ES

Dwight Macdonald

The Root is Man

1946

But the Progressive, as a good Deweyan or Marxian, does not believe in values apart from action. The Radical, however, does not submit to the draft; he refuses to do what the State wants him to do; by not acting, he is thus acting—and in the Deweyan sense that what he does (or rather doesn’t) distinguishes him from those with different values. The only way to be positive vis-a-vis the modern State is to be negative, i.e., refuse to do what it wants one to do. The situation might be compared to a group of people being driven in a high-powered automobile along a road that ends in a precipice. They see the Radicals sitting by the side of the road—just sitting. “Yaahh, negativists!” they cry. “Look at us! We‘re going somewhere, we‘re really doing something!”


Posted: October 2018
Category: Essays

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