seus or Achilles, possessing specialnpowers which are couplednwith deeply human frailties. Asnsuch, he is a great trapper andnpathfinder not only of pelts andnroutes but also of matters to donwith those men and women whonlived in the great wilderness thatnis no more.nOne evening several years agonBill Hotchkiss pulled off thenroad at the top of BeckwourthnPass in California and climbednWASTE OF MONEYnthe rest of the distance to thensummit, where he found a smallnmonument to the man. Placingnhis hands on the pointed stone,nHotchkiss says he “. . . knew, innthe manner of creative intuition,nthat the next few years …”nwould be spent working withnBeckwourth’s life. But he feltnunable to tell the whole storynin a single book. Two more volumesnwill complete Hotchkiss’snBeckwourth trilogy. (AP) DnA Socialist’s Good IntentionsnMichael Harrington: ThenNext America: The Declinenand Rise of the United States;nHolt, Rinehart & Winston; NewnYork.nby Becki KlutenMichael Harrington claims innhis introduction to this coffeetablenvolume to agree with PresidentnReagan when the Presidentnspeaks “of the old verities, ofnwork, family, neighborhood andnpeace. … As a committed socialistnI could not agree morenwith this conservative premise.”nHarrington admits that perhapsnthe great “liberations” of then60’s and 70’s have had a less thannsalutary effect on the Americannsociety. But beyond these concernsnand assertions, his rhetoricnbecomes coyly oxymoronic:nThe disorder I encounterednin the Greenwich Village ofn1949 had been orderly. Thendrinking, the flouting ofnestablished sexual moresnand the breaking of literarynand artistic rules were allnpart of a serious, often joy-nMrs. Klute is on the editorialnstaff of the Chronicles.nous, commitment to antivalues.nOur ‘immorality’nwas thus a morality in disguise.nDoes it follow, according tonthis gospel, that a serious commitmentnto dishonesty is honesty,nor that adultery is fidelitynin disguise.’ Mr. Harrington refrainsnfrom philosophical elucidationnin these matters.nOn the subjects of social justicenand economics, Mr. Harringtonnagrees that the New Deal/nliberal policies have not producednthe Valhalla that was expectednfrom them. In this henstands arm in arm with Reagannand the conservatives of then1980’s. But “conservatism isnimpossible,” he says. His solutionnwould be a call for morencentral economic planning, socialnwelfare, bureaucratic direction,nsince “there is no bureaucratn. . . which ever behaved asnfoolishly as the executives of thenAmerican auto, steel and railnindustries.” Because of what hensees as the venahty, incompetence,ngreed and utter stupiditynof the private sector, we as annation must move even furthernto the left than FDR and thenNew Deal, as far from FDR asnFDR was from Herbert Hoover.nMr. Harrington’s vision involvesna total overturning of our economicnstructure:nBy that I mean that the fundamentalndecisions nownmade by giant corporationsnabout what to produce andnwhere to produce it andnwhom to hire and whatnprice to charge and whatnneeds to meet must involventhe actual producers, thenaffected communities andnthe political system, fromnthe neighborhood on up tonthe nation as a whole andnultimately to global institutions.nThat would not yetnbe socialism since it envisionsnonly a partial democratizationnof economicnpower.. .nDo we call an employee assemblynwhenever a job vacancynarises.’ More important, if experiencedncorporate executivesnhave failed to manage their enterprisesncorrectly (cases innpoint being Chrysler, Penn Central,netc.), would an aggregatenof men and women devoid ofntraining in marketing, management,ninvestment, etc. be morencapable of responsible administrativendecision-making? Andnhow, pray tell, would we involvenin these decisions “the nation asna whole,” not to mention “globalninstitutions”? (If the U.N. andnits various subsidiaries are examplesnof what Mr. Harringtonnnnconsiders “global institutions”nthat should participate in ourn”fundamental decisions,” wenshudder at the prospect.)nThe key word of the abovenparagraph is “responsible.” Mr.nHarrington pays meager lip servicento the concept early in hisnbook, then wipes it from hisnmemory. Never again does thennotion that an individual is, innany way, responsible for any partnof his own destiny enter into thendiscussion. For Harrington, asnfor most socialists, the systemnalone is to blame for whatevernails us. That’s not news, ofncourse. But Harrington has beenntouted as “a leading politicalnthinker for over thirty ^ears.”nPeople read his books, listen tonhis speeches. When a “leadingnthinker” claims that “80 percentnor so of the population” doesnnot share the Christian definitionnof morality, it is quite possiblenthat 80 percent or so of hisnlisteners will accept that unsubstantiatednclaim as fact. Blacksnwill nod in apathetic agreementnwhen Harrington declares thatntheir many problems will seenlittle change “unless Americannpolitics turns a sharp corner.” IsnAmerican politics responsiblenfor all the difficulties experiencednby blacks?nMichael Harrington deeplynand genuinely cares for hisncountry, which can hardly bensaid for most Marxists, communistsnor socialists. He seems tonbe a basically decent man, onenwho sincerely wishes to correctnthe miseries and injustices inherentnin the human condition.nBut he fails to pursue the problemsnto their sources, or his solutionsnto their finish. And thisnmakes him a sort of danger tonour society as a whole: when onenwho is not a “leading thinker”nswallows these simplistic theoriesnhe is likely to vote for politiciansnwho also espouse them,nand we will then make anothernleft turn down that road which isnpaved with good intentions. Dn•HBM^a^OnMarch/April 198Sn