Reason and Its Enemies

Reason and Its Enemies

The Passing of the Modern Age, by John Lukacs. New York: Harper & Row. 222 pp.

The obsolescence of Western civilization¬†is now widely alleged, and the publication of John Lukacs’s book gives occasion for some reflection on this subject.

By “the passing of the modern age” Lukacs means the passing of the age of the bourgeoisie, whose dominance he sees as having expired some two decades ago with the triumph of technocratic and bureaucratic society in the West. The values of bourgeois civilization, according to Lukacs, started to take hold at the beginning of the 16th century, reached their culmination in the European haute bourgeoisie of the first half of the 19th century, and since the...