eating out of a bucket.)rnIn the case of Republicans, almost allrnof the principal contents of the Contractrnwith America have to do with explicitlyrneconomic issues—the balanced budgetrnamendment, the line item veto, unfundedrnmandates, welfare reform, tax reform,rnand even the proposal to alter thernaccounting method by which the costrnof American participation in U.N.rnpeacekeeping missions is calculated.rnPopular discontent with immigration isrnconveniently dismissed as mere racialrnscapegoating provoked by economic dislocations,rnand immigration itself is seenrnas entirely the result of economic dysfunctionsrnin Latin America. Change therneconomy, and both immigration andrnopposition to it will go away. The wholerndebate over immigration is conventionallyrnconducted only in terms of whetherrnit is good or bad for the American economy,rnnot whether it will alter the basicrnshape of the national culture. The conventionalrnexplanations of urban crimernand welfare dependency also are thatrnthey are the results of economic incentivesrnfoolishly created by urban policiesrnthat ignore the uniersal economic motorsrnof human nature. Create the rightrnincentives through enterprise zones andrnProject HOPE and we shall end crime,rnwelfare, and poverty. The debates overrnNAFTA and CATT also were largelyrnconfined to their effects on the economyrnrather than their impact on nationalrnsovereignty, and indeed the myth ofrnEconomic Man implies that nationsrnthemselves are insignificant compared tornthe appetites for accumulation thatrndrive human individuals.rnHence, it is not surprising that thernprophecies of Karl Marx and FriedrichrnEngels in The Communist Manifestornabout the disappearance of the nationstaternclosely resemble what Mr. Gingrich’srnmain guru, Alvin Toffler, predictsrnin his pop futurist best-seller. The ThirdrnWave. “The workingmen have no country,”rnpreached the fathers of communism.rn”National differences and antagonismsrnbetween peoples are daily morernand more vanishing, ovying to the developmentrnof the bourgeoisie, to freedomrnof commerce, to the world market, tornuniformity in the mode of productionrnand in the conditions of life correspondingrnthereto.” Mr. Toffler agrees, writing,rn”It is questionable how effectively nationalrnborders can be sealed off—or forrnhow long. For the shift toward a ThirdrnWave industrial base requires the developmentrnof a highly ramified, sensitive,rnwide open ‘neural network’ or informationrnsystem, and attempts by individualrnnations to dam up data flows may interferernwith, rather than accelerate, theirrnown economic development. . . . Allrnsuch developments—the new economicrnproblems, the new environmental problems,rnand the new communicationsrntechnologies—are converging to underminernthe position of the nation-state inrnthe global scheme of things.”rnOf course, in the global scheme ofrnthings, just the opposite has come true.rnMarx’s workingmen enthusiasticallyrnsupported the belligerent nationalismsrnof World W’ar I, and the collapse of communismrnand the end of the Cold Warrnhave witnessed a nationalist renaissancernon every continent. What is interestingrnabout the false predictions, however, isrnthat they were based on economic calculations,rnand the persistence of nationalistrnsentiments and energies simply did notrnBt into the equations of either prophet.rnWhether consciously or not, thernfriends of Economic Man ignore andrnomit from their calculations, analyses,rnprojections, prophecies, and policiesrnwhatever does not fit the mythologicalrnassumptions from which their schemesrnevolve, and therefore they are alwaysrnshocked to witness mass movementsrnthat ignore economic interests and centerrnaround charismatic leaders, traditionalrnbut practically useless symbols andrnimages, and imperatives that demandrnexertions that make no economic sense,rnthe postponement of immediate gratification,rnthe denial of sensual satisfactions,rnand the sacrifice of life itself. Norrncan public policies based on this mythologyrnencompass many of the realitiesrnaround which human existence revohes.rnObviously, economic interests and issuesrnare important, and they are importantrngrounds for evaluating the successrnof a society or its government; but therncoronation of Economic Man as the absoluternmonarch of modern politicalrnthought not only ignores and distortsrnhuman reality but also serves to destroyrnand erase human social and cultural realitiesrnthe monarch does not much carernfor anyway. Relying on “the market” asrnthe universal answer to every question ofrnpublic discussion, the adherents of EconomicrnMan merely accelerate the institutionalrndestruction out of which thernpower of the mass state emerges as anrnalternative answer to the questions EconomicrnMen skip over. While Republicansrnworship at the temple of EconomicrnMan, two prominent social critics fromrnthe left have recently noted the socialrndestructiveness the cult promotes.rnHistorian Eugene Genovese in ThernSouthern Tradition remarks that “southernrnconservatives understand the contradictionsrnthat neither Ronald Reagan norrnGeorge Bush nor even [!] W’^illiam Buckleyrnhas faced squarely. Capitalism hasrnhistorically been the greatest solvent ofrntraditional social relations. . . . RonaldrnReagan has had every right to celebraterncapitalism as the greatest revolutionaryrnforce in world history.” Similarly, thernlate Christopher Laseh writes in hisrnposthumous The Revolt of the Ehtes thatrn”The market notoriously tends to universalizernitself. It does not easily coexistrnwith institutions that operate accordingrnto principles antithetical to itself: schoolsrnand universities, newspapers and magazines,rncharities, families. Sooner or laterrnthe market tends to absorb them all.rnIt puts an almost irresistible pressure onrnever}- activity to justify itself in the onlyrnterms it recognizes: to become a businessrnproposition, to pay its own way, tornshow black ink on the bottom line. Itrnturns news into entertainment, scholarshiprninto professional eareerism, socialrnwork into scientific management ofrnpoverty. Inexorably it remodels everyrninstitution in its own image.”rnHaving enthroned policies informedrnby the mythologies of Economic Man,rnRepublicans are always amazed to discoverrnthat the results are not at all whatrnthey predicted and that those who contributedrntheir support to what was advertisedrnas a revolution yyanted somethingrnother than business as usual. Not onlyrndoes the myth in which Republicanrnminds are swaddled fail even to acknowledgernthe noneconomic forces that reallyrndrive the popular base of their revolution,rnbut also the myth serves to creaternnew dislocations that the champions ofrnthe mass state will exploit to their ownrnadvantage. It should not therefore bernsurprising that the revolution the Republicansrnhave promised us will stall beforernit leaves the garage and that it willrnturn out to be no revolution at all.rnWhoever the academic scribblers fromrnwhom the Republican revolutionariesrnhave distilled their frenzy might be,rnwhat they are really enthroning is not atrnall different from the forces to which wernhave been enslaved since the days ofrnKarl Marx and the revolutionary destructionrnof the Old Republic. crnMAY 1995/11rnrnrn