England and France ruined the Dutchncommercial empire, the republic lackednthe domestic resources to be other thanna pawn in the games of others. Englandnwas also able to use its financial strengthnto borrow instead of tax, and to hirenmercenaries and subsidize allied armiesnrather than conscript large numbers ofnits own citizens. Sweden during its periodnof enormous strength was able tonmake up for a weak domestic economynby fighting on the continent, supportingnits armies by plunder. Prussia triednthis too, but had to squeeze its small domesticnbase, thus becoming Downing’snmodel of a successful absolutism.nFrance had a large internal market,nbut to mobilize it meant uprootingnprovincial and noble privileges. ThenBourbons fell short of the HohenzoUerns.nThe French Revolution wasntriggered not only by a fiscal crisis but bynthe survival of an independent aristocracynthat saw that crisis as a chance tonstrike and by the continued capacity ofnthe peasants to rebel when the rulingnclasses were in disarray. Downing arguesnthat it was the “fissures and weaknessesnin French military-bureaucraticnabsolutism” that were its undoing. Thenrevolution returned France to a “democraticntrajectory,” but at high cost. “Thenpromise of democracy was followed bynchaos, terror and Napoleon,” writesnDowning. The sudden mobilization ofnthe masses was destabilizing and creatednsocial antagonisms that plague Francento this day. Downing believes a “directninstitutional continuity of medieval constitutionalngovernment” was the betternpath to democracy.nYet constitutionalism survived onlynLIBERAL ARTSnPAY NOT TO PLAYnA proposal to “vaccinate all youngnwomen against pregnancy” withnNorplant, to distribute free contraceptivendevices “in every public lavatory,”nand to establish school-basedn”Planned Parenthood clinics” wasnsubmitted to the commissioners ofnCook County, Illinois, last May, accordingnto Kathleen Sullivan of ProjectnRespect. Commissioner MarianPappas (D-Chicago), author of thenproposal, also recommends “federalnand state supported incentive programs”nagainst pregnancy and a “rebatenor voucher for not getting pregnant.”n36/CHRONICLESnwhere it was able to adapt to the needsnof the Military Revolution, the Estatesnaccepting the responsibilities of thenCrown. Downing’s constitutional statesnfought just as many wars as did the absolutists.nApplying this insight to thenpresent century, two world wars belienthe notion that democracies won’t fight.nOnly governments with popular supportnhave been able to mobilize the resourcesnto wage modern war on a large scale. Anworld of democratic nations would bencapable of unleashing the most devastatingnwars in history arising from persistentnsources of conflict.nOf course liberal political orders cannalso fail. In 18th-century Poland thengentry were “little more than sacks ofnpotatoes, whose main concern outsidentheir manors became the protection ofntheir liberties and incomes from thencrown.” The gentry used constitutionalismnto paralyze the central government,nwith the result that Poland vanishednfrom the map. “The Polish gentrynexchanged the privilege of nationalnsovereignty for the right to make money,”nDowning concludes, making themn”perhaps the most irresponsible elite innall European history.”nIn Downing’s ideal modern democraticnnation-state, there is a balance ofnrights and duties. He notes that, “Militarynservice and citizenship were intertwinednin antiquity” and that the medievalnknight exchanged military servicesnfor his liberties and privileges. This exchangenwas extended to all classes by thenMilitary Revolution: mass armies led tonan expanded franchise. Patriotism motivatednsacrifice but also sparked socialnreform on the ground that “a land fit fornheroes” should await the returningntroops. Minorities gained respect fromntheir valor in combat.nYet hiring preferences for veterans,nV. A. hospitals, and the G. I. Bill arenbenefits that differ fundamentally fromnthose of the present welfare state, wherenthe shrill demand for rights is accompaniednby an equally loud rejection of duties.nThe same imbalance is evident inngranting the vote to “citizens” who havenperformed no public service, not evennthe payment of taxes. Democratism hasnspawned new threats to constitutionalismnmore dangerous than any king.nWilliam R. Hawkins is director of thenEconomic Security Advocacy Centernof the U.S. Business and IndustrialnCouncil.nnnGradgrind in Lovenby David GordonnSex and Reasonnby Richard A. PosnernCambridge, Massachusetts: HarvardnUniversity Press;n458 pp., $29.95nRichard Posner has a complaintnagainst many of his fellow judges.nOwing to their lack of up-to-date informationnand their conservative backgrounds,nhis colleagues often decide casesnthat touch on sex in an ignorant andnbenighted manner. Judge Posner aimsnto remedy matters with this comprehensiventreatise, which offers both a theorynof how sexual customs have evolvednand normative guidance on abortion,ncensorship of pornography, homosexualnmarriage, and similar issues.nBefore his elevation to the Court ofnAppeals, Posner achieved renown as anleading proponent of the law-and-economicsnmovement; and the present worknrests on an extension of this approachnto sexual matters. Cost and benefit, thenbasic categories of economics, governnmarriage and the family no less than thenbusiness world.nMore concretely, Posner holds thatnthree factors principally determine thennature of marriage in a society: thenscarcity of available women; the degreenof urbanization; and, most importantly,nthe work accessible to women outsidenthe home. In ancient Greece, femaleninfanticide among other reasons led to andearth of marriageable women; as a result,nwomen married at a much youngernage than men. The sole aim of the marriagenwas reproduction. Women hadnnothing to ‘sell’ but their reproductivenpower and were left sequestered in thenhome. No close emotional bondsnformed between husband and wife, andnmen found solace in sexual affairs outsidenthe marriage with both women andnother men.nThe rise of Christianity drastically alterednthe customary style of marriage.nThough reproduction of course remainednvital, marriage increasingly camento involve close emotional union. Posnernoddly calls this “companionate”nmarriage, although the term normallyndesignates a form of childless trial marriagenthat Judge Benjamin Lindsey pro-n