Qpinions & ViewsnThe Beauty of Order & the Charisma of MessnSidney Hook: Philosophy and Pub lienPolicy; Southern Illinois UniversitynPress; Carbondale and Edwardsville,nIllinois.nJeremy Rifkin with Ted Howard:nThe Emerging Order: God in thenAge of Scarcity; G. P. Putnam’s Sons;nNew York.nby James J. Thompson, Jr.nfrustration and sadness swept overnme as I finished reading these two books,nfor I realized that while thousands ofnpeople will sacrifice ten dollars for JeremynRifkin’s The Emerging Order—anAnworse, be taken in by his sloganeering—nprobably only a handful of readers willnhappen upon Sidney Hook’s distillationnof his writings since 1945 on publicnpolicy. ‘Tis a pity, for Rifkin’s book simplynadds to the ever-mounting pile ofn”pop” social analysis that asks superficialnquestions and responds with cheapnanswers. Sidney Hook, by contrast,nbrings the accumulated wisdom of a longnand intellectually fruitful life to bearnupon issues that have long bedeviled politicalnand social philosophers.nIf one inclines to the misapprehensionnthat the American left forms a monolithicnconspiracy to undermine the foundationsnof the Republic, the juxtapositionnof Rifkin with Hook will dispel thatnnotion. The similarities between thesentwo writers begin and end with theirndesire to establish a socialist societynin America. Hook, now retired after anlong tenure as professor of philosophy atnNew York University, presents in Philosophynand Public Policy essays publishednbetween 1945 and 1978 thatnapply his method of “experimental naturalism,”nor, more simply, pragmatism,nto such disparate topics as foreign policy,nfreedom of expression, equality of oppor-nDr. Thompson is professor of historynat the College of William and Mary.n0 mm^m^^am^nChronicles of Culturentunity and “The Hero in History.” Thencentral thread that binds these essaysninto a logical whole arises from Hook’snbelief that the formulation of publicnpolicy must rest upon a bedrock ofnreason, incisive intelligence, free andnenlightened discourse, attention to practicalitiesnand a deep appreciation for then”ironies and tragic cruelties of history.”nJL/isdaining Sidney Hook’s moderatenand reasoned approach, Jeremy Rifkinnclaims nothing less than the combinednoffices of doomsayer, prophet andnsavior. In the first section of The EmergingnOrder—“The Great EconomicnTransformation”—he chants a familiarnlitany: “There is absolutely no way tonmaintain existing growth rates. We havenrun up against the fixed limits of thenecosystem of the planet earth.” Ecologicalndisaster awaits America if it doesnnot embrace Rifkin’s vision of annegalitarian and near-propertyless “idealnsteady state.” But just when one hasnpegged Rifkin as simply one more secularnmessiah come to sing yet anothernvariation on the old tune of utopianism,nsomething goes awry: Jeremy Rifkin hasndiscovered Christianity. Not for him thenchic liberalism of mainline Protestantism,nthough; he has latched on to thatn”Old-Time Religion,” now cloaked innthe garb of the New Evangelicalism andnthe Charismatic movement. Armednwith this discovery, Rifkin plunges intonthe second part of his thesis: the Charismaticsnwill supply “the liberating energynthat is essential for any full-scale assaultnon the authority of the existing economicn(and political) order,” and thenNew Evangelicals will “provide the philosophicalnComponents that are vital inndeveloping a reformulated theologicalndoctrine for a new order and a newncovenant.” One’s head fairly swoons atnthe daring of what Rifkin would like tonpull off: Billy Graham and Jane Fondanstrolling hand in hand into the future.nFor Sidney Hook’s sake, I hope he re­nnnmains unaware of Rifkin’s curious forayninto socialist theorizing; surely it wouldnpresent an unwelcome intrusion intonHook’s well-earned retirement. I cannimagine even Sidney Hook’s philosophicalncalm being shattered as he thunders:n”My God, the boy is mad!” For Rifkinnmounts a savage attack upon reason,nespecially as embodied in science andntechnology. He links these features ofnWestern civilization to the Protestantnwork ethic and its desire to rationalizenthe world and to promote economicngrowth and material abundance. Againstnthese forces, Rifkin counters with thenCharismatics: their “liberating energy,”nin the form of the “special gifts” of faithnhealing, speaking in tongues, andnprophesying, constitutes “a direct assaultnon the age of science and a materialisticnworld view based on techniquenand horizontal expansion.”nRifkin tempts me toward agreement,nfor science and technology have frequentlynbeen guilty of an all-consumingnimperialism, and rationalism has oftennconfined man’s vision to a severely restrictednfield. But admitting this, it doesnnot follow that salvation lies with anmoiling mass of Charismatics. Thesenpeople would redeem us from rationalismnat the cost of an emotionalism thatnwould make previous epidemics of antiintellectualismnin America look likenchild’s play. One man’s communionnwith the Spirit is another man’s surrendernto the explosive forces that lurk innthe human psyche. Christianity has frequentlynbeen confronted with men andnwomen who would by-pass reason innsearch of an ecstatic union with thenDivine; sometimes they have turned outnto be saints, but more often they havenamounted to nothing more than selfdeludednsowers of discord. It remainsnunclear whether Rifkin believes in thenspiritual authenticity of this latest wavenof communing with the Spirit; SidneynHook, in an essay published in 1970,nperhaps best explains what stimulatesn