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Led by the nose of the intellect: Prof. Louis Menand

By Michael Moriarty
web posted November 13, 2006

Prof. Menand's forward to Edmund Wilson's To The Finland Station is really all the reading of Menand I've done … however, his lifelong, intellectual journey from Marxism to Metaphysics - his recent work is called The Metaphysical Club is all I needed to know - plus the fact that "metaphysics" only got him as far as Oliver Wendell Holmes.

A quote from Justice Holmes finally clarified for me the origin of the Progressive Movement in America, and why the Progressives have become so profound a part of "thinking" in the American Supreme Court, of which Mr. Holmes was a Justice from 1902 to 1932.

Justice Holmes said that "It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind ... Three generations of imbeciles are enough."

That makes it very clear that Oliver Wendell Holmes was as committed a natural Supremacist as any Nazi was; and that Americans were thinking of eliminating the weak, the disabled and the socially un-redeemable as far back as the 19th Century.

Vice-President Henry Wallace, under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt – he had the Pyramid of the New World Order placed upon the American dollar - carried the Progressive Movement into the mind of Senator William J. Fulbright who, in turn, handed the torch to William J. Clinton who is now the virtual Pharaoh of the Progressive Pyramid.

It all seemed to have begun, however, with Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. Whether he had actually read Hereditary Genius by Sir Francis Galton (1822-1911), is, at this point, difficult to determine. Hereditary Genius, however, is the virtual Bible of the American Progressive Movement. They are all Eugenicists.

Louis MenandProf. Menand gave me quite a gift when he irrefutably pointed out that to understand any "paradigm" one must look at what the "paradigm leaves out."

With that advice I realized how profoundly repugnant the intellect of Edmund Wilson was. His faux-scholarship regarding the revolutionary nature of mankind in general had, in his To The Finland Station, entirely left out the American Revolution. Yes, Mr. Wilson was an American in citizenship, birth certificate and passport papers only. Why he did not have the integrity of a Gertrude Stein and move to Paris with all the other American ex-patriots, like James Baldwin and Gore Vidal who left the United States in protest and on behalf of the Communist Revolution, is a fairly good indication of Mr. Wilson's preference for a life of contempt rather than contemplation. Oh, both authors, Baldwin and Vidal, still spewed their contempt for America from across the Atlantic but, at least, they knew where home was for such feelings, Europe.

A photo of Mr. Wilson will reveal to you the depth of his malevolence. Edmund Wilson is the Professor of Everything that no one in the world would want to face. His lips aren't exactly curled but his soul is.

Prof. Menand, who gracefully reminds the prospective readers of To The Finland Station of the dangers inherent in Wilson's book, which, as far as I can tell, is a hagiography of the life of Vladimer Ilytch Lenin, quotes Vladimer Nabokov's description of Lenin.

"A pail of the milk of human kindness, at the bottom of which is a dead rat."

I see none of that milk in the face of Edmund Wilson but I can sure smell a rat oozing out of his contempt.

I gather, from Prof. Menand's judiciously diplomatic introduction for To The Finland Station, that he is no longer a Marxist but, I suspect, he is now a Progressive.

My opinion of William J. Clinton, the Napoleon of Worldwide Progressives, is that he is not a pail of human kindness but a huge vat of the stuff … however, the "dead rat" is still there at the bottom.

Clinton calls To The Finland Station a "marvellous book!"

No doubt that Senator Fulbright recommended it to him.

Perhaps Edmund Wilson didn't live in Paris because he would have had Jean Paul Sartre to contend with, and that Left-Bank Mao Zedong of the Human Intellect was not someone to contend with. Albert Camus did and he died in a car accident in the South of France.

So, apparently Prof. Menand has been led by the nose of his intellect into the Progressive Movement and, now that he still lives in New York City, a virtual Clintongrad, his life should remain fairly comfortable and his only intellectual project left is to defend Eugenics with Dialectical Materialism. That shouldn't be too hard since neither Eugenics nor Marxist Synthesis can accept or abide absolutes of any kind. Improving the Human Race scientifically is, well, just that, a constant improvement, a work-in-progress only worthy of Progressives.

An absolute such as the Golden Rule is not a Paradigm but a perfect formula for individual freedom and, forgive me for mentioning the word, love.

What do Prof. Menand, Edmund Wilson and Lenin have to do with the Golden Rule? Nothing, really. That's why I brought the subject up. It's something in their pursuit of a paradigm they always "leave out."

If there is no room for love in Prof. Menand's metaphysics then it's not metaphysics. Metaphysics can only begin when you recognize that there are some things indeed larger than the sums of their parts. Some things just cannot be understood on the physical plane because they can't be measured. Only metaphysics can help you even approach their meaning, though not necessarily attain it.

The ultimate destination of Man, at least according to the American Declaration of Independence, is the "pursuit of happiness".

The French took the same ingredients of Liberty and Equality and came up with a Fraternity as Man's ultimate achievement. That this French Fraternity went hunting a "Paradigm" that necessitated Communism as the means by which they could attain this "Perfection" only led them to their ultimate Napoleon, Mao Zedong, as the Revolutionary Messiah. However, along came a Brit named Sir Francis Galton who politely asks, "What are you going to do with all that tyranny and all those human beings in a cage if not hand them over to Science to be improved!"

So, with his usual cunning and bedside manner, Dr. William J. Clinton persuaded his friends in Beijing that the ultimate obligation of Red China is to hand its captive people over to the Scientists. The People's Republic of China are doing that now with actual "organ harvesting" from political and religious enemies.

Needless to say, Prof. Menand has been led by the nose of his intellect into the very bowels of the New World Order pyramid and, I think by now, should smell more than dead rats. A Pyramid is a vertical cemetery filled with human skulls and bones. Now that the mountains of such horror in Nazi concentration camps have been transformed into the barrels of human fetal tissue in the test tubes of Science?!

Well, that's just something we don't talk about. It's better left unsaid, "left out." ESR

Michael Moriarty is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor who starred in the landmark television series Law and Order from 1990 to 1994. His recent film and TV credits include The Yellow Wallpaper, 12 Hours to Live, Mary Christmas and Force of Impact. Moriarty is also running for President of the United States in 2008 as a candidate for the Realists Party. To find out more about Moriarty's presidential campaign, contact rainbowfamily2008@yahoo.com.

Other related essays:

  • Exploring America's cultural history by Steven Martinovich (December 9, 2002)
    Love him or hate him, Louis Menand is a writer and cultural historian of remarkable skill. Steve Martinovich reviews a collection of his essays entitled American Studies
  • Ideas of truth by Steven Martinovich (June 25, 2001)
    Steve Martinovich is impressed by Louis Menand's The Metaphysical Club: A Story of Ideas in America, just not the philosophy and the people behind it that the book documents


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