Monday, November 02, 2020


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. William F. Buckley, Jr. Up From Liberalism, 1959 

Stacy McCain and Ed Driscoll have quoted this a few times over the years.  "In the hands of..." "outraged," "flesh-and-blood tribute" (bearing in mind the origin of that last word) - these are the phrasings one expects from Uncle Screwtape.


Unknown said...

From "Up from Liberalism" -- a whole book to annoy me with the late 20th century USA use of the word 'liberal', which properly in my view describes Gladstonian economic and social policy views.

And within that book from the chapter "The Liberal as Indoctrinator"

There are so many spurious quotes running around these days, and the presence of those dots for ellipsis in the middle of a quote is a giant red-flag to me.

So my frequent reaction to free-ranging quotes online is to to drop a link to the source so that other readers can at least see the context. Even if, as in this case, the red flag can be put away.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Right on all counts. I tried to find the full quote and after ten minutes decided I'd risk it.

I also have disliked the migrations of the words "liberal" and "progressive" over the years - elastic meanings to be used instrumentally rather than accurately. However, I want to be understood by the maximum number of people in the end.

Sam L. said...

The word "progressive' always reminds me of cancer (which killed my wife 22 years ago).

PenGun said...

"I tried to find the full quote and after ten minutes decided I'd risk it."

Indeed. perhaps you should be very careful, if you find risk in a link to a book. Now goats' is to be avoided, but the rest of the internet is safe, I checked. ;)

This is fragility on a rather serious level.

james said...

Fragile? You missed the point. It's about honor.

PenGun said...

How is being afraid to look at an URL, be about honour?