October 10, 2002

INTERESTING COMMENTS ON FRENCH INTELLECTUAL DEVELOPMENTS, from Innocents Abroad. (Scroll up from this link for more). Excerpt:

I referred earlier to French intellectual arrogance and the perennial French view that Americans are dim-witted. This too may be changing. It’s long been the case that Americans have neglected more cerebral studies in favor of pragmatic pursuits. As a result, accusations of boorishness coming from the vast parade of French philosophic and revolutionary thinkers has often gone unanswered by the practical Americans. So it was a bit of a surprise when intelligent Americans, especially intelligent conservatives, hit back this time around. What may be even more surprising to Americans is that the French themselves were not entirely impressed by the knee-jerk anti-Americanism in their midst. . . .

That some of the best French intellectuals are now liberals in the classical sense and no longer slaves to the Marxist vulgate, suggests things may be changing. Just as the rise of an educated and philosophically conversant conservative movement had a lasting impact on the United States in recent decades, a similarly well-educated and thoughtful liberal tradition seems to be growing in France. It’s unfortunate that Germany seems unable to follow the French lead.

Yes, it is.

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