institutions of self-government, they have remained innhiding. For all I or most Americans might know, thensoundest elements may be loyal military men and CommunistnParty stalwarts in the bureaucracy — people who shownup for work in the morning and know how to take orders.nThese are the so-called “conservatives” that Americannjournalists are fond of deploring, if only as a convenient waynof needling Washington conservatives who insist—all evidencento the contrary notwithstanding — that they are thenparty of individual liberty. Obedience and unreflectingnloyalty are the characteristic virtues of ideologues and partynhacks everywhere, whichever C-word they use to identifynthemselves with.nPerhaps this explains the incredible gullibility displayed bynconservative anticommunists who, before the arrival ofnGorbachev, never had a good thing to say about any Sovietnleader. Even the Committee for the Free World, whosenraison d’etre was the sort of knee-jerk anticommunismn(complete with enemies lists) that might have made McCarthynblush, disbanded in a mood of despair-in-victory that hasnno name but is the opposite of schadenfreude.nThe Sistine Chapelnby Harold McCurdynStill under judgment by the God of LightnThe Popes at Rome drove MichelangelonTo labor eleven years on ceiling and wallnTo tell- the terrible story of the FallnAnd the more terrible story of Christ’s rightnUplifted axe-hand poised for the last blow.nNowhere is Christ the infant seen; nowherenThe Star in the East, or Wise Men following it;nNowhere the pitying Christ; nowhere the mildnHelper of weakness, tender to woman and child;nBut Power Supreme, too much for flesh to bear.nEven a Vicegerent’s of the Infinite.nWithin this vault of terror who could breathenThe salt air off the waves Columbus crossed,nOr dream toward freedom in the windy West?nIn gnarled sonnets the artist himself confessednThe burden of the dread he bent beneathnOf being for his sins forever lost.nNow that the American right is part of the establishment,nthey are prey to the same follies, the same blind faith innprogress that used to characterize liberals. They cannotnlearn the lessons the U.S.S.R. can teach, because they arentoo busy advocating enterprise zones, voucher plans, increasednimmigration, minority set-asides, state capitalism,nand the New World Order. Inexperienced in the ways ofnreal power, they are pawns in the hands of their latest leader,nGeorge Bush, a master politician who makes no secret of hisncontempt for the conservative movement whose leadersnfawn upon him with the guilty sincerity of a puppy that hasnjust made a mess on the rug. Don’t listen to their occasionalncriticism of the President: just look at their calendars orncount how many pictures of themselves arm-in-arm withnGeorge and Barbara they send out to supporters. Simplynput, Washington conservatives and their hero PresidentnBush — in the guise of defending free markets — are nownchampioning the latest version of Roosevelt’s NRA, andnthey are keeping the country on a steady course toward thentotal state. Nazdarovje. <§>nnnJUNE 1991/15n