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

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PART FIVE: Consensus and Character
CHAPTER XV


EPIDEMIC MADNESS AND KALOTIC CHARACTER




To know the widest differences among men, go not to their governments but into their personality. The ordering of the world is more possible, in a way, because it is an enforced averaging of souls, than is the ordering of oneself. Every possibility is within one. All degrees of freedom and control, balance and imbalance, change and deviation, adjustment to others, accommodation to the world-the map of the universe, incredibly, is in the person. On the other hand, the ordering of the world is less possible than the ordering of a man, because the problems of assembly and disassembly of societies are so difficult to solve. It is understandable now how the introduction of psychology into political science has multiplied its perspectives and possibilities, but increased its pessimism.

Contemporary man is at odds with himself, and so the world is confused; they are mutual cause and effect. Man fights and settles his inner struggles through the medium of society; he looks at his effects, and if they do not please him, they unsettle him and incite the inner struggle to continue.

With his heredity unchanged, man is still sicker today in important ways than he once was; we need not varnish the splintery boardwalk of history to prove this, for we can understand what kinds of sicknesses he used to have and explain what his sicknesses of today are.

Nowhere in the world today does man suffer ordinarily the physical pains that he used to endure as a matter of course. Even though the old live older and naturally have more prolonged aliments, the drugs and regimens that ward off pain from the young diminish it among the old. Direct fear, honest fear we might call it, is less today; occupational hazards, war deaths and wounds, childbirth agonies, and physical punishments are not so frontally brutal today. This is an age of indirect consequences, and the personal evils of life are duly indirect as well.

In all regimes today there is a disease of authority that amounts to epidemic proportions. It is a true disease, as well as a suggestive analogy. That the world is sick by analogy can be conveyed by showing how societies are held together by consensus; the modern consensus has not yet permeated all sectors of society and all societies; lacking consensus, there can be no authority by right; and lacking authority by right, people everywhere are discomfited and made restless, they are stripped of their spiritual ease; they resist and fight without mercy, with only fatigue and apathy restraining a universal quarrelsomeness from continuously igniting and exploding. Such is the analogy of the disease of authority.

What is the true disease of authority? A true disease has an external or internal agent producing a destructive bodily reaction with damage to the organism afflicted. It responds to chemical treatment, which may also be induced externally or internally, and a cure results. Such a disease of authority does exist.

All disease has to be potentially within man. From this potentiality emerge diseases that are privately and publicly caused, aside from their effects, which may be both private and public. The largest proportion of spiritual, psychological disease is elicited from the potential by circumscribed personal experiences, organic and social. The smaller proportion, which fluctuates greatly with social, political, and ideological conditions, is produced in fact by these conditions. But, more importantly, both personally and socially generated illness are amplified in their effects in the proper epidemic environment. That environment is present today.

During the 1950's, in a middle-income, middle-education, white-race microcosm of New York City, a remarkable survey of mental illness was conducted.1 A sample of 1660 adult residents was interviewed at length by trained workers and adjudged by psychiatrists. Numerous consultants passed upon the format and method of the study. The objective was to ascertain the level of mental health of the population. Six categorical findings were derived from the elaborate individual responses:

18.5% of the group were well.
36.3% revealed mild symptoms.
21.8% revealed moderate symptoms.
13.2% showed marked symptoms.
7.5% had severe symptoms.
2.7% were incapacitated.

The three impaired categories thus come to 23.4%, or about a quarter of the population.

About the same time, a different group of specialists in mental disease engaged a sample of 1010 persons dwelling in a rural and small-town county in Maritime Canada, near the Atlantic Ocean.2 The objective was similar. So also were the results:

The Need for Psychiatric Attention

Classified as most abnormal were 3%
Adjudged to have psychiatric disorders with significant impairment were 17%
Deemed probably to have a psychiatric disorder were 37%
Classified as doubtfully well were 26%
Classified as well were 17%

These people were the heads of households. Some 57% would be considered `psychiatric cases'.

[Some] 24% have suffered significant impairment from psychiatric disorder their lives, while another 33% have experienced psychiatric disorder without significant impairment... We arrived at a conservative estimate of 57% and a more liberal estimate of 69% for the prevalence of psychiatric disorder among the adult population of stirling County... They greatly exceed out original expectations... They are not out of line with some of the more recent epidemiological research...

When the troubled persons, of the group were classified by the kinds of symptoms they revealed, the follwoing pattern emerged.

Psychophysiologic 60%
Psychoneurotic 52%
Personality Disorders 6%
Sociopathic 6%
Mental Deficiency 5%
Brain Syndrome 3%
Psychosis 1%

The results of these surveys seem to be borne out by surveys in Baltimore and special group surveys, and in the experience of screening men for induction into the American armed forces.3 Poor, uneducated, and low-skilled persons have more mental difficulties than their counterparts.4 In most tests, American non-whites are classified as having more mental difficulties overall than whites, an unpleasant finding when one considers that the suffering of racial prejudice is an additional form of mental torture with its special set of fears, anxieties, compulsive and harmful human relations.

It will be recalled that two types of causation are at work: the personal and the social; of the social, there are two types-stress-provoked and epidemically provoked; returning to the personal, there will be social effects, which will in turn act as epidemic causes of additional social types of illness. In the end, although the higher proportion of mental illness by far is produced by personal or private situations, a substantial level of social and epidemic illness is reached, and the effects are widely displayed as social even while being personal. That is, there are both social and personal effects, influencing both the world and man anti-kalotically.

There is great doubt as to how to assign mental troubles. Some are unquestionably of organic origins such as brain damage, certain neural deficiencies, certain psychotic effects of dietary deficiency as in pellagra, and so forth. Much trouble originates in difficult personal relations that are a constant factor in every from of society. Considering everything, recognizing the impossibility of clear statistics at this point, and yet having to fix some notion of the degree of personality disturbance that will react and respond to the Kalotic Revolution, one can perform the judgment of Solomon: Divide the statistic in two equal parts. If half of the population is presenting disturbing symptoms, assign half of these to personally originating conditions and half to socially originating ones. In the United States, we shall say that one out of four persons is mentally disturbed for reasons having to do with the changeover of society, the absence of consensus, and the confusion of authority, as these factors ramify and percolate throughout the society.5

In the leading plutocracy of the world and, by extension, to some unknown degree in other related countries,6 over half of the population is suffering or has suffered debilitating mental troubles. Urban and rural regions are much alike. No section of the population is exempted from epidemic mental illness. If this conclusion shocks many people, it is because they hate to face the true human condition, today, in their land.

If this is the situation in American-type societies, will other cultures exhibit the same epidemics? Listing the ten basic regions of the world into which the cosmarchy would be divided, and focusing upon the modal population aggregate of the culture in each case, we should probably discover the following levels of mental health. Region I is assigned 25% of population as of poor mental health, personally conditioned, and 25% as of poor mental health, socially conditioned. These are held as constants of 100 in the table, which rates each Region generally in relation to Region I. Higher than the index of 100 indicates a greater prevalence of mental difficulties.

Table I
Mental Illness among Cosmarchic Regions
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Region Mental Illness Index in Relation to Region I
Personality ConditionedSocially ConditionedSocial Effects
I. North American 100* 100* 200
II. African 110 85 100
III. Central-South American 120 75 80
IV. European 110 95 150
V. Soviet Socialist Republics 120 90 120
VI. Greater China 120 80 80
VII. Malayan 120 80 80
VIII. East Orient 110 85 100
IX. Greater India 125 85 85
X. Middle Eastern 110 90 90

* 25% of the population is regarded as being in poor mental health in each of the categories of personally conditioned and socially conditioned mental health problems.

Generally, the reasons why personally conditioned mental afflictions are less common in the United States (as the modal population of Region I) is that public and private conditions are superior in that country. Organically produced mental diseases are more frequent in dystrocracies.

The reason why the United States is so high in socially conditioned mental disorders is that the U.S.A. is the most modernistic large nation, which in effect means the most mobile and intracommunicative. In psychopathology, as in physical disease, the opportunity for contagion rests not only with the number of structural reasons for acquiring the disease but also with the rate of contact among potential carriers.

In the third column of the table is presented an index of Social Effects of the Prevalence of Mental Disorder. This reflects a Law of Accelerated Socio-Psychic Effects; as the ratio of socially (S) to personally (P) conditioned disorders and the rate of interpersonal contacts (I) increase, a society will increasingly exhibit social effects (SE) attributable to mental disorder. That is, SE = f (S/P.I).

This principle exhibit the way in which socially conditioned mental disorders can assume a very large role in modern toparchies; society is psychologized and it is no wonder that observers become increasingly equipped with psychological tools and perspectives in order to analyze the society and control its outcomes.

At the same time, we see how a modest initial difference between the socially conditioned disorder rate of one society and another is magnified through the multiplication of contact occasions so as to enlarge greatly its total effect upon the society, and hence upon the cosmarchic effects of the society. The United States, beginning from a high level of personal psychologization among its people is propelled into an increased psychological conditioning of its total form and behavior and expands into the world in that format.

The reason why the epidemic is world-wide and even the poorest regions have high rates is that the gap between expectations and fulfillment in dystrocracies and the heavy denials of non-emotic values in taxocracies make up for the specifically modern epidemiology of the United States. The situation will worsen practically everywhere as the peoples stir, move, and change. Challenge the ratings at will; call them only premises, if desired. But certain important conclusions follow from these premises:

1. We cannot go to some "virgin health" areas of the world for the Kalotic leadership and public.

2. The Tutors have not only the skills needed to fulfill the Kalotic Consensus, but they number the largest proportion of mentally composed and competent people in the world.

3. The mental health problem of the world is of staggering proportions and there is an imperative need for the Tutors of the world to unite in order to organize mentally the world's peoples.

To distinguish between illness provoked by the personal structure, as opposed to large social ambiances, is difficult. Longitudinal studies are almost non-existent. Studies of the causes of dath and organic illness are urually deficient in causal analysis: How many cases of alcoholism, which is a large cause of personal, family, work, and political breakdowns in many countries, are so analyzed,7 how many deaths and injuries by automobile occur in moods of destructiveness; and so on. Neither time series nor depth studies are available to help us, and, as stated, comparative studies of mental disorder in different cultures are inadequate.

Important documents come to hand from here and there, and upon them we must rely:

From them we make the following statements:

1. The Kalotic Consensus will cure many people of their public neuroses including metroneurosis (the neurosis of metropolitan dwellers). We know, for example, that many sick people, faced with disaster but united by morale and consensus, are strangely restored to mental health. We have countless cases in the archives of psychiatry and medicine of the restorative functions of acquiring a mission in life-both personal and public life.

2. Social losses will be reduced and prevented among the Tutors and by the Tutors if they fix themselves upon the revolutionary course. The costs of the Revolution can never come up to the level of the human savings and Kalotic productivity realized by and through the Revolution.

3. The world, being in a crisis of authority, is ready for a new authority. The Kalotic Consensus, appealing widely to all peoples and erasing demoralizing contradictions of existing regimes, can acquire legitimacy as authority.

4. The Kalotic Revolution can be relied upon to have striking effects. Through its 360 changes, constructiveness arising out of destructiveness, it will improve the manner of life, social organization, and directives-giving personal health to the generations to come.

The Kalotic Personality

Enough has been said of special problems of personality, here and elsewhere, to summarize. Unless someone provides statistics that probably neither exist nor could be fashioned, we must regard the crisis of character in the U.S.A. as being equalled in the other regions of the world, or, what is worse, as being approached insidiously and inevitably so long as their paths are those that the U.S.A. has already moved along. Whether in Singapore or Rome, Moscow or Manila, a man today can only expect either to remain behind the swift movement of the American culture or catch up it by the same movements. There is as yet no other direction in the world.

At the end of 1969, a large proportion of the adults of the United States felt alienated from the country's course. It was a moment of high material prosperity, "the highest in history". If one third of the workers said their jobs were stultifying, half the housewives were discontented, one fifth of the youth "delinquent," half the old people bewildered and lost, one third of the best students "drop-outs," one half the Negroes fully alienated, a fifth of the people at any given time physically and mentally disabled, half the children miserable in prolonged schooling, a tenth in poverty, and, as we have shown, three-quarters of the vaunted material progress cancelled out by the real costs and liabilities created by the progress, then certainly we can admire the tenacity of a system that holds them all together. Half the people believed that "the rich get richer and the poor get poorer." Over a third thought, "What I think doesn't count very much," and "People running the country don't really care what happens to people like me."8 Actually, no matter how such questions are put, about a third of the people in this most rich and powerful of the world's nations feel disconnected with it and shunted aside.

When we tally the discontent and distress, it assumes formidable proportions. At least 150,000,000 of the country's 200,000,000 have to be considered maladjusted. If Hollywood and Madison Avenue were not pumping out the propaganda sedatives for an imaginary status quo ("The American Dream," it is often called), and the drug industry was not gorging the people with a thousand pills apiece each year,9 the country would burst into flames just as surely as would the Soviet Union if its political police were disbanded.

But the discontents of the age, in America and elsewhere, are a creative illness.10 They offer possibilities of a new world arising from the throes of its problems. The incredibly broad range of injustice and follies that pass before modern man's vision and make him sick are the necessary preliminary to his cure. For the Tutors of the Kalotic Revolution everywhere, the problem is alike: How to develop, in themselves and in all those whom they recruit, and generally in the population and generations to come, the Kalotic Personality.

A noted political scientists, Harold Lasswell, can restate the problem for us as he writes about the problem of building a new Democratic Character. For his word "democratic" we need only substitute the term "kalotic".

The task is nothing less than the drastic and continuing reconstruction of our own civilization, and most of the cultures of which we have any knowledge. Since the basic postulate of behavior is the maximization of indulgences over deprivations, our task is to consolidate democratic [kalotic] conduct by directing the indulgences toward those who act democratically, and the deprivations toward those who do not. This calls for a reconsideration of adult-to-adult and adult-to-per-adult relationships for the purpose of achieving a pattern of adult conduct that, in accordance with the maximization principle, gives differential rewards to democratic practice, and thereby provides continuing support for democratic performance, and aids in the development of character systems which are capable of acting democratically in the face of adverse conditions. The aim is to bring into being a democratic equilibrium in societal relations in which deviations are promptly rectified. If we were designing a machine, it would be possible to "build in" a set of servo-mechanisms which perform this re-stabilizing operation. Since human relations are not mechanized, our task of creating and sustaining a democratic equilibrium is more complex. And the complexity is augmented by the prevailing anarchy in the world community, which keeps alive the expectation and the application of violence in the arena of world affairs, and also in the civic arena of police states. Hence the tremendous task of reconstruction must proceed in the face of adverse contemporary conditions and of anti-democratic inheritances from the past.

To this formidable challenge, we offer this book and the character that the Tutors must seek to develop. Elsewhere, Kalotic Man has been delineated only to stress a fact or solve a particular problem. We have said why he is needed, what he must do, and where he comes from in present society and throughout the world. We have said enough of what kinds of men are to be avoided in the ruling classes of today: the dystrocratic politician, the aimless plutocrat, the military simpletons, the "Soviet Man" who turns into a party hack and agency bureaucrat, the mad Red Guards of Mao, the specialists of all types who can repair a scratch if the whole world is strapped into a chair for their operation.

Kalotic Man, whom we call Tutor and Kalist, is a man or woman of any age, color, or formal qualification who is bred to know and decide for himself and others how to maximize the kalotic outcomes of sets of actions in which he becomes involved. He encapsulates, within appropriate directions and organizations, Dr. Lasswell's democratic man: open-ego, multivalued, disposed to share with all, self-confident and benevolent, optimistic about human potential, free from anxiety, and increasingly in command of his unconscious energies.

He has an open mind and broadly identifies with all that is man and human in nature. He is kalotically persuaded. He is motivated to achievement. He is scientifically skilled; for only through maximizing the paltry command of nature that our fellow men have achieved to this moment can we manage the tasks that are entrusted to us.

This is a model of character, already to be encountered and capable of multiplication; it is not a figment of the imagination. It is clinically valid; it is within reach. It coincides with the needs of the Kalotic Revolution and its policies. Its force can accelerate the best of futures. The role of education and science that it presumes is enormous, but an appreciation of our resources in those areas, and of the directions in which to turn them, will make what is promised possible.






Footnotes PART FIVE, CHAPTER XV:
1. Leo Srole et al. Mental Health in the Metropolis, Vol. I (New York: McGraw Hill, 1962).
2. Dorothea C. Leighton, et al., The Character of Danger: Psychiatric Symptoms in Selected Communities, Vol. III: The Stirling Country Study of Psychiatric Disorder and Sociocultural Environment (New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1963).
3. Both the Srole and Leighton books, op.cit., carry references to related studies.
4. Frank Riessman, Jerome Cohen, Arthur Pearl, eds., Mental Health of the Poor, New Treatment Approaches for Low Income People (New York: Free Press of Glencoe, 1964).
5. Cf. Jane M. Murphy, "Social Science Concepts and Cross-Cultural Methods for Psychiatric Research," in J.M. Murphy and A.H. Leighton, Approaches to Cross-Cultural Psychiatry (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1965), p. 279.

The following is a list of selected characteristics of cultural change that are likely to have the effect of damaging personality equilibrium and creating stress.

Change is likely to be stressful:
(1) when the tempo is accelerated and especially when major dimensions of the change occur within the life span of a single generation,
(2) when it involves pervasive reorientation about basic values and assumptions.
(3) when it is experienced at the outset of a cycle when few guides and models exist,
(4) when there has been little formal training and preparation in the skills and techniques necessary to accomplish the new tasks,
(5) if there are serious ambiguities about what change is leading to,
(6) if it involves new roles or values that are imperfectly integrated into or incompatible with the rest of the sociocultural system,
(7) if it involves expectations that are prone to be frustrated given the preexisting pattern of life, and
(8) if it involves expansion rather than substitution and creates a sense of "overloading".
6. Cf. Ibid., p. 388 on Mexican and Eskimo surveys where the prevalence of illness is not far off the U.S.A. surveys already cited.
7. Some nine million Americans were considered to be alcoholics in 1969; heavy drinking affected at least another ten million persons.
8. The figures were 54%, 42%, and 36% of a national sample by the Louis Harris Poll ((New York Post, Dec. 16, 1968), p.35. Figures like these call up H.D. Lasswell's proposition: "Failure to develop democratic character is a function of interpersonal relations in which low estimates of the self are permitted to develop." ("Democratic Character," in Works, p. 521.)
9. New Zealand is widely reputed to hold one of the healthiest and best adjusted populations in the world with an elaborate state welfare system, low people-to-land ratio, excellent climate, and democratic government. But "about-one-third-of all New Zealand goes to sleep on pills", reported Dr. D.M.F. McDonald, superintendent of a mental hospital; "this month, a large proportion of the population is suffering from an anxiety state or mental depression." New York Times, March 15, 1969.
10. Cf. Henri F. Ellenbergerm "The Concept of Creative Illness," 55 The Psychoanalytic Review 3(1968), pp. 442-56; Viktor von Weiszacker, Der Kranke Mensch (K.F. Koehler, 2951) calls creative illness logophania and shows how often the disappearance of a physical symptom is followed by the appearance of new ideas or philosophy. Obdrvant mothers have made this point, largely ignored in science, a part of the folklore concerning their children.


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