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Hook Contrasts Liberals' Views While Criticizing Chafee's Ideas


Sidney Hook, in the January issue of "Commentary," contrasts two different kinds of liberals, and criticizes at length the views on liberalism held by Zechariah Chafee, Jr., University Professor, Emeritus.

The author also praises Supreme Court Justice Felix M. Frankfurter as a man whose stature will, "despite his detractors, grow with time and with the increasing political maturity of the American people."

Hook presents a very detailed criticism of Chafee's views. He asserts that "No one can question his liberalism. But liberalism is sentimentality unless its sentiment for freedom is nurtured by reason. It is not enough, as Mr. Chafee does, to praise reason. Better than praising reason is using it."

One of the many areas which Hook attacks is Chafee's treatment of the ever-questionable security program. Hook does not find fault with Chafee's conclusion, but claims that his logic is defective and that he is too emotional over problems requiring prolonged thought.

Hook further complains that Chafee is apt to dismiss the question of security as a game of cops and robbers, since he is too willing to leave matters to the FBI.

Hook adds that "It is time to distinguish between heresy and conspiracy."

The author then discusses Frank further's views and attacks a review of the judge's recently published, "Of Law and Men. The reviewer interprets the author's emphasis on "dominating humility" as lack of conviction. Hook says however, that the source of his humility stems from "a conviction that he is not there to legislate; that the spirit of the democratic process gives this power to Congress; ... that there is a difference between adjudication and outright legislation."

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