“‘Getting the government off thenbacks of the American people’ will benno one’s slogan in 1988. Making governmentnmore efficient and more effectivenwill be the thing this time. I’vennever understood why conservativesnpositioned themselves against government.”nMr. Weyrich added, “the truthnis that some of us believe in governmentnactivism. . . . too often, we havenattempted to reject the obligation welfarenrepresents, the obligation to thenpoor, the homeless, the unemployednand the disabled. . . . We accept thenobligation welfare represents.”nThe zest for government activismnappears to be the center of the newnconservative vision. That alone wouldndissociate it from the antistatist conservatismnof the past, but more is involvednin the transfiguration of the Americannright than a mere tactical change ofninstruments by which its political leadersnmay work their will.nThe changes in thought and rhetoricnthat distinguish “progressive conservatism”nfrom its predecessors of thenOld Right reflect a significant socialnand demographic transformation ofnAmerican political culture. WhereasnOld Right conservatism was by andnlarge the expression of the interests,nvalues, and aspirations of the Americannbourgeois elite, the new political formulasnexpress those of a relativelynrecent elite of urbanized, technocraticnprofessionals who make their living andngain power and status in mass organizations.nThis new “managerial” elite, asn44/CHRONICLESnLIBERAL ARTSnYIPPIES OR YUPPIES?nJames Burnham called it, displaced thenolder bourgeoisie as the dominantnforce in politics, the economy, andnculture in the early 20th century. Betweennthe Depression and the end ofnWorld War II it seized power at thennational level, and in the 1960’s,nthrough the New Frontier and thenGreat Society, embarked on what itnthought would be the final mop-up ofnits bourgeois rival.nThe new elite found a rationale fornits aspirations to power in the ideologynof liberalism, which offered justificationsnfor the enlargement of the statenand its fusion with other massnorganizations — corporations and unionsnin the economy, mass universities,nlarge foundations, and the mass medianin the managerial cultural apparatus.nThe cosmopolitan and universalistnethos of liberalism served to challengenbourgeois moral and social codes andnattachment to local and national institutions,nwhile liberal meliorism andnprogressivism legitimized the newnelite’s application of its technocraticnand managerial skills to government,nthe economy, and society.nWith the exhaustion and discreditingnof liberal ideology in the I960’snand 1970’s, however, the elite had tonformulate a new ideology. This isnwhere “progressive conservatism”ncomes in.nIn the 1980’s, the younger membersnof the managerial elite came to benknown as “yuppies,” and though theynquestioned many of the policies ofnDrug song lyrics may, in fact, be the entire literary outputnof the hippie generation. The hippies’ general disregardnfor anything as static as a book is a fact over which ChesternAnderson and Marshall McLuhan can shake hands. Fornacid heads are, in McLuhan’s phrase, “post-literate.”nHippies do not share our written, linear society—theynlike textures better than surfaces, prefer the electronic tonthe mechanical, like group, tribal activities. Theirs is annecstatic, do-it-now culture, and rock and roll is their artnform.n—from “A Social History of the Hippies” by WarrennHinckle, in the March 1967 issue of RampartsnnnNew Deal-Great Society liberalism,nthey retained its cosmopolitan and essentiallynmaterialistic values andnshowed little hesitancy about usingngovernmental power against persistentnsocial and cultural institutions to createn”openness,” “opportunity,” and “democracy.”nThey also became enamorednof new technologies that seemednto promise all sorts of secular salvations,nfrom the end of war and povertynto the global unification of governmentnand culture, and that offered endlessnfrontiers for the utilization of theirnesoteric skills.n”Progressive conservatism” and itsnideological siblings are designed to capturenand mobilize the young (nowntending toward middle-aged) urbannprofessionals of the managerial elite.nThe Republican Party may not neednthem to win elections — they havenplain old Middle Americans, who havennowhere else to go, for that—but itndoes need them to govern. The federalngovernment, the congressional staffs,nand the think tanks and media institutionsnon which neoconservatives andnprogressive conservatives depend simplyncan’t operate without them.nThe union of the Republican Partynwith the managerial elite and its apparatusnin the government means the endnof an era in American political culture.nBourgeois conservatism and its determinationnto stop history and get off hasnbecome a moribund political and intellectualnforce, because the social formationnthat supported it and the valuesnand interests of which bourgeois conservatismnwas an expression are extinctnor dying. The progressives come not tonpraise, let alone restore the bourgeoisnorder, but to bury it; not to standnathwart history and cry stop but tonclamber on board, toot the horn, andnpress the throttle full steam ahead. Ifnthere is to be any resistance to ornrestraint on the managerial state and itsninterminable war against what remainsnof American culture, it can come fromnneither the progressive conservatism ofnGingrich and Kemp nor the bourgeoisnconservatism of the Old Right, butnfrom some new force that has not yetntaken shape.nSamuel Francis is deputy editorialnpage editor of The WashingtonnTimes.n