per page, with , order by , clip by
Results of 0 - 1 of about 0 (0.001 sec.)
@author: Manas Reprints
@digest: 1f6fcb14f43d2ee80a44c7ce8a13581e
@id: 2324
@mdate: 2004-12-06T17:00:00Z
@size: 47172
@type: application/pdf
author: Manas Reprints
creator: Microsoft Word
producer: Acrobat PDFWriter 3.02 for Windows
#keywords: sullivan (38031), paranoid (17104), russell (14653), architecture (10735), delusion (8301), august (7894), delusions (7368), 1948 (5278), refuse (5189), central (4244), reprint (4055), gandhi (3977), scientists (3753), military (3535), parents (3381), position (3306), volume (3304), against (3109), scientific (2887), the (2871), groups (2818), manas (2509), although (2457), individual (2408), children (2400), personal (2324), government (2289), themselves (2230), war (2217), that (2131), freedom (2126), american (2060)
VOLUME I, NO. 32 AUGUST 11, 1948 NO COMPROMISE ACCORDING to Bertrand Russell, another war is certain, "if nothing drastic is done." This has been Mr. Russell's position for some time, now. He has been widely quoted to the effect that a single worldauthority must be formed to preserve the peace, and that Russia must be persuaded to submit to it, even if this can be accomplished only by war. For, he argues, wars "obviously will break out sooner or later unless mankind adopts some systems that makes them impossible. And the only such system is a single government with a monopoly of armed force." Mr. Russell may be regarded as among the most intelligent of the spokesmen for those who think themselves "realistic." He sees that the present policy of "drift" can lead only to international chaos. He is well enough acquainted with history to realize that "drastic" measures are needed to put a stop to war, and, assuming that human beings will continue to behave as they have in the past, the present impasse between Russia and the United States make him suspect that one more great war is needed to establish a single international government. In a recent New Leader, he describes the world he thinks should result: It will be a world in which successful rebellion will be impossible. Although, of course, sporadic assassination may still occur, the concentration of all important weapons in the hands of the victors will make them irresistible, and there will therefore be peace. Even if the dominant nation is completely devoid of altruism, its leading inhabitants, at least, will achieve a very high level of material comfort. Like the Romans, they will, in time, extend citizenship to the vanquished. There will then be a true world state, and security, and it will be possible to forget that it will have owed its origin to conquest. One who would contend against the prophetic vision offered by Mr. Russell is in a position similar to that of the liberal who, thirty years ago, remained unpersuaded by Communist arguments that after the proletarian revolution the State would "wither away." With a parity of reasoning, the Russell syllogism runs, if there is only one nation, wars will be impossible; therefore, with only one nation, we shall have security. But inside Russia, today, there is only one authority, in whose hands "all important weapons are concentrated," and against which successful rebellion is impossible, or seems to be. Mr. Russell admits, however, that there may be "assassinations." It is pertinent, therefore, to remember that the Moscow Trials began in 1934 with the assassination of Kirov, and that the resulting purges and liquidations represented a murderous struggle for power within a "single government with a monopoly of armed force." The victory of Stalin in this contest produced the deadly conformity to what Russell describes with great distaste as "the formulate of Stalinist orthodoxy"—hardly a "security" worth striving after. He maintains, of course, that the "single government" ought to be a democratic power, but when you consider the authoritarian control that will be necessary for any nation, democratic or not, to win the next world war, it is difficult to see how there can be any democratic processes, habits or traditions left. (See Hanson Baldwin's "The Price of War" in Harper's for July.) Military necessity will do away with the processes and habits, and propaganda will transform the traditions into mere emotional savagery. These objections to Mr. Russell's theory of just "one more war" seem serious. Nevertheless, if the Russell theory is fuzzy about the future, he looks at the present without illusions. And when he says something "drastic" ought to be done, only the foolish and the ignorant can disagree. The most obvious difficulty in his plan lies in the natural reluctance of most men to resign themselves deliberately to the prosecution of another great war. The idea is hideously inhumane, but to be fair to Mr. Russell one must admit that his disregard for the immediate destruction and suffering of war would cause is technically comparable to a surgeon's MANAS Reprint - LEAD ARTICLE 2 impersonality. Russell wants to "amputate" the potential causes of war by eliminating national sovereignty. And if you take the position that, "human nature being what it is," another war is inevitable, his thesis seems, although grim, without an alternative. We have described Mr. Russell's view in some detail to establish its sharp contrast with the only other analysis of the problem of war that, so far as we can see, can be taken seriously. This is Gandhi's analysis. Russell is a "realist," but so was Gandhi. And there is no half-way house between the two approaches or "solutions." They represent, it is true, "extreme" positions. But this is appropriate, and even necessary, for the world today is an extreme situation—a situation which may be called desperate, demanding a desperate remedy. Last October, Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy, who was for years Gandhi's personal physician, and is now Prime Minister of West Bengal, spoke in the New York Herald Tribune Forum on "Non-Violence for Modern Man." His address (printed in the Herald Tribune for Oct. 26) presented the Gandhian critique of world problems, but in the language of Western thought, making what he said of peculiar value to European and American readers. After remarking the "atmosphere of misunderstanding, prejudice, suspicion and distrust" which, he said, pervades the deliberations of the United Nations Organization, he offered this diagnosis: It seems to me that while, in theory, the democracies and the totalitarian systems of administration profess to work for the "people," they have forgotten the individual and have installed institutions and groups in his place. The needs and care of the individual have been drowned in those of the groups, and while every attempt has been made to develop science and technology in the interests of groups and institutions, the social concepts of such progress have never been stressed, so that man today is chained victim instead of a free soul—"a soul who sees himself in all and all in himself." Dr. Roy continued his analysis in this direction, asking questions which ordinarily do not occur to the average Westerner, who assumes without thinking much about it that the Western nations are Volume I, No. 32 strongholds of individual freedom. But by Democracy Dr. Roy means a society which encourages in the individual "the impulse to be loyal to the best in himself." To those who imagine that the West already has that sort of society, Dr. Roy says, "Turn the searchlight inwards," and comments: "We notice that confusion, greed, lust of power, selfishness, stalk the horizon." Dr. Roy, in other words, focuses the direction of war at the moral center of human life, in individual attitudes—a way of looking at the problem that is unfamiliar to persons of Mr. Russell's persuasion. Next, Dr. Roy goes over the ground dealt with so effectively by Edmond Taylor in Richer by Asia, describing the various individual and group delusions characteristic of the West, which are exaggerated to insane proportions during war: the delusion of white superiority, the delusion that technological progress makes an industrial society "better" than a primitive one, and the delusions in the doctrines of national sovereignty and Western imperialism. He comments: It is a known scientific truth, . . . that such ["psychological"] warfare darkens the minds of those against whom it is used, and equally of those who use it. It is almost impossible to delude others without developing delusion one's self. It is clear that the prevalence of such widespread delusions make people insane and paranoiac, and their illusions of persecution, of prejudice and suspicion raise their ugly heads. Without the prevalence of such temporary insanity, one cannot explain how people usually kind, unselfish, considerate and endowed with many ethical virtues, plan with absolute coolness schemes for annihilation of fellow men whom they loved and honored before and perhaps would again love and honor after the war is over; how, during war, mutual esteem, confidence, sanctity of promises given, are all forgotten by those who claim a high place in human society. The important point to recognize, here, is that these effects of military and psychological conflict are now taken more or less for granted as "natural" conditions of civilization. They represent the "human nature" that is not supposed to change, when the fact of the matter is that, judge objectively by such indications as the death and concentration camps, MANAS Reprint August 11, 1948 3 obliteration bombing of civilian populations, and the atomic bomb, it has become much worse. Fifty or even twenty-five years ago, most Americans would have been horrified and shocked beyond measure by proposals of national policy which today are advocated as a matter of course. What is the explanation? We think this change for the worse has taken place because both peoples and their leaders have habitually ignored the considerations discussed by Dr. Roy and have placed their whole reliance on armed force in international affairs. They have become, in short, increasingly insensible to moral values. Dr. Roy's argument is this: To these problems the East has a solution to offer. The Indian, the Buddhist view, has been that one should never attempt to combat delusion by other delusions, that one can condemn delusions but not the deluded, who must not be punished or reproached for his delusion; that the salt of reproof must not be rubbed into the would of his error, he must be left to find his own way to truth. Gandhi is prepared even to put moral pressure on the deluded one, but he is convinced that victory won by violence, even against the forces of delusion, is really defeat—the delusion of the sword may not be opposed by the sword . . . Let me ask in all seriousness—In combating Nazism, has not the West been infected by it to a certain extent; in suppressing delusions violently, have not more delusions been engendered? The Indian doctor is quick to admit that he expects little approval from Westerners for Gandhi's program for outlawing war, but he nevertheless presents a reasoned defense of Gandhi's position. It is, we think, one of the best we have seen. The basic difficulty, of course, lies in the fact that for the typical Westerner, the Gandhi solution seems not to touch the actual problem of war—i.e., "aggressive attack"—at all; while, on the other hand, such Easterners as Dr. Roy feel the same way about Mr. Russell. They would ask, repeating a religious teacher of the West, "What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" —a question the West has never asked itself with any great seriousness.. Volume I, No. 32 In assembling the central ideas of these two oppositions on the problem of war, we have not intended so much to argue the question as to call attention to the extraordinary difference between them. Once moves from the assumption that physical force is the ultimate value, with respect to the preservation of civilization from barbarism; the other makes the same claim for moral strength and integrity. This opposition has long existed in religious literature and has been widely recognized as vital in personal problems; but now, it is presented to us by history, on a mass or planetary social scale. The fact that such alternatives are now before the human race as a whole is enough to declare the beginning of a new epoch of history, for good or ill. Some months ago (MANAS, April 28), we noted the unusual attention paid to Gandhi's death by the press of the world and by several distinguished writers and journalists. It is pertinent, now, to call attention to the increasing notice of Gandhi's religiopolitical philosophy by Western peoples. This would have been virtually unthinkable a generation ago. The foregoing presents the abstract considerations. The actual course, the steps taken by governments and by civilian groups and individuals, may be indicated by a quick summary of facts. Today, the United States—where 41 per cent of all men between 20 and 65 years old are classified as war veterans—has a new Selective Service law to conscript into the Army youths from 19 to 25, with registration for the draft to begin this month. By the passage of this law, American joined the other 48 out of 54 countries of the world with military establishments which enforce some form of compulsory military service. According to US News, the countries without conscription, today, are Germany and Austria (naturally!), Eire, the Dominican Republic, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and India. India's new proposed constitution, however, contains a clause permitting the State to impose "compulsory service for public purposes," included as an exception to paragraph (1) of Article 17 which prohibits "traffic in human beings" and "forced labor." To this provision, the weekly Harijan, MANAS Reprint August 11, 1948 4 founded by Gandhi, voiced an immediate protest, suggesting the amendment, "provided that such compulsory service is consistent with truth and nonviolence." Such an amendment, Harijian's editor, K.G. Mashruwala, said, "would be the first step on the part of the people of India to declare their regard for, even if it does not amount to faith in, truth and non-violence." In the same spirit, Gram Udyog Patrika, monthly organ of the Gandhi-inspired All-India Village Industries Association, announced last April the decision of persons "believing in Gandhi's principles," assembled from all parts of India, "to form a brotherhood, which will be a vast organization." The aim of the organization (called Carovodaya Samaj) is "To strive towards a society based on truth and non-violence, in which there will be no distinction of caste or creed, no opportunity for exploitation and full scope for development both for individuals as well as groups." The program of the Samaj is substantial and detailed. (For copies, address J.C. Kumarappa, Maganvadi, Wardha, Central Provinces, India.) Meanwhile, in the United States, various groups have declared their unequivocal opposition to the draft. On June 17, the American Friends Service Committee (Quakers), through an announcement made by its Executive Board, revealed the intent of many Quakers to support, advise and otherwise assist those who refuse to obey the conscription law for religious or conscientious reasons. (We know of no large newspaper which reported this announcement, although it was sent to editors throughout the country.) A Methodist Conference and Presbyterian Synod also challenged the draft law, although non implying sympathy with noncompliance. Of necessity, adherence to the non-violent position begins with tiny minorities and isolated individuals; and for obvious reasons, there is little publicity given to their declarations in the national press. The determination to follow the path of Thoreau, Tolstoy and Gandhi has as yet few sympathizers, although, as before noted, the contemporary intellectual and moral curiosity concerning that path is growing. Among those Volume I, No. 32 taking a decisive position are a number of men calling themselves the "Peacemakers," who met in Chicago last April and pledged themselves (1) to refuse to serve in the armed forces in either peace or war; (2) to refuse to make or transport weapons of war; (3) the refuse to be conscripted or to register; (4) to consider to refuse to pay taxes for war purposes—a position already adopted by some; (5) to spread the idea of peacemaking and to develop non-violent methods of opposing war through various forms of non-cooperation and to advocate unilateral disarmament and economic democracy. (Reported in the Spring 1948 Politics.) The idea of non-payment of taxes has been put into practice by Ammon Hennacy, a Tolstoyan of Arizona, and by Mrs. Caroline Urie of Yellow Springs, Ohio (see MANAS, March 31), and possibly by others. Milton Mayer, of the University of Chicago, who writes regularly for the Progressive and has contributed to Harper's, the Saturday Evening Post and other magazines, has frequently written and spoken of this form of protest against war. Walter Gormly, of Mr. Vernon, Iowa, finds the payment of taxes for war a violation of the principle established by the International Military Tribune which conducted the Nuremberg Trials. The Tribune Charter identifies as a crime against peace, the "planning, preparation, initiating or waging of a war of aggression," and in a letter to the Bureau of Internal Revenue Gormly asserts that the United States is doing just that "by maintaining bases, subservient governments and military forces from Korea to Turkey, by intensive research on methods of mass slaughter and by maintaining a huge military organization." As Section II, Article B, of the Charter declares that "the fact that the defendant acted pursuant to order of his government or of a superior shall not free him from responsibility," Mr. Gormly feels obliged, to avoid possible prosecution as a "war criminal," to refuse to pay a federal income tax, a large part of which goes for preparation for war, and he has so informed the Federal Government. In addition to the Church groups mentioned above, fourteen well-known American clergymen last May addressed an open letter to "American MANAS Reprint August 11, 1948 5 Christians of military age," advocating "refusal to enlist in the armed forces and withdrawal from the armed forces for those now in them." Christian youth in America, they said, "should refuse to grant even the 'token' recognition of registration" for the draft, and those not subject to conscription should openly support draft-resisters "and so far as possible identify themselves with them." Signatories to the appeal included Allan Knight Chalmers, of Boston University, Theodore Walser, a former missionary to Japan, and A.J. Muste. This was followed on June 23 by another statement signed by more than 200 clergymen branding war and conscription "immoral" and calling upon men of draft age to refuse to register. Various groups, such as the Resist Conscription Committee in New York, are collecting signatures of those who pledge themselves not to register. In June, a conscientious objector (imprisoned during the war) chained himself to a White House banister, displaying the plea, "Veto the Draft," painted on his shirt. A month earlier, Garry Davis, son of Meyer Davis, orchestra leader, formally renounced his American citizenship to the Paris Embassy of the United States, saying, "I no longer find it compatible with my inner convictions to contribute to this world anarchy, and thus to be a party to the inevitable annihilation of our civilization, by remaining solely loyal to one of these sovereign states." An ex-bomber pilot, Davis said he wanted to become a "citizen of the world." According to one report, he plans to do reconstruction work in Germany, if this is possible for him. group is 26, some of those of draft age may refuse to register, and nearly all will apply for exemption on conscientious grounds. Last April, the membership of Students Concerned included men from eleven universities. These are some of the formations of opinion and action directed against the organization of the world for war. What they mean, practically, can hardly be estimated, but their existence, as tangible protests against the progressive militarization of mankind, is a notable fact that should be recognized and considered. Ununiformed and motley, they stand for the moral independence of the individual, for the right of a private vision of the public good. Were no such protests to war forthcoming, the verdict of moral death would have to be rendered against modern society; for what else can the individual, who wants to oppose war as an individual, do? In April, at Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, twelve students voluntarily dropped out of school to devote themselves to working for peace. Calling themselves "Students Concerned," these young men and women and others from universities have been able to raise a considerable sum of money with which to support an educational project on behalf of world peace. The effort is basically inspired by the teachings and example of Jesus. Many of the members will take a year's time-out from their studies to carry on the activities of the group, which may involve a program of peace education on college campuses and community forums. While the average age of the founding Volume I, No. 32 MANAS Reprint August 11, 1948 6 Letter from CENTRAL EUROPE SALZBURG.—The Anglo-Saxon nations on the one side, and the Central European ones on the other, possess a different conception of freedom. While the first have, for centuries, tried to solve the problem by developing from the extensive freedom of the individual to the absolute freedom of the nation, the others chose the opposite order. Doubtless the Anglo-Saxons succeeded far more than the Central Europeans did. The reasons have been, amongst others, their advantageous geographical position, basic social arrangements and outlook in life. But a study of the newspaper and magazine press in democratic countries contains surprises. While, indeed, there are sufficient proofs that the Central European of today is a poor member of mankind with no voice at all, the people of most of the other nations are not satisfied, either, any more. They complain that they are walled in by endless ordinances and decrees, that numbers of laws, meant for times of emergency, are still in effect, and that the edifice of human freedom is being undermined by all this regulation. Searching for the causes one comes to the conclusion that the wars of Europe were not originally to blame. Our ancestors, in Europe as well as in America, lived modestly, but were sufficiently free to create immortal works of culture and art and to gain the most admirable sense for philosophy. Their souls were led by poets and artists; but today, the human being, everywhere, is led by the politician and the inventor. This would not be regarded as evil or absurd, were it not for the consequences. Our so-called "progress" embraces so many claims, titles, relations, interests and conceptions that is forms a multicoloured conglomeration which can no longer be understood by the individual. While, a few hundred years ago, the simply educated man was not expected, in the region of morals, to know more than the Ten Commandments, and, in practical science, to master more than the rules of addition, subtraction, Volume I, No. 32 multiplication and division, nowadays he has to inform himself about rationalism and existentialism, about theological, social or racial doctrines, about electricity, short-waves and radar. Most of our contemporaries are made helpless by the scientific vocabulary. They turn away and retire into psychological resignation. Instead of the "subjects" of modern civilization, they become the "objects." They lose, without doing anything themselves, part of their human dignity. This is too high a price for technical progress. The average human being expects to work, he wants a rest, and desires a holiday—he intends to lead a decent life and dreams of peace and justice for himself and his fellowmen. The Central European of today is satisfied with even less—he hopes for material security, for sufficient food and clothing. But his human dignity will be restored only with the return of freedom of thought, freedom of word and freedom to work. Justice, safety, peace and happiness are no ideologies. They are not programmatic privileges of political parties. They are the summing-up of the general rights of men. Statesmen think as statesmen, politicians think politically, but who thinks first as a member of mankind? In Central Europe it has been seriously suggested that invalid veterans and widows or mothers of dead or missing soldiers should be given high government positions, as they may be expected to act neither as statesmen nor as politicians, but as human beings. Treaties, custom-unions, agreements, credit-plans and settlements could be regarded as the consequences of such a United Europe, but not as its cause. Rediscovery of the human foundation among the nations should be the first step for a new rise of Europe. And there seems to be no time to lose. MANAS Reprint CENTRAL EUROPEAN CORRESPONDENT August 11, 1948 7 REVIEW WHAT IS ARCHITECTURE? IT is our pleasure, this week, to report the existence of a book which demonstrates, once again, the virility, the originality and the spiritual promise of American culture, even though these qualities are more potential than actual in American life, and despite almost omnipresent evidence to the contrary. We have just read through Louis I. Sullivan's Kindergarten Chats, first published in 1901 in The Interstate Architect and Builder (in 52 installments), and reprinted, as revised by the author in 1918 (he died in 1924), by Wittenborn, Schultz last year, as a part of the series, "The Documents of Modern Art." We have no special competence to evaluate a book on architecture, but these dialogues by Sullivan, now nearly a half a century old, derive from an attitude of thought and feeling that makes "special competence" irrelevant. It came as no surprise to us to learn, after we had begun the book, that Frank Lloyd Wright was Sullivan's disciple; in the work of Wright, something of Sullivan's dream of an American architecture gained realization, although the full vision encountered in Kindergarten Chats needs hundreds and thousands of architects and builders, in the future, to do it justice. Sullivan was literally a Walt Whitman of wood, stone and steel. Among these brief essays or dialogues—two or three pages each—is one that answers the question, "What is an architect?" Sullivan makes his definition with three ideas: (1) ". . . the true function of the architect is to initiate such buildings as shall correspond to the real needs of the people"; (2) "[he] is a poet who uses not words but building materials as a medium of expression; (3) "The true work of the architect is to organize, integrate and glorify UTILITY." This definition is contained in the fortysecond "Chat," and it is no exaggeration to say that the previous discussions have all been devoted to building a context of meaning for what Volume I, No. 32 is said in this one. Torn from the text, these sentences may seem appropriate but unexciting. They need the architectonic development of Sullivan's own words for their full significance to dawn upon the reader. In fact, the organic structure of his ideas throughout Kindergarten Chats is itself a testament to his architectural genius. The Chats are in the form of a dialogue between a bright young man, newly graduated from an architectural school, and Sullivan, whose role is a crusty but exceedingly able architectural sage. More than half the "Chats" are intended to disenchant the young man with his formal education in architecture. At times the reader will be puzzled, slightly embarrassed, perhaps, to think that here there is nothing about architecture at all, but only an articulate and gushing prose-analysis of Life and Nature. Some of the book's florid quality may be assigned to the passage of nearly fifty years since it was written; but the reader, deciding at first to be tolerant of this turn-of-thecentury buoyance of spirit, will later make silent apology to the author for having been condescending at all. Sullivan carries it off; he succeeds as a philosopher and a poet as well as an architectural sage. He simply has none of the midcentury shyness about the realities and integrities of the artist's credo. Sullivan takes his pupil into the forest, and there they consider together the meaning of architecture. Under the influence of "Nature's moods and rhythms," the young man feels for the burden of Sullivan's ideas and exclaims, "If I grasp the essence of your thesis, it signifies that we, in our art, are to follow Nature's processes, Nature's rhythms, because those processes, those rhythms, are vital, organic, coherent, logical above all book-logic, and flow uninterruptedly from cause to effect. . ." Agreeing, Sullivan says: To begin a constructive study of the art of expression or even an analytical study of historical monuments, without a prior investigation, summary and understanding of underlying elements, would be illogical, would lead us astray. To begin the serious MANAS Reprint August 11, 1948 8 study of architecture by a scholarly examination of its finished forms, as exhibited in certain periods of the past, or its artificial academic forms, the present-day echoes thereof, is a method I leave to the schools, their professors, and their joint folly: for it is evident they arrive nowhere. Beginning his own positive instruction of the youth, Sullivan speaks of the pier, "the simplest of architectural elements"; then of the second element—the lintel. "So, when the lintel is placed upon the two piers, architecture springs into being not only as a science, and a useful art, but also as an art of expression . . . " The Arch is called, "of all constructive forms, the most emotional . . . . susceptible in possibility and promise to the uttermost degree of fulfillment that the creative imagination can forecast." Sullivan's comment on the cantilever is revealing: "It belongs among those secondary structural forms which may be classed as expedients . . . . Its essence is overhang . . . [it] belongs in the province of morphology." That Sullivan is able to relate these underlying principles to the problems of modern architecture is the measure of his fertile imagination and practical capacities. The publisher of Kindergarten Chats has provided photographic illustrations of the buildings Sullivan discusses to drive home his points, both critical and appreciative. His attitude toward most of the architecture of his time is savagely contemptuous, but it is impersonal and therefore without the harm of rancour. In addition to the "Chats," the book includes several essays by Sullivan, a bibliography of his works and some informing appendices. We do not know if other volumes in "The Documents of Modern Art" are of similar excellence, but we intend to find out. Herbert Read's The Grass Roots of Art has arrived and awaits study. The books in this series are well printed in attractive format of modern design and are inexpensively bound in heavy paper. Volume I, No. 32 MANAS Reprint August 11, 1948 9 COMMENTARY ON "CHILDREN . . . AND OURSELVES" COMMENT on this Department of MANAS filters in, directly and indirectly, much of it enthusiastic—from young parents—and some of it questioning and occasionally critical. No one, at any rate, remains indifferent to "Children and Ourselves," which amounts to saying that it makes people think. It may be candidly admitted that the column is a bit unsettling at times, seeming to go to "extremes," and developing ideas from a ground of assumption that has little connection with traditional ideals of what is known as "the family life." One sometimes misses the familiar feel of "respect for parents," and the various elements of habitual status in family relationships. But the fact is that in modern life, "respect for parents" has been pretty much lost, already, and while educational discussions which repeat slogans on this subject may awake a pleasant nostalgia, they do not help today's parents to cope with the realities of daily experience. "Children and Ourselves," we think, deals with the psychomoral principles of mutual respect between human beings, regardless of age, instead of describing the forms that have been customary in the past. If, as we think, children of today fail in respect for their parents because parents have little understanding of what constitutes genuine respect for children, to complain about the bad manners and inconsiderateness of the younger generation is a waste of breath (or paper) and a scape-goating disregard of the facts. Intimations of this analysis may be irritating to some parents, but not to those who regard the children as independent moral intelligences with lives of their own ahead of them. born. In such intervals of change, any emphasis at all in moral education, except the emphasis on principle, is misleading and reactionary. It is also true that we cannot find out what the coming generation is capable of, in terms of self-reliant moral decision, creative activity, and personal responsibility, unless the present generation is willing to give its children every available opportunity for moral growth. "Children and Ourselves," then, if our estimate is correct, offers food for thought for the parents of the free and whole men of tomorrow. It retails no dogmas, is rather iconoclastic toward all dogma, and bars no possible interpretation of sound educational principles, however bizarre or unfamiliar a particular suggestion may at first seem. The column entails only one compulsion, and this, we think, is a good one: it compels its parent-readers to forego the notion that they are any "better," "worthier," or "more important people" than their children—and impress upon them the contrasting idea that parenthood, fundamentally, is an immeasurably responsible undertaking in the practice of equality—a very special case of the basic "social" problem of all human life. There is another consideration: generations are often quite different, one from another. The psychological history of mankind suggests that there come periods when old systems of morality and custom quite literally die, and new ones are Volume I, No. 32 MANAS Reprint August 11, 1948 10 CHILDREN . . . AND OURSELVES PURSUING the thesis (begun last week) that the uncorrected neurotic tendencies of adults inevitably affect small children, in whom they may gain serious momentum from an early start, we should like to suggest a correlation between the common human tendency to complain at misfortunes and the psychosis technically known as Paranoia. The parent who habitually blames a current unhappiness on the pressure of external circumstances is certainly apt to set up a destructive chain-reaction in the emotional structure of the child. Any untoward event, even sickness, becomes associated in the child's mind with complaint against the universe in general or against some person or group of persons in particular. One of the less-fortunate consequences of our rejection as a culture of the "God-fearing" attitude toward adversity has been that many people no longer place a premium upon the quality of internal resistance which apparently once enabled them to "suffer and endure" in silence. Many pious generations feared to complain too much, on the assumption that since the "creator" arranges all turns of events, an excess of moaning and groaning might be taken by "Him" as a personal affront. As always, of course, the fearmotivation failed to sustain the virtue it was intended to support, and it may indeed be questioned if anyone can acquire a genuine "virtue" from the dominion of fear. But in any case, since our complaints have become more vociferous with the growth of our impiety, succeeding generations of children are now progressively conditioned to exaggerate further the tendency. (Lest it be thought that we are here suggesting the superiority of theological faith over no faith at all, it must be pointed out that the creation of the theological devil served as Volume I, No. 32 a convenient sort of institutionalized scapegoat for all complaints. The medieval church culture provided elaborate forms by which the human tendency to complain could be channeled into ritualistic observances.) There is subtle difference between the effect upon a child of a parent's tendency to selfdeprecation and abasement (the "depressive" phase of the incipient manic-depressive), and the effect of a "complaining" parent. The parent who dwells on his own unworthiness simply makes the child feel uncomfortable, and may induce in him a mild form of depression or melancholia. But a complaining parent, one, that is, who is forever blaming someone or something else for his indispositions and misfortunes, is teaching the child to react similarly in his dealings with brothers and sisters, school friends, and finally the whole social and economic structure of the world. If the reader will discreetly seek to recall the most pronounced cases of habitual complaining among his adult acquaintances who have children, he will probably note that this psychological habit, almost invariably, has been acquired by the progeny. Nor is it possible to encourage the paranoid delusion of persecution without developing at the same time a corresponding delusion of grandeur. If we are not to blame for our misfortunes, inadequacies or failures in personal relationships, the logic follows very simply that the world in general has been misled to undervalue our "real" qualities— which are excellent even though constantly thwarted and unappreciated. It may on this ground be suggested that the paranoid lives in a vicious psychological circle from which escape is much more difficult than for those afflicted by the manic-depressive pattern. The paranoid generates attitudes of animosity and rebellion against other persons, i.e., he becomes more and more insane, not only as an introvert but also as an extrovert, while the insanity of the manic-depressive is less obtrusive and may not poison all human contacts by the suspicion, mistrust and hate that is typical of the paranoid. MANAS Reprint August 11, 1948 11 It is common enough, these days, to speak of the roots of fascism which exist in the familiar delusive tendencies of the human mind. Authorities have pointed out that certain developments in the economic sphere make Fascism possible, giving it a false logic which enhances the opportunities of fascist leaders to control all economic and political interests of a nation. But the sort of fascism we must fear, and rightly so, is the sort which has paranoid leadership. It is hardly debatable that the fascist regime in Germany attracted to leadership men who were in an advanced paranoid state. We know, today, that men can be tortured or starved and yet retain the indestructible joy of learning something of value from all that occurs. The creation of "fearless men" begins with those who recognize that there is always something better to do than indulge self-pity through complaint. Although the political and economic conditions of Germany after the first World War unquestionably imposed serious injustices on the conquered people, a major factor in developing a vast number of "paranoids" must inevitably have been the lack of philosophical and moral resistance to "complaint" among German parents. (See How It Happens, by Pearl Buck.) Nor is this tendency to be regarded in any way unique to that particular nation. No man or woman who expends a considerable portion of psychic energy in justifying his grievances against society, whether local or international, can avoid being morally culpable to the same degree. The children of all such parents are directly affected by the example—in fact, find it difficult to meet any of life's reverses without a touch of the paranoid reaction. The antidote for the habit of complaint is simple enough to describe, though admittedly difficult to secure and apply: there must be solid faith in a philosophy which interprets all of life's experiences, unpleasant as well as pleasant, as of evolutionary value to the human soul. We live in a world that makes stringent demands upon those who seek permanent "joy in living." For individuals who place first the principle of universal human fraternity, there are always the potential dangers of social ostracism, prison or concentration camps (e.g., Gandhi, Nehru and the imprisoned anti-militarist of nearly every country). Volume I, No. 32 MANAS Reprint August 11, 1948 12 FRONTIERS SCIENTISTS QUESTION THEMSELVES ONE does not now hear very much of David Lindsay Watson's Scientists Are Human, published by Watts in England before the war (1938). It was never easy to get the book in this country, and we suspect that not enough people, here, have read it to spread the excellence of the work around by word of mouth. It is a book about science and scientists that academic institutions and conventional scientific journals would hardly push. Mr. Watson gives illustration after illustration of scientific bias, the suppression of original work, and proposes and supports the thesis that scientific truth is the fruit of personal integrity, instead of being the inevitable product of an infallible technique. Now, ten years later, scientific and other periodicals are beginning to print articles suggestive of Watson's conclusions. They are not, of course, as searching nor as thoroughly critical as Scientists Are Human, but their admissions certainly show that Watson's emphasis on the importance of an ethical attitude in scientific inquiry will bear almost constant repetition. Take, for example, the article of Eli Ginzberg, "Social Science and the Established Order," in Science for June 21. He begins by questioning the sanctified "objectivity" of scientific method. "Objectivity," he says, "relates to techniques, never to premises . . . . The most 'objective' work in the social sciences will be stillborn unless it can be related to the values that men have and the values which they seek." He points out that a social science which shears away from values "has inevitably helped to buttress the status quo, for what escapes study escapes censure." The great universities, Mr. Ginzberg suggests, tend to come under the control of specialists—men who are masters of detail, of "good work," and who therefore can "intimidate" anyone who dares to attach a large problem Volume I, No. 32 involving values. The specialists gained majorities on all the faculties and— not only were incoming generations of student taught by specialists, but all additions to the teaching staff were in their hands. Before long they had a strangle hold over research. In fact, they were soon in unchallenged control of the entire field. Self-protection is the first principle of organized groups. The specialists tended to appoint only "safe" individuals to the faculty. It was so easy to rationalize one's prejudices. The question was always raised whether the prospective appointee would "fit in." . . . If he were seriously concerned about social values, he could look elsewhere. The university was a home for scholars, not reformers. Mr. Ginzberg's measured judgment, based on personal observation, is that "the university environment exercises a most restrictive influence on the development of the social sciences." This Department is able to offer an illustration of such restrictions in the experience of a friend—a Harvard student who proposed to the professor in charge of graduate work in sociology that he study Thoreau, Tolstoy and Emma Goldman, making the comparison of the social thinking of these three the subject of a Master's thesis. The professor quickly vetoed the idea, recommending that figures in the academic tradition of sociology be chosen for study. A more caustic general criticism of the profession appeared in the Christian Century for June 16 in an unsigned article—originally a personal letter—dealing with the disregard of moral responsibility by most scientists. It has the abandon of private correspondence, but also its freedom from prudential restraint. It begins: Scientists are the mercenaries of modern warfare. Almost wholly devoid of humanitarian impulses, they consider their cold and analytical search for scientific knowledge more important than any current affairs of mere mortals. If a scientist is given a chance to pursue his line of research unmolested, he doesn't care about the type of government he is working under, or the condition of the people. MANAS Reprint August 11, 1948 13 This article on "Our Modern Mercenaries"— written "by one of them"—names names and recites experiences: "I have seen files full of scientific suggestions for bigger and more efficient slaughterings"; scientists "came up with schemes that military men never dreamed of." And "endless" poison weapons have been voluntarily suggested by scientists. The writer, doubtless, indulges a bad-tempered neglect of exceptional men—although Einstein is mentioned as one—but he is in a somewhat desperate mood, which seems justified by the facts he relates. A minor irony develops in the contrasting comment, soberly written, in the preliminary report of a committee of the Federation of American Scientists, entitled "Loyalty Clearance Procedures in Research Laboratories" (Science, April 2). Arbitrary dismissals, after investigation, the report relates, are troubling "large numbers" of scientific colleagues of the discharged men. Scientists whose work is unconnected with Government projects "now find that their political beliefs are being investigated." Further, the laws and regulations enabling such procedures reveal "few safeguards against mistakes or arbitrary abuses." These research workers, "who used to consider that their positions depend only on the value of their scientific work," are realizing that, today, such as their political orthodoxy. Could this be the offspring of their own political and moral indifference, come home at last, but in reverse? Volume I, No. 32 MANAS Reprint August 11, 1948 ... - [detail] - [similar]
Powered by Hyper Estraier 1.4.13, with 2096 documents and 94562 words.