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The result millions of dollars and I was spammed and darling scientific research team and equipment many unarmed up paid and mousy little professor of physics who previously envied the air conditioned office as a football coach is now finds American society thrusting on him the most modern office equipment of all the streamlined stand I was recording his every word about atoms and streamlined electric typewriters. Will or Los Angeles new IBM filing systems as teams of subsidized technicians pooling their genius and car top look at will all this achieve the scientific creativity we need for keeping ahead of the Russians and even more important for keeping us out of the creative side. The answer is not at all. If the men using this expensive equipment have already lost their creativity in schools where they learn to wear say Davy Crocket caps just because all the other kids
did and when they learned to be true to their own spontaneity. A single educational dollar spent to save the child's individual 6 would do more to make creativity possible than $10000 spent on him when he is a 40 year old and already ruined by too much well-adjusted. This fan anything original or creative. When I hear of our American delusions of producing creativity buy expensive equipment instead of equipment. I remember my first meeting without. Seeing him in New York strolling along Riverside Drive absent mindedly scribbling notes in the backseat of an old one and up. From a scroll on a penny's worth of scrap paper. By a man who was enough freedom was not adjusted at age
6 and not for a million in the tombs and by tax exempt foundations to have elected. Him the greatest scientific discoveries of the century including those very practical discoveries in which we compete with the Russians and the Chinese. In short with our ornery unadjusted in us. Our president would attack us. Is not enough to save us spiritually or militarily and without the expense of technological progress is paving the road to hell with good intentions. Now I began giving my. Example of faceless bureaucracy to the
using and out of my heart in the right was wrong being right and so on. Let's 30000 people at this university there are wonderful. I gave only 30 students and there was a real. So they can be wonderful. But these are the exception now. Let me give a very let's be precise a precise example of the good mix adjustment that. The public image education today is their recommendation. The Duke University I'm not to the scalp of 20 others but I just happen to get one of them.
Let's let's examine that blanks in terms of what I've been saying about whether creativity comes from inwardness or jolly outward conformity whether the left of the ride whether the Bohemian beatnik whether the old fashioned tapestry in that context let's consider these blacks universally on each blank and applicant must be classified confidentially without his knowledge. One adjustment of these writings not in words but in an IBM machine can handle them better. I just saw from the lights of the third degree that I was getting machinery company. So there has to be numbers for the IBM machines and here is what you get on these plans to recommend you. Cold water. Cooler.
Occasionally demonstrates with just three satisfactory adjustments good adjustments five exceptionally study bilin well adjusted the number was a real stinker a t test pad. Such confidential classifications and many an American college today how long they are unaware of victims ever. As inexorably as a confidential police dossier perhaps such somethingness ratings even imply an unconscious police mentality. An FBI not of compulsory lawfulness but of compulsory cheerfulness. You know the toothpaste ad grid for mixing the pepcid and toothpaste ad grin. That means you're well-adjusted. Now and then think think of
me think of. These hygenic screens against unadjusted. Should prevent. Unstable Michelangelo's or bad mix Melville's from sneaking into our sterilized utopia. Then at least we keep Oh no. No no trend no bad trend would be involved if social adjustment were means not ends. There would be a blue or a kind of goes around spilling cocktails and I don't object to social adjustment if it's a means. But the end The end must be spontaneity in person and what we have today is not social adjustment as a social lubricant as a means but. An end for its own
social adjustment becomes an end for it's own sake determining all human relations recreation is aesthetic and not is about assault. Not just in but in the end for its own sake from being right just a short step to becoming over adjusted the public relations person. Of public private. In effect. An ecstasy of voluntary universal of bottom. From this track and a new American Idol emerges the old Justin I'm against a new liver a bad mix and scandalously devoid of education to citizenship and progressive causes namely the unadjusted unadjusted This is the only personal heroes I'm left in a machine era. When there's no individual heroes except.
To put grit in the machine to secede to drop out from this mechanized system which for our greatest novelists. We are a better grieve for all people beneath a culture which holds an Amish period. And even today the human there's the oddest the scholar can no longer be the prophet. The riddle of the outer universe. Modern science has deprived him of that function. His new hero ism is no longer to preach the creases through Tennyson non-science stops not his role. Today the role of the Humanist is. To unravel the universe to be unadjusted towards the mechanized depersonalised hustle and bustle outside the unadjusted man is the final irreducible have all that sabotages the omnipotence of even the smoothest running machine gums up the works.
The values of the unadjusted man are not determined by a Democratic side. He may even be undemocratic and again enough to retaught one man and God. When accused of being undemocratic for not joining them and failed during his reading of the roughage removal machinery of Reader's Digest. Those who call themselves liberal non-conformist often fail to realize that their strongest bull walk against mob crashers can be traditional religion if only they would cease to spurn it. And this role of traditional continuity. As a protection of the individual I differ from John Stuart Mill said in David Rieff ministry profoundest liberal critics of mass conformity. While sharing their names and instead I prefer to be a disciple of the somewhat
conservative individual as a more traditional ist individualism of John Adams by revering the infinite preciousness of each individual. The Christian tradition. Builds up a deep in a shield against the claims of us just this hot non-abstract non intellectualized. Inner religious shield is often more effective against tyrants in its inarticulate. Underground way than the brain felt at systematizing is of levitating by the secular doctor and who can prove with a logical syllogisms that Liberty's a good thing as the French could do in 1940 and they crumbled. But the English were not logicians and they couldn't prove this with syllogisms but they had the roots and
concrete landmarks that went back to centuries that they felt. Who wants a geometrical shape. So these geometric provinces and so I don't think of the 18th century rationalist with every province geometrical and very traditional or religious people who feel attachments to Precious and concrete and I think this is why the British French every 20 years have had a new one each having 10 more rights and 10 more universal liberties only to be replaced by Napoleon.
Foreign Service Institute at Washington where I meet once once a year with diplomats have a kind of kind of seminar and they ask me to define conservative having written too many books. I said the only way I'm single sentence that sums up my roots as opposed to secular rationalist. There was a single sentence and it was not was not present but it was by a dowdy little little British. Woman librarian in the British. And somebody. Said I'd like a copy of the French constitution.
Periodical. When I argue for the unadjusted man he should not be confused with them our just in the psychiatric nor with the never adjusted the flaunted grandstand nonconformity of the self dramatizing Nixon and a misunderstood genius. Their professional nonconformity which is only one more kind of conformity. So don't confuse the unadjusted Dan with the now adjusted. Just these are me a coward of the unadjusted viewpoint I'm advocating has two reciprocal sides adjustment to the edges none adjustment to this distinction between lasting roots and
temporary surfaces. The unadjusted is committed to try to make even though gropingly validly. Undocked when they are undocking radically the position gets the farm does it not in part by its enemies. Here's si luck divine adjusted Mr Freeman just and this gets ridiculed by the over a just and a maladjusted ally. It's a war on two flanks. The Omen adjusted to ridicule them as supposedly maladjusted Casca reading spoils Boyd and America's sacred plastic Disneyland. On the other hand them our just to ridicule them as supposedly over just selling out to conservatives and betraying fellow intellectuals. A renegade from the imagined Vestal purity of total alienation. So you see it's wrong to just and
against the over just the easy conformity baiting of adolescent radicalism refuses to adjust even to deep and valid norms. The unadjusted reject superficial norms not for rejection sake not for the sake of showing off as a so-called non-conformists But in order to see that as his attempt to distinguish between such rival claims is the dilemma of tragic groping soul searching not of easy conditioned answers no glibness unadjusted in the highest sense of tragic freedom were the dying words of Thomas Moore on the scaffold. He said I died the king's good servant. But guards. First. There speaks West and the king's servants substituted a servant of the state. Or servant of material
progress. And indiscriminate radicalism against the far east as in effect I die the king's balance and I refuse to serve the status quo even in duties that must be rendered not to God but under Caesar. Thomas More's revolt is not radical but relatively conservative because he does remain voluntarily. The king's good servant. Until driven to some ultimate extreme. In our own time that extreme did occur when the King was here. Let us make sure the extreme will never occur in America. But if it ever does occur. During some alternate hour of moral choice between principle. And expedient. Then the non-materialist amount of the Christian Judaic tradition. The man with the very faces deaf smiling and on has it and like saying
Thomas because he is God's first and not the servant of some healthy well-adjusted ness. And unadjusted like Thomas Morris Ray or any of the old they're just dead and the maladjusted are more frequent and I usually allied against them. So it has always been the case. One is neutered. Is the more sophisticated ability of the adjusted man to mask a rared as his opposite. To masquerade as if you were the unadjusted concern of humanistic autistic and religious values this is the thing to watch Don't worry about the badness. Phyllis Diller says I hate that. That was 20 years ago. Watch closely watch like a hawk. The man who proclaims his devotion to humanistic values and culture with a capital R Capital C
on the more exquisite campuses in the self-consciously advanced pages of the quarterlies highbrow nonconformity has succumbed to its own kind of act as blindly as ever did the low brow conformity of screen romances and true detective stories. This choice between lowbrow and highbrow just goodness allows humanistic values the choice between being starved to death and being to death. The meaningful moral choice is not between conforming and none conforming then but conforming to the merely temporary stereotyped values of the moment and conforming to the ancient lasting archetype of values by all creative culture. And when I second said I'm not talking about conserving money or stock market or Republican values or conserving the archetype of values ethical and religious and aesthetic values of all creative cultures the choices then the stereotypes of the moment the types of the ages.
A stereotype is something it's tried out mimeographed horizontal archetypes have grown out of the soil of history slowly painfully organically and. Stereotypes have been manufactured out of the mechanical processes of mass production painlessly artificially as the saying goes untouched by human hands. It's all plastic. They haven't synthesized stereotype values they've been synthesized in the labs of the entertainment industries and in the blueprints of the social engineers. The sudden up routing of tarps was the most important consequence of the worldwide industrial revolution whether in America or Russia whether. This moral rule and this cultural shock of our times was more important in my opinion than the famous economic consequences of the industrial revolution. Ltd. depends on a substrata fixed
in articulate types you know unwritten British constitutions as opposed to the arbitrary shuffling about of institutions and constitutions. This distinction holds through all of the shuffling about be done by the abstract rationalism of the eighteenth century or by the even more inhuman and metallic mass production of the twentieth century producing new psychological wounds and new routing every time some new mechanized stereotype where prices are proceeding one in this battle between the two kinds of Pigs the fat pigs who advocate capitalist materialism and the thin ones advocated proletarian in materialism and with little to choose between them because they are each interested in continuous upper routings ever more mechanized stereotypes. Every over adjusted society swallows up the diversities of private burial earwigs private
eccentricities private life and the creativity inherent in concrete personal loyalties and in loving attachment to unique local roots and their rich creations. I implore you to write a little is left of local roots whatever has not been in Coca-Cola. Even if it's crotchety and keep what is locally rooted and locally evolved what little is left. In this age where everything is a lie all airports all turn we go faster and faster. The ultimate would be round round trip jet trip from New York that will go around the globe in one minute and come back where it left without stopping. Everything is a lie. Keep the local routes Let us recall not only Edmund
Burke words on the need for loyalty to one's own platoon but also seeing the great Irish playwrights and the Ireland of seven. When he spoke of what he calls the springtime of America life where the imagination of a fiery and magnificent and tanned. Springtime of the local live is what's being lost in the multiverse cities of the big rushes and America's Otherwise how do you explain the fact that 100000 seemed one hundred thousand times produced more clear to. The last three. Hundred thousand of them than 200 million Americans in 200 million Russians put together. But more prosperous more living standards and more material progress. But producing less by the old argument that if you
only give plumbing and education the poor have just left. Give them the economic standards and the creativity as well house and all and it doesn't work that way and this is this is this is the Liberal candidate hasn't worked out that way. It just means more television and the reason it hasn't got is of course very clear because creativity comes from spontaneous individuals even if they are very poor ones and even if they have a horse and buggy and don't keep up with the Joneses in the car and that's why a hundred thousand. Reactionary Elizabeth Ethans without shiny brassy modern toilets produced more than 200 million lessons put together because the one case it was in the videos was mechanized robots. The creative imagination of the free artist in the free song just requires private room free from the pressure of centralization and the pressure of adjustment to
average this requirement holds true even when the centralization is benevolent and even when the mass average replaces sub average diversities intolerable is the very concept of some busybody benevolence where the economic model of psychiatric securing all diversity by making a rich and modernized. In the hall and in the power of the most corrupting development of all is the substitution of good. I didn't say bad technique but good technique this is the most corrupting thing of all. What once was that some of the inspired the audacity of dragging a lonely craftsman is now mass produced and painless and I'm inspired capsules. This process is taking over every category of education and literature. This multiverse of two faced is bureaucracy.
The stream of consciousness to which James Joyce wrestled in loneliness with language the ironic perspective thoughts of which Proust attained not as entertainment but as tragedy. The quick slashing incites the whites of eggs in your world. All these intimate personal achievements of the on standardized private life today are standard props of a hundred hacked imitators mechanically VAM being what is called the archetype story. Don't underestimate that type of story you know an imitation of it is imitation with all the magnificent technical scale of America's past attitude we play and think of the advantages. No pain anymore no risk anymore no one no sense of inspiration. Most modern readers are not even bothered by the difference between such an efficient but bloodless scene and a living product of
individual anguish. What then is the tast telling of the coffee from the Nascar. The true test take inspiration from the jar of instant the true religious inspiration from that job which has become now the biggest sound for lies on how do you tell the artistic inspiration from the instant there is a past there is a way. And it's not an easy way believe me nothing is easy that's worth doing it just isn't. And my children have a book called My Jolly Book. Instead of a book saying mathematics is hard an order if you don't learning it so much the worse for you. This isn't help. There's no easy way there is a task not turnabout the test is it isn't. And it isn't easy and it isn't pre-digested in an instant.
Guidebooks I have books on cooking or whatever the latest book is there's only one way and it's very difficult whether test is pain not mere physical pain but the exultant transcending of selfless sacrifice that earns its insight pain police. The test is that holy. That brotherhood of sacrifice that our stock received of creative suffering and which brought out the Just Say No blasts in other words in a free democracy the only justified stockers is that of the lonely creative bitterness. The artistically creative. The fight for the NRA magine action against Mack and I see the fight to create activity and personality
aside for the private life. You have been listening to Peter direct professor of European and Russian history at Mount Holyoke College. He spoke on the fight for creativity and personality in a machine age at the final session of the University of Illinois Centennial symposium. The final program in the series next time will creature the discussion of Mr. Barack's lecture. It will answer questions from visiting professors faculty members at the University of Illinois and students man and the multitude is a feature presentation of the University of Illinois radio service. This program was distributed by a national educational radio. This is the national educational radio network.
Man and the multitude
Peter Viereck, part two
Producing Organization
University of Illinois
WILL Illinois Public Media
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program presents the second part of a lecture by Peter Viereck, Mount Holyoke College and Pulitzer Prize winner, on "The Fight for Creativity and Personality in a Machine Age."
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A lecture series commemorating the centennial of the University of Illinois.
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Producing Organization: University of Illinois
Producing Organization: WILL Illinois Public Media
Speaker: Viereck, Peter, 1916-2006.
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 67-41-10 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:49
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Chicago: “Man and the multitude; Peter Viereck, part two,” 1967-11-07, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 28, 2024,
MLA: “Man and the multitude; Peter Viereck, part two.” 1967-11-07. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 28, 2024. <>.
APA: Man and the multitude; Peter Viereck, part two. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from