EDITORnThomas FlemingnMANAGING EDITORnKatherine DaltonnSENIOR EDITOR, BOOKSnChilton Williamson, ]r.nASSISTANT EDITORnTheodore PappasnART DIRECTORnAnna Mycek-WodeckinCONTRIBUTING EDITORSnJohn W. Aldridge, Harold O.].nBrown, Samuel Francis, GeorgenGarrett, Russell Kirk, E. ChristiannKopff, Clyde WilsonnCORRESPONDING EDITORSnJanet Scott Barlow, Odie Faulk,nJane Greer, John Shelton Reed,nGary VasilashnEDITORIAL SECRETARYnLeann DobbsnPUBLISHERnAllan C. CarlsonnASSOCIATE PUBLISHERnMichael WardernPUBLICATION DIRECTORnGuy C. ReffettnCOMPOSITION MANAGERnAnita FedoranCIRCULATION MANAGERnRochelle FranknA Publication ofnThe Rockford InstitutenEditorial and Advertising Offices: 954 NorthnMain Street, Rockford, IL 61103.nEditorial Phone: (815) 964-5054.nAdvertising Phone: (815) 964-5811.nSubscription Department: P.O. Box 800, MountnMorris, IL 61054. Call I-800-435-07I5, innIllinois 1-800-892-0753.nFor information on advertising in Chronicles,nPlease call Cathy Corson at (815) 964-5811.nU.S.A. Newsstand Distribution by EasternnNews Distributors, Inc., 1130 Cleveland Road,nSandusky, OH 44870.nCopyright © 1990 by The Rockford Institute.nAll rights reserved.nCHRONICLES (ISSN 0887-5731) is publishednmonthly for $21 per year by The RockfordnInstitute, 934 North Main Street, Rockford, ILn61103-7061.nSecond-class postage paid at Rockford, IL andnadditional mailing offices.nPOSTMASTER: Send address changes tonCHRONICLES, P.O. Box 800, Mount Morris,nIL6I054.’nThe views expressed in Chronicles are thenauthors’ alone and do not necessarily reflect thenviews of The Rockford Institute or of itsndirectors. Unsolicited manuscripts cannot benreturned unless accompanied by a self-addressednstamped envelope.nChroniclesnk M t C A Z t N I OF HMEIIICAN CULTUREn4/CHRONICLESnVol. 14, No. 7 July 1990nOn The Agonynof Gorbachev’nPOLEMICS & EXCHANGESnHugh Ragsdale’s February articlencharges Gorbachev with blindness tonRussia’s experience with reform, but bynciting the anti-alcohol program as anfundamental proof of Gorbachev’s myopia,nRagsdale comes close to removingnhis essay from further serious consideration.nHe finally settles down when henbegins to analyze some of the contradictionsnin Soviet society and to pointnout that “democracy” may mean somethingndifferent to Russians than to younand me. Professor Ragsdale is quitenright in suggesting that true perestroikanwould be painful for most of Sovietnsociety and that many will oppose it.nWhat he does not raise are theninstitutional problems in breakingn• down the centralized controls of Sovietneconomic planning and management,nthe disruption to economic infrastructuresnif any Soviet republic shouldneffectively secede, and the even greaternlessons Soviet citizens would have tonlearn with the advent of political pluralismnthan those confronting their Westernnneighbors. Seeing the true complexitiesnof the situation only highlightsnthe realities which must be faced.nAlthough Ragsdale does comenaround to give President Gorbachevnhis due before he is finished, it is he,nRagsdale, who begins to appear misguided,nahistorical, and naive when henpins his hopes on the Russian OrthodoxnChurch and Soviet women. RussiannOrthodox piety has much to benadmired, but the history of the institutionalnchurch reveals little potential forncivic renaissance, especially in modernnhmes. It has been at the heart of thatnRussian culture so antagonistic tonGorbachev’s efforts as cited by Ragsdalenearlier in his essay. Russian womennmay have served as the keel thatnprevented Russian society from capsizingnduring its many times of troubles.nYet, whatever their destiny, it is unlikelynthat they will become the SovietnUnion’s rudder, let alone take thenhelm, in time to avoid the shoals thatnlie so close at hand.nIt is very difficult to pinpoint ProfessornRagsdale’s vision for Soviet Russia’snnnfuture. His concluding reference tonSolzhenitsyn makes one suspect that innthe end he is a man of faith, but is hisnfaith in the very cultural heritage henhas decried?n— G. Douglas NicollnProfessor of HistorynBeloit CollegenBeloit, WInOn ‘Contemptnfor Congress’nGlyde Wilson’s tribute to greed in Congressn(Cultural Revolutions, Februaryn1990) was a sad truth. He was rightnwhen he noted that Congress is not thenonly greedy party. The electorate is,ntoo. Of course, the electorate is morenstupid because they are doing it tonthemselves! What Congress gives awaynit must first take away.nThe situation should not come as ansurprise. Back in 1835 Alexis denTocqueville wrote that the UnitednStates, because of its natural resourcesnand form of government, would becorrienthe greatest power on Earth andnwould continue to grow until its citizensnfound out they could vote themselvesnmoney. After that, he was not toonoptimistic of the outcome.nTwo solutions come to mind. First, anlimit on the number of terms for anCongressman. Second, acceptance ofnunearned government benefits (fromnfood stamps to farm subsidies andneverything in between) should, becausenof the obvious conflict of interest, signifynthe recipient’s renunciation of thenprivilege of voting in any election.nI doubt if either solution will come tonpass. After all. Congress must vote on it.n— George SavagenAledo, TXnThorstein Veblen’s The Instinct ofnWorkmanship was mistakingly printednas The Insistence of Workmanship innour May 1990 issue. We wish also tonadd that The Voice of Liberal Learning:nMichael Oakeshott on Education,nreviewed in our March issue, was editednby Timothy Fuller. The editors regretnthe error and omission.n