Essays written four to five years ago by seven academic social critics. They have an even staler taste than most reprints or book excerpts. The themes: social engineering could bring ""cultural lag"" into sync with technological change; today's youth may be on to something; problems of plenty have become unmanageable; and crime isn't so deviant after all. Philip Hauser wants a Council of Social Advisors to straighten things out, while the ""Consciousness III"" part of Greening of America by Charles Reich says togetherness and the drug culture can do it, echoed by Theodore Roszak's affirmation of ""healthy instincts."" Philip Slater, leaning toward the harder end of the Big Brother spectrum, concludes that ""individualism"" ""must be reassessed."" Richard Quinney as anchor man asks who is to say what crime is. After all, he adds, humorlessly quoting a joke of Marx', crime gives locksmiths jobs. All in all an anti-establishment polemic against straightness by some top academic establishmentarians, who helped the issues ""emerge"" in the '70's in a way that now is taken for granted.