Every Which Way But Uprnby Samuel Francisrn”The most perfect political community is one in which the middle class is inrncontrol, and outnumbers both of the other classes.”rn—^AristotlernUp From Conservatism: Why thernRight is Wrong for Americarnhy Michael hindrnNew York: The Free Press;rn295 pp., $23.00rnReaders of Chronicles may vaguely recallrnMichael Lind as the contributorrnof a few articles to this magazine inrnthe late 1980’s and early 90’s, but theyrnshould have no problem recognizingrnmany of the ideas that inform his newrnbook. The most valuable derive directlyrnfrom ideas this magazine has developedrnover the last decade, and as long as Mr.rnLind sticks to those foundations, evenrnwithout acknowledging where he gotrnthem, he stands on pretty solid ground.rnWhen he departs from them, however,rnand begins to think for himself, he immediatelyrnruns into trouble, and by thernend of this, his second book in a year, hernis way over his head.rnUp From Conservatism is both an autobiographicalrnexplanation of why Mr.rnLind ceased to be a conservative and anrneffort to expose the weaknesses of contemporaryrnconservative thought andrnpractice. As far as the first is concerned,rnit is never clear why anyone other thanrnMr. Lind should care why he was a conservativernat all or why he stopped beingrnone, and the reader quickly tires of thernzest with which he chronicles the vapidityrnof a movement too dense to appreciaternthe genius he was offering and toorndishonest to make use of his own virtue.rnAs for the second, Mr. Lind is sometimesrnright and sometimes wrong in his criticisms,rnand—also quickly—it becomesrnapparent from his incessant sarcasm andrnhis inability to grant an iota of good willrnor good sense to the conservatives withrnwhom he used to hang out that he sportsrnSamuel Francis is a nationally syndicatedrncolumnist.rna rather large chip on his shoulder.rnMoreover, despite his expropriation ofrnideas from others without acknowledgment,rnit is also clear that he either misunderstandsrnthose ideas or has deliberatelyrnrecast them to fit the “nationalrnliberalism” he now finds it convenient tornespouse.rn”National liberalism,” he argues, is therntradition of Hamiltonian-Federalist-rnRepublican Party nationalism, elevatedrnby the “vital center” liberalism of ArthurrnSchlesinger, Franklin Roosevelt, HarryrnTruman, Lyndon Johnson, and MartinrnLuther King. It is a political persuasionrnthat Lind imagines is virtually defunct inrnthe United States today, having been discardedrnin “a realignment and a revolution”rnthat is “bipartisan conservative” inrnits ideology. This “social revolution”rnconsists in “the growth in the relativernwealth, power, and prestige of the overclass.”rnThe “overclass,” a term Lind used inrnhis first book but which he here attributesrnto Gunnar Myrdal, is the newrnnational ruling class that he defines asrn”the credentialed managerial-professionalrnelite, consisting of Americans with advancedrndegrees… and their spouses andrnchildren.” Distinguishing the “overclass”rnfrom the neoconservative idea ofrnthe “new class,” he later acknowledgesrnthat “the only postwar conservative whorngot matters right was James Burnham …rn[who] argued that the old bourgeoiscapitalistrnorder was giving way to a newrnsystem of managerial capitalism.” Lind’srn”overclass,” then, is merely an adaptationrnof Burnham’s managerial ehtc,rnthough Lind misses the point of thernmost important feature of Burnham’srnanalysis of it.rnLind’s thesis is that contemporaryrnconservatism (he means what writers inrnChronicles usually call “neoconservatism”rnand its variations) is really a formularnthat appeals to “radicalism,” “populism,”rnand “revolution” in order tornadvance overclass interests. “The chiefrnbeneficiaries of the radicalism of thernright . . . are the small number of individualsrnand families that constitute therneconomic elite of the United States. . . .rnThe costs of further artificial enrichmentrnof the American overclass by the conservativernprogram will be borne by thernAmerican middle class.” There is a goodrndeal of truth in this view, though in hisrnelaboration of it Lind reveals a profoundrnmisunderstanding of both the nature ofrnthe overclass and the real meaning of thern”conservatism” he has come to despisernso much.rnLind misunderstands the overclass becausern(a) despite his endorsement ofrnBurnham’s 1941 analysis of it, he quicklyrnforgets that the overclass is not new, andrn30/CHRONICLESrnrnrn