The cover art is based on one of the earliest known caricatures in human history, from the time of the Egyptian pharaoh, Ramses III.
The Esmeralda cartoon on page 38 was completed and executed by Clark Weinreb (El Clarko) on the basis of the cartoon ideas and scripts of the author. His artistic contribution is gratefully acknowledged.ISBN: 0-673-77660-3
Uneasy that this Instructor's Manual may be taken as an infringement upon the liberty to teach freely from Politics for Better or Worse, I have tried to write it more as a commentary on and a biography of the text, and as a way of saying a few things I couldn't fit in there. I believe that the preface and introduction explain honestly and accurately the motives behind the text and what should be expected from it, though they don't cover the pecuniary motive. At the age of 52, the $3937.50 in my TIAA retirement policy suggest that the kitty might need sweetening, but on the other hand my publishers were often told that "the odds are against making money on this book"--one indication that I have managed to depecuniate its contents.
It is a personal kind of book," wrote one of the earlier readers. I should hope so. I have seen enough of students who prefer utter nonsense to serious textbooks simply because the nonsense communicates. Every intellectual work is personal. Carl Mannheim and a school of sociology of knowledge have demonstrated this. The question is really whether we prefer a Minoan maze of sentences--designed to conceal the author's vice and virtues, his likes and dislikes, in needlessly abstruse language--to effective communication. The tendency of science and scholarship to conceal itself from its consumers has a long history, extending probably beyond the priesthoods of antiquity. We may want to get the students to let it all hang out, a current expression for the get the students to let it all hang out, a current expression for the ancient Socratic doctrine of self-awareness, but we have for too long thought we could do so without exposing ourselves.
Students sometimes ask, "Of what use is it to know this?" and they ask it with a certain malice. But we should generally be pleased with the question. The demand for relevance is not irrelevant. It is a sure mark of success when our students exclaim, "Why, I do this all the time!" We should be doubly happy then, for it shows us that we are really teaching them something. Our subject has made a connection with their experience and has become part of their nervous systems. That is learning.
Politics for Better or Worse is constructed on several levels. It should be possible for an apathetic student, if not to revived and electrified, at least to get his head a little straighter and to learn on the comic strip level. I count upon the illustrations, the typography, and the syntax to lead such students to emerge from a reading and discussion of the book with about a hundred clear and important ideas. As for the best students--those who, if they have not already dropped out of college, could learn from the most conventional text--these will find extra dimensions to the text which should excite them to more active participation in the creation of ideas and to a clearer perception of their political goals.
May I make one more point before dropping my introduction? Some of the apparent gaps and weaknesses of the book will perhaps appear less important when the objective of the text is clarified: My aim was to write of ideas which will be remembered as well as of what is true and useful; it was not to write what you know or I know. If, however, in the course of working with the book you decide that certain propositions, principles, or policies need reworking or should be replaced by others of greater importance, you would oblige me greatly by letting me know. The several persons who criticized the text in its various stages of preparation were of great help, and I am grateful to them, but they are not responsible for any shortcomings of the book in its final form.
The series of absurd animals appearing in the front matter of the book is collected on page 299 where it is used to represent the fallacies of the GNP Growth Fetish.
The example of two men shaking hands does not mention that one or both may be faking. Everybody knows the trick and you might be on the alert for a clever student saying that the meanings suggested in the text do not exhaust the possibilities of interpreting the encounter.
The story of the Prodigal Son appears in the Gospel After Luke, 15 : 11-31. It is one of the most difficult ethical parables for preachers to handle because it requires that a good man not only accept an injustice but be happy for the sake of the person who is committing it (the father who butchered the fatted calf for the negligent, long-absent son instead of favoring the good son who stayed home).
Here I make my first mention of the deterioration of authority in our age. The University of Michigan Institute of Social Research reported in 1972 (Institute of Social Research Bulletin, Vol. 1, No. 13) that Americans' trust in government has fallen steadily; 35 percent showed high trust in 1970 as opposed to 62 percent in 1964; 37 percent showed low trust in 1970 as opposed to 20 percent in 1964.
The Louis Harris Survey released November 13, 1972, concerned leaders of groups of American institutions and showed a great decline in confidence between 1966 and 1972. For example, confidence in military leaders dropped from 62 percent in 1966 to 35 percent in 1972; confidence in educational leaders dropped from 61 percent to 33 percent in 1972; confidence in the federal executive branch dropped from 41 percent to 27 percent; in Congress, from 42 percent to 21 percent; in labor, from 22 to 15; in advertising, from 21 to 12. Leaders in finance slipped from 67 percent in 1966 to 39 percent in 1972. Generally, the slippage was from those expressing "a great deal of confidence" to those expressing "only some confidence." One might say such figures showed a growth in scepticism, since in only a minority of areas did the "hardly any confidence" percentages exceed the "great deal of confidence" ones. However, with questions of this type, people are generally indulgent of the institutional leadership.
Daniel Yankelovich published in Fortune, January 1969, a study of a sampling of American college youth. The students were divided by a question separating those to whom college was a practical step intended to produce a more agreeable personal life from those to whom it was an idealistic thing, "perhaps the opportunity to change the things rather than to make out well within the existing system." Fifty-eight percent of the college students sampled fell into the practical category. The students were also tested on a number of questions such as respect for authority, emphasis on self-expression, emphasis on law and order, emphasis on money and status, and support of nonviolent minority confrontations as well as on several issues of a more specific nature.
Significant differences were found between the idealistic and practical groupings. For example, 64 percent of the idealistic and 41 percent of the practical supported more vigorous, but not violent, protests by blacks and other minority groups. Thirty-nine percent of the idealistic would put more emphasis upon law and order as opposed to 78 percent of the practical ones. Thirty-five percent of the idealistic felt a sense of solidarity and identification with the middle classes, as opposed to 68 percent of the more practical students. Both groups leaned significantly toward the ideal end of the continuum when compared with noncollege students.
I advance these findings to help orient your class in relation to other classes around the nation. I suspect that there will be strong support for the book's ideas from the idealistic contingent and some holding back and suspicion by the practical. Some of the latter, however, may be attracted by the hard-nosed "Machiavellian" sections of the book, too.
You might start the class off by a little attitude correlation on the two sets of "3-P's" carried in the introduction. Let them express affirmation or dissent from the six items and let's see whether there is a relation between those who will accept all six points and those who will want to reject the communist coalition government policy only. That is, the more idealistic students will tend to reject the notion that any political problem is incapable of resolution through collaboration on the parliamentary level. In certain cases, I would agree with them.
I included in the appendix a curriculum of political science, from the beginning to advanced levels, to show students what they ought to expect as they begin to take the discipline seriously. The full explanation of the curriculum must await the anthology that may one day accompany this text. Meanwhile, the students should not get the idea that political science, properly construed, is a facile and lax discipline, no more than they should think that a serious professor of political science has only to go into class and gabble for a few hours a week.