beehive is not a useful paradigm for anhuman world. But we can learn fromnthe bees. The bees have the instinctualnequipment and the inherited biologicalnmeans of sustenance and defense. Wendo not, and this bears on “the significancenof continuity and tradition innhuman life. . . . Constancy must bencreated and incessantly recreatednthrough the formation and maintenancenof institutions that effectivelynlimit the range of conceivable optionsnfor the individual.” Another consequence,nobviously, is a repudiation ofnthe Marxist fantasy of a “post-political”nexistence. In their own way the beesnhave already realized it.nWhile Hartmann’s ontology providesna theory that helps us to grasp thenessence of man’s finite freedom, Levynfinds there are certain limits to thisntheory, and to the anthropological perspective.nMan feels compelled tonsearch for an order that is attuned tonthe order inherent in the universe.nIt was just such a search for ordernthat Eric Voegelin pursued and thenresults of this research serve, in Levy’snview, as a creative complement to thenScheler-Hartmann ontology. FornVoegelin’s starting point is quite differentnfrom the naturalism of Hartmann.nHe would call into question ariy theorynof the human condition that confinesnitself to such a naturalism. Any theorynwould have to account for the persistencenof man’s search for the transcendentnground of being and the record ofnthis search as it is reflected in revelationsnas man reaches out for what is notnitself in his attempt at self-interpretation.nThis interpretation expresses itselfnnot just in myths, but in its institutions.nThe thrust of Levy’s inquiry emphasizesnthe constant features of thenhuman condition. The space of politicsnis not a boundless vacuum where anynkind of imaginary project can takenplace precisely because of these constantnfeatures and the persistent contoursnof the environment. Such an ideanof politics flies in the face of revolutionarynideologies that are not interestednin conserving either nature or humannnature, but only its transmutation.nModern technology has greatly enhancednthe illusion that anything isnpossible, and that the only reason anynscheme is not effected is a failure ofnpolitics. Guided by that superstition, ifnsomething is not to modern man’sn38/CHRONICLESnliking, someone must be to blame. Thenstate thus becomes merely part of then”machinery of desire” and man remainsnvulnerable to the temptations ofnrevolutionary ideologies that reducenthe mysteries of existence to economicnsolutions. It is much like promising andndelivering a TV for every room in thencommune, but the only story or picturento watch is one of a room with anTV in a commune.nIn C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters,nthe Devil says, “just as we pick outnand exaggerate the pleasure of eatingnto produce gluttony, so we pick out thisnnatural pleasantness of change andntwist it into a demand for absolutennovelty.” Likewise we can take ourninstitutions, which provide us withnguidance, and our technology, whichnhelps us to maintain ourselves, andntwist them to Utopian schemes andnideologies, and on the way we arenhoused in the gulag of means.nWilliam Mills is the author of, mostnrecently, The Arkansas: An AmericannRiver, reviewed in this issue.nOur PostmodernnAgenby Stephen L. TannernTwentieth-Century Culture:nModernism to Deconstructionnby Norman F. CantornNew York: Peter Lang;n452 pp., $39.95nEliseo Vivas once said, “I would notnfor a minute pretend solidaritynwith men who do not realize that one ofnthe essential marks of decency today isnto be ashamed of being a man of thentwentieth century.” He had no desire tonturn the clock back; he was simplynadvocating that rather than playing yesnmen to the age we should assume thenrole of critics. In this survey of thenculture of our century, Norman F.nCantor is certainly no yes man, but hisncriticism, generally very reasonable, isnsometimes less than penetrating andnconsistent. At times it is even provokinglynidiosyncratic.nCriticism, however, is not the primarynaim of the book. Cantor’s mainnobjective is to bring together informa­nnntion from a wide variety of disciplines innorder to survey and summarize thenprincipal patterns of thought in thisncentury. Such a comprehensive andnsystematic overview is not taught in ournuniversities, he claims, and his book isnan attempt to remedy this failure whilenalso contributing to a revival of culturalnand intellectual history. In previousnbooks, he has applied his method tonmedieval and English history. One ofnhis special purposes here is to leadnreaders across the threshold into thenfashionable but intimidating chambersnof current literary theory.nBeginning with an explanation of itsn19th-century roots, he defines modernismnand surveys its manifestations acrossnthe cultural spectrum, from the artsnthrough science and theology. He thennmoves through chapters on psychoanalysis,nMarxism, and the left, traditions onnthe right, and structuralism, deconstruction,nand postmodernism. He is soncomprehensive in his synthesis that individualnfigures and movements getnonly brief mention, but this concisentreatment is informed and informative.nHe is mapping intellectual-cultural history,nand the book shares the usefulnessnand limitations of a map. As a referencenwork for locating thinkers and movementsnwithin the cultural territory ofnthis century, the book is invaluable.nBut, unlike a map, the book has anspecific thesis, one concerning the naturenand destiny of modernism. Cantornconceives modernism as a cultural revolutionnthat promised liberation of thenhuman spirit followed by intellectualnand cultural progress, but which now isna “paradise lost.” The period of Modemism,nroughly 1900 to 1940, was thencreative age of our century. It wasn”beneficent and enjoyable.” Since thennwe have been spending its intellectualncapital. “We are living now in a culturalnage of diversity, eclecticism, and uncertaintynof consciousness and goals, althoughnskills and learning abound.” Wenneed a new cultural paradigm, he says,nand although in this time of uncertaintynthe academic and literary left is flourishing,nhe expects new creative movementsnto come from the right. Henadvocates “a policy of conservative humanism,nof voluntarism under corporatenand academic leadership addressednto strengthening the social texture andnthe solution of critical problems.”nCantor’s breadth of coverage is im-n