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WHAT MAN HAS THOUGHT OF MAN
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VOLUME I, NO. 29 JULY 21, 1948 WHAT MAN HAS THOUGHT OF MAN THIS article will contend for the idea that what men think about other men is more important than what they do to other men, for the reason that what they think enables them to justify what they do. The argument focuses on the migrant labor problem in California—a problem big enough and basic enough to be of general interest. Like many others concerned with the problem of justice—more, one suspects, than are ready to admit it—we are appalled and bewildered by the complexity of the issues involved, the seemingly endless wheels within wheels. The practical impossibility of "starting all over again," in any given situation, is soon realized. Physical and chemical processes may be reversible, but social processes are not. You can take hydrogen and oxygen apart and then put them back together again to make water, but you can't undo the landgrabbing of the early days of California by pulling a switch or turning on the heat—not, that is, without a shooting revolution, and shooting revolutions are not much good, these days. The extraordinary thing about California agricultural history, from the establishment of the first Spanish Mission at San Diego in 1769 to the present strike at the Di Giorigio ranch in San Joaquin Valley, is its unbroken record of injustice and inhumanity. The Franciscan monks began it by introducing a program of slave labor as part of the process of "Christianizing" the Indians. (See the research of Dr. S. F. Cook of the University of California, The Conflict Between the California Indian and the White Civilization.) The encyclopedias will tell you that the California Missions gradually "weaned" the Indians "from their nomadic and barbaric state," when the fact is that after the early period, in which the Indians learned to fear the ministrations of the Franciscans, "converts" had to be collected by hunting expeditions which raided the Indian villages, sometimes carrying off several hundred men, women and children at a time. The young females were quartered in barracks as prospective "nuns," the men put to work in agriculture and home industry, "from six in the morning until almost sunset." While in return the monks gave the Indians blessings of Christianity, the Spanish soldiery gave them syphilis, so that, after a while, only one in four Indian infants lived beyond one or two years. During the mission period of California history—about 65 years—the Indian population declined from 130,000 to 83,000. At the end of this cycle, in 1834, Mission lands and holdings, operated entirely by forced Indian labor, were worth $78,000,000. Theoretically, the Franciscans held this wealth in trust for the Indians, according to the original Spanish plan of colonization. In 1834, the Mexican Governor Figueroa of California ordered the great Missions to be "secularized"—returned to the Indians—an excellent and equitable idea which was effectively spoiled by the Franciscans, who were angered by the idea. Livestock was quickly sold or slaughtered and the profits divided; horses were stolen, warehouses plundered, more or less at the invitation of the monks. The weak Mexican government was unable to prevent this looting of the Missions, and by 1844, when "secularization" was completed, all that the Indians had realized was a pauper status. Their pattern of tribal life destroyed, they continued to die off. By 1880 they numbered only 15,000. In 1846, Colonel John C. Fremont, General Kearny and Commodore Stockton complete the conquest of California for the United States, and the territory was admitted as a State in 1850. Immediately prior to the "liberation" of California from Mexican rule, numerous land grants had been rushed through in anticipation of the change MANAS Reprint - LEAD ARTICLE 2 in government, and by 1846 more than eight million acres of California land were held by about eight hundred persons. Most of these grants were fantastically vague, which contributed to gigantic land swindles accomplished during a period of litigation which extended over the next twenty years. It was this that drew the attention of Henry George, then a San Francisco journalist, to the close relation between land ownership and human justice, causing him to write, in 1871, that the legalization of the Mexican land grants in California constituted "a history of greed, of perjury, or corruption, of spoilation and highhanded robbery for which it will be difficult to find a parallel." Meanwhile, California had suddenly been populated by Americans who, since 1848, had come by the thousand to hunt for gold. Their demands for access to the land were vociferous, but the grants were not broken up. Some of the grants, as Carey McWilliams points out in Factories in the Field, are still intact. A land survey of Southern California made in 1919 disclosed that "the dominant form of large holdings is the tract which has the greater part of its boundaries undisturbed from Mexican times." This survey also revealed that the Southern Pacific Railroad was still the major landowner in the State, holding over two and a half million acres in Southern California alone, having originally acquired, in the form of grants of alternate sections along rights of way, about 16 per cent of all the Federal land in California. In addition to all this, conscienceless speculation made possible by carelessness and corruption on the part of State officials robbed prospective farmers of millions of acres. The small man never had a chance. The situation is well summarized by Carey McWilliams: The ownership patterns established by force and fraud in the decade from 1860 to 1870 have become fixed; the social structure of the State is, in large part, based on these patterns. California more than once has been referred to as a colonial empire, and, by and large, the description is accurate. The irrational Volume I, No. 29 character of California agriculture—its topheaviness and lack of balance; its social irresponsibility . . . may be traced to the fact that the lands of the State were monopolized before they were settled, that a few individuals and concerns got possession of the agricultural resources of the State at the very moment when the State was thrown open for settlement and that the types of ownership thus established have persisted. The ownership itself has changed, but the fact of the ownership remains. The character of farm ownership, established at the outset, is at the root of the problem of farm labor in California. . . . Against this is set the massive fact of California's miraculous agricultural productivity. In 1946, as Senator Downey boasts in a recent book, the products of California farms reached a value of $2,075,543,000—"only a few dollars shy of the total of all the gold mined in California over the past century!" California claims the five leading counties in farm income in the entire United States, and four of the five are the Central Valley. California has 118 district types of farming areas producing more than 200 agricultural products in commercially significant quantities. No other State begins to approach this record. Dr. Paul Taylor of the University of California stated in 1935: "California has within its borders 30 per cent of the large-scale cotton farms of the country, 41 per cent of the large-scale dairy farms, 44 per cent of the large-scale general farms, 53 per cent of the large-scale poultry farms, and 60 per cent of the large-scale fruit farms of the United States." (Here, "large-scale" means farms with annual products valued at $30,000 or more.) Obviously, California farming is a "success." But consider the following observation of Dr. Cook in his exhaustive study of the exploitation of the California Indians, first by the Franciscans, and then by the great ranchos: One is tempted [he writes] to follow through the persistence of the forced-labor idea in subsequent years. It would be possible to show how the cheap labor market passed from the Indians to the Chinese and how the same rationale of peonage and compulsion was applied to the latter. One might then pass on to the new groups, each of which gradually MANAS Reprint July 21, 1948 3 replaced the other—the Italians of the 'eighties, the Mexicans and Filipinos of the early twentieth century, down to the "Okies" of our time. Simultaneously, one could trace the rise of the great agricultural interests, dependent upon masses of unskilled transient workers, which utilized these groups one after another. "Utilize" is an ugly word when applied to human beings in this sense, and it gets uglier the more you know about the conditions to which these human beings were subjected while serving the purposes of the landowners, from the days of the Missions down to the present. The indifference to human suffering, human rights, human life, which has characterized the relationship of farm labor to California land would be absolutely incomprehensible—as incomprehensible, say, as the deliberate starvation of hundreds of thousands of land-owning peasants in the Ukraine and the North Caucasus by the Soviet Government's state-organized famine in 1932-33—were it not for the mental attitudes of the people who were—and are- primarily responsible. First of all, the Spanish came to Mexico, then to California, filed with their Godgiven right to compel the Indians—a race "contaminated" by heathen beliefs—to accept Christianity and anything else that might be claimed a part of the "conversion." Priestly arrogance and brutality were the portion of these simple aborigines. The legendary Father Junipero Serra—to whose pious memory a statue stands on Sunset Boulevard near the Plaza in Los Angeles— was bitterly condemned by an unusual Spanish Governor in 1783 for his excessive zeal in punishing the Indians. These priests and their lay associates, the Spanish "Dons," were hardly sane human beings. They suffered from the terrible delusion that they possessed the "true" religion, that by contributing to the salvation of the Indians, the latter became their debtors to an infinite degree. There is no greater temptation to crime than to think oneself chosen of God to spread truth and righteousness about the world by force, and to make an incidental profit on the transaction. Volume I, No. 29 The story of how religious arrogance and exclusiveness gradually became the basis for unbridled and ruthless acquisition in the United States is not so easily described, although the theological justifications of Negro slavery by Southern aristocrats reveal one episode of this transaction in American history. But with or without a deep analysis of how it happened, the published statements of representatives of the farming interests concerning the various racial groups that have harvested their crops are a sufficient revelation of their habitual attitudes. The Chinese, Mexicans, Japanese, Filipinos and others are discussed as though they were different breeds of animals. A "virtuous" race is one that ignores politics, lacks the ambition to own land, will appear when there is work to do, and disappear when there is none. But any race can be condemned at will or convenience. An official California report of 1920 declared of the Hindu that "his blind adherence to theories and teachings so entirely repugnant to American principles makes him unfit for association with American people." It should be obvious that a culture which can produce such judgments is a culture potentially capable of any conceivable injustice, and that the roots of social problems in California lie deep in encrusted prejudice and self-righteousness. Such attitudes are largely shaped by sectarian religion, either directly or by default. Another point that needs to be made turns on the origin of the pattern of California agriculture. From the beginning, the pattern of bigness was established through the manipulation of government authority; first, through Mexican land grants; second, through the grants to railroads; third, through maladministration of the State land laws. The lands of California were never fairly thrown open to settlers on an equal basis. From the beginning, "free enterprise" was frustrated by greed and corrupt government intervention. Regarding this phase of California's history, it is logical to ask just what the phrase "free MANAS Reprint July 21, 1948 4 enterprise" is supposed to mean, as applied to agriculture. In any case, ever since the period of political land grants, California agriculture has been dependent upon the existence of a landless proletariat—men who have no alternative but to follow the crops. The men who made the pattern of California agriculture are dead and gone, and so are the men who built the railroads. Like any other organism, the socio-economic culture of California has adapted itself to the existing pattern, and it has brought forth the most prosperous, productive agricultural system known to history, a system with only one waste-product—human beings. It is strange that people who obviously know so much about growing things in the soil should have learned so little about growing a civilization. Working men without any alternative except migrant labor on industrialized farms are men who are being "utilized" like domesticated animals. They don't have a choice. After a while, men who don't have a choice stop believing in themselves; then they stop believing in other people; and then, being unbelievers in mankind, they rise and destroy. If there is ever to be a real civilization in this part of the world, these people—and any other laborers in field or factory—will have to be able to find an alternative when they want and need one. Volume I, No. 29 MANAS Reprint July 21, 1948 5 Letter from ENGLAND LONDON.—To one who sees the world today as a chaos of conflicting interests, it is not surprising to find a confusion of moral values, even on the part of the "liberal" thinkers. It is too often forgotten that events and opinions are not evil merely because they happen to be disagreeable. Nor is fear a good counselor in face of a desperate challenge in a tumultuous world. These thoughts occur to the mind of an observer who remembers the pre-war years of 1933-1938, and who reflects upon another turning-point in European history—the rape of Czecho-Slovakia in February, 1948. The political and economic consequences of this event are likely to be momentous, and the reactions of the Western mind to what has happened will assume greater importance in the passage of time. Here was a democratic country which lived what Mr. Henry Wallace preaches—a policy of friendship with Soviet Russia. Today we see it as one of seven countries [is it now only six, since Jugoslavia's "restless" behavior?] with a total population of ninety millions and an area of 600,000 square miles, under the disguised but complete domination of an ideology whose way with critics of its regime is to shoot or imprison them. "Only purged and purified political parties can influence public life," announced the Central Action Committee at Prague on the morrow of the coup d'Etat. Words have lost their meaning. Truth and purity are made to subserve the materialistic perversions of the human mind. It is felt here that Britain is in greater danger than in 1939. Even in the most restrained circles, the suggestions are made that we should extend an offer of common citizenship to all Western Europe, and that there should be a military guarantee by the United States of America of the Western European Union, as an interim measure. All this expresses the insecurity felt on every side. It is not minimized by the authentic reports of rockets flying at a speed of 6,750 miles per hour over Sweden, Norway and Denmark from the direction of Peenemunde (Germany), now in the Russian zone. authority has ended in what appears now to be a decisive and permanent victory for liberty," wrote Professor J. B. Bury in 1913 (A History of Freedom of Thought). The guns went off immediately afterwards, and the history of the intervening years gives no support to such optimism. As long as man is viewed as a superior kind of animal, with an improved brain and nothing else, his destiny is little likely to be serene, or his external conditions free from dangers. Man always receives according to his deserts, and the widespread efforts to remove the impediments to universal peace on the basis of an authorized selfishness of human nature seem bound to fail. Even a fleeting insight into this natural factor in physical evolution, if pursued, leads directly to the realization that, ultimately, this separateness must be eradicated before fellowship can hope to prevail. The common spiritual, no less than physical, origin of man has to be demonstrated. A radical revision is necessary in the bases of all out thinking, and there is no part of human life which can be left aside from the consequences of such a re-examination. It is a tribute to virtue when tyrannies plead (as they so often do today) that they are protagonists of freedom, as they rivet their shackles upon the human mind! Karl Marx told the workers of the world that, in revolting, they had nothing to lose but their chains. A flight of oratory; but also a flight of fancy, for he himself put body and mind in prison by a theory of economic determinism. One day the multitudes will ask: "Who are our Liberators?" When that day comes, it will be seen that all the freedoms have their source in the "universal consent" which Lord Herbert of Cherbury described as "the sovereign test of truth." ENGLISH CORRESPONDENT At the root of both aggression and insecurity are the basic principles of human nature and its sentient consciousness. "The struggle of reason against Volume I, No. 29 MANAS Reprint July 21, 1948 6 REVIEW INDIFFERENCE AND FANATICISM WHY are the major figures in "movies with a message" so unconvincing? Now and then Hollywood puts on a good rough-and-tumble or a shooting brawl which suggests that the director knows what he is doing, but when it comes to battles for causes, the key scenes are generally flat and artificial, conveying no sense of moral penetration. Some attention is paid to this problem by Siegfried Kracauer in the June Harper's, but he contributes only a number of illustrations of recent films in which the irrational "goodness" of the ordinary Joe is displayed for public admiration. "Hollywood's 'progressive' films," he says, "would suggest that the common man is indifferent to thought. They dwell on his intellectual apathy, occasionally playing up his generous impulses, which—they imply—more than compensate for his lack of openmindedness." On the whole, Mr. Kracauer's comments seem accurate enough. He compares the rhetoric of movie "fighters for democracy" with the commentators' "flowery statements about the brave new world to come" in documentary war films—the speech of "talkers rather than doers." Audiences may subscribe to the sentiments expressed in such movies with a kind of Sunday School piety, but they will not really believe. One reason for this, of course, is the intensely personal version of "virtue" which Hollywood habitually purveys. It knows how to exploit sentimentality, how to portray hero worship and to celebrate the Honor of the Regiment, but non-partisan devotion to principle requires a moral perceptiveness hardly characteristic of the movie-makers. There is another reason for the weakness of principled heroes in the movies. The mass man— who makes the movie audience—is apathetic to ideologies. He can understand a tribal sort of loyalty, or respond to suffering and obvious injustice by a kind of "good-guy" instinct, but Volume I, No. 29 social theory leaves him cold. He will fight for a principle when it is plainly embodied in the righteousness of "his side," or when the sanctity of Home and Mother is threatened, but the formal analysis of social ills by intellectuals only bores him when it does not inspire actual distrust. The theories are all too complicated. There is, therefore, a certain intuitive fidelity to fact in Hollywood's flight from reason. Another slant on this question is contributed by Lionel Trilling in Partisan Review for June. He calls attention to the intolerance which characterizes social movements founded on ideologies. Compare [he writes] the Wallace movement with any earlier populist movement in America and you will see how much more ideological it is than its predecessors. You will see too how much more bitter it is in its emotions. I believe that it is bitter in the degree that it is ideological. I even venture to say that its members refer not to the practical issues of their lives but to some vision they have of their total being, some fantasy of self which their ideology embodies. Here, Mr. Tilling is talking about the zealot of political doctrine. Whether he is right in saying that today's zeal for ideological programs achieves a greater rancor than the zeal of other periods we cannot say, but the fact of the bitterness can hardly be denied. And we can certainly agree that there is plenty of historical evidence to support the view that the more elaborate the ideology, the more partisan and emotionally insistent are its champions and followers. Perhaps, too, the anxieties of the present contribute to the desperation of modern ideologists, making them more determined to impose their beliefs on other men—"there is so little time"—with the resulting increase of bitterness that Mr. Trilling has described. The ends with the suggestion that Soviet Russia illustrates the institutionalization of the dominant impulse of our time "to overvalue ideology and to associate it with bitterness and violence," and calls attention to similar tendencies in ourselves: MANAS Reprint July 21, 1948 7 We talk easily of repression by authority and reactionary force. What we do not easily conceive is the exclusive and repressive impulse in our own culture and our own hearts. It is not easily conceived, yet any plan for any truly better social community must learn to conceive it and to make provision to guard against its institutionalization. So, attempting to draw some conclusion from these articles, ones sees two broad tendencies to be observed. First, the withdrawal of the average man from any generalized social thinking, his growing skepticism toward intellectual analysis, and a reversion of his interest to the practical "facts of life." The vast complex of social forces which increasingly determine the pattern of his existence he looks upon as incomprehensible, and he tends to regard conformity to the Powers that Be as a necessity similar to obedience to the laws of nature. His sphere of personal responsibility is bounded by the traditional "homely" virtues—a limitation recognized by one of our "liberal" magazines in formulating its editorial credo in approximately the words, "People shouldn't push other people around." The second tendency, noted by Mr. Tilling, is the angry sectarianism of the cults of political and economic salvation. These cults form around ideological systems—pretentious theories whose abstract development often leaves far behind the immediate issues which concern the "average man" mentioned above. Expressed in simple terms, the most obvious vice of the ideologists is their willingness to use almost any means to gain their ends—their theory is so "right" that nothing done in its service can possibly be wrong. And when Trilling speaks of the "institutionalization" of "the repressive impulse," he means that when a people allow a public agency to enforce acceptance of some ideological dictation, the act of compulsion loses its character as "pushing people around" and becomes instead one of the necessary measures of "order" established by the Powers that Be. believe in a "Supreme Being," and requires his rejection of war to be founded upon a sense of obligation to something greater than or different from mankind itself, the "repressive impulse" in respect to humanitarian or philosophical conscientious objection has been institutionalized—it has received the sanction of a great legislative body and will be applied in due course by all the numerous draft boards of the nation. The State, in short, has prescribed the theology it will recognize in its subjects, for the purposes of "freedom of religion." Another instance of the repressive impulse was the enforced evacuation from the Pacific Coast of some 100,000 men, women and children of Japanese ancestry and the placing of them in "relocation centers" for the duration. The MundtNixon bill illustrates the same tendency. In the final analysis, all legislation arising primarily from fear is passed in response to the repressive impulse. The very concepts of property, of race and nation are deeply involved in institutionalized methods of repression, just as, on the other hand, the socialist ideology and the organizational forms of internationalism would compel conformity through the authority of super-institutions. What about the rest of us—those lonely ones who would like to think things through; who have not the mass-man's deep suspicion of the works of the mind, nor the ideologist's arrogant faith? Speaking personally, we think that the mass-man's distrust of contemporary intellectuality is largely justified. It is too complicated. The fundamentals are missing. There is too much system-building, too many projections of the "ideal" planned economy, when what is needed is a psycho-moral study of the processes of human beings. Without this, all the ideologies are worthless. They deal only with the material fruits of justice—the things people want. But in order to get them, the people will have to want justice more than things. This the ideologists never tell us, and do not seem to know. When Congress, for example, in the new draft law, asserts that a conscientious objector must Volume I, No. 29 MANAS Reprint July 21, 1948 8 COMMENTARY AN INDIAN NEWSPAPER THROUGH an exchange established with the Indian Nagpur Times, published in a city of 300,000 located at about the geographic center of India, we have had opportunity to read through about a dozen copies of an exceptional Indian daily newspaper. Typographically, the paper is unkempt, to put it mildly. But wading determinedly through the sea of bad printing and wrong fonts, one realizes that, editorially, the Nagpur Times attains a quality of comment on world affairs and alert selfcriticism that should go far to create informed and unprejudiced public opinion in India. (According to an American printer who served in India during the war, the bad typography is explained by the fact that most Indian printing equipment was exported to India after it had been worn out from use in England. "It's all a hundred years old," claims our informant, whose exaggeration is probably due to the frustration he experienced in trying to assemble printing plants in India for the U.S. Army.) Three qualities stand out in the Nagpur Times. First, the editorial page reveals an extraordinary sense of national and international responsibility. Domestic problems are discussed with complete candor. Much of the Indian press, for example, is said to be operating under the baneful influence of the English tradition— baneful, as an editorial says, in the sense that Indian politics, our economics, our culture and education remained the exclusive property of the Englisheducated upper few, divorced from the life currents of the overwhelming majority of our people. In a fullfledged rural country, our intellect was harnassed to build up an artificial urban civilization. Many years have passed since those days, but even after nine months of freedom, we have not been able to appreciably conquer that artificial outlook of men and events. Does the Indian Press introduce India to the Indians? Not as it should . . . . Volume I, No. 29 The leaders of the nation are grappling with gigantic problems and their hands are too full. India is still largely unknown to her people, as a country of diverse cultures, minds, peoples, yet united by a strong and indestructible bond of nationhood and brotherhood. We, having lost sight of that noble picture, are crazy about little uniformities. Our minds will have to be opened, our eyes widened, if we want to play our legitimate part in human affairs. This is constructive journalism, written in a context of philosophical principle, and not from a merely nationalistic point of view. The cultural emphasis in the news stories and literary subjects is at once noticeable to the American reader. The progress of village democracy in remote areas forms one feature story; the literary development of the Indonesian language—a kind of Malayan—another. The Nagpur Times is edited in the spirit of grass-roots democracy and it reports the libertarian struggles of national and racial groups not just in the Far East, but all over the world, showing in their affairs the kind of interest, say, that the people of Massachusetts might have shown in what the people of Virginia were doing in the days of the American Revolution. But there is no rabble-rousing, no angry name-calling. The paper speaks with civilized maturity. While full gratitude is expressed to Lord Mountbatten for his final service to India, an editorial warns against his suggestion that India remain within British Commonwealth of Nations. This, it is said, would rob India "of her moral, idealistic leadership of the enslaved peoples of the East," already lost to some extent "by her failure so far to recognize Indonesia and Indo-China." The Nagpur Times, despite its ragged and primitive dress, offers its readers acute historical awareness and unequivocal ideals. It is well written and seems, to a reader half-way round the globe from Nagpur, honest and impartial. It is a newspaper of which the new India may be proud. MANAS Reprint July 21, 1948 9 CHILDREN . . . AND OURSELVES ALTHOUGH modern society congratulates itself upon the liberation of women from chattel or feudal status, it is still generally accepted that a mother must give up her "freedom" while caring for young children. This is in part a natural outgrowth, of course, of a woman's necessary biological ministrations during infancy. Yet it is now questioned that a woman has no "right" to freedom until her children can "take care of themselves." The present writer once came upon the description of an interesting experiment undertaken by two parents who had equal resources for earning an income. Each assumed responsibility for the children for six months while the other earned money. The participants in this experiment were extraordinarily well-satisfied with the results, since the father felt that his care of the children brought him a measurable benefit, and the mother that her periodical excursions into the competitive world kept her alert to significant problems. The situation of these particular parents was, it must be admitted, somewhat unique; seldom are both husband and wife able to secure six months' employment at will, and seldom are the earnings of man and women substantially equal. But while this procedure may be out of the question for most families, some application of the same principle might be made by all those who have children. For instance, the average father could with benefit give his wife freedom for at least half-day a week, and one or two evenings; and, do so, not with the psychological attitude of granting a "favor" or "privilege," but on the theory that a natural right to periodical freedom is to be recognized. As in all such instances, the psychological attitude is of more importance than the time. If the mother feels that the best she can hope for is special privilege to indulge a woman's fancy in shopping or bridge parties, she will have less incentive for finding creative uses for free Volume I, No. 29 time. If she regards such time as her legitimate opportunity for beginning a somewhat independent life, she may become more interesting to both husband and children. A MANAS reader recently raised a perennial question about being "tied down with the children." How much time, it is asked, "should one spend with the demands of home and family?" A question such as this presupposes some sort of distinction between "living creatively" and "living for children." From the standpoint of the philosophical principles we have been trying to suggest in this column, a person's energies should always be directed toward whatever seems the most constructive and inspiring outlet. The caring for children can be organic to a person's whole life, not an interruption. This attitude can embody the benefits to children of "sacrifice," but on the basis of a healthier psychology. Relationships with even the very youngest of children may be made to blend with the other interests of the parents. An artist can—and we mean this seriously—learn a great many things about facial expression and bodily structure from observing the rapidly changing body and bone formations of the child. The musician may learn something about music by noticing the types of harmonies and tempos which produce varying responses in children; and the man who writes may, in more indirect fashion, be able to gain a sort of invigoration and freshness simply from the fact of writing in the presence of the young. Those who are particularly addicted to sports and adventurings in the mountains or at the seashore can usually find ways of combining their activities with a change of scenery and atmosphere for the children. If, on the other hand, the parents feel that to be burdened by the children on any of these occasions is an unnecessary sacrifice, it might be well to discover if they have relatives or simply close acquaintances who would view the companionship of the children in a more creative light. The children may belong with them. MANAS Reprint July 21, 1948 10 Of course, the most difficult problem is occasioned by the question: Who is to take care of young children when both parents want to do something which the children cannot share, and if no one else wants the task? From the standpoint of principle, both parents have an equal right to "freedom" and may therefore proceed to the determination of the course to be followed upon the basis of equal rights. It may, of course, be determined by parents also that each parent can voluntarily assume a major share of responsibility during different ages or stages of development, and this in turn will depend upon their respective aptitudes. The parent who is an omnivorous and interested reader, capable in the formulation of clear sentences and descriptions, will be particularly valuable to the child in relation to the expression of ideas, while one skilled in manual activities might contribute his or her part when interest is manifested in these areas of expression. the child is young, but only the percipient parent will avoid "neglect" after adolescence has been reached. While it may be just to assume, as do many critics of the "modern home," that parents spend far too little time with their children, it is also important to remember that we increase our ability to lighten the burdens our children will later face by continually growing in experience and understanding ourselves. If we live in a stereotyped pattern of home tasks—especially if these are grudgingly performed on the theory that "we must live for our children for . . . years"—we may be mentally unprepared for the time when the children will need intelligent and imaginative counsel. In the final analysis, the physical attention given to a child is far less important than attention paid to needs of mind and emotional structure. An objection to the idea that the earliest years of the child require attention is the corollary assumption that when the teens are reached, we no longer "have to watch the children all the time," and are entitled to more freedom. The child may need our care more, then—or even at twenty or twenty-five years of age—than in its earliest stages of development. It is much easier to neglect needs at these later ages than during infancy and childhood. Neglect is obvious when Volume I, No. 29 MANAS Reprint July 21, 1948 11 brachiating, tree-living psychology. 20, 1927.) FRONTIERS THE ANCESTORS OF MAN WHEN Thomas Huxley, about eighty-five years ago, published some drawings of the skeletons of three anthropoid apes (the orangutan, chimpanzee and gorilla) and of man, he depicted the apes in an artificially "erect" position and bent over the figure of man to a stoop approaching somewhat the ape posture. This distortion of anatomical facts was one of Mr. Huxley's pious blows for evolutionary truth. Anxious to win believers for the Darwinian hypothesis of human origins, he saw nothing wrong in dressing up the evidence just a little—"retouching" it, one might say, for the better comprehension of the laity. So well established in the popular mind is Mr. Huxley's version of human evolution that it will come as a surprise to many to realize that recent discoveries, instead of supporting the ape-origin theory, have opened up the way to quite different interpretations. The first eminent anthropologist to sound a note of warning concerning the conventional Darwinist view was Henry Fairfield Osborn, head of the American Museum of Natural History in New York. He declared in 1927: I regard the ape-man theory as totally false and misleading. It should be banished from our speculations and from our literature not on sentimental grounds but on purely scientific grounds and we should now resolutely set our faces toward the discovery of our actual pro-human ancestors . . . The most welcome gift from anthropology to humanity will be the banishment of the myth and bogie of apeman ancestry and the substitution of a long line of ancestors of our own at the dividing point which separates the terrestrial from the arborial lines of the primates. It is true that Darwin used the expression, "Man is derived from some member of the Simiidae," and that the "ape-man" is deeply engraved in our consciousness, but I claim that it is misleading . . . . Between man and the ape—not only the hands and feet of the ape, but the ape as a whole, including its psychology—you will find more differences than resemblances. In brief, man has a bipedal, dexterous, wide-roaming psychology; the ape has a quadrupedal, Volume I, No. 29 (Science, May As a matter of fact, while nineteenth-century evolution laid the greatest stress on the similarities between the apes and man, the tendency, today, is in an opposite direction. The recent volume, Apes, Giants and Man, by Franz Weidenreich (University of Chicago Press, 1946), starts out by sharply differentiating between the anthropoid and the human lines of evolution. The earliest of human teeth, for example, are basically like later human tooth patterns and show no significant resemblance to anthropoid teeth. Further, "The extent and manner of the adaptation of the human foot to standing and walking conditions indicate that this process must have set in during a very early phase, long before the three anthropoids could have claim to their present names." So distinctive are the human traits of ancient man, as contrasted with the apes, that Dr. Weidenreich declares: "In other words, the evolution of the primate branch which we call 'man' must have begun much earlier than we ever dreamed." Even the ancestor of the present anthropoids, the widely distributed Dryopithecus, constituted a line of evolution different from the human series, so that Dr. Weidenreich believes that the basic anthropoid stem diverged separately from the original primate stock, human evolution representing another and quite independent development. (It should be realized, incidentally, that this "original primate stock" is virtually hypothetical. As Le Gros Clark remarks in Early Forerunners of Man, "Although paleontology has furnished a considerable amount of information regarding the later evolutionary radiations of the higher primates, it has yielded surprisingly little evidence in regard to the actual origin of the pithecoid stock.") The most interesting of Dr. Weidenreich's proposals is that the prehistoric ancestors of mankind were giants—men so big, in the colorful description of another anthropologist, G. H. R. Koenigswald, that "they would have to crawl into a modern house on hands and knees." The evidence for the size of men is provided by the MANAS Reprint July 21, 1948 12 discovery in China of human teeth "from five to six times larger than those of modern man." Several such teeth, said to be about half a million years old, were found by Dr. Koenigswald in China and Java, and Weidenreich suggests that "the Java giant was much bigger than any living gorilla and that the Chinese giant was corresponding bigger than the Java giant—that is, one and a half times as large as the Java giant and twice as large as the male gorilla." He adds: "I believe that all these forms have be ranged in the human line and that the line leads to giants, the further back it is traced. In other words, the giants may be directly ancestral to man." Human evaluations, it seems, now has its own mysteries and fascinations, and need no longer involve anthropologists in strenuous efforts to "prove" a close relationship between man and the great apes. The war with the theologians on the subject of the origin of man is about over, and human paleontology may now follow the independent course of investigation advocated by Dr. Osborn twenty-one years ago, freed of the obligation to keep going a barrage of antireligious polemics on the side. A thoughtful comment by Julian Huxley, eminent zoologist and grandson of Thomas Huxley, shows that scientists are themselves coming to realize how large a part is played by non-scientific considerations in the development of anthropological theory, and indicates, as well, the direction of contemporary evolutionary thought. Having noted that the influence of Darwinian arguments was to emphasize the apparent animality of the human species, he wrote (in 1941): Of late years, a new tendency has become apparent. It may be that this is due mainly to the mere increase of knowledge and the extension of scientific analysis. It may be that it has been determined by social and psychological causes. Disillusionment with laisser faire in the human economic sphere may well have spread to the planetary system of laisser faire that we call natural selection. With the crash of old religious, ethical, and political systems, man's desperate need for some scheme of values and ideals may have prompted a Volume I, No. 29 more critical examination of his biological position. Whether this be so is a point that I must leave to the social historians. The fact remains that the pendulum is again on the swing, the man-animal gap is again broadening. ________________ READING AND WRITING THE often candid Christian Century offers a significant comparison between East and West in an article by Stephen C. Neill: Not long ago a highly educated woman said to a Christian preacher, "It isn't just that I don't believe in God. I haven't the least idea what you mean by the word." This is something new. Take the most ignorant villager in India and ask him who causes the rain to fall; the probability is that he will point upward and say the name of the supreme God. His idea of that God may be extremely hazy or perverted. He does not worship him, because he regards him as much too exalted to bother about the affairs of ordinary men. . . . It has been left for Western civilization at its highest to produce a generation to which the enunciation of the word God is as meaningless as the barking of a dog. Conceivably, the Indian villager has preserved his natural reverence precisely because the "Supreme God" has wisely been left without definition in Eastern religious philosophy, whereas, in the West, theology has always been a natural target for the mind schooled in rationalist criticism. There has been so much special pleading on behalf of the Christian God, and so much controversy as to whose "side" He is on, that one might more easily recognize the accents of divinity in a dog's bark than in the claims and counter-claims of the Christian sects. Take for example a letter from China in the same issue of the Christian Century. A YWCA worker in Chungking reports the excess of rivalry and separatism among missionaries, each of whom claims to teach the "True Way," as distinguished from his competitors. A Lutheran is denied "interchurch activities" by his church; Mennonites require Chinese converts to forsake time-honored customs; Brethern missions demand a separate church identity, because "the folks at home who MANAS Reprint July 21, 1948 13 send the funds insist on it." The letter concludes: "What a tragedy that Christ's teaching of brotherhood, in all its deepest implications, is being so perverted, in China as in many other parts of the world!" Sectarianism does indeed produce tragedies, and no one is more competent to explain why and how than Pearl Buck, who, writing in the Christian Century for Dec. 22, 1943, gave three reasons—"militarism, the maintaining of organization for the sake of organization, and intolerance"—for the weakness of modern Christianity. The church, she said, has steadfastly taken the side of the powers that be, whatever they were—and they have usually been militaristic alas, in our western world—and the church has taken this side because it is the safe side for its organization. Intolerance, too, has been essential for organization. Unless the organization could make men believe that it held the exclusive rights to the gates of heaven, why should men join it rather than another? At the New York Conference of Science, Religion and Philosophy, held that year (1943), Dr. Bingham Dai, a Chinese professor at Duke University, asserted that the complete conversion of China to Christianity would be "tantamount to the end of the Chinese civilization," and Krishnalal Shridharani urged that "the entire missionary movement should be stopped because it implies a holier-than-thou attitude, creating great conflicts in the East." Question: Would it be an act consistent with "Christ's teaching of brotherhood" for the Christian Century to invite contributions from Dr. Lai and Mr. Shridharani on this subject? Volume I, No. 29 MANAS Reprint July 21, 1948 ...
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