the older Deweyite Novak. If a Churchrnthat weathered Pelagius, Arius, and thernBabylonian Captivity cannot survivernneoconservatism, then the spirit has fled.rnFight them on the issues, if you like, butrndo not confuse them with demons orrnangelic doctors.rnThe conference shapes up as a dialoguernbetween those who insist upon therncorporate nature of human society andrnindividualists who can look at a familyrnand see only competing interests. RussellrnSparkes, a retired investment bankerrnfrom London, delivered a strong defensernof medieval guilds, only to receive thernhackneyed counter-argument that everythingrnthe guilds used to do is now beingrndone by chambers of commerce, thernBetter Business Bureau, and insurancerncompanies.rnI am probably more of an anarchocapitalistrnthan most of the free-marketersrnI have met. A free market is generallyrnthe most efficient—and the fairest—rnmechanism for distributing goods andrnservices. But there is more to human socialrnlife than markets. In ancient Athens,rnthe agora was a place of commerce andrnconversation, but one cannot appreciaternAthenian life without climbing the hillrnup to the Acropolis, where the temple ofrnAthena embodied the highest aspirationsrnof the Athenian people. To speakrnof market value in connection with religion,rnfamily, art, or literature is to talk onrnthe level of vulgar utilitarians, whose pretensionsrnwere exploded long ago by seriousrnphilosophers. That Christians, andrnCatholic Christians to boot, should usernso degenerate a language is one morernsign of the evil times in which we live.rnBefore such despots as Henry VIII andrnLouis XIV consolidated the modernrnstate, the task of government was limitedrnto providing justice to those who askedrnfor it loudly enough and to defendingrnthe nation from foreign aggressors andrnfrom domestic subversion. The poor,rnexcept for periods of emergency, werernnot the object of royal philanthropy.rnThat task was reserved for the Church,rnwhose monasteries and hospitals offeredrncare and sustenance to the sick and therndestitute as well as to weary travelers.rnFor regular poor relief, medieval societiesrnrelied upon the local parish.rnAs soon as modern rulers were able tornusurp the property and social functionsrnof the Church, the state was in a positionrnto make itself supreme. A Christian socialrnorder, on the other hand, rests uponrntwo powers, the twin thrones of empirernand church. If the church rules, the resultsrnare dreadful—i.e., the Puritanrntheocracy or the Renaissance papalrnstates, but when the state reigns supremernand deals out the national wealth to anyonernwho will support government, thernresult is what we see around us everyrnday: high taxes, a devouring swarm ofrnplace-seeking bureaucrats, a servile andrndegraded population that looks torngovernment with greater awe and expectationrnthan Diocletian’s subjects.rnSeveral speakers at the conferencerndrew parallels with the later days ofrnRome. If only we were that well off.rnThe savages who invaded the empirernwere robust and vigorous, and oncernChristianized, they took only five or sixrncenturies to create a new civilization. Irnam not so hopeful for our descendants.rnThe students at Zagreb University, tornwhom I lectured on something like thernspur of the moment, were a little surprisedrnby an American who refused tornadopt a triumphalist tone. But the evidencernof what is wrong with my countryrnwas abundantly present in this class ofrn200 bright and well-groomed students,rnmany of whom were not even registeredrnin this faculty, much less this course.rnTheir questions showed how much theyrnactually understood of my rather dangerousrntalk on federalism, and whereverrnthe conversation went—from populationrnecology to ethnic cleansing—theyrnwere prepared to follow.rnRebecca West found the Croats to bernthe most intellectual people in Europe.rnEX’cn so, I am impressed. The studentsrncame, not to hear me, but to listen to formerrnDeputy President Zdravo Tomac,rnwho is giving a series of lectures on thernnew government of Croatia. It is notrnonly that they seem to be betterrneducated than their American counterparts,rnit is that quite apart from hoursrnand credits they are genuinely interestedrnin ideas, especially ideas that have somernbearing on their national future.rnI meet an English-Croat graduate studentrnwho has only recently begun visitingrnwhat he regards as his country. (Irnmeet more than one American in similarrncircumstances.) He tells me quite grandlyrnthat Croats have always been seducedrnby other nations—Venetians, Austrians,rnLIungarians, and (worst of all) Serbs—rnbut now it is time for them to go it alone.rnI wonder, aloud, if it would not be arngood idea to establish closer economicrnand political ties with Austria, Hungary,rnthe Czech Republic, and perhaps NorthernrnItaly (once it is liberated). A unionrnfor trade and even currency, yes, but hernis adamantly against a political union.rnFor myself, I cannot shake the suspicionrnthat I am in a province of Austria-rnHungary. Few people speak English, butrnmy little bit of German is repeatedlyrncalled on to pinch-hit for my Croatian.rnThe Mandir family watch television asrnthey pack clothes, switching easily fromrnCroatian to German stations, and everywherernin Zagreb, the great historicalrnmonuments connect them with therndual monarchy.rnOne evening I attend a special massrnbeing celebrated for two groups that arernmeeting simultaneously in Zagreb, thernChesterton Society and the PaneuropeanrnUnion. Deciding on language must havernbeen a difficult task. The bishop speaksrnin German for his announcements andrnsermon. The scripture readings are inrnGerman, Croatian, English, and evenrnFrench. What a babel the whole affairrnmight have been, were it not for the massrnitself, sung beautifully in Latin by asrngood a choir as I have heard.rnOutside the streets arc miserable, peltedrnby snow and sleet in which I havernbeen walking ankle-deep all day. Laterrnthat night I shall find myself abandonedrnnearly a mile from Fratrovac—the cabrncannot make the hill, and standing therernshivering, waiting for others to arrive, IrnLET USrnKNOWrnBEFORErnYOU GO!rnTo assure uninterrupted delivery ofrnCHRONICLES please notify us inrnadvance. Send change of address onrnthis form with the mailing label fromrnyour latest issue of CHRONICLES to:rnSubscription DepartmentrnCHRONICLESrnRO. Box 800rnMount Morris, Illinois 61054rnMrnC)rnVrn1rnrnFEBRUARY 1994/37rnrnrn