Keeping Up with Ourselves

“Keeping Up with Ourselves,” Yale Review, June 1960. (A review of The End of Ideology by Daniel Bell.)


There is no question that terribly important things have happened to America in recent decades; but “the end of ideology” is not one of them, and Mr. Bell’s title is in that respect a little misleading. The feverish urge for material improvement and technological innovation is as prevalent as it ever was; the need for easy explanations of the tangled, incomprehensible reality is as pressing. What has happened is that one particular form of ideology has collapsed. By the “end of ideology,” Mr. Bell appears to mean, above all, the collapse of the socialist ideal. And he is quite correct in the emphasis he puts upon this event.