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Terry Eagleton

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Post-structuralism is among other things a kind of theoretical hangover from the failed uprising of Ď68, a way of keeping the revolution warm at the level of language, blending the euphoric libertarianism of that moment with the stoical melancholia of its aftermath.
--
Guardian (October 27, 1992)

 
Terry Eagleton

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If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals ó if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is. Now, I canít say that I will agree with all the things that the present group who call themselves Libertarians in the sense of a party say, because I think that like in any political movement there are shades, and there are libertarians who are almost over at the point of wanting no government at all or anarchy. I believe there are legitimate government functions. There is a legitimate need in an orderly society for some government to maintain freedom or we will have tyranny by individuals. The strongest man on the block will run the neighborhood. We have government to ensure that we donít each one of us have to carry a club to defend ourselves. But again, I stand on my statement that I think that libertarianism and conservatism are traveling the same path.

 
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And they say that after people make love there's a kind of melancholia that descends; la petite mort, you know, the little death. Well, I'm here to tell you, after a romantic night in with yourself, there's a very acute sensation of failed suicide. And I think a lot of that, if you're men is because of the quality of the gear you've got to work with. I mean it's horrible looking. Like a deep sea fish that ate it's own arse after about an hour. What's going on down there?! Do something nice - like a kittens head... or something and you could just tickle it's chin until it got sick... it would be alright...

 
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As I travel around the country I am seeing something new emerging across regional Australia. It is a new way of doing things, taking the great traditions that made the bush what it is today and blending it with the new. There's innovation, new technology and new potential, it's almost as if there's a quiet revolution going on..... some people call it the new bush.

 
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We do not need French post-structuralism, whose pedantic jargon, clumsy convolutions, and prissy abstractions have spread throughout academe and the arts and are now blighting the most promising minds of the next generation. This is a major crisis if there ever was one, and every sensible person must help bring it to an end.

 
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He is by all odds the most brilliant young physicist here, and everyone knows this. He is a man of thoroughly engaging character and personality, extremely clear, extremely normal in all respects, and an excellent teacher with a warm feeling for physics in all its aspects. He has the best possible relations both with the theoretical people of whom he is one, and with the experimental people with whom he works in very close harmony.
The reason for telling you about him now is that his excellence is so well known, both at Princeton where he worked before he came here, and to a not inconsiderable number of "big shots" on this project, that he has already been offered a position for the post war period, and will most certainly be offered others. I feel that he would be a great strength for our department, tending to tie together its teaching, its research and its experimental and theoretical aspects. I may give you two quotations from men with whom he has worked. Bethe has said that he would rather lose any two other men than Feyman from this present job, and E.P. Wigner said, "He is a second Dirac. Only this time human."

 
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