Table of contents

Kalos: What is to be done with our World.
By Alfred de Grazia


PART THREE:  The Dystrocrats


A dystrocracy is a regime that is so defective organizationally that it cannot supply most of its people with food, comfortable shelter, personal and public hygiene, basic education, a rule of law, a free indigenous culture, or the ambition to overcome these deficiencies.1 Three quarters of the World's people live in an extreme dystrocratic state; 68 of the one hundred and fifty nations are purely dystrocratic, another 50 partly so.2 These facts are not disputed and there is no point in pouring out more statistics about them.3 Only a very few countries pay the lower half of their working population more than $300 a year, almost no country can be said to have adequate housing; half have a poorer half that in larger part suffers no wasting diseases; half have a literacy rate of over half the people over 15; half have no powerful system of caste and class privileges; few have a free press; few have a spontaneous indigenous cultural-religious development; a third have an observable general urge to modernize.

"Be Unhappy"

The well-known fact of proverty invites a universal political response. Our extraordinary age is marked by a hundred regimes whose politicians in effect are urging social unrest as a matter of public policy.

Consider, however, that if a person seeks, or is ordered to pursue, contradictory goals at the same time, he is prone to anxiety. Depending upon the strength of the pressures, he may become discontented or be driven quite mad. The same is true of peoples composed into nations. Yet, in one way or another, every culture tells its people "Be happy with what you have", and simultaneously says "Get more if you can."4

Primary workers10.5
Energy Consumed17.0
Motor Cars111.0
Workweek Length10.8
Tax Revenues12.0

From this contradictory pair of directives comes both the churning stasis and the occasional dynamic transformation of societies.

Actually the masses, who have modest expectations, are rarely energized, as, say, were Indonesians against the communists in 1965. What occurs is the amplification of unrest and disorder among the politists, the politically active element. This 3% or so of the population becomes volatile and expands by perhaps another percentage point, creating a continual sense of crisis.

Every country is composed of politicians, politists, and people.Usually each component has a distinctive posture; thus the leadership may be passive, the politists energetic, or the leaders may be active but the masses inert. An ambitions leader, who thinks only of his personal fortunes, may must still depend upon the politists constant propensity to igigrute a critis. Mass apathy can vanish suddenly. President Chanoun of Lebanon tried in 1958 to retain office against the Constitution and was immediately forced to resign.5 He who believes that "nothing can be done to stri the people out of their lethargy" has let his own disbelief make him vulnerable to a coup d'etat.

If the leader is ambitious to change the mass and to distribute widely the net profit from enhancing the welfare of the country, he may be overthrown by conservative or more demanding forces, quit in despair, or partially succeed, but in any event will increase the discontent of the politists (and masses) in proportion as he has to exaggerate his assurances and promises in order to stir his sluggish followers.

Thus much turbulence in the modern world comes from a merging of the contradictory directive into the pressure to "Be unhappy with the little you have." Disorders among leaders and politsts inexorably follow. As if real poverty and injustice were not sufficient, definitions of them are expanded and the goals of society become all the more nureal since they are accompanied by increasing social instablity.

But on the other hand, is it possible to isolate a dystrocracy? It seems practically impossible in most dystrocracies to stem the rising tide of expectancies. Initially the technically advanced armaments of the plutocracy greatly impressed the dystrocratic countries. Armaments were followed by cheap and meretricious goods of certain kinds, and these in turn by hundreds of films from Hollywood showing how luxurious and irresponsible life might be. Scholars and scientists and students and the intelligentsia, spilling the slogans of the French and Marxist revolutions, added to the developing vision of a richer life. With World War II came promises galore and even material and technical aid of many kinds, partly as response to the abandonment of war material. The result practically everywhere has been the burying of original cultures in the ashes of desires that continue to enflame. Where, then, can thrive an elite that denies the validity of claims to the new consumption possibilities of the plutocratic world?

Adolescent Schizophrenia

If the adulthood of a person and a people means the point in life where integration of want with possibility is close and adjustment to the environment is possible, then the elites and politists of the dystrocracies are gravely retarded. They possess most of the traits of the schizophrenic adolescent. They are adolescent because they have reached a crisis of identity. They are non-western and they want to be western. They dislike themselves and yet have a pride that begs satisfaction.5 They with to have the skills, position, image, responsibilities and power of economically developed countries and yet are frightened of the initiatives and defeats that ate sure to ensue if they strike out on their own. They have self-love and a confused and grandiose idealism, both of which are impossible to indulge without serious self-damage. They must create a new self, for they cannot bear the old, and the social forces of the world environment force them into new roles.7

Dystrocratic countries readily become schizoid (indeed, the identity crisis is the operational definition of a type of schizophrenia). Their behaviour within the world order is characterized by hostilities and persecution feelings, and the projection of aggression. Their history reinforces their individual feelings; they have been abused and exploited by the authorities of the past and do not believe in the good will of present powers; hence, rational accommodation, rational competition, even rational aggression become impossible whenever an international engagement turns even slightly sour (and which does not?).

One of the most popular works of the decade of the sixties among young radicals was written by the French-educated Martinique psychiatrist, Franz Fanon.8 It is an outpouring of distorted perceptions and vengeful hostilities, of half-truths and political folly. It is another kind of Hitlerism; the difference is not of class many early Nazis, too, felt themselves to be untermenschen. But, whereas the Nazis lacked self-awareness, Fanonists have this startling quality: they know what they are and insist upon acting out their madness as a method of cure; Says Fanon, we are under-races, we are schizoid, we have adopted the ideas of our "superior," we see ourselves in the mirror that the colonialists place before us; the way to break this image is to destroy them; then we shall have no mirror image to look at; and we shall be free.

Now we have three possible images; the plutocratic (U.S.A.), the bureaucratic (U.S.S.R.), and the image-destroying (partially Maoist). To adopt the first two parental models can only mean prolonged frustration, to adopt the third invites a revolution of nihilism, the murder of the parent.

Here the full force of the Kalotic idea must enter. A new revolutionary idea must enter the world. IT must be owned by all cultres, by all the distressed. If it carries the sightest stench of hypocrisy or quibbling, it is dead to the senses of the wretched of the earth.

Hadley Cantril, an exemplary psychologist with the rare yet characteristically American habit of fashioning a future good from miserable states of fact, has set forward a series of phases of development.9 The dystrocracies proceed towards development, he declares, by five stages. First, he says, they acquiesce to circumstances. Second, they awaken to various potentialities. Then they become aware of means of realizing their goals. Afterwards they gain assurance and self-reliance through experiencing the efforts. Finally, they begin to receive satisfactions and gratifications, and end up with a general feeling that they are on their way towards a continuous national development.

Few, if any, of the dystrocracies have gone through these five stages. Yet, in a remarkable manner, they represent the pathology and the cure for schizophrenia. We see in the collective souls of dystrocracies-which is only another term for a large fraction of a well-applied probability sample of their politists and masses-a profound fatalism, at times fully catatonic. No one sees or listens to the sounds of modernity; no one lifts a tool when asked. There are those among the same population, though, who have wild dreams; they imagine large, fast cars on all of the roads of India, they see a happy emotic community of the nation, or they see destruction and chaos.

Some actually move beyond reveries and fantasies towards instrumental behaviour; often feebly, occasionally fitfully, and usually disorganizedly, they try to accomplish social goals; many of their objectives lack precision, focus, and attainability. The beginnings of instrumental rationality are experienced by a few; what they hope to happen and work towards bringing about does actually succeed.

A few are ready for a generally competent existence, where most of what is expected comes about, where a full range of challenges to the environment is continuously offered and a reasonable rate of return on them is anticipated and in fact realized. To the extent to which a culture shifts massively to the latter phases of behavior, the mature collective personality is achieved, and to that extent, too, the Kalotic Revolution is won, for only the Kalotic Revolution has the formula that can shake up the typical dystrocracy. The reasons for positive morale are there.

Megalomania and Macho

Three cases of dystrocratic exceptions to the schizophrenic model can be explained. When Western Europe was on its knees after World War II and the United States inaugurated the Marshall Plan, why were the symptoms of collective adolescent schizophrenia not present? Actually, some symptoms were present, but generally the nations of Europe lacked a history of dependence and they did not have to change their ideology and culture.

China is exceptional too. China's armor against the disease is its eternal megalomania. A Russian commentator unquestionably exaggerating out of alarm, writes-

Mao proposes to include in his Reich-in addition to China itself-Korea, the Mongolian People's Republic, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia, Burma, and several other countries in the area. In the second stage of "the storm from the East" expansion is planned in the direction of the Indian subcontinent, Soviet Central Asia, the Soviet Far East and the Near East. What is anticipated on paper for the third stage is not yet clear, But the plan is not restricted to the "Maoization of Asia".We shall gaze proudly upon five continents, one of Mao-tse-tung's myrmidons declares.10

The Chinese have been for many centuries convinced of their central and even exclusive place in the universe. "The most pervasive underlying Chinese emotion is a profound, unquestioned, generally unshakeable identification with historical greatness."11 They can, as a group, feel collectively insulted by "upstart nations" but practically no humiliation is great enough to bring about a mental chaos. The Chinese will find their way from dystrocracy to the Kalotic Revolution by both real and claimed "parallel inventions".

Argentina, which is more of a stratocracy than a dystrocracy, represents a type of deviance that is to be found stretching throughout Muslim-Latinity from the Eastern Mediterranean in a great are down to the Antarctic. It is, and generally can be called, machismo. It is especially pronounced where the mestizo and Indian-Negro element is smallest. (Those latter areas are more affected by the schizophrenic syndrome.12) It is a pride that freezes energy,"a withdrawn but potentially aggressive pride and suspicious hostility."13 To obey commands and exhortations to give up old practices for new ones is to submit to a kind of emasculation. There is a resolute defiance of authority and a strong feeling for personal boundaries: "deorganize,si; re-organize, no!"

Economics gives later growth; first, psychology must cause the seed of development to burst its dystrocratic pod. By bearing in mind the psychological postures of their different cultures, those who work for a Kalotic Revolution can choose more appropriate tactics. Although men are basically similar everywhere, it is fallacious to believe them all to be psychologically alike and responsive to the same tactical appeals. The determining equipment of the Tutors, who carry forward the Kalotic Revolution, is an open and adaptable intelligence.

As acute as the symptoms may be and as grave the ravages of the disease, there is an all-important distinction between the adolescent schizophrenia of formerly dependent nations and the growth pattern of the personality. Practically every dystrocracy owns an excellent culture. It is not for the Kalotic Revolution to debate this fact. The task is to show clearly that the disease is inflamed by a view of good and evil that is anti-Kalotic. The closing down of this sick game played by both the dependent state and the modernized state is a matter of high Kalotic priority.

If both states abandon the game, healthy elites can promptly arise in both countries. Unfortunately the United Nations has become part of the game; it encourages the repeated symbolic enactment of the sick attitudes and exchanges; it gives the worst prize, sovereignty, as the best reward to its members. Other means are needed, and the practices, tactics, and programs of the Kalotic Revolution are the cure-beginning with the spontaneous rewriting of history and ending with the production of a new tutorial class to teach the disturbed world new games.

1. C.E. Black, The Dynamics of Modernization (New York: Harper and Row, 1966) presents a bibliographical essay (pp. 175-99) covering many of the concerns of this chapter and Chapters XIII-XVI. The Universal Reference System computerized CODEX of International Affairs (Volume I) and its supplements turn up well over 1000 citations on the "Economies of Developing Nations" index entry alone (ECODEV and ECOUNDEV).
2. A temporary assignment of nations by types of regime is carried in Chapter XXXI below, together with statistics on GNP, literacy, and population.
3. Cf. Gunnar Myrdal, Asian Drama (New York: Pantheon, 1968), 3 vols.; the annual statistical series of the United Nations; Bruce Russett et al., World Handbook of Social and Political indicators (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1964); A.S. Banks and R.B. Textor, A Cross Policy Survey (Cambridge, Mass,: M.I.T. Press, 1963); R.J. Rummel, "Indicators of Cross-national and International Patterns," 63 American Political Science Review (March 1969), p. 127; I. Adleman and C.T. Morris, Society, Politics, and economic Development (Baltimore:Johns Hopkins Press, 1967).

The dystrocracies and plutocracies are opposing poles of income averages and associated indicators. If $200 per capita annual income or less coincides with dystrocracy and $800 or more actually carves out two great economies, the subsistence and the market economies. The former is localistic and rural, the latter cosmopolitan and urban.
Here are a few of their ratios:

Dystrocracy Plutocracy
Primary workers 1 0.5
Energy Consumed 1 7.0
Motor Cars 1 11.0
Newsprint 1 7.0
Workweek Length 1 0.8
Doctors 1 2.5
Tax Revenues 1 2.0

Studying such statistics, Professor Zimmerman in Poor Lands, Rich Lands, asserts with many other authorities that the dystrocracies are falling farther behind the plutocracies and perhaps the taxocracies. They are barely holding their own in absolute terms.
4. Cf. Hadley Cantril, Soviet Leaders and Mastery Over Man (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1960); Report, Chapter 5 "The Revolution of rising Expectations," of the President's Commission on violence (1965), showing how necessary concessions to heavily deprived protest groups bring demands for much greater concessions; Sebastian de Grazia, The Political Community (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1948); Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and The Spirit of Capitalism (New York: Scribner's, 1958 ed.), Pt. I,Ch.2, pp. 47-92. On the restriction of individual ambition in modern Denmark, see Herbert Hendin, "Suicide in Denmark," in Eric Josephson ed., Man Alone. (New York Dell, 1966).
5. Albert Hourani, Syria and Lebanon (London: Oxford University Press, 1954) deals with a parallel episode of 1952 involving Chanoun's predecessor.
6. "If a new nation should exhibit a second-rate countenance to the world, it may also find it necessary to invert the criteria of secondrateness. Disguised in the doctrine of each nation's finding its 'own way' in wrestling with internal problems is the danger of self-delusion." David Apter in some Conceptual Approaches to the Study of Modernization (Engle-wood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1968), p.230.
7. Cf. A. Hoffer and H. Osmond, "Some Psychological Consequences of Perceptual Disorder and Schizophrenia," II Int. J. Neuropsychiatry (1966) p. 1. Also the remarks of Dr. Charles Pinderhughes before the American Psychiatric Association, May 15, 1968 (New York Times, May 16, 1968) on "Black Power" as a reaction to not being admitted to the American "family". cf. on general theory, Alex Inkeles, "National Character and Modern Political Systems" in F.L.K.Hsu, ed, Psychological Anthropology (Elmwood, III.: Dorsey Press, 1961), pp. 172-208.
8. Wretched of the Earth (New York: Grove Press, 1962); Black Skin White Masks (New York: Grove Press, 1967).
9. "The Human Design," 20 J. Indiv. Psych. (1964), p. 129; cf. C.E. Black's system of stages in The Dynamics of modernization (New York: Harper and Row, 1966), which, however, like E. Rostow's stages of Economic Gowth, is an institutional approach.
10. [Ernst Henry], "the View from the Pamirs," Literaturnaya Gazeta, September 27 and October 4, 1967, quoted in Merle Fainsod, "Some Reflections on Soviet-American Relations," The American Political Science Review, LXII, (December, 1968), p. 1098.
11. Lucian W. Pye, The Spirit of Chinese Politics (Cambridge, Mass: M.I.T. Press, 1968), p. 50.
12. Cf. Vianna Moog, Bandeirantes and Pioneers (1954; New York: Braziller, 1964), pp. 159-62.
13. W. Paul Strassman, in John J. Johnson, ed., Continuity and Change in Latin America (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1964), p. 169. See also K. Silvert, The Conflict Society:Reaction and Revolution in Latin America (1961); Harry Stark, Modern Latin America (Florida: University of Miami Press, 1957); Reuben de Hoyos, The catholic Church and the overthrow of Peron (New York: New York University Ph.D. Thesis, 1969).


Table of contents