Aggressive Elites: A Passive Assault on Clarence Walton’s Modernism

  • Patricia H. Werhane
Part of the Issues in Business Ethics book series (IBET, volume 11)


Beginning with his essay, “Management Education: Seeing the Round Earth Squarely,” in the Ruffin Lecture Series, Business as a Humanity, reflected in his book, Corporate Encounters, and finally culminating in his forthcoming work, Aggressive Elites and Passive Masses: The Intellectuals’ Assault on Basic Institutions, Clarence Walton, with relentless persistence and an erudite command of texts, has mounted a sustained attack on what he finds to be the contemporary intellectual assault on human knowledge, values, religion, and basic democratic institutions. Deconstructionism, postmodernism, radical feminism, political correctness, and some forms of religious feminism have all fallen under the Walton sword as movements that undermine the very basis of modern democratic institutions, law, business, religion, and the church. Unlike the Three Musketeers, Walton’s sword is extraordinarily sharp, because Walton has read an enormous amount of material written by the intellectuals he attacks, and is careful to shape his critique from those materials. Unfortunately, there is not space to elaborate on the richness of Walton’s analysis, nor dwell on the many points with which I heartily concur. Rather, I shall take an academic shortcut and raise some questions about the conclusions Professor Walton reaches. I do not see my task in what follows as a counterattack, which is, or course, tempting, but rather as a mediator to suggest how there is something positive to be gleaned from these movements in their less radical and extreme formulations. Thus my counterassaults will be more in the form of waving a white flag. Because few have read the manuscript of Aggressive Elites, I shall quote extensively from the text.


Business Ethic Political Correctness Radical Feminist Free Enterprise Basic Institution 
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  2. Clarence C. Walton. Corporate Encounters. New York: Dryden Press, 1992.Google Scholar
  3. —. “Management Education: Seeing the Round World Squarely.” In Business as a Humanity. Donaldson, Thomas J. and Freeman, R. Edward, eds. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.Google Scholar
  4. Patricia Werhane. Skepticism, Rules, and Private Languages. Atlantic Highlands: Humanities Press, 1992.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patricia H. Werhane
    • 1
  1. 1.The Darden SchoolUniversity of VirginiaUSA

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