problematic. The teaching of the humanities did not suddenlynbecome politicized in the 60’s and 70’s. This interpretationnof the academic world, popularized in, among othernplaces, Allan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind, isntied to another fiction: that the American government wasntemporarily derailed in the late 60’s when the McGovernitesnseized the Democratic Party. Thereafter, it is claimed,nmoderate progressives had to fight to gain back control of thenAmerican political mainstream, a task completed in then”Reagan Revolution” of the 80’s.nFinn, who accepts this view, believes that the Americannpeople have undergone at least the beginnings of democraticnredemption; all that remains to be done is to open thenacademy to the same process. In a revealing essay for thenAmerican Spectator in November 1986, Finn stresses thenneed to combine “cultural literacy” with Judeo-Christiannethics and democratic value-instruction in preparation for an”conservative” reform of education. He also advocates thencelebration of a patriotic calendar, singling out for venerationnthe figure of Martin Luther King, Jr. In a subsequentnletter exchange with William Hawkins, Jr., Finn rebuked hisnrespondent for suggesting that one can be “culturallynliterate” without believing intensely in democracy. Hawkinsnhad noted the absence of proof that Shakespeare, Bach, ornHomer believed in either democracy or equality. Finn’snstated refusal to “engage in any discussion” with a nondemocraticninfidel or a critic of democracy was more than annexpression of peeve. It indicates the firm design of some whonnow call for “cultural literacy” and the “humanities” to usenthe present educational debate for their own political ends.nA predecessor of the NAS, which claimed some of thensame leadership and funding, was the Campus Coalition fornDemocracy of the mid-80’s. Led by Herbert London andnStephen Balch, the CCD defended the humanities andnWestern civilization against their academic detractors. Bothnwere linked in publications to “American democratic values”nand to “scientific methods,” which were further identifiednwith the thinking of Sidney Hook. Hook approachednthe terms in question from a Deweyite and social democraticnworld view and considered learning as “instrumental” tonthe achievement of a particular society.nNot only these groups but the expanding Americannbureaucratic state and its social science consultantsnhave worked to put all Americans on the side of “democracy.”nThe American Commissioner of Education, JohnnWard Studebaker, who was appointed by FDR in 1934,nviewed as his own charge the creation of a pro-democraticnpublic educational system. Studebaker’s announced goalsncoincided with those of the social planner and philosophernJohn Dewey and immensely pleased the first lady, thoughnnot her husband, who considered national education planningnentirely within the framework of vocational retraining.nSince the 30’s, then, indoctrination in democracy has beenndeemed necessary to protect Americans against “totalitarianism.”nThe good fight against fascism and Red fascismnmade it necessary to strengthen our democratic fiber atnhome. Toward this end, we were to make our societyntransparent to educational reformers. The discovery of then”authoritarian personality” by German radical emigresnoffered new proof that the seeds of fascist totalitarianismn22/CHRONICLESnnnwere within us. Educating for democracy meant that each ofnus had to undergo a cathartic learning process throughnwhich “democratic values” could take the place of others,nincluding Sidney Hook’s lifelong nemesis (which Deweynalso criticized in A Common Faith): traditional religiousnbeliefs. The Columbia University Teachers College ProfessornJames L. Mursell wrote a book in 1934 that was laternwidely distributed, Principles of Education, in which democracynitself was proclaimed to be a “faith.” It was ann”ethical faith” that had to be systematically inculcated, thatnwas inconsistent with “group and clique differentiation, andnonce propedy taught resulted in a certain type of social ordernand of political arrangements.”nA work that sums up the old democratic progressive viewnof education, despite its appeal to the “classics,” is AllannBloom’s The Closing of the American Mind. A Straussiannassociate of the neoconservatives and a New Deal-HumphreynDemocrat, Bloom exemplifies the moderate leftneducationism now at war with its more radical descendant.nThroughout his book. Bloom speaks of the pollution ofnAmerican higher learning caused by the “German connection.”nAnti-democratic Teutonic figures, particularly Nietzsche,nWeber, and Heidegger, are destroying liberal democracy.nIt is the academy. Bloom insists, that must be in thenforefront of the struggle for democracy and rationalism. Butnacademics, who have suffered contamination from popularizednTeutonic ideas, are making the general culture even lessnresistant to antidemocratic forces. Meanwhile professorsnhave ceased to demand for themselves the “special status”nbefitting the defenders of rationality. Liberal democracy,naccording to Bloom, can only flourish if the university hasn”an exemption from the ordinary moral and politicalnlimitations on what can be thought and said in civil society.”nIt has been observed with justification that Bloom praisesndemocratic equality except in his own backyard. He tries tonavoid inconsistency by saying more than once that thenprogress of equality depends on professional privilege.nBeyond this problem, however, another vexing question cannbe raised about Bloom’s view of the relationship betweenndemocracy and education. How can political theory, whichnBloom equates with philosophy, move beyond the limitationsnof a democratic civil society when the only thoughtnthat he is willing to tolerate is of a “democratic” kind? Heninsists the university should be an extension of the Enlightenment;na resource for teaching democracy and rationalism.nAmong its heroes should be the Anglophile French aristocratnMontesquieu, that defender of property holders JohnnLocke, and the architect of the sovereign state ThomasnHobbes, all of whom Bloom presents as enlightened thinkersnwho tried to give “political status to what Socrates represented.”nBy some vague line of association Socrates is made intona precursor of the Bloomian vision of the good life, anreligion of democratic equality served by an academicnpriesthood with a special social status.nBecause universities were not sufficiently dedicated to thisnproject (argues Bloom), they succumbed to dangerousnantidemocratic thinking. In the face of the “Germannmissionaries and intermediaries” rampant in our culture.nBloom offers this stern homily: “And when we Americansnspeak seriously about politics, we mean that our principles ofnfreedom and equality and the rights based on them aren