insisting on forcing humanistic paradigmsnof conduct on the experience ofnlife. In other words, values can bendefined through politics. On the othernhand, the liberal mentality, fearful andncontemptuous of any dogma transcendingnthe individual’s capacity for invention,ndenies the fact of law in thenessential realm. Thus, values cannot bendefined through religion, the sacred—nthe transcendent. Errors with respect tonthe order of essence and existence are,nby definition, deadly.nThe attitude of the teller seems to benrevealed in the final posture of Marybeth.nWhile Theo dies confirmed innher violent faith, it is clear that Marybethnis profoundly shaken by her death.nBrought up to believe in everything,n”this country, abstractions, in God,neven,” Marybeth discovers that thentruth never wins. Nothing she wouldnever do would make any difference.nTheo’s death confirms her sense ofnhopelessness. There never was anythingnanyone could do, “I mean ever, anytimen… I mean from the first.” Whatnmost terrifies and confuses her is thendiscovery that she is not extraordinary,nbut like everyone else. Another liberalndogma found wanting: people must haventheir thinking done for them by superiornbeings.nFaith (Ouida) and good works (bombingnthose who deserve it and self-fulfillrnentntherapy) are both finallynineffectual against the confusing ambiguitynof reality. There is, unfortunatelynfor me, no character in the novel whonmight be an objective correlative for anynother way of looking at reality. Ouidanand Theo act out the two aspects ofnMarybeth’s experience. Ouida standsnfor Marybeth’s juvenile faith, her finalndisappointment echoing Marybeth’s discoverynthat faith is pointless. Theo isna resonating image of Marybeth’s radicalnperiod, her death confirming Marybeth’snrealization that being stoned on radicalnideologies leads to disaster. Being givennsuch choices, of course, leaves her withnno options when their bankruptcy becomesnevident. Perhaps her commit­nS4inChronicles of Cultarenment to secular happiness as the rulingnimage of life is at the core of her problem.nHer jejune definition—“enoughnto eat, and freedom, and equal opportunity”n— simply does not stand upnunder the assault of experience. Itnleaves essential questions unconsidered,nand without considering much lessnanswering such questions existentialnmatters are inevitably terrifying. Innsuch cases, Sartre was right: we arendoomed to be free.nv’ ortunate readers may perceive thenmeaning of this cautionary tale in andifferent light without doing an injusticento Diane Johnson’s evident skillsnin invention and arrangement. I wouldnencourage them to do so. As a startingnpoint, I offer F. Scott Fitzgerald’s observationnin The Crack-Up:n”… the test of a first-rate intelligencenis the ability to hold two opposednideas in the mind at the same time,nand still retain the ability to function.nOne should, for example, be able tonsee that things are hopeless and yetnbe determined to make themnotherwise.” DnThe Return of the Useful IdiotsnJoan Colebrook: Innocents of thenWest: Travels Through the Sixties;nBasic Books; New York.nby Alan J. LevinenUuring the era between the WorldnWars Joseph Stalin privately referrednto his Western dupes and fellow-travelersnas “useful idiots.” He made use ofnthese people principally through frontnorganizations that insiders ironically referrednto as “innocents clubs.” Thendecade and a half following World WarnII was a trying time for the useful idiotsnand the innocents clubs in the survivingnfree countries; but though decimated,nthey survived and eventually experiencedna revival. Joan Colebrook, annAustralian writer, has published a fascinatingnimpressionistic journal of thenyears 1964-1969. She chronicles thenrise of a new generation of useful idiots,nand other unpleasant events and phenomenanthat accompanied it: anti-nWestern fanaticism in the ex-colonialnworld, the leftward drift of the Westernnpolitical spectrum and the “signs ofnrot and decay which begin to break downnDr. Levine writes for us from Queens,nNew York.nnnthe ancient disciplines upon whichnwere built the Anglo-Saxon civilizations”—risingncrime and the drugnepidemic.nThe contemporary “innocents” —nColebrook’s preferred term—are not, ofncourse, identical with their predecessors.nThe discipline and centralized loyaltynevoked by Stalinism have been notablynabsent. As a model “progressive” societynthe USSR was largely replaced bynChina and Cuba. To be sure, as Colebrooknobserves, the resurgent extremenleft was influenced by the “fumes ofnmemory”; many activists were the offspringnof Communist parents. On thenother hand, the ability of these peoplento gain some influence depended largelynon ignorance of recent historical events.nAs a college professor told Colebrooknin 1964: “The present generation wasnnot hostile to Communism; it knew littlenabout the stealing of United Statesnnuclear secrets in the forties, or aboutnthe aggression involved in the KoreannWar or even about the taking over ofnEastern Europe.” She writes: “Timenhas changed the world political situationnbut has not made Americans morenastute. A whole new generation of theneasily deceived has been bred in the incubatorsnof the country where then