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In federalized society motives and consequences are great and large and the ramified war and military establishments have a company have a company meant consequences economic psychological and social that are in a triangle that tend to cause confusion in the public mind. There are per example aspects of war and military institutions that are not always desirable in fam way. They bring out qualities of social utility under certain circumstances they consider man to helpless and bever they from time to bring out the virtues of self-sacrifice and heroism. Which one may justly referred to as moral equality. In other words the whole subject of war and organized violence calls for the most subtle considerations in the area of human behavior
and human response. And we don't have much of that literature as yet. At this point I would like to turn to William James. He was as you know a distinguished scientist psychologist and philosopher and a very very wise man. His web of them rooted in a deeply humane and ethical outlook on life illuminates dark corners of man's behavior which may still serve as a guide for us. You say something about William James now which helps us to understand something about this darkness and man. More than half a century ago in one thousand nine hundred and ten James published a little booklet a gem of a little book but I would call it entitled The Moral Equivalent of War.
Today I don't know of anything that has superseded it in our brilliant observations are plain psychological hard mindedness. I would like to see this book read and by the world leader if I would like to see it read in schoolrooms legislatures and Pentagon. Let me make some observations. James makes several important points. One that Warren militarism while to be the priority in their results do involve qualities of a high order. They bring out the virtuous he said of courage and the hardihood and pride they are tied up with conceptions of order and discipline unstinted exertion and national responsibility with physical fitness and the
tradition of service without such qualities or something akin to them. Society he thought would become soft to a point of intolerable ness and even the K.. It would also tell you that if you were Polish that part in man it would be a world of boredom. And here James put his finger on I point frequently overlooked by pacifists. He observed that war and the institutions connected with that parade marshal ritual drum beat uniforms metal marches upon a place of war. Those are very exciting colorful dramatic. They stir the blood and the imagination he said. And the human cry. Wondering cause Henry David Thoreau comment that most men lead lives of quiet
desperation and down that. War and everything connected with it somehow brightens and lends importance to such drab life. James said the popular imagination fairly fattens from the thought of war or as a known proverb have it war have no fury like a competent. The argument of horror of evil in Central is no deterrent. It may in fact have the opposite effect and it's thrilling if everybody knows. As long as a boy is regarded as wicked it will always have its fascination. Jane thinks that there is an allure and thrill in violence the horrors make the fascination and the popularity of modern horror movies. Now William James did not look at these attitudes with fatalism or the pain.
He accepted them as reality and proceeded to jest a remedy. It's been a while but the patterns of violence were something mankind had learned over the centuries hence mankind could learn the pattern its basic position. One I believe also shared by Konrad Lorenz and other scientists that the basic position of that man's prognathic leading to violence and war might be controlled and somehow read director. James believed that the manly virtuous ethic of them should not be stamped out but cultivated by society as necessary. They meant that however it should not be done through the instrument of war and killing. He was convinced that man could find substitutes for organized violence. Through I read
direction of man's prognathic and other aggressive energy into useful channels. This is what he meant by moral equivalent for war. This approach he felt was possible but it required with no imagination and above all patience. Among the equivalents for violence and war James proposed for example a mobilization of youth for public service. He thought that this could be done in such a way as to stir pride in public work and socially useful obligation. What was needed he said was to inflame the civic fair. That's past history has inflamed the military and I believe that organizations such as the new the CCC or Civilian Conservation Corps
today speak Peace Corps and so for our effort even though on a relatively limited scale our efforts in the direction indicated by William James More than half a century. A great deal more can be done along these lines. We should however begin with the raising the level of our site from national concerns to universal concern. Even if we cannot achieve any immediate practical results it is necessary to start thinking in terms not of any one particular nation or race but of human rights in general that should be our long range go. In the mean time certain small steps could be taken or looked into scientifically. A number of them come to mind.
For example one could begin working toward an international agreement that you should not be drafted for war should work or if they go it should be fought by men passed by men like myself. I wasn't going to volunteer. Preference for combat should be given and then not sending aid and to those older men who pant for violence including those whose manipulation or personal repression make war possible. But there's now a vicarious pleasure for them should be transformed into an actual pleasure play for them. The new martial principle should be the older the better. Young people should be spared military service in war time for they
still have their lives and families to bring up. And this connection one recalls a sad comment made by the Greek historian Pirata to some twenty five hundred years ago when he arrived at the Fed that reverted to the order of nature in peace. He wrote children bury their parents in your parents bury their child. Perhaps a reversal to the natural order of things is now due to violence in all countries not to talk about anyone can. It's often organized by men in power acting for motives that are obscure that their motivations are not unfrequently cloak in high toned rhetoric which because of its emotional or sentimental content tend to be thieves themselves as well as the public. What may be nothing but personal rage and frustration get off on
this guy. Public Welfare are noble patriots. And that may be the variable in the long run to establish international political clinics for psychiatric testing. A political leader. Leaders and leaders to be as well as assorted policy makers should go through psychological courses to make them aware of their own motivation and to provide them with intelligent tubes for handling their own aggression. This In other words might make it possible for them to search for a non-descript that none of the struct of substitutes are more equivalent for their personal hostility. There are numerous other possibilities that men can do in the next decade for example.
We can organize a great competitive and cooperative enterprise and I global scale drama self-sacrifice courage and heroism. Nowadays can be found in explorations of the ocean and above and beyond the Earth and the Fairy of science of providing men with absolutely and limited opportunity for service and for adventure and for courage and for hardihood and for selflessness and all the other manly virtues which previously hitherto has gone into war and violence. That is required I repeat is I read direction of human energy money to move would be obviously necessary for this particularly for scientific research. But surely that this is no major obstacle. We now spend more than half
of our federal budget on armaments and called the fence. The Russians spend more or less proportionate amount. At the moment we spend something like 2 billion which is to say two thousand million dollars a month on the war in Vietnam. A fraction now of that amount would go far towards exploring and setting up techniques for non-board. As for widely prevailing feelings of aggression there too it should be possible to find the Discover new channel. One could argue that for instance all types of countries. Name calling contest shame inducing cursing contest anything that could be a mad aggressive public dancing with the dancers wearing a ferocious mask to frighten each other. Such things could be done on an
international scale. The numerous techniques of this type can be found and took the logical literature is absolutely full of clues for substitutes for aggression. Why would it be true that primitive man. Is ok you know capable of the same bloodthirsty units and ferocity as any so-called civilized white man. The Comanche Indians for example. Nevertheless many primitive men also possess a special kind of humane with them from which we can learn about other aggressive outlets without excessive bloodshed. Anthropological writings contain many examples of war without violence which is to say merely symbolic killing. I have numerous examples which I needn't go into. Examples from anthropological literature were tried. The groups would
meet each other in math and her tears at the other without trying to help each other and then yell and scream at each other and at the end they sit down have a common thief and dance and love each other. Examples of this type should stimulate our own imaginations and then generally to discover and establish moral equivalence in modern society including great urban centers. It just certainly be possible to provide special outlets for those who are particularly bellicose and full of otherwise unresolved hostility. Community in this country and abroad could set up a special arena where the where publicity and with public applause those with a craving for aggression could discharge their animosity to the limits of their imaginations. Short of killing they could for instance be encouraged to be labor each other with umbrellas with boxing gloves and other non
lethal the vices honorific titles and models could be awarded to those who have shown the most imaginative and strenuous Malakoff that their children could be talked to respect non-lethal and nondestructive heroes of this type. Numerous examples you can give or there are sports to the advantages of competitive sports have long been recognized participants in such sports learn hardihood develop staying power and acquire respect for the skill with which their play. We don't play enough. We have spectators all the fire the fire because sports are also of course a healthy outlet for our surplus energy that might otherwise be dangerously use. But there's one sport quote unquote which requires special discussion. I'm referring to hunting hunters in the audience here we can shoot at me.
It is estimated that there are some 100 million privately owned guns in the United States. A percentage of them obviously in the hands of criminals but crime. The special problems which I'm not discussing here the majority of the weapons are in the hands of law abiding citizens who cherish them for a variety of reasons perhaps as a relative. But above all for hunting. It is said there are about 18 million hunters in this country every year. But 18 million hunting licenses issue. There is the killing of animals for pleasure and not for food. It is considered a manly forage with a high powered rifle to shoot down a beautiful bird or an innocent animal that is full of great and fearful light. This raises some very interesting problems
moral as well as psychological. It is my opinion that hunting for sport is hardly a war and then it just sends the other the contest and are not evenly matched. If the hunted the hunted were equipped with the same powerful and expensive weapons that the two legged Hunter and if the hunted were talking to you with it then hunting might be more sportsmanlike. But the animals are not likely to be consulted in the matter or given such a break. Those who hunt for fun and I repeat tens of millions defend their sport in a number of grounds and one of them being that killing animals is an outlet for a deeply suppressed aggression. The argument here that it is preferable to use the gun against an animal than against a human. This is naturally an anthropomorphic view of cars and that is
reflected by reflection on the present state of human development. At best that is a dubious proposition. One may agree with Montane who wrote I quote those natures that are bloody minded toward beasts discover a natural propensity to crude. It is perhaps possible the fate of a man who finds pleasure in killing an animal that has done him no harm. And which he doesn't intend to leave may be given the property transfer his aggression from his own species. If he's properly formulated. However I would say future researchers into this pursuit of blood might come up with proper solutions and the whole problem should be really investigated. I have stated it here simply as an observation without offering any particular solution. At this time I believe it is legitimate to assume that man has not yet fully
evolved in his perception sensitivity and ethics. Man if so I think in the process of evolution there are something higher one hopes. In the words of Conrad Lorenz the long sought missing link between animals and the reality of humane being is ourselves today. We're not there yet. I would like to. I would like to be understood of what I have said so far in regard to moral equivalence for war should be considered as general suggestions rather than a concrete program. My aim is to help stimulate the opening up of fresh channels of inquiry and new approaches to an ancient story. It is my conviction that in this marvelous age of science and venture it should not be too much for human ingenuity to develop effective techniques for the creation of
non murdering civilizations on the earth. We should begin organizing a technology of peace to reprice ultimately the fantastic technology of war that now threatens the annihilation of humanity. Let me know if I'm up my main point and conclude. Right violence have been practiced by men for thousands of years in virtually every part of the globe. Secondly it has been organized and institutionalized an action known as the war. Third Way. It has had the support of society including churches and hence have become deeply embedded in the practices and patterns of behavior. Foreplay men may have no instinct in the sense of a genetic
inheritance but we have a strong levity a strong predisposition to violence. There are patterns of violence have been learned and learned by man through inherited cultural institutions. Therefore they can be an learned by changing the culture of institutions. Patterns and stimuli have formed by man's social environment can be minimized or suppressed in the same way. Already directing find a way even before man to radically change then his habits of violence which will thank him. It is possible and they entered to find substitute moral equivalence that would relieve the situation and gradually lead toward for the bell a plan of truly humane beings
on this earth. I am aware that this is not a program that has prospects for immediate achievement. The change man's deeply rooted practices and habits takes generations perhaps a century. But modern science has performed miracles in other areas and can perhaps do so in the field of human behavior. This may be a longer process than we realize and it may be a process of painful slowness. But go every direct thing and plug nothing into desirable channels. It's so important that obstacle should not hinder or undermine our hopefulness. In conclusion I want to quote a Chinese proverb which was a favorite of the late John F. Kennedy.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with but one step. I think you think to. You have heard some pad over chairman of the Department of Political and social science at the New School for Social Research. As he spoke on the topic the causes of war. This was another program in a series. Peace love and creativity the hope of mankind. On our next program Carey McWilliams editor of the nation will speak on the subject. What price civilization these programs originate at the Cooper Union in New York City and are recorded by station WNYC. The programs are made available to this station by the national educational radio network.
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Peace, love, creativity: Hope of mankind
The causes of war, part two
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 features the second part of a lecture by Saul K. Padover, New School for Social Research.
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
War and Conflict
Media type
Producing Organization: WNYC (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
Producing Organization: Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
Speaker: Padover, Saul Kussiel, 1905-1981
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-10-5 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:24:53
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Chicago: “Peace, love, creativity: Hope of mankind; The causes of war, part two,” 1968-01-02, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 13, 2024,
MLA: “Peace, love, creativity: Hope of mankind; The causes of war, part two.” 1968-01-02. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. July 13, 2024. <>.
APA: Peace, love, creativity: Hope of mankind; The causes of war, 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