Talk:Walter Lippmann

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-- (talk) 23:05, 10 June 2016 (UTC)


If Lippmann is seen as a founder of the concept of 'liberal democracy', how can his work also be described as thr basis of contemporary US neoconservatism? It ssems like somewhat of a contradiction. He could have been an elitist as well as a liberal, no?

Lippmann's views as a very young man can be characterized as liberal. He was involved in a number of socialist activities during his college years, but his views changed rather dramatically and fairly quickly. It's certainly fair, I think, to characterize him as elitist. But his subsequent disillusion with and distrust of "the common man" are pretty clearly precursors of Straussianism, especially as it relates to "esoteric knowledge"". Bill 18:10, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)

The article does not mention that Lippmann opposed the Korean war, McCarthyism and the Vietnam war. This puts a different focus on him than the present biography, which paints the picture of an anti-communist, elitist, conservative person. See

Lippmann was a liberal and a Progressive. However, like Mencken or Al Smith, he was an opponent of the New Deal once he saw its collectivism. His "The Good Society" was his expression of discontent with the New Deal. It's somewhat disingenuous to say that for all these liberals that their views shifted over time; rather, one could equally say that American liberalism shifted, and they refused to shift with it. People and their views are often more complex than pigeonholing them into a category allows. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:55, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
Let Lippman himself voice his mature (1937) view of progress, government control of life, and collectivism:

Throughout the world, in the name of progress, men who call themselves communists, socialists, fascists, nationalists, progressives, and even liberals, are unanimous in holding that government with its instruments of coercion must by commanding the people how they shall live, direct the course of civilization and fix the shape of things to come. . . . The premises of authoritarian collectivism have become the working beliefs, the self-evident assumptions, the unquestioned axioms, not only of all the revolutionary regimes, but of nearly every effort which lays claim to being enlightened, humane, and progressive. So universal is the dominion of this dogma over the minds of contemporary men that no one is taken seriously as a statesman or a theorist who does not come forward with proposals to magnify the power of public officials and to extend and multiply their intervention in human affairs. Unless he is authoritarian and collectivist, he is a mossback, a reactionary, at best an amiable eccentric swimming hopelessly against the tide. It is a strong tide. Though despotism is no novelty in human affairs, it is probably true that at no time in twenty-five hundred years has any western government claimed for itself a jurisdiction over men's lives comparable with that which is officially attempted in totalitarian states. But it is even more significant that in other lands where men shrink from the ruthless policy of these regimes, it is commonly assumed that the movement of events must be in the same direction. Nearly everywhere the mark of a progressive is that he relies at last upon the increased power of officials to improve the condition of men.

The quote is readily found in innumerable places on the web.-- (talk) 16:18, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

Sphere of influence[edit]

From the article: "Following the removal from office of Henry A. Wallace in September 1946, Lippman became the leading public advocate of the need to respect a Soviet sphere of influence in Europe, in juxtaposition to the containment strategy being advocated at the time by people like George F. Kennan." Containment certainly allowed them their sphere of influence in what became the Warsaw Pact nations. So what were the geographic limits of the sphere of influence proposed by Lippmann? - Jmabel | Talk 00:56, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

Spied upon despite being anticommunist?[edit]

Quote: Lippmann had wide access to the nation's decision makers and had no sympathy for communism. But the Golos spy ring used Mary Price, his secretary, to garner information on items Lippmann chose not to write about or names of Lippmann's sources, often not carried in stories, but of use to the Soviet Ministry for State Security. He examined the coverage of newspapers and saw many inaccuracies and other problems. ... this paragraph makes no sense to me (e. g. I don't find the facts that he was an anticommunist and spied upon by the Russians incompatible, or why they wanted to spy on him for examining newspaper coverage), maybe someone could improve it. Maikel 15:27, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

Dead Link[edit]

The link to the FBI FOIA site is dead:

who ever put it there, please fix or remove itMark Preston (talk) 20:09, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Lippmann and the word: stereotype[edit]

Lippman is cited by the Oxford English Dictionary as the first use of the word: stereotype as something negative. I want to include this on his bio page, and am opening this thread up for that discussion on January 16, 2008.Mark Preston (talk) 20:12, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

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He was always critical of Viet Nam[edit]

I was just listening to the May 27th, 1964 secret recording of a conversation between LBJ and McGeorge Bundy and (this is before the the Gulf of Tonkin resolution) and Bundy is saying that Lippman supports giving the whole country over to Ho Chi Minh, a sort of diplomatic surrender. Was it really only "later" that Lippman became critical of Johnson's handling of the war? JoshNarins (talk) 15:39, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

Well, is Bundy a reliable source? That's the first question. Poihths (talk) 19:24, 14 August 2017 (UTC)

"Responsible men" vs "ignorant and meddlesome outsiders"[edit]

Noam Chomsky has repeatedly quoted Walter Lippmann on making the distinction between an "intelligent minority" of "Responsible men" and the rest of us, who are "ignorant and meddlesome outsiders," but Google can't find me a source other than Chomsky himself.

Is there an academic out there, with access to more traditional sources, who could cite the actual passage this comes from and add it to the article? (talk) 20:53, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

bourgeois progressive[edit]

Lippman, the phantom public, chapter xiv society in its place

'the public must be put in its place,s o that it may exercise its own powers, but no less and perhaps even more, so that each of us may live free of the trampling and the roar of a bewildered herd;

Views on Hitler[edit]

According to 'Winston Spencer Churchill, The Last Lion - Alone' by William Manchester, Walter Lippmann in 1933 writing for the New York Herald tribune wrote quite disturbing things about Hitler.

He said about Hitler, 'persecuting the Jews served a purpose by 'satisfying' Germans' yearning to "conquer somebody"'. I was quite surprised to not see it here given that he was a jew, and offcourse the disastrous actions of Hitler. Should it be added or is it one of those ugly facts that just have to be swept under the rug. Creeddd (talk) 17:23, 24 October 2016 (UTC)

Manchester excerpts Lippmann's text (he leaves out Lippmann saying in 1933 Hitler's treatment of Jews was a "ruthless injustice.") Rjensen (talk) 06:43, 25 October 2016 (UTC)

Libertarian vitriol[edit]

The paragraph I have deleted cannot be seen as adherent to Wikipedian standards. It is phrased with evident personal contempt instead of Wikipedian neutrality. It is entirely dependent on a single source which is, if anything, even more vitriolic and cannot be assessed as meeting normal academic standards. If someone wishes to tackle a paragraph devoted to Lippmann's government and military service during World War II from a balanced perspective using a variety of sources, as Wikipedia standards require, that would be a valuable contribution. Poihths (talk) 19:23, 14 August 2017 (UTC)

"More footnotes" template[edit]

I have removed the "more footnotes" template because there are plenty of inline citations here. That problem has been resolved. Poihths (talk) 13:11, 17 August 2017 (UTC)

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