models came under heavy criticism. Itnwas clear to the some 25 young men,nplus Leslie Manigat, the dean of thengroup, that my “model” was directednmainly against Marxists and Christianleftists.nManigat argued well and cogently,nand seemed to dislike Castro’snregime, while attaching hopes to Allende’s.nIn this too he was similar to sonmany South American intellectuals,nlabor leaders, and priests. Yet my impressionnwas and is still that he is toonmuch of a bon vivant to embrace thenSandinistas. Also, he seems to be anman ready for compromise.nThose who blame him now fornparticipation in the “farcical” electionsnare armchair do-gooders, ignorant ofnthe Caribbean. Once, after a publicnlecture at Villanova University, anyoung refugee from Nicaragua askednme what his nation ought to do tonachieve peace and order. “Pray for angood dictator,” I answered, convincedn’hat democracy has hardly a chancensouth of the Rio Grande — or off thencoast of Florida. On this issue, Manigatnand I agreed, and I am sure he aimsnat becoming a “good dictator” of Haiti,nan improvement over the Duvaliersnand even over General Namphy. Hisnnation’s chaotic traditions and socialnstructure will not allow him to becomena democratic president.nMuch will depend on Washington’snpolicy. Haiti is not Nicaragua, andnManigat is not Ortega. He is intelligentnenough to want to cultivate hisnU.S. contacts and his links with Canada,nwhere many Haitians live whosenfinancial support and trust in Haiti’snfuture should work to keep Manigatnaway from political adventures. Tiesnwith the Vatican and Bonn will also benstabilizing factors. All told, and thisnmay be a sign for coming events, innthose two weeks in Caracas, Manigatnwas a moderating element vis-a-vis thenhotheads around the discussion table.n— Thomas MolnarnWestern civilization is under attacknat American colleges and universities.nThe most publicized series of incidentsnis the willingness of the Stanford Universitynfaculty to introduce a replacementnfor Western civilization thatnincludes equal time for minorityncontributions and women authors.nPresumably what the Stanford facultynhas responded to is the charge that thenreading list reflects a Euro-centered,nmale bias with sexist and racist stereotypes.nPlato, Aristotle, St. Augustine,nJohn Stuart Mill, Shakespeare, andnDante have been reduced to stereotypesnin the New Age.nWhat is at work at Stanford andnelsewhere is curriculum reformnthrough intimidation. Those at thenbarricades tend to be the vocal reformersnwho claim that women, the poor,nand blacks are insufficiently representednin course readings. As one studentnactivist pointed out to me recently, “Itnis better to have one reading by a blacknrevolutionary than all the sonnets ofnShakespeare.” Barry Katz, professor ofnhistory at Stanford and member of thenacademic task force responsible for thennew course, contends that “the existingncourse requirement asserts that wenhave a common culture and it assertsnthat it can be defined by a bit ofnreading in the great works. This hasnbeen an aff^ront to a large number ofnstudents and faculty, to women andnmembers of minority groups.”nThe majority of faculty members atnStanford are disappointed with the curriculumnreform but went along with itnout of a sense of compromise andnbecause of excessive student pressure.nHowever, once the compromise wasnaccepted — namely the acceptance ofna new course — the entire faculty cannbe held accountable for making a travestynof Western culture.nWriting in the Wall Street Journal,nIsaac Barchas, a student, described thenStanford reform as an “impoverishmentnof the undergraduate experience.”nHe writes, “For if the Westernnintellectual tradition has a generallynunifying theme, it is that incidentalncharacteristics such as race are irrelevant.nOne’s mind, not one’s accidentalnexistence, is the true measure of one’snworth.” Unfortunately, Mr. Barchasnmay be in the real minority at Stanford.nCarolyn Longee, another facultynmember and member of the task force,nwrote that “The Western civ course isnnot a timeless, eternal distillate ofnhuman wisdom.” In her mind thisncurriculum can be altered to accommodatenthe changing ethnic profile ofnthe nation.nBut even if we were to take thisnproposal seriously, how are we to proceed?nSaul Bellow implicitly addressednnnthis question by asking. Where aren”the Tolstoy of the Zulus, the Proustnof the Papuans”? If we were to takenseriously Matthew Arnold’s admonitionnto teach the best that is known andnwritten, we would be hard pressed tongive equal weight to authors of color.nYet in the long run the central desirenof these redressers of past wrongs, ifnachieved, will serve only to underminenthe freedom they seem to admire. Fornit is in the Western tradition that wenfind the concepts of civil liberties andnacademic freedom. It is the West thatncreated a civilization which permittednthe quest for equality. To undo thisntradition is to reintroduce the bestiality,nenslavement, and barbarism that characterizesnso much of this globe. Thentradition of Africa that many blacknactivists espouse is not a tradition thatnallows either for inalienable rights ornthe free exchange of ideas whichnprompted a curriculum reform at Stanford.n(For a lengthier discussion ofnStanford’s woes, see Sidney Hook innthis issue).n—Herbert LondonnThe Salem Conference: The Rise ofnNationalism and American Culture,n1788-1830, 14-15 Octobern1988, Salem State College. Contact:nPatricia Parker, Department ofnEnglish, Salem State College,nSalem, MA 01970.nIn the three decades after Americansnratified the Constitution andnestablished a new political entity,nnationalism emerged as the basis forndevelopment of the arts in America.nThis conscious search for nationalnidentity found expression in the firstnAmerican novel, the first Americannsecular songbooks, the first Americanndancebook, the first Americannlandscape paintings, the repeal ofnthe theater laws, patriotic epics, andninnovative architecture and furniture-making.nThe Conference Committee welcomesnpapers on any of the aboventopics or others relevant to a considerationnof nationalism as a spur fornthe cultural, literary, and artisticndevelopment of the period.nThe Committee is especially interestednin papers that focus on NewnEngland.nMAY 1988 I 9n