Tuesday, November 15, 2011

`They Are Always Reactionary'

On the conclusion of the recent unpleasantness on Wall Street:

"Rowdies are never revolutionaries, they are always reactionary. It is among the young that the greatest conformists and Philistines are found, e.g., the hippies with their group beards and group protests. Demonstrators at American universities care as little about education as football fans who smash up subway stations in England care about soccer. All belong to the same family of goofy hoodlums--with a sprinkling of clever rogues among them."

[From the interview Vladimir Nabokov gave Philip Oakes in The Sunday Times, June 1969; collected in Strong Opinions, 1973.]


JoeKeller said...


You mean the lords of Goldman were sacked?


Anonymous said...

The recent unpleasantness on Wall Street?? You are, of course, referring to the rape of the American econonmy by Wall Street banks, right?

Anonymous said...

I seem to recall hearing once upon a time that "two wrongs don't make a right." We could add a third to the discussion when we factor in government's involvement in the meltdown.

WAS said...

The NYPD threw away 5,500 books into dumpsters as part of this "conclusion," because they don't realize the power of ideas and of independent thought. You do, Patrick, better than almost any one of us. With deepest respect, I encourage you to think about this more like Brodsky than Dryden.

Roger Boylan said...

Spot on, Patrick. And Vladimir Vladimirovich.