The Working Intelligentsia
To the Editor:
In his valuable essay on the new academic generation [“The Rebelling Young Scholars,” November 1960], Professor Andrew Hacker refers to a British journal, New Left Review, and intimates that its editors are not the sort of people who would be welcome in academic employment. The proposition may well be true, in some ultimate sense, but it is a fact that of twenty-five members of our editorial board, eighteen are university teachers.
Furthermore, Professor Hacker’s assertion that dissent among the younger British intelligentsia is somehow due to their being excluded from employment is questionable. . . . Broadcasting, television, the theater, publishing, journalism, a booming art market, and an expanding university system offer a host of jobs, commissions, and opportunities to say one’s piece. The difficulty is a deeper one, namely, whether anyone really listens. Here we encounter those omnipresent, but not entirely overt, mechanisms of ideological defense by which British society maintains its present, uneasy equilibrium. That is really what makes the intellectuals angry—but this makes a long story, best not begun here.
[See Mr. Birnbaum's article elsewhere in this issue.—Ed.]