I'm not one I believe in revolution I mean I think I support the idea of a revolution in this country I'd like to see a revolution. And if you're let me just finish this one point. If you're you so tantalizing if you're a writer which I am or if you're an organizer which saved LNG or
is. It you guys whether you're on the pacifist left or you're on the Weathermen left. The whole point of the thrust of your life is to create subversives to subvert American values subvert American history and you do this through many ways and the rhetoric used you nine big lies. Is a device a rather successful device to break down. The. Trust. Built up between the people and their institutions. I'm not saying that I'm not admitting the lies you see is not to say that it's a successful device on the eve of the largest landslide in American history for Richard Nixon. Well there's two opinions on that if you're on the left and you have two ways of looking at it is Mark who's in business that the more Nixon to the right and the more violent the reaction and I think this is very mild and Hitler not Hitler common Vio is what the Communist Party said I wanted that's what one guy we had in mind when he nominated to McGovern he will come said the Communist Party and then Hitler came and they would destroy the Communist Party didn't know
the difference between a right wing advance life sure which tolerated the Communist Party and a Nazi regime which would destroy Jack and Jack and you feel lied in professing admiration for McGovern. Maybe he's lying now. When he was he said he lied about absolute Zach Lee maybe was maybe you got a Harvey Matusow problem that's right you know that the double bluff. He's saying that because someone says oh now we see one of the things that I take up my ninth lie is describe what I called Revolution ism. We must have a revolution kind of revolution do you have to be bloody to be a real revolution. Preferably well. Got a problem and isn't to be had and he doesn't want to say anything. Well you see the problems as a real revolutionary not as many bloodshed and regimes to braise having a lot of trouble trying to decide with a single revolution if you don't have you know hundred thousand people killed a heck a tome of human hearts piled high for the Montezuma. Is it really a revolution.
How about that. Well I see your time you're going to see anywhere what draws me to the idea. Personally the idea of revolution what kind of revolution is not what draws. Dave Delozier and that would draw us Tom Hayden you have the same definition of revolution. No I don't think so I think by revolution we all mean the seizure of state power. Byelection known up by Lex by coup d'etat. No I think by revolution the streets by the seizure of American institutions as people in the streets milling around are going to be shot at by somebody I know so you want a violent revolution is what I'm going to Personally I would personally I would welcome a violent revolution because personally there's something in me personally that finds violence you find insulting Would you be sure that you know who would you be shooting at. So you were in the streets. Presumably you have a stan gun. Well probably you if you can. What does that mean well I take it as a joke. I mean you know I've had this happen before I was shot at several times by revolutionary and counter-revolutionary to an Algerian like other places and in Vietnam. So it's nothing particularly new.
I just like to know why you would be shooting at me. I have difficulty responding to questions like that because I view it. But this is the reality of the question. I view it. And I view it very novelistic Lee and I was voyeuristically the whole thing. And Stendhal I understand something about the impulses behind. Pretty young males. Attraction to the employment of violent means and something about what it says about their manhood and what it says about what American institutions do. Terms of emasculation extensive adolescence and so on to the young male. Now when we talk about revolution. And we talk about that kind of. So that say when the left which welcomes. Nixon's. Ascendancy and hopes Agnew follows him. You talk about that part of the left which seeks to break down. Liberal democracy in the corporate level Marcin United States by so
dividing the country there is a proportion of the country. There was a good portion of the Left function is the advancement of despair polarization right. And it's to take us to get it. Strong enough minority and had to be very large of the population who are so deeply into the spare over the possibility of change within the system that they're willing to form. An organization a revolutionary on the ground and use any means necessary to bring it down. And. My experience of my life in this country I don't think any believe anymore you're going to bring about massive change in this country through democratic electoral means is just some revolution you particularly like what you think is worked out really well and the Paris Commune and you put the. Stories The way I want to get old have a dime here. Well there YOUR has its charm. So your has its 15 million people as you like charming revolutionised about successful run like one that's worked out as the one. Give me an idea when you say resolution. The Algerian revolution the Cuban the
Russian the Chinese I like had a revolution I like the Cuban revolution. Three years and I got to do you in jail. I don't like the Cuban revolution for the same reason. Delancey has doubts about it and chooses some tag I don't is because of the gender of the artist. There is suppression of intellectual freedom and whatnot that have been predicted treatment of homosexuals the treatment of non-conformists no much she's moaning so I don't see I don't see any point. In exchanging. Caster for Battista. Into speaking terms of self interest as a writer. So there we are still talking about revolutions you don't like. Yeah I realize now I like the Russian Revolution until the rise of Stalin. Well is there something and then I came there I think this is again a social Sascha is there any is there any revolution which doesn't eventually that you've known which is not going down. Example the Israelis but they have a revolution. I mean they want conquest at war they fought off the few little Arab lords
one can have a marvelous time defining the Israeli resolution. That's why not. It's a labor movement that controls the economy of Israel there are no old very rich people very poor people. We have no rights and for the state of Israel and I'm not talking about you know what I mean I can wish you would send Burton you would send him to you know. What I'm trying to see things I believe in collective guilt. You believe in collective innocence too. I suppose I do. Love everybody. Nobody's innocent as we say. What revolution if I want to see it in my book I tried I know you want me to give you an answer than I can what it is and if I mention North you know I was then you can drop bombs on a pall over me but why don't you just sit watch just say there is no revolution that quite meets my standards. There is no and it's true. So therefore you're suggesting since the past is no guide and all through the revolution you have to have the best revolution in the world and if a few
people get knocked off in the process how about the American of Sabah. Yeah I think I think I think with the merchants revolution but it was a good revolution and I think American democracy function well and worked well. Until. Until nearly the Civil War until the birth of national corporations and the beginning of state and beginning of federal intervention. In localities and regions. I mean I think Lincoln. Manyways was a great man. More than any other president responsible for. This political and social arrangement we have in this country the. Connection between the federal government corporations and American institutions and I think up to that point where American democracy was largely local. It was good and it functioned good and it's kind of democracy I'd like to return to. Well in part if I say very romantic and the idea that it is in fact
historically there were far fewer civil liberties in the civil war. American they were opposed to America. John Roche has written. A convincing history on the point and this is back when he was head of the ATF. So you don't have to distrust him. I'd like to ask you this. It may be that that which was briefly. Experienced by the majority of America about revolutionary activity has turned into contempt and that the contempt is less because of the lack of ethic a serial movement because of its total absence of electoral credentials. And Arnold book takes statements from representative leaders of that movement and shows that they are for the most part fantasies. They simply don't relate to anything that's going on in this country. Tom Wolfe in his introduction quotes Rivera as saying rather wistfully to his fellow European intellectuals how come since I've been hearing for 50 years that
America is where fascism is coming all the refugees tend to go from Europe to America rather than in the other direction. Can you tell us what it is that has been advanced by the whole sum of your labors and that of your colleagues over the last seven or eight years in terms of an understanding of the necessity for revolution or the likelihood of it I think. I mean I think McGovern's nomination is a product of the Anna war movement. Which probably Mr. Nixon thinks it's for but. It is largely And I think the country as a whole in terms of. Questions on the on abortion on all sorts of pornography on. Greater freedom in terms of the arts on ground tolerance totally cheating Yeah they are lovers of what Bob's political you know they are that's very important distinction but there are we've made a great deal it's even the country that has moved left as well generally culturally left.
And not politically right and if you're part of our belief is that you've The first thing you change. First thing that occurred for political change is cultural change of a change that's kind of that's unusual you see. Michael oh shock for example who I admire is one of the great conservatives conservative thinkers of our time the English Don of the London School of Economics. Michael Oakshott is as an as politically a great conservative culturally. I would say he was a radical he doesn't believe in the great many of the controls that one would think a conservative does and I think it's a great mistake to think that conservatives are politically conservative culturally On the contrary I think they're not saying I don't think it necessarily follows that a left culture necessarily produces a left politics. You know. I think you've got I mean I personally believe you've got to. Change people's sexual attitudes people's attitude towards the church. People's attitude toward education.
Towards business attitude is going to range fantastically The most important revolution which has taken place as Pat Moynihan once said in America is the way the boys and girls of old moved in together at American university dormitories something inconceivable three years ago. Now every administrator says Well thank God the boarding house business boarding. House now that's been a very important change in manner in Mamas and Papas now look upon it as perfectly normal. Nothing to argue but it's better than the divorce in at least the straight as Mama would say. Now this has been a very long off. But you know that's been an amazing change and I think the sex attitudes can change. I think this is perhaps been where there has been achievement sort of a would be quote Vanguard saw realease school in terms of manner and culture has changed the politics can change the politics of a highly integrated industrial suspend society where you have a fairly good amount of affluence blacks moving in on Bush was more the slogan of the day.
Can't you have left culture after all the middle class in America today just loves being denounced they think they just paid big money to go and see movies like The Graduate in which they made a laughingstock of. Then they go back and I see middle class right to the same swimming pool they were laughing at in the movie. It was disappointing. The point I'm making is that you may have achieved a cultural revolution which is quite possible in changing manners modes of consciousness. But the political revolution is something which may escape the clutches of this cultural revolution because it has no ideology just Revolution. I think part of the thrust of the left has been to encourage. Dropping out. Of the system by. You know going to like this the most sensitive and the most gifted intellectually of the young. And that's why drugs for example or did my eggs and sexual promiscuity and sexual deviancy is a device anything any device by
which a person becomes an outlaw within his own country. Makes him by definition they rebel.
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Firing line
Hate America (Reel 1)
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