”The way elderly officials like to sublimate themselves in the presence of persons they suspect of being intellectuals” (Isaiah Berlin)

I sitt sökande efter en diplomatisk tjänst söker Isaiah Berlin upp diverse brittiska myndighetsfilialer i New York och Washington. Bland annat British Library of Information (en avdelning för propaganda/kulturellt utbyte) . . .

. . . where I was told I would find a granite faced old bully who would say no to everything. His name was to be Fletcher. The last only is true. His name is certainly Fletcher. But what I found was a tired, bored, silly selfconscious old creature, anxious to discuss bogus philosophical questions, the ends of education in general, the problem as to why Stalin is not a Christian, the possibility of Gandhi converting Stalin to non-aggression etc. That sort of stuff I know of old, it is the way elderly officials like to sublimate themselves in the presence of persons they suspect of being intellectuals.

Isaiah Berlin, Flourishing. Letters 1928—1946, Chatto & Windus, London, 2004, s. 341.

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