Lamont, Corliss, Freedom is as freedom does

(New York :  Horizon Press,  1956.)



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  Page 187  


The drive against freedom in the United States since the Second
World War has extended to nearly every field of cultural en¬
deavor. Art, science, education, Hterature, publishing, journalism,
rehgion, the theatte, motion pictures, radio and television have
aU suffered. The attack on non-conformity is in essence an anti-
intellectual, anti-cultural movement. The demagogue feeding on
the fears and frustrations of the pubHc realizes that his greatest
enemy is the spread of knowledge and understanding. Accord¬
ingly he is against inteUectuals of every sort and ridicules them

The demagogue is mortally afraid of people thinking, because
he knows that thought can pierce his pretensions. He stands with
the patiiotic American mother who complained to her friends
that the U.S. Army was subjecting her son to Communist propa¬
ganda. "They're always telHng him, 'Think for yourself,'" she said.
For the conformists there is now an Eleventh Commandment,
"Thou shalt not think."

The numberless attacks on cultural freedom during the post¬
war years almost defy cataloguing. I shall take up first those
which involve censorship—by government officials, individual
busybodies, or pressure groups with some particular ideological
axe to grind. Such censorship has as its object not only the sup¬
pression of the cultural production immediately involved, but
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