Microcosm: The QuantumnRevolution in Economicsnand Technologynby George GildernNew York: Simon and Schuster;n383 pp., $19.95nGeorge Gilder’s strength as a writernis his ability to create vivid mythicnarchetypes saturated with his own romanticnfeelings. He is not comfortablenwith ideas unless they are strong, simplenideas that lend themselves to vivid evocationnof feeling rather than complexnrumination: the lure and mystery ofnwomen, the bonds of family, the love ofnGod. His best books are the three henwrote during the 1970’s: Sexual Suiciden(reissued in 1986 as Men andnMarriage), Naked Nomads, and VisiblenMan. All three books were essentiallynabout the same subject: the laserfastnspeed with which men disintegrate,nbringing down the social order withnthem, when they do not marry or staynmarried. Gilder’s specific target wasnthe surge in the divorce rate that accompaniednthe simultaneous sexualnand feminist revolutions. During then1970’s, the divorce-to-marriage rationrose to one-to-two, where it remains tonthis day, bringing with it such phenomenanas the feminization of poverty andnthe CEO’s Second Wife, that glitzyncreature who replaces in the life of anpowerful man the woman who bore hisnchildren.nVisible Man focused on one particularnaspect of this familial decay, thenbreakdown of the black family and thensurge in antisocial behavior by blacknmales that has accompanied it. Allnthree books theorized that the best waynto channel male aggression — evernready to display itself in the form ofnCharlotte Low Allen is an editor atnInsight magazine.n30/CHRONICLESnOPINIONSnA Gildered Cagenby Charlotte Low Allenn”All mental revolutions are attended by catastrophe.”n— W. Winwood Readencrime, drug and alcohol abuse, suicide,nand pointless tableaux of virility insteadnof regular work — is to give men anpositive role, that of patriarch of antraditional family. If he can be ThenBoss, a man will gladly cherish his wifenand support his children. As the onlynparent with the physical strength andnpresence to discipline growing boys, hennn^nwill ensure that they, too, grow up tonbe productive members of society andngood fathers. Naturally, feministsnloathed these ideas, partly becausenGilder forecast that, when womennachieve critical numbers in men’s professions,nor, worse, become men’snbosses, the men, deprived of patriarchalnrewards, will simply drop out. Thenprofession will lose status — a prophecynthat has already come true in suchnfields as teaching, social work, and innsome branches of law and medicine.nIn 1981, Gilder published Wealthnand Poverty, an encomium to the freenenterprise system. Like his earliernbooks, it bucked conventional liberalnwisdom, this time the accumulatednwisdom of the Carter years. Gilderntouted Adam Smith, with his theorynthat wealth springs from creative enterprise;nSay’s Law, that supply createsndemand; and Joseph Schumpeter’sndefinition of capitalism as creative destruction.nWealth and Poverty invested freenenterprise with all the romantic feelingnthat Gilder had earlier conferred onnthe patriarchal family. It tended tonidealize the money-making impulse,nwhich Smith had more realisticallynviewed as a form of self-love thatnhappened to yield social benefits. Gilder,nas ever, preferred the simple archetypento Smith’s more subtle, moreninteresting assessment of businessmennand what makes them tick. Entrepreneursndisplay “heroic creativity,” Gildernwrote, characterizing their efforts asn”forms of devotion.” Wealth and Poverty,nan encapsulation of the supplysidenpolicies that fueled the first Reagannadministration, was a huge bestseller.nGilder’s next book. The Spirit ofnEnterprise, published in 1984, was anrewrite of Wealth and Poverty, withnmore about Adam Smith and JosephnSchumpeter. By this time. Gilder’sn