“getting closer to something that seemsnto be gaining ground . . . and that isncultural criticism.” Some leaders innthe MLA are now proposing that onlynby “discarding the category of literature”ncan we “create greater textualndemocracy.”nSo much for Secretary Bennett’snGreat Books program. So much, too,nfor the humane vision of MatthewnArnold, George Gordon, J.C. Collins,nand the other founders of Englishnliterature as an academic discipline.nArguably, Arnold, et al., were seriouslynmistaken in supposing, as many ofnthem actually did, that study of Englishnliterature could replace Chrishanitynas the integrative center of Westernnculture. Still, it is hard not tonimagine that the author of Culturenand Anarchy would be scandalized atnwhat has become of modern literarynWe the Peoplesn361 CHRONICLES OF CULTUREnThe central government of thenUnited States concentrated the effortsnof the last 125 years on anrelentless attack against all forms ofnsocial organization that stand betweennthe helpless individual andnthe all-powerful leviathan. One bynone the barriers have fallen—thenrights of states, the self-governmentnof municipalities, the independencenof schools, colleges, and universities,nthe autonomy of families,nand—before too long—the freedomnof churches.nIf the Anti-Federalists werenbrought back to life, they would benjustified in saying “I told you so.”nThe opponents of the Constitutionncame from all parts of the countrynand represented a diversity of opinion.nMany of their particular concernsnwere later addressed by thenBill of Rights, but their fundamentalnobjechon went unanswered. AsnPatrick Henry put it to the VirginianRatifying Convention: “The questionnturns, sir, on that poor littlenthing—the expression, we, the people,ninstead of the states of America.”nIt was hard enough for thenstates to repress the villainy of bureaucratsnin their midst. “If sheriffsnstudy. Intended originally as a supportnfor Western civilization, literary studynhas become just one more academicnshell game—a useful subterfuge allowingnradical Utopians with a hatrednfor America to live off the taxes paid bynhonest people.nAs the political hero of the MLAnasked, “What is to be done?” In ThenClouds of Aristophanes, there may bena model for action: the father of a sonnwhose morals have been corrupted bynteachers burns down the university. Ifnaverage taxpayers were told what thenoverpaid literature professors at statenuniversities were up to, many Englishndepartments would begin to feel thenheat. COnSupply-side poetry is in the planningnstage at Waldenbooks, a bookstorenREVISIONSnthus immediately under the eye ofnour State Legislature and Judiciarynhave dared to commit these outrages,nwhat would they not have donenif their masters had been at Philadelphianor New York?” Besides,nwhat was to prevent the potentiallynomnipotent President and Congressnfrom usurping all the powers of thenstates?nThe answers given by the federalistsnseemed sound and reasonable.nHamilton pointed out that a statenwould use its militia. Madison wentnfurther in suggesting a concert ofnstates against Federal usurpation.nHowever, neither nullification nornsecession turned out to be successful,nand the states have seen themselvesnreduced to the status of regionalnbureaucratic appendagesnwith as much independence as thenNational Guard (formerly state militias).nCity governments, on thenother hand, are grateful to receivenFederal tax revenues and whinen—as Mayor Washington did recentlynin Japan—about not receivingntheir “fair share” of other people’snmoney.nTo appreciate the full extent ofnAnti-Federalist thought, it is necessarynto make use of Herbert J.nStoring’s magisterial seven-volumennnchain with 920 outlets. Interviewednrecently in the Wall Street Journal,nWalden’s merchandise manager proposesnto test the market with a selectionnof 50 titles. He hopes to discovern”50 to 60 stores hungry for poetry.”nThe plan sounds good until you hearnthe names: Philip Levine, GarynSnyder, Derek Walcott, andW.S.nMerwin. Merwin arguably deserves anchance, but Levine and Snyder arentwo very good reasons why nobodynreads poetry anymore. It is better to gonhungry than die of food poisoning, ccnHi-tech morality may not work outnquite the way its proponents havenpromised. The last few years. NewtnGingrich, Guy Sorman, and othersnhave been espousing a new brand ofnconservatism “that successfully unitesnedition. Fortunately, Storing’s student,nMurray Dry, has compiled anone-volume selection of the moreninteresting documents {The Anti-nFederalist: Writings by the Opponentsnof the Constitution; Universitynof Chicago Press, $9.95 paper).nThe abridgment has so many strongnpoints — a full index, excellentnnotes and introductions — that itnwould be churlish to complainnabout the rather narrow selection.nThe Essential Anti-Federalist (editednby W.B. Allen, Gordon Lloyd,nand Margie Lloyd; University Pressnof America; Lanham, MD) is somewhatnmore eclectic and covers morenyears, but its deficiencies outweighnthese merits: no index or footnotes,nan “Interpretative Essay” whichnglosses over authorship problems,nand a curious silence on one of thenmain themes—the sovereignty ofnthe states. It is not true that “thenanti-federalists wanted a nationalngovernment to reply to the peoples’nlocal needs.” On the contrary, thatnis exactly what they did not want. Itnis, however, what we have today,nand that has made all the differencenbetween a federal republic responsiblento free citizens and a busybodynbureaucracy that rules us for ournown good. ccn