were all so happy just to be able tonmake films.”nHe then muses in an intellectuallynexquisite style:n”We the filmmakers have let ournaudience down. The adult films beingnmade today appeal only to the lowestncommon denominator. The people innthe industry don’t realize that thenaudience has some intelligence. That’snPolemics & ExchangesnThat’s Bigotry, Gentlemen …nWhen Herbert Croly founded ThenNew Republic in 1914, he did it withnthe help of money from Mr. and Mrs.nWillard (nee Whitney) Straight, of thenNew York railway fortune. Mr! Crolynwas a distinguished editor and writer whonfive years before had published ThenPromise of American Life, in which hencalled for the “restoration of the moralnand spiritual values inherent in the creationnof the American republic.” Thisnsounds exactly like the message whichnthe Rockford College Institute andnChronicles of Culture have been tryingnto popularize in the late ’70s, though,napparently, there have been some differencesnin its interpretation. Accordingnto Mr. Bruce Bliven, a long-time TNRnstaffer and chronicler:n”Office legend says that the first stylensheet had only two items on it, whichnread: The New Republic will spelln’God’ with a small ‘g’ ^nd ‘Negro’ withna capital ‘N.’ “nIt was, of course, that genteel Americannzealotry which made the heirs to W.C.nWhitney’s money dedicated to financingna program characterized by this kind ofnsymbolism. In the course of time, thisnfervor has transmogrified into an impenetrablenlogic, if not a shady charm, affectingna good part of our upper class. SincenMr. Croly and the Straights, TNR hasnhad a succession of millionaire ownersnand editors, though for a brief period thenwhy we’re still making films like ShenCame on Time and Blondie Pays thenRent. None of the sex films today isnexploring human emotions honestlynand openly. The next breakthrough innporno films will come about whennfilmmakers start to deal eroticallynthrough the audience’s mind. Justnshowing the old ‘in and out’ doesn’t donit anymore.” Dnjournal was edited by a Progressive Partynpresidential candidate, Mr. HenrynWallace, who had to make up for hisnrelatively modest resources by benefitingnfrom the domestic and foreign Communistnsupport for his bid for the office.nThe current owner and editor, a Mr.nMartin Peretz, happily does not need anynoutside help: in keeping with good tradition,nhe married into wealth. Naturallynhe supported Senators Eugene McCarthynand McGovern in their efforts to winnthe presidency.nThus, it would be fair to say that TNRnis a left-oriented, liberal and reformistnjournal with the consuming ambition tonbe seen as moderate, equitable and openminded.nIts persuasion, quite loudly formulatednon occasion, is here and now besidenthe point, as we, on occasion, tend tonobject less to orientations than to tonenand style. Style is a slippery substance: itnhas the uncanny ability to transmute itselfninto argument, or opinion, or even intonan article of faith—and when it reachesnthat point, it threatens the “moral andnspiritual values” of American philosophiesnand programs.nThe legendary style sheet must havenleft a lasting impact of ideological consequence.nIn the August 19, 1978 issue,nTNR takes on the advocates of tax limitation.nIt does not like Steiger’s andnKemp’s view of taxation as an economicnand social factor. Subsequently the attacknenlarges to include Jude Wanniski, a WallnStreet Journal editorial writer, and—nnnabove all—Arthur Laffer, a professor ofneconomics at the University of SouthernnCalifornia. Their sins: Laffer is the authornof an economic theory, with strong conservativenovertones, according to whichnthe steady reduction of taxes brings aboutnan increase, instead of a decrease, in thengovernment’s revenues; Wanniski hasnbecome its apologist and publicist in thenpress. But TNR does not make a dialecticalneffort and judge the case on itsnmerits. Kemp is dismissed as the formern•quarterback for the Buffalo Bills, Laffer’snPh.D. is put into question, Wanniski isnwritten about in the style used by Pravdanto describe spies and conspirators; innuendosnof self-promotion, crookednessnand charlatanry float around, competencenand character assassinations linger betweennthe lines. One reads about thesenmen in an article entitled: “Alms for thenRich” and subtitled “Fantasies of the NewnConservative Economics”:n”They are strangers to doubt. Theirncultural backgrounds have given themna narrow perspective on the humanncondition (and on human motivation)nwhich they have not been movednto transcend.”nWhy this rabidity?nArthur Laffer has certainly hit the solarnplexus of the liberal socio-economicnethos, which claims that paradise is attainablenthrough taxation. Laffer’s ideasnare not debated, it’s easier and morenfunctional to write that he had to leavenWashington “with his tail between hisnlegs,” or that he had tampered with hisndiploma. By the same token, TNR throwsnin a surprising conviction that his theoryn”provides a scapegoat for the rather slothfulnperformance of American capitalismnover the past few years,” as if the Carternadministration has been busy coddlingnbusiness, which obstinately refuses tonwork. An astonishing statement ends onenof the articles:n”No special interest is better organizednthan the business community. It cannpurchase the pages of newspapers, thenminds of intellectuals and the votesnof legislators.”n29nChronicles of Culturen