sense of wlicre lie stood. When one Cambridge stndent makesrnthe ease for having loalh’ to “the great world,” his friend tellsrnhim thatrntnral; it was also moral. As a conventional radical, Lue’ hadrnbeen leariring to despise the suburban bourgeoisie and anonernoutside the charmedrn’I’liere is no great world at all, onl a little earth, for e’errnisolated from die rest of die little solar system. The earthrnis full of tiiu’ sociehes, and Cambridge is one of them.rnAll die societies are narrow, but some are good and somernare bad —just as one house is beaudful inside and anotherrnugK . . . The good societies say, “1 tell vou to do diisrnbecause I am Cambridge.” The bad ones sa’, “1 tell yournto do that because I am the great world — not because Irnam Teckham,’ or ‘Billingsgate,’ or l^ark Lane,’ but becausernI am the great world.”rnhi Forster’s first no’cl. Where Angels Fear to Tread, the tinrnsocieh’ is formed within die family bv the bonds of blood. Liliarnis a preth’ and somewhat romantic widow whose disapprovingrnill-laws send lier to Itah’ to get a little refinement. To dieir chagrin,rnshe actuall}’ marries one of the locals —an idle and worthlessrnfortune hunter—to whom she bears a child before dying.rnI,ilia’s sister-in-law, a grae ‘ouiig Englishwoman who hadrn”bolted all the cardinal virtues and couldn’t digest diem,” isrnshocked to diseoer, as she watches die fortune-hunhng Italianrnfather \ ith his child, “that w icked people are capable of love.”rnf’orster, describing die scene, makes die comment tiiat die Italianrnfartier’s “desire that his son should be like him, and shouldrnliae sons like him to people die earth” is “the strongest desirernto come to a man.”rnThe bab’s Knglish stepsister is a rabid Anglican ideologue (ifrnsuch a thing is possible); she refuses to acknowledge die alidih’rnol such an immoral bond between a corrupt man and his son,rnand, b stealing die child, she is the cause of his deaHi. Ciiio, atrnleast, was not a Cuban communist, or she might have had additionalrnjustification for die kidnapping.rnForster’s best-known heroine, Luc’ Houcychurch, is anotherrnk’.nglisli gid who is smitten widi ItaK’, where she beginsrnto saor not just art and beauh but something of Hie Italian passionrnfor liing. When her Florence ad’enture turns sour, shernand her companion go on to Rome where she meets a well-todornexpatriate, Cecil Vse, who proposes marriage.rn[ .uc is gixeii die clear choice of a higher, more “[talian” lifernw idi Cecil yse, but to take it, she must be disloal to her fanii-rnK’ and break w idi her middle-class experience. “Make her onernof us,” her higli-toned future mother-in-law tells her son. Cecilrnsavs of himself diat he is an “Inglese Italianato.” which, as thernproverb goes, is “un diavolo incanjato.” Although Cecil is iiiereh”rnaffecting “a cosmopolitan naughtiness which he was far fromrnpossessing,” he is, after all, a genuine de’il, in tempting I.ucv intorna life of treason against her familv and her upbringing.rnBut, if ItaK” has taught C’ecil to despise his own countr, it hasrntaught ,uc to see beaiit in her own neighborhood: “Howrnbeautiful the weald looked! The hills stood out aboc its radiance,rnas Fiesole stands aboe die Tuscan Plan, and die SoudirnDowns, if one chose, were the mountains of Carrara. Shernmight be forgethng her Itah,” diinks Lucv to herself as she looksrnacross the Weald, “but she was noticing more things in F,nglaiid.rnOne could pla a new game widi the iew, and tr tornfind in its innumerable folds some tow n or illage that w ould dornfor Florence.”rni’art of diis new ])erspective was obiousl- aesdiehc and culcirclernof rich, pleasant people, with identical interests andrnidentical foes . . . But in Itah’, where aiione who choosesrnnia’ warm himself in ecjualit}’, as in die sun, diis conceptrnof life vanished. Her senses expanded; slie felt diere wasrnno one whom she might not get to like, that social barriersrnwere irremovable, doubdess, but not parhculady high.rnYou jump over them just as you jump into a peasant’srnolive garden in die Apennines, and he is glad to see ou.rnShe returned with new cnes.rnThe communists and expatriates are wrong: Loving Italv isrnnot incompatible with loving your own countr’ or your lioiiietovMi.rnThis was something the ancient Romans understood.rnTliev could worship their local gods in Britain or Armeniarnwhile still acknowledging die pow er of Capitoline Jupiter or SolrnIn’ictus. Thev could, like Diocletian, govern die known worldrnand never give up dieir longing for dieir native proince. Inrnfact, l^ioclefian rehred to Dalmatia to raise cabbages.rnForster’s education was almost entireh classical, and hisrndilemma—whedier it is better to betray one’s friend or one’srncouiitn, —was posed long ago b an ancient philosopher, whorn(according to Cicero) a.skcd if a son should inform on a fadierrnwho has been robbing a temple or digging tunnels into the treasur.rnThe philosopher thought it would be w rong, arguing diatrnthe son should defend his faHier in court, because it is in dierncountn’s interest to hae citi/ens loyal to their parents.rnAnv nation recjuircs loyalh’ from its citizens, but not die selfannihilatingrnloyalh demanded bv Nazi Cermany, Stalinist Rus-rn•sia, or democratic .states that impose Icnalh’ oadis, .sa ing (in thernwords of Merle Haggard), “If you don’t loe it, leave it” tornForster’s tin societies of faniiK, illage, and college.rnIn die ears since die publication of The Inngest jmimey andrnA Room With a ‘iev, the Creat World has been making liead-rnva’ against Cambridge and Billingsgate and Laramie and Milwaukee.rnColleges and uniersities have been absorbed by thern.state; families are enmeshed in a social-serice bureauerae- diatrnwould lia’e astounded the creators of the welfare state. In thernUnited States, schoolchildren are asked to turn their parents inrnfor using drugs or for abusing (“abuse” ma include anv form ofrncorporal punishment) diem. The child is forced to choose behveenrnbetraying his parents and betra”ing die government tiiatrncan make such a request.rnIn die 19sO’s, F.M. Forster, a simple novelist who was notrnused to reflecting too deeply, concluded that people matteredrnmore than principles, een when principles are embodiedrnin a government apparatus. F,er since, he has been reproachedrnb anticommunists for his disloalh’. In some cases,rnthe liae siniph failed to read him eorrecdw But een if therndid, there nia- be few political intellectuals, whether of diernright or of die left, who would be willing to defend bolster’s almostrnfeudal sense of personal loalh-.rnThrough die long years of die Cold War, we got in die habitrnof defining onrscKes bv what we opposed, and an iiiiaginar-rnBerlin Wall w as built bet\ ecu the “capitalist” right and die “di.slornal” left. In die course of die conflict, all of Burke’s “litde platoons’rnand I’orster’s “tin}’ societies” were conscripted to serverndie national ideologies of Russia and die United States and perishedrnin die strugele for die wodd. crnMAY 2001/11rnrnrn