October 28, 1964
The first chapters of Taylor's life of Bismarck seem already to reveal the great contradictions common to political characters -- the refusal to subject oneself to the law followed by the determination to subject others to it, provided only that one has, by making law himself or profiting by it otherwise, become identified with it.
Again in Bismarck are the Hitlerian anomalies, by our standards -- a sobbing romanticism and a harsh realism in international affairs. The dynamic is fairly explainable when one appreciates that the level of displacements are inculcated, not "objective". The two men are not quite inhuman -- they have inhumanized areas in their perceptive [perspective?] and conscience structures of mind.
We should insist more upon the moral greatness of the English idea of the state. The state is composed of and formed by and always inseparable from individual men. It cannot therefore mark the boundary of morality, where, once passed, individual becomes "collectivity", a raison d'état appears, and sentimentalists can become heartless, decent people monsters.
There is a tendency in the United States today to substitute the Continental idea of statism for the English idea. It is a disquieting trend, though unrecognized by the great majority of those who foster it or even fight it. For the struggle is waged naively, over trifles taken in themselves. The thought-transformation goes unobserved. We are not too far from an adulation of the state, following upon a great growth of executive institutions, special state controls and privileges, extensive hauling in of private activities within the statal nets.
Late October 1964 First page lost? Suzanne Farkas
by Suzanne out of the goodness of her heart, and discuss the psychological factors that affect the processes of economic development. It is fairly enjoyable. I engage Suzanne's company afterwards by the simple device of offering to carry her bag of coffee pot and supplies. So we have a bourbon and water at the apartment, talk a bit of poetry, political science, and I show her Cathy's wedding pictures from Marina di Massa. Then we walk briskly and far in the warmish fall night up Fifth Avenue, across Greeley Square, and up Madison. She is loquacious about aggression and the causes of war. I say "War is no longer caused by the mass qualities or even the elite traits .. No longer does psychological analysis help very much ... War is a matter of a very few men who cannot perhaps be circumscribed preventively. The rest must be killed and work at war their psychological propensities for or against war notwithstanding. Aggressiveness, authoritarianism and all of the psychology of conflict are fairly useless in the big problem of big war or peace. These have become technical accidental things, like a man's sleeve brushing against an electrified fence. Further down, the nowadays less important aggressiveness of small wars and interpersonal conflict depend upon psychological dynamics that are good or bad at one and the same time. To eliminate the source cuts out much that is 'good' in man by practically any standards." So I declare to Suzanne somewhere in the ugly lower reaches of Madison Avenue, "The specific conflict reactions have to be conditioned and repressed. Just as children are told not to touch an exposed wire, or to stick out their tongues. Or like the Frenchmen who will collide accidentally, be furious with one another, threaten, abuse and all of that -- but never touch in assault and battery."
What for today? I promised to go to Philadelphia where Phil and Betty Jacob are holding a conference on India, Poland, Yugoslavia and a world-wide study of decentralization. I feel I ought to go but more realistically ought to stay here. I have to make page proofs of the November ABS from the galleys. I must write a letter on behalf of Senator Keating. I have to write a letter to the Apportionment Committee of the Governor. I should buy a set of boxing gloves for John. I should collect the materials on the Universal Reference System and begin to write the 60-page article. I ought to speak to Robinson and Ruttenberg about pushing ahead the computer work on the State Department's pilot CODEX on international behavior research. I have more letters to write too, and the projected cash-flow accounts of Metron and the ABS to complete. Let me see how goes the next couple hours and I will decide. perhaps I can pass the afternoon with the University of Pennsylvania Group and return with Cathy to Princeton for supper.