to relieve its tiresomeness. One may ask,nshould it be tolerated?—and one can only,nwearily, acknowledge that, as the pricenof “free speech” (which cannot be withheldneven from certified morons), itnshould. That it should not be rebutted isnanother matter. And that it has not beennrebutted with much effectiveness is butnone more. One finds oneself burning tonpoint out that Israel is still a tiny nationnfighting for survival against tremendouslynpowerful adversaries, of whichnthe U.S.S.R. is merely the most powerful,nand that the Palestinian cause has, saynwhat you will, been converted into anweapon of annihilation against that smallnand vulnerable state. But such is probablynfruitless effort. We would do better tonspend the time improving our understandingnof the international politicalncircumambience in which so dishearteningna spectacle as Ms. Redgrave’s isnpossible.nThe crucible dates back many yearsneven before Ms. Lillian Hellman, butnMs. Hellman would seem to have becomenthe archetype for our time of this genrenof rigidly pro-lefist partisanship. Shenwas the first in a succession of femalenactivists that has included, among manynothers such as Joan Baez and ShirleynMacLaine, Jane Fonda and Ms. Redgraven—the ladies who could always see thenhorrors on one side but suddenly turnednastigmatic when horrors turned up onnthe other. Soweto visible but nevernGulag, McCarthy but never Stalin, Nixonnbut never Hiss, tiger cages in Saigon butnnever the decimation of village leadersnordered and committed by Hanoi andnthe Vietcong, napalm dropped on babiesnby American fliers over Vietnam butnnever hunger-and-death forced marchesnconducted by North Vietnamese conquerors,nWatergate but never thenSymbionese Liberation Front, and now,nsupposedly, “Zionist hoodlums” and notnthe PLO massacre of the innocents in anbus in Israel. This steely-stony one-tracknpartisanship is more vicious than it-alldepends-whose-ox-is-being-goreddishonesty:nit is intellectual travesty, moralnbankruptcy and bone-deep philosophicalnself-per jury.nThink back to Lillian Hellman’s apologeticsnfor the infamous Moscow Trialsnof the ’30s, her support of the Communist-controlledninternational Waldorf conferencenof ’49, her untiring efforts tonexculpate “the Hollywood Ten” whilenscorning even to mention, much less benappalled by, the crimes of the totalitariannregime defended and promoted by then”ten.” But what would seem to typifynMs. Hellman’s intellectual integrity wasnher play, “The Searching Wind,” whichnsome will remember from its brief runnon Broadway in the early days of WWII.nThe principal message of it was that thenrise of Fascism and Nazism was chieflynthe fault of corrupt upper-class Americansnin Europe. When one’s frame ofnmind is so rigidly doctrinaire it is perhapsnno surprise that, with the exposure ofnone’s previous political statements asnfallacious, one would still continue tonrefuse to admit one was wrong. A trailnhas been blazed which was to be assiduouslynfollowed down the ensuing yearsnby the sorority of which Ms. LilliannHellman has been so liberally befoggedna house mother.nA recently published posthumous booknby Hannah Arendt bewails the prevalentnabsence in our society of creative thinking.nFaced with the ilk of callow andnnarrowly partisan sententiousness, onencan only echo the Arendt lament for ourncontinuing ratiocinative failures bynposing the question: Is it too much tonask of those who have reached prominencenin public life to first take the troublento inform themselves of the truth of whatnthey would tell us and above all have thenhonesty to voice the whole truth? DnCivility in The New Republic and Logicnthat Shines from the Washington StarnA letter was recently sent to ThenNew Republic magazine protesting a sentencenin an article by Mr. Henry Fairlie,na distinguished English emigre. Mr.nFairlie stated that American conservatives,nwho by nature should have developednaristocratic instincts, turned outnrather to be hypocritical populists, whilenAmerican liberals, who for so longnclaimed to represent the soul of thenpeople, wound up with a variety of elitistnproclivities in their character. To makenit clearer, Mr. Fairlie sketched a list ofnpresently prominent neo-conservatives,nand passed a judgment: “But these arenhonorable men.” As both conjunctionnand preposition, but is used here to assertnthat conservatives are, as a rule, dishonorablenmen with some exceptions. Thisnassertion was protested in a letter. Thenletter was never printed.nThere is a peculiar logic that regulatesnthe use of the word conservative in theninclement environment of today’s media.nNot long ago a Washington Star booknreviewer, wishing to express disapprovalnnnof Paul Johnson’s Enemies of Society,nwrote:n”The pillars [of our civilization] hen[Johnson] says are a brief in moralnabsolutes: the notion that. . . violencenis always wrong; democracy as the leastnevil form of government; the rule ofnlaw; the importance of the individualn. . , a healthy middle class; political andneconomic freedom; exactness in language;nthe trustworthiness of science;nand, finally, the ceaseless pursuit ofntruth. All this may sould like prettynconservative stuff, but Johnson cannotnbe so easily categorized: he was the editornof the British liberal weekly The NewnStatesman . . . and he doesn’t fit intonany of the traditional right-wing molds.”nPretty conservative stuff indeed, nonone would deny that. If not with politicalnfortunes, the conservatives these days atnleast seem to be blessed with brilliantncritics. •n127nChronicles of Culturen