June 1, 1961
On Monday, as part of memorial Day Holiday, we held a banquet for Dad and Mom. Sebastian, Anna Maria, and four children (Joe stayed in Washington), Ed, Ellen and their three, and our seven -- 22 at table. Two huge roasts of beef, spaghetti with sauce, greens that Dad had picked around Princeton at dawn, called Carduna and Cardella, wine, ice cream, coffee. Next day we organized two baseball teams and played at the PCD school grounds. Bus and Ed were on the same team and my team with an oversupply of toddlers took a bad licking. I was put in a bad humor by their jibes, Jess' grumbling, and other minor incidents -- all petty but then what in the world isn't petty? Later Ed and I viewed a slightly improved version of the Tensions film that Mel Peebles had sent from Paris, and talked with Gordon Knox. it is still far from my ideal and I hope to introduce some changes into it when Mel brings the negative from Paris on June 11. Knox is trying to get us (and himself) some business to help capitalize our film work in Metron.
Ed drove his family back to Eastchester the same evening. He had to buy a tire for his sporty little Porsche earlier in the day, because Cathy had run over a curb and flattened it. She left out this detail in describing the incident and I reproached her, saying that it threw a shadow on her integrity. Tina Barry hung around part of the day. She is plain, rather stocky, and lisps, but I find her attractive and good company. She is a Junior at Princeton High School. She is comic, sensitive, daring, and independent, blithe of spirit. The other night she couldn't sleep so she walked out in her pajamas and was picking the neighbor's flowers when the police picked her up and warned her off the street. When she was to give a 5 minutes' talk in public-speaking class, which she abhors, she performed a rondo that goes like this: (In a clogged accent): 'There are 3 ways to get peanut butter off the roof of your mouth: 1st, blow it off (she blows); second, lick it off with your tongue (she clicks her tongue); third, get it off with your finger (she simulates extracting it with her finger). (In a clear voice now): There are 3 ways of getting peanut butter off your finger. First, you can blow it off (she blows); second you can shake it off (she shakes her finger); third, you can lick it off (she licks her finger). (Now in a clogged accent again): There are 3 ways of getting peanut butter off the roof of your mouth," etc....
June 2, 1961
The End of the Old Parties
The types of parties:
Charismatic and Personal
Ins - Outs
None answers the needs of the future age.
Elites other than parties?
Industrial - Plutocratic
Military - cannot suffice - But NB how military is acquiring other techniques - diplomatic, industrial, skills..
Skill elite - international
June 2, 1961
Met in Trenton Wednesday late afternoon with several Republicans of New Jersey and Bill Prendergast of the National Committee, I knew Bill at the U. of C. in the late thirties. Present also were Webster Todd, State Chairman, Judge Al Clapp, Mitchell-for-Governor campaign manager, Tommy Thompson, ex Assistant Attorney General of U.S., Walter Wallace, ex Assistance Secretary of Labor, Prof. Walter Murphy of Princeton, Bill Miller, urban government consultant from Princeton, Joe Gonsales, research director of the State committee, and Herb Halloran and Ed Ruppert, who Iu believe were tied in to publicity. We discussed preparing position papers for Mitchell's campaign on a dozen major issues. Afterwards Wallace asked me privately whrther I was interested in helping Mitchell with his speeches during the campaigns. I said that I might be and should think it over. I am still thinking
[Letter from Carl de Grazia, partly illegible]
"June 4, 1961
Dear Miss Garr,
The second I got home I started this letter. So far so good. I hope you like this letter. I am going to miss you very much and I hope I don't miss you too long. But I'll see you again, that is, I hope.
Carl de Grazia"
Carl's teacher invited any children who wished to write her to do so, and he asked me to mail it for him, which I did after secretly making this copy. A person lives a long life without ever uttering these two eternal sentiments of the separated lover -- missing you and the pain is dreadful. How beautifully he says it.
June 3, 1961
The "peace corps" applicants showed up in disappointing numbers for their tests the other day. I believed the plan on the one hand couldn't fail, because publicity can always make something of nothing, with the presidency behind it. On the other hand I believed from the beginning that it could not succeed. I strongly support any effort to get the whole American population in a position to work and suffer for the aid of mankind, but as soon as the officials began to speak of 'screening" applicants for normality, of placing them in favorable circumstances, of seeing that they 'represented" America, of seeking young people with skills, I gave up any optimism about the present effort of Kennedy.
June 5, 1961
My seminar at Rutgers, that began with the sudden death by heart attack of Professor Norman Stamp, ended ten days ago, and I submitted grades for the 13 students. Last week Ed Burns, the Department's Chairman telephoned me and reported that, quite by accident, he had discovered that one of the students had submitted a paper copied from one a year earlier. The student was Lindsay, a handsome, well-set-up Negro of about 35, father of a family, a worker in a state correctional institution, of all places. He had appeared interested but poorly educated during the meetings of the class. At the beginning of the semester, he had borrowed a paper on the Soviet Union from a man who had written it under Prof. Stamp a year earlier. The same student had passed by the pile of papers that I had left for their owners to pick up, and his eye was caught by Lindsay's paper on top. He looked into it, noted that it was like his own, and reported the fact to Ed, who then compared both papers and found them identical. Ironically, my comment on the face of Lindsay's paper was "B". You have made much progress in this course." Ed said he would have to leave the university. I agreed and assigned him a failing grade. Suppose I had not returned the papers. At one point, I said that I would not. Perhaps that encouraged him to try the trick. Anyhow, he was not only dishonest, but lazy, stupid, and heedless of his family and career. I had befriended him too, encouraging his class participation, inviting him to see me for advice. Now his formal education is ended. Will I feel twinges of regret at cutting him off.
June 6, 1961
1. Every man born should be presented as much opportunity to achieve the benefits of life as is possible.
2. Every government is forbidden to make unilateral decisions that affect the peace of the world.
3. World government should develop and rule all activities among nations.
4. Population of the world should be set at 4 billions by 1990 by world government.
5. World resources should be planned by world government to provide every person in the world with a minimum subsistence standard by 2000.
6. World government should promote the free exchange of goods, services, persons, and ideas among nations.
7. All skilled persons of the world are urged to pledge their primary allegiance and policies to the world community.
June 6, 1961
As we walked along Nassau Street after lunch, I expounded to Jill my ideas about sexual attitudes in America. I have lately been depressed about several important features of American life and this was one of them. Four largely incompatible belief-clusters poison the relations among men and women, and produce endless neuroses. First is the Puritan coldness and repression of the sexual, permitting female freedom and losing personal ardor. Then the inferiority-feelings of the Negro male towards Negro women, and Negroes' resentment against the mythical rape of their women in slavery. Revenge against the white woman is a common sentiment.
Third is the peasant outlook, coming especially out of Ireland, Italy, Greece, and other continental lands, where the double standard is staunchly upheld, where the Catholic Church avows that the next step from virginity is hell, and where a woman who is in any sense free of spirit is suspected of 'loose morals'. Finally, the Jewish element takes its revenge upon the shicksa meaning both the "servant girl' and the "Christian" in Yiddish. A predatory view, coinciding sometimes with the righteous aggression of the peasant and the revenge of the Negro. Generally, these are crazy mixed-up beliefs that make a nightmare of sexual relation in America. all incompatible. All injurious to a noble idea of femininity, and by implication, of masculinity.
June 6, 1961
Geologist perceiving pretty stone, eliminates the "pretty" and discusses the stone analytically.
Psychologist perceiving the admirable leader, eliminates the "admirable"and discusses the leader analytically.
Both are permitted to do this. Their ultimate intent is to establish certain functions and apply them.
But if the geologist analyzes "pretty", and the psychologist "admirable", they are not becoming unscientific. They are switching their focus and will have other ultimate applications of what they discover.
Where the difference? I say no logical difference. Not subjective vs. objective, physical vs. social science, fact vs. value. For value underlies all the activity and the ends are always "practical". To justify the values, the ends, and the practice, requires a system of references or an expression of non-logical prejudice.
June 7, 1961 9 AM
A pleasant morning. The air was hot and still and 4, when I stirred. At 6:30 I awoke again to a new coolness and arose. The Times carried its usual elaborate reports on everything. The world of course doesn't move by days, so reading the newspaper is like reading the face of a clock. What should be all movement is motionless. And the clever newspaper editor, like the clever clock-maker, attaches all sorts of colors, flashes, signs, and noisemakers to lend the impresison of movement perceptible to the jaded and bored eye. Away with the paper in ten minutes and into Loren Eisely's essays on paleontology. How much more attuned to theuniverse, to the real news of life. At seven Jessie is down, sweet now of disposition in her early very womanly figure, frying bacon & eggs for the boys who straggle in softly. By eight the kitchen bursts with clatter and chatter and the seven children are dispersed to their schools.
Yesterday went in fretting about some financial details; reading a few articles and snatches of books; buying a recording of Aida to follow a discussion with Dad and Jessie the night before when we waxed enthusiastic over the opera's grandness and melody; talks with Sebastian about his negotiations for a position at Rutgers and the New School for Social Research; writing several letters concerning business, articles, and books; speaking to Sharon Lookstein of Bantam Books regarding plans for a new brief book on American government.. I phoned Bob Merriam in Geneva, Illinois and told him of my plan to expand Metron, knowing his new concern was looking for investments. I also mentioned I was to meet with Jim Mitchell, and Bob praised him highly. Unfortunately, Mitchell broke his leg and I did not see him as planned. I doubt that the accident will impair his chances of being elected Governor in November, even though he will be incapacitated a good part of the time.
June 10, 1961
My counter proposal to the L. F. Rothschild group for the development of METRON was refused and I am planning to finance the next year of film production and ABS publication personally. So risk piles upon responsibility.
Paul was seized by the impulse to work yesterday and mowed the big lawn for 3 hours in my absence in New York. At 11 years of age, adult behavior occurs more frequently in him. He is a classic boy-who-must-grow-into-man. John (10) and Chris (6) are early followers of the ideal of sustained, disciplined, socially beneficial work. Carl (8) is more like Paul but more diversified of mind and habit. Paul is a pure hunter-fisher-warrior, a throwback to the stone-age, except that he has very strong sensibilities. School. piano, work, neatness, enforced sociability, come hard.
The white cat and the white rabbit often lie for hours two feet from each other. it is the assertiveness of the rabbit that brings them so close. She does the same to the dog. She has an insatiable appetite; many early plantings have gone into her young belly. But so have countless ugly stems and weeds. She runs about wildly when let out of the shed in the morning, then settles down to constant (I am tempted to say neurotic) nibbling. She does not run off the premises. We plan to breed her with a handsome black and white male that the Freylingheusens have.
Shall we sell our big home here and move to a smaller? The thought comes often. The house's parts are from 30 to 200 years old. It is expensive to maintain. it is unnecessarily large if I am not to have a secretary for my consulting and publish the journal here. And, as I think of moving these activities to a more formal setting, I doubt the practicality of the many rooms. yet we are most comfortable. The setting is most pleasant.
I read Loren Eiseley's Immense Journey. Several hypotheses en passant are striking, but his attempts at the ultimate WHY? are feeble. What I liked was the combination of reminiscence and speculation. So much of scientific writing is either method or reporting of investigation. All the life and something of the truth of science is omitted.
June 10, 1961
The "Law of the survival of the fittest" has never satisfied me, although I have never seen anything but profuse defenses of it. It smacks a little of the psychoanalysts who explain any evidence contrary to a concept as a "reaction" to the concept. Or most obviously, of the "baiter" type in politics ("witch hunters," "red-baiters," "zealots") who explain the absence of their prey by asserting "You don't expect them to reveal themselves, do you? They are diabolically clever. They hide themselves so well. It's all the more sure they are there." So it is with the survival of the fittest. Whatever exists does exist because of the law. If a bird's feathers are bright, they help her survive by attracting males efficiently; if dull, then by concealing it from its enemies. The dinosaur was too heavy to survive (of course many species haven't survived). But while they roamed the swamps in immense numbers, their traits had "survival value." Our little white rabbit has strong hind legs to make up for the weakness of the front legs. Or weak front legs because he doesn't need them, considering his strong hind legs. He doesn't need either, since he could survive well on his belly. In fact nothing is needed except a cell. Not even a cell. What is so unsatisfactory about the condition of the virus. Or for that matter, why should life evolve from non-life at all, since inanimate matter is more indestructible than animate matter? From the standpoint of survival, the most inefficient and useless thing that amino acids ever did was to evolve into man. By the same scale, man is a culmination of survival of the unfittest. A more fragile grip on existence is scarcely imaginable, sub-specie eternitatis.
If anything evolution has been away from survival and towards complexity. Call this complexity Intelligence, and you have the 'Law of Evolving Intelligence.' According to this Law, matter cannot hold its grip on existence; being is not enough; destined forever to triumph is the experiment with complexity; in all being there is this instinct to transform itself; regardless of the counter-forces of nothingness, and of non-change, the law of intelligence acts to rescue intelligence from sheer nothing. it uses whatever means are at hand and survives as best it can in whatever setting it may have; if it can take a giant leap forward, as with the human brain, and get by with the innovation, it does so. Ordinarily the odds are against it, but it is inexorable, indefatigable. It may also be cumulative, in that successive changes are greater than earlier ones in separating it from its origins.
Sunday June 25, 1961 10 PM
Principal events of the past month:
Spent the day in the outdoors. Played tennis for two hours with nephew Joe and beat him 6-3, 12-10. Carried the rowboat down to the Lake and launched it. Jill and I, with Christopher a small pleasant passenger, rowed for three hours. All the exertion makes me sleepy. Hard exercise doesn't go for intellectual work, though; I was sleepy this evening. A rancorous phone conversation with Sebastian has however now awakened me. He is a difficult person. I had asked Joe to go into New York City for a day or two to work as a helper to Mel Peebles, and his father intercedes with questions and cavils that are useless and simply irritate me, and must Joe also if he has shaken the mental grip of his father. It is of no use to deal with Sebastian, however; he has been this way always - making much out of nothing, full of self-love and protectiveness, aggressive in all personal relations except dominating ones. Joe has been badly seized by asthma this last year, and S., who has utterly rejected as only a onetime devotee can, modern psychiatry, refuses to concede any psychic basis to the illness. To Jill and me, by contrast, the sickness appears directly related to Joe's late adolescent condition. He has had far too much sense of responssibility over the past several years that Miriam and S. have been divorced. Always serious, he became even more so. He was acclaimed by all of the family as being "so good" and given honors by his school for scholarship and the highest citizenship. Where did all the Strum und Drang of adolescence go, that S. wrote so eloquently about in the Political Community? S. is devoted to him, and perhaps this may have eased the strains, and Miriam has behaved beautifully. Moreover, Dad and Mom and all of us have remained close to Miriam and the children, as well as to S. But still it is to be expected that some of that terrific responsibility would generate mental or physical reaction.
June 26, 1961
Needed - An adults'university where the young are not admitted and where "liberal arts", that is, general education in sciences and arts, are offered. It would not be an in-service school, apprentice training, vocational advancement. It would satisfy the desire of intelligent men to restudy things they were unequipped by temperament or experience to understand in college and to grasp new forms of knowledge.
The company programs, such as General Electric's School of Management at Ossining, are narrow and give force to the conservative, cynical, and playful instincts of the executives who are forced to attend. A "public interest" concept, which can hardly develop in such an atmosphere, is best formed by men and women of many areas of life comparing ideas and experiences in class and outside.
Tuesday, June 27, 8 AM
Yesterday wrote a speech for Mitchell to Mutual Insurance Agents, my fourth for him, and drove with excessive speed to Pitkin Hospital in Neptune to go over it with him before his 1:30 delivery via telephone to the audience. I made the trip in 40 minutes and don't see how I could have done it faster without wings. The big Pontiac station wagon has guts and speed. Mitchell is quick and intelligent, strongly dominant in a quiet manner. Underneath his thick mane of greyish hair and the heavy jowls of age, he has the little face of the Irish boy with small twinkly blue eyes, flop ears and flat cheeks behind a large nose. His head is square at the top and pointed at the lower jaw. He plays an obligato on his written speech, adding words and phrases, and then whole sentences here and there, so that there is no sense of passing from the prepared to the impromptu portions and back.
June 27, 1961, Tuesday
We could use a new concept. What do you call the quality X that determines the "morale", "feasibility," "structure," of a principle of government.
For instance: (assume migrant farm workers should be protected from exploitation). Migrant workers are not taken care of by the States. They have to be protected by the Federal government. Now, the State has adequate powers for the task, and many precedents. Why must the Fed. govt do it?
We have to enter the bowels of the problem of inaction. Obviously there are N activists who are capable of bringing about Federal action but not enough N for State action. Is there [is ?? maybe: here] dynamics of such inaction in relation to any institutional inaction? There is no real reason why a State as vs. a Federal officer should be inactive? The principle that must explain this would not be a structural or institutional principle, nor is it the "inefficiency" of the boundary system that blocks solutions of interstate problems by a single State. What is it then? Socio-psychological, administrative, morale, etc.? It resembles strongly the dynamics of morale!
June 29, 1961
Every day's mail brings a book or two, pamphlets, and letters. I spend a few moments with all of them. Today brought a new and useful collection of documents on American politico-legal sources with a fair commentary by Messrs. Perry & Cooper of the American Bar Association. Of course, these documents from the Magna Carta to the latest choice of libertarian manifesto are never treated critically in the spirit and skill of the sociology of law or logical-rational analysis. So one is not given to understand them either in the context of their time or in the frame of the present. Their side that stands in the narrow shadow of the declining sun is briefly illuminated.
The book that pleased me more today was Government in Zazzau by M. G. Smith. I pronounce it "Zazoo" and laugh. Only a few political scientists can see the comical side of the title. our discipline began with the Government of Rome, Government of England, Government of France, Modern European (Western) governments. Then the Soviet Union, Japan, China; then India & so it went, farther and farther from the core of Western civilization. The professors still cling to the post of past interests while the hurricane of the future tears at them. Now ironically comes Zazzau. No one knows where it is, and I shall carry the book around for a couple of days more, and when people ask for the title, and inquire its location, I shall say: "You mean that you don't know where Zazzau is?" From Aden to Zazzau -- we have them all now, and it's about time that we chucked overboard traditional ways of studying comparative government. Apart from its title, Zazzau isn't any more interesting methodologically and hypothetically than the hundred different books on France. They all say everything, and nothing.
June 29, 1961
John's birthday. 10 years old. He was up early with his big sunshine smile prancing every few paces as if he were about to spring 20 feet into the air. He opens up the house, lets in the spring, lets out the white cat, calls hello to the dog, and frees the rabbit from her garage lodgings ....
A long visit with S. C. I arrived at her apartment at 1:30, half an hour late to lunch. She was in a black fury, but softened and smiled and was happily companionable until I had to leave at 3:30. She is so light of body and spirit (three fourths of the time, anyway, which I find rare) ....
I am awaiting a call from Webster Todd to settle the terms of my work for Mitchell. I have decided to request substantial compensation. They say that when you work a political campaign for pay, you have no call on a high post afterwards. First I doubt this, because if I were a winning candidate I should want men around me whom I respect for their ability. Moreover, I cannot very well work without compensation. I am overloaded already with eleemosynary activity. Finally, I am not sure that I should want a high post after the campaign is over. Perhaps I should add that he may not win, but I discount this as an unworthy motive and also I think he will win handily.
I don't believe Lefkowitz will be elected mayor of NYC though. I guess that stuffed, indecisive Wagner will win again. The city is a depressingly sick monster.
Lunched yesterday with Alden Clark of Holt, Rinehart, Winston, Publishers, and Sandy Brig of L. F. Rothschild, who arranged the meeting. Clark is interested in our films, because he is beginning a film program. We spoke of 2 series especially -- one on (living) "Great Minds", another on "Great Moments of Invention," he suggesting the former, I the latter. Sandy agrees that a distribution contract on a lengthy series with HRW, plus four films that I have underway, would be a solid base for seeking film financing. Now I am striving to put together a 3-division program with the thought that they will substantiate a public issue of one million dollars. Aside from a film division, there would be the publishing division (ABS expanded plus one other possible project).
* Maybe a book series (Crowell-Colliers? J. Kaplan?) and the Research and Development Division that would include research projects pure and simple and product development, particularly in the automated teaching and information retrieval business.
June 30, 1961
Profit is a creature of accounting systems. it is a regulating concept in turn.
It may now be getting in the way of solutions to the growing condition of increasing unemployment/higher production.
Is there another concept that would act as a better regulator of the economy? Apart from the socialist, planning calculus?
June 30, 1961
Webster Todd, State Chairman, came by to conclude arrangements for me to work with Mitchell. He drives a new Lincoln Continental. His wife climbed the back of a truck with the old one, he tells me. He was bleary-eyed, perhaps from the hot road, but carries himself with a distinguished air. I don't believe he is profound and educated to public policy, but he seems affable and not crushingly dogmatic. He is the new State Chairman of the Republican Party, and is probably not quite sure of his grasp over party affairs or politics. We seemed to et along well and he was not dismayed by my request for $8500 to compensate for my work and expenses on the campaign. I think he may not be difficult to work with; he requires esteem and gentility; and he probably takes well to radical ideas if they are not proletarian.
Paul & John talked with me early one winter morning in the kitchen about size. They said "Maybe we are infinitely small bits of a great thing." How did they conceive this thought so young in life (9 and eleven years old)? They see it clearly too.
I must do something with my poems. Rutgers U. Press has them now. Karl Shapiro offered to publish some in the Prairie Schooner. I was greatly pleased when he said he "liked some of them very much indeed."
Economic development: a chimera in most places. Problems multiply faster than solutions. The mass of people there cannot be trained before they create new and worse problems. They should be put on a permanent dole called "education" and we should run the countries with a few gigantic, efficient farms and factories. One bulldozer = 100 men + because it doesn't have to take care of their many indirect wants and problems. The people get in the way. They argue, plot, resist, consume quarrelsomely, and don't wish to work. For instance, a small cluster of farms & factories could easily take care of Venezuela's 4 million people. They are 95% like our submarginal farms who give nothing to the economy.
Some dangerous topics are studied. Others are not. A subtle psychological analysis would show many ways in which the ideas and activities of Jews work at undermining Christianity. (I look at this sentence and remark at the alarm and abuse it would excite if published. The worst kind of Anti-Semitism!). I refer not to the banal observations that "the Jews do not believe in Christ" or that "many Jews are atheists" or that "Judaism is a better (worse) religion than Christianity." Not at all! I refer to the underground struggle where minds twist and turn, tunnel below and above one another, dreaming, scheming, irritable, aggressive, blind to logic, reason, the obvious saying sweet words about one's neighbors while searching desperately for a life without the historical curse of Christianity. Where are the psychiatric and socio-psychological studies of this process? Itself a significant gap!