technology are with us.nChambers’s belief, expressed as early asn1944, that “the land-owning farmer, bignand little, is the conservative base ofnevery healthy society, no matter hownmany miles of factories may be requirednto keep the average city dweller in anstate of civilized neurosis,” reflects annapparent sympathy for agrarianism andnthe American South. But his recognitionnof the self-destructive dynamic ofnmodern capitalism, relying on science,nsponsoring continuous enlargementnand social innovation, and eventuallynspawning socialism, brings him close tonBurnham and Joseph Schumpeter.nNowhere in all his writing doesnChambers more clearly show the weaknessesnof unrestrained capitalism and itsnkinship with communism than in hisndevastation of Ayn Rand’s AtlasnShrugged in National Review in 1957.n”Randian Man,” he wrote, “likenMarxian man, is made the center of angodless world.”n… if Man’s “heroism”. . . nonlonger derives from God, or isnnot a function of that godlessnintegrity which was a root ofnNietzsche’s anguish, then Mannbecomes merely the mostnconsuming of animals, with glutnas the condition of his happinessnand its replenishment hisnforemost activity.n30/CHRONICLESnLIBERAL ARTSnCRIME AND STATE LOTTERIESnLike the materialism of “godless Communism,”nthe hedonism of godless capitalismnwinds up as the tool of a politicalndespotism that manages the pursuit ofnhappiness as pleasure.nIn the name of free enterprise,ntherefore, she plumps for antechnocratic elite (I find nonmore inclusive word thanntechnocratic to bracket thenindustrial-financial-engineeringncaste she seems to have innmind). When she callsn”productive achievement” man’sn”noblest activity,” she means,nalmost exclusively, technologicalnachievement, supervised by suchna managerial political bureau.nThe significance of Chambers’s wit-‘nness, then, is considerably’diminished ifnit is mistaken for merely an account ofnSoviet communism and its Westernnstooges. His point throughout his writingsnin the 1940’s and 1950’s was thatnthe roots of communism lie in the Westnitself, and that they flourish because thenmodern age has chosen to credit thenserpent’s promise. That promise and itsnlethal consequences for the West werenas palpable to him in the United Statesnof Truman and Eisenhower as they hadnbeen under the Edwardians, and as theynwere in the Soviet Union under Leninnand Stalin. Only when the West hadnawakened to the falsehood of the promisencould it bear what he called “thatnA January 1990 article in the American journal of Economicsnand Sociology gives the lie to the idea that state lotteriesnproduce revenue without major social consequences. Anstudy by John Mikesell and Maureen A. Pirog-Good,nprofessors at Indiana University’s School of Public andnEnvironmental Affairs, found that the rate of crimesagainst-propertynper 100,000 population increases by neariyn3 percent when a state opens a lottery. Based on the averagenpopulation of states in 1987, this rate implies an increase ofnan additional 5,478 property offenses in each state in everynyear that a lottery is operated. “That lotteries attractnorganized criminals, are used for money laundering, createnfeelings of relative deprivation, further skew the incomendistributions, and/or foster a ‘something for nothing’ atmospherenare possible explanations for our results,” theynconclude.nnnmore terrible witness” by which itnwould destroy its external enemy andnbegin to purge itself of its internalntoxins. But he had no expectation thatnthe West would do so, and no suggestionsnon how to do it.nFor all the authority Chambers commandednin Witness, in the last decadenof his life he seemed uncertain aboutnmany things and had no clear answersnfor the political crises of his age. Henwas not at bottom a political thinkernbut a Christian existentialist whonshunned polihcs by enveloping himselfnin suffering and by dwelling on thenintractability of man’s fate withoutnGod. Christianity and the tragic visionnof history became for him an intellectualncrutch with which history’s walkingnwounded could limp away from anbattle they could not win. LikenBurnham, as Chambers himself wrotento Buckley, he sought “to understandnwhat the reality of the, desperate forcesnis, and what is their relationship innviolent flux,” and he had what hencalled “the direct glance that measuresnwhat it leaves without fear and withoutnregret.” But despite his grasp of thenmain forces of the 20th century,nChambers was unable to communicatenthe realities he saw in a form thatnwould allow a secular resolution of thenchallenges they presented. Hence, hisnresponse was one of other-worldlynwithdrawal — from journalism and NationalnReview to his farm and family, tona furtively private pietism, to an autobiographicalnjustification of his vision,nto a handful of occasional essays for thenconservative press, to an intenselynemotional (often maudlin) prose publishednmainly in posthumous fragmentsnand filled with introspection,ngrotesque anecdotes, bizarre characters,nand metaphors of death, lunacy,nand decay. Chambers relentlesslynsmashed his readers’ faces against thenwindow panes of history and forcednthem to look at scenes few of themnwanted to see. But having shown themnthe worst that human beings in thisncentury could do, he had little to offernthem except to burrow deeper within anstorm cellar of intense devotionalism.nHis oeuvre, for all its merits of style andntruth and all that it has to tell the Westnabout why the West is dying, is notnwhat a Marine wading up the seabeachnat Tarawa would carry in his knapsack.n<^n