an essay, “The Growing Battle of the Books,” based on vintagenTime-Life selections of half-evidence, demi-truths andndiscount-priced reasoning. According to Time’s author,na new populist mood in America is partial to a kind of censorshipnthat keeps “troubling ideas out of . . . books and minds,”nand is hostile to “open traffic in ideas that not only nourishesna free society but defines its essence.” This, of course, in thenoldest tradition of liberal sanctimoniousness, is a ruthless,nsneaky attempt to misrepresent the issue.nIn point of fact, the present contention between concernedncitizenry and librarians has nothing to do with the censorshipnof books, printed matter or publications—and even lessnwith ideas. Censorship is a prohibition against printing ornpublishing. Nobody in America is prevented from publishingnanything. No one is barred from entering a book shop andnbuying anything he wants—from Ulysses to Hustler. But anpublic-school library is funded by public money providednlargely by parents who want to shield their children from thenavailability and accessibility of reading material judged bynthe parents to be inappropriate. To deny parents this rightnhas nothing to do with freedom, democracy or “book-burning”;nwhat it does involve is a liberal despotism that can bentermed cultural fascism. The individual, parental, evaluationnof what is, or is not, permissible is as much a democraticnprerogative as the free circulation of ideas. In a recentnpiece, this same Time magazine asserted that the catastrophicnproliferation of violence is strictly connected to the culturalndistribution of specific sociomoral attitudes via entertainment,nreading matter, television, movies, etc. Why Time doesnnot see any relation between the unlimited access to pornography—evennin its more refined form—and the social plaguenof teen-age pregnancies (one of the most ominous diseasesnof our age, one which annihilates the very process of humannmaturation and transforms the society into a freak show, notnoiily n its normative sense but also in its psychosomaticncapability of dealing with the rudiments of life) is a mystery.nWe mourn the passing of Mrs.nMaxine Steinman-Mayewski,nChronicles of Culture’s contributornand our friend. Shenwas a writer, editor and booknreviewer. Her talents helpednRadio Free Europe in the initialnphase of its existence.nAbove all, she was a warm,nwise and helpful human beingnwho will be remembered.nThe sociomoral permissiveness which the cultural fascistsntry to impose on all of us offers only the dissolution ofnstandards, whose result is usually an accumulation of brokennlives, a mass of retarded children, human unhappiness in ansocial dimension whose sociomoral consequences are unpredictable,nbut certainly quite pessimistic.nnnAs LS we have often repeated, liberalism and the LiberalnCulture are not the same: for over 50 years we have watchednas proponents of a hitherto-respectable ideology began tonspew out noxious vapors which pollute our atmosphere farnmore than any chemical agent ever could. The corruptednideology has generated a climate in which cultural fascismnthrives, in which a contemptuous disregard for the majority’sncultural demands has become the supreme will of the minority.nTo deny a majority the right to lynch is proper in andemocracy, but to deny it the actualization of its preferencesnof ethics, custom and convention turns democracy into a caricature—andnthat is exactly what the fascist librarians andntheir liberal instigators have done by their manipulation ofnthe First Amendment. It is now obvious that the culturalnfascists’ postulate is an unrestricted-by-any-law blessing tonram their nonnegotiable values down the throats of peoplenwho desperately wish to live by other values. If this is a continuationnof the idea of the social contract, then the verynwords “social contract” and “despotism” no longer mean anything.nTurning the First Amendment into a tumor that isneating away at the American constitutionality seems to us anrather perverted manifestation; it was that kind of absolutismnthat the founding fathers fought against.nWhat makes people so bitterly antiliberal in today’s Americanis the liberals’ claim to possess the sole franchise on indignation.nThey and only they may righteously protest the “encroachmentnof rights,” or cry “bigotry!” or “censorship!”nwhenever their ideas are spurned. They have pre-empted allnpossible privileges relating to any decision conditioned bynone’s own reason and conscience because, according to them,nliberals have a monopoly on reason and conscience. Everybodynelse’s feelings, sensibilities, beliefs matter little, ornnothing, if they happen to conflict with liberal feelings andnbeliefs. Thus, a proposition for a rational discourse on pornography’sneffect on human adolescence is an unthinkablenrape of the human mind, of social freedom in the liberalndialectic. But freedom is meaningless when it serves to dissolvena civilization which was based on natural rights andnlaws. What follows is the frantic defense of the freedom tonturn ourselves into sociocultural vegetables, to transmutenour existential dimension into behavioral mush. Thosenlibrarians who furiously battle any normative argument loom,nin our view, as the paladins of cultural fascism.n—Leopold TyrmandnMarch/April 1981n