equality and social progress and whoneven, in some cases, defended thenself-assertively heroic. These villainsnproduced not only Auschwitz but alsonthe student riots of the 60’s and thenrock culture of the 70′”s and 80’s.nEssential to modern cultural debasement,nas viewed by Bloom, was thenpreaching of historical particularitynand a will-centered ethic, which originatednin 19th-century Germany. Innone dramatic leap. Bloom goes fromnNietzsche’s (reasonable) assertion thatnPlato thought as a Greek, not as anGerman, to value-relativity and to newnleftist self-determination. (Amongnother things. Bloom does violence tonNietzsche’s brief against Socrates andnPlato. In The Birth of Tragedy Nietzschenrejects Socratic inquiry not asnun-German but as inconsistent withnthe tragic genius of the ancientnGreeks. Nietzsche believed that RichardnWagner was reviving that Greekngenius through music drama.)nBloom’s polemic against Germannthought partly coincides with that ofnanother troubled defender of the Enlightenment,nHerbert Marcuse. As hisn(bnKABiM NEWS COMROffr fflCn32 I CHRONICLESnKable Squarenstudent, I was struck by Marcuse’sntenacious and sometimes frenetic attemptnto uphold the revolutionary heritage.nThis heritage went from thenFrench Enlightenment and JeannJacques Rousseau through an essentiallynrationalist Hegel down to whatnMarcuse thought was the critical,nspeculative spirit that he himself represented.nThough Marcuse and Bloomnwould have disagreed on contemporarynpolitics, they would have agreednabout the goodness of Rousseau’s ethicnof sentiment and about the universalnapplicability of equality. Moreover,nmost of Bloom’s tirade against Nietzsche,nHeidegger, and the Romanticnconservatives, particularly the linkingnof Max Weber’s will-centered thoughtnto Hitlerism, was heard almost verbatimnin Marcuse’s graduate seminars atnBrandeis and Yale. Unlike Bloom,nMarcuse helped midwife the NewnLeft. But also unlike Bloom, he didnnot attempt to attach a rightist legacynof ideas to what was clearly a leftistnmovement of the 1960’s.nEor all their faults. Max Weber,nEriedrich Nietzsche, and Martin Hei­nCHRONICLESn^Qbia/mtim^l tJ^^m/rilv^yiMi^t/u !nKABLE NEWS CO., INC. i^fiMMi^t<,nU^itio4t S^ulSiMmentnSttMneM^ ….nnnunfndegger faced the consequences of andisenchanted-rationalist society. Ifnnone of them oilered usable alternativesnto the erosion of community andnethics, they knew that democraticnequality, acquisitive individualism,nand academic skepticism (even if presentednas philosophy) would not producensocially virtuous men. Nor willngetting students to read “great books”nmake them civilized, unless, as AlasdairnMaclntyre teaches, a living civilizationnembodies and reenforces thenvalues of its artists and thinkers.nUnlike Heidegger and Weber,nBloom does not take our decadencenseriously enough. He is still mostlynconcerned about getting the studentsnto sit up straight and to stop takingndrugs—at least while he has to dealnwith them. He is also obsessively andnperhaps self-interestedly worried aboutnthe university, which is only a smallnpart of a much larger battle for civilization.nAlasdair Maclntyre and RobertnNisbet have both made attempts tonrelate our “cultural rot” to the breakdownnof ancestral custom and socialncontinuity. Nisbet in particular hasnMt. Morris, IL 61054n734-4151n