torical and cultural questions in a waynthat advances the agenda of minorityngroups, his own especially; he wouldnresign and boycott the organization ifnthe idea were accepted. With only anfew dissenters the committee immediatelynturned down the proposal.nThis trivial incident provokes annumber of reflections. Whatever happenednto the pursuit of truth? to academicnfreedom? to scholarly courtesynand tolerance? Another reflection:nanyone (of any color) who cannot tellnthe difference between General LeenPrincipalities & Powersnby Samuel FrancisnIt is hardly an accident that the decompositionnof the American nation and itsnculture is paralleled by the decompositionnof the American middle class. Innthe 19th century, nationality and thenmiddle classes were born together asnSiamese twins, and their enemies understoodntheir linkage and tried theirnbest to strangle them in their commonncradle. They failed, and the twins grewnup as inseparable companions. It thereforenmakes sense that they remain unitednin death as they were in life.nIn American as in European history,nthe middle class was the creator andncarrier of nationalism, so much so that ancliche common among historians andnsociologists holds that in the UnitednStates the middle class includes everyone.nOf course it doesn’t, and didn’t;nbut the epoch that historian JohnnLukacs calls the “Bourgeois Interiude”n— from 1895 to 1955 — remains evenntoday the normative period of Americannhistory, the era that bred the culture andncharacter that most people, Europeansnas well as Americans themselves, stillnthink of as typically American, againstnwhich we still measure our achievementsnand failures.nBut as Professor Lukacs notes, “middlenclass” and “bourgeois” are not thensame thing. The former refers to anmerely economic category that happensnto enjoy a material income between thatnof the poor and that of the wealthy. Anmiddle class is as logically necessary tonsocial existence as the obverse of a coinnis to its reverse. But the “existence ofn10/CHRONICLESnand Hitler is not fit to teach youngnpeople (of any color). Another: whatndistinction, if any, can be drawn betweennthe angry scholar’s position andnblackmail, or cultural terrorism?nUnfortunately, this is only a trivialnexample of a kind of thing that happensnevery day everywhere in America.nWe will soon be in the position that ourncolleagues in Eastern Europe are busilynemancipating themselves from. InnCommunist countries there is an officialnline that everyone adheres to. It isnwell understood that nobody reallynthe bourgeoisie,” writes ProfessornLukacs, “has been a particular phenomenon,na historical reality.” Thenprincipal characteristics of the bourgeoisienwere not economic but cultural andnpsychic — “the sense of personal authenticitynand liberty, the desire fornprivacy, the cult of the family, permanencenof residence, the durability ofnpossessions, the sense of security, andnthe urbanity of the standards of civilizednlife.” These standards derived from ornwere associated with the bourgeois attributenof “interiority,” a preoccupationnwith the self manifested in literature andnthe arts through the novel, the portrait,nthe keeping of diaries, and the publicationnof letters, and appearing sociallynand politically in the creeds of individualismnand the self-determination of nations.nThe dates Professor Lukacs gives fornthe Bourgeois Interlude identify thenera’s cultural personality, but the hegemonynof the bourgeoisie in culturenfollowed its economic and political triumphnin the American Civil War bynabout thirty years, just as its demise innthe mid-1950’s followed by aboutntwenty-five years its political and economicnoverthrow in the Depression andnNew Deal. In the pre-bourgeois periodnof American history, during what mightnbe called the “First Republic,” neithernnationalism nor the bourgeois psychenprevailed, and a decentralized constitutionalnand social order prevented thenconsolidation of power by either thenbourgeois capitalism of the Northeast ornthe aristocratic capitalism of Southernnplantation masters.nThe “Second Republic,” the politi­nnnbelieves the Marxist-Leninist line exceptna few dull-witted and selfinterestednparty hacks, but everyonenmust pay obeisance to it. All realndiscussion is carried on in code (at leastnuntil recenfly), so as not to arouse thenire of the ruling powers. A political orneconomic analysis of current conditionsnis presented in the guise of anstudy of ancient history, for instance,nor by the use of double-meaning terminology.nWe are not very far fromnthat situation now.n— Clyde Wilsonncal expression of the Bourgeois Interlude,nemerged from the Civil War andnmade the United States a singular nounnand a real nation-state, just like NapoleonnIll’s France or Bismarck’s Germany.nBourgeois economic, political, andncultural dominance meant that the newnelite no longer had to be content withnpatching up its own psychic interior.nNow it could redecorate the souls ofnSoutherners, Indians, Latin Americans,nFilipinos, European dynasts, and anyonenelse whose spiritual architecturenfailed to meet bourgeois standards. Thentechnology, industry, urbanization, andnmass educational and communicationsninstitutions that the new bourgeois elitenset up enabled it to start straighteningnout regional and social bumps in thenroad of progress within the UnitednStates and to make preparations fornturning the rest of the world into anbourgeois parking lot.nIn the process, the bourgeois elitengenerated its own destruction. Its corporations,nbanks, universities and pubescentnbureaucracies gave birth to a newnclass of technocrats who had little usenfor bourgeois beliefs and institutions. Innthe economy, the “separation of ownershipnand control” removed bourgeoisnproperty-holders from the direction ofntheir own firms and empowered professionalnmanagers in their places. In thenstate, democratization served to dispersensovereignty among the newly enfranchisednand politically active masses, withnthe result that the “people” received thenname of power, but the experts whonmanaged the state held its substance.nCulturally, the new intelligentsia thatncrept out of bourgeois universities andn