I
The New Conformity

"Only connect. . . ." E. M. FORSTER

IF WE MAY BELIEVE what we read, the United States today is a nation oppressed by conformity. Professional critics of our society have discovered that we are suffering from a form of intellectual and moral paralysis. Where once we had been a land of self-reliant pioneers, we are told, we have become a land of groups and aggregates. We are increasingly afraid to think and act for ourselves; a degenerate citizenry prefers the comforts of "belongingness" and "togetherness" to the splendid rigors of independence.

Such commentary, at least in its more fashionable variations, is generally limited to surface matters. The nation is asked to do penance for its commuter mores and split-level ethics, but is given neither an alternative to the mores, nor a reason for the penance. Criticism of this sort is represented, most famously, by Professor John Kenneth Galbraith, of Cambridge and New Delhi, and by a journalist named Vance Packard. Packard has been particularly voluble--producing three somber elegies for our vanished individualism, toiling through endless volumes of

-13-

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Revolt on the Campus
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Acknowledgments ii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Introductory: A Memoir 1
  • I - The New Conformity 13
  • II - The Shape of Rebellion 28
  • III - Isi 57
  • IV - A Study in Loyalty 74
  • V - Chicago, 1960 87
  • VI - Young Americans for Freedom 108
  • VII - The Young Republicans 125
  • VIII - The Battle Against Nsa 145
  • IX - The Intellectuals 164
  • X - The Conservative Future 190
  • Epilogue - Academic Freedom: in Theory, And in Practice 197
  • Index 242
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