es” of the 1950’s and 60’s — “I wasn’tnthere, but I wish I had been” — asn”Chapter One” in what promises to bena kind of civil rights equivalent of anRussian novel. “Chapter One” wasn”about freedom and justice, about removingnlegal barriers, about full rightsnfor each and every one of us as Americanncitizens.” But “Chapter One” isnnot the end of the story.n”At the dawn of a new millennium,”nsang Mr. Kemp, “we are engagednin a new chapter of this ongoingnrevolution, for as you in the NAACPnhave said so well, ‘The Struggle Continues.'”n”Chapter Two” (how manynchapters there are Mr. Kemp didn’tnsay) will be “about economic prosperity,nabout jobs for everyone, andngrowth, and a bigger pie and morenseats at the table.” The specific contentsnof “Chapter Two,” in Mr.nKemp’s reading, include enterprisenzones, tax breaks, privatization of publicnhousing, and a good many othernideas that he intends as “free market,”n”entrepreneurial,” or opportunityenhancingnalternatives to liberal paternalism.nSuch alternatives may or may not benenacted and may or may not work ifnthey are, but they seem to be harmlessnenough and are probably worth trying.nThe problem with Mr. Kemp’s speech,nand with the general approach tonAmerican blacks that his fellow Republicannoutreachers such as Newt Gingrich,nLee Atwater, and President Bushnare articulating, is not that they want tonrely on free enterprise to amelioratenthe material life of blacks but that theynencase their ostensibly free market policiesnin a rhetorical and conceptualnframework that contradicts them.nIn affirming that “Chapter Two” isn”not only about a chance to drive antruck, but a chance to own the truckn. . . not just a chance to have a job, butna chance to own the company,” Mr.nKemp implicitly conceded that thenmuch-touted equality before the law,nwhich “Chapter One” was supposednto have achieved, wasn’t enough. Afternrecounting statistics on black economicnprogress in recent years, the secretarynexplicitly assured his audience thatn”cleariy, this is not enough.”nIt only serves to remind us hownfar we have to go. Over half ancentury ago, Franklin D.nRoosevelt saw one-third of annation ill-clad, ill-housed, andnill-fed. By 1987, the CNF hadnincreased eightfold; andnstill — 56 years after FDR’snstatement—one-third of blacknAmericans remained below thenpoverty line . . . ill-clad,nill-housed, ill-fed.nBehind all of Mr. Kemp’s invocationsnof the free market and the individualnunfettered by cumbersome laws andneconomic regulations, there lies thenhidden assumption that it is the duty ofngovernment (specifically, the federalngovernment) not only to ensure economicnopportunity for all citizens alikenthrough equality before the law, but alsonto ensure economic success. If Mr.nKemp happens to believe market rathernthan paternalistic policies are the bestninstruments to carry out this supposednduty, he has nevertheless granted anbasic precept of socialism in acknowledgingnthat the state ought to be involvednin the design of economic results,nand that if those results are notnequal, they aren’t just.nThat, of course, is what the NAACPnwants to hear. It’s what most of itsndelegates and members believe; it’snwhat Dr. King, Hubert Humphrey, andnDr. DuBois (who joined the CommunistnParty at the age of 98) believed; andnit’s why Mr. Hooks is so mad about thenCourt’s rulings against affirmative action,nthe purpose of which is to fix thenresults whenever race is a factor in thencompetition. It’s also why, for all Mr.nKemp’s apologetics for his past, hisnparty, and his political persuasions, thenNAACP is not going to listen to hisnendorsement of the “market,” the “opportunitynsociety,” or other slogans ofnentrepreneurial capitalism. Those slogans,nif taken seriously, presuppose anlimited and neutral state, equality beforenthe law but not of condition, and an”level playing field” on which all thenplayers compete under the same rules.nWhether such classical liberal ideals arenat all possible or desirable is anothernquestion, but they are utterly incompatiblenwith the kind of governmentalnintervention in social and economicnarrangements for the achievement ofnparticular results that the NAACP demandsnand is willing to break the law tonobtain.nBy recapitulating not only an affir­nnnmation of egalitarian social reconstructionnthrough political means but also ancelebration of the liberal heroes, icons,nand slogans of the civil rights movement,nMr. Kemp and his fellownoutreachers may in fact gain the votes ofnblack Americans and perhaps even thensupport of Mr. Hooks and the NAACP.nBut let us not deceive ourselves thatnsuch gains would represent any victorynfor “conservatism.” Rather they wouldnrepresent a consolidation of liberal valuesnand the crystallization of the liberalnmentality among blacks and theirn(largely self-appointed) leaders as well asnamong (largely self-proclaimed) conservatives.nThey would constitute thenmodern equivalent of finding out whichnway the crowd is running, getting innfront of it, and announcing yourself asnits leader. Once conservatives accept, asnMr. Kemp evidently does, the legitimacynof egalitarian reconstruction, it willnbe far easier to continue and revivenreconstruction through the bureaucraticnpaternalism in which black Americansnremain trapped and in which their leadershipnm.aintains a powerful vested politicalninterest, than through the entrepreneurialnrenaissance that Mr. Kempnpromises.nA different approach that conservativesnmight use to attract not only blacknbut also more white votes is to talk aboutn(and deal seriously with) things thatnreally matter to most Americans —ncrime and the need for swift, certain,nand strong punishment for it; the family,ncommunity, religion, and other socialninstitutions that control violence;nand the senselessness of a centralized,nbureaucratic, social engineering governmentnthat not only impedes “opportunity,”nbut also displaces and destroys thensocial bonds and disciplines that are thenonly real creators of opportunity or ofnthe ambition to use it well.nMaybe this kind of rhetorical andnconceptual framework, reflecting genuinelynconservative ideas, wouldn’t gainnMr. Hooks’ endorsement, and maybenblack Americans are already so enslavednto Mr. Hooks, the NAACP, and thenother lobbies of the civil rights establishmentnthat they wouldn’t buy it either.nBut there’s more to political leadershipnthan winning votes, and maybe conservatismnwith a big “C” is what politiciansnwho claim to be conservatives and seriousnpublic leaders ought to be talkingnabout. <^nNOVEMBER 1989/11n