Two essays appearing today are a reminder that it’s possible to be cultured, enjoy all the benefits of western civilization, and have no compunction about tearing it down.
First up, Lee Harris asks, “Am I anti-American enough to win the Nobel Prize?”–and thankfully, he’s not:
Here, it seems to me, I have a real problem on my hands. In my book Civilization and Its Enemies, I actually defended America, kind of, as I have done in a number of articles for Policy Review and right here at TCS. Thus I have foolishly left one of those awkward paper trails that nominees to the Supreme Court have so much trouble explaining away to unsympathetic Senators, and this does present quite a serious obstacle to my Nobel Prize aspirations. Can I really expect the committee to give the prize to someone who has said nice things about America, even in his dotage?
But that is precisely why I decided to go ahead and publish my acceptance speech now, because that way I could make it clear to those guys in Sweden that I know exactly what kind of thing they are looking for in a Nobel Prize laureate, which is fanatic, frothing-at-the-mouth, virulent anti-Americanism of the most vicious kind.
You see, by reading my speech ahead of time, the committee would realize at once that they were dealing with a man who could spew as much bile and hatred against America as their previous choices for the prize have done, and that way they would jump at the chance of awarding me the prize, with the added plus that they wouldn