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Revolt on the Campus

Revolt on the Campus by M. Stanton Evans

Tags U.S. HistoryPolitical Theory

05/27/1961M. Stanton Evans

From the publisher:

Historians may well record the decade of the 1960's as the era in which conservatism, as a viable political force, finally came into its own. This may appear to be an overly optimistic judgment, since conservatism has been all but silent on the national political scene for some time. But events of the past few years, particularly among college students, are signaling the birth of a movement which promises to rescue the United States from her past few decades of debilitating indecision and frightening loss of direction.

Perhaps no other generation has been the subject of so much critical study, so much social probing, as this one. Professional writers, educators, corporate executives, sociologists and psychologists—all have taken the pulse of modern America and have found it feeble. Yet, while those diagnosticians—occupying every conceivable point on the ideological and political compass—generally have been accurate in their evaluation of the problem, most of them, including those whose diagnoses have climbed onto the best seller charts, have overlooked or ignored the causes of our national malady.

It is precisely these causes toward which, among other things, M. Stanton Evans turns his attention. Both from his vantage point within the academy, from which he recently emerged after making a brilliant record, and. within the world of daily newspapers, where he currently applies his talents as editor of The Indianapolis News, he finds our nation beset by the Four Horsemen of contemporary Liberalism: statism, with its worship of the collective; permissiveness, with its denial of absolute standards of value; egalitarianisrn, by means of which everyone is reduced to the lowest common denominator; and adjustment, our eagerness to achieve group harmony at the expense of individuality.

But Stan Evans is far from discouraged. For he finds, spawned in the heartland of Liberalism, within the college itself, a renascent conservatism, dedicated to the wisdom of our ancestors and to the verities which ever have existed to guide fallible man on his perilous, often discouraging, journey through the ages. "It is the Liberal who is old-who has aged in the comfortable exercise of power," writes Evans, "and it is the conservative who is young, angry, declassé."

And so it is. Happily, even in our age of modulation, when loyalties and principles seem too often in disgrace with fortune and in men's eyes, this dynamic new force is raising its voice more loudly and clearly than many of us dreamed possible. And in the background, one hears the strains of Liberalism's Gotterdammerung, the swan song of an enervated ideology which was tried and found sadly wanting.

There is one glaring omission in the book which, in fairness to its author and readers, should be noted. In describing the intellectuals who are in the vanguard of the conservative movement, the author omitted mention of one of the most brilliant of them all—himself. Already, at the age of twenty-seven, Stan Evans has established himself as one of conservatism's leading thinkers and writers, and his star is certain to wax even brighter with time. He, as well as any single person, epitomizes the intelligence, the vigor, and the depth of the conservative revival. And, secure in the knowledge that the future belongs to him and to the many other young people mentioned in this book, I rejoice knowing that the nation will be in good hands.

References

Henry Regnery Company, Chicago, 1961