power from limiting restraints in thenquest for social good. The authorsnspring heavy with good deeds.nIf the authors could somehow enlightenntheir redneck subjects, couldninfect them with enough social sciencensepticemia to cause them to throw offntheir Southernism — with its outmodednreligious and political values—ntheji society could be shoved towardn”meaningful structural change,” andnthe “masses might be persuaded tonwork for the common good —n[remember Ho, Mao, Idi, and Fidel?]nwhatever that is decided upon.” As itnis, however, the intellectual messiahsnfind their enlightened prescriptions defeatednby a “fantastic unrealisticnSouthern myth” with its “false con­nsciousness, a lack of social responsibility,nand . . . savage ideal likened tonthe ethos of Nazi Germany,” and annattendant “inexcusable failure to facenSouthern history and give up faultyntraditions either emotionally or intellectually.n”nIf they could, the authors wouldnmake displaced persons of the wholenhuman race. In a metastatieally Sandinistasizednuniverse, civilization andnprogress would be measured by homagento the intellectual priest-kings forntheir ministrations in the cause. Nonlonger would poor Southern rednecksnbe afflicted by the Zeitgeist of “a perniciousnlost cause [that] serves no worthynpurpose and keeps the South tied to andangerous mythology.”nThe Re-Possessed by Lee Congdonn”In the end I shall have to renounce optimism. “n—VoltairenThe Pied Piper: Alkrd K.nLowenstein and the Liberal Dreamnby Richard Cummings, New York:nGrove Press.nIn Defense of Liberal Democracy bynWalter Berns, Chicago: RegnerynGateway.nAmong other, more profoundnthings, Dostoevski’s antirevolutionarynnovel. The Possessed, is a witheringndissection of liberal intellectuals.nIn its pages, liberals parade as hostilenand irresponsible critics of a societynthat affords most of them a life ofncomfort and status. They are the “fathers”nof those nihilist sons who pursuednthe logic of liberalism to its ultimatenand destructive end. Horrified bynthe ruthless and cynical animal hisnrevolutionary son Peter has become,nStepan Verkhovenski, a parasitic butnhigh-minded liberal, cannot bringnhimself to repudiate the younger generation’snradical vision of a new Russianbecause “it’s our own idea—we werenLee Congdon is author of The YoungnLukacs (University of North CarolinanPress).nthe first to plant it, to nurture it.” Butnhe does complain to a friend aboutn”how it’s expressed! It is so incrediblyndistorted and twisted around! Youndon’t really imagine, do you, thatnthat’s what we were striving for? Whonwould ever recognize our original ideanin that?” It is a question that manynAmerican liberals recentiy had reasonnto ask themselves as many of theirndisciples made of the United States ancarnival of infantilism and violence.nPerhaps, some of them concluded,nDostoevski was right after all —nliberalism contains within it the seedsnof its own debasement and dissolution.nWhen they finally regained their voices,nthey spoke in the accents of neoconservatism.nMore than a decade has nowelapsednsince the “Movement” of then1960’s ceased to be prime-time news,nbut many of its partisans are continuingnthe struggle, now focused on thenquest for cultural “hegemony” andnprojected well into the future. Impatientnwith what they regard as a reactionaryndetour on the nation’s road tonrevolution, their contempt for theirnformer liberal mentors has begun tonmanifest pathological symptoms, witnessnRichard Cummings’ reckless at-nnnThe victory of Yankee Springfieldsnover Southern long rifles must notnobscure the more fundamental realitynthat the South did not surrender itsnculture at Appomattox. “Since [1865]nthe redneck has remained religiouslynorthodox and has defended America’snmost reactionary economic values andninstitutions.” That is one way of puttingnit. But in this context, “reactionary”nis a high compliment. Roebucknand Hickson are baffled that “the morenthe South appears to be changing thenmore it remains the same—that is, itsncentral core.” For Southerners, thencentral core remains nutrient livingnstone.ntack on Allard Lowenstein and, bynextension, on a brand of politics that,ndespite its limitations, was patriotic,nJULY 1986/31n