derstanding of what makes people tickn(psychology), but instead a politicalncommitment to human liberation.”nThe overall impact of Marxist thoughtnhas been to solidify and institutionalizenthe left’s revolutionary animus. The continuingncontradiction in Marxism—nwhich the contributors to The Left Academynnote with varying shades of anxietyn—is that its theorists (drawn from thenmiddle class) have no effect on the supposedlynrevolutionary working class.nAlienated intellectuals dilate interminablynupon theoretically alienated workers,nwho stubbornly refuse to revealntheir malaise. Marx’s failure as a prophetnand his thoroughly 19th-century preoccupationsnlead Marxists to “revise” theirnmaster out of existence. One of the mostncommon sentences in The Left Academynbegins: “Despite the fact…” It is curiousnhow little facts tend to trouble thesen”scientists.”nIt would be wrong to see the disparitynbetween the Marxists’ efforts and the recalcitrantnworking class in a purely comicnlight. The final irony of Marxism in thenWest is that if it ever comes to power, itnwill be imposed from above by an educatednelite through the power of thenstate, with a lot of mumbo jumbo aboutndemocratic processes. However muchnMarxists may argue that the state isntainted by the capitalist class, they areninevitably drawn to the state as the mostneffective means of remaking society. Asnit filters dovsn to the liberals, nothingnmuch of Marxism remains but its collectivismnand its antagonism to traditionalninstitutions and mores.n^port, culture and ideology is a goodnexample of how Marxism is supplantingnindependent thought in social studies.nSports are obviously ripe for ideologicalnattack: they are sexist (no women innmajor team sports), racist (when quotasnaren’t filled), capitalistic (competition,nrules, advertising, etc.), and, of course,nclass determined. Leftists could make angood case against the rampant commercializationnof professional team sports,nwhich has increased player efficiencynthrough specialization but has detractednfrom individual effort and skill. Oddly,nthe subject is hardly mentioned. Writtennand edited by British academics. Sport,nculture and ideology concentrates morenon violence and politics. Soccer in Britainnis a working-class cult, and bloody fightsnand vandalism related to the major rivalriesnare common. The leftist interpretation,ninspired by Marxism, sees this violencenas a reflection of capitalist oppression,nand holds that sports are supportednby the capitalists because they channelnaggression away from the class struggle.nA more realistic analysis would see thentendency of modem sports to becomencultist and violent in relation to then”bread and circuses” of Rome in its decline.nThe socialist welfare state, whichnenervates apeople’s capacity for creativitynand satisfying work, and which subsistsnon a “philosophy of entitlement”nwherein handouts and entertainmentnare considered “rights,” causes sports tonbecome a diversion from emptiness andna substitute for individual effort.nIf there is little understanding of thencondition of sports in the West on the partnof the essayists, there is an outri^t stupiditynill the evaluation of sports in communistncountries. One essay concludes:n… there lias been an undeniable consistentnaspiration and effort in thenU.S.S.R, as in all socialist states, to makensport culturally uplifting, aestheticallynsatisfying and morally reputable whichn… has set a tone of altruism and devotionnin sport in which there is muchnwhich cannot but be admired.nHow many of the men and women whonwere taken away from their families atnthe age of five or six and sent to “sportsnschools” to be molded and regimentednfor the next 10 to 20, or more, years ofnthefr lives in order to become the sportingnadjunct of communist imperialismnwould speak in terms of “altruism” andn”devotion”? The fetuity of ideologicalnthinking is a constant reminder of whatnthe bird whispered to T. S. Eliot: “Mankindncannot bear much reality.” DnRites, Rituals, ajtid ReceptionsnJack Mitctaley and Peter Spalding:nFive Thousand Years of Theatre;nHolmes & Meier; New York.nLee Bliss: The World’s Perspective:nJohn Webster and the JacobeannDrama; Rutgers University Press;nNew Brunswick, P(f.nby Daniel N. DickinsonnWhat is the theater? In a now wellknownndefinition by drama expertnRichard Southern cited in Five ThousandnYears of Theatre, Southern said that theater,nin fact all art, “is an address (in somenform) by an individual to a number ofnpeople.” This broad definition isn’t toonMr. Dickinson is director of The ProductivitynCommunication Center innBostonnnnhelpful when it’s applied to, say, musicnor sculpture, but it does pin down somethingnimportant when it comes to drama.nGreat theater has existed without scenery,nwithout good scripts, without music,nand even—as in mime—without words.nBut it is impossible without the actor.nBoiled down to its essentials, theater isnthe act oiperformance.nThe beginnings of theater are lost innprehistory. The first players, in all probability,nwere participants in rituals.nThrough the magic of incantations andncharms, costumed savages became demonsnand deities, witches, wolves, andnwar gods. Ritual metamorphosed intonmore recognizable forms among the ancientnGreeks; Aeschylus, Sophocles, andnEuripides fashioned religious dramasnthat may still be the premiere achievementsnin the tragic form. Somewhat later,nthe Romatis, with Plautus and Terence,niS3nSeptemt>erl983n