December 6, 1960
White Russian taxi drivers still exist in Paris and they do not even charge extra for their consultations. This one said from his profound objectivity that we in the US are going the same way as the Russians. "All the world is being collectivized. No one can make a fortune." I was sincerely inclined to a statistical quibble. Maybe some fortunes are still made -- in money, in art, in science, in love, in political achievement, in creative private lives. UNESCO should, but does not, provide the exceptional statistics. It gives one to feel that the driver is right.
December 11, 1960 Portugal. 4 AM Pracia da Rocha
Awakened by some internal grumblings against Portuguese cuisine. The breeze comes into our room through a balcony door and a window, both opening out on a quiet but distinct surf and the darkish night of a half-moon, slightly saucered, and stars fat an bright. The air is clean & cool to breathe. My sinuses that ached and drained for a week are quiet and drier. Vicky sleeps beautifully, slim, brunette, deep in white covers and pillows.
I think of returning to New York two days earlier than planned. I step out on the balcony on cold bare feet and stones, looking far down to the beach and huge rocks. I go to the toilet, take an antacid tablet for lack of better to do, and begin reading in the middle of Henry Miller's Black Spring, which I am carrying back to USA for Professor Glicksberg. I have only looked into H. M.'s pages once or twice in life, then finding him dull and without style, but this book, at least, has much truth, gusto, and attractive imagery. I speaks, and moves along.
Then I think of the article on the World intelligentsia I am supposed to write in the next couple of days, and of the Pro Deo movement and of how I am not a Catholic except that no one in authority has asked me to leave the church. Indeed of how the church needs me and I am perfectly willing to advise it how to become Catholic. Then of how David Danzig has been trying for so long to pull together enough influential people to launch Pro Deo's Institute of Group Cooperation in Home. Of how attractive Dave's wife is. Not a strong personal and sexual attraction but "enjoyable company and 'formidable'"
I begin to think of Jewish minds and whether Jews are brighter than other people. No? of proportionate superiority in achievement in mental pursuits? Is this the final answer? No. We should also ask: Do Jews provide proportionately more first-rate minds, given the fact of the vastly higher % of them who are pushed to the threshold of intellectualism by tradition & family? You can't count academic chairs, of course, because there is discrimination sometimes there. But it would be proper to find some other measures of achievement in arts & sciences. Hypothesis: psycho. & social individual factors are operative to keep % of Jews moving from threshold to great achievement LOWER than would be expected?
Lisbon, December 12, 1960
Reading John Dewey's lectures on religion, it dawns upon me that his major thesis, that the religious & religion should be separated in order that the former may go forward, ever-inquiring, ever-searching. He is, true to his philosophy, urging the freedom of philosophers and projecting the ideal philosopher upon the average person. His view, if applied, would introduce chaos, if only because he would permit no institution to carry forward, develop and perpetuate his views. Logically he could not, that is. Oh yes, halted, he would say: "good" attitudes would spread by free communication, informally by public communion. and then we see it all in one piece: his educational philosophy, his philosophy of science, his philosophy of government, his philosophy of religion, in a way in which, to my knowledge at least, he never sees his discrete works. They are of the type that I conceived of in my book Public and Republic, as Jeffersonian primitivism, a species of anarchy, of mass democracy. To a sociologist, it must appear incredible that ideas can move forward without institutions and that institutions can exist without at least some measure of all of those features that Dewey dislikes in "traditional religions," conventional schools, inherited structures of government, & classical ideologies. Dewey in this sense is an ideologist himself, striving mightily, as Marx did, against the ideologists. For he does not see but a portion of the ways in which his recommended practices would evolve and change in effect. I admire and am fond of Dewey's way of thought. He is my favorite philosopher. But his analysis, in working from ideal to fact, is subject to the same charge of non-operationalism & idealism that is his chief weapon against others.
Memo from METRON, INC.
The fact that Federalism is vibrant is evidenced in the defiance of federal law in those States whose governments wish to preserve racial segregation.
By the same token, the beliefs of nationalists are reinforced, for what sharper proof, they say, of the undesirability of states' independence can be offered than their activities concerning the rights of Negroes.
Actions in which Actions in which
independence is bad independence is good