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VOLUME IX, NO. 40 OCTOBER 3, 1956 SCIENCE AND AUTHORITY WE have a criticism of "Arguments for Freedom" (MANAS for Aug. 29) which poses anew the issue of sovereignty between science and philosophy. Since we can think of no more important subject for discussion, we shall quote key passages from this letter, adding comment to make the problems involved as clear as we can. It will probably be helpful for readers to look over "Arguments for Freedom," but the present discussion may be general enough to be considered independently. There is in the article [our critic begins] a failure to grant to the scientific approach the successorship to mysticism and metaphysics. The article condemns the latter two ways to knowledge as insufficient, and instead of suggesting that the scientific approach is perhaps our best one now, it leaves me with the feeling that you think there is some magic in each individual that assures correct knowledge. Moreover, it seems to say that the scientific way of getting knowledge is of no avail for human problems, . . . and to deny the applicability of the scientific method in finding the good, so far as it is a human rather than a material good. We did indeed refuse to grant to the scientific approach the successorship to mysticism and metaphysics. To justify this refusal, we need to examine what is meant by the scientific approach. This question is of such importance that we ought to give it considerable space. The classical claim of science to succeed to the authority once enjoyed by mysticism and metaphysics is stated by Karl Pearson in his introductory chapter to The Grammar of Science. Readers interested in the full implications of this claim should refer to Pearson, who is rigorous, lucid, and persuasive. Meanwhile, some of Pearson's definitions should be helpful, here: The classification of facts and the formation of absolute judgments—judgments independent of the idiosyncrasies of the individual mind—essentially sum up the aim and method of modern science. The scientific man has above all things to strive at selfelimination in his judgments, to provide an argument which is as true for each individual mind as for his own. The classification of facts, the recognition of their sequence and relative significance is the function of science, and the habit of forming a judgment upon these facts unbiased by personal feeling is characteristic of what may be termed the scientific frame of mind. The scientific method of examining facts is not peculiar to one class of phenomena and to one class of workers; it is applicable to social as well as physical problems, and we must carefully guard ourselves against supposing that the scientific frame of mind is a peculiarity of the professional scientist. . . . Good science will always be intelligible to the logically trained mind, if that mind can read and translate the language in which science is written. The scientific method is one and the same in all branches, and that method is the method of all logically trained minds. . . . The reader must be careful to note that I am only praising the scientific habit of mind, and suggesting one of several methods by which it may be cultivated. No assertion has been made that the man of science is necessarily a good citizen, or that his judgment upon social or political questions will certainly be of weight. It by no means follows that, because a man has won a name for himself in the field of natural science, his judgments on such problems as Socialism, Home Rule, or Biblical Criticism will necessarily be sound. They will be sound or not according as he has carried out his scientific method into these fields. He must properly have classified and appreciated his facts, and have been guided by them, and not by personal feeling or class bias in his judgments. . . . The scientific habit of mind is one which may be acquired by all, and the readiest means of attaining it ought to be placed within the reach of all. . . . The true aim of the teacher must be to impart an appreciation of method and not a knowledge of facts. . . . Personally I have no recollection of at least 90 per cent of the facts that were taught me at school, but the notions of method which I derived from my instructor in Greek grammar (the contents of which I have long since MANAS Reprint - LEAD ARTICLE 2 forgotten) remain in my mind as the really valuable part of my school equipment for life. By this time the reader may be wondering what can possibly be wrong with the "scientific approach," in the light of this expert testimony as to its character. What we should like to point out is the difference between the common notion of the scientific approach and the ideal conception of scientific method. Read carefully, Pearson is saying that science is represented by the operations of the logically trained mind, used without bias, and that this is possible for all men, whether professional scientists or not. Now if this is the essence of science, then we should agree that science is indeed a tool for the discovery of any sort of knowledge, and that the scientific method is applicable at every level of human perception. But then we should say also that science is a tool for study of the material world, a tool in the study of metaphysics, and an instrument of review and comparison in the field of mystical inquiry. Science, in short, is a self-conscious and impartial attitude toward all forms of knowing. It is an attitude toward the data of experience. The senses present one sort of data; the intellect presents another sort; and mystical or intuitive perception presents still another. Science may be used in all three regions of experience. As Pearson says, "The unity of all science consists alone in its method, not in its material.." The trouble with the claim that "the scientific approach" is entitled to be the successor to metaphysics and mysticism lies in certain tacit assumptions. These are (1) that the area of sense experience, plus the findings of statistical techniques, and all the data, however obtained, which can somehow be converted into "objective" material for examination, are the only proper data for true science; (2) the metaphysics is not and cannot be a legitimate source of data for "scientific" conclusions; and (3) that mysticism can produce no findings of independent validity unless they can be given some kind of "objective" Volume IX, No. 40 form such that they can be processed and turned into "public truths" by the more familiar forms of the scientific method. In other words, the claim for the succession to authority of the scientific approach includes a claim to the right to insist that there is no significant "reality" which cannot be produced in some objective form. Against this claim, we assert the possibility that the highest order of truths or values is the least susceptible to objectivization. It is not necessary to prove this possibility to be an actuality in order to challenge the succession of scientific authority to metaphysics and mysticism. It is necessary only to show that the possibility exists. There is nothing difficult in showing this possibility. Actually, the body of facts referred to as the "store" of scientific knowledge is made up of facts which the consensus of learned or scientific opinion admits to be facts. Many of these facts are wholly unknown to the great majority of the population. Then, over and above what might be called the conventional level of scientific learning are other facts, existing in the minds of scientific pioneers, but not yet admitted to the body of admitted knowledge. They are scientific facts in genesis. The point, here, is that the existence of a scientific fact is dependent upon its being able to enter the region of acceptability, and its entry there is governed by the perceptive faculties of scientists, taken as a general class. As scientists improve their techniques and their instrumentation, more facts, and more complicated facts, accumulate. It is the claim of the Positivist that facts are wholly defined by the instruments of their perception—that they are, in truth, a record of the activities of those instruments. Change the instruments, and you change the facts. Some may say that a change in the MANAS Reprint October 3, 1956 3 instruments does not change the facts, but only their appearance. But when, in science, do you get behind "appearances" and penetrate to the "real" object behind appearances? If you so much as hint that there can be a "real" object behind appearances, you are a metaphysician, and no longer a scientist in the conventional sense. But suppose you suddenly add a great new instrument to your tools of investigation. This amounts to a revolution in scientific knowledge, and it may come at any time. On the other hand, suppose there are possibilities of a higher psychological instrumentation in every human being. Clairvoyance, for example. Science may study clairvoyance as a sort of "objective" phenomenon in human experience, but this is different from seeing with clairvoyant vision. Taking a picture of a ball game is not playing ball. If clairvoyance is a genuine possibility, then an entirely different order of experience is potential for human beings, involving a new class of assumptions as to the "reality" inherent in that order. Dr. Rhine at Duke University has not been studying clairvoyance all these years; he has been recording the external signs of clairvoyant behavior and proving that something called clairvoyant perception takes place. This is not the scientific method applied to clairvoyance. The scientific method applied to clairvoyance would be the discipline of clear-seeing in whatever continuum of perception it is that clairvoyants perceive in. The studies of extrasensory perception are to clairvoyance what endeavors to prove that a man has legs would be to running a race. Then there are the phenomena of ethical genius—the moral order of perception. Here is still another continuum with attributes that are intimated in the works of great religious teachers. Why should we demand that their vision be "objectified" in terms that can be processed by a science accustomed only to dealing with a very different—or lower—order of reality? Volume IX, No. 40 Conceivably, this is like asking Einstein to explain his theories according to the relational resources of an abacus. The obvious retort to all this is that such views may be all very well for a world populated by people with second sight, or by those who commune daily with the infinite; but we who are just ordinary folk with five senses to get along with require a science we can rely on. We want to know, not be told by experts who say they can see over our heads. But this is only a way of saying that the truth—even scientific truth—is decided by the perceptive capacity of the majority—by vote, in a sense. If Galileo had had an inner telescope, and saw the spots on the sun with it, should he have been ostracized from the scientific fraternity because he couldn't manufacture a similar instrument for others? Clairvoyants, of course, see differently, which complicates the problem, but we are speaking of possibilities, not certainties. We are suggesting, further, that the most important things to see in life are the hardest to see. Spinoza said it before us, and Jesus said it before him. If you make a study of the men who have seen things of importance, you are likely to give this idea some scientific status, since, so far as we can see, it is plainly the lesson of experience. To return to our critic: "Arguments for Freedom," he says, condemns mysticism and metaphysics as insufficient ways to knowledge. It is puzzling that this reader should find what we said about metaphysics and mysticism a "condemnation." What we said was certainly not intended as a condemnation, but rather as an analysis to show the difference between metaphysics and knowledge, and between mystical communications and knowledge. "Metaphysics," we said, "attempts a logical blueprint of transcendental reality," while the mystic "seeks in symbolism the parallels of inner experience." MANAS Reprint October 3, 1956 4 What we tried to show was the hazard in mistaking metaphysical theories, doctrines, or constructions for the actual truth. We doubt, in short, if the highest truths, which metaphysics attempts to "outline," can be verbalized at all. A familiar metaphysical proposition is that there is an ultimate ground of unity behind and within everything that exists. This is a proposition about the nature of things. But knowledge of that unity, for a human being, would have to be a state of feeling in which the identity of the individual becomes coextensive with the totality of being. The sense of unity would then be as unmistakable as the love a mother feels for her child. But a person who possessed this knowledge could communicate it only in abstract metaphysical terms, or in the symbolism of mysticism. He could not make another know it, too. Further, there are endless sources of selfdeception in both metaphysics and mysticism. Intellectual constructions can capture the mind simply by logical symmetry and beautiful wholeness. Human beings are vulnerable to oversimplifying doctrines offering unity of explanation. The feelings involved in mystical or religious experience, on the other hand, are also sources of illusion. Sentimentality often masquerades as "deep" mystical truth. The subrational, in other words, can be mistaken for the superrational. In short, there is no infallible tool, no certain formula for getting knowledge. But both metaphysics and mysticism are avenues of perception. One more point in our correspondent's letter needs attention. He writes: It seems to me that it is a mistake to reserve to the individual the way to knowledge. It has to be a social product. The whole history of human knowledge points to the impotence of the individual to think without the interaction of his fellow men, and he can never rise much above them. Even Aristotle couldn't make a Ford or Plato a TV set, something Volume IX, No. 40 which very ordinary men know how to do today. The cultural basis for intellectual and conscious experience is indubitable. . . . Science does offer a new and better way of arriving at doctrines of value, a way that is essentially social, and essentially valid because of its social character and communicability. And the reflections of the isolated individual will end with the mortality of his flesh unless he finds some similarly effective way to state them for all other individuals. Well, we are bound to admit that the Ford car is a great thing; and will confess abstractly that TV is an "achievement" of some sort, despite a certain horror of its typical phenomena. But we shall not concede this to be an argument for the authority of science until we find more Aristotles driving Fords or Platos appearing on TV as a result. But ours is not an advocacy of "isolated individuals" pursuing solitary courses of "selfdevelopment." The discovery of knowledge may be an individual matter, but it occurs in the midst of social processes and from the endless crossfertilizations of mind which are inescapable for an alert and inquiring intelligence. The wonder of the human being, it seems to us, is that he discovers his universality by his own unique means; and that the discovery is only second-hand, or mere hear-say, and not a discovery at all, if it comes to him in any other way. This is surely the secret of the arts, of their profound influence upon human beings. The artist declares something universal, but he does it in a way that has never been done before. Why are we bored with "copies"? A copy lacks the living truth of individual discovery or creation. If there were a way to state a final truth "in terms valid for all other individuals," we should have a poem to end all poems, and music which would forever silence other music-makers. But this, we know, is impossible, even if we cannot wholly explain it. In every moment of time, the universe changes a bit, our perceptive faculties alter, and the truth of the ages undergoes a delicate modification to become also the truth of MANAS Reprint October 3, 1956 5 the moment. And to the differentiations of time must be added the differentiations of individuals, each living in his private time-scale of development, perception, and imaginative response. Hence the ever-fresh truths of the arts, of literature, and all forms of human expression and representation. Only the completely abstract truths are free of this rule, and the completely abstract truths are either unspeakable or wholly neutral, as with mathematics. There is, as we see it, "some magic in each individual," but this does not "assure" correct knowledge; it only makes knowledge possible. There are rules for getting knowledge, however, which do not change. These are the eternal verities. A man must want knowledge. And he must want it with such determination that he is willing to be impartial in searching for it. If this is the scientific method, then there is nothing greater in the world, for it is the means to everything else. By reverse definition, it is also the Kingdom of Heaven, since, possessing it, all things will be added unto you. Volume IX, No. 40 MANAS Reprint October 3, 1956 6 the personal side of their lives or in the health of their families. REVIEW INDIANS IN CALIFORNIA A COURSE of reading in the history of the Indians of California—their history since the advent of the white man—is a bitter undertaking, for when you have finished, you feel tragically impotent in the face of a record of cruel injustice and outright extermination which lasts from preColumbian times until the present. Estimates of the original Indian population in California vary from 130,00 to 150,000 or more. In any event, the density of the California Indian population was at one time three or four times that of the North American continent as a whole. But "by 1890," it is stated in Indians of California, an American Friends Service Committee pamphlet, "there were only 17,000 California Indians alive; many of these were of mixed blood." The pamphlet tells the story of the decimation of the more than a hundred tribes which once lived in the mountainous, desert, and coastal areas of California. After California had become a state, the years from 1850 to 1860 were spent in placing the Indians on reservations. According to Dr. A. L. Kroeber: "The first reservations established by Federal officers were little else than bull pens. They were founded on the principle, not of attempting to do something for the native, but of getting him out of the white man's way as cheaply and hurriedly as possible." The Indians, in short, were hidden and forgotten. Even the histories of the state say little or nothing about California Indians after 1860. Some Indians survived by becoming agricultural workers for the California farmers, but their situation was such in 1925 that a State Department of Health doctor declared: Indians are now living a hand-to-mouth existence (a) in houses not fit to live in, (b) upon land that is useless, and (c) without water; . . . They are not receiving any education worthy of the name. . . . A great deal of sickness exists among them, and they are receiving absolutely no care. They are not receiving any advice, assistance or encouragement in their business dealings with the outside world or in Volume IX, No. 40 There have of course been efforts to help the Indians. Benevolent groups have sought to bring them some token justice for the wrongs they have suffered. In 1944, Earl Warren, then the state Attorney General, won a decision awarding $17,000,000 to the California Indians to recompense them for the loss of lands promised to them in unratified treaties of nearly a century before. This judgment resulted in a per capita payment of $150 to the Indians on the rolls of the Government. Similar actions are now under way to gain them further payments for lands they have lost. Some light is thrown on this litigation by the Quaker pamphlet: Disagreements among factions of Indians are still deep over the claims case. Because of these splits some Indians cannot sit down together to discuss other problems of their reservation. Congressmen and Government officials are confused as they ask: "Who really represents the Indians?" The average Indian would probably reply that this is an impossible question to answer because in most instances, no one represents him but himself. But it is sometimes difficult for him to be heard above the voices of his "spokesmen." A young Indian said recently, "It will be good when we win this claims case once and for all. Then we won't be looking back all the time and thinking about getting money from the Government. We'll think about right now and tomorrow. We'll get to work on these other things." One can easily understand the desire of the administrators of the Indian Bureau to be relieved of the difficult and sometimes almost intolerable problems of having to deal with Indians in tribal groups. The relations of individual citizens to the United States are clear enough, and the idea of terminating the existence of the Indians as tribes has a natural appeal. In 1937, Roy Nash, then Superintendent of the Sacramento office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, said in a report: Wardship and full manhood stature do not go together. Every tribal vestige has disappeared in this jurisdiction. White blood is diluting the Indian, white ideas dominate his every thought, he drives a car, he MANAS Reprint October 3, 1956 7 speaks English, he is educated in the public schools of the state, he votes. I, for one, have sufficient faith in the California Indian to believe that, being put on his own responsibility (with continued guardianship only of real property), he will within a decade take his place as an average citizen of a state whose civilization and social institutions are far above the American average. My program is definitely to liquidate the United States Indian Service in California within ten years. Other superintendents have made similar statements. Critics of this solution reply that there should be no thought of termination of Federal responsibility to the Indians until the Government has fulfilled its historic obligations to the tribes. Termination, the critics maintain, should be individual, voluntary, and not hastened by Federal action. The writer of Indians of California summarizes the views of these critics: They point out that Indians are now citizens and can "emancipate" themselves, as many do, by leaving the reservation of their own free will. According to these organizations, the real issue is not the question of assimilation—that is having Indians learn nonIndian ways—but rather it is the problem of aiding Indians to develop their reservation lands themselves. Attempts to break reservations into individual allotments are opposed on grounds that tribes have always held their lands in common, not too far from modern corporation arrangements, and that they should be allowed to continue to do so if that is their choice. Some argue further that treaties are legal contracts which cannot be broken without the consent of both parties involved, yet the Federal Government has failed to honor the principle of consent several times in recent years. Arguments over the policy and administration of Indian affairs are complex and often leave outsiders confused although wanting to be of help in some way. [A list of titles for supplementary reading is included at the back of the AFSC pamphlet.] What has happened is the ruthless destruction of the native culture of the Indian tribes of California, with no provision, until recently, for the adaptation of the Indians to any other pattern of life. The Indians were rejected by the whites, excluded from educational opportunity, and made to feel that they were an "inferior" race. They Volume IX, No. 40 have been victims of the white man's superior weapons, objects of his contempt, and have succumbed by the thousand to his diseases. Their story is a monotone of agony and hopelessness. It is likely to occur to the reader of the history of the California Indians that a point is reached when the recital of injustice finds a saturation point, when the desire to right wrongs begins to be replaced by a feeling of futility. In fact, one can easily imagine a compilation of similar injustices in other parts of the United States, involving other tribes, and the Negroes of the South, and still other minority groups, until the weight of guilt becomes so heavy that it can no longer be borne. Add to this the vast catalog of suffering elsewhere in the world—suffering caused by man's inhumanity to man, and by the dark harvest of the indifference of the powerful— and one begins to feel that these are not "Indian" problems, nor "Negro" problems, but human problems. Since there have been printing presses, the ledgers of man-caused misery have grown into massive libraries of shame. From the struggle of a few to gain justice for the many have arisen waves of reforming emotion which beat upon the rocks of apathy and human preoccupation. Sometimes a little of the rocks is worn away. Sometimes, when circumstances help, changes are wrought. But usually, when help comes, it comes through the passage of time and a general alteration in human attitudes. An anthropologist who had studied the Indians of Ukiah, a Northern California town, wrote in 1932: The Indians were allowed only in the balcony of the movie house, were served only in one restaurant, that owned by a Chinese, but a short time previously had won a case in court to have their children attend the same schools as white children. They were agricultural workers who were paid on the basis of piece work. They had poor work habits. Both sexes and all ages participated with little expectation of ever receiving a high status. They received no appreciable rewards. There was no greater participation to be looked forward to. The majority of Indians were distinct in dress and action when in MANAS Reprint October 3, 1956 8 town, wearing a type of early frontier dress. Infants were carried in baskets on their mother's backs. Then, twelve years later, he wrote of the same Indians: It is almost impossible to differentiate the Indian from the white in town except that more whites have fair skins than Indians. Many of their houses are freshly painted, some have lawns. Many have washing machines, oil furnaces, and radios. The women have "permanents," wear slacks, and wheel their babies in baby carriages, while the men wear sports coats and slacks. A large proportion of the old Indians have died off. The majority of the young Indians have gone to school, many of them have graduated from high school, and some are attending college. A few have positions in town, something unheard of during our first visit. Every Indian in the community has increased his social mobility tremendously. The Indian who has not been to San Francisco, Sacramento, and even more distant places, is the exception. A large number of the women worked in the shipyards and other war industries along with the men who did not get into uniform. To this, the writer of the AFSC pamphlet adds: Younger Indians usually do not share the feelings of resignation nor the anger of their grandparents and parents, especially those who have served in the Armed Forces. They have less concern about past injustices and less of a burning desire for a financial settlement from the Government. Children in the public schools meet much less prejudice from teachers and other children than did their parents. Younger Indians are becoming better equipped to get along, as is demonstrated by the wide range of jobs they hold, and by their increasing participation in community organizations such as P.T.A. and veterans' groups. Not all California Indians have enjoyed the same pattern of development as the Ukiah Indians. Generally, California Indians are extremely poor. Most of them work as itinerant laborers on the farms, returning to their reservations or land allotments during the winter. Few, actually, complete their education. Some Indian children stay home from school because their parents are too poor to provide them with suitable clothing. Heavy drinking is common among some groups of Volume IX, No. 40 Indians. There is also much juvenile delinquency, and many broken and deserted families, among the Indians of certain counties in California. One thing is plain from this pamphlet: No one should suppose, simply because the complex social maladjustments it describes concern "Indians," that there is any real unity to the "Indian problem." Nor will there be any value to the Indians in a sweeping decision involving a single policy. About the only assumption that seems suitable is that the Indians have suffered extreme deprivation from the brutish face white culture has turned toward them, and that many years of reversal in policy are needed to heal the wounds in the present Indian population. There is no possibility of righting the wrongs against the Indians: they are too great, and those most grievously wronged have died without hope. Probably the most important thing that an individual can do is to gain some personal contact with Indians who have need of help. Intimate knowledge of a particular situation is often a better instructor in the general situation than much reading pursued without such experience. The Indians deserve more of us than to be regarded as a depersonalized "problem." In fact, it is impossible to give real help to people who are regarded as essentially "problems," since the idea of the "problem" tends to black out the constant human elements which are always present. To seek out any group because its members need help brings an initial distortion in human relations which is probably impossible to overcome entirely. But this should not prevent us from doing what we can. And to be as aware as we can of the difficulties in helping is probably the way to make what help we offer as effective as it can be. MANAS Reprint October 3, 1956 9 COMMENTARY HISTORY IN SHADOW THERE are probably dozens of good books on the socialist movement, but we should like to suggest, once again, the books which seem to us to contribute an understanding of the altruistic and humanitarian urge which animated the great revolutionists of the past hundred years. First, one might read Edmund Wilson's classic, To the Finland Station, available in an Anchor edition. This gives insight into the origins of the European movement. For the American contribution to political radicalism, Arthur E. Morgan's life of Edward Bellamy (Columbia University Press) is a rich study of a great man who sought social revolution without the animus of the Class Struggle. Irving Stone's Adversary in the House is a fictionized version of the life of Eugene Debs, the great American Socialist. For background material covering the period of the rise of American socialism, Lincoln Steffens' Autobiography, Oscar Ameringer's It's a Great Life if You Don't Weaken, Louis Adamic's Dynamite, and Irving Stone's Clarence Darrow for the Defense are excellent. Then, as a climactic study and critique of Marxism, to bring the subject up to date, we recommend Dwight Macdonald's The Root Is Man. Way ($4.00), is a logical addition to the above list, for Shipley might easily stand as a symbol of the integrity and unflagging commitment of great American socialists. His career as a popularizer of science, as a socialist colleague of Debs, and as a brilliant opponent of the death penalty, makes a colorful story of a man who would not be downed by misfortune. If the United States ever becomes a civilized land, the qualities represented in men like Shipley will be largely responsible. This is not a blanket endorsement of their ideas, but a recognition of and a tribute to their motives. A special vote of thanks is owing to the Antioch Press for publishing this book. The occasion for these suggestions is twofold. This week's Frontiers article brings awareness of how quickly may be forgotten the self-sacrificing struggles and noble dreams of the great socialists of the past. The children who are growing up these days are being denied the rich lore of the revolutionary movement and its splendid tradition of human solidarity and man's love of man. The stupid fear of the word "socialism" is causing an impoverishment of American history. Then, we have received for review, from the Antioch Press of Yellow Springs, Ohio, a life of Maynard Shipley, written by his widow, Miriam Allen DeFord. This book, entitled Up-Hill All the Volume IX, No. 40 MANAS Reprint October 3, 1956 10 CHILDREN and Ourselves NOTES IN PASSING Editors: We wish to educate our own children at home—for religious and philosophic reasons, such as aversion to standardized regulation by the State. Do you know of any state in the U.S., or any other country, where there is true "freedom of education"— where home teaching is permitted, without any strings attached, such as local school board approval of the program, teacher certification of the parents, etc? Any information on this, or perhaps where we can get it, or the names of some families who are successfully doing this, will be appreciated. This is really an odd question to ask you, but in your contacts with subscribers and contributors you might have more information than we have. No, we know of no locality in the United States where a complete laissez faire educational policy prevails. Nothing short of concealing the existence of one's children from school authorities—and moving frequently to different school districts—seems to hold any hope for those who feel as our correspondents do. And it would take an unshakeable conviction to make such a program seem worthwhile. When a country prides itself on literacy, one is bound to encounter legislation designed to assure every child the tools of communication; further, since school authorities have in the past encountered irresponsible parents, little official sympathy is apt to be extended to the parent who wants "no strings attached" to a system of home education. Even Gandhi, exponent and exemplar of noninterference, pressed for compulsory education in India—though he undoubtedly would have favored a trusting and obliging way of meeting the wishes of parents who had principled reasons for teaching their children. Perhaps MANAS readers will have suggestions for this family, or be interested in describing the manner in which they have managed a fairly satisfactory compromise. Volume IX, No. 40 Our own opinion would be that parents who object strongly to nationalistic ritual can serve the community by protesting the addition of "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance, the claim that God "approves" of the foreign policy of the United States, and that all proper-thinking people should hold the same political views. When Robert Lindner advised parents to teach children to be "rebels," he may not have had these things in mind, but it is certain that children should have home instruction and discussion on these subjects, besides "learning what all the others learn." Perhaps isolation, really, is not as useful as the creation of an atmosphere of questioning for the child. He presently lives in a world of extensive legal regulations, and this world of wellmeaning standardization needs to be understood as well as opposed. * * * Another correspondent renews the question of divorce versus continued marriage of incompatible partners—as both severance and continuance may affect the emotional constitution of children. This question, of course, cannot be answered except by the persons involved. Marriages continued despite severe personal distaste may work a greater damage upon children than would divorce, and there is no doubt that some marital partners have learned enough of these difficulties to make a wise decision. The presence of love and personal happiness in the home, as manifested by parents, is one of the greatest gifts a child can have. Sensing this love and trust, he will know what to look for as he grows and tend to avoid unsatisfactory alliances. He will not be prone to cynical experimentation in sexual affairs, nor will he take perverse delight in vulgarity—for no one who knows beauty is attracted to ugliness. But when a marriage has become emotionally ugly, the effect upon the child is, naturally, exactly opposite. Therefore divorce becomes a serious consideration even for the sensitive parent who places the welfare of his child first. As we have often before remarked, a MANAS Reprint October 3, 1956 11 "successful" divorce is a rare but wonderful thing. Parents who cannot live successfully together may yet, conceivably, care enough for their children to become intelligently cooperative once the pretense of personal affinity has been dropped. Say what one will about the "need" for the child to live daily with two parents, the fact remains that a child who sees parents separately, but sees them at their best instead of their worst, will be a happier child. "Love flourishes best in an atmosphere of freedom," as our correspondent affirms, and the compulsive bondage to pretense leaves neither parent "free" to express his full potentiality of love for the child. It seems rather too bad that only a few sociologists and unhappily married couples concern themselves seriously with the philosophy and psychology of divorce, for in a mobile society, given to flux in respect to all conventions, divorce becomes a possibility for anyone. Large numbers of books are written on the psychology of marriage and apparently are avidly devoured by the public—but it is the termination of a marriage about which so many need educational enlightenment. It is natural to wish that a divorce be accomplished as quietly as possible, but there is enough weight of disapproval against separation, carried over from past tradition, to increase the tensions and lead to public recrimination—simply because each feels he or she must blame the other for a serious "failure." But the real failure is never in the divorce itself, but in the way the divorce is handled and regarded—both during and after the unfortunately necessary court proceedings. And it is the "after-divorce" attitude which has most to do with the emotional disturbance of the children. If they, too, feel that their parents are failures, leaving them a heritage of stigma, or if a factional attitude is developed which favors one parent above the other, these children truly become victims of a "broken home." But the children whose parents have concluded a "successful divorce" are not apt to feel that anything has been "broken." Relationships with both parents can remain harmonious, and the divorced parents Volume IX, No. 40 themselves can gain happiness from knowing that the direct ties with the children are leading in constructive directions. Margaret Mead speaks well to all these points in her Male and Female, particularly the chapter, "Can Marriage be for Life?" A few extracts: In a pattern for marriage which accepts the fact that marriage may be for life, but also may not be, it is possible to set to work to find ways of establishing that permanence which is most congruent with bringing up children, . . . One of the particular characteristics of a changing society is the possibility of deferred maturity, of later and later shifts in the lives of the most complex, the most flexible individuals a world in which people may reorient their whole lives at forty or fifty is a world in which marriage for life becomes much more difficult. Each spouse is given the right to and the means for growth. Either may discover a hidden talent and begin to develop it, or repudiate a paralyzing neurotic trend and begin anew. Ever since women have been educated, marriages have been endangered by the possible development or failure to develop of both husbands and wives. "He outgrew her," or less common but with increasing frequency, "She outgrew him." In a society where mobility is enjoined on every citizen and each man should die a long distance from the class he comes from—or devote his life to preventing downward movement, the only recourse left to the upper class—the danger that spouses will get out of step is very great. To all the other exorbitant requirements for a perfect mate, chosen from all the world yet in all things like the self, or complementary on a trivial basis, must be added "capacity to grow." If such responsible new patterns are to develop, then it is crucial that in theory, and in practice, the fact that divorce may come to any marriage—except where the religion of both partners forbids it—must be faced. The stigma of failure and of sin must be removed, the indignities of divorce laws that demand either accusation or collusion must be done away with. Social practices must be developed so that the end of a marriage is announced, soberly, responsibly, just as the beginning of a marriage is published to the world. This means a sort of coming-to-terms with sorrow that Americans have been finding difficult to practice in regard to death as well as divorce. MANAS Reprint October 3, 1956 12 FRONTIERS Oh, Where Have the Socialists Gone? IT depends, of course, on what sort of socialism you are talking about, there being at least three distinct varieties. The Marxian Socialists have always placed emphasis on political organization, believing that it is possible to achieve eventually an equitable distribution of goods by gaining the power to usurp controlling "Capitalist" interests. Another sort of Socialist—a comparatively recent phenomenon—never defines his desire for governmental control and social welfare legislation by reference to the word socialism at all. Nevertheless, as Democrat—or even in some strange instances, as Republican—he supports legislation which subjects private enterprise to virtual government supervision. Where these two kinds of Socialists happen to be going is not our present business, for we are interested in a third variety—the idealist humanitarians whose "socialism" is chiefly a Gospel of Brotherhood set forth in epic economic and political terms. The International Labor Party of Great Britain, sire to the sprawling BLB and not particularly proud of its offspring, included a great number of men of this sort. Determined opponents of communist tactics, patient and courageous fighters against the rise of Fascism in every country, men like Fenner Brockway have given the word "Socialism" a certain sanctity. In Brockway's scarce but inspiring book, Inside the Left, he follows a discussion of the ILP's opposition to Hitler's rise to power with some reflections upon what socialism meant to him: I saw that conduct depends in the last resort on where one's inner loyalty lies. That loyalty can be given to an ideal or to a human group or to both. The socialist ideal expresses fraternity, service, mutual trust, truthfulness, liberty, respect for personality. The true Socialist strives to live according to this social code, and everything within the present system which prevents him doing so serves only to stimulate him to devote his energies to Volume IX, No. 40 the cause of Socialism. One thought remains in my mind from all the thousands of forgotten words which I read during my twenty-eight months in prison. Plato wrote in his "Republic" that the man who really sees a vision of a better world becomes at that moment a citizen of that world. The inner loyalty of a man whose personality has been captured by the ideal of Socialism influences him to live honestly and fraternally towards others. Socialists who are true to their ideal, will be honest, disinterested, generous-spirited. Leaders worthy of the name will be so much citizens of the socialist world that they will feel alien to the values of the capitalist world. They will be indifferent to wealth, they will not be tempted by careerism. Few leaders have attained this standard, but the lives of those who have are among the inspirations of the movement. And everyone who has experience of the working-class struggle of this and other countries has met many men and women, generally simple workers, unknown outside a small circle, whose way of life is a continual inspiration. They have lived entirely for the Cause, undergoing victimisation, careless of material gain or social status, devoting their "leisure hours" to unrecognized routine tasks, striving to gain the knowledge which will help them to be more useful Socialists, and all the time breathing a spirit of comradeship and acting with an uprightness towards their fellows which commands affection and respect. We believe that Norman Thomas' article in the August Progressive, "Has Socialism Any Future?", needs this sort of introduction. For it is too easy to think of the political aspirations of Thomas' party—he was six times defeated for the Presidency of the United States—as one thinks of a once promising but now defunct religion. But Thomas, and the thousands who found their capacity for social idealism strengthened through party affiliation, have viewed the matter quite differently. Political victory has been considered of secondary importance, and the gradual education of the public towards social legislation has been the primary concern. The Socialists, and Norman Thomas in particular, have kept certain issues in the public eye. Always standing on a plank of racial equality, always favoring any proposal which promised to bring greater social justice, the Socialists have worked a fine influence in American life. And if one thinks we are MANAS Reprint October 3, 1956 13 presently suffering from entirely too much centralized control of industry, this is hardly to be blamed upon the Socialists, who have never been strong enough to pass any legislation at all. The "Socialism" of the "New Deal" often sailed under liberal labels applied to courses of action which conditions had apparently made mandatory. So ideative or philosophical socialism is a movement of interest, of philosophy, of attitude, of idealism—and this, we think, the article by Norman Thomas makes plain. He closes with the following words. I have felt that at this period the prime task of socialist education—including re-examination and restatement of socialist doctrine—could be furthered by the organization of a kind of American Fabian Society, expressly disavowing any attempt at electoral action or any discipline over votes of its members. So the Union for Democratic Socialism has come into being. What its success may be I do not predict. But I was never surer that the spirit of democratic socialism is essential to the development of a viable democracy—that is, a fellowship of free men—in a society which will master for life and not death the extraordinary forces now at man's disposal. Various ways of viewing the Norman Thomas sort of socialism are indicated by these remarks: with present political innovations they do not like. The non-communist Socialists have never advocated the violent overthrow of government, nor violent expropriation of privately owned facilities of production. Thomas remarks that "if one is to define socialism as the achievement of collectivism through class struggle, I doubt whether democratic socialism, at least in America, has a future or deserves it." He adds: I certainly admit—rather, I affirm—the existence of economic and social classes and the struggle between them. But at least as far back as my first Presidential campaign I said that what the government ought to own depended upon various factors, including who owned the government. I insisted on the necessity of democratic controls; I denied that the working class was, automatically, a Messiah; and I urged the specific recognition of the interests of men as consumers and human beings— not merely as workers. Observation and experience through the following tumultuous years have made me still more insistent in denying automatic salvation through collectivism, and urging the value of diversities in ownership and management. I have become even more firmly convinced that, at least in America, a desirable and viable socialism must be urged as a fulfillment of democracy rather than the victory of a more or less mythical class-conscious proletariat. It is rather surprising therefore that in my fairly extensive travels I am almost never greeted as a failure. Instead I am repeatedly congratulated on having seen the triumph of most of my policies, and credited—contrary to fact—with having said that there was no longer any need for socialist activity. Other fellow citizens, in less amiable vein, hold me largely responsible for a socialism—creeping or walking—which they believe is essentially more dangerous than communism, to which it leads. Only a year ago there was an angry fluttering in certain suburban dovecotes because a school had invited me to make the commencement address. I came, I saw, I spoke, and the DAR still lives. But many a liberal or labor group thinks it unwise in these times to take a chance on me as a speaker—especially if the liberal or labor leader was once himself a Socialist a little to the left of Norman Thomas. "Has Socialism Any Future?" should, we think, be toted around by any whose acquaintances confuse a broad socialist philosophy Volume IX, No. 40 MANAS Reprint October 3, 1956 ... - [detail] - [similar]
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