political coalition that would directlyrnthreaten its dominance. One of his basicrnmisconceptions about the overclass isrnthat it depends on inheritance far morernthan it really does. Earlier elites, hernrightly points out, have depended on inheritancernand have become true oligarchiesrnas a result. He tries (but fails) tornshow that the overclass does the samernthing. Unlike earlier elites such as thernEnglish gentry, Boston brahmins, orrnlocal and regional elites in 19th-centuryrnAmerica, the overclass does not dependrnon intermarriage or inheritance, despiternits members’ cohabitation and eventualrnintermarriage and their efforts to setrntheir offspring up in advantageous positions.rnIndeed, the overclass doesn’t evenrnrely on the family, which is whv it tendsrnto scorn family and kinship bonds of allrnkinds.rnThe overclass, Lind never quite seemsrnto grasp, depends on its proficiency inrnmanagerial and technical skills (hencernthe importance of “advanced degrees” inrnhis characterization of it) and their applicationsrnto organized political, economic,rnand cultural affairs. Its power derivesrnfrom the dependence of the modernrneconomy, culture, government, and politicsrnon such skills. Proficiency in thesernskills cannot be acquired or transmittedrnthrough kinship but only by “merit,”rnwhich presupposes not only intellectualrnabilities but also various personality traitsrnthat enable the “meritorious” to workrnand play well with others in immense bureaucratizedrnorganizations where followingrnestablished routines and adhering tornestablished organizational norms ofrnthought and behavior are the minimalrnrequirements for survival and advancement.rnIt is precisely because the overclass dependsrnon merit in this sense that it objectsrnto the other structures of rewardrnthat older elites favored. The overclassrnrejects (and undermines) not only fami-rn\ connections and inherited wealthrnand status but also traditional religion,rnmorals and manners, local governmentalrnauthority and regional loyalties, andrnracial identity. Such institutions do notrnrecognize managerial proficiency andrnpersonalities as the only valuable characteristicsrnof an elite, and they permit therncompetition of alternative elites thatrncould rival the overclass. The vehicle forrnthat subversion is generally known as liberalism,rnthe political formula of thernmanagerial overclass today. Its liberalismrnand its support of nonwhite and antiwhiternforces and agendas is not just arnmask; it is an authentic expression of itsrngroup interests, an instrument by whichrnit acquires and keeps power, while at thernsame time managing the destruction ofrnthe culture and nationality whence itrnarose.rnLind contrives to miss the structuralrninterests of the overclass that liberalismrnserves, yet he does grasp what the overclassrnis doing and the costs it is imposingrnon American society. “The overclassdominatcdrnpolitical elite of both partiesrnhas waged a generation-long class warrnagainst the middle class. That class warrnhas been waged on three fronts: regressiverntaxation, free-market globalism, andrnthe new feudalism,” meaning the trendrntoward privatization, for the benefit ofrnthe overclass, of what should be publicrnservices—police protection throughrnprivate security guards, private schools,rnprivate parks and roads, a “volunteer”rnmilitary, the withdrawal to the suburbsrnand exurbs. The result of this war on thernmiddle class is not only the social andrneconomic polarization of classes andrnraces, but what Lind calls the trendrntoward “Brazilianization,” with the realrnprospect of a technobureaucracv insulatedrnfrom the costs of its own dominancernand ruling and a middle-class societyrnreduced to an ugly, violent, vulgar, andrnincreasingly impoverished wasteland.rnLind’s account of the overclass war onrnthe middle class would be considerablyrnstronger if he showed any grasp of thern”culture war,” which is key to overclassrndomination. Middle-class and traditionalrnculture are impediments to overclassrninterests. Broadly speaking, it is in thernlong-term interest of the overclass (notrnof anyone else) to “managerialize” societyrnso that all aspects of life are organized,rnpackaged, routinized, and subjugatedrnto manipulation by the technicalrnskills the overclass possesses, and that interestrnrequires the undermining of institutionsrnand norms that are independentrnof, and impediments to, overclass control.rnLind says nothing about the culturernwar, perhaps because he shares the overclass’srnhostility to the deeper Americanrnculture as racist, homophobic, andrnwrapped up in religious fanaticism.rnIndeed, for all its fulminations and occasionalrnuseful insights into the overclass,rnand all its purported determinationrnto expose and challenge overclass domination,rnLind’s book serves overclass interests.rnThis becomes clear, not onlyrnthrough his fallacious insistence on thern”white” and “conservative” identity ofrnthe overclass, but also through his ownrndescription of the agenda of “liberal nationalism.”rnLind does indeed reject some of thernmost important policies of multiculturalism,rnincluding mass immigrationrnand affirmative action, but what hernwants is the installation of the “FourthrnRepublic,” or “Trans-America,” in wliichrnracial and economic inequality will bernabolished. “Nothing less than a radicalrnreconstruction of the American class hierarchyrnis required to reduce the diminishedrnbut still significant correlationrnbetween class and color that is the enduringrnlegacy of three centuries of casternlaw and caste politics.”rnThat radical reconstruction is to berncarried out by the national state, thernprophets of which for Lind were AlexanderrnHamilton and his heirs, Webster,rnClay, Lincoln, the two Roosevelts, andrnLyndon Johnson, with Herbert Crolyrnthrown in as a transitional prophet ofrnwhat he calls the “New Hamiltonianism.”rnThe reconstruction would involverna high degree of centralization of powerrnand central management of society andrneconomy by the neo-Hamiltonian state.rnSince the culture Lind defends is thern”national culture,” local, regional, andrnethnic variations are either unimportantrnor obstructive. “Why should restrictionsrnon abortion vary between New Yorkrnand Nevada?” he demands angrily.rn”Why should a company have to dealrnwith entirely different rules for taxrnassessment in Florida and Maine? Whyrnshould a homosexual employee of IBMrnbe considered a law-abiding citizen inrnMassachusetts and a felon in Alabama,rnto which he is transferred by the corporationrnhe works for?”rnThe answer, of course, is that Americansrnin New York, Nevada, Florida,rnMaine, Massachusetts, and Alabamarnhave rather different views regardingrnabortion, homosexuality, and taxes,rnamong other matters, notwithstandingrnthe fact that they speak the same languagernand share the same national culture.rnWhat never occurs to Lind is thernquestion, why should Nevada and Alabamarnbe “reconstructed” by the nationalrnstate to have the same standards as NewrnYork and Massachusetts? Nor does it occurrnto him (or at least he never lets onrnthat he knows) that such reconstructionrnis precisely what the overclass is tryingrnto achieve. What Lind demands of thernJANUARY 1996/29rnrnrn