freedom to be workable as a political and social system,nstrong inner controls, a powerful moral compass, andnsense of values are needed. In practice, the contradictionnis vast. The compass is increasingly hard to read,nthe values hard to find in a frantically open, mobile,nfractioned society. Thus a troubling, paradoxical question:nDoes freedom destroy the inner disciplines thatnalone make freedom possible?nDemocracy is built on an inordinate faith in ordinary people.nWinston Churchill summed up democracy with thenwords, “Trust the people.” But, as Grunwald points out, thatnmay be undercut if people lose their self-discipline and self-restraint.nFreedom can thus be too free. “Freedom is the luxurynof self-discipline,” says one French philosopher. Well, wenhave the freedom, but little sign of self-discipline.nHaving just won the Cold War, it is hard for Americans tontake some of these warnings seriously. I would suggest we didnnot so much win the Cold War as we outlasted the Soviets bynborrowing from our children. We may decline right alongnwith the Soviet Union. Saul Bellow states ominously, “ThenUnited States is as much threatened by an excess of liberty asnRussia was from the absence of liberty.”nTo return to my starlight analogy, the seeds of today will notnkeep our nation prosperous or stable. We are violating toonmany of the laws of economic gravity and social stability.nEach one of us this year will get over $1,500 more from governmentnservices than we are willing to pay for. It is notnenough to say we do not want that much government—howevernmuch we democratically decide we want, we should paynfor. We have hung an albatross of debt around our children’snnecks.nOur educational system’s deterioration needs no elaboration.nRead any morning newspaper. Thomas Jefferson stated,ntransactionn28/CHRONICLESn”If a nation expects to be ignorant and free … it expectsnwhat never was and never will be.” Fewer and fewer peoplenread newspapers; fewer and fewer people even watch the networknnews. When asked what beliefs they would die for, 48npercent of a large national poll said “none.” Only 24 percentnsaid they were willing to die for their country. Two-thirds ofnAmericans have never given time to community activities ornhelped to solve community problems. Two-thirds of us cannotnname our local congressman. More than half believe theynhave no influence on the decisions made by local government.nOne-fourth admitted that they do not care about their neighborhood’snproblems. This is not compatible with greatness.nWe have ignored, or taken for granted, a vital building blocknnecessary to continue greatness—some mutual sense of citizenship.nWe can supply order for a while without citizenship, butnnot forever. We can ultimately never make enough laws ornhire enough policemen to make up for a lack of self-disciplinenand self-restraint. A society that needs to put up mesh fencesnover many of its freeway overpasses to keep fellow citizensnfrom throwing harmful objects at each other does not seem tonhave lasting power. A society that talks seriously about grantingn”rights” to animals and trees, but is silent about any obligationsnand responsibilities of citizenship, lacks proportionnand sustainability.n”Civilization begins with order; grows with liberty and diesnwith chaos,” warns Will Durant. We risk that outcome. Therenhas been a great unbalancing in America. We have unbalancedncommunity in favor of individualism; responsibilitiesnin favor of rights; and duties in favor of privileges. We want educationnwithout study; wealth without work; freedom withoutnparticipation; and democracy without citizenship. We mustnself-correct or perish, for this is hardly a sustainable agenda.nLearned, thoughtful, and superblynwritten AA -Robert NisbetnNATIONAL REVIEWn”In this probing and thoughful book, ThomasnFleming has begun to address the principalnchallenge to our society and polity.”n-Elizabeth Fox-GenovesenCHRONICLESnISBN: 0-88738-189-8 (cloth) 276 pp. $32.95n”A thoughtful conservative of the old school.n… Progressives and radicals could benefitnfrom grappling with Fleming’s intellectuallynstimulating presentation.”nTHE PROGRESSIVEnmntransactiofinMajor credit cards accepted. Call (201) 932-2280nSend prepaid orders to:ntransaction publishersnDepartment FLnRutgers-The State UniversitynNew Brunswick, N.J. 08903nnn