ideas, the American “liberals” have, within the democraticnframework and the commercialized world of the massnmedia, an almost automatic advantage over more profoundnthinkers whose ideas are difficult to popularize. Americann”liberals” keep their antagonists out of the marketplace, andnan unholy “liberal” inquisition rules today in America. Thenunbroken power of American “liberals” is most evident inneducation, book publishing, the press, and the electronicnmass media. They form a true establishment, moved by anspecific ideology.nBut do they really have an ideology? One might arguenthat since their intellectual and emotional baggage containsncontradictions, they follow the old system of having “anphilosophy of no philosophy.” This is only seemingly thencase. They are firmly anthropocentric and “Edenist,” annoutlook they share with Karl Marx. And this basicallynoptimistic ideology assumes in so many American “liberals”nthe character of a religion because it replaces religion, and isndefended with a truly religious fervor. If you take it awaynfrom them, they have nothing left. This explains their not sonrare fanaticism {vide the case of Benjamin Hart who, atnDartmouth, was literally bitten by a “liberal” member of thenadministration while he distributed a conservative studentnpaper. Hart had to be given tetanus shots). As a rule,nhowever, American “liberals” reject genuine communism ofnRussian vintage—but with sympathetic regret, becausenwhat they really mind about it are its methods, not its aims ornessence. Face to face with a radical enemy of the “SocialistnFatherland” and all it stands for, especially if he is religiousnand/or conservative (a Solzhenitsyn, for instance), then”liberal” will indignantly oppose him . . . just as he wouldnside with Henry Dexter White against Joe McCarthy, withnAlger Hiss against Whittaker Chambers, or with the rednANC assassins (who burn their adversaries alive) against thenforces of a peaceful evolution in South Africa.nIn the realm of American internal affairs, Americann”liberalism” makes its ideology a strong and often decisivenfactor. As everywhere in the Western world, there are partiesnin the United States which can be either “Santa Claus” orn”tighten-your-belt” parties. The former, as a rule (and quitennaturally), are of the left, the latter of the right. Needless tonsay, the Santa Claus parties, since they bring gifts, soothenenvies, and appeal to bleeding hearts, have an enormousnadvantage in the voting process. In a sense, they cannot bendefeated, though occasionally they commit a sort of temporarynsuicide with grave political errors or unappealingncandidates.nEven if victorious, however, the tighten-your-belt partiesnusually do not have the courage to undo the evil works ofnthe Santa Clausers — political candidates rarely have anythingnbut their reelection in mind. Thus the buying of votesnnever ends. If I stand within 20 yards of a polling booth andnoffer hundreds of dollars in cash to anybody who votes fornme, I would, in most countries, be arrested. But if I get ontona soap box and promise a thousand dollars of state revenue anmonth to each person with black hair and blue eyes, therenwould be no objections. Votes are always for sale.nParliamentarism cannot be corrupted because, owing tonits “largesses” (of which John Adams was so suspicious), it isncorruption. Therefore American “liberalism” fits extremelynwell into such a scene. It is the creed of do-gooders.nadvocates of the Provider State (wrongly called the WelfarenState), of the disinherited, the sexual deviates, the “minorities”n(but only those at the bottom of the social scale), thenimprovident, drug addicts, dropouts, et al. As one authornsaid, American “liberals” are frequently “advantagednidealists”—lucky people in the upper classes who, rightly ornwrongly, suffer from a bad conscience. Hence the statisticallynverifiable phenomenon that in the United States thenpercentage of self-professed “liberals” mounts with theirnincome. Intellectually this is not surprising, since simplenpeople often have sound intuitions, whereas further up onenfinds the half-educated. A truly high degree of knowledgenand wisdom pertains to such a microscopic group that it willnnot figure in overall statistics.nAmerican “liberals” frequently assume a Christian stancenof extreme altruism, confusing justice with equality. Butnwhere human life is concerned they suffer from innerncontradictions deriving from the two sources of theirnideology: a degenerate liberalism, and Marxism. Theynprotest against the execution of guilty criminals, but promotenthe massacre of the innocent unborn. Yet we shouldnnot be led astray by the contradictions in their ideology,nbecause there always remains a guiding line: the belief in annall but automatic “progress” (which, to be sure, has to benhelped along by all sorts of trickery) and the conviction thatnman, basically so good and clever, can establish Paradise onnEarth . . . either in unspecified freedom or through angigantic bureaucratic machinery.nMost fatal of all, however, is the effect of Americann”liberalism” on foreign policy, where it has served tonpropagandize not so much the ideas of 1776 as the aliennideology of 1789. Whereas the democrats of 1917 and 1919nprepared the field for World War II, the pseudo-liberals aftern1945 did everything in their power to see that World War IIIncan cast its shadow over all of us. The satanic urge fornsuicide and destruction? Not necessarily. Vauvenargues hasnwarned us that the usual excuse of the real malefactors innthis world is that they want to do good. In our fundamentallynirrational age, we probably have to fear the infernal power ofnferocious stupidity more than ordinary wickedness.nThe IngersoU PrizesninnLiterature and the Humanitiesn1988nThe T.S. Eliot Award for Creative WritingnWalker PercynCovington, LouisiananThe Richard M. Weaver Award for Scholarly LettersnEdward ShilsnChicago, IllinoisnClayton Gaylord, ChairmannJohn A. Howard, PresidentnThe Ingersoll FoundationnofnRockford, IllinoisnThomas Fleming,nExecutive SecretarynThe Ingersoll PrizesnThe awards, in the amount of $15,000 each, will be presented at a formal banquetnat the Drake Hotel in Chicago on November 4, 1988.nnnNOVEMBER 19881 17n