From the Editor

On this Easter weekend we have an abbreviated edition of the Harvard Square Commentary. It seems that several of our writers are off on travels and I am also away from home, visiting my brother in Annapolis.

Probably most of you are more disciplined than I am so you might not understand my failure of resolve when I'm away from my home support structures. I can't seem to read and write as steadily as I've told myself I'm going to do. All sorts of things pull me away: a grandson doing something so astounding it has to be observed, a new recipe to be sampled, a conversation about the neighbors up and down Annapolis streets. I have to confess: I don't concentrate as firmly as I should.

I drove here from Vermont on Thursday, May 13th. The highways were more clogged than I had ever before seen them. And as I looked out into the environs of the Garden State Parkway and the New Jersey Turnpike I couldn't help wondering if the rest of the world should take our advice and use us as the model for the global capitalist paradise we are intent on constructing. The question comes to me simply: is this the way all humans should live? Or, to put it in political terms -- Is this freedom? Is this democracy?

Our national leaders tell us it is. But I'm in the mood to question them more closely about it than we've been in the habit of doing over the past decades. Worship of self and one's own national ways may not be the perfect avenue to bliss, I thought, as a cloud of acrid gas drifted across the Jersey Turnpike, obscuring the vision of drivers rocketing to somewhere at ninety miles an hour.

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