30 I CHRONICLESnfear at last” and in his own face. “Letnthe day perish that I was born,”nW.H. Auden guessed that his egocentricnmania, as he called it, was annessentially religious problem, causednby his desperate need for a transcendentnOther and his inability/refusal tonlet go of the self. William Barrett, hisnclosest friend, felt that Schwartz hadnan essentially religious nature, andnmany entries in the journals (as well asnhis poetry, essays, and fiction) supportnthis judgment:nGod exists if anything exists.nIf you don’t believe in God,nthere is nothing you won’t do.nMen who start with denyingnthe existence of God will endnby devouring each other.nYet the passion for the transcendentnand the thirst for community did notnfinally enable him to put his ego innorder. It appears that he had so littlensense of anything else that he clungnharder and harder to the fragile selfneven as it dissolved in tears of self-pity.nParaphrasing Henri Montherlant, henwrote in the ]ournals, “O my Godn—cut the appalling knot of contradictionsnthat at least for one instant beforenceasing to be, I may at last know who Inam.” But no knot proves more Gordiannthan the one tied by oneself Inndesperation, he concluded:nWe will never arrivenAt the future innWhich we exist . . .n”No roots, no religion,” he lamented.nIn the final entry he names the worldn”poisonous.”nTwo entries, late and probably shadowednby growing madness, stand isolatednin the journals, each in its turn,nand between them they are the keys tonunderstanding his yearning, his failure,nhis suffering, and his helplessness.n”Gall me” echoes his wild longing tonbe part of a reality larger than himselfnwith forebears and heirs who reach outnto embrace him into the truth, “butnthey are too far away.” And then thenineffable “I can’t.”nGemeinscha ft Without Mussolini by Andrew Oldenquistn”Modern society acknowledges no neighbor. “n—DisraelinStreams of Experience: Reflectionsnon the History and Philosophy ofnAmerican Culture by John J.nMcDermott, Amherst: University ofnMassachusetts Press; $25.00.nThe Tolerant Society: Freedom ofnSpeech and Extremist Speech innAmerica by Lee C. Bollinger, NewnYork: Oxford University Press;n$19.95.nSeparate thinkers have oftennthought the same thoughts whennthe time was ripe. The same needs willnbe felt, or the same things will benperceived wrong by sociologists in Galifornianand philosophers in the Midwest.nPerhaps this means our mindsnare so social that a sense of alienation,nan inkling of disorder, a sag in thengeneral quality of life sets off similarnalarms in thinkers around the country.nAnd that truth, if it is one, is a majornelement of the thought ripening now:nWe are social creatures who cannotnflourish without traditions, commonninstitutions, and each other. GontrarynAndrew Oldenquist is a professor ofnPhilosophy at Ohio State University.nto what the existentialists say, we requirensocial identities, while too muchnindividualism makes us miserable andnalienated. This is the New Gommunitarianismnin American social thought,na theme of countless essays and at leastna dozen books published in the pastnfew years, including John McDermotfsnStreams of Experience.nThis renewed appreciation of then”organic” nature of society can makenconservatives find virtues in Marx—itnis conservatives and not liberals whonhave recently talked loudly about ournsociality, and protested if liberalsnclaimed exclusive interest in then”community.” Marx did have somenfunny, 19th-century economic ideas,nbut they can be politely ignored. ThenAmerican left selects from anothernpage of Marx’s menu, their radicalnindividualism keeping them suspiciousnof social identity. Retaining only thosenfunny economic ideas, they create thenphenomena of individualist and evennlibertarian Marxists. The liberal’s fearnis that “community” leads to the socialnblack hole of a totalitarian block-state,nwhile the conservative’s fear is loss ofncommunity, communication, andnbeing.nMcDermott says, “In the 20th cen­nnntury, anyone who studies anything andnis unaware of Marx is in a state ofnignorance.” He offers two “salientncontentions” of Marx: “[Fjirst, that institutionsncondition consciousness rathernthan the reverse; second, that ournfundamental situation is to be in a statenof alienation.” There is, runningnthrough McDermott’s thought andnmuch of the American pragmatist tradition,na sense of the relatedness ofnthings, of a social world in whichn