the pickle that conservatives presentlynfind themselves in: how to back ancandidate like the patrician GeorgenBush and retain this political coalitionnbetween mass and elite that has been atnthe heart of conservative political success.nGottfried and Fleming are at theirnbest handling intellectual rather thannpolitical developments in the conservativenmovement, but here, too, theynsuffer the pitfalls of redefining rathernthan interpreting history. The authorsnattribute Noam Chomsky’s critique ofnB.F. Skinner’s behaviorism andnEdward O. Wilson’s sociobiology to an”conservative” reaction to liberal intellectualntrends. According to Gottfriednand Fleming, Wilson’s sociobiology ornKonrad Lorenz’s studies of human quananimal behavior “restored a sense ofnthe ‘givenness’ of human nature.” Thisnis a provocative idea, and a novel waynof seeing Chomsky (a political leftist),nWilson, and others who were rejectingnliberal utopianism.nBut what is intellectually stimulatingnis historically misleading. CallingnWilson’s neo-Darwinism “conservative”ntells us more about Gottfried andnFleming’s eccentric and (in this respect)ncommendable brand of conservatismnthan it tells us about postwarnAmerican conservatism. The authorsnare again blurring the distinction betweennconservatives and AmericannReinventing CommunitynProphets have been predicting thendisappearance of community lifenfrom the American scene since thenWar of Independence. The heroicnsettlement of the West, the greatneconomic expansion of the 20thncentury, the mobility of corporatenexecutives and blue-collar workersnalike — all have conspired to underminenthe comfortable sense of ansettled order. John Crowe Ransomnblamed it on the frontier; othersnblame capitalism. Whatever thencause, Americans have become anpeople very uncomfortable withnthemselves.nCommunal life cannot, however,nbe dispensed with, and the oftennconservatives. As the authors acknowledge,nnot only fundamentalists like thenRev. Pat Robertson (whom Gottfriednand Fleming inexplicably describe asn”among the best educated politicalnfigures in the United States”), but alsonthe Old Right and even some sophisticatednneoconservatives treat Darwinismnas a Bolshevik heresy. Here thenrelevant distinction is not betweennmass and elite, but between the conservativenintelligentsia, which remainsndominated by philistines and religiousnfanatics, and Gottfried and Fleming,nwho are willing to see the relevance ofnChomsky’s Syntactic Structures, Darwin,nFreud, and Wittgenstein to thenpursuit of knowledge.nGottfried and Fleming’s own politicalnviews do not come through clearlynin The Conservative Movement, largelynbecause they are trying to describenrather than take part in factional beefs.nBut it is evident that the authors’ traditionalismnis itself highly untraditional.nThe traditionalists of then1940’s and 1950’s, like Russell Kirknand Richard Weaver, were, if anything,ntrying to adapt British conservatism tona mix of old Southern Democrat andnTaft Republicanism. They quoted thenEliot of London, but their ideas stillnbore the stamp of Eliot’s St. Louis. Asnthe authors say, much of the “OldnRight’s outlook was determined by anninchoate patriotism, a sentimental af­nREVISIONSnfrightening attempts to recreatencommunity through Utopian settlements,nreligious societies, and politicalnideologies have been the subjectnof important books by scholars likenRobert Hine, Thomas Bender, andnmost notably Robert Nisbet. In SeekingnMany Inventions: The Idea ofnCommunity in Americfl (Knoxville:nUniversity of Tennessee, 214 pp.)nPhilip Abbott takes a somewhatnmore optimistic look at a variety ofn”social inventions” that have servednto build a sense of what he callsn”instant community”: the telephone,nthe quilting bee, the motel,nand the reformist group. While allnthese remedies are doomed to failure,nthey are evidence of man’snunwillingness to accept his lot asnnnfection for what remained of the oldnAmerica.”nBut not Gottfried and Fleming’snviews. To the extent their viewsnemerge, they have a strangely foreignncast, as if they were acquired in timentravel back to 19th-century Europenand before. For instance, Gottfried andnFleming criticize—yes, criticize — thenReagan administration for not defendingnEuropean colonialism as “symbolsnof European man’s manifest destiny.”nOf course, 1950’s conservatives likenJames Burnham defended Europeanncolonialism, but on the grounds of thenGold War against communism.nBurnham expected colonial regimesnwould make more dependable allies;nhe said nothing about “manifest destiny”nor “civilization.” Gottfried andnFleming appear to be not merely traditionalistsnwho believe that all men werennot born equal, but racial theorists whonbelieve only certain peoples are capablenof self-government and intellectualnadvance. One gives thanks in the endnthat they don’t represent a social movement,nand are only the authors of thisninteresting and provocative book.nJohn B. Judis is a senior editor of InnThese Times and the author ofnWilliam F. Buckley, Jr.: Patron Saintnof the Conservatives (Simon &nSchuster), reviewed in this issue.nunnamed citizen.nFor a partial success story, Abbottnturns to the natural childbirthnmovement — a “de-invention”nrather than an invention — andnconcludes that “social spheres nowncontracted can be expanded.” Hensensibly warns against any attemptsnto construct an entire counterculturenat odds with modern society:nsuch Utopias not only collapse withna resounding smash, but they alsonoffer too many opportunities fornmanipulation. The UnificationnChurch won’t like this book, but itnshould be read by anyone interestednin our marvelous capacity for renewalnand regeneration at the mostnimprobable times and with the mostnunlikely methods. (TF)nNOVEMBER 1388/31n