Schlesinger Favors 'Qualitative' Liberalism Suited to Prosperity

Cure for Insecurity

Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., '38, professor of History, urges a program of "qualitative" rather than "quantitative" liberalism to combat the "widespread internal anxiety and discontent" of American society in the May 3 issue of the Reporter, out today.

In an article entitled "The Future of Liberalism--The Challenge of Abundance" Schlesinger asserts that the American people's acceptance of President Eisenhower as a "national father image" shows the need for "some form of spiritual reassurance."

The "quantitative" liberalism of the 1930's, says Schlesinger, was "in the main, a brilliant success." More emphasis in today's prosperous economy is needed, he adds, on reforms in education, medical care, civil rights, city planning, care of the aged, freedoms of speech, expression, and conscience, and elevation of popular culture.

Instead of "inveighing" against "business domination per se," Schlesinger maintains, today's liberals should point out that "government by a single interest is bad." The Eisenhower government, he claims, chose the "welfare of the few" over "the general welfare" in 1955 by giving tax reductions to the higher income groups.

Schlesinger argues that domestic policy precedes foreign policy in importance, that "foreign policy can rarely be more effective than the character of the nation that stands behind it."


Max Ascoli, editor of the Reporter, criticizes Schlesinger for deemphasis of the role of foreign policy and for excessive "business-baiting," in an article following the history professor's.