This lack of unifying principles goes so deep that even in political life, which by definition is made up of disciplined groups, the dissolution of those extended families formed by the urge to associate, by traditional affinities or by more or less persuasive ideals can clearly be seen. Moreover it seems there has also been a decline in fanaticism, which used to bind together huge masses of people, imposing a uniformity of feelings, behaviour and even physical appearance and thus creating generic types easily adopted by Art, which relied on them for many years. This fragmentation of political life is the most recent example of that fearsome call to 'Break ranks!' which is to be heard from one end of the social army to the other, like a cry of desperation before the rout. It could be said that society has reached a point at which it finds itself surrounded by high cliffs that block the way forward. Cracks are appearing in these harsh and fearful crags, opening up paths or escape routes which may lead us to open ground. But we tireless travellers were counting on some supernatural voice to tell us from on high: this is the way, this and no other. This supernatural voice has not yet made itself heard, and our men of learning are caught up in endless arguments as to which cleft or passageway could or should get us out of this boggy hole in which we are sinking and choking. [...]

We can also see in this bewildered multitude, which invents a thousand distractions to hide its gloom, the disintegration of those historic social classes which had retained their internal organization intact until almost our own day. The populace and the aristocracy are losing their traditional characteristics, the latter due to the dispersal of wealth, the former because of advances in education; there is only a little way to go before these two basic classes lose their distinguishing features entirely. The so-called middle class, which as yet does not have a welldefined existence, is still a shapeless mass of individuals who have come from either above or below; the product, one might say, of the falling apart of both extremes: of the plebeian family which is on the make, and the aristocratic family which is in decline. The deserters from both ends of the social spectrum have set themselves up in this intermediate zone characterized by education, officialdom, business (which is nothing more than enlightened greed), and political and civic life. This huge characterless mass, which is busy absorbing and dominating the whole of existence, subjecting it to an endless stream of regulations, legislating frantically on everything under the sun, including spiritual matters which ought to be the prerogative of the soul, will undoubtedly end up swallowing the splintered remains of the top and bottom classes, which are the fount of elemental emotions. When this happens, a ferment will grip the heart of this chaotic mass throwing up social formations beyond

our present imaginings, vigorous groupings we are prevented from defining by the confusion and bewilderment in which we live.