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THOUGH AND ACTION
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VOLUME XIV, NO. 43 OCTOBER 25, 1961 THOUGHT AND ACTION [A reader who lives in the Middle West has set down his reactions to material in several recent MANAS articles, to such point and purpose that we reproduce his letter almost entire. He is concerned chiefly with the lack of connection between thought and action, a problem so central to our twentiethcentury existence as to deserve continuous discussion. The observations of this reader are followed by some comment by the editors.] IN the concluding paragraph of the Frontiers article in the August 30 issue, your writer says: "Science, you might say—the sciences of psychology and sociology—can conduct us to the antechamber of peace, using brilliantly logical demonstrations of the utter madness of war, but some deeper resolve than intellectual formulations can provide is needed to bring about the 180degree turn in human behaviour that will move the world to become peaceful. Where shall we look for this inspiration?" Earlier in this same article, the writer quotes from Dr. Bruno Bettelheim's book, The Informed Heart, and implies that here presumably is one person, one scientist, who is making a contribution toward the effort of peace. Indeed, the Review writer goes so far as to say: "Here is a man caught in the most vicious and even insanely inhuman situation that is recorded in all human history, yet he refuses to deny the at least potentially human qualities of the active agents of this insanity and viciousness. How was Dr. Bettelheim able to preserve his balance in such a situation? If we had the answer to this question, we could probably offer a program for raising the general level of 'social thinking,' . . . thereby doing away with the causes of war." Now, this is giving Dr. Bettelheim an awful lot of credit, putting in his hands, so to speak, the solution to the problem of war. While I fully share your admiration for what Dr. Bettelheim has written—and indeed regard his latest book, The Informed Heart, as the moral classic of our time—I wonder if it is legitimate to praise the man so highly. True enough, he seemed to come through the concentration camp experience with profound insight into the workings of the human spirit—and with a considerable ability to write about his experience. And we learn that he was very shrewd in his dealings with his captors. But this is not to say that his adaptation was a moral one, or that he came through it all victorious. It is not to say that he has made the "180-degree turn in human behaviour that will move the world to become peaceful." I do not know if you have ever met the man; I have not, but I have known more than one person who has had first-hand contact with him. They report that he is mercilessly intolerant of those who disagree with him, and that, in the classroom, he is a veritable tyrant, exhibiting all of the traits of the German authoritarian mentality. Indeed, some months ago, Dr. Bettelheim gave a public lecture at the University of Chicago, and was so rude to his audience, in the question-and-answer period, that the student newspaper received a number of complaints on his behaviour. I raise these considerations not merely to discredit the man, but to point to the complexity of the solution of peace, and to emphasize that merely writing effectively, and even with compassion, does not mean being able to deal humanly with others. And it is only by such concrete dealings that peace will ever come about in the world. The tragedy is that even the people with the greatest insights do not practice those insights; how then can the ordinary man, the ordinary politician, make the " 180-degree turn in behaviour"? This brings me to the central point I wish to discuss in this letter. On a number of occasions in recent months, I have found references in MANAS to the split in modern man between what MANAS Reprint - LEAD ARTICLE 2 he says, and what he does, between thought and action, between words, ideas and practice. So, for example, the quotation at the beginning of this letter. And, in the August 23 issue, your Review writer quotes Dr. Carl Rogers: " 'This fundamental discrepancy between the individual's concepts and what he is actually experiencing, between the intellectual structure of his values and the valuing process that is going on unrecognized within him—this is part of the fundamental estrangement of modern man from himself. . . .'" The Review writer comments. "A principal value of the foregoing analysis by Dr. Rogers is its demonstration, in scientific terms, of one of the mechanisms of ethics. Honesty is a name for consistency between thought and act, between intellectual and emotional processes of evaluation. Investigation of this sort gets at the root of the major psychological problems of our time." I do indeed agree, and very strongly, with your writer when he speaks of this split between thought and action as the root of the major psychological problems of our time. And I would even go so far as to suggest that perhaps an exploration of this split, in some detail, would go far toward providing that "inspiration" that might enable men to become peaceful—and jolt them out of the rut of merely talking about peace, in the abstract. I can recall at least one other occasion, in recent months, when you have dealt with this problem. In the Review article of March 22, entitled "Notes on the Texas Quarterly," your writer quotes from Robert Hartman's essay, "Sputnik's Moral Challenge": Our lore is full of exhortations and examples of men laying down their lives for the sake of some ideas; but none—except in the Gospel and in existentialist literature—of men laying down their prejudices for the sake of life. Rationalizations, systems, ideas have ruled supremely in history, and human beings have fallen their victims. . . . Hartman concludes: As Castellio said when Calvin burned Servetus: "Burning a man is not the defense of faith but the Volume XIV, No. 43 murder of a man," so we can—and must—say today: "Burning men, women, and children by atomic bombs is not the defense of the nation but the murder of men, women, and children." The Bible says it in the old, seldom-understood words: "Overcome evil by good"—and not by additional evil. To return to the passage which opened this letter: "The sciences of psychology and sociology can conduct us to the antechamber of peace . . . .but some deeper resolve than intellectual formulations can provide is needed to bring about the 180-degree turn in human behavior that will move the world to become peaceful." The trouble is that psychology and sociology, and even existential philosophy, become substitutes for action. So, for example, the psychologist talks about alienation, but does not make the actual move that takes him out of his alienation. The sociologist discusses at length the status strivings of the contemporary American, but does not relinquish his own status strivings on behalf of a higher principle than status strivings can do service to. The existential philosopher talks about the personal, and bemoans the decline of the person in an increasingly impersonal world. But the personal, for him, is only the idea of the personal. He is content to talk about the personal, as an idea, and does not try to become more personal, more devoted to people, in his actual, everyday life. Or, he talks about communication, existential communication, but does not try to communicate existentially with his fellow men. Thus, these deeper insights become substitutes for action, consoling ideals and ideologies which compensate us, in thought, for the meaninglessness of our lives. We think we are transcending our environment by thinking more wisely; but our transcendence is confined to our thinking, and does not transform our lives. We would do well to heed the words of Dr. Fromm, in his article, "Man Is Not a Thing": No amount or depth of psychological [or, we might add, sociological or philosophical] insight can take the place of the act, the commitment, the jump. It can lead to it, prepare for it, make it possible. . . . But it must not try to be a substitute for the MANAS Reprint October 25, 1961 3 responsible act of commitment, an act without which no real change occurs in a human being. It is the emphasis on "writing"—without "the act, the commitment, the jump"—which is so deeply rooted in our whole intellectual tradition, that I am concerned about. The intellectual is too often content to put his best into his writing (thereby insuring his posterity), and to neglect his actual conduct in the world. We have all known men who speak high humanistic sentiments, yet who are, in actuality, petty, conceited and domineering in their relations with others. This discrepancy between the man, as writer and ideologue, and the man, as man, should be a source of discomfort to him and to his associates; yet, too often, it goes unnoticed, and we take what a man says as the measure of who he is, passing over the petty mediocrity that constitutes the man in his daily dealings with others. We do neither him nor ourselves any good by this indifference; for we only condone him in his duplicity, in what the MANAS writer referred to as the dishonesty ensuing from the discrepancy between thought and action. All of this has a bearing upon the problem of "what is needed to bring about the 180-degree turn in human behaviour that will move the world to become peaceful." And, of course, it also has a profound bearing upon what is needed for men to become more loving, more mature, more human in their relations with others—traits that we think of as making up the moral in man but which have so far in the history of the human race amounted to no more than ideals, unachieved ideals. Again, I wish to emphasize that I believe that a full-scale attack upon this discrepancy between thought and action, between what a man writes or speaks, and what he actually is, would go far toward dissolving this discrepancy. To be aware of the problem, and to consciously explore and attack it, is to be well on the way toward its solution. I am hoping that MANAS will devote increasing attention to this issue. __________ Volume XIV, No. 43 The most interesting, although not the most important, consideration in this letter is the matter of Dr. Bettelheim. Our first impulse, which we shall follow, is to defend him. We cannot, of course, really defend Dr. Bettelheim, since we know nothing about the incidents described, but we can look at such situations impersonally and attempt other interpretations of what was said to be Dr. Bettelheim's behavior. Perhaps, for example, there is a parallel between Paracelsus and Dr. Bettelheim. Paracelsus, having learned his knowledge of medicine in the school of experience, attacked his contemporaries in the healing arts with such overwhelming scorn that he was made a wanderer by the jealousy and enmity of other physicians. Yet Paracelsus knew, while his rivals only conducted scholarly disputes concerning what they read in books. He insulted the entire medical fraternity by burning Avicenna's Canon of Medicine in a public bonfire. If he raged at the stupidity and stubborn obscurantism of the times, he had ample provocation. (Bombast was his middle name.) When Lewis Mumford says to his contemporaries, "Gentlemen, You Are Mad!," the charge is not a polite one; it is merely true, and when dealing with madmen, the lay person may be forgiven for an inclination to shout. We are suggesting the possibility that, in consequence of his extraordinary experience, Dr. Bettelheim knows things withheld from the rest of us about the springs of behavior—matters which ought not to be left to the indifferent fortunes of academic debate. There is the intolerance of bigotry, but there is also the intolerance of the captain of a sinking ship who has been told by a conceited passenger that there is no need to lower the boats. The captain will rage—the presumptuousness of the passenger is intolerable. Of course, such suggestions are sheer hypothesis and improvisation. They may not apply at all. But it is certainly possible, and even likely, that an element of this explanation applies to the case of Dr. Bettelheim. Our ground for this MANAS Reprint October 25, 1961 4 idea is that there is a limit to the extent to which a man in Dr. Bettelheim's calling can preach without practicing. And he, as a matter of fact, is not a literary person, nor is there any "rhetoric" in his writing. It is the glib intellectual, usually, who is open to this charge. Dr. Bettelheim is not glib. We have the definite impression that Dr. Bettelheim's writing is the unostentatious record of actions that have already been performed, and not an imaginative projection of attitudes and behavior he thinks would be good to adopt. There are some kinds of writing which cannot be done without deep conviction and prior practice. There is writing which cannot in the nature of things lend itself to pretensions or hypocrisy. One may not be able to identify its qualities fully or infallibly, yet may have a profound faith that it exists. The Sermon on the Mount could not have been composed by the exponent of a Sunday-only religion. But let us leave this hypothetical aspect of the question for another area of discussion—the besetting problem of the intellectual. The intellectual is a man who is skilled in the manipulation of symbols. This capacity makes him subject to the dual temptations of the metaphysician and the preacher. As a metaphysician he can "explain" almost anything by formulating the appropriate abstractions. As a preacher he finds himself easily supplied with wellargued opinions concerning what ought to be done. If the intellectual happens also to be a man given to self-examination, and subject to the longing for honesty in his own life, he tends also to be a conscience-stricken sufferer. He knows that he never lives up to his vision of what should be. His mind is continually outrunning his behavior. In the moral life, his sense of ought continually condemns his bondage to the status quo of his behavior. For a classic illustration of this inevitable tension, read the life of Tolstoy. We know of no way in which this tension can be eliminated from the life of an honest man, although there seem to be various levels of negotiated peace with the situation. A Volume XIV, No. 43 philosopher, you might say, is: a man who has decided that remorse is a waste of emotion and debilitating to the will, who recognizes that human behavior can never reach the apex of ideal conceptions, yet who is nonetheless determined to practice his ideals as well as he can. The more this sort of resolve brings integration to his life, the less he suffers the subjective embarrassment of guilt feelings and disgust at his own inadequacy. We strongly suspect that this kind of reconciliation of the personal struggle is at the root of the moral power that is felt in the being of such men as Gandhi. They have found the optimum balance of theory and practice in their lives. This is what we all want, but have not been able to get, mostly, no doubt, because we have not learned how to want it with sufficient intensity. This balance is not an open and explainable equation, but an inward and individual resolution. Each man must find it for himself. It is for this reason, no doubt, that maturity brings a noticeable increase in the qualities of individuality. We sense the impact of wholeness in such people. In them, the alchemical transaction has been completed. They do not answer to external stimuli according to the prevailing formula, the "ethos" of the age, but by their own intuitive calculations, based upon the balance achieved in their lives. Thus they give the lie to all statistical accounts of human nature and the simple fact of their existence is an absolute defiance of all totalitarian or mass psychologies. But as with other human attainments, this one does not come all at once. Man in development is not a symmetrical being. Usually he is twisted out of shape on two counts: one, the confinements and distortions of the environment; two, the unevenness of his own efforts to reconstruct himself. For this reason, the half-developed men, the trying and failing men, be they unknown or famous, are all widely vulnerable to criticism. Only they know in their hearts what they are trying to do, and self-defense in such circumstances is the most thankless task of all. In MANAS Reprint October 25, 1961 5 most cases, the dignity of aspiration will not permit it. Criticism is made by the standards of generalized abstraction of the good, while human effort toward the good is made in the private context of the individual's lonely path toward balance. It is quite possible for the criticism to be publicly valid but privately irrelevant. That is why, no doubt, human beings have had to construct a conventional arena for the determination of public judgments—the arena we call the political community, in which the rules are known as "the law." The great and unpardonable crime of the totalitarian philosophy is that it declares political standards of the good to be absolute privately as well as publicly. This destroys the validity of the claims of the inner life. It makes the individual a wholly objective being—no more a man, but a constellation of conditioned reflexes. The bad parts, the units which do not respond properly to the stimuli administered by state authority, are simply thrown away. What is wanted, today, is a balance between effort and recognized limitation for the social community. This is the substance, the problem, of political philosophy. But the construction of a good political philosophy requires the prior existence of a good philosophy of man. This we do not have, and the lack is overwhelmingly demonstrated in the excesses and weaknesses of contemporary political philosophy—as for example in Nazism, which Dr. Bettelheim encountered and dealt with with some success in the German concentration camps. Our correspondent has sent us a later letter in which he outlines the relevance of this encounter: A concentration camp is not necessarily guarded over by machine guns, rifles and Nazi soldiers (in the same way that a prison is not necessarily made up of bricks, cement and iron bars), and a man may be one of its inmates even though he is not surrounded by barbed wire. There are more subtle conditions by which men may be degraded, deprived of their dignity, and reduced to a level beneath civilization. Volume XIV, No. 43 The bureaucratization, anonymity, anomie, alienation and impersonalization of modern life are just such conditions, I believe, which have conspired to take man's humanity away from him, and make of him a creature so amoral and depersonalized as to be no longer capable of sustaining significant relations with the world about him. The significance of The Informed Heart is that, in telling us how one man, by understanding himself and his environment, survived in a concentration camp, it tells us how we too might survive in the "concentration camp" of modern society. Now what did Dr. Bettelheim do in this situation? Put simply—no doubt too simply—he refused to adopt stereotyped judgments of human beings. As is well known, much of the emotional drive of the Nazi movement grew out of its deliberate scapegoating of the Jews. The antiSemitic stereotype was a major theme of Nazi propaganda. The Jews in the camps, reduced to impotence in all except their private thoughts, not unnaturally formed a similar stereotype of the SS guards, who for the Jews became images of absolute evil. Dr. Bettelheim rejected this pattern: "My insistence," he writes, "upon approaching the SS as an individual threatened their [the other prisoners'] delusional security, and their violent anger against me becomes understandable as the reaction to the threat." Dr. Bettelheim continues: By projecting into the SS everything they considered evil, the SS became still more powerful and threatening. But the process of projection kept them from using to advantage any chance of viewing the SS man as a real person; it forced them to see him only as an alter ego of pure evil. Therefore the SS was always more cruel, bloodthirsty, and dangerous than any one person can possibly be. Many of them were quite dangerous, some were cruel, but only a small minority were actually perverted, stupid, bloodthirsty, or homicidal. True, they were willing to kill and injure when so ordered, or when they thought their superiors expected it of them. But the fictitious SS was always, and under all circumstances, a bloodthirsty killer. There resulted from this attitude a fear of the SS which on many occasions was actually unjustified and unnecessary. MANAS Reprint October 25, 1961 6 In discussing this passage, we said that by refusing to relapse into stereotyped judgment of the SS guards, Dr. Bettelheim approximated the solution to the problem of war—which gave him "an awful lot of credit," as our correspondent says. But will anyone argue that the rejection of stereotypes is not central to the elimination of war? The emotional excitement necessary to the prosecution of war is absolutely dependent upon the acceptance of such stereotypes. If you could get rid of nationalist self-righteousness, wouldn't you get rid of war in the process? We are thinking also, of course, of all the psychological kin of nationalist self-righteousness when we ask this question. To regard human beings in other lands as individual human beings instead of as faceless units participating in the crimes of an enemy nation would be the most decisive step of peacemaking that we could take. This, in principle, is the step that Dr. Bettelheim took, under the most difficult circumstances imaginable. Well, what we were trying to get at before quoting Dr. Bettelheim was the need for a better philosophy of man before we can have a better political philosophy. This absolute acceptance of the prior reality of individuals is the core of a better philosophy of man. How to give it body and substance, structure and parts, is the project to work on. stereotypes, and it is likely that, insofar as the creation of these new "good German" types is deliberate, the filmmakers feel that they are doing their patriotic duty. The issue, however, is not whether there were "good Germans" whom we tended to overlook when we were occupied with the stereotype of "bad Germans" during the war, but the utterly self-defeating process of thinking in stereotypes. The formula seems to be that a bad or inexpedient stereotype must now be corrected by the circulation of a good or expedient one. This is State thinking, not human thinking. As long as State thinking is permitted to dominate our emotional lives, we shall have war—for War, as Randolph Bourne said, is the Health of the State. We say we want peace, but thousands of cultural model-makers keep on constructing stereotypes as the instruments of affecting or changing public opinion. It is not a particular stereotype—a flawed one, as opposed to a good one—which makes the trouble, but the process of stereotyping. The process is itself an attack on the dignity of man. You can't save a civilization by corrupting it with stereotyped opinions. This psychological bludgeoning, we submit, is the worst sort of lapse between moral claims and action, and needs our attention more than any other common failing of the human race. As a culture, we are a long way from starting on this project. In the Progressive for October Martin Dworkin has an interesting article on postwar films in which there has been an obvious attempt to provide a new stereotype of the Germans. There have been dozens of such movies—Desert Fox, The Young Lions, The Sea Chase, The One That Got Away, and The Last Blitzkrieg, to name a few—in which "nonvillainous or non-political" Germans figure as "Americanized good-guys." Mr. Dworkin assembles a lot of evidence to show that the manipulators of American public opinion believe with all their hearts in the importance of Volume XIV, No. 43 MANAS Reprint October 25, 1961 7 which is characteristic of the philosophical mind in India: REVIEW CHALLENGE TO AMERICA THERE have been few men in high public office, since the early days of the Republic, who have been able to integrate philosophy and ethics with their solutions of the practical problems of government. There is no doubt, however, that Mr. William O. Douglas, of the U.S. Supreme Court, is one of these—a credit to the best in the American tradition, a credit to our time, and a natural educator. The Avon paperback, America Challenged, comprises the second of the 1960 Walter E. Edge Lectures, delivered at Princeton University by Justice Douglas. As President Robert F. Goheen (of Princeton) remarks in a foreword: "The substance of this book is political only in an older, deeper sense of the word than is now common. Its focus is upon matters which relate intimately to—and threaten fundamentally—the moral, intellectual, and spiritual tap-roots of the national community which is our polis." It is of more than passing interest that Justice Douglas begins his evaluation of America's place in the world with a psychological analysis. In an early chapter, "The Individual and the Crowd," he speaks forthrightly on the inroads of mediocrity: For some years we have been lulled by resounding slogans and reassured by those in high places that all is well. Yet civilization has never been in greater danger. The illusion of security still seems to obsess us though we walk the edge of the abyss. The default of ours begins at home. It involves not one but many influences. They have been long in making. They have robbed us of imaginative plans and bold action. We move more and more with the crowd and are infected with its mediocrity. The mediocrity of the crowd threatens indeed to condition our management of internal problems and our approach to the world situation. As his many books have indicated, Justice Douglas is truly a world citizen as well as an American patriot. In developing the analysis begun above, for instance, he uses an approach Volume XIV, No. 43 In the last thirty years we have seen entire societies forced into a single mold dedicated to one ideal, and moving to the impulse of one thought. The communist regimes have brought control of the crowd to a high point of perfection. They have used censorship, tight control of the media of mass communication, repetition of falsehoods. They have developed highly doctrinaire and orthodox citizens. It is my fear that we have drifted or been propelled to similar fixed patterns of thought. In fighting communism we have developed totalitarian attitudes and compulsions of our own. Moreover, the collective patterns of economic life have been on the increase. Collective action may in large degree be necessary so that advances in science and technology may reach the masses. The Indians have a word for the person whose activities and thinking depend on another. He is paratantra. In opposition is swatantra, which means one who has control and power of action over himself. In Indian terms the struggle of this country is between the two forces—for submission subservience, and conformity on one hand, and for independence, individuality, and dissent on the other. It is indeed a world-wide phenomenon. And too often what takes place here and attitudes of our adversaries. It seems at times as if we were almost hypnotized by the movement of the snake's head. The "challenge," then, is fundamentally psychological, and until this is realized no ultimate solution will be forthcoming. Mr. Douglas remarks that, even among conscientious men who have performed long years of public service,there is often a marked tendency to oversimplify the meaning of the present global struggle and to hide behind "devil worship": When I hear some friends talk, I begin to think they have a vested interest in the cold war. When tensions increase, a curious sense of security develops. Hate and suspicion of a foreign influence readily unite people, and united they feel new strength. They are willing to leave knotty problems to the experts in the Pentagon. If we give the military enough money and build bomb shelters at home, perhaps the problems that beset the world will be solved. This is the most dangerous mood a nation today can have. It leads to a slow but steady drift toward holocaust. . . . MANAS Reprint October 25, 1961 8 From such attitudes as these we beguile ourselves into reliance upon loyalty oaths and "unAmerican activities" investigations. But, as Mr. Douglas shows, we really should know better. The "New Order of Ages" which the American Republic was intended to fulfill was to be a true republic of conscience—and whenever a government presumes to determine the state and nature of any citizen's conscience there is no encouragement to that individual integrity upon which the strengthening of conscience depends. On the same subject, Abraham Lincoln said: "On principle, I dislike an oath which requires a man to swear he has not done wrong. It rejects the Christian principle of forgiveness on terms of repentance. I think it enough if a man does no wrong hereafter." It should not be thought that America Challenged fails to provide a realistic picture of communism's alien influences and dangerous maneuvers, but in the context of this essay these problems become the background for the central issue, rather than the central issue itself. America Challenged is required reading for all Americans. After World War II the spread of "oaths" was at first astronomical, as loyalty testing "moved from the realm of conduct into the zone of ideas and beliefs." As Douglas remarks: "We have paid a heavy price for this invasion of the realm of conscience and belief." Justice Douglas places great faith in his conception of international law, but he is realistic enough to point out that such a system cannot emerge full grown from present compromises. Yet time is an ally instead of a foe; workable compromises between communist powers and the democracies are all to the good: The clash of ideologies will continue for years. Time alone will strike a true balance. Time alone will erode the passion for making all faiths bow to the communist will. The situation is not unique in history. Islam on one side and Christian Europe on the other were long at swords' points. In that contest submission or extinction was the goal. Time cured that situation. Time will cure the present one, at first making conditions more malleable and at long last making them wholly negotiable. We are now only at the beginning of the transition and nowhere near the end. We need a passion for peace and a willingness to conciliate all possible differences. We need such a passion for peace that we forego truculence, take the lead in formulating a "rule of law" for international disputes, and cultivate desires to conciliate international differences. Volume XIV, No. 43 MANAS Reprint October 25, 1961 9 COMMENTARY THE FORMS OF ACTION IT ought to be acknowledged that the editorial comment on our correspondent's letter (in the lead article) hardly scratches the surface of the question raised. About all that the editors' notes provide is the suggestion that the gap between thought and action in human behavior is the peculiar affliction of people who try to think about what is wrong with the world and with themselves. It is one thing to point out the confinements suffered by originality and ethical vision in a mass culture, and quite another to break out of the confinements. We have hosts of junior Rousseaus who are eager to explain how "society" has twisted up their lives, but very few Thoreaus who determine to live their own lives. The watchword of militant dissenters, today, is "Action, not words!" Well, what is action? Confronted by this question, the mind runs naturally to the most familiar or dramatic instances. At this writing, the San Francisco-to-Moscow Peace Walkers are much in the news. After mild attention in the American press while they were still in the United States, the Peace Walkers are now making headlines during their visit to Moscow. Moscow University students banged on their desks and shouted, "Let them talk!" when Soviet officials tried to break up a meeting with the Walkers. Newsweek for Oct. 2 quoted Bradford Lyttle, one of the Walk's organizers, as saying: "When we demonstrated against Polaris subs in New London, a worker told us to go to Russia and tell the Russians the same thing. . . . Well, here we are and we certainly are telling them." At Minsk, Jerry Lehman, one of the Walkers, told a Russian audience: "We hope you'll say to your leaders what we said to ours—that no government which urges development of nuclear weapons and tests them is sane." The Russians roared with laughter at this, but not when Lyttle added: "I went to jail because I refused to serve in the U.S. Army. I have protested against American rockets aimed at your cities and families. There are Soviet rockets aimed at my city and family. Are you demonstrating against that?" To this question there were only murmurs for answers, and a Russian girl shook her head. Volume XIV, No. 43 In London ten thousand demonstrators against war gathered in Trafalgar Square in the middle of September, with numerous arrests of sitdowners; in Helsinki trade unionists held a torchlight parade to protest preparations for nuclear war, and in Rome a thousand men marched on the Soviet Embassy. In San Francisco, Calif., on Aug. 8, a group of pacifists began a Hiroshima Day protest against American reliance on nuclear violence. On Aug. 10 several members of this group began to picket the Atomic Energy Commission building in Berkeley. When the United States resumed nuclear testing on Sept. 15, four of the group performed a sit-in protest in the doorways of the AEC building. They were arrested by the Berkeley police for violating an obscure city ordinance. While waiting for the hearing set for Sept. 25, they demonstrated again as sit-ins on the following Monday (Sept. 18) and were once more arrested, to be joined by another sit-in who made similar protest two days later. Four of the men involved, Dean Plagowski, Byron Wahl, Bruce McIntyre, and Jerry Wheeler, were given jail sentences of from a few days to six months, to be served at Santa Rita, the Alameda County Prison Farm at Pleasanton, Calif. Meanwhile, Wheeler and Wahl are scheduled to appear in Tucson late in October to face charges of federal trespass on the Davis Monthan base. (See Jerry Wheeler's notes written in the Pima County Jail, MANAS, Oct. 11.) The fulfillments of direct action and civil disobedience are manifest in the writings and statements of such courageous individuals. While these are protests which are actually being carried out, the idea of "action" to suit inward convictions need not be limited to such demonstrations. Living by principle, refusing to support destructive forms of behavior—not only for war—and withholding nourishment from hypocritical and superficial cultural institutions may find many channels of expression. But private individual decision and even invention of these forms of behavior are natural to developments of this sort, so that public information about them may be scarce. What is wanted is a milieu which will help to make such behavior seem natural, instead of "odd." The creation of this milieu will take time. MANAS Reprint October 25, 1961 10 CHILDREN . . . and Ourselves PROBLEM OF EMOTIONAL MATURATION A SUBSCRIBER has presented us with an excellent booklet issued by the Family Service Association of America in 1948, titled Psychosocial Development of Children, by Dr. Irene M. Josselyn, a research associate for the Institute of Psychoanalysis, in Chicago. Dr. Josselyn's Freudian background finds constructive focus, and her lucid applications of Freudian theory are supplemented by a philosophical dimension. Psychosocial Development of Children had reached its fourth printing by 1953, and is still available through the Family Service Association of America, 192 Lexington Ave., New York 16, N.Y. The lectures forming the pamphlet were presented primarily to social workers. They are brief as to theory, and their preparation for booklet form led to the elimination of all but the essential terms of psychoanalysis. Dr. Josselyn begins by an examination of three typical attitudes towards "maturation." The first is that the emotional capacities of the child need to be "trained" to overcome a-social impulses. In Dr. Josselyn's view, both the theological proponents of "original sin" and the early environmental determinists have been guilty of psychological error when concluding that virtues must somehow be "grafted"—by forceful methods if necessary— upon the originally inhospitable trunk of the child's personality. A second view is that the social instincts can be brought into existence by way of "stimulation through frustration." The child must learn to renounce his own wishes in order to accommodate to what is otherwise an essentially hostile environment made up of other peoples' asocial impulses. Dr. Josselyn lists the third approach as proceeding from a reversal of the assumptions of the other two: The child is to be "protected" from an essentially evil society, since the impulse to socialize is actually the impulse to Volume XIV, No. 43 protect through conformity. This latter point of view, Dr. Josselyn feels, is largely responsible for the extremes of permissiveness which are sometimes a part of "Progressive Education." But now we come to the point which Dr. Josselyn endeavors to explain throughout the course of Psychosocial Development of Children. She writes: Another approach to the problem of emotional development is possible, which, to a certain extent, represents a fusion of all these points of view with a significant modification of the rationale. This approach is based upon the hypothesis that inherent in the psychological structure of every human being is an impulse to grow. Observation of the physical development of the human being lends weight to the theory that he is a total structure, with the physical and the psychological aspects only subdivisions of the over-all being. Inherent in the physical structure of the organism is a growth factor that may be completely checked only by extremely severe malnutrition. Less severe malnutrition leads not to the arrest of growth but to deformities in growth. The most striking example of this is seen in rickets. The deformity of the legs results when the growth impulse remains operative in spite of inadequate nutrition. Adults, because they are no longer in a phase of growth, do not get bowing of the legs from vitamin D deficiency. Clinical observation of children as well as the study of personality distortions in adults suggests the likelihood of a similar psychological growth factor. Emotional "bowlegs" develop when emotional nutrition has been inadequate. There are many parallels between physical and emotional needs, and in the ill effects of meeting these needs inadequately. It has been conclusively established that a child who has attached no negative meaning to food intake will seek those foods that his body needs. Similarly, a child's behavior, if understood, will indicate the emotional hunger the child is trying to meet. Thus, a child of ten will often indicate a need for a dependency type of love much more immature than his chronological age would cause one to anticipate. Something in the current situation or in the child's past experience of chronic hunger at that level explains this pattern of behavior. . . . The analogy appears sound in another sense. The small infant cannot gain proper nutrition from food that meets the needs of adults. The food must be modified to the capacity of the infant to deal with it. MANAS Reprint October 25, 1961 11 Emotionally this is equally true. The way in which the emotional needs are met must be modified according to the emotional age of the individual. An infant cannot meet his own physical requirements or provide for himself the necessary protection from the dangers of the external world. He needs the protection of an adult. So also, emotionally the child is not born prepared to deal with the frustrations and the dangers of the outside world. He needs to have the tempering of the situation which only an adult can give. This tempering cannot be arbitrarily defined, however, but must be uniquely adapted to the structure of the individual. Nor is it surprising that when a magistrate says: "Why did you steal the car, contract VD, and hit the policeman?" few boys answer: "I did it because I expect a thermonuclear war this summer." To answer like that, a boy would need courage and insight and if he had those he would not have stolen the car, etc. We are dealing with ordinary mortals. If we want to reduce the national juvenile violence rate we must reduce the international senile violence threats. If we want to reduce the juvenile theft rate, we must share increasing wealth justly. They will not be better than us. In the light of this analysis, it is difficult not to feel some sympathy for the psychic position of the "beats" and delinquents as presented in Paul Goodman's Growing Up Absurd. For what concept of meaningful growth toward something is offered youth in the contemporary world? Wayland Young in the Manchester Guardian (Aug. 3) presents a view of society as a teen-ager may see it—showing why the idea, or more important, the feeling, of "positive growth" is extremely difficult to reach. Mr. Young writes: Far the most important reason why young people are decreasingly inclined to accept the world as they find it, is that the world proposes to incinerate them at any moment it feels like it. The ordinary, wide awake, boy or girl between sixteen and twenty cannot conceive how anyone can have been so bloody daft as to build H bombs. How can they possibly be expected to go along with any of that? The last war was before they were born; the Russian revolution is ancient history. Elders and—what? betters?—can explain about ' one-party rule and people's tribunals till they are blue in the face, that is two steps away from experience. What is one step away from experience is this. They are alive, and they like that. They have bodies and minds which look nice and work well, and fit together nicely. But the majority society says they must expect to see all that burned and poisoned at any moment. They hear about deterrence, civil defence, megatons, radiuses of total destruction, fallout, decontamination, and West Berlin. They hear it and they believe it. It is hardly surprising that they bring on the kicks and the giggles quickly, while there is still time, exactly as people did in the last decade of the Tenth Century, when they thought the world was going to end in the year 1000. Volume XIV, No. 43 MANAS Reprint October 25, 1961 12 FRONTIERS In Honor of Bertrand Russell SITTING in a London jail last month, eighty-nineyear-old Bertrand Russell, possibly Britain's most distinguished citizen, and certainly her most distinguished thinker and intellectual, issued a call for world-wide support of the campaign against nuclear armament. Russell had been arrested for an act of civil disobedience and sentenced to seven days. As leader of the British Anti-Nuclear Committee of 100, Russell inaugurated an international resistance movement against nuclear war, urging, "Resist while time permits." A press report gave his statement as follows: "We declare a movement of international resistance to nuclear war and to weapons of mass extermination. . . . We call upon people everywhere to rise against this monstrous tyranny. We call upon scientists to refuse to work on nuclear weapons. We call upon workers to black [boycott] all work connected with them and to use their industrial strength in the struggle for life. "We will not tolerate the incineration of human beings because governments are occupied with idiotic matters of prestige." Meanwhile, on Sunday, Sept. 17, with Russell still in jail, thousands of Britons began to range through central London in defiance of a police ban on all assemblies, parades, and demonstrations in that area. Outnumbering the police, the antinuclear demonstrators marched through Trafalgar Square toward the houses of Parliament to record their protest. The time chosen by the Committee of 100 for the protest was the twenty-first anniversary of the Battle of Britain. To control the demonstration, the police had to use mounted patrols and bring up fleets of trucks and busses to carry off the marchers to lockups. By Monday morning, over thirteen hundred people had been arrested, including such notables as John Osborne and Shelagh Delaney, playwrights, and the actress, Vanessa Redgrave. Also taken into custody were John Collins, the Anglican canon who is chairman of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, and Fenner Brockway, Labor member of Parliament. Volume XIV, No. 43 Most of the arrested persons had engaged in nonviolent sit-downs when confronted by the police, and went limp on the pavement when the arrests were made, obliging the police to carry them to the patrol cars. (In Scotland, on the same day, seventy anti-Polaris demonstrators were arrested for protesting near the U.S. submarine base at Holy Loch, bringing the total of weekend imprisonments there to 368. A number of women and children were among those arrested at Holy Loch.) Commenting on the large number of the demonstrators in Trafalgar Square, the acting secretary of the Committee of 100, Patrick Pottle, said: "We have thousands of the London demonstrations supporters—married and single— who are willing to go to prison." [ Shortly after Mr. Russell's arrest was reported, MANAS received from T. Lindley Chatburn, of Philadelphia, a short essay in appreciation of the British philosopher. Since Mr.Chatburn founds his objection to war on secular grounds (see MANAS for Jan. 4, 1961), just as Bertrand Russell does, and since the latter has once again served a term in jail to emphasize the gravity of his convictions, we print this essay below.] __________ THE STRANGE MR. RUSSELL It is not the least bit surprising that Lord Bertrand Russell, who has so often been in the limelight as a spokesman for rationality and humanitarian ideals, has once again got himself tossed into prison for actively protesting the international drifts toward nuclear war. Whether you are inclined to agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Russell in all his thinking and philosophical convictions seems relatively unimportant. Mr. Russell has not always agreed with himself; and upon a number of occasions he has radically altered his viewpoints. What does seem important, however, and deserving of admiration, is that he has consistently acted in accordance with what may be called his highest understanding of the matters at hand. He has never been one to be had by opinion—private or collective. This has MANAS Reprint October 25, 1961 13 undoubtedly been a disconcerting factor to many who would have liked to claim him as an advocate of their immediate sympathies. In the past he has been—among other things—a staunch pacifist, and also has advocated military intervention when he felt the atrocities being committed against the Jews in Nazi Germany were too intolerable to be ignored. In a warm room of apathy and credulity Lord Russell is an open window and a cold draft, and the British authorities are more than interested in taking steps to close him, for a while anyway. But Lord Russell has had too wide an audience. No one who has ever seriously read and pondered his scholarly works, could in all reasonableness, consider him a crackpot. His writing is brilliant for its simplicity and precision. He has written on such subjects as, History, Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Mathematics, Logic and Education; and in nearly all cases his writings have indicated a strong desire to create in man a sensible concept of human dignity and practical idealism. Never the escapist or quixotic dreamweaver; never the partialist but always the universalist, he has laid out with humor, austerity and unflinching determination the rules and courses of action he has felt necessary for the realization of a sane and healthy existence. And only those individuals and social institutions that cannot bear the foundation-jarring effects of unchained philosophical analysis and criticism can possibly ignore him. I have heard upon more than one occasion someone shrug him off as wallowing in superficies and senility. This attitude of mind, of course, is not a new one. If you desire to turn away from the challenge of a great man's thought and direction, you either build a mystical religion around him, or simply render him psychologically unpalatable by endowing him with some inane label to distort the image: thus the words pacifist, crank, idealist and reactionary come into misinterpreted existence as formidable barriers. And then when these labels are shot all over the world through the mass media of the times, it becomes almost impossible for the average person Volume XIV, No. 43 to grasp situations in terms of any moral significance. In a conversation the other day someone remarked: "What the hell's an old guy like that sticking his nose in public affairs for anyhow? He's so old that he'll be lucky if he's around another year—what a nut! " "Yes," I remarked, "I guess he is kind of strange. Billy Graham has been telling us here in Philadelphia that we better have a Bible in our bomb-shelters and survival kits if we want to be assured of salvation. Even the Pope has been voicing concern for the world from the Vatican, and suggesting prayer for deliverance. I guess this old guy Russell has different ideas as to what must be done if mankind is to be saved—but he's not a Christian, you know." T. LINDLEY CHATBURN Philadelphia MANAS Reprint October 25, 1961 ...
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