gentsia” whose skills have become essential to the maintenancenof an “information society.”nWhile these technologists are not bound by ansufficient common interest to make them anpolitical class, they do have common characteristics.n. . . The norms of the newnintelligentsia — the norms of professionalism — are andeparture from the hitherto prevailing norms ofneconomic self-interest which have guided a businessncivilization. In the upper reaches of this newnelite — that is, in the scientific community — mennhold significantly different values [from] thosenauthorizing economic self-aggrandizement, whichncould become the foundation of the new ethos fornsuch a class.nUnfortunately, the ethic of professionalism has to competenfor the allegiance of the “knowledge class” with then”apocalyptic, hedonistic, and nihilistic” ethic promoted bynliterary modernism and popularized by the counterculture.nIn the closing pages of The Coming of Post-IndustrialnSociety, Bell argues that “these anti-bourgeois values … gonhand in hand with the expansion of a new intellectual classnhuge enough to sustain itself economically as a class. . . .nThis new class, which dominates the media and the culture,nthinks of itself less as radical than ‘liberal,’ yet its values,ncentered on ‘personal freedom,’ are anti-bourgeois.”nIn general, neoconservatives take a kindlier view of thennew class when they identify it with scientific and technicalnexpertise than when they identify it with cultural radicalism.nIn Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the TechnetronicnEra, Zbigniew Brzezinski, later Jimmy Carter’s nationalnsecurity adviser, praises the technical elite while condemningnliterary intellectuals and political militants in the usualnterms. Since the latter come “from those branches ofnlearning which are most sensitive to the threat of socialnirrelevance,” their “political activism” can be explained as an”reaction to the . . . fear . . . that a new world is emergingnwithout either their assistance or their leadership.” PeternBerger makes a similar distinction between responsiblenspecialists and discontented intellectuals, who suffer from annagging fear of impotence, among other ailments. “Intellectuals,”nBerger writes, “have always had the propensity tonendow their libidinal emotions with philosophical significance.n. . . One suspects that the need for philosophy arisesnfrom an unfortunate combination of strong ambitions andnweakened capacities.”nAlthough the new class often seems to refer only tonliterary intellectuals and their “adversary culture,” itncan easily expand, when the need arises, to embracenbureaucrats, professional reformers, social workers, andnsocial engineers as well as literary types. In this version, thennew class seems to refer to anyone working in the publicnsector. According to Irving Kristol, it consists of “scientists,nteachers, and educational administrators, journalists andnothers in the communications industries, psychologists,nsocial workers, those lawyers and doctors who make theirncareers in the expanding public sector, city planners, thenstaffs of the larger foundations, the upper levels of governmentnbureaucracy, and so on.” Charles Murray’s descrip­n22/CHRONICLESnnntion is even more expansive: “the upper echelons of. . .nacademia, journalism, publishing, and the vast network ofnfoundations, institutes, and research centers that has beennwoven into partnership with government during the lastnthirty years.” Murray includes even politicians, judges,nbankers, businessmen, lawyers, and doctors — at least thosenwho are liberals. From this point of view, the new class cannbe recognized not so much by its culture of hedonism as bynits relentless pressure for an “activist federal governmentncommitted to ‘change,'” as Michael Novak puts it. Professionalsnin the public sector want massive federal programs,naccording to Novak, because such programs create “hundredsnof thousands of jobs and opportunities” for “thosenwhose hearts itch to do good and who long for a ‘meaningful’nuse of their talents, skills, and years.” As Novak, Murray,nand Kristol see it, the culture of the new class is not justnanti-bourgeois but anti-business. It aims to replace privatenenterprise with a vast bureaucracy that will undermineninitiative, destroy the free market, and subject everything toncentral control.nThese wildly divergent descriptions of the new class makenit clear that the term refers to a set of attitudes objectionablento the right, not to an identifiable social grouping, much lessnto a class. It serves the right simply as a vague synonym fornliberalism. Its explanatory power is weakened not only by itsnsociological imprecision but by the right’s refusal to implicatencapitalism in its indictment of our moral and culturalnconfusion. As an explanation of “permissiveness” — itself anshallow description of the contemporary malaise — thenconcept of a new class overlooks more obvious explanations.nConsider the right’s attack on the mass media, according tonwhich the new class controls the media and uses this controlnto wage a “class struggle” against business. In view of thenmedia’s dependence on advertising revenues, it is hard tontake this contention seriously. Advertising and the requirementsnof capitalist consumerism, not anticapitalist ideology,ngovern the depiction of reality in the mass media. The rightncomplains that television mocks “free enterprise” andnrepresents businessmen as “greedy, malevolent, and corrupt,”nlike J.R. Ewing. To see anticapitalist propaganda in anseries like Dallas, however, requires a suspension not merelynof critical judgment but of ordinary faculties of observation.nImages of luxury, romance, and excitement dominate suchnprograms, as they dominate the advertisements that surroundnand engulf them. Dallas is itself an advertisement ofnthe good life, like almost everything that comes over thenmedia — for the good life, that is, conceived as endlessnnovelty, change, and excitement, as the titillation of thensenses by every available stimulant, as unlimited possibility.n”Make it new” is the message not just of modern art (then”adversary culture” deplored by neoconservatives) but ofnmodern consumerism. The modern capitalist economy restsnon the techniques of mass production pioneered by HenrynFord but also, no less solidly, on the principle of plannednobsolescence introduced by Alfred Sloane when he institutednthe annual model change. Relentless “improvement” ofnthe product and upgrading of consumer tastes are the heartnof mass merchandising, and these imperatives are built intonthe mass media at every level.nEven the reporting of news has to be understood not asnpropaganda for any particular ideology, liberal or conserva-n