dwarfe the distortions created by anynother activity.nOlson is a past president of the PublicnChoice Society, an organ of a particularnschool of thought to which economistsnincluding James Buchanan, RichardnMcKenzie, and Gordon Tullock belong.nLike most members of any school, Olsonnmakes the mistake of trying to explainntoo much with one variable. He attacksnother major schools: the Classical (equilibrium)nschool because it cannot explainnmass unemployment and thenKeynesians because they catmot explainnsimultaneous inflation and unemployment.nHe also rejects the Monetaristsnbecause they claim too much by sayingnthat monetary fectors are always decisive.nYet, Olson makes essentially the samenclaim for his theory, citing examples fromna wide variety of countries over a 400yearnperiod. Undoubtedly both specialninterests and monetary fectors have influencedneconomic activity, but thenstrength of these fectors and how theynhave interacted with other fectors (technology,nwar, religion, weather, population,netc.) have varied so that no singlentheory is sufficient. This may be whyneconomics (particularly economic history)nas social science has lost ground toneconomics as theoretical science. Realitynhas a way of being messy and disruptingncompared to the artificial order of abstractntheory.ni/isturbing to conservatives is thenrefetion Olson postulates between socialndisorder and economic progress. Olsonnargues that the Southern states are growingnfester than the Northern because thenConfederacy lost the Civil War and sufferednthe turmoil of Reconstructionnwhich broke the power of entrenchedninterests, thus giving the South a cleannslate. Similarly, Japanese and Germanngrowth is attributed to the destructionnof their social orders by defeat in WorldnWar II (the German case aided by the internalndestruction of the old order bynna2ism). French growth benefited by thenRevolution and the periodic turmoilnsince, including occupation in Worldn14nChronicles of CulturenWar II. England, in contrast, is stagnatingnbecause it has the longest history in Europenof political stability and victory innwar, which has allowed the uninterruptednaccumulation of interest groups. At onenpoint he stales:nNow that we are all, I hope, remindednof the overwhelming importance ofnother considerations in most cases, itnshould not be misleading to point outnthis ‘revolutionary’ implication of thenpresent argument is not always ofnminor importance. We can now seenmore clearly that the contention t)fnsome conservatives that if social institutionsnhave survived for a longntime, they must necessarily be usefulnto the society, is wrong. We can alsonappreciate anew Thomas Jefferson’snobservation that ‘the tree of libertynmust be refreshed from time to timenwith the blood of patriots and tyrants.’nOlson’s theory overlooks quite a bitnand comes perilously close to equatingnall change with progress. England’s politicalnstability and victories in the mercantilenwars and in the struggle with RevolutionarynFrance helped to produce itsnlead in the Industrial Revolution. It didnnot slow imtil after 1870, when new distributionalnforces (to use Olson’s fi-amework)ngained influence through the expansionnof the fi-anchise. The AmericannSouth (and Southwest) enjoy economicnadvantages from the lack of labor unionsnand lower taxation, fectors which stemnfrom the social and political conservatismnIn the forthcoming issue oi Chronicles of Culture:nConservatisni as Noveltyn”Jacques Maritain, besides being one of the most importantnphilosophers of modern times… is worthy of being singlednout for special praise for the contributions he made to thenphilosophy of art…. Maritain looked upon art as somethingnessential to the human experience On the one hand, henrejected the notion that art constituted a world unto itself,ncompletely cut off Irom and independent of the larger worldnof everyday affairs. On the other hand, he rejected as wellnthe Marxian notion of art, which has it that art is not in anynway autonomous and must at every turn serve the ends ofnthe state.”n—^from “Preaching and Probing”nby Dennis Q. MclnemynOpinions & Views—Commendables—In FocusnPerceptibles—^Waste of MoneynThe American Proscenium—Screen—^Art—^MusicnCorrespondence—Liberal Culture—Journalismnnn