July 3, 1964
Jill, John and Christopher went off to Kill Devil's Hill, North Carolina at 6 AM today.
Carl goes to Boy Scout Camp on Sunday.
Jess attends a special school in advanced English composition and literature at Lawrenceville from 8:30 to 12:30 each day.
Paul goes to typing class at Princeton H. S. from 8:00 to 9:30 and works at 16 Linden Lane with Richie Volts from 11 to 4.
Vicky writes from Zurich that her two male traveling companions (nationality unknown) and she were driving into France, and hopes we sent her money in Paris. (We did.)
Cathy writes from Florence that she has a pleasant little room, earns $16 a week in a shop, and liked her week's visit to Munich.
That leaves me. I am sweltering with everyone else in Princeton, and going to NYC today, have just prepared a terrifying list of all that I hope to accomplish in the next three months, and am editing the manuscript of my book on Congress.
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An Essay on the Social Virtues of Vices
On apathy (e. g. in politics)
Chaos if over 10% of people became active
On stupidity (cf. Bagehot)
Intelligent people want too much change
On ignorance (cf. pol. party labels)
Blind followings better than none at all.
We assume drives for power
We assume drives for power and respect are virtues
July 3, 1964
Romesh and Siegfried asked me if international law existed. I replied:
1) What do you mean?
2) If you know that you can usually provide the answer
Law = A rule (doctrine) "thou shalt",
1) with a high probability (30%, 50%, 70%? ) of observance
2) but if violated, high probability (30%, 50%, 70% ?) of sanctions (punishment)
Is International Law law?
3) Select any rule "X"
4) Is the rule "X" observed in relations in which the behaviors to which it refers occur? If so, OK on 1) (that is, in the predetermined (all) degree of probability)
5) If cases of violation (enough to sample all such behaviors) occur in which Country "A" acts in relation to Country "B" and "A" is sanctioned by country "B" or any other countries, then International Law exists with respect to X-relations.
Note that the Law is said to exist even if the aggrieved country is "executioner." That, of course, is self-help and may be defined out as not being law. Then International Law would be said to exist only when the declaration of violation and sanctions occurs at the independent will of a third party (such third party may act in a permanent or ad hoc relation to the parties or the scope of activity involved).
However, once the concept of the third Party is introduced, there is no longer a clear mark between degrees of objectivity. How 'regular' and how 'independent' must the third party be?
Might it not be more useful simply to say that where the executor of the law is one of the parties involved, the risk of non-objectivity of the law is great, but exists nevertheless. After all, a powerful party will make the law. Such has been the way most law has developed in history.
Significant variations occur, of course, some more pleasing than others. There are "just" law-givers and "unjust" ones, by one's canons of justice, wherever such canons may originate from.
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Days of a life = 70 years x 365 = 25,550. How small this number seems nowadays which is the "age of the nth power". 109 x 3 people, ½ trillion dollar GNP, 10 million massacred Poles, 10n xx germs, 10n xy stars, etc.
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What is a "good" structure of government? Political philosophers have spoken much nonsense in prescribing rational structures based upon the needs and actions of mythical publics and reasonable men.
A constitution is 'good' that:
1) Keeps people active.
2) Makes them believe the government is responsive.
3) Holds their attention in a non-controversial way.
4) Does not change until the span of their attention begins to waver.
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Totem and tabu: the two concepts and practices extend into political leadership. The subtle forms are hard to discern; immersed in customs we cannot see them as we can the Ojibwa Indian totem cult. The basic elements of identification with and affection towards the totem animal are felt towards the politician, coupled with sense of strangeness towards him, and occasional ritual eating of the totem animal.
Such ideas are hardly to be discussed, except in highly allegorical form, in any work of applied politics. The audience whom it is intended to influence will hardly respond to this material, or hundreds of other kinds of ideas and fact. it is, as is well known, almost impossible to say what one believes to be the state of things and have that statement of the truth coincidentally (or at least without significant distortion) be the best propaganda for the applications sought. To teach, for example, how the voter makes up his mind in fact, is probably not good propaganda for inculcating faith in the common man, yet to define what is meant by the common man requires an analysis of his character.
July 6, 1964 8:00 AM
Several Bourbon whiskeys at Tom & Rosalind Frelinghuysen's home, dinner with another whiskey at the Stecchini's, followed by much coffee. Result, wakefulness at 3 AM after several hours' deep slumber. Myriad thoughts, dreams in snatches. Composed and recomposed beginnings of paragraphs. Nothing evil, no despair, but tediousness and disgust.
My manuscript on Congress: The Republican vs. the Executive Force completed, I think there should be 3 further volumes on the Republican Force (in a way Apportionment and Representative Government was the first of the series).
Federalism and the Executive Force (incl. pluralism)
Free Enterprise and the Executive Force
The Rule of Law in the Republic
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July 14, 1964 NYC
My lad, no pair of kings our mothers bore;
Our only portion is the estate of man:
We want the moon, but we shall get no more.
A. E. Housman
"The Chestnut casts his Flambeaux"
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
What is an institution? A set of habits garbed in formal attire. The central tendency of the set is strong -- it might be likened to a centripetal force.
July 14-15, 1964
July 14 and 15 passed in NYC. July 16 in Princeton. On the 13th I drove in heavy rains to Easton, Penna. to visit the Laros Printing Co., with the intention of transferring ABS from the Hermitage Press to Laros Co., should conditions and price warrant it. Mr. Laros is 85 years old, as bright as you or I, and runs the company until such time as his son, who was struck by a kind of meningitis that left his body and legs paralyzed a few years ago, can regain his balance and learn new ways. Again afterwards I drove through the heaviest downpour I've seen in years to New York. I rested and worked the whole evening. On the 14th I arose at seven and worked on an article on apportionment of New York State's legislature, edited the manuscript of my book on Congress, brought it to the University printing office for mimeographing. I may need a dozen or more copies for publishers, editors and friends. I wrote to Vicky in Paris and sent her a check on our slender bank account. (We are always quite poor in cash.) I wrote Jill, who is still in North Carolina and told her I loved her but that she might stay several more days by the sea. What greater love hath any man? I would rather have taken her to bed. I drew up examinations for the graduate students to take in September, with the help of Marion Palley. I discussed politics vigorously with an attractive brown girl named Mae King whom I met for the first time outside my office talking to Roosevelt Ferguson. I made several proposals and it became time for lunch, I walked the few yards to my small apartment at the corner of 5th Avenue and the Square and met Rod Rockefeller there. We drank Pernod in honor of Bastille Day and ate at the Grosvenor Hotel to mark the fact of its sale to NYU for a graduate dormitory. It has been my favorite hotel and eating place. I am not therefore as pleased with our acquiring it as I should perhaps be. We talked of New York City politics (his cousin Aldrich wants to run for Mayor next year), of his holiday in Paris and Vicky's being there, of his delay in writing an article for our issue on Latin-American social research, of his brother Stephen's strong interest in theology and economic ethics.
Back to the apartment for an hour of writing a review of Bud Burdick's The 480, a mediocre book by a man who can write better when he stays off politics, as he showed in the Blue of Capricorn.. My only point in what I knew was otherwise a waste of time was to stress the existence, with all its flaws, of a literature of social-science fiction. I walked to my University office, where I passed an hour in disposing of correspondence and sundry papers, and in writing a couple of letters. Then to the ABS office, where I met with Charley Ruttenberg for an hour. We ticked off several problems of production, bibliography, the first Logsdon column on The Social Facts of Life (Updated) and the like. Then came Julia and Charley left. Julia retyped my apportionment note, typed a letter or two, and was left with my manuscript in criticism of Margolis' nasty little piece about the ABS and Velikovsky in The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. Leaving Julia to work on, I went to meet Father Reuben de Hoyos for dinner. He brought me to an Argentine restaurant at 50th and Broadway, where we ate broiled meats until I, at least, could barely move. The coffee barely revived me. I delivered him to his destination and picked up Julia for the same purpose. It was not until nearly midnight that I returned to Washington Square. I sat down with a cup of fresh coffee, read the Times listened to the Republican National Convention. The liberals were put down in one and every attempt at modifying the monolithic determination of the crowd. Rockefeller, for whom I could muster only little sympathy, felt he should speak on behalf of a resolution against extremism that should name the Birch Society specifically, and he was repeatedly hooted down. With all that he has had to make him President, he has somehow managed to bungle every little thing, or if not to actually make a mistake, to fail to leave a serious impression. It is something, dear Diary, to see 1000 staunch supporters of private property boo mercilessly one of the richest men in the world. And he has to lump it. Stephanie called meanwhile and I set a date to see her for lunch next day.. I read Burdick's essay on the aborigines of Australia, and sensed profoundly the strangeness of the human being.
July 16, 1964 Princeton
Political parties appear to be undergoing a transformation over the whole world. The one-party system, which used to be regarded ( and still largely is so regarded) as an aberration from the 2-party or multi-party system, and as a contradiction in terms, is now found in many places. It is not confined to Fascist and Communist countries -- unless these are defined as "any country with a one-party system."
India, most new African countries, Mexico and many others are in the one-party category now. What explains this trend? How does the party perform -- what is its function?
Two general and partial answers may be posed:
I The trend is caused by the high costs of party opposition -- the risk of violence, instability of politics, the great activity and power of bureaucracies who don't want continual change at the top, the feeling very widespread among the new intelligentsia but always underground that there is only one right way (only one national interest).
II. The function of the single-party is an enlargement of what was a major unrecognized function of the old multi-party and 2-party system -- to mobilize ignorance and let it appear to be patriotic, informed, and active; which is absolutely necessary in a democracy where the people are supposed to rule.
July 17, 1964
The evaluation of our time is tricky. We spend much time foolishly, in boredom, or cheaply. Then we fight to command as much money as we can for the time we sell to others directly or as incorporated in a service or product of ours. A man who is paid a high salary for 40 hours a week, acts as a lowly-paid chauffeur for transporting his tardy children to school. He hardly thinks of what he is doing. Of course, in this case he can offer the companionship of his children as additional compensation.. That is true, though perhaps the companionship of tardy children while driving through heavy traffic leaves something to be desired. If I receive twenty dollars an hour for my time at work, there is very little that I can do outside to justify the time it would take. I am left only with satisfactions, as a justification. These can be the helping of others (as teaching my children lessons they would not easily get others (which breaks down again into rare skills or ideas that I possess and skills of ideas that would be difficult to hire others to impart)), the affection of others (companionship, love, sociability), health, pleasure, rest, or finally work that is more creative than my regular paid work (thus I should be happy and right, as I am, to spend ten hours on a poem for which I receive nothing but pleasure, contemplation, exaltation). In all of these cases, one is entitled to forego income. The ideal is when they all coincide in time. If a man isn't happy then, it is because of the pain of excessive happiness.
Supposing the units of time for which one can get his appropriate pay are limited, as say forty hours a week. Then, supposing one's requirements for money are temporarily (or permanently) greater than the sum paid for all such units, he could work for less at tasks of similar satisfaction and justify it on logical grounds. Much 'overtime' is at such lower rate of pay.
Another problem, that of postponed enjoyments, is also of interest. Suppose Mr. S earns $5 an hour for 40 hours. He wishes to spend $1000 a year when he is 60 and over without occupying himself as he does at present. So he works overtime now to save more. But also he works for less. In fact he can work for much less, he feels, since his earning capacity will be so reduced after 60 that anything he earns now at a higher rate than an old man's rate is logically not a reduction in pay for overtime at all!
P. S. The pain of calculating one's time and allocating energies must be entered into the books. We may well exclaim: "If we must figure out all these alternatives, we'll be too nervous to enjoy any of them." Possibly true, in which event we must abandon the calculations and set ourselves adrift on the ocean of time.
In a way the cogitation upon a man's time arises out of the agony of a day full of different kinds of work clamoring to be done. Four boys of 14 years of age, including my Paul, are painting our house at 16 Linden Lane. They have as workers all of the handicaps of the young -- they are a little awkward at tools and ladders, they cannot remember instructions, they overlook obvious precautions. They dropped paint from above onto the plantings. (This despite 2 large ground-cloths and careful teaching.) They stomped on some others. They overlooked screens, left marks on the paint, strew tools, brushes, cans and waste all over the garden, splattered paint on the grass, and from time to time stood around like comfortable statues, not thinking of time and work and the ratio between them or of pay, which they are pleased to receive. They are a lovable group and I am teaching Paul and them much but for me it turns out to be expensive and nerve-racking. So much for Linden Lane. Then at our temporary home of 39 Maple Street, I unboxed the mimeographed pages of my manuscript on Congress and thought to ask Mom & Dad whether they would care to earn the money for collating the papers which I would otherwise have to pay to the professional service. Again the agonies of explanation and watching overcareful work. Dad would thumb and read the page number of each sheet to be doubly sure. Mom caught onto the system quickly and turned on TV loudly. Nowadays her hearing is diminishing. Dad's is very poor. As they began to work I sat at my desk nearby and tried to read and edit. It was of course impossible to do without pain. "Mom, would you please turn off the set when the stupid ads come on?" "What? What?" Resentment. Irritation. The whole set is turned off. She sniffs a tear. I burn inwardly. Jessie comes in from her school. She rages at the unsightly kitchen and at her brother Paul and his friend Allen Wilcox, whose mother is in the hospital and whom I have permitted to stay with us meanwhile. Livio Stecchini drops in and asks for paper and pencil to write a great note on Velikovsky's rendering of the Pi-ka-roti incident. No matter that he has many other places in Princeton to write these notes and that he hands them to me, scrawled out in huge illegibility and too broken up to insert without great editorial exertions in the critique of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, which I am preparing then, as often he will do. He returns a couple of hours later, and takes back two notes, demands paper and pencil and writes another note to end all notes. It is good, even exciting. In discussion, we agree that V's points are well taken. The stone of (1) Pi-ka-roti tells of (2) catastrophes (3) death by drowning of the Pharaoh in (4) battle against (5) evil-men (6) who had been engaged in construction work on the King's palaces, all paralleling the Jews' Exodus. But meantime I have all my other catastrophes of a minor nature happening about me as I contemplate the ancient ones. And I must mail the apportionment note to George Shapiro who needs it for the N.Y. State Commission meeting urgently, and send copies to others too. And decide upon the printing -- Should we move the ABS to Easton Penna, keep it in Trenton, or send it even elsewhere for production? The weather is hot. I play records of "Variations on a Theme by Handel." I drive to the hardware store for supplies. I buy many sandwiches, fruit juice, milk, cookies, for the young workers, for which they are happy. I tell them to leave their work clothes on the job, and change off and on, coming in and leaving for the day. The value and logic of the ancient practice finally dawns upon them after several days of telling and experience. This and a thousand trifles add up to the good worker. Perfection said Michelangelo is no detail though it is composed of them. I am no perfectionist in the elaboration of details. I am a holist. I go at a task with the total idea in mind and I shape the details to it and achieve whatever perfection of detail that I can afford to the work, which itself is only a piece of my total reality, composed as it is of many works of many kinds. How can all life be a work of art, if one makes one bit of it perfect at the cost of the whole; that would be grotesque perfection.
So it goes. Back to my editing, phone-calls, supervising, publishing. I must call upon Velikovsky to show him the letter to Urey I have ready to send out. He was pleased to see it and wanted practically to write it, but I refused. V. in insufferable at times with his self-centeredness and megalomania.
* * * * *
July 19, 1964 9 AM
Jill arrived last night, looking beautiful, her hair blond and brown and straight, à la mode, quite tanned, muscled and well shaped from constant swimming in the sea at Kill Devil Hills. She had been gone 2 ½ weeks, had flown with Chris in the morning from Elizabeth City to Washington after there visiting Miriam de Grazia and the children, Eddie and Ellen and theirs, and had come by train to Princeton. Chris carried 2 boxes of fireworks, which he promptly set to exploding. One was a deliberate dud that he waved in front of me with its fuse sputtering. I started up and almost 'hit the deck'.
* * * * *
"Hecha la ley, hecha la trampa"
Given the law, given its evasion / avoidance
Each law bespeaks its avoidance
Every law is legally to be broken
Laws are made to be broken / evaded
"A law made is a law to evade"
Every law carries its proposed own evasion
Law made is
Rules Edicted are Ruled Delicted
Any law made is possible to evade
If there's a law, there's a loophole.
July 19, 1964
Extra money need for Household $2164.00
balance of 1964
Money due and payable on 16 Linden Lane
(deductible from household)
* * * * *
Trip to Europe (net cost) 500.00
Printer's Bills 3,500.00 (2,400 + 1300+ 300 + 500 + other)
* * * * *
Due as Business Income August 16 - December 1, 1964
To ABS: Carnegie = 2200.00
AEI project =
Rehm project = 2000.00
NSF IR project 2000.00
Net State Dept. project = 3500.00
IESS article = 100.00
German article = 120.00
NY State apport. = 3000.00
-1120.00 Repay loans to house
Mailing - Return double postcard
150,000 @7 cents = $10,500 Return
15,000 = $ 1,050.00
Mailed September 4 15,000 1500 + 750 = 2250 x 9 = 20,250
September 18 20,000
October 2 40,000
October 16 50,000
October 30 15,000
Introduction to Swedish Lectures
Hecha la ley --- hecha la trampa.
Philosophy of history, despair in the counsels of men.
Can one be more pessimistic among foreigners than among his own?
Sandburg -- The People, Yes! The mass spirit
The Death of a President: What its subjective meaning is?
What its objective meaning is.
The need for ceremonial figures for "irrational" displacements. Actually nothing is more irrational than anything else. Specialization of displacements, better.
1) American Way of Government
2) Live in Italy and Sweden.
Pure research in behavior -- value-free, objective, without regard to practicality, and independent -- is rare in federal research programs.
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