ton students, as if thev had nothing tondo with all those dementet: antics bvntadical Ivy League faculties ‘.hen theynnonneaotiably clamored for revolutionarynconscience as curriculum. Bv thatntime education was seen bv the liberalsnas a process of full equalization iinnrights and value) of the educator andneducated, and those who insisted thatnmoral training was inseparable fromnknowledge were branded as reactionaries.nThe concept of “educational relevance”nresulted, naturally, in iUiteracv.nbut what did Neiv Times write thennabout American minorities? Did thevnever oppose Marcuse. Stokely Carmichaei.nLeary and the Yippies, KatenMillett and Radical Chic, sexual communesnand the Rolling Stones.^ Hardnto find such a record, vet thev nownbemoan American decadence.nDecadence is essentially the destructionnof norms —moral and behavioral.nA certain Ms. Judith Coburn writes innNew Times on “Trafficking in Innocence—ThenChild as Sex Object”:n”The essence of decadence is lack ofnfeeling.”nand concludes:n”The current fascination with childishnsexuality is vet another manifestationnof the backlash against demandsnfor women’s equaiitv.”nRadical followers of Ms. Coburn’sn”thinking” easily get the message, ofncourse: wherever “feeling” is involved,nthere’s nothing wrong with copulatingnwith children, molesting toddlers, etc.:nit’s not the seekers of the thrills subtlynintimated by the pink press, nor thenpublishers of Show Me. nor the derangedn”psychiatrists” from California,nnor the filmmakers e.xtolled in lVome>i snWear Daily, who are guilty of kiddienporn, but the opponents of ERA. NeivnTimes ‘ own film critic had viewednPretty Baby, a movie quite dedicatednto “trafficking in innocence” withnflaming admiration: its “approach isncool, almost chaste.” he wrote, andn28inChronicles of Culturendeplored the fact that “[it] received anbarrage of invectives from do-goodersnand know-nothings.” Thats how NeivnTimes opposed decadent cultural actsnagainst children.nThe present wave of decadence camento America not through a surfeit ofnpower, nor through the fascination withncorruption by wealth, whose uppermostnreaches have been decadent for morenthan half a centurv: power is constantlynchallenged here by emerging elitesnand minorities, wealth is now morenevenlv distributed than ever in America.nDecadence came to America via ideas:nthe idea oi cultural egalitarianism asnaliberating force.” the idea of a valuefreensociety at large, one that shouldnparticipate in everything its uppermostnreaches do. even degeneration. Thesenideas were largely embraced by thenliberal media. Decadence of the 70s isnnot an effect of social moods of satiationnand excess, but an ideological phenomenon,nbrought into being by openly engineerednideological trends. The liberalnleft in this country bears the full andnclear-cut responsibility for it —it isnits creation. The annual sets of VillagenAnother Schism?nAn excerpt from Mother Jones, annopenly promarxist journal with a penchantnfor strongly worded opinions:n”So it is entirely likely that the youngnright-wing aerospace worker of todaynhad a wild-eved Socialist grandpa backnin Oklahoma. And while Ronald Reagannwould calLthat a classic Americannsuccess storv. I can only sav that historynis sometimes just a pain in thenass.”nHow unbecoming! Everybody knowsnthat till now history was on the sidenof Marx’s admirers, the Kremlin, thenproletariat, the Communist Party, thennn nice, y.dw Viirk Magazine. RoilingnSlone. R’arhov. Penthouse.’etcswee/f. Xeiv York Times Magazine.nVogue. Harper’s Bazaar, and later —n-Veu’ r/zwei–contain indelible and irrefutablenevidence of how it was broughtnabout. It ‘began with the grotesque Carmagnolenon California campuses and itnsoon reached the radical chic drawingnrooms in New York: the children ofnthe wealthy upper classes, encouragednby ultraliberal faculties at prestigiousnuniversities and enthusiastically supportednby the communication-entertainmentncomplex which “reflects” thenstate 01 the society, initiated the nonstopndescent. The disintegration ofnstandards oi normalcy and good sensenfollowed. We now have Lillian Hellman.nthe ultimate procommunist symbol,nmodeling for the fur industry —the ultimatenin luxury. Looking at Ms. Hellman’snworn face grinning from a superexpensivenmink coat —the ultimatentoken of commercial hedonism —andnrealizing that her riches are a rewardnfor her lifelong travails to help Stalin,none can’t help but be certain that decadencenis upon us, and it is of the left’snmaking. Dnpinko radicals, and the subscribers tonMother Jones. Did something go wrong.’nHas America and its system jumbled upnsomething in the allegedly invinciblenhistorical blueprint.’ Is the revolutionarynand schismatic theory about pains innthe rear end the new class consciousnessnin the making.’nTransfiguration BoogienPauline Kael. a liberal and a filmncritic, is presently taking full advantagenof the aura of the era. and explains withnthe help of sexual symbolism, or mythology,nevery human yearning, every quivernof soul, and every motion on screen.nShe thus becomes a practitioner ofn