March 4, 1962 Sunday 9 PM
Fragments from John Dewey's Quest for Certainty and a discussion with Vicky on dolphins of last night collide and mix. The dolphin's intelligence is fair, its brain large. Experiments are moving ahead in an endeavor to determine its "true" intelligence and ability to learn, "You can't give them tests easily," Vicky pointed out. "For instance they have little stub flippers, instead of hands, so they cannot do nest puzzles of different kinds." True, I thought, and I said that "the water isn't the best medium for the eyes to aid the intelligence, nor are versatile movements possible there, nor are the vocal chords as developed nor the skin so sensitive." Then Dewey's remarks on experimental method, and the analogy between science's validating and the optimal method of all human validating of the world in relation to man's problems jogged me again as I reviewed him for a passage on operationalism that I am inserting in the 2nd ed. of the Elements. The sense organs may be direct factors in Intelligence! Dewey is righter than he believed, even with the most extreme contribution he made! We must add another whole dimension of "activism aptitude" to our studies of creativity and intelligence! We must not stop with the brain. Perhaps those highly elusive correlations will show up if we get measures of dexterity, of sensory ability, to cross against the mental factors. I do not recall seeing in the literature of creativity and leadership, any but casual references to the connections between sensory "dexterity" and genius. Once in the while you see remarks to the effect that brighter students are also more adjusted, more popular, etc., all posed as if the intelligence caused these things to happen. Perhaps we are 'brighter' than the dolphin because, or better, inasmuch as we think-do more easily, blessed with the means. We act, ergo we think; we can act, ergo we think. We think-act better to the extent, going beyond the animals into comparative history and societies, that we act better. if these ideas are correct, their implications are tremendous, more far-reaching by many leagues than John Dewey's great theory carried him. For this theory can hitch nicely onto some of the most perplexing problems of human evolution from simpler states of physiology and culture. it can bridge Lamarckian (Lysenkian) and Darwinian theories of change-factors in evolution.
But what does the monkey lack in sensation? A problem! Ability to speak -- how organic is this? Can he feel as delicately? I think so and must look into this.
March 7, 1962
Children should have the major career areas of life shaped for them -- not the tedious transient listing of particular jobs. What would these areas be:
1. Biochemical -- biology, cell, plastics, drugs, etc.
2. Astrophysical - electric
3. Social service including domestic service, waiters, all serving of others.
4. Authoritative - teaching, curing, advising, politics, etc.
5.. Growing (Agriculture)
6. Building and driving
7. Paper-processing including accounting, etc.
8. Poetry, dissent, and reform
Love falls away
Leary, ed. Unity of Knowledge lectures (1957?)
[Cassirer], Ernst, Logic of the Humanities
March 9, 1962
Attorney General Kennedy, speaking in Asia, says that the U. S. fought an unjust war against Mexico in 1848. Texan leaders denounce him. He retracts upon his return. History I is science. History II is myth. The myth is shaped for the future. History has to be rewritten. K. is rewriting for America's role in the new larger world, where the good opinion of formerly subjected peoples counts. The Texans are not willing to let their history be rewritten and, implicitly, concede that they should be Mexican, as would be the Californians, Arizonians, and others. Of course not. Nor is either idea right. Each wants his own rewritten history. There is no true history here, or ever, in fact. A third opinion might say -- force majeure is always right, so let the Asians swallow it. But of course that is impossible political strategy in this age. Another view: let only History I survive, without evaluation. But that is humanly impossible. People must live by historical myths, in order to have future goals.
March 14, 1962
The basic ideas of political science are in 1st chapter of Elements (28 of them). They may be reduced to perhaps half of this number by incorporating later descendants in earlier forms.. Thus "communications" with political community. Thus also a "sociology of class" with division of labor. Also "elite" and "democracy" into reactions and therefore subsidies of "authority", etc.
There should be in addition or among them all of the basic elements of political action (which may turn out to be social action), just as in natural science, whether electronics or mechanics, we have length, time (speed), volume (mass). f (t + l). These might be people in communication multiplied (added) by their frequency and intensity of contact. Then contacts classified by subject-matter (many classification systems such as life-values, institutions, ways people spend time, etc.) Then laws of achievement, e. g. people gain x position in relation to subject A by doing (1), (3), (5), etc. Then applied science. To get X do (1), (3), (5), etc.
March 14, (?) 1962
Damn the economists! They have ruined the idea of property by ascribing to it all sorts of secondary qualities that it doesn't have and placing upon it political burdens of an irrelevant kind. Property is practically an attribute of personality, so closely does it become identified with a person and so much does it extend and develop character and way of life. To cut into property is to cut into liberty directly and forcefully.
The economists have emphasized bad qualities and ignored good ones -- as they have generally with regards to the merits of the free enterprise system and competition. They go madly hypothetical and unreal. And no one defends the real merits of property (and enterprise).
Take the question of great wealth.
Great Wealth Small Wealth
Big Merit Can permit political
personality and No Yes
free character Managerial autonomy
can do the same
Ergo different definition of property goes for great as for lesser wealth.
March 15, 1962
Society uses myths in a contradictory way. There is no rhyme nor reason to them -- No there may be rhyme but no reason to them. There are hero myths, for instance, that seem to make it clear that the people is always wrong, the great man always right. But there are myths that the people know best. (I am not speaking of folk tales, the specific manifestations of myth, though they too are called myths, but of the unspoken attitudinal structure, the unconscious ways of seeing things.) There is a myth that all Americans are politically alert and active -- we know this is completely incorrect. or take the myth that the public defends its liberties.
In fact, eliminate Quakers and Jews and there is scarcely anyone left to fight for civil liberty, against censorship, abuses of law, and certain kinds of political corruption. But, think, if the great public knew this fact clearly it would be vastly upset and would not support libertarian politics even in principle, much less by murmuring its support. Myths are functional. There would be upsets, upheavals, and distress in the public realm if one or more were extirpated. That they may be contradictory is less important than that they exist. Thus people justify their social order as a mother her child holding sincerely fond lies. Society is plastered with myths like a boxer with Band-Aids.
March 15, 1962
Incest taboos are treated by Leslie White, the anthropologist, with his usual discernment that defeats one theory in order to set up his own equally defective one. Thus he criticizes Freud's Totem and Taboo as quite fictional and inadequate to explain incest taboos beyond the sons, and for non-totem societies, and then vaguely states some kind of "culture-theory" as if no one thinks of cultural causation. Freud's theory is not bad at all -- over-dramatized to be sure. But the elements of parental authority and rebellion against it are well-nigh universal and in a society where other amusements are few and sanctions generally severe and the depository of fear and guilt more deeply in the dark recesses of the unconscious than later deposits of sin and guilt, the importance and prevalence of the incest taboo are easy to understand. As for totems and non-totems, cousins and uncles, exceptions in kings and queens, patriarchy and matriarchy -- these contrasts derive from and ornament the fundamental taboo; they do not contradict it, or its causes.
* * * * *
"Why don't we poll our acquaintances on the occurrence and frequency of incest thoughts and dreams?", I have asked several friends lately. I have such dreams about once a year regarding my mother or a reasonable facsimile thereof. How rare is this? No one knows.
Very true )
Very important ) 3 distinct dimensions of a statement
Very general )
The ideal of science is to be all three. They are often confused in the very true being thought very imp., the very general being thought very imp., etc.
1) The day is cloudy
2) The Day of Judgment will be cloudy
3) All days are cloudy over Greenland
"Equality!" is the cry that has brought the disruption of ability and social movement so that less chances are given those who cry equality. Equality today brings inequality tomorrow, if it is the typical mechanical equality usually meant. For equality tomorrow, we must have a different kind of equality today, an equality to create chances and possibilities.
March 20, 1962
Foreword to The New Order
I am writing this book alone, not from desire but from necessity. it should be, I believe, a statement signed by millions, because it is for everybody that it is written. But I tried those who would be most likely to join in its preparation and they were wanting in some regard. A distinguished U. S. Senator wished for material that a party could use in the next sessions of Congress. Several lawyers shied away when they found themselves approaching a jungle, that their law schools and law mentalities had hidden from them. A brave candidate for high office deluded himself into thinking he might be elected more easily if he skimmed along on the surface of ideas and wants. A rich civic leader hesitated and then, rather than stretch his mind and risk his reputation, chose to accept appointment to public office where he could achieve a slight and temporary dignity. So it went with so-called leaders. And I came to realize that if I waited until the leadership of today would associate itself with programs adequate to the state of the world, I would have to wait until doomsday. Leadership, whether in the west or in the east, is disgracefully incompetent, woefully backward.
Therefore I must turn to the disconnected but concerned public for sympathy and support. A voice far greater than my own, coming from a great many people, must signal the need and idea of a new world order.
March 23, 1962
A harmful result of the fear of anti-Semitism is that no accusation or analysis can deal with some kind of Jews without exciting immediately an outraged reaction and an unjustified extension of the argument to all Jews. it must be said, too, that Jews suffer from this restriction of their freedom of inquiry and assertion as much as Gentiles. There are detestable elements in the operation of the press, television, the American movies, art, literature, and politics that can be understood fully only when their roots in Jewish problems are exposed. If the typical Hollywood movie is utterly without deep human affection, if painters murder humanity and erase its face on their canvases, if television programs excise and derogate human character, their motives must be traced in part to the Jewish strain that deeply resents and psychologically wipes out the Gentile. A Catholic writing in America implied that Jews, so familial in themselves, do not care what happens to Gentile families and therefore support the defense of pornography and obscenity. David Danzig protested this idea, but I see what the Jesuit meant. There is a powerful social destructiveness and inhumanity and coldness -- all the more effective because concealed and sublimated -- among some Jews. It is wrong to censor the study and cure of this trait. yet we do not have 6 or 12 words for Jews. There is only one, for public purposes.
March 15, 1962 Sunday
Anna Maria's show draws a handsome group of viewers this afternoon. Cathy and I played tennis. Jill has a cold. The day is brilliant and windy. Chris went fishing at the dam with John Caruso. Carl is by the Frelinghuysen's (Rosalyn is back from Florida - looking hale but glum over life. Jill well says "The European women have an aristocratic model that is romantic but not with the romance of the American middle-class woman, who is prepared by the mass media, films, education, fairly tales of the Wizard of Oz and a little Kansas girl, Dorothy, to glamorize her housewifely, maidless, child caring, economical role, -- so this may be what Rosalyn lacks. No matter that she is rich by American standards and lives well, with a maid (but not several), with a car (but no chauffeur), with no good cook, no good tutors, and no gay crowd dedicated to enjoying a diversified life. She cannot be enough different from the dullness of housewifery to live in the French youthful aristocratic romance, nor does she have the American romance and ideology that is impregnated in children here."
Argentina is in the middle of a typical South American revolution. The generals are being called in again. In the USA, Germany, England, etc., the generals are a last resort in the event of crises; in South America, the generals are the usual resort to avoid having a political crisis. The generals are the tools and spearheads of the crises in the former case; they provoke it. In the latter they are the stabilizing element that prevents a crisis, otherwise developed, from provoking extreme revolution. I am not satisfied with this idea, but there is something in it, a clue to why "revolutions" in South America are more regular than elections. Since elections and politics are taken in their pure controversial meaning in Latin America, unlike the USA, they are the source of "true revolution" and a constant danger. The military then, paradoxically, is the means of making the situation antiseptic against serious politics.
March 26, 1962
Every new moment begins a new life of justice and injustice. For every offense in the past there was a counter offense. For every sin a corresponding sinful retaliation. If an employer oppressed a worker, the worker stole from him. If a white denied a Negro consideration, the Negro refused to work for him. Each gift has its returned gift, each harm its returned injury. The balance is not always discrete and exact, but it is statistically true.
Therefore, begin with the next moment. Give justice, return justice. The old accounts are hopeless -- they are proportioned of equal injustice on both sides. Only by returning justice for harm, good for evil, can the balance be changed and a better balance be achieved. This is Christian, true, but it also is a universal formula of operational social policy, needed particularly now. Else the accounts will never be straight and new relations achieved.
Sundry conventional categories of values (continued from X)
A. Rigid A. Conservative
B. Non-rigid B. Liberal
__________ C. Radical
new experience Eating
sex Sex stimulation
March 26, Midnight
End of a full day of meetings on the army's policies on limited warfare and social research. The army's brass out in quantity for the event, and a good group of behavioral scientists as well. As expected, the army's thinking is a little simple, but clear, and is liberal and progressive. We can be proud of the character of our military leadership, or at least somewhat fond of it even if it lacks a certain ruthless efficiency. I am meeting a number of remote acquaintances of times past. The psychological warfare, irregular and unconventional warfare group is here. Some interesting stories are being told by the leaders of our expeditions in Laos and Vietnam. There are a dozen generals and forty or fifty colonels in attendance, and a good number of civilians of the army staff, with perhaps twenty or so outside social scientists.
Paul Linebarger told a funny story about an American engineer with a compulsion to know the correct time, a Mexican peon, a bull's testicles and a village clock. I complimented him on it later, saying it was no clock-and-bull story.
Chuck Thomson of Rand Corporation and I ate breakfast together. At lunch my companion was Tom Milburn, who is organizing unconventional war research for the Navy, and at supper I had excellent lamb chops and conversation with young Morton Halperin of Harvard and Ray Platig of Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. I discoursed rather lengthily, being well-lubricated and fed, on ways of stimulating productivity in the field of international relations scholarship, after he had asked me several times to comment on the subject for the benefit of the Foundation. He is new there and would like to introduce better practices, something they badly need, for they have a dull, conventional program. Roy Carter and I talked at length today and I suppose I must have engaged in fifteen other conversations of five minutes to twenty minutes' duration. As is often the case when a group is newly assembled, one gets more new information and ideas from the interchanges outside the meetings than in, by far. My guest for cocktails was Luther Evans. I explained to him how I had turned inside out his article on UNESCO in Africa, that he hurriedly prepared at my request for the African research issue, and spoke again about our forming a little group to criticize the work of the US government in regards to UNESCO and UNESCO itself. Luther informed me he will be at Columbia University, beginning in a few weeks.
I spoke to Miriam de Grazia on the telephone. She told me that Iano and two other boys of thirteen had gotten into trouble with the police by breaking into a house which the boys called "abandoned" but which the police say, with reason, was obviously in fine shape and being repaired. Joe is afflicted with asthma again. He suffers badly. I said I believed it to be a sign of deep repressed rebellion, after being dutiful for so many years and still not acting out his hostilities towards his parents. Sebastian gets furious when I suggest this, so mad is he at psychoanalysts -- even without personal reason.
Not much sleep -- too much to eat and drink -- both of liquor and coffee. Much cheering and honoring of Robert Frost yesterday on his 88th birthday. By all means honor the old. But he is not a great poet. With all the frosty New England air on his lines, they are bland and weak. All the sheep are clustered around him lately, since President Kennedy took him up some time ago and called him great. Frost is another C. P. Snow, a creature of the fashionable crowd's psychology, picked up and shaped on the tide, soon to recede and throw up some new forms.
Colonel Little and General Yarborough spoke of the need for our guerillas to learn to communicate culturally and verbally with the peoples they are working with. General Volckmann, who commanded the Filipino insurgents against Japan said the same. Little declared, from his Laotian experience, that extensive linguistic training was too costly and still did not give the expected entrée. I think we should give up the notion of language training for the common soldier beyond a few words. We should devise a universal basic communication system, based on gestures, sounds, and drawings. This could be tested in a number of cultures, and then standardized and taught.
March 28, 1962
Say something to somebody only when you know he's listening. Otherwise you must be prepared to force him to listen -- by dominance, loudness, exotic expression of face, gesture, or speech.
March 30, 1962
Four officers who sit in a hole in Montana must agree to press a button to launch a nuclear missile towards Russia. People shudder that so much depends upon this setting -- I only wish that all the important decisions of political life were so considered and guarded.