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  • Firing Line with William F. Buckley Jr. "Why Are Our Intellectuals So Dumb?"
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Firing Line with William F. Buckley Jr. "Why Are Our Intellectuals So Dumb?"


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Frequently Bought Together

Firing Line with William F. Buckley Jr. "Why Are Our Intellectuals So Dumb?" + Firing Line with William F. Buckley Jr. "The Culture of the Left" + Firing Line with William F. Buckley Jr. "What have We Learned From the Failure of Socialism?"
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Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Hollander, Ernest Van den Haag
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: All Regions
  • Studio: Southern Educational Communications Association (SECA)
  • DVD Release Date: April 12, 2010
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003GXE9W8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,881 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Taped on December 3, 1981.
"The study by Paul Hollander," Mr. Buckley begins, "is terribly overdue. It has been the most conspicuous scandal of two generations that a substantial number of Western intellectuals have been seduced by monstrous social regimes." The "pilgrims" in the title of his book, alas, refers not to people who have made the pilgrimage away from totalitarianism, but simply, as Mr. Hollander's subtitle puts it, to Travels of Western Intellectuals to the Soviet Union, China, and Cuba, 1928-1978. He passes along the raptures of dozens of these people, ranging from Anna Louise Strong to Staughton Lynd, from Edmund Wilson to Susan Sontag, from Tom Hayden to Harrison Salisbury. Buckley: "Is it safe to say that once you've learned political truths you are not again easily deceived?" Hollander: "No, I'm afraid that's not quite true, because many people who learned something from the case of the Soviet Union fell again on China and on Cuba, and are now falling for Nicaragua right after Cuba; so I think this quest for a good society outside your own is endless."
Summary by Firing Line staff.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mark Twain on September 13, 2013
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A talk show with professionals it shows what lacks in today's talk shows on TV, where they don't ask tough questions just fluff pieces. this show gives the watcher real answers where tough questions are asked.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Smith on February 24, 2014
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Paul Hollander and Ernest Vanden Haag in a discussion of the flaws of leftist political philosophy. The left continues to ignore the atrocities of Stalin, Mao, Castro, etc. just as it was doing at the time this discussion was recorded. For the left ideology trumps experience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Salmestrelli on April 28, 2014
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This is a thorough discussion on the nature of thinking among the intellectual elites and I do mean thorough. Paul Hollander and Ernest Van den Haag basically are summarizing their findings on the subject.

The most intriguing points made go beyond political philosophy and delve into human nature. The 'intellectuals' claims Van den Haag lack a sense of importance in a freer democratic society and that they would be awarded more prestige and power in a totalitarian state as an idea person. This is only part of the discussion on why 'intellectuals' in the West so often look at totalitarian states and take the propaganda emitting from their politburo, literally.

The "intellectuals' feeling contempt for having to share an equal vote with someone who has an inferior IQ to their own is also discussed as well as the refusal of these thinkers to accept or the need to rationalize atrocities in communist states (Chomsky's refusal for years to accept the mass slaughter of Cambodians under Poi Pot as one example, Mary McCarthy preferring to think a mass slaughter in a Vietnamese town being done by the US Air Force than the Vietcong are two examples discussed)

Other aspects of the discussion move into, a general dissatisfaction with ones own country (the grass is always greener on the other side thinking) and how a different philosophy is longed for. A major point is how intellectuals have publicly praised revolutionary leaders prior to the full information of their acts and aims are disclosed (Mailer's praise for Castro in '61 and the professors in Princeton during Castro's visit prior to the Cuban missile crisis), This ignorance is also discussed as being born from a lack of experience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Walsh on June 25, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
An insightful exploration of Leftist self delusion as it relates to the championing of murderous totalist regimes of the socialist variety.
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