we live in the late 20th century, and while we cannot donwithout the myths of historical golden ages, we mustnrecognize that the attempt to realize those myths willnproduce results that bear only a slight resemblance to then12th century or the 1850’s —least of all to the 1950’s. Bothnthe Renaissance and the Reformation were reactionarynmovements aimed at restoring the wodd of antiquity. Bothnwere radically constructive. Neither was — in a literal sensen— conservative.nPerhaps it is time even to rethink the effectiveness of thenterm conservative, which always begs the question: “Whatnare you conserving?” There is so much wrong with modernnAmerica that the language of caution seems inadequate.nSurely it will take at least a moral and cultural revolution tonclean up our cities, end the drug trade, and restorencivilization.nCall yourself what you like, but be sure of this. Nothingngood can be done on the basis of a simple formula derivednfrom the experiences of the Cold War years. Clobalnanticommunism cannot be replaced with global democracy,nand the left’s dreams of world government cannot bencountered with a state-capitalist vision of a world economicnorder. Our job is to restore America, not to convert thenworld, and this task will require all the resources of science,neconomics, and technology we have at our disposal, butnthose resources must be harnessed to serve the traditions ofnindividual responsibility, starkly limited national government,nand the rich diversity of local political arrangementsnthat our Constitution was intended to preserve.nWhat I have in mind is both reactionary, in its appeal tonthe vision of America’s founding, and radical, in itsnwillingness to use the honest tools and weapons put into ournhands by sociobiology, anthropology, and economics. Whatnall of these technical disciplines reveal is a humanity that isnboth flawed (or self-interested) in conception and yet mostncreative when least coerced. Both science and traditionalnwisdom will also show us that government, while it isnnecessary for men in every stage of social development, cannonly be regulatory and limiting; it cannot produce anythingnof itself the more laws a people has, the more corrupt itsnmorals.nThis is the prospect for America’s public intellectuals,nespecially those who have called themselves conservatives: tonbegin the arduous task of reconverting a blighted social andncultural landscape into prairies, villages, towns, and citiesnand to restore the self-government that has been polluted bynthe centralized political machinery that has misappropriatednthe name of democracy. If we fail — and nothing in the pastnten years suggests that we are not failing miserably — thennlet us go down in honorable defeat, without calling, ourndisaster a victory and without changing our colors in anpathetic effort to join the winning side. Of course yournenemies will lie about you, because that is the universal fatenof honest men. As Jeffers told his own generation:nThat public men publish falsehoodsnIs nothing new. That America must acceptnLike the historical republics corruption and empirenHas been known for years.nBe angry at the sun for settingnIf these things anger you. ^>nVikings in the English Departmentnby Brendan GalvinnBrevity being the soul of communicationnas well as wit, we have been,nas it were, deconstructed, to put itnsuccinctly. Word processorsndefenestrated, PMLA and Books in Printnput to the torch along with poor Ms. Schmidt’sncollection of framed New Yorker covers.nDr. Birmingham’s Frye Boots and handmadenwrist-thong watchstrap absconded with,nnot to mention Mr. Goodwine’s hairpiece,nlast seen impaled on a retreating cowhorn,nand the jacket to Chairperson Barnum’snleisure suit. In theory at least,nthe primary suspects are Street Theatren(a production turned overly realistic),nand The Germs, who, students inform us,nare an organization of motorcyclistsnin Bridgeport. Sigurd (sp?) Stinkfingernand Brodar Redbeard are two namesnbandied about during the recent experience,na not unhelpful clue, and thesenhave been reported to Campus Safety.nMs. Birthbone, who, in the light of hernencounter, advises that with these personsnTai Kwon Do simply won’t do, has agreednto liaison herself with other departments,nin order to discern if this event wasnvisited singularly upon us, or otherwise.nYour Ad Hoc committee agrees that a motionnof censure be presented before the FacultynSenate, once the perpetrators have beenndetermined. New temporary wall unitsnin clay or greenpea are forthcomingnwhenever ofHcemates concur in the matternof color, the Vice President for FinancialnAffairs assures us. He further requestsnthat you inventory, and present this committeenwith your list, necessarily brief in ourntime of austerity. As for loss of personalneffects, your colleagues extend condolencesnto Professor Follow for his missing scrimshawnand harpoon, to Dr. Baker for articles ofninterest from the Times, laid wastenwhen his bulletin board was under conflagration,nand of course to the family of our part-timencolleague Ms. Schmidt, last seen amid cries ofnHavoc! Replacements are being interviewed,nand department members are urged to contributentoward a suitable memento. Even as we continuento strive for our margin of excellencenin this time of rebuilding, it is hoped thatneach of us will endeavor to redefinenthe concept of collegiality for herself/himselfnnnMAY 1990/15n