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From the Great Hall of the Cooper Union in New York City national educational radio presents the Cooper Union forum series on peace love and creativity the hope of mankind. These programs were recorded by station WNYC. Here now is the chairman of the Cooper Union forum Dr. Johnson effect child. Murderer. Good evening ladies and gentleman. Welcome to the Cooper Union forum this is your German jobs and they fared in the great hall of the Cooper Union where we were continuing with our program. Peace love and creativity hope hope of mankind. The subject of our discussion tonight has to do with such a thing is very well qualified in the subject. This is Dr. Timothy Costello back to COSTELLO The
Honorable Costello is deputy mayor city administrator of the city of New York. This title is enough to introduce anybody but may I just mention that his background has to do with Fordham University and he is a doctor of psychology. He has served in the army they've broken a dog. Guidance Center is on the faculty of New York University School of commerce that is a graduate school of Commerce is a professor there he is on leave at the present time. His special field of interest has to do with executive and supervisory development. Implied clinical concepts in business and therapy. I'm sorry industry I don't know why I can see you as industry and there. He has written very widely known
book incidentally on normal psychology and psychology and administration. He's contributed many articles to professional journals and psychology. And as I was present to know only a professional man in the city government as you probably served as chairman of the Liberal Party in the state of New York as well as German present time and we're very delighted to welcome to the Cooper Union forum Dr. Timothy COSTELLO That's a fortnight. Will thank you very much Mr. Fairchild. You might have said in that introduction also that I have done a Turman in New York City Reformatory where I hasten to add I served as a psychological unturn back in 1930 39. I think I
cannot begin tonight without taking nor the sense of pride I experience in being invited to a lecture series which have gone on successfully for some 110 years. I recall as a young instructor at New York University not very far away receiving announcements of the program and I will hasten to admit thinking of the possibility that some point I might be invited to speak here. I think at the same time I express a sense of disappointment that my being invited here tonight probably has less to do with the fact that I'm a psychologist and want to deal with the fact that I'm a Deputy Matt and I would like to admit because I think as a matter of fact a psychologist can probably speak more to the point of the topic. And can a deputy now. I'm going to
choose to be invited here on my own grounds not your grounds if you don't mind. And so I look upon this as the fulfillment of a dream of a young psychologist to have an opportunity here in the Great Hall of Cooper Union to present his Whereas as a psychologist if you will not as a deputy mayor. And as a psychologist if I might be allowed just a moment or two more of introduction I go back a number of years ago and my own experience. When just out of graduate school with a very keen awareness of the tremendous powers of psychology and I thought psychology indeed was a solution to all man's problems and indeed it may be although I'm less certain of it myself now. I was invited to talk to a much smaller group luncheon businessman's group as a matter of fact on the topic of juvenile delinquency. And us responding out of my
background I spoke of approaching the problems of delinquency through psychological treatment. I described the various forms of psychological treatment and urged psychological treatment as a means of solving the problem of the young delinquent. Answered a few questions thought I came off well looked in the paper the next day because I was young and therefore I hasten to add brain to see whether or not I had been covered. And sure enough there was a story summarizing what I had said under the headline. Dr Costello shows need of psychological treatment. I have been telling that to audiences ever since largely I think Freud would tell me out of the desire to seek reassurance that it was not so I gathered here tonight. However to examine a very serious question and as I want to
emphasize I am here talking as a psychologist trying to reach out for answers not as a deputy offering quick solutions. And so I will be analytic and careful in my approach rather than dramatic and sensational. I think it says much for our topic. The control of hate and violence that a behavioral scientist doesn't have to begin by defining his terms. There is no one in the audience either in the physical audience here or in the radio audience who doesn't know what violence is. A behavioral scientist indeed would have great difficulty defining these terms. We know a lot of cars because man's history from Already this wreckage to the last newspaper headline is replete replete with examples of hate or
violence or both. Yet it probably will be helpful for us to find an example or to the shop an off focus and perhaps even to provide a kind of classification system for hate and violence. Or aggressive behavior so I reach back a little ways into history to recall that America lost one hundred and twenty six thousand men in World War 1. I don't have the records for the Germans or the French or the British but I can imagine that they were dealt with equally violently. We ran that up to three hundred and twenty six thousand of our men in well what two with an equal increase on the other side. And here with the advancement of the twentieth century Secretary McNamara can tell us that providing we get one hour's notice and providing we spend twenty five billion dollars for defense shoppers.
Only 41 million Americans will be killed with the weapons that we now have a valid will. We don't spend that 25 million dollars he says. The fraction of one fifth proper population will quickly go up to one third of our population. And if we have need of the 25 million dollars or the one hour's notice then that fraction goes up to two thirds of our population. And I guess what can be vented on us in the form of violence we can vent on our enemy and indeed we have advanced in our capacity for hate and violence to express this in terms of the most recent headlines we can read a recent paper or two. The headlines all are pretty much the same thing. Americans or 256 in an ambush preparing to attack American Marines.
You don't have to define this. We feel it in our gut. Was it two years ago or that Michael Schwerner visited Mississippi with the only idea in his mind to implement some of the Declaration of Independence in the Constitution. He brought along with him two companions. They were interested in participating in a registration program for the Mississippi Negro and to encourage that negro to seek out more actively his civil rights. They say they violated the traffic law and were arrested. They were released so that they could be more effectively taken in command and be killed. An instance of violence of a somewhat different sought from rock but one that it is easy for us also to feel. This summer where do you put in Newark or Detroit
Red. Residents of the ghetto broke windows and in stores looted and burned. Another type of violence and so on. One can go on in slave meant thousands of Africans not so many years ago was another form of violence. The burning of a witch in Salem is still a different form of violence. Capital punishment I guess is an approved form of violence. And if one goes back Cain killed Abel. And so violence perhaps fate has been with me a long time. So long as a matter of fact that lots of people have begun to say that violence and aggression are a rather natural aspect of man's nature the instinctive part of the way we were made some people
would describe it as original sin with an evil streak in him that has to be curbed. But he is natural and with us for the end of our days. Fried would perhaps describe it as the death instinct. Leading us on throughout our lives through aggressive expression instinct leads to a kind of fatalism desperation hopelessness about controlling violence that I'm not prepared to accept. It is not my position that hate and violence are natural aspects of human nature. It is my position and I think I am joined by most psychologists who say that hate the attitude and violence or aggression the behavior resulting from that attitude are acquired as a result of life
circumstances. Or to put it in its broadest terms by interactions with the environment. Anything that can be taught of course can be if it is negative must be controlled. In the face of a history that cuts across the entire lifetime of man when one can find examples of hate and violence. What evidence do you have. You should ask that this is not an instinct that it is not part of man's tissue that it is not an expression of it. There's the ology and indeed I don't have the time nor have I had the opportunity to research the question as Kapolei as might have been the case. But one can do certain kinds of evidence to reason to my proposition and against a proposition that leads to fatalism and hopelessness because man is they say an aggressive animal.
Instinctive Cross should express itself universally across members of the species but fortunately as we make comparisons among individuals we find a tremendous range of capacity for hate and aggression. Not all the individuals in our society hate nor do all of them show aggression. And if this were part of man's nature one would expect that to be the case. If you go from an interim individual kind of comparison to when into group comparison the same kind of evidence can be a deuced not our society engage in aggressive behavior. And the the anthropologists describe an experience of visiting and I put this in quotation marks. One of the more primitive societies and trying to understand the kinds of tools and instruments they use.
They went through the usual list of questions what kinds of tools or instruments or weapons or utensils do you use for cooking purposes. And there was a description and for gathering food. Fishing and hunting what kinds of instruments do you use and for making rock. We have no instruments we don't know what war is. But perhaps the anthropologists as the tribesmen said maybe you should send us some missionaries so that we might be taught right. War is. The instinct of aggression. If it is an instrument instinct ought to be found most clearly at the animal level. But here also we find when we study cattle and animals whose behavior we are better able to control that
animals are not naturally aggressive or violent. And as a matter of fact they completely lack the capacity to hate. Which interestingly enough separates hate from violence. And one can kind of describe a gradient along which we can place instances of hate and violence hate can exist by itself. There are some of us deeply under the social controls that in most civilizations at least on most occasions presume prevent violence. Or rather we are capable of hating their own right to hate blacks but have managed not to be aggressive toward them. If you have a very narrow definition of aggression although their voting behavior might express this hate civic behavior
lack of neighborliness I guess we are discovering in this world of ours that there are blacks who hate right and not all the blacks who hate whites engage in violence so that hate as an attitude can be identified and it can exist on its own with always the potential as is true of any attitude and hate from the point of view of a psychologist is an attitude that it will lead to behavior can violence exists without hate. I think so strangely enough perhaps the most intensive form of violence exists without hate. I seriously question whether most of the young Americans who are engaged in violence and. Hate the enemy. Rock frequently can be an instance of violence without hate. But I suppose under those conditions one can be taught to hate so that
the behavior can be rationalized. And of course hate and violence can go together. And I think tonight we are interested in that kind of combination. And there are two particular forms of it in our society that most deserve attention and that most of us would like to see controlled and some effect of fashion. This is the hate and violence that is directed against members of our ghetto and the hate and violence which is expressed by members of our ghetto. And this is what I am mostly myself. Have in mind as I tried to be more analytic about the nature of aggression which I hope will lead me to a set of prescriptions for better controlling aggression hate or violence. Let's make some comments about hate and
violence as it exists in the ghetto for us. Although we haven't done any extensive studies of the recent riots or demonstrations which I guess we're referring to when I talk about hate and violence in the ghettos a number of hypotheses can be proposed about those riots. One of these hypotheses is that the riot behavior is not engaged in by those who are at the very bottom rung of that get a lotta. Interesting and perhaps foremost one could threaten the participants in riot behavior I've always who have been at the bottom and on their way up. Not very high up now but a wrong or two. One hypothesis and riot behavior in this regard kind of
fits into classical revolutionary behavior when it is never the completely downtrodden who engage in the rebellion but rather those who have bounced back just a little bit. Not a hypothesis one could make about riot behavior which is my shorthand for hate violence and aggression coming out of the ghetto is that it's impossible to predict the city where riot behavior will take place by knowing how much money has been poured into that city in the war against poverty. Detroit has been a rather successful city in dealing with its poverty. It has had a progressive mayor and it has taken long steps toward doing what we think it is right to do for members of a ghetto community. But it had. One of the worst riots in our country. New Haven is a city I can remember during the campaign pointing to as
the prototype of what New York ought to be doing. But it had its minor. Riot that too. So this proposition needs examining and explaining. And another hypothesis with regard to the ghetto violence is that the intensity of the reaction will be directly in proportion to the aggression that is used to put it down. The two excellent examples of this that I know about are also both Detroit and Newark where beginning permissiveness about rioting was allowed when the permissiveness increase the amount of aggression. First the police and then the National Guard and then finally paratroopers carrying guns and meeting aggression with aggression produced a major explosion of violence on both sides. Now let's make up some propositions about the
other kind of violence that we can talk about the kind of hate that is directed at the ghetto or at its members wherever they might be found. And here perhaps we are dealing with a more heterogeneous population but a number of things can be said. The examples of white against black aggression if I can use that oversimplification suggests that the white haters and engages in violence almost invariably come from the lower rungs of the middle class. To which they are holding on very insecurely often having arrived at that socioeconomic class. Very recently themselves. Certainly hate and perhaps also to some extent violence is characterized among the white a gang black group by a
strong identification with what has been called the Protestant ethic. The need to work hard and earn what you will have. And one can speculate on how this might lead to hate and violence and some circumstance. Also this violence is often associated with people who rightly or wrongly feel threatened by suggested upward mobility. Groups in the population who had previously been at the lowest rung. Another set of propositions talking about violence as it might be expressed between one group and another group we concerned that this kind of violence is increased to the extent to which people in the process of categorizing
others grouping them pigeon pigeon holing them seeing them as group members rather than as individuals. If the social system seems nothing more than a series of groups with people categorized by their color black white yellow or red it is easier for us to set one for us against another. These groups that are set up more visible they are the more visible the differences that exist between them. The more likely is it that violence and hate will develop between them. And of course the more competitive the activities that take place at what we might call the interface between one group's activities and another the more competitive that climate is obviously the more hate
and violence will describe the nature of that climate. The relationship between people. I can stop here and say that this has largely been descriptive. Can I move into the second section of what I consider an outline. I'm afraid hastily arrived that but I hope thoughtfully arrived that and move into what we can call an explanatory or analytic phase of the talk reserving for last prescriptive say yes. So I kind of just are able to identify four different types of aggression. I like to describe things briefly. Not suggesting however that it is always possible to clearly identify this act of aggression as belonging in this class or that I think it is helpful for us in
arriving at a set of prescriptions that we be able as a matter of fact to understand the underlying dynamics of aggression and perhaps the simplest aggression to explain perhaps even the simplest aggression to understand is the aggressive act which is instrumental to some other purpose that the individual has. Aggressive behavior which has been learned by the individual as a means toward reward achievement. I take you back not to Pavlov's dog here but to Skinner of Harvard's pigeons to suggest the dynamics of the learning process by which aggression can be learned as a response or a habit just as writing one's name can be learned.
Or driving a car or typing a letter. So you know I pointed out to us a long time ago or that the individual animal or person has a kind of repertoire of behavior and one can imagine from a theoretical point of view that any act of that reservoir has an equal probability of occurring. When infants are young their behavior is random and indeed behavior does occur in a trial and error. Experimental fashion.
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Peace, love, creativity: Hope of mankind
Control of hate and violence, part one
Producing Organization
WNYC (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program presents the first part of a lecture by Timothy W. Costello, deputy mayor, city administrator, New York City.
Series Description
This series presents lectures from the 1968 Cooper Union Forum. This forum's theme is Peace, Love, Creativity: The Hope of Mankind.
Social Issues
Media type
Producing Organization: WNYC (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
Producing Organization: Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
Speaker: Fairchild, Johnson E.
Speaker: Costello, Timothy W.
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-10-10 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:27:39
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Chicago: “Peace, love, creativity: Hope of mankind; Control of hate and violence, part one,” 1968-02-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 19, 2024,
MLA: “Peace, love, creativity: Hope of mankind; Control of hate and violence, part one.” 1968-02-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 19, 2024. <>.
APA: Peace, love, creativity: Hope of mankind; Control of hate and violence, part one. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from