301 CHRONICLESnPosner challenges the conventionalnincorporation theory of the FourteenthnAmendment which holds that thenAmendment makes the Bill of Rightsnapplicable to the states. The Bill ofnRights, he instructs, was designed tonweaken the Federal government;n”Apply the Bill of Rights to the statesnthrough the due process clause andnyou weaken the states tremendously bynhanding over control of large areas ofnpublic policy to the federal judges.”nHe suggests that, as an alternative, wenlimit the application of our process tonlaws that deprive persons of life, liberty,nor property in violation of a fundamentalnsocial norm held by most ofnthe nation. This would breathe newnlife into states rights without abandoningnan interest in protecting agreed-nupon civil liberties.nThe biggest problem facing the Federalncourts is not the case-load crisis, itnis the perennial difficulty in decidingnhow best to interpret statutes and thenConstitution. Posner departs from thentraditional canons-of-construction approach.nHe would urge judges to assumenthe role of the other, i.e., placenthemselves in the shoes of the legislatorsnand then decide the case accordingnto how they would have wantednthe statute applied. Perhaps this wouldnsave us from the prachce of ingenuouslynfinding “penumbras” in the law,nbut it is not certain how it would deternan activist judge from reading equalnopportunity as equal results. Thennagain, Posner readily admits that “nonone has discovered how to keep thenSaints or Stockbrokers? by Paul Gottfriedn”As long as virtue was dominant in the republie sonlong was the happiness of the people secure.”n—Robert E. LeenJohn Patrick Diggins: The Lost Soulnof American Politics; Basic Books;nNew York.nJohn P. Diggins raises various, oftennprofound, questions about thenmoral foundations of America as anpolitical society. Diggins is fond ofncalling attention to what he considersnthe underlying cultural tensions innAmerican history. He discusses, fornexample, the contradiction betweennthe 18th-eentury American stress onncommunity (which he regards as partnof the Puritan legacy) and the Lockeannindividualism evident in the Declarationnof Independence. He states emphaticallynthat the “rights” celebratednin the Declaration are Lockean naturalnrights. Moreover, the “life, liberty,nand pursuit of happiness” to which thenAmerican revolutionaries committednthemselves were seen as vested in thenindividual, not in any historic community.nHe insists that neither ThenFederalist nor the Constitution it wasnwritten to defend would indicate thatnAmericans were predominantly devoutnProtestant Christians. Although JosephnStory, Tocqueville, and othernobservers of early American life werenstruck by the pervasive piety of thenAmerican people, it is hard to infer thenpresence of popular piety from readingneither the Constitution or Madison’snremarks on religious fachons in ThenFederalist papers.nPaul Gottfried is author of ThenSearch for Historical Meaning: Hegelnand the American Right (NorthernnIllinois University Press).nnnjudges within proper bounds.” Nor hasnanyone found a way to stop gluttonsnfrom reaching for more.nJudge Posner, as much as Novak,nWhite, and Capaldi, is opposed to anpromiscuous reading of human rights.nWhat Richard Morgan calls the “rightsnindustry” has been leading the way,noffering an expansive exegesis of individualnliberty without a murmur ofnconcern for any attendant responsibilities.nTheir credo reads “When inndoubt, call it a right.” By attempting tonmaximize freedom, they have corruptednboth its meaning and usage. White,nCapaldi, Novak, and Posner havenprovided the guns we need to do battlenwith this industry. It is time to usenthem.nccnDiggins, who recognizes the gravitynof these questions, does not try tondiscuss them with jerry-built historicalnexplanations. While there may bentruth, for example, in the view of,namong others, Gordon Wood, that thenconstitutional convention occurrednduring a period of religious disenchantmentnbetween two great rivals,nDiggins recognizes that that cannot benthe entire explanation. The most importantnadvocates of the Constitutionnexpounded in their pamphlets a mechanisticnview of government. They defendednthe new Federal structure, bynshowing in what way it would keepnreligious and other interests balancednwhile allowing citizens to pursue theirnacquisitive impulse. Such argumentsnare neither classical-pagan nor Judeo-nChristian. They arose in the secular,nmaterialistic environment of the 18thcenturynEnlightenment. It is worthnnoting that the Constitution’s defendersntried to appeal to a religious peoplenthrough a politics of interest rathernthan morality. From the results, thenConstitution’s adoption, we may concludenthat the appeal of The Federalist’snauthors proved effective.nDiggins provides two general answersnto the questions about Americanncharacter that he raises. First, he recognizesnthat the contradictions at issuenhave been endemic to American lifenfor at least two centuries. Americansnhave tried to overcome them by stakingnout, in political discourse and inn