"Liberal philosophy is today what it has been through the three centuries of its history: the prisoner of the privileges which it established," Harold J. Laski of the London School of Economics and Political Science said in the New Lecture Hall last night.
Speaking before 900 people in the second of three lectures he is giving under the aegis of Radcliffe on "The Crisis in Political Philosophy," the one-time Harvard faculty member cautioned his audience to be wary of pinning its faith on pure reason, a major premise of liberal philosophy, because it gives rise to the question, "Whose reason?"
Reason a Declining Force
"We have entered upon a grim winter of discontent," Professor Laski said. "The power of reason to make itself heard is of necessity a declining power. I know of now case where a threatened class has abdicated from power."
In criticizing the concept of "law and order" as a shield employed by the ruling classes against the demands of the masses, he described the American constitution as "a private inheritance of five out of nine judges."
Fascism he described as "the technique of capitalism in decay."