Warren Court’s ruling against schoolnsegregation, for example, was based innlarge part upon a “study subsequentlyndevastated as invalid, if not fraudulent.”nBut since Brown v. Board of Educationnwrought such a profound revolutionnin our jurisprudence, it is almost unthinkablento question the validity of then”knowledge” which underlay that particularndecision. Policy is more importantnthan truth.nOowell argues that intellectual manipulatorsnof ideas have historicallyn”promoted the abrogation of ordinarynpeople’s freedom, and romanticized despotism.”nHe offers a brief history of thenintellectuals’ flirtations with despotismnand then with totalitarianism throughnthe ages, starting with a somewhat exaggeratednindictment of early Christiannintellectuals, then Chinese thinkers andnothers who sought to utilize the powernof the state to impose upon all theirnversion of the truth and their vision ofnthe world. Intellectuals, he reminds us,nfomented the French Revolution andnlater the October Revolution of 1917.nUntil rather recently in this country,nwe have been fortunate in that intellectualsnenjoyed little influence within ourngovernmental system. But now all thatnhas changed, and the intellectual classnhas come to rule, and ruin, ever-greaternareas of American life. Dissatisfied withnthe plodding ways of Congress, the mostndirectly representative of our Federalninstitutions, the intellectuals havenworked for the advancement of theirnobjectives through the mammothnbureaucracy of the executive branch,nwhich is often only nominally under thencontrol of the president; through thenbureaucracy of the independent regulatorynagencies, to which the Congressnhas unwisely granted excessive authority;nand most especially through thenjudiciary, the nearest thing to an independentnand nonresponsible source ofnpower in our democratic system. Thusnit is not astonishing that young peoplenwho wish to change our society arenflocking to law schools: they believen»>»>;nChronicles of Culturenthat they can realize their vision ofnthe world through the relatively independentngovernmental agencies, andnmost especially through the courtsn(many of their colleagues flock to businessnschools, where they learn to livenwith the restrictions which the graduatesnof law schools will impose uponnthem).nThrough the judiciary, primarily,nthere has come into being somethingnSowell speaks of as a “totalitarian democracy,”nin which the forms of democracynand the final authority of the peoplenare preserved, but which in fact is governednby an “elite.” “The history ofntrends in criminal law over the pastngeneration,” he observes, “is essentiallynthe history of intellectual fashionsnamong a small group of theorists in lawnand sociology.” The same generalizationnmay justly be made about the lawnin many other areas as well.nThe conflict, then, runs between intellectualsnwho, like Sowell, are committednto empirically verifiable standardsnof truth, and those for whom thentruth of an idea or the accuracy of anpiece of knowledge must be subordinatento its likely political effects.nWe need not delude ourselves. Intellectualsnas a class have a vested inter­nIn the Mailnest in ideas which, whether true ornfalse, promote their own well-being, andnthose ideas generally impel them towardnthe centralization of power in nationalnand international government. In ournsupposedly free society, it is often veryndifficult for truly dissident ideas to gainna hearing, as people like Arthur Jensennhave reason to know. And yet I believenand hope that Sowell is unduly pessimisticnwhen, toward the end of his book,nhe writes that “almost by definition,nthe movement to totalitarianism is anone-way movement,” and speaks of thenpower of that movement in our own society,nfor he also knows that “nothingnis inevitable,” in his words. Thoughnideas are the stock-in-trade of intellectuals,nintellectuals are also men, mennwho may, sometimes for obscurenreasons, suddenly reject that which untilnyesterday they took for granted. The verynappearance of Knowledge and Decisionsnand similar works of recent years, couplednwith a pervasive sense of liberal malaise,nmay be the harbinger of an intellectualnreversal of significant proportionsnwhich would restore to us ourncommitment to truth rather than politicalnexpediency. But that is somethingnwhich, as Sowell comments on hisnbook’s last page, “only the future canntell.” DnSolzhenitsyn at Harvard edited by Ronald Berman; Ethics and Public Policy Center;nWashington, D.C. Solzhenitsyn’s Harvard address, said to be his most provocativenutterance about the West, along with twelve early responses and six later reflections.nPrivatization: Theory & Practice by T. M. Ohashi and T. P. Roth; The FrasernInstitute; Vancouver, Canada. An examination of property rights transferral schemesnwhich involve distributing free shares in private and public enterprises.nAn Inventory of State and Local Income Transfer Programs hy William J. Lawrencenand Stephen Leeds; The Institute for Socioeconomic Studies; White Plains, NewnYork. A study of government income transfer programs for fiscal year 1977.nThe Family, the Natural Environment of the Child; centro internazionale studinfamiglia; Milan, Italy. Proceedings of cisf’s 1979 International Congress in Milan,nincluding the main papers, communications, seminar reports and conclusions of thenCongress. This is the contribution of the cisf to the International Year of the Child.nnn