SRI Project 6747
Educational Policy Research Center
R. A. Kantor, Editor
From 1968 to 1970, Abe Maslow placed many of his thoughts, and some pertinent clippings from the works of others, into his Journals, labeling the file "Politics 3." In doing so, he was continuing his study of good people and of good organizations, which was a main thread through much of his late writings. Abe did not finish his work. When Bertha Maslow asked us at the Educational Policy Research Center in SRI to synthesize the fragments of Politics 3, she did so because three of us--Bill Harman, Arnold Mitchell, and I--had talked with Abe about this particular area. In taking responsibility for the present form of the paper, I have stayed close to Abe's actual words. The need for continuity dictated what my added words had to be. Chiefly, the editorial effort lay in selecting and sorting the material, not by date of journal entry, but by sequence of thought. Eventually, several of us hope the entire Journal will be published. I have tried to retain the informal simplicities that distinguished Abe's thoughts. He had a way of releasing his primary processes that lent distinctive flavor to his works; in his Journal VI of February 1965, page 209, he described the way thus, "...whenever I started something, I gave up the inhibiting effects of logic, proof, reliability, etc., and all the cautions and criticisms of very careful and critical friends, and dashed ahead into the wilderness, trusting myself and my intuitions." Politics 3 feels to me to be an offering to all of Abe's friends over the too few years.
Robert E. Kantor, Ph.D.
Educational Policy Research Center
Stanford Research Institute
Menlo Park, California
The Growth Centers and revolutionary youth both agree on discarding the worth and value of rationality. They overstress the senses and emotions, and exaggerate the number of people who are "up tight" in the United States and who need release from inhibitions without considering that many people need more inhibitions rather than less (impulse disorders, psychopaths, immature, feebleminded, and so forth). They are too exclusively Dionysian, regarding logic, science, education and the like as imprisonment, with feeling and sensory experience, rather than knowledge, as the wellspring of their motivations. They stress impulsive expressiveness, mistaking it for healthy spontaneity. They agree in mistrusting power and authority, defining them both in an extremely low way, i.e., as dominating, and not recognizing that authority and power can be humanistic and transcendent. They believe that as one lifts the restraints and allows absolute freedom that only good will result, which means (implies) an unfounded faith in basic human goodness and an implied belief that evil comes only from social restraints and inhibitions. They do not have enough respect for the profound instinctive needs of safety, security, law, order, keeping the peace; and they do not realize that without these needs, freedom is impossible. They think of power as evil, not realizing that they must temper, restrain, and control the forces of inhumanity and chaos within the human soul. They agree in lacking intimacy and a sense of community, and keep on seeking it unconsciously. They tend to be short-term, here-now, impatient, and do not realize that education, persuasion, becoming a good person, developing a good society, are all lifetime tasks requiring a large segment in time. The problem with compassion, charity, agapean love, understanding, patience, and so forth, especially in its U.S. liberal version (the weak liberals, that is), is that the persons identify it with weakness, a lack of force, and a rejection of force. But our theory of evil at this point says that force, aggression, indignation, and so forth, can be healthy as well as unhealthy, and that it can be used well, as well as used badly, and that one could be the kindest man in the world and also be firm, strong, decisive in the face of evil and not give in at all. This is humanistic realism at the B-level, accepting and understanding human nature as it is at its various levels of development. And it seems precisely the self-actualizing man who can most cathartically let loose the full force of his anger with the least amount of guilt, conflict and ambivalence.
However, we can learn from history about the danger of the philosopher-king, the one who is so superior, so aggridant, and can do everything so well that other people become dehumanized, over-protected, enfeebled, and do not develop their own teeth and claws and muscles. This problem must be handled at length. Any humanistic leader has to take as part of his job the fullest development of the potentialities, strength, leadership, and self- actualization of everybody.
We accept that growth must be with the consent of the population, which means education in the broadest sense, including "education" for the retarded, the immature, and so forth. For example, talking in parables that the simplest man can understand at some level, but which is also true at the highest level. And, this will have to be part of the definition of the humanistic politician, something that separates him from the scholars and scientists. He must know how to teach the feebleminded, the prejudiced, the racist, the militant, the violent, and the fearful.
If the consent of the governed by all levels of education must be accepted, then theoretically also the extremely difficult (maybe impossible) task of teaching patient waiting, of teaching of the revolution, must be slow because education is slow, and therapy is slow.
Politics 3 is against: adversary justice and law; amoral science; lower need economics;
jungle journalism; medicine from above; technologized nursing; separative expertness; docility education; anti-transcendent religion; intrusive and non-Taoistic social work; nonpersonal psychology and sociology; nonparticipatory ethnology; merely punishing criminology and jails; selfishly antisocial advertising business and industry; business-first radio and television; health as merely survival; the use of personal talents or superiorities primarily to acquire selfish privileges; the use of other human beings without regard to their personal growth; antiquality manufacturing; noncompassionate radicalism; polarizing or relation between classes, castes, subcultures; nonsynergic salesman-customer relationships; and despair art.
Politics 3 is against all that rests on a merely evil conception of human nature or of society, or on a merely good conception of human nature or of society; despair and hopelessness; any we-they polarizing; malice, hatred, revenge; the wish for one's own death or the destruction of others, or of the world; any splitting of mankind into inherent classes, castes, or subcultures; and the assumption that any polarizations or splits which do exist are inherent and permanent.
Politics 3 stands with Huxley when he declares:
...that everlastingly possible psychological condition, which is the individual's metanoia, or change of mind, out of the temporal into the eternal order. And to my mind there is not the faintest prospect of any enduring improvement in human affairs until a larger minority than at present, or in the past, decides that it is worthwhile to bring about this change of mind within itself. The most one can hope to do by means of social reform and rearrangement of economic and political and educational patterns is to remove some of the standing temptations towards remaining with mind unchanged. We pray to be delivered from temptation, because experience shows that, if we are tempted often and strongly enough, we almost inevitably fall. A social rearrangement which shall remove some of the current temptations towards power-lust, covetousness, emotional incontinence, mental distraction, uncharitableness and pride will make it a little easier for the individual man and woman to achieve their final end. The social function of the artist or intellectual, as I see it, is to suggest means for mitigating the strength of the temptations which, now and in the past, the social order has forced upon the individual, luring him away from his true end towards other, necessarily self-stultifying and destructive goals.
One must be careful to reject here most of the talk about the technological problems of lengthening life and medical care, and ecology and poverty, food, and so forth, by stressing as strongly as possible that these are amoral questions in the sense that these questions could just have easily been raised in Hitler's cabinet if he had won the war. Longer life spans, better fabrics, better shoes, and the like are purely technological problems that have nothing to do with ultimate values, morals, and ethics. The real problem is of personal goodness, that is, of producing good human beings. We should now consider ourselves self-evolvers. There is a new age, a new era in the history of mankind, because now we can decide ourselves what we are to become. It was not nature or evolution or anything that would decide. We must decide, and we must evolve ourselves, shape ourselves, grow ourselves; we must be conscious of our goals, values, ethics, and the direction we want to go.
This raises the questions of: How do you measure these things? Is it possible to measure? What are the indicators of growing goodness in the population? What is the technology of becoming good? What are the strategy and tactics of growing better human beings? There are Gallup-type tests that would indicate the social, morale, and spiritual states of the population--whether it is going up or down, and so forth. Or there are experimental instances, like the "lost letter" technique to test whether people would bother to go to the mailbox to mail it; or of strewing beer cans around the picnic area to see how many people would pick them up to put them into the garbage can.
It might be realized finally that the extreme right and the extreme left, and a lot of other people in between, had many of the same ultimate goals. There is need for a universalistic value system; no peace and no world law is possible until we have a stated shared value system. And there are good examples of it: the conservatives would probably agree with the so-called New Left people on such things as the stress on individualism and as much freedom for self-actualization for the individual as possible. They and the humanistic politicians would agree also on as much local control as possible; as much decentralization as possible; and as much sense of involvement, achievement, and effectiveness from the grass roots as possible. One could go further eventually with this and try to establish a way of building a representative democracy, and ask the question: It is possible to start with intimacy groups--T-Groups for instance--or communities small enough to have town hall meetings, and then to have such groups on a face-to-face basis elect a representative to the next hierarchy of, let us say, the 5,000 people level which, in turn, would elect to the next higher level, and so forth?
This might be another branch of our present government, to supplement it. Or it might, one day, work toward a direction as a way of electing our senators, and the president. It might be helpful to obtain the Boy Scout oath, the New Left platform, the SDS Manifesto, the Ayn Rand manifestos, and Goldwater programs, and so forth to show how much of each of these is similar. This method could be a start of trying to write down the universalistic ethics.
The following thoughts were given by Moynihan in the article, "Politics as the Art of the Impossible."(2)
What is it that government cannot provide? It cannot provide values to persons who have none, or who have lost those they had. It cannot provide a meaning to life. It cannot provide inner peace. It can provide moral energies, but it cannot create those energies. In particular, government cannot cope with the crisis in values that is sweeping the western world....
To the contrary, politics is an expression of morality: a form or morality. But it cannot create moral values any more than a steel mill can create iron ore....
It would seem that what we have to do is to create a secular morality, acceptable to the non-religious, that accommodates itself to what man will actually do, which is to say, persists in the face of imperfection.
In effect, what he is saying is that the job of providing values and the secular morality belongs to people other than the politicians. We would rather say that this problem belongs to everybody, but especially the psychologists and philosophers. One can describe Politics 3, ideal politics, as part of the creation of a secular morality. That is, the Eupsychian ideal of society as a fostering of human fulfillment is part of the secular morality. Or, that the two main problems of creating the good man and of the good society are interwoven inextricably. Only a clear vision of these interwoven goals could be the basis for a secular morality and, therefore, a political and social philosophy that will tell what direction to go, what to do, how to do it, and what needs to be done.
Secular morality lets the work of the world get done, below the level of government. It allows the decision-making, managerial, and unifying roles of government to be accomplished, but it also puts together the reindividualizing, the placing more and more responsibilities and power on the shoulders of individual people at the grass roots, making them feel like active agents rather than pawns, and making them feel effective and heard from. In this respect, practically all of the groups in America agree to talk about decentralization and power to the people, and local town hall meetings. This includes channeling responsibility for different tasks to various equipped private institutions; to small clubs, groups, families, and even small foundations; and finally to single individuals who would pursue some cause which they themselves want to do. There was a saying during World War II: "If you aren't helping with the answer, maybe you're part of the problem." Today, this might be reversed: "If you aren't helping with the problem, maybe you're part of the answer." If you do your own job well, that is to say homeostatic politics, if you keep doing your own job well, then this is the basis on which all growth and improvement in politics rests.
One of the clear questions for the normative social psychologist and one that we would now add to our Politics 3 ideas, is the necessity for integrating the advantages of Bigness with the advantages of Smallness while avoiding the disadvantages of both. This can be done, or at least is being attempted with more or less success, especially in the business world, and we have much to learn from it. As a simple model, we could consider the way in which it is being worked at the college and university level. First is the Berkeley phenomenon of the huge, monster, centralized, bureaucratic giant in which feedback and customer satisfaction have been lost entirely and in which there is communication only downward and not at all upward. The impersonality, the feeling of helplessness, the feeling of being a pawn rather than an agent, and a feeling of not being heard, of having no control over one's fate--these are all consequences of such an impersonalized, huge bureaucratic organization. The same was true at Columbia, perhaps even worse, where the president, the trustees, the administration in general, did not have the slightest idea of what was going on among the customers, i.e., the students--nor even the faculty. On the national political scene we can consider as good models for bureaucratic monstrosity the governments of France and of Soviet Russia; in both countries, there has been total centralization with all sorts of consequent inefficiencies, stupidities, developments of rage, feelings of helplessness, and so forth. Again, the missing element was upward communication, i.e., feedback from the customers, customer satisfaction, knowledge of customer wishes. It is interesting that in both countries, this system has broken down after never working well. What is being instituted is almost inevitably a greater communication upward, local control, decentralization, planning after feedback from the customers. It can all be summarized in one phrase--individual self-choice. It is important to retain at least the advantage of Smallness--the individual person is given a choice from among alternatives and then expresses his own preference by his act of buying, or registering in a particular class in college, or "voting" with his feet by migrating, and the like. Democratic Management (Theory Y, enlightened management), can be seen from this point of view of essential participatory, localized, decentralized democracy with consequent excellent customer feedback, with control at the individual, personal grass roots level.
However, it is important to emphasize that this is a matter of attitude. An authoritarian system or person does not ask or listen or solicit feedback; he tells or orders, or makes pronouncements, without getting feedback evaluation, satisfaction, assessment, evaluation, or knowledge of techmatic consequences, i.e., of how it actually works. The democratic attitude, which goes deeply into both the individual character and the social arrangements, arises from a profound attitude of respect for other people. We might say even compassion, or Agapean love, or openness to others; the willingness to listen, indeed the eagerness to listen, with the final consequence of freely giving to the other person the opportunity for real self-choice from among real alternatives. Another name for this democratic attitude is "Taoistic Respect," which arises from not shaping, manipulating, bossing, or controlling the other, but rather from respecting him enough to allow him and encourage him to please himself by expressing his preference, his choice.
The heart of this as far as humanistic politics or humanistic ethics is concerned, is the derivation of social and technological machinery from the profoundly psychologic and individual phenomenon of the democratic character structure on one side (contrasted with the authoritarian character structure), and on the other side the advantages to the individual for his own happiness and his own self-fulfillment in having an effect, in being heard, in being understood, to make things happen, to be a judge, to be effective, to be an agent ultimately rather than a pawn ultimately. This is the opposite of feeling helpless, controlled, maneuvered, dominated, and the like. An authoritarian system and authoritarian individuals produce the latter effects on a person; democratic systems and democratic individuals produce the former effects on individual persons. It is not difficult to understand why people, given a choice between the two, with real experiencing of the two, will practically always choose the democratic person and the democratic society. This is on the side of pleasure, happiness, tasting good, and the like. But then we can add also to it from the point of view of development in time that the democratic, compassionate, loving, respecting, growth-enjoying attitude in the stronger person is growth-fostering and self-fulfilling in the weaker person [[use Dove experiments here]]. In other words, all of this political and social and management machinery can be deduced from humanistic psychology.
Self-Actualization and T-Groups
Since the function of any society, whether national or species-wide, is to foster a growth toward and beyond self-actualization in as many individuals as possible, it follows that a step along this path is toward helping individuals to become all of the following: active agents; competent; increased and firmer self-esteem; part of this group; effective; to make a difference; to have pride in one's work. (The undesirable opposite would be to push people into being pawns, incompetent, with feelings of inferiority and low images of self-worth; and to make them feel ineffective, helpless, with a lack of pride in their work, and feeling that they do not have an effect on the world.
Social and political mechanisms which would enhance these desirable personal consequences (from the data available) are:
- Communication upward as well as downward. People want to be heard and to feel that they are heard; they want to express their feelings and judgements about the issues, and especially about those which are closely personal, i.e., the issues that affect the running of their own lives.
- They would like to be masters over their own fate and their own lives, as much as possible.
- Involvement enhances these feelings. All this equals increased participation, responsibility, involvement, and numbers of choices and decisions.
All of these desiderata dictate a general increase of the power at the grass roots, i.e., at the personal and local level of political organization. It dictates an increase in powers, rights, duties, and responsibilities for local organizations. This dictates decentralization of power wherever this is functional and useful. It implies participatory democracy more and delegated or represented democracy somewhat less.
Of course all this has to be functional and, therefore, there is the additional principle of social and political and economic efficiency that needs to be considered when the decision is made about what should be centralized and what should be decentralized. This is, that should be decentralized which is best and most efficiently achieved at the face-to-face level, at the local level, at the neighborhood or community level. That should be centralized which is most efficiently achieved at the state level, the national level, or the world level.
Also, there is convincing expert opinion that the stress merely and solely on "my rights and liberties" tends to produce pawns rather than active agents, dependent rather than independent individuals, boys rather than men, helpless rather than responsible self-deciders and self-choosers. There should be added to this statement about "my rights and liberties" the additional statement, integrated with the rights and liberties, "my duties and responsibilities and necessary decisions."
For grass roots psycho-political organization, our suggestion is that the most basic module (beyond the individual himself) of social organization would be the equivalent of the T-group, that is a face-to-face, moving toward intimacy and candor, self-exposing and feedback group. This of course might, in various situations, be the extended (or somewhat extended) blood family. Perhaps one day it will be both; i.e., one day the accepted cement of knitting together a family will be via the T-group techniques and goals. When that is so, there also will have to be these same stresses on honesty, intimacy, authenticity, self-exposure, feedback, as much trust as realistically warranted, and so forth, in all other social organizations in which the individual participates. For instance, there is little question that much of formal education will have to be based on these techniques and these goals. Perhaps the normal class size will be about ten to twelve or fourteen, which so far seems to be about the most desirable optimal size for achieving Eupsychian organizational ends. For instance, college dormitories, and perhaps one-day dormitories at lower educational levels than that could be organized upward on this basic T-group-of-twelve module. Architecturally, this group can live together in such a way as to enhance T-group goals. So also for religious and semi-religious and postreligious groups, interest groups, professional groups, and most other groups. For larger political purposes, larger groups can be built up by pooling two T-groups, or three or four, or 10 or 20, or whatever the case may be according to the needs of the situation. The size of the total group should again be dictated by simple efficiency, i.e., which jobs are best performed by a group of 12, by a group of 100, or by a group of 10,000, and so forth.
This leaves open the question about the participatory face-to-face groups, and the larger groupings which are built out of them, how they are to choose their representatives when larger representative democracy becomes most desirable because most efficient. For some purposes, such as the equivalent of electing a president of a nation, then one-man-one-vote would probably function best. For other purposes, however, there might well be voting only by the chosen representative of the T-group, of the hundred group, of the thousand group, etc. This, like many other things, has to be worked out experimentally and in the light of actual experience on the job.
T-Groups as Political Growth Toward Holism
Current politics at every level are seen as atomistic rather than holistic as they must become. The most important example of atomism is national sovereignty, which many scholars conceive to be the main condition for wars, and the certain guarantee that wars must come. The main task of growth-politics is to transcend (not abolish) national sovereignty in favor of a more holistic inclusive species-politics.
The atomism, separatism, and mutual exclusiveness of national sovereignties is seen as systemic rather than symptomatic, i.e., the atomistic, separative way of cognizing, valuing, socializing, and acting is deeply embedded in the blood and bones of most living people everywhere (not all, however), in all departments of live, in all interpersonal relationships, in intrapsychic relationships, in relations to nature and to the physical world, even in (Aristotelian) logic and (analyzing) science, even in the most common conceptions of love, marriage, friendship, and family. Often these relationships are seen unconsciously as adversary or zero-sum, countersynergic, i.e., who dominates and who submits, or, "my advantage must be your disadvantage." But even where this mutual exclusiveness between two individuals, or within a family, is transcended so that they become a holistic One, it is most frequently (in the world) achieved at the cost of making the group, club, or the family (clan, tribe, class, nationality, religion, or racial group) into an internally coherent, cooperative, friendly, loyal, need-pooling group by making it mutually exclusive from the rest of the world. In the past, the main technique mankind has had for achieving amity within a group is to see all the nongroup, the "they," as more or less enemy, if not a threatening or dangerous enemy, then one to which to feel superior, contemptuous, condescending, and insulting. The ultimate absurdity is that this seems to be true for most peace and antiwar groups (with honorable exceptions). All polarizing, splitting, excluding, contaminating, hurting, hating, insulting, anger-producing, vengeance-producing, put-down techniques are atomistic and antiholistic and therefore help to separate mankind into mutually hostile groups. They are countergrowth and make species-politics less possible, put off the attainment of One World Law and government, and are war-fostering and peace-delaying.
Moving toward specieshood and species politics means profound holisticizing of ourselves, each of us, of our interpersonal relationships, of subcultures of societies and nations, of our relationships with not only our own species but with other species as well, and with nature and the cosmos as a whole. It means moving toward holism in each of our professions, e.g., away from adversary law, politics, economics, and so forth, in each of our social institutions, religion, work and management, education, and administration of justice.
Against this over-condensed background, we wish to make one specific proposal: T-groups (encounter groups, sensitivity training, and so forth), as well as different other techniques now used in personal growth centers, and summarized as Esalen-type education, should be used toward holisticizing the society and eventually the world. This is being done already by National Training Laboratory in its mix-max groups, i.e., from T-groups with people who are as diverse as possible. It seems possible, however, to accomplish more in this direction; a better example is the black-white confrontation groups.
The suggestion implies also a thorough re-examination of the widely accepted principle of homogamy. We have much data to indicate that, for example, the more similar people are in their background, class, caste, religion, education, national origin, race, the more likely it is that their marriage will be happy and will endure. This is assumed to be true for all interpersonal relationships, friendships, business partnerships, neighborhoods, and neighbors.
It is true that we feel more comfortable and relaxed, less tense, uneasy and uncertain, less suspicious and paranoid, less alien, less wary, with someone who has our tastes, our folkways, our prejudices, and so forth. It is easier to organize our lives to maximize contact with persons having similar interests, and to minimize contact with persons having dissimilar interests.
But if the necessity for holisticizing mankind is accepted, this way of making our lives easier and more comfortable can be seen as a "cop out," a weak fleeing from confronting the uncomfortable but necessary decision. The question is: If we wish to move toward specieshood and brotherhood, now do we overcome our separative and encapsulating techniques? How do we transcend the differences that currently compartmentalize mankind into mutually exclusive, isolated groups who have nothing to do with each other? How do we make contacts across walls separating classes, religions, sexes, races, nationalities, tribes, professional groups and IQ groups?
If we all agreed that this was a tremendous and urgent necessity requiring immediate action, we could solve the racial differences quite easily, at least in principle, by subsidizing heavily only interracial marriages. One day the emergency may be so great that even such measures may have to be tried; as after all, it has been suggested already that the United States and USSR exchange large numbers of their children to guarantee against bombing each other.
Much more practicable, however, for the general purpose of transcending homogamy, would be the widespread use of T-groups as a holistic-political tool. There is already enough experience with black-white T-groups to begin applying the same principle with other separated groups.
The T-groups technique is suggested not so much as a panacea, but because it is available, widely used, and accepted; it is already a functioning apparatus at teaching institutions, already has trained fellows, and already has available international contacts.
In principle, it would be wise to keep in mind the end goal, the brotherhood of all human beings, rather than any particular single method. Any method is good that fosters communication; understanding, including intimacy, trust, openness, honesty, self-exposure, feedback, identification feelings of being similar, compassion, tolerance, acceptance, friendliness, love; and that reduces suspicion, paranoid expectations, fear, feelings of being different, enmity, defensiveness, envy, contempt, insult, condescension, polarization, splitting, alienation, foreignness, and separation, excluding hatred.
IMPLICATIONS OF POLITICS 3 FOR OUR SOCIETY
Eupsychian Values and Personal Freedom
In ideal terms, the Eupsychian State is one in which individual people left to their own devices, resources, and consciences will arrive at the same B-values and the same conclusions about the basic schema of life while being allowed complete freedom for idiosyncracies and differences in constitution, temperament, and the like, which fall well within the normal range of acceptable, healthy individual differences between people.
Currently, there are large numbers of value questions--ethical and moral--that remain within the realm of individual differences, temperament, taste, judgement, constitution, personal history, cultural roots, and the like, and which are still to be left to individual conscience, taste, or judgement.
However, there are other questions that are not to be left to individual conscience, e.g., whether a baby is to be loved or not. This is an absolute for the species; babies have a right and a need to be loved. There is something of this sort also true for dignity and respect for all human beings, and certainly the same is true for the B-values; these are intrinsic values that are being discovered and introjected and made one's own by each person discovering and studying himself and his own depth individually and then reaching the same conclusion as other people.
For any humanistic politics, the process of reaching conclusions has to be developed carefully. It entails a kind of visual image that is like the "good way" of rearing babies and children, i.e., it is like being in an extremely large playpen that has definite limits, but has a large amount of space within the playpen in which individuality, permissiveness, Taoism, and let-be may prevail. It is the same matter of being extremely firm and unyielding about ultimate and intrinsic values while being yielding and permissive about all nonintrinsic values. This provides an area of life for individual taste and for the normal and healthy range of individual differences. It allows the individual to express his individuality; yet also it rejects firmly the Sartre-type relativity, which has no limits. These value limits are biological limits and come from the nature of human specieshood.
What can be said about the problem of human evil? If the humanistic psychologists say "there is no instinct for evil" or "there is no original sin," it leads to the mistake of the intellectuals in general of saying that all evil must, therefore, come from outside of human nature, i.e., from society, technology, other people, villains, exploiters, or whatever. This is a kind of modern Rousseauism--peculiarly, by the same people who would reject Rousseauism as over optimistic. But all of this leaves the task for the humanistic psychologist to show just how human nature generates evil without itself being intrinsically evil. Perhaps we should be saying something like "all that we know about evil and human troubles and the shortcomings of people and society leads us finally to see that we cannot blame human nature entirely (as with the doctrine of original sin) nor can we blame society entirely (as with the doctrine of original sin) nor can we blame society entirely (as with these various brands of Rousseauism). But the way to handle the matter is via the Bodhisattvic path, which means to say you must simultaneously and in tandem cleanse yourself and cleanse your society. The good society is useless, just as a blueprint in itself can be useless, unless there are relatively good people to implement it, to carry it out, to live it through."
This permits another interpretation of current Grumbles--"this gratification did not make me happy and whole and autonomous and self-actualizing; therefore it's all a fake; it's of no importance; it's a swindle. It's evil." Such Grumbles miss the point that the disillusionment was generated by illusions which we had better get rid of. For instance, grumbling youngsters expect too much of the lower need gratifications, of the material life. They expect too much of sex and love, of having an auto, and money to spend, of having a spouse, going to school, having a degree, and so forth. But it should be made clear that all these were illusory expectations. Any humanistic psychology must make this extremely clear. The Grumble theory should be developed more to show that the heaven--the nirvana; the permanent content and happiness; the permanent lack of pain, trouble, depression and the like--must all be relinquished as expectations for human nature. There will always be grumbling, complaining, wanting, lacking, seeking, striving. Any theory of utopia, or of the good society, or the good person, must be based on this accepted fact. The fury with which some persons attack the whole society, calling it evil and horrible, and so forth, shows clearly a kind of cognitive pathology, an inability to see facts which stare you in the face. They complain loudly and bitterly, and at the same time they complain about not being able to complain (about not having free speech, for instance). Clearly these are disappointed, disillusioned people. And disillusion here clearly means that there were previous illusions; that is to say factual mistakes and unfounded beliefs of expectations.
Methods of Growth Together (Symphysis)
To move ahead along our evolutionary road, there are several clear-cut steps we must take:
- The major institutions of influence must begin to characterize in their policies and practices a genuine belief in fellow men.
- They must show in their actions that all men can make valuable contributions to mutual growth and development. They will thereby end the process of "we will solve your problems" and begin to work together with others to solve mutual problems.
- Parents and teachers must begin to join with young people to grow and develop together. They must demonstrate in their actions a belief in dignity, respect, and self-affirmation for the young. These future men will not develop or extend their inner blueprints fully through creative action until they truly believe in themselves and the beauty and goodness of their inner selves.
- Our reformational institutions, mental hospitals and prisons, which exist for the purpose of rehabilitating the occupants, must recognize the inherent dangers of their practices of "excluding" their charges. They must change to self-developmental forms of practice that recognize and use the values and goals of humanness existing in all men.
These are not idealistic dreams. Today we live in a period of knowledge and understanding of the concrete techniques for bringing about self-understanding, perceptual awareness, learning, and amplified use of imagination and judgement. We can catalyze the techniques through a symphytic psychology which will allow people to become creators of value by virtue of the true feelings of worth, dignity, capability, and being needed. We can begin to fill the unfulfilled promise of our greatest underdeveloped resource--humankind. As people begin to use the ethics and processes of symphysis, they will shed the artificial means of excluding a hierarchical identification to achieve growth. Since many more people will be able to develop their symphytic and creative capabilities, the desire to create artificial self-ascendancy and growth by making others smaller or by unifying with those who lack the same abilities will be lessened.
In our search for the specific and particularized techniques for symphytic development, we can look today to those persons participating in intensive research in the development of human creativity. These techniques, aside from having made possible the discovery of the principle of symphysis, now provide tangible and immediate if only beginning answers to the problem of "how."
The far goal is to avoid war via One World, One Law, and the pre-condition for this is a new image of man and a new image of society. The techniques of making higher man, and the techniques of making higher society were mentioned: education, therapy, T-groups, the Eupsychian network, and the like.
As part of the scientific attitude, we suggest many schemes and experiments. Why not try all of them experimentally even at the same time? For instance, why not have many colleges being run entirely by various groups such as the black militants, or the students themselves, while others could be run like military academies with complete discipline, or with extreme permissiveness, or anything in between. Then, we could watch them to observe how they function; we could try to learn from them, both the mistakes and the failures. Of course, the observing would have to be empirical in the sense of evaluation feedback, watching, evaluating,and assessing.
Politics 3 and Democracy
We can consider the Bill of Rights as a precious document on the psychological side, that is, as a psychological document, as a strategy and tactic of brotherly love. The Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and other documents of that kind are--let us say it, why not--the technology of agapean love. These are the ways in which we manage under the extremely difficult conditions of huge numbers of people. It is difficult for two people to live together, let alone 200 million. Because we are different from each other and have not learned yet to accept these differences, constructing a society in a way to retain our autonomy, free choice, and permission to grow to full humanness will be difficult, and making the best possible compromise under these circumstances will never be a perfectly satisfactory compromise. We have not learned how to do that. However, we could speak of politics as separate from other realms of thought--authentic interpersonal relations, the authentic community, the brotherhood of man--as educationalizing the whole of life. In the same way, we could speak of religionizing the whole of life, instead of making it an atomistic, separate activity for one day of the week, occurring in one particular building and in the hands of one kind of person with the proper credentials. So too, the arrangements by which we can help each other, live with each other, and make divisions of labor might be called a socializing the whole of life. Also can we say that democratizing the whole of life and making a larger definition of it, as the right to grow, the need to grow translated into the right to grow are precious for full humanness, for self-actualization.