vices for ten. Nowadays nature is something to push against, tornmove around, get out of the way, get on top ofrn—from William Mills, “The Flies of Summer,” February 1989rnBecause of the hirid attractiveness of what tlie Psahnist calledrnthe “sins of our youth,” being a teenager has been elevated tornthe American ideal. “Those were the best days of my life,”rnpined rock ‘n’ roller Bryan Adams. Fortysomethings (in whatrntraditionally would have been considered the “best days of one’srnlife”) have mid-life crises and long to be teenagers again.rnRather than stand up and fight, churches since the 1950’srnhave hired “youth pastors” to provide sexy activities and ClearasilrnBible studies to teens. In the 70’s, youth pastors began tornhawk “Christian” rock —a marketable, sanitized, moncy-andsexrnmachine. Private Christian high schools (modeled afterrngovernment schools) adopted all of the trappings of their secularrncounterparts —a displaced, coed group, spending eightrnhours a day together, plus road trips for the teams and cheerleaders,rnproms, and homecomings. Yet church leaders arernpuzzled by statistics that indicate that their young people nowrnhave higher rates of premarital sex and pregnancy.rn—from Aaron D. Wolf “Teen Angel,” August 2000rnDEMOCRATISMrnThe move toward mass, direct democracv in the large nationstaternderives much of its appeal from an image of direct democracyrnreminiscent of the Atheirian Assembly, or of the New Englandrntown meeting. But such an appeal is mistaken. Thernsocial conditions for face-to-face interaction and deliberationrnpresent on a small scale are not present in the larger nationstate.rnIn primaries, referendums, opinion polls, and “teledemocracv”rn(such as the “electronic town halls” with viewerrncall-ins advocated bv Ross Perot), we get the isolated, atomizedrncitizen, pulling a lever, casting a ballot, or dialing an 800 numberrnbased on very little reflection or interaction. His or her voternis just one of millions that will have little effect on the outcome.rnThe citizen has little incentive for informed debate or for investmentrnin political knowledge.rn—from James S. Fishkin, “Reforming the Invisible Primary,”rnNovember 1992rnThe objection that “social” justice is not a kind of justice is oftenrncountered either by urging that the world would be a betterrnplace if the distribution of income and wealth were differentrnfrom what it actually is or by protesting that this objection is atrnbest triviallv verbal. It is easy to argue with the first of these contentions.rnIn my personal ideal world, for instance, successfulrnpop stars would not be voted to become millionaires by the purchasesrnmade by ever)’one’s teenage children. But this is simplyrnirreknant. For it is one thing to justify some sort of proceedingrn— that is, to show it to be desirable or excusable or in somernother way preferable to the available alternatives—but it is quiternanother thing to justicize it, to show it to be not merely “socially”rnjust but plain, old-fashioned—from Antony Flew, “‘Social’ justice Is Not Justice:rnThe Mirage of John Rawls,” July 1999rnThe return to democracy, a political form of anticiuih’ whichrnhad failed completely and earned the ridicule and censure ofrnthe three philosophers who are the pillars of our civilization-rnSocrates, Plato, and Aristotle —is one of the most amazing featuresrnof the last 200 years. My American readers should realizernthat democracy came to their country as a gradual alien influence.rnIt is mentioned neither in the Declaration nor in thernConstitution .. . Democracy .. . belongs to the left.. .rn—from Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, “Conser’ative or Rightist?rnA Personal Confession,” January 1999rnRationalism is philosophy in its adolescence. The adolescentrnseeks self-determination and certainty above all else. And whatrnrationalism yields is certainty (we hold these truths to be selfevident);rnbut certainty attaches only to abstractions, which arernmere aspects of experience and not the whole. Nothing intellectuallyrndeep is self-evident. A political philosophy fomided onrntruths self-evident to every adolescent is a politics fit only forrnadolescents.rn—from Donald Livingston, “David Humernand American Liberty,” November J 995rnThe appeal of ihe idea of national communih’ is undiminishedrnin our time. The symbols and impedimenta are everywhere tornbe seen. Community threatens to become the battleground ofrnpolitics, replacing the enemy in this respect. Community isrnmore siren-like, more seductive than economic growth and thernsize of budget deficits. . . .rnThe idea of national community is supported by an assumedrninevitability of a certain theoretical scheme of progress… It isrninteresting that the same sketch of inevitable progress carries arntheory of the true center of democratic government. In the beginning,rnthe center was the colonial legislature. Stage two wasrnthe passing of the center to a national Congress, under the Constitution.rnBut, it is argued, under the iron discipline of thernmarch of history, democracy, true democracv, passed fromrnCongress as center to the presidency. The president is, thernscript reads, the authentic center of national democracy, for hernalone represents the entire people. This theor’ of progress wasrndoing cjuite well until yet another state was introduced a few yearsrnago, one that appears to be flourishing in certain legal circles.rnNot Congress, not the president, but the federal judge is the truernAtlas of modern democracy. Think how long, the apologeticsrnsuggest, desegregation, apportionment, abortion legalization, andrnabolition of school pravers would have taken if these manifestlyrnlegislative acts liad had to go through Congress and the presidency.rnFor the federal judiciar)’ the)- were the work of moments, byrncomparison. The federal judge, it is said, is unh-ammeled by thernnecessity’ of being elected, by the sweat and stench of politics, byrnany political obligation whatever. Properly instructed by criticalrnlegal studies, he is the reincarnation of Solon and Solomon. Tornbring the dreamed-of national community into existencernthrough Congress and the presidency would take years, possiblyrndecades. A few Supreme Court decisions, and the basic workrnwould be done.rn—from Robert Nisbet, “The Present .Age and thernState of Community,” June 1988rnlULY 2001/55rnrnrn