In a lecture here last Thursday afternoon Jacques Maritain, noted French philosopher, declared that today the world's greatest need is a Christian revolution based on the idea of "brotherly love" and a reacknowledgement of "divine guidances" in world affairs.
Maritain, whom T.S. Eliot '10 has called "the most conspicuous figure and probably the most powerful force in contemporary philosophy," spoke in Emerson D under the auspices of the departments of philosophy and romance languages. He is a professor of philosophy at the Catholic Institute of Paris, and is recognized as one of the world's authorities on Medieval thought.
He asked the world to forget the rationalism of the past five hundred years and return to the philosophy of the thinkers of the Middle Ages. He declared that two of the evils resulting from our present rationalism are racism and Marxism, and assailed them as the principal anti-Christian powers at work in our world.
The racism of today results from the theories of Rousseau and Nietzsche and now we are hearing much of the latter's "superman." "He is leading his dance through the concentration camps and ghottes, the cities of China and Spain viscerated by bombs, and Europe maddened in the armament race and reversibly preparing for suicide."
As for Marxism, he claims it is an "unadulterated instance" of the doctrine of the self-sufficiency of man. "As for the humanism to which it invites us, the way in which revolutionary materialistic dialectic has lived for twenty years in the country it conquered, has devoured its leaders, reduced their morality to the end justifies the means, put to death or persecuted thousands of respected men--this is sufficient to edify us on that subject.