Great Renormationsrnby Richard Cowden Guidorn’Humanity must remain as it is.”rn-Pope Leo XIIIrnThe Great Disruption: Human Naturernand the Reconstitution of Social Orderrnby Francis FukuyamarnNew York: The Free Press;rn471 pp., $26.00rnAsad thing about being American isrnthat patriotism has never had muchrnof a chance to find genuine expression inrnour souls, we having been taught thatrnAmericanism has to do with a love of ourrnrepublican system of law and governmentrn(or whatever our system is) as opposedrnto a concern for deeper realihes,rnsuch as that which brought Odysseus torntears in that fine T ‘ adaptation when, afterrn20 years, he again tasted the cheese ofrnhis beloved Ithaca.rnA Frenchman may be a republican,rna monarchist, or even a communist;rnwhichever he is, he knows it is a grandrnthing to be a Frenchman. Russians,rnAsians, and most Europeans resemblernthe French in this way, though with variations.rnWhile a study of these by someonernof (considerably) more insight thanrnFrancis Fukuyama might prove fascinatingrnindeed, the essence of patriotism is finallyrnsome je ne sais quoi quality, like thatrncheese.rnThat is why expressions of Americanrnpatriotism always seem so forced and artificial.rnAsked to define his patriotism, thernFrenchman would doubtless find thernRichard Cowden Guido writes fromrnNew Yor^ City.rnquestion simply irksome, knowing howrninadequate an invocation of the cheese,rnor Charles Martel, or even Joan of Arcrnwould be, not to mention the glories ofrnthe Fifth Republic. My own patriotismrnhas, I think, something to do with WilliamrnFaulkner and bourbon, a lake inrnnorthern Michigan and the Empire StaternBuilding, but the truest expression ofrnAmerican patriotism is probably fightingrnfor Mom and apple pie. In this regard,rnGeorge Bush the Elder’s comment aboutrnthinking of the separation of church andrnstate as his plane went down is surelyrnexemplary and — since what he had inrnmind was probably the Post Toashes hisrnmother fed him as a child—as touchingrnas it was ridiculous.rnThe problem of patriotism becomesrnstill more acute as American societyrngrows increasingly coarse and culturallyrnhollow, and a growing intimation suggestsrnto us that, like the Soviet systemrnWhittaker Chambers thought would ultimatelyrntriumph and no one (save possiblyrnRonald Reagan) thought would simplyrnvanish of an afternoon, our own structurernmight be on the verge of an horrific collapse.rnStill worse is the suspicion that werndeserve it; worst of all, the recognitionrnthat the crueler punishment might bernthe avoidance of collapse, allowing therncoarseness, cruelty, and empty self-congratulationrnto intensify for decades torncome.rnVarious efforts have been made to addressrnsuch fears. Some observers denyrnthe existence of danger; some give up,rnembracing and extolling the hollownessrnitself; many explore means to reverse thernsituation; while others—chiefly neoconservativesrn—insist that the means of reversalrnare already at hand, cause for a resurgentrnburst of patriotic pride.rnFrancis Fukuyama achieved somernfame earlier in the decade by claimingrnthat the glories of our present world—notrnHitler’s Reich nor the people’s communistrnparadise—represent the fulfillmentrnof Hegelian prophecy. Rejoicing in thisrntruth, but aware perhaps of the uneasinessrnit engenders, Mr. Fukuyama hasrnwritten another book in the hope of reassuringrnall who share his premises:rn[BJroadly speaking, the technologicalrnchange that brings about whatrneconomist Joseph Schumpeterrncalled “creative destrucfion” in thernmarketplace caused similar disruptionrnin the world of social relationships.rnIt would, indeed, be surprisingrnif this were not true.rnMr. Fukuyama does not deny thern30/CHRONICLESrnrnrn