folktale, from the simple man’snmythology. That mythology isnprimitive only in the sense ofnbeing primordial and ubiquitous,nand it is pagan only in being uncodifiednas rigid ritual. But itsningredients are part of the chemistrynof dream whatever its placenon the ladder of civilization,nwhatever its dialectical stage—nideologues and bureaucrats notwithstanding.n(JGP) DnSeriouslynSpeakingnRend A. Wormser: ConservativelynSpeaking; Wayne E. DorlandnCo.; Mendham, New Jersey.nWilliam F. Buckley’s introductionntells us that Mr. Wormsernauthored much of this booknwhile commuting to and fromnwork on the New York City subway.nWormser’s powers of concentrationnare no doubt as strongnas his diligent efforts to contributenmeaningful analyses of thisncountry’s sorry state of affairs.nThe end result of his efforts is anuseful primer of ideological perspectivesnthat can be termednrational and mature before beingnduly termed conservative.nDividing our domestic problemsninto 14 areas of economic,npolitical and cultural life, thenauthorgives us a concise accountnof liberal engineering over thenpast half-century. From chaptersnon the “Liberal Suborning ofnEducation” to “Our BunglednEnergy Problem,” Mr. Wormserndebunks the misconceptions ofnliberal thinking as he explainsnthe details of our misguided publicnpolicy. Much of what he findsnwrong in America is a direct resultnof the liberal “cures” ofnspending, legislation and regulation.nThe policies result fromnthe neglect of sound moralnand philosophical principles. Onnour national debt, Mr. Wormsernhas this to say:nIn accumulating thesenmonumental debts, wenhave been guilty of an astonishingnviolation of morality.nWe seem to have nonfeeling of guilt in imposingnon future generations thenburden of supporting andnpaying off loans which wenincurred to fund what wenwanted during our lives butnwere unwilling to pay for.nAs counsel to the “ReecenCommittee” investigating thenwork of the great foundationsnin the 50’s, Mr. Wormser foundnhimself in a position to observenthe reigning liberal establish­nIn FocusnDiscourse & PowernMichel Foucault: The Historynof Sexuality: Volume 1, AnnIntroduction; translated by RobertnHurley; Pantheon Books; NewnYork.nThis is the first (slim) volumenof Mr. Foucault’s —a Frenchnphilosopher and cultural criticnvery much en vogue (College denFrance, the site of Parisian hipnscholarship for centuries)—largernopus on sexuality. During then70’s this subject became a sortnof medieval-like, everlasting,nsacrosanct divagation on divinitynas the ultimate determinant ofnhuman nature and fate. It wasnand still is conducted in endless,nmoreK)r-less scholarly, but alwaysnspiritually ecstatic, monologuesnby more-or-less highmindednapologetes, but it nevernevolved into a coherent debatenbecause the monistic premise,nthat sex is the prime cause of thenuniverse and humanity, is nonnegotiable;nthus any other pointnof view is necessarily excluded.nIn this respect, Mr. Foucaultnment firsthand. The committee’snconclusion that the distributionnof foundation money was biasednin favor of state collectivismnbrought charges of McCarthyismnupon him. Later, followingnthe publication of his book. ThenMyth of the Good and Bad Nations,nMr. Wormser felt thenwrath of liberal censorship.nConservatively Speaking isnnot a novelty of ideas andnthought. It is an instructivenmanual of how the conservativenimpulse of mind has been systematicallynand protractedly caged,ncensored, obliterated andnmaimed during an overextendednperiod of the history of this society.n(RV) Dnbrings no news: he deems thendiscourse on sexual matters to benan absolutized value, civilization’snbasic achievement, a roadnto the betterment of mankind,nbut he fails to notice or mentionnthe one-sidedness, orthodoxy,ncanonicity of such an argumentation.nThere are plenty of us,nthese days, who have had secondnthoughts about silence on sexualnmatters—as oppressive, destructivenand warping as it may havenproved itself to be throughoutnthe centuries of enforced moralitynor social repression. Mr. Foucaultndoes not come across clearlynenough in asserting what he seesnas the origin of evil: the excessivenverbosity or the disciplinaryndiscretion about things sexual.nProfessor Freud once expressednthe supposition that sexual discretionnmight be a source of allncivilities, which might have beenntoo radically conservative a position,nbut one that desperatelynneeds to be repeated constantlynin a world where therapy hasncome to be confused with reli­nnngion. Moreover, some of us havenbegun to see that the across-theboardnabolition of this reticencenmay be a causal factor in our socialnmisfortunes and even worsenwoes—on both an individual andncivilizational level.nI do not want to prejudge Mr.nFoucault’s larger argument,nwhich he promises to present innfuture volumes. From the prolegomenon,nhowever, he strikesnme as a bit of a prattler: he wallowsnsuspiciously in wordage tonestablish the notion of power asnthe catalyst of every idea of sexualitynconceived by Westernnthought. This is a slangy epistemology,nintellectually fashionable,nbut one that observes morenthan explains. One acquires annuneasy feeling that he knowsnmore about speaking on his chosennsubject than about the subjectnitself, which somehow runsncounter to the genuine Frenchnheritage of erotic wisdom andnthe French tradition of subtlenirony in this field. He sees in annabsolute discourse on sex thentranscendental and formativenelement of our common humanness,nthe prime fabric of our perceptions,nthe texture of our consciousness,nthe yeast of all socialnpropensities. He seems rathernoblivious to the circumstancenthat sexuality is perhaps more anmatter of individual feelingsnthan sociological formulations,nand its gist is experience, notntalk or dissertation. He appearsnto have no need to distinguishnbetween repression and sublimationnof sexual conventions,nmores and desires, as if Westernnculture were unaffected by thisnmomentous distinction. “Discourse”nand “power” as the keynwords to the sexual megacosmngive Mr. Foucault’s approachnthe smack of intellectual pomposity,nand they finally leave annimpression of imposed peremptorinessnrather than of an intellectualninference backed by bothnprofound learning and respectablensensibility. DnJuly/August 1980n