proved rationally and empirically wrong. The contemporarynconservative is a descendant of Whig liberalism, whose coatnof arms was antiabsolutism—in thinking, political conduct,nsocial affairs. In point of fact, so is the contemporary liberal.nHowever, the latter has perverted Whiggism and corruptednit with European doctrines of moral coercion. As thingsnstand now, the American liberal is firmly dedicated to thenidea that justice, freedom, equality, etc., must be prescribednby him, by a social class trained in devotion to his principles;notherwise those notions have no value, either moral or social.nHe does not associate freedom with the right of others tonhave concepts of justice and compassion which are differentnfrom his and which may be as valuable as his. Not even ancentury ago, he waged a cruel war against laissez-faire economy.nToday, he preaches a nonnegotiable behavioral laissezfaireism,nclaiming that it’s immoral not to let anyone demandnor do whatever he wants, regardless of the social consequencesnof his desires and requests. He champions anyone’snright to live his own way, but not to think his own way.nThe modern liberal reserves for himself the exclusive rightnto prescribe thinking and to implement it socially. As a bornagainnabsolutist, he sees government as a reliable tool for hisndesigns, providing it’s his government—any other governmentnis considered an abuse of decency and a source of corruption.nHe cares little whether his government expressesnthe will of the majority—except when it expresses his versionnof justice, freedom, equality and so on, government isnPoetry in AmericanPoetry was ever thought to have .”iome participationnof divineness. because it dothnraise and erect the mind . . .n— Francis Bacon, 1605nNot these days. In our time, it is supposed to erectnother things. The liberal media prostrate themselvesnbefore what they call rock poetry. The national magazinesndevote pages of obsequiously reverent treatisesnto it. In its Arts/Books section, the Chicago Tribunenpublishes its samples every Sunday. Here are a fewnlines from a rock poem by a major rock poetess, DeborahnHarry, known better in rock-poetry circles andnsalons under her group’s literary sobriquet “Blondie”:nUh huh make me tonightntonight make it right . . .ntonight rightnOh your hair is beautifulnOh tonightnAtomicnRilke and Yeats are, on occasion, also mentioned innthe Chicago Tribune as poets … right.” Dnsomething one should distrust. However, once the governmentnbegins to impose his ideas upon human existences andndestinies—ideas concocted in his ideological laboratoriesnand enforced by his bureaucracy—the contemporary Americannliberal sees life as better, full of decency and dignity.nThe conservative principle is antiabsolutist. The Americannconservative abides by a political legitimacy which originatesnfrom the democratic process. He thus accepts with magnanimitynthe wild intellectual antics of the liberal, who onlynrecently so vehemently denounced laissez-faireism, and whonnow so adamantly demands it. He just thinks such inconsistencynis deeply indecent. He tries to overcome this indecencynby appealing to man’s common sense, and he believes that anlawful and free society will adjust errors with the help ofnthe ballot. Time is on his side, an ally of the conservativenmode of thinking. The conservative trusts time and its abilitynto preserve and protect values; he knows how to make a trucenwith time and to use it wisely. Those who call themselvesnprogressives are in conflict, or a constant race, with time,nperennially uncertain whether time will confirm their speculativenhopes. To a conservative, time is neither a competitornnor a lottery nor a depository for his expectations. It is thensafest shelter for his principle. The conservative idea, thatnsuccess in history consists not in rushing things but in alwaysninsisting on their correctness, induces the liberal to hurl insultsnat the conservative—among which “indifference” andn”insensitivity” are the most benign.n5.nThe world today is what it is—and many of us tend to suspect,nrightly or wrongly, that it is worse than it was before,neven if “before” merely means our own memory—becausenof ideas. Most of those ideas can be credited to three historicalnpersonages: Rousseau, Marx and Freud.nMarx came to the conclusion that human economic activitiesncould be motivated and administered by instincts othernthan the property instinct. Freud (or if not he himself thennthe myriad of interpreters who distorted his message) madenmany of us believe that all the ills of the world were locatednin that part of our soul which deals with ourselves, and thereforenputting our own psyche above all other aspects of lifenwould make life better. Finally, the idea that society is thensource of our fate, actually an ancient notion, was givenncontemporary substance and shape by Rousseau. His capriciousntoying with notions like freedom, natural goodnessnand authority led his successors to proclaim that all we hadnto do for ourselves was to free our natural impulses and engineernour society to accommodate our propensities.nIn this respect, burping at the dinner table, deprivingnsomeone of the fruit of his labor in order to satisfy someonenelse’s needs, even copulating in public, seem to be cogentn’ on page 41nnnSeptember/October 1980n