Replies to Schaar and Wolin

"Replies to Schaar and Wolin," American Political Science Review, Vol 57, No. 1 (March 1963).


The critique of my Epilogue by Professors Schaar and Wolin is distinguished by the fact that it is, as far as I know, the most acrimonious critique hitherto written of what I stand for. Critiques of this kind were to be expected. In scholarship as well as in politics there is at all times something which can be called the status quo and which claims to be, not indeed simply perfect, but fundamentally sound-i.e., possessing within itself the remedies for the ills from which it suffers. There is also at all times a radical dissatisfaction with the status quo which is felt by two different kinds of people, those who wish to disagree and those who are compelled by reason to disagree. Some of those who are satisfied with the status quo, happy with the achievements of which in their opinion the status quo can boast, the beati possidentes, can be expected to be annoyed by the outsiders who suspect wrongly or rightly that what claims to be wealth is in fact penury. Annoyance easily leads to ill temper and ill temper easily leads to ill-tempered actions, if not to blind, fanatical hatred and corresponding actions.