Lipton’s Journal/January 31, 1955/353
Horse-racing. An article in Life by a racing bureaucrat decries against horse-doping while giving a marvelous description of its benefits. We are against doping horses because if it works with horses why shouldn’t it work with men? But that is too dangerous for society. Society accepts an innovation pressed by reformers, only when society is ready to adapt it to its own uses. So, it is perfectly possible that drugs will be used socially for people in twenty or fifty years or indeed in five. But society will then have elaborated the techniques of controlling the thus released. It will use drugs in order to make people function more efficiently for its purposes.
That is why I have instinctively been opposed to reformers and have always seen myself as a radical and revolutionary. As indeed I am. The reformer is the revolutionary turned back. His H turns back upon itself the moment it is in danger of going out too far—going to No-man’s land. So the reformer delivers nothing—he merely offers language and analysis to society when it turns in its adaptations to what he presents. If he were not there, it would have done it more clumsily. That is why the Soviet Union is so ponderous, clumsy, and contradictory in its reforms, its very movements. It has to be since the reformer has nothing like the social sanction here.
But I am a revolutionary because only by revolution, and probably not political revolution, can thebe set back on its heels and put into serious retreat, thus opening larger H gambits for future generations in which the S will never be as strong again? Although of course it cannot disappear until man reaches God which I suppose is the point of infinity.
- “The Doping of Race Horses” appeared in the January 31, 1955 Life magazine.