Blaming the administration or Democratic legislators for the stock market crash is like blaming the 7 o'clock news for nightfall. The stock market is fundamentally a psychological barometer, and when it has gone through the same kind of wild fluctuations in the past, it has signified epochal divisions of time. In 1929 it presaged the rise of the Nazi movement and the polarization of Eastern Europe between Marxism and Fascism; in 1946 it signified the economic uncertainty of postwar Europe and the onslaught of the Cold War; and in 1962 it marked the disintegration of consensus among the Allies and the crisis of confidence of the Vietnam period.

The Reagan administration is a conservative reaction to the chaos and disorder of the last period, the Sixties, an integral part of that single epoch.

That period ended Monday, Oct. 19, and with it the Reagan Revolution went bust and the so-called New Age became old age. Only a clairvoyant could see through the glass darkly into the new epoch that is just upon us, but if the trade bill that recently passed in Congress is any indication of our collective fears and anxieties, some of the pivotal players will be Asian.