conservatives betrayed their fundamental ignorance of the naturernboth of a legitimate commonwealth and of the modernrnstate. The commonwealth can only create conditions that arernpropitious for the good life; it cannot compel good books to bernwritten or moral lives to be led. That was the wisdom of St.rnThomas, and it is a pity that his teachings have been distorted.rnIt is not any traditional social order but the modern state thatrnmakes the claim to create beauty and enforce virtue. Those ofrnus who have to live with the results ought to know better thanrnever to entrust any government with such power again. RebuildingrnChristendom will take far more work than the restorationrnof Rome to its condihon in the age of Constantine (the goalrnof many a Renaissance humanist), but it will not be done by anyrngovernment. No government (or series of individuals) createdrncivilization in its variety of forms. Civilization was made by a societyrninformed by a classical sense of beauty and a Christian visionrnof life. Restoration of that sense and that vision is the taskapparentlyrnimpossible—that lies before us.rnBut the impossible is accomplished all the time by men andrnwomen who believe that they are working on the side of destiny.rnWhen liberals were destroying civilization, they were smuglyrnconfident that they had not only right but the I^Liture on theirrnside. Looking at their handiwork, liberals today are finding it everrnmore difficult to keep their chin up. If they do, that juttingrnchin makes a perfect target for the punch we are going to haernto deliver.rnThe pundits say America lacks leadership, but we have hadrnenough leaders and gurus—particularlv foreign gurus—torntake over a fair-sized solar system. What America needs is not arnfew leaders but a substantial class of clearheaded and resoluternmen who refuse to give way to despair and who take no pleasurernin histrionic boasts and threats; men with an Irish imaginationrnand Germanic discipline; men who, when they go into battle,rndo not stop to swat the flies swarming over the enemvrncorpses. If revolutions (including cultural reolutions) are usuallyrnfought by masses in the streets, they are always led by a disciplinedrnelite class. Three hundred Spartans held off the barbariansrnat Thermopylae; a few thousand Athenians at Marathonrndrove the barbarians back to their ships; and a mere 300,000rnrightists, if their minds and characters were properly formed,rnwould drive these modern barbarians—anti-Western Christophobesrn—out of the universities and back to whatever planetrnthey came from.rnCenter-leftists will undoubtedly jeer at this image, saying itrnsounds more like a poem by G.K. Chesterton than a plan of action,rn”and Chesterton, you know, was an antisemite.” But policiesrnand programs must be based on unchanging principles, ifrnpolicies are to be anything but plans to change the spark plugsrnof a car going 120 m.p.h. the wrong way down the interstate.rnWhat I have tried to do is to sketch out a few of the necessar’rnfoundations of any conservative movement: the glorious differencesrnbetween men and women and between all people; freernenterprise and free competition for excellence and success; thernnecessit)’ of social hierarchy; the very limited sphere of governmentrnin the regulation of both economy and culture; an appreciationrnof the createdness of the things of this world and of theirrnresistance to tinkering; the necessity of faith. This is not an ideology,rnmuch less a program, and I am putting myself forward asrnthe next guru who will free conservatives from the necessity’ ofrnthinking.rnDICTATIONSrn”Mandate for Leadership”rnYour servant Humpty has been hearing a great dealrnabout the “will of the people” and an incoming President’srnneed for a “popular mandate.” Richard Nixonrnwas the first president I recall claiming to have received arn”mandate” as a result of the trouncing he administered tornGeorge MeGovern, but it was Ronald Reagan who used thernconcept of a “mandate” to override congressional oppositionrnto his programs.rnThe word comes ultimately from the Latin mandare,rnwhich means both to entmst and to give instructions amountingrnto an order. A mandamus, for example, was a writ fromrnthe king’s bench commanding a person to do whatever he isrntold. In law, a mandate is topically the instructions given by arnhigher to an inferior authority, e.g., an order from sovereignrnto subject.rnFor thus the royal mandate ranrnWhen first the human race began,rn”The social friendly, honest man,rnWhate’er he bern’Tis he fulfills great Nature’s plan.rnAnd none but he.”rnAfter World War I, the League of Nations parceled outrnGermany’s and Turkey’s empires into “mandates” to be administeredrnby the so-called “advanced nations.” The translationrnis supplied by Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable:rn”In practice ‘advanced nations’ meant the victorious powers.”rnIt still does. Whenever the U.N.-NATO-E.U. begins braggingrnabout democratic human rights, it’s time to hide out inrnthe bomb cellar.rnAccording to the Oxford English Dictionary, the politicalrnuse of “mandate,” as a blank check for an administration’srnpolicies, comes by way of the French, the masters in the art ofrndemocratic lying. In this “elegant diction,” a mandate firomrnthe people compels the government to do whatever it is thatrna popular majority is inclined to do. Presidents and primernministers are merely servants of the popular will, and if it isrnthe will of the people to nationalize church property or compelrnother people’s children to attend government schools,rnthen what can the poor politicians do but comply with theirrnmasters’ commands?rnA “mandate,” then, is an expression of the sovereign willrnof the people who lend their authority to a regime’s politicalrnprogram. It is, in other words, the superstitious mumbo-jumbornof Rousseau’s General Will, the political manna that canrnjustify any abuse of law, custom, morality, or constitutionalrnorder. A president with a mandate is not merely one dummyrnchosen out of a nation of 270 million dummies. With thernsupport of, say, 26 percent of eligible voters, he is dumbnessrnincarnate with a power to ruin the lives of his fellow citizensrnthat Caesar or Cromwell could only dream ofrn—Humpty Dumptyrn12/CHRONICLESrnrnrn