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Hook Replies

September 13, 1985

In his article (Editorial Pages, July 16), "New Patriots Heap Abuse on America," Michael Kinsley refers to my presumed belief that democracy and liberty "are debilitating self-indulgences in the fight against the forces of evil in the world." His evidence?

"At a recent conservative conference, the philosopher Sidney Hook mourned 'about how fragile and self-governing democratic society is . . . For its very own rationale encourages a constant critical approach that its enemies can exploit to weaken it.' "

Kinsley stops short of quoting the sentence that immediately follows: "The moral here is not to abandon the critical approach--we could not do it without becoming like our enemies--but to employ it intelligently." Kinsley did not quote the sentence because it would have exposed the misplaced and lying irony of his account of what I wrote. What we should truly mourn is the absence of journalistic integrity in Kinsley's reports on the views of others.

SIDNEY HOOK

South Wardsboro, Vt.

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