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VOLUME XVII, NO. 5 JANUARY 29, 1964 THE AMERICANIZATION OF PSYCHOANALYSIS [This article by Walter A. Weisskopf is reprinted from Psychoanalysis and the Future, a Freud Centenary Memorial, constituting a special double issue of Psychoanalysis, replacing Vol. 4, No. 4, and Vol. 5, No. 1, 1957, through the courtesy of the editors and the publisher, National Psychology Association for Psychoanalysis, Inc.] THE time has evidently come for a fresh evaluation of the changes wrought in psychoanalysis as a result of its transplantation from Central Europe to the United States. It will be the purpose of this paper to survey briefly the connections between two sets of changes: (1) The substitution of a "forward-looking" ameliorative outlook for an allegedly pessimistic and authoritarian Weltanschauung, and (2) The growing interpenetration of psychoanalysis and American social science. As Professor Lasswell1 and a number of other contemporary observers have noted, this pattern of interpenetration was neither one-sided nor uncomplicated; it has been a pattern of acceptance, rejection and partial incorporation.2 Psychoanalysis has become a naturalized American citizen by undergoing marriage to the social sciences. The Americanization of psychoanalysis has meant its "socialization." At this juncture one is obliged to ask: How successful and how happy has this marriage been, to date? Have the repressed elements vanished without a trace of difficulty, or do they recur below the surface and prove to be sources of severe maladjustment? Did this union not compel psychoanalysis to shed many traits which did not easily fit into its new, socially-oriented, intellectual environment? The present writer is frank to avow in his opinion a great, even excessive, price has been and is paid for this attempt at "progress." Systems of thought, such as psychoanalysis and the social sciences, are not merely neutral codifications of observed behavior. They are also self-interpretations of man. As such, they contain judgments of value and expressions of faith and assume the guise of religion and philosophy by dealing, at least implicitly, with questions of ultimate concern. Thus, contemporary psychoanalysis and the social sciences may legitimately be viewed as symptoms of deeperlying attitudes. Their interrelations and their antagonism betray often the hidden moral temper of the times. On the basis of this recognition we can apply psycho-analytic concepts to culture, a technique of exploration which elsewhere I have called the psycho-cultural approach.3 It may lead to results which conflict with our conscious and rationalistic interpretation of these disciplines, but it may reveal unconscious philosophies and cosmogonies which are traditionally repressed by the ratiocinations of psychoanalysts and social scientists. Freud's thought was molded by the cultural atmosphere of the period that ended with the first World War. From this period it derived its biologism, its subtle and paradoxical blend of rationalism and irrationalism, its dualistic character and its pessimism. The Freudian theory of treatment is definitely a child of rationalism. Although it would be a mistake to believe that psychoanalysis attributes therapeutic value to mere awareness of unconscious conflicts, the goal of its therapy is to make man more rational. Psychoanalysis wants to relieve man from the pressure of uncontrollable drives and make possible rational control and free decision. Ultimately, the irrational is confronted and subordinated to reason. On the other hand, Freud has restored the dimension of irrationality to our picture of man. He has emphasized the importance of the unconscious, of destructive and primitive instincts, of the libido. His system of MANAS Reprint - LEAD ARTICLE 2 thought and therapy centered around that "cauldron of seething excitement," which Freud called the Id. Scientific interest and emphasis contain an element of positive evaluation. Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century rationalism had nearly suppressed the demonic, irrational aspects of human existence. Freud unearthed them again and made them acceptable. In this combination of rationalism and irrationalism, Freud's thought reflects modern Western civilization, which is rational to the extreme in science, technology, and economic action, but utterly irrational in matters of ultimate personal concern. The dualistic character of Freud's thought manifests itself in its plethora of antinomies. Human existence appears as a situation of conflict between the conscious and the unconscious, between eros and the death instinct, between the libido and the various taboos, between the pleasure principle and the reality principle, between the id and the superego, between drives and civilization. This conflict-ridden dualism is imbued with pessimism. Freud's picture of man is one of weakness and impotence, of a being driven by uncontrollable, instinctual drives, hemmed in by superego and the requirements of society, trying, with a weak ego, to make the best of a desperate situation. Freud believes in an ineluctable conflict between the demands of the instincts and the taboos of civilization; complete fulfillment and happiness are well-nigh impossible. These overtones of Freudian thought were modified or eliminated in the Americanization and socialization of psychoanalysis. Although the psychoanalytic bent towards naturalism and biologism was largely in accord with American thinking, its amalgamation with libido and sex was not quite acceptable to the social sciences. A shift took place, away from the emphasis on individual biological drives, to socially-acquired traits as prime movers of human behavior. This trend is quite obvious in Professor Lasswell's suggestion that social values rather than biological impulses, Volume XVII, No. 5 provide the starting point of social psychology.4 However, Freudian irrationalism, dualism and pessimism are incompatible with the American optimistic belief in the rational, progressive perfectibility of man and society. Although there is much discussion of inner conflicts of NeoFreudianism, the basic orientation is a hopeful optimism that such conflicts can be overcome and that a harmonious integration within the personality and within society is possible. On the other hand, the amalgamation of psychoanalysis with social thought has rested upon two pillars of the Freudian system, its concept of the unconscious and its metapsychology. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries Descartes and others divided man into two spheres: body and mind, or animal nature and reason. The realm of the psyche was eliminated and suppressed in thought. In the unconscious, Freud rediscovered this "middle sphere of human nature"—"with one face turned towards the mind and one turned towards the body," to quote Paul Tillich. In spite of the Freudian emphasis on the biological foundations of the id, the openness of the unconscious towards the mind and the spirit was implicitly recognized. In the unconscious, Freud included the superego and ego-ideal, which form a link between the psyche and—to quote Freud himself—"the higher things in life." The rediscovery of the psyche of social thought explained human and social behavior either by bodily needs or by rational action alone. It shook the foundations of the older social sciences, such as economics and political theory of the Lockian and Jeffersonian types. In the psychologicallyoriented social sciences such as social psychology, cultural anthropology and sociology, the rediscovery of the psyche led to an internalization of social problems, corresponding to the socialization of psychological phenomena. This internalization required the acceptance of Freudian meta-psychology, of Freud's distinction between the id, the ego, and the superego. The superego concept made symbiosis MANAS Reprint January 29, 1964 3 between psychoanalysis and the social sciences possible. It eliminated the gap between intraindividual and social phenomena. According to Freud, the superego is the representative of society in the psyche. Social commands, rules, norms and values become, through the process of socialization and internalization, part and parcel of the individual personality. This assumption made it legitimate to scrutinize social norms and institutions from the vantage-point of individual psychology. Social problems thus became, in part, psychological problems. External maladjustments were reflected in inner conflicts. The concept of man became thereby again a true microcosm, reflecting the polar nature of human existence with its tensions between the social and the individual but encompassing both within the boundaries of one personality. The importance of the concept of the superego in Neo-Freudian psychology and in the social sciences is shown by the fact that a number of variations of this concept have been developed, such as Abram Kardiner's "basic personality structure" and Erich Fromm's "social-character concept." The terminal point of this development may be found in Harry Stack Sullivan's theory of interpersonal relations. In the thought of Freud, a clear-cut distinction is made between the individual and the social aspect of the individual psyche. This distinction is, to some extent, maintained by Kardiner and Fromm, although the emphasis shifted more and more to the social aspects. In Sullivan's system the concept of the individual seems to evaporate; it is dissolved into that of interpersonal social relations. The "socialization" of the individual seems complete; the "social self" has all but obliterated the "real self." These various concepts of a social agent within the psyche, however, have made possible a thorough analysis of the process of socialization and internalization and of the interrelations between culture and personality structure. Perhaps the most fruitful use of these concepts has Volume XVII, No. 5 been made in David Riesman's typology of innerand other-directedness. Here, however, the application of Freudian metapsychology to social phenomena led to a fundamental dilemma. Freud considered his concept of the superego (as well as all of his findings) as universally applicable to all human beings and cultures. The superego, according to Freud, represents the severe father whose commands are in conflict with the drives and instincts of the individual. One would, however, apply Riesman's typology to the Freudian concept. The Freudian superego could be interpreted as a reflection of the inner-directed attitudes of the nineteenth century, when a patriarchal society imposed general goals and restrictions on the individual. Maladjustments could then be explained by the exaggerated harshness of the superego whose repressive commands created feelings of inferiority and guilt. The social character in other societies, especially in the other-directed one, embodies quite different directives, such as orientation towards others, a strict conformity albeit not dictated by prescribed means, alleviated by the tolerance of a limited marginal differentiation. In this case, maladjustments arise not because of severe repressions and subsequent guilt-feelings, but from insecurity created by a lack of rules. In the Freudian situation the problems are created by overstrict rules; in the other-directed situation by the anomie lack of rules. Thus a fundamental question arises: is the conflict between the individual and the internalized commands of society a basic existential situation; or is it a historically relative situation which can be changed by a different character orientation and by different social institutions? An answer to this question is of prime importance for the social sciences and for social policies. If Freudian pessimism prevails, the conflict between instinctual drives of the individual and the repressions and inhibitions of society is an ineluctable condition of human existence. Were this true the discomfort of MANAS Reprint January 29, 1964 4 civilization could only be eliminated by the disintegration of civilization. This is not the approach of recent American social thought. Riesman's concept of autonomy has a positively utopian and idealistic connotation. He seems to believe that autonomy can be realized in this world under certain social and characterological conditions. Even his model of other-directedness is perhaps more than a merely socio-psychological type. It can be interpreted as a step in the direction of an ideal society of greater solidarity and community. In A. Maslow's ideal of a psychologically perfect society which he calls "eupsychia,"5 in Fromm's blueprint of a sane society,6 even in Herbert Marcuse's idea of a society without repression,7 an optimistic note is struck on the possibility of harmonizing and integrating social institutions with the basic needs of the human personality. Professor Lasswell's socio-psychoanalysis, centering around social values, also points in this direction. The outlook in the psychoanalytically-minded social sciences ranges from the outright conservatism of the majority who believe in personal integration through adjustment to society, to a few psychological reformers who want to change society to permit the fuller development of man. But the intellectual atmosphere is characterized by an optimistic, rationalistic faith in progress and perfectibility. However, abandonment of the individualistic pessimism of Freud has removed an important rationalization for the undeniable suffering in civilization. For such suffering, if regarded as an inevitable part of human destiny, becomes easier to bear. Optimistic social thought makes discomfort in civilization difficult to explain and causes guilt-feelings in those who are unhappy under existing conditions. The easiest way out of this dilemma is to deny the conflict between man and society and to preach the gospel of social adjustment, a line which present-day social psychology all too frequently adopts. Volume XVII, No. 5 I shall conclude on a note of warning. Once Freud was asked by a group of students how they should behave in a repressive society. His answer was: "Adjust, but under protest." If we dissolve personality into social roles we destroy the inner possibility of such a protest. This is the great danger of an oversocialized psychology and psychotherapy.8 WALTER A. WEISSKOPF Roosevelt University, Chicago __________ NOTES 1. This paper is an expression of comments on an address by Harold Lasswell, "Impact of Psychoanalytic Thinking on the Social Sciences," delivered as part of the commemoration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Social Science Research Building of the University of Chicago. See Leonard D. White, (ed.) The State of the Social Sciences (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1956), pp. 84-115. 2. For the situation prior to the death of Freud (I939), see the commemoration number of the American Journal of Sociology, Vol. XLV, No. 3 (November, 1939), especially the articles of E. W. Burgess and H. Lasswell. 3. Weisskopf, The Psychology of Economics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1955). 4. Lasswell prefers the term, "Sociopsychoanalysis." Op. cit., pp. 107-12: in the memorial volume edited by L. White, The State of the Social Sciences (see Note 1). 5. H. Maslow, Motivation and Personality (New York: Harper, 1954) 6. Fromm, The Sane Society (New York: Rinehart, 1956). 7. Marcuse, Eros and Civilization (Boston: Beacon Press, 1955). 8. This point has been made most forcefully in recent days by Lionel Trilling especially in his Freud and the Crisis of our Culture (Boston: Beacon Press, 1956). MANAS Reprint January 29, 1964 5 REVIEW SANTAYANA AND JUNG THE AMERICAN SCHOLAR (Winter, 1963-64) brings to light an unpublished essay by George Santayana, titled "Spirit in the Sanctuary"— originally intended for his book, The Realm of the Spirit, but omitted, even though the author had himself written the word "Important" on his copy of the essay. A few paragraphs give the tone and the nature of these reflections, often reminiscent of the last writings of C. G. Jung. "Spirit in the Sanctuary" begins: Absolute truth is hidden from us, and the deeper our science goes, the more ghostly it becomes. In entering that temple we have passed out of the sunlight. We are no longer surrounded by living objects, but by images of the gods. That to which spirit aspires, initially and indomitably, the full truth and the perfect good, dwells like the gods of Egypt in a dark inner chamber. It can be fitly approached only with downcast eyes and declared only in a half-intelligible liturgy by a priest shorn and purified and clothed in white, reverently treading the ground unshod, and bearing in one hand a flickering lamp and in the other a censer that spreads in puffs a half-translucent sweet-smelling cloud. Legend is such a cloud of incense, science is such a lamp. They reveal secrets and express awe, leaving us acquainted with the unintelligible beauty and terror of things, with some sure measure for them, and some means of propitiating them. In scientific theory we remain, as it were, in the outer hall or narthex of the sacred edifice. Daylight, if not sunlight, continues to flood the scene with an indirect illumination. Sensuous brightness may be gone, but conceptual lucidity is enhanced, and we see more plainly than ever the essential geometrical lines of our pictorial world. The mystery thickens, however, if we are allowed to penetrate further. Soon human categories become inapplicable. We should therefore be guilty of blasphemy if, on first seeing into the recesses of the inner temple and finding them dark, we asserted that there was nothing there, no gods and even no recesses. On the contrary, with a little patience, we may begin to see in the dark, to distinguish, I mean, region from region by a new kind of perception, as some animals do by scent, or by instinctive reactions to us Volume XVII, No. 5 incomprehensible. We should then be able to guide our steps through that maze, like the priest with his lamp. And this simile hardly does our case justice, because the invisible regions open to spirit are not confined and increasingly narrowed, like the concentric passages in an Egyptian sanctuary. If science ever proves to be a blind alley, that is only because it thinks in terms of the human senses, terms too gross and summary to express the deeper structure of nature. Essentially, round each sensuous image and each pulse of feeling there opens out for pure intelligence an endless radiation of kindred or of contrasted forms. Where perception ends imagination begins, and far from being smothered or lost in nothingness, spirit is liberated from the continual irrelevance and self-interruption of sensation, and is allowed to deepen apprehension of what has already been revealed. And this store of impressions is no dead treasure; every idea is a seed; and presently a whole garden, a whole forest, springs up out of those few grains of experience. In the "last thoughts" of Jung there is a philosophic parallel. The counterpoint of religion and science is an inevitable result of the constitution of the human psyche. Jung writes: So far as perception and cognition are concerned, we cannot see beyond the psyche. Science is tacitly convinced that a non-psychic, transcendental object exists. But science also knows how difficult it is to grasp the real nature of the object, especially when the organ of perception fails or is lacking, and when the appropriate modes of thought do not exist or have still to be created. In cases where neither our sense organs nor their artificial aids can attest the presence of a real object, the difficulties mount enormously, so that one feels tempted to assert that there is simply no real object present. I have never drawn this overhasty conclusion, for I have never been inclined to think that our senses were capable of perceiving all forms of being. I have, therefore, even hazarded the postulate that the phenomenon of archetypal configurations—which are psychic events par excellence—may be founded upon a psychoid base, that is, upon an only partially psychic and possibly altogether different form of being. For lack of empirical data I have neither knowledge nor understanding of such forms of being, which are commonly called spiritual. From the point of view of science, it is immaterial what I may believe on that score, and I must accept my ignorance. But insofar as the archetypes act upon me, they are real and actual to me, even though I do not know what their real MANAS Reprint January 29, 1964 6 nature is. This applies, of course, not only to the archetypes but to the nature of the psyche in general. Whatever it may state about itself, it will never get beyond itself. All comprehension and all that is comprehended is in itself psychic, and to that extent we are hopelessly cooped up in an exclusively psychic world. Nevertheless, we have good reason to suppose that behind this veil there exists the uncomprehended absolute object which affects and influences us—and to suppose it even, or particularly, in the case of psychic phenomena about which no verifiable statements can be made. Statements concerning possibility or impossibility are valid only in specialized fields: outside those fields they are merely arrogant presumptions. Santayana's concludes: "Spirit in the Sanctuary" The darkness of the holy of holies is a protective darkness, not a product of fudge. The spirit needs it as the eye requires the eyelid to relieve and to punctuate its visions, and requires sleep to rest from them altogether and to digest them. If the priests tell you that they have miracle-working relics or secret oracles concealed in the sanctuary, they are speaking in parables without knowing it. They have nothing worth mentioning in the ark or the Kaaba; their consecrated wafer has no magic powers, their holy wells nothing medicinal: yet there is salvation in turning from the world of men and of words into that darkness and silence. In the sanctuary the spirit renews its youth, shakes off its cruel obsessions like a bad dream, reasserts its indomitable affinities with things not human, and learns to return to its earthly life no longer a slave, no longer altogether a fool, but conscious of the invisible deity for whom all these are little troubles, punishments sent without anger, and false promises that, in our deepest being, we do not wish had been true. Jung proposes that behind the veil of sense perception "there exists the uncomprehended absolute object which affects and influences us." In an article in Science for April 23, 1954, Duhem is quoted as saying: Physical theory never gives us the explanation of experimental laws; it never reveals realities hiding under sensible appearances; but the more complete it becomes, the more we apprehend that the logical order in which theory orders experimental laws is the reflection of an ontological order, the more we suspect that the relations it establishes among the data of perception correspond to real relations among things, and the more we feel that theory tends to be a natural classification. . . . the physicist is compelled to recognize that it would be unreasonable to work for the progress of physical theory if this theory were not the increasingly better defined and more precise reflection of a metaphysics; the belief in an order transcending physics is the sole justification of physical theory. Thus Duhem also rejects the "overhasty conclusion" that behind the phenomena of sense perception, "there is simply no real object present." He, too, finds the "store of impressions" to contain the seeds of a "whole garden" of transcendent conceptions. In these days of basic questioning of the meaning and value of science, there should be value in drawing a further parallel—in this case between both Santayana and Jung and a theoretical physicist, Pierre Duhem. It appears that by quite another route of investigation, Duhem arrived at conclusions which are very close to the view so suggestively described by Santayana and Jung. "In scientific theory," Santayana says, "we remain, as it were, in the outer hall or narthex of the sacred edifice." And Volume XVII, No. 5 MANAS Reprint January 29, 1964 7 COMMENTARY SOURCES OF STRENGTH THE phrase used by Dr. Roy Menninger (see Frontiers)—"lasting belief in sources of strength other than weapons alone"—is not one that is easily set aside. What does this expression mean, and what does it imply? A realistic interpretation would be that there is a kind of strength which, although not armed with weapons, can nonetheless confront weapons. Dr. Menninger didn't say this, but what other meaning is worth considering? After all, reason versus reason is a fair and familiar encounter. Of course, we say, you use reason to cope with reason. But to use reason, or some other nonphysical resource, to meet the threat of violence— that would constitute an extraordinary development in the affairs of men. Yet isn't this implied by Dr. Menninger? Before 1945, the confrontation of weapons with weapons seemed to most men a sensible and necessary arrangement. But now this confrontation means, potentially, "only the devastating outcome that all of us consider so possible." Why are weapons supposed to be effective? The theory is that with weapons you either frighten your opponents into conformity or you defeat them in war and then compel them, again by fear, to conform. To be without weapons, and yet to deal with an opponent who has weapons, means, then, one thing above all. It means that you must be without fear. In this case the weapons may still be effective, but only for killing, not for gaining the end of submission. In this case, weapons lose much if not all of their utility. The man or nation with weapons wants your conformity, not your death. You are of no use to him dead. You cannot buy his goods if you are dead. You cannot serve his expansive ends or join his political society if you are dead. Nor does it pleasure him to kill you. No normal human being delights in Volume XVII, No. 5 killing. Killing has never been highly regarded as an end, except among psychotics. When psychotics, such as Hitler, gain political power, you have special problems, and these will no doubt have to be dealt with, but let us consider the normal men, the great majority, who nonetheless kill and hold killing to be on occasion necessary. Refusing to be intimidated by weapons, then, is a kind of strength which does not depend upon weapons. Were men in some number possessed of this strength, it would certainly diminish the occasions when men resort to arms. Resort to arms would in many such cases tend to be regarded as outside of rational policy. But of course, there might still be those so reliant on weapons that they would insist on going ahead with their violence, on the theory that in the long run this will accomplish their ends. Here, then, comes another question. Has a dead man strength? Is there a moral energy or influence in tombs? Is the sight of burnt and mutilated bodies any sort of deterrent to the man with weapons? Has, for example, the fate of Hiroshima had any effect upon American policy in regard to arms? Just possibly, underneath the brash certainty of our righteousness, there are doubts and wonderings. Just possibly, the "grave misgivings" felt by General Eisenhower before the atomic bombing of Japan were a symptom of wider human reactions that would come after. The example is perhaps not a good one, since the Japanese victims of the bombing were neither fearful nor unfearful. It came to them totally unawares. In any event, are we assuming altogether too much in speaking of people who have learned not to fear? Is this possible? What sort of men do not fear death? We commonly call men who do not fear death heroes. Can we have a theory of progress, of defense, that calls for such heroes? One must wonder about this. It is true enough that ideas of human development and climactic excellence, in every MANAS Reprint January 29, 1964 8 culture, were once scaled to the ideal of the hero. From the ideal of the hero came the full conception of the dignity of Man. Children were once nurtured on tales of the courage and daring of heroic figures, and are still, to some extent. But we must admit that the cultural matrix of modern society is not calculated to foster heroism. We have few forms of apprenticeship to greatness, and those which do exist usually run counter to the grain of our civilization. Heroism may seem an impossible ideal, just now, mainly because we pay so little attention to its requirements. In our society, we have little to say about the reality of deathless values—the qualities of being which take away a man's fear of death. How is that? we ask. How can we not fear death because of certain values, when death is the end of all value? But is it? It is plain enough that to say that death ends all value is also to say that man is no more than a thing. There is no heroism in things, nor in behalf of them. But there has been and is heroism in some men; perhaps, somewhere, in all. Men who give their lives for what they believe to be true and right are, we say, men who transcend death. We have said this for thousands of years and we insist that we believe it. Why do we believe it? Do we, just possibly believe it because we know in our hearts that it is true? Then why should we assume that the death of a heroic fighting man armed with weapons is more glorious, more self-fulfilling, and more to be expected of people than the death of a man without weapons, who nonetheless stands firm? If we are "to find a lasting belief in sources of strength other than weapons," we need to think about such things. Volume XVII, No. 5 MANAS Reprint January 29, 1964 9 to educational progress which badly needs reduction: the prevailing system of teacher certification, which has created something like a monopoly in the control of teaching jobs. CHILDREN . . . and Ourselves PERSPECTIVES ON A PROFESSION AT the close of the last school season, Dr. Karl Menninger performed a function characteristically allocated by high school boards, whenever possible, to men of eminence; he gave a commencement address in his home town. This psychiatrist of international repute, earned during the foundation years of the Menninger clinic and in V.A. hospital administration, is and always has been a teacher, above any of his other accomplishments. Therefore, when he invites the members of a graduating class to consider seriously teaching as a profession, and when he speaks of the "glory and rewards" of this vocation, one listens with respect: Wherever you are, you can find ways to help bring education up to the level it deserves to occupy in our national life. You might want to take a hand directly, and I still recommend teaching. The fact that it doesn't pay huge salaries recommends it; it pays other dividends. I am, as you know, in the business of seeing unhappy people, and I will tell you a secret: We don't see many school teachers in psychiatric clinics! Teachers are human beings and they have their troubles, but they have a joyous vocation. "One thing I know," said Albert Schweitzer, "the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found a way to serve." And as a psychiatrist I can tell you, sadly, that a great many people never do find a way. (Menninger Quarterly, Fall, 1963.) Today we are increasingly aware of the obstacles in the way of reaping the "rewards" of teaching as a career. The controversy between the "basic educationists" and the inheritors of the progressive education philosophy is continued in scores of published volumes each year. We don't know precisely how James B. Conant's The Education of American Teachers (McGraw-Hill, 1963) should be regarded, in terms of these alignments, but he does bear down on one barrier Volume XVII, No. 5 State education officials and the schools of professional education have become, in Dr. Conant's words, "beneficiaries of a high protective tariff wall." Conant does not rail at what the Basic Educationists term a low standard of intellectuality, but he argues that too much suprainstitutional control of teaching is a bad thing: "When a body [NCATE] not subject to any public control whatsoever gains authority to determine, under certain conditions, who will and who will not be certified to teach, it seeks to impose undue uniformity on institutions of higher education." Dr. Conant favors diversification of background in the teaching profession, and to this end calls for abolition of state certifications as they now exist. He feels that "the ultimate test should be how the teacher actually performs in the classroom, as judged by experienced teachers." The Council of Basic Education, understandably, is happy to approve this portion of Mr. Conant's proposal and, while we by no means support the platform of this organization on all counts, we are here in solid agreement. The important thing is that a teacher desires to teach and that he is knowledgeable in his subject. At present we have a system under which a teacher gets consistent raises for piling up credits in education courses, with little regard for whether or not he is really interested in teaching, or whether these courses increase his knowledge in respect to what he teaches. Dr. Conant recommends that school boards discontinue the offer of salary raises for such course-taking and instead institute a master's degree program which could be undertaken during the summer months to avoid interfering with the primary work of teaching classes. Raises in pay would come when such a program has been completed. Dr. Conant's book deserves further attention, and we may refer to it again, but these MANAS Reprint January 29, 1964 10 proposals are obviously worth discussion. They point the way to needed reforms in the means by which a teacher advances in his profession. Another area in need of similar changes begins to be apparent in the structure of many adult education programs. This lonely child of professional teaching has escaped most political machinations for control of certification, partly because these teachers are really underpaid. On the other hand, a teacher in adult education may serve his community with enthusiasm and to the considerable benefit of the students without a secondary credential or master's degree, providing he has something to teach which people want to learn. An artist, a writer, a retired man of competence in a particular field, can demonstrate directly to the public his qualifications as a teacher. If he has little to say, or fails to communicate adequately, the enrollment of his courses will dwindle, but if, on the other hand, he succeeds in maintaining and informing a comparatively full classroom, he will be encouraged to extend his efforts. Above all, he can construct his own course, and for this reason his enthusiasm is apt to be at its highest pitch. Well-established university professors are sometimes lured into adult education because of this sort of teaching opportunity. Returning to Dr. Menninger, it seems worth pointing out that ethical conceptions as the foundation of the good life are at last appearing in serious thought. For at least two generations, to speak of "finding a way to serve" was distinctly declassé, and ideas of altruism and concern for others seldom found expression. Today, however, it is being realized that moral feelings and intentions may be the most important measure of human health or wholeness. Naturally enough, it is the psychotherapists, the men who have studied the ills of the psyche, who have become sensitive to this need. And they have the capacity, as scientists, to speak of such matters in humanist terms, without reviving outmoded forms of religiosity. But how can so individualistic an approach be applied to the accreditation problems of the high school and college? This is not a "system," but rather a fortunate lack of one. Dr. Conant seems to be on the right track in suggesting that formal requirements for the preparation of teachers should become much more elastic, and that the competence or desirability of a certain instructor should be judged, not by a logbook, but by his effectiveness in his chosen field. Teachers' pay increases are as much a part of prospects for the future as pay increases in industry, and it seems to us that the greater emolument should have some direct relationship to the sort of teaching being done. Volume XVII, No. 5 MANAS Reprint January 29, 1964 11 FRONTIERS Toward Better Social Science AMONG the recent efforts of the American Friends Service Committee to promote serious thinking about the means to peace has been the pamphlet series, Beyond Deterrence, concerned with the possibility of steps which rely upon something besides the massive fear of one contestant for another in the cold war. These pamphlets have provided discussions of varying usefulness, but the sixth in the series, War within Man, by Erich Fromm, with comments by several other writers, seems of particular importance. This study, as might be expected, is psychologically oriented, and the ground examined is the nature of man. The outcome— again, as might be expected—is "controversial," although the differences of opinion which emerge, instead of representing stubborn stances, denote rather regions of uncertainty and a questioning of assumptions. Having read the pamphlet through, the reader finds that its contents may be summarized in the form of some questions. For example: Is there, as a result of the recent progress in depth psychology and in the practice of psychotherapy, a knowledge about the springs of human behavior which can be applied to the social problems of mankind? If it be admitted that such knowledge exists, what modifications or changes in modern political thinking will be necessary in order to put it to work? It is obvious that such questions are radical in a new way. They imply a fundamental critique, not of society, but of the traditional forms of thinking about social change. Naturally, any such critique is bound to encounter much resistance, since it cannot help but call into question, not merely manifest social evils, but also the assumptions of many of those who regard themselves as seriously devoted to human welfare. A considerable debt is owed to Dr. Fromm for giving scope to a dialogue of this sort. Volume XVII, No. 5 He starts out by proposing that there are ' two sides to human nature, or two currents of action in human behavior—life-serving and lifedestroying. All such generalizations, of course, simplify the complexity of motivation, and Dr. Fromm is quite aware of this, but for the purposes of his inquiry the generalizations cannot be avoided, nor need they, in the light of his analysis, be misleading. He writes: Depth psychology has offered us ample clinical material and useful hypothesis which can help us to establish the following facts: there is a special type of personality, not rare, not yet the rule, which loves destruction and death. Men who belong to this type find their most intense satisfaction when they can kill or torture; all of their energies are directed to the aim of destruction although they often do not permit themselves to be aware of this passion. This "necrophilous," deathloving orientation can be described and understood in its dynamics, its manifestations, and its genesis. Such inquiry leads us to see that destructiveness is neither the nature of man, nor is it contrary to his nature, that it is also not one pole of a Manichean-Freudian dualism of good and evil. I shall try to show that the pleasure in destruction is a "secondary potentiality," a perversion which occurs necessarily when the primary, lifefavoring potentialities fail to develop. There are those in whom destructiveness has become the dominant passion—they are the true killers; there are many in whom the passion for destruction remains secondary in strength to the life-furthering tendencies, yet is strong enough to be aroused by the killers under special circumstances. Finally there are those in whom the life-loving tendencies are so strong and dominant that no circumstances will make them join the killers. The following pages are devoted to the detailed examination of the most malignant type of destructiveness, the one rooted in love of death: necrophilous hostility. There are other and more frequent sources of hostility which I shall not deal with . . . but which I want to mention at least: (1) hostility as a response to a threat to one's life, dignity, property, etc.; this hostility may be called reactive hostility: it is a hostility in the defense of life; (2) destructiveness which is the compensation for a deep sense of powerlessness and impotence. It is to be found in a person who feels incapable of influencing or changing people and circumstances by reason, love, example, etc., yet who cannot tolerate the resulting feeling of impotence, and who uses force, MANAS Reprint January 29, 1964 12 and thus gives himself the illusion of strength. Force is the universal coin which is used to hide and to deny impotence. Hostility of this type may be called compensatory hostility. These are the bare bones of Dr. Fromm's argument, which we shall not attempt to review; instead, we invite the reader to get a copy of War within Man and read it entire. The discussion is certainly important enough, and single copies are only thirty-five cents (available from the AFSC office, 160 N. 15th St., Philadelphia , Penna., or any branch office). Comments on what Dr. Fromm writes are offered by Jerome Frank, Roy Menninger, Hans Morgenthau, Paul Tillich, Pitirim Sorokin, and Thomas Merton, from which we shall quote only one or two disagreements, not the assents. Hans Morgenthau, professor of political science at the University of Chicago, says: . . . Dr. Fromm's psychological arguments . . . appear to me to amount to a kind of psychological metaphysics rather than an empirically founded scientific analysis. Yet even if Dr. Fromm's psychological arguments were as plausible and sound as one might wish, they would still be invalidated as an explanation of international conflict and war because they reduce an autonomous sphere of human action to a mere effect of psychological causation. In other words, my methodological position differs radically from Dr. Fromm's. He approaches the political world with the perspective and method of "psychologism," while I try to understand political phenomena as such, endowed with autonomous objective meaning regardless of their psychological origin. Roy Menninger, psychiatrist and researcher at the Menninger Foundation, observes: It seems to me that any view of the nature of man which hopes to reflect the way he is rather than the way we wish him to be must account for . . . great interwoven complexity of the aggressive and erotic drives. Most behaviors are influenced in their goal, their intent, their need-fulfilling efficiency, and their object of attention by both drives, and rarely by one or the other alone. The proportions of the "mix" can of course vary from individual to individual, but also from time to time and circumstance to circumstance within the same person. . . . Lastly, I am troubled by Volume XVII, No. 5 the notion, as Dr. Fromrn seems to imply, that "preparations for nuclear war" are merely an expression of the attraction to death. It is possible for example that the fear of being weak or of being overrun may stimulate a belief that these dangers could somehow be avoided by strength. At a national level, this belief is translated into armies, and weapons of all kinds, including the ultimate nuclear weapons. To characterize this understandable concern for safety and self-preservation as "death-loving" because, if extended to its contemporaneous extreme, it could lead to death, is to confuse the means with the end. Dr. Menninger, however, is by no means content with the present awareness of the meaning of nuclear war. Toward the end of his remarks, he says: Although our critical times demand that we press our understanding of the forces that threaten us, it may exceed human limits to expect most people rapidly to develop new concepts about phenomena they have never experienced and can scarcely imagine. There are times when mere cognitive comprehension is inadequate to the task. . . . It would seem to me that the eventual capacity to recognize the potential destructiveness that can come from the reliance upon "nuclear defense" can arise only when people discover that strength means other things than the capacity to destroy. In the immediate lives of most of us, "strength of character" is recognized as being stronger than the gun carried by the fearful and insecure adolescent. By what means such concepts as "strength of character" can be translated into national terms and then suffused into national behavior is a question for which I have no answer. But it seems apparent that the failure to find a lasting belief in sources of strength other than weapons alone can lead only to the devastating outcome that all of us consider so possible. We should like to argue, here, that Dr. Menninger's final requirement—the need to "find a lasting belief in sources of strength other than weapons alone"—obliges Mr. Morgenthau to submit in some fashion to a "methodology" other than the one he practices: the study of "political phenomena as such, endowed with autonomous objective meaning regardless of their psychological origin." This need also reduces the importance of Dr. Menninger's implied objection to Fromm's analysis because it looks at man in MANAS Reprint January 29, 1964 13 terms of "the way we wish him to be." After all, any educational enterprise must do this. The problem is to do it wisely, with as much understanding as possible of the processes of learning or change. Let us look at the question in another way. Dr. Menninger speaks of the need to translate our understanding of such concepts as "strength of character"—an understanding which, he points out, we have as individuals—into national terms and then suffuse it into national behavior. This is a rather precise account of what ought to take place. It would be, to put it simply, the conversion of individual insight into political insight. This is what we need to do, and what we do not know how to do. And this, it seems, is an activity which political scientists like Hans Morgenthau, and probably most politicians, are unwilling to contemplate, much less to try. Why should there be such resistance to this idea? The problem, it seems to us, lies in the incompatibility of rational systems which move from different assumptions. Politics, for example, may be defined as status quo rationalism. It takes the phenomena of human behavior in large groups as given, and pursues its analysis on what might be called a statistical basis. The politician is normally contemptuous of the moralists who talk about what people ought to do, but manifestly cannot be expected to do. Education is the rational system concerned with the becoming of human beings. It is the rationale of individual growth or change for the better. Its first principles are different from the behavioristic first principles of the politician or the political scientist. The first principles of the educator are either irrelevant to the politician, or, when pressed, subversive to him. The educator, when he addresses himself to social questions, tries to think of how he can stimulate a kind of learning which will eventually reflect itself in changes in the "average" behavior of the populations with which the politician deals. Such an effect would, of course, reduce the "science" in Volume XVII, No. 5 political judgments, since sufficient changes in the individuals could obviously violate the "autonomy" of group or political behavior. This confrontation between politics and education, as quite different and on occasion opposed systems of rationalism, has been made urgent by the crisis of impending nuclear war. We are obliged to admit that the practice of political science according to the traditional standards of this discipline is simply not good enough. This implicit conclusion may be the most important fruit of Dr. Fromm's pamphlet. It might be made the starting-point of many other inquiries. It is logical enough that such inquiries should be undertaken by psychologists, who are concerned with the dynamics of both processes— both politics and education. Obviously, we have expected too much of politics, and we have not made enough of education. These failures are attributable to the "quick results" claim of political action, and to the widespread habit in the social sciences of adopting the assumptions and imitating the procedures of the physical sciences—a point of view which ignores the becoming aspect of human beings. It is of course convenient to ignore the becoming-aspect of men, if you are after exactitude and finality in social science, but you can do so only at the price of turning people into things. This is what a technology-dominated society tends to do, what acquisitive drives tend to do, and what war does unmistakably and absolutely. Social science ought to be able to do better than this. MANAS Reprint January 29, 1964 ...
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