Culture Wars: The Struggle tonDefine Americanby James Davison HunternNew York: Basic Books;n416 pp., $25.00nThe De-Valuing of America:nThe Fight for Our Culture andnOur Childrennby William ]. BennettnNew York: Summit Books;n271 pp., $20.00nThe Disuniting of America:nReflections on anMulticultural Societynby Arthur M. Schlesinger, jr.nNew York: W.W. Norton;n160 pp., $14.95nWhile the state of American—innfact of Western—society todaynis probably unique in human history,nit is in some ways the inverse of the situationnthat prevailed at the end of thenRoman Empire, when the barbarians hadnRoman citizenship extended to themnwithout their ever becoming Romans,nand the early Church was already an unignorablenpresence within the majoritariannpagan culture. The differences betweennthat age and our own are that the neopaganismnof contemporary times is ansinister corruption of the original, andnthat the empire was destroyed not by thensubversive new religion of Christianity butnrather by the age-old forces with whichnit had contended for centuries. Such ofncourse may still be our civilization’snend—we could be overmn by barbariannhordes as Europe is overrun in jean Raspail’snnovel The Camp of the Saints, orndevastated by incoming warheads fromnKazakhstan (or both) —but it appearsnChilton Williamson, Jr. is senior editornfor books at Chronicles.n26/CHRONICLESnOPINIONSnThe Leaning Tower of Babelnby Chilton Williamson, Jr.n”Culture, with us, ends in headache.”n—R.W. Emersonnmore likely that the agency of our ruinnwill be progressivism, a religion as whollynwithout precedent as Christianity. Thenbarbarians and the missiles could follownlater.nAs was the Roman Empire, the UnitednStates is divided vertically by tribalismn(what we call “ethnicity”) andnnnhorizontally by belief, the modern antagonismnbetween what James DavisonnHunter calls “orthodoxy” and “progressivism”nsubstituting for the ancient enmitynbetween paganism and Christianity.nIn the case of the Roman Empire, however,nthe religious division was heavilynoverbalanced on the majoritarian side,nwhile in that of America the contest isnmuch more equal in influence, if not innnumbers. In the 1950’s, C.P. Snownadvanced the thesis of “two cultures,” anwidely accepted but finally implausiblentheory holding that Westem thought hadnsplit itself into two hermetically sealednworlds, the scientific and the humanistic.nIn Culture Wars: The Struggle tonDefine America, Professor Hunter arguesnthat the United States has developed ancultural bipolarity in which the opposednmagnetic forces emanate not from sciencenon the one side and humanism onnthe other, but from contradictory basesnof moral understanding that cut at annangle of 90 degrees across all previouslynestablished lines of agreement; so that an”progressive” Catholic today has more inncommon with a “progressive” Lutherannor agnostic than he has with an “orthodox”nmember of his own church, ann”orthodox” Jew more sympathy with ann”orthodox” Catholic than with his Liberalnor Reformed brethren.nAccording to Mr. Hunter’s interpretation,nthe countervailing parties to thencontemporary cultural debate are broadlynidentifiable as acolytes of one or thenother of two “wodd views,” or as manifestingn”impulses” toward such. “Orthodoxy,”nHunter defines as “the commitmentnon the part of adherents to an external,ndefinable, and transcendent authority”;n”progressivism,” as “the tendency tonresymbolize historic faiths according to thenprevailing assumptions of contemporarynlife.” Between the orthodox and progressivenparties, which have a reality superiornto that of the Republican and Democraticnparties, war is being waged ton