EDITORnThomas FlemingnMANAGING EDITORnKatherine DaltonnSENIOR EDITOR, BOOKSnChilton Williamson, Jr.nASSISTANT EDITORnTheodore PappasnART DIRECTORnAnna Mycek-WodeckinCONTRIBUTING EDITORSn]ohn W. Aldridge, Harold O.J.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: 934 NortfinMain Street, Rockford, IL 61103.nEditorial Phone: (815) 964-5054.nAdvertising Phone: (815) 964-5811.nSubscription Department: P.O. Box 800, MountnMorris, IL 61054. Call 1-800-435-0715, 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 RockfordnInstkute, 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,nIL 61054.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 G t Z I N t OF I M E I I C A N CULTUIEn4/CHRONICLESnVol. 14, No. 4 April 1990nPOLEMICS & EXCHANGESnOn ‘A Gildered Cage’nCharlotte Low Allen’s review ofnGeorge Gilder’s Microcosm (Januaryn1990) seems to miss the book’s mostnobvious point. Perhaps that is becausenit is Allen’s purpose to attack Gilder’snmessage. She is a member of the revoltnagainst the microcosm, a revolt widespreadnacross the political spectrum.nMicrocosm dives into an esotericntechnology to uncover how that technologynwas advanced. It reveals thenemergence of a powerful law of naturennow at work in our world, one that hasnalready changed us in ways we do notnfully comprehend, yet one whose truenimpact has only begun to be felt. AsnCarver Mead puts it in the book’snpreface, “Listen to the technology andnfind out what it is telling you.” Thatnmeans burrowing into the subatomicnrealm, where a world is uncovered thatndefies our senses.nThe discovery and application ofnquantum principles “converge in onenepochal event, the overthrow of matter,”nthat is, materialism. The centralnfeature is the law of the microcosm:ndecisions, and thus power, rather thannbeing pushed up through a hierarchy,nare pulled- “remorselessly down to thenindividual.”nAllen perceives Gilder’s law of thenmicrocosm as a metaphor, perhaps anjustification for unbridled capitalismnand globalism. But the dynamics of thenmicrocosm bear witness to capitalism’snmost prominent feature: capitalism is anmind-centered system where laws ofnthought supercede the laws of matter,nwhere ideas can be implemented, tested,nand used to free us from thenconstraints of the material world.nThe technology resulting from thenapplication of quantum theory is nowncatapulting us into an “informationnage.” The microprocessor is empoweringnindividuals and unleasing humanncreativity even as it renders naturalnresources and material wealth less valuablenevery year. Value-added is comingnto mean ideas, whether they be in thenmore than ninety thousand lines ofncomputer code imbedded in the 1990nLincoln Continental or the details of annncomputer-aided engineering design forna jet engine.nThroughout history, wealth andnpower have accrued to those who controllednphysical resources, power flowingnfrom the top down. The law of thenmicrocosm, which works in the oppositendirection to the usual laws ofnmatter, is destroying superfluous hierarchynand unnatural barriers. Just as itnis cutting a swath through GeneralnMotors, it is felling the Berlin Wall andnmaking obsolete merchantilist tradenpolicies designed to protect physicalnassets.nThis means that many of the fundamentalnassumptions about our worldnmust be reexamined. The key to thenfuture is the supremacy of ideas andntheir application, a higher order ofnactivity that yields “information.” Thenleaders of tomorrow’s world will controlninformation, not assets, territories,nor people. Their leadership will bencharacterized by the empowerment ofnothers.nThe law of the microcosm demandsnthat we eschew all forms of materialism.nConservatives in Galileo’s daynrevolted against his discovery, a responsenrooted in the materialistic notionnthat the Earth, somehow, must benat the center of God’s creation. Manynof today’s conservatives (especiallynthose, like Allen, who are frightened ofn”neo-Jelfersonian visions of equality”)nare making the same error.nQuantum physics in the 20th centurynhas revealed to us that our universenis truly made of things we cannot see,nnor ultimately perceive. Final (material)nreality, at its most base level, consistsnof non-observable elements thatnexist as probabilities. They representnideas and are, in essence, a form ofnthought—a mystery that many of thenworld’s greatest minds have grapplednwith for almost a century.nGilder informs us that we, too, mustngrapple with this mystery, because thenlaws of the microcosm lead us to anhigher truth. He is not attempting tonprove, as Allen asserts, the existence ofnGod in all of this, but reminding usnthat since the creation of the world Hisninvisible attributes. His eternal powern