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Man and the multitude. This University of Illinois Centennial symposium presented by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences studies contemporary man poised between past and future and between isolation and community of the world. Guest speakers and panel members comment on the conflicting forces which push man apart from others. And into communion with others. Lectures in this series will be followed by discussions involving speakers visiting professors and University of Illinois faculty members as well as interested students. Our first speaker today is Norton long professor of politics and chairman of the department at Brandeis University. He served as a former staff consultant to Illinois governor Otto Kerner and is presently involved in a comparative study of federally supported anti juvenile delinquency programs in nine cities. His book The Polity was published in 1961. It will now speak on
political reality and individual responsibility. I want to talk about the problem of facing political reality. As some quietens. Deal. In developing individual responsibility. Now that would be unable to live with yourself and feel that somehow you amount to a dart. And I thought perhaps one of the best ways of storing this. Is to deal with two of the most sensitive areas in the country that seem to me in some ways extraordinarily alike. I would probably say you know the people of the vastly different university in the ghetto. You know you might ask what common. Those encampments have when they get up. Now you're putting it down powerlessness alienation meaninglessness protests riots and dope. Was. A pretty good string you know. When Walter Winchell was trying to catch commies in the good days of coming catching He says if they were like that
and quack like a duck they aren't ducks. Now look at the deadly peril. It's kind of interesting because maybe some of the same causes are operative. Certainly. And alienation. Is one of the most talked of things on the American campus. And I regard it as a play for copping out on the part of people who are sufficiently lacking in intestinal fortitude to try to do something about facing up to the administrative mess that most universities are. I don't care particularly for either the Freud even cop out of the alienation of the latest left wing or what they call repressive toleration which means the system pushes enough letters in your mouth so you start to choke with a gun but you choke. And you choke very comfortably too. So that's one of the major jobs of most universities is to make it comfortable for upward
mobility people to be upward mobile in the system they affect to despise and do nothing about changing. But that is the difference between the ghetto and the university because the people in the ghetto are characterized by a lack of upward mobility characterized also by an killed sense of powerlessness. And this is certainly one of the major and difficult characteristics of the campus. Because people on the campus by and large have a sense of being manipulated by the kind of the last impersonal bureaucratic machine the professor says as more and more characteristic of the society. Machine which is not a single machine but really a set of extraordinarily sophisticated highly developed corporate bureaucracies. And once you have man very sophisticated decisions made about matters of technique with almost nothing done in the way of overall responsible concerns what
purpose or direction in terms of the total enterprise and I would say that's a pretty good description of a university. Almost no really effective sense. Along the purpose of what the enterprise about. And I think in general one of the major problems of the undergraduates. Is a sense of meaninglessness a sense that somehow or other while you can make it your fault that you get a lot a lot of money if you get a college degree and you've been started to run right from the first grade maybe you were running to get in the first grade. You have much idea what you're writing for. Away you go in. And this produces the problem the underachiever person who feels he's got no particular place by the way I have news for you and I have news for the local business school if they haven't heard it. Top management is now upset because they have a new phenomena called the corporate underachiever who is the middle management type who cops out at 15 grand a year and decides rather than get a heart
attack he's going to enjoy his local barbecue pit and stop running. They had to hire a character by name MCLEOD And so I have a who has some kind of medicine the battery's jazz him up a bit and get him on the track again. And they get a and as classes they get an ulcer and they get going on your second breath. Second when the corporation heaved a sigh of relief when it moves on but you'll know that underachievement is beginning to be a problem in the general society. That's kind of curious thing because once and should think these underachievers were really smart people. Because they saw to as you know one of my run for worm I run into. Why am I running. And that's of course one of the unthinkable questions one that you mustn't raise if you raise the answers and so easy to come by. Now if you look at the undergraduates. And again. You see that this combination of powerlessness and
alienation and meaninglessness. Has given way to two kinds of solutions. Or perhaps I should say three. The problem. Cultist riots. Is probably one of the most disastrous ways out of people who say the meanings in this thing for me. It isn't gone anywhere and I bet I just to make it as painless as possible. So to drift through on dreams. You know in a way you can understand how people get this way. If you can't understand it without feeling that it's. Horrible and tragic. And certainly horrible and tragic enough when it happens in the ghetto but it would seem in some sense. An absolute disaster when it happens. In colleges and high schools and it would seem not just the fault of the kids. But it would seem to put a great big finger up against the system and say how come the system is operated in
such a fashion that even a sizable quantity of people. Have to take this kind of joy juice is a way of getting some significance into their lives. I would suggest. That the efforts. To change the ghetto have some relevance to the university and vice versa. Does he get out. It's not just a place says a go Missouri. It's a place without a normative structure. It's a place without hope. Wasted has been since the old days of the immigrant when we had the slum of hope as opposed to the present slum of this panic. Because the immigrant was like the old college student you know it was a poverty stricken character it was only a boy years sentence whereas in the ghetto of the slum it's a life sentence for a mouse. That's a big difference you can take a four year sentence with a life sentence is different. And so especially different when you're young you've got a lot going for you. As opposed to when
your own or when you're young you don't think you go you know. Now if you look at these two kinds of human conditions. When you look at this phenomenon of power since you can see the one point. Where we're seriously thinking. The basic way to change the ghetto is to change people. This isn't just a matter of like the brick and mortar boys of urban renewal of putting up the brick and mortar. It's a problem how do you change the spiritual environment of people in such a fashion that they have some sense of confidence and some sense of self respect. There are people who are merely the subject of manipulation. Not in any significant sense self-directing. Power. And they are lacking in any basis of feeling that they count or have any worth. And this is the principal problem of the slum. Is the acceptance of your own worthlessness and the adjusting to.
The systematic degradation occurs. With respect to people who say depends uniquely. Others who are dependent on handouts are they given a. Gratuitous way. Without any sense of it being a matter of right and who have in the society no meaningful occupation that produces respect from others produces respect for themselves by themselves. Or rather is even more tragic any respect by their offspring for their parents or the condition in which they live or the future to which they can hope. Surely the university. Is not all that bad. When in a way it's not all that different. Because the kids you know and I supposed to be old enough to discuss communism or have anybody from the outside discuss communism because this. Numbskulls weaklings incompetence that they are not
in a position to disguise what their country stands for or what have a political philosophy or have any ideas. And the university of course is too weak to stand up to expedient politics and say business is the business of readying people for self direction. Self decision self-determination. We're in the business of trying to turn out adults and not running a swaddling nursery in local coroners for parents who never do the job anyhow. University ought to be a place where people grow up and they only grow up if they're given a chance. To deal with dangerous things. They run their own lives. They have a capacity to managing their own private life. There's all up and become adults. The American university is unfortunate in the fact. That it comes from a totalitarian monastic tradition. And it might be
fine to run a monkery on a totalitarian basis. This is scarcely a model for a free society. So that in a sense the ghetto in the university. Just because you have power is people who don't govern themselves and are managed by others. And they're not even in a sense really managed by others. Because the others don't really have a well-thought out program of action which they can intellectually defend is the rationale of the university what you have is an expedient system of pressures. Where this bureaucracy and that bureaucracy and this concern about the press and the media and the legislature and the governor and what will the neighbors think and what will the parents think and what will the alumni think in the whole ring around the rosy until the kids have no sense than anybody in the place has any guts. And the biggest thing you need in life is some kind of a role model. That's the problem in the ghetto and it's a problem all over this in many ways it's a
problem of society the credibility gap. Or lack in a sense that anybody has any ideals that they really stand for. That they talk out of every side of their mouth and believe in nothing. This is what they mean by meaninglessness. This is what they mean by the betrayal. Now it seems to me. That one of the sorry as things of our society is a confusion of protest with politics. And the copping out of the rationality of reason and of thinking. I have no particular use for the bubbleheads who say God is dead. All ideologies are wrong. Our brains have betrayed it so let's just turn on the glands and let it go where it will. I. With respect to the people who have done a great job because their feelings and emotions have been terribly important in the civil rights movement.
With all due respect to the SD It's about time we faced up to the fact that the power of knowledge is about the only power we have. And if you don't have a theory about where you're going and how you expect to get there you'll just be leading people down the garden path and no way. Same's to me that it's terribly important. The universities of this country showed some deep concern. With producing adults. With producing cells directing individuals who have reached the stage hopefully of intellectual takeoff and self sustained intellectual growth model. And you will never get it as long as we play Mickey Mouse games with the students. They have got to be treated as adults come what may. We have to persuade lords and masters in the legislature and everywhere else that we're going to have free citizens in the United States. We've got to free up students and begin making them.
Fiber is a mental actual courage and capacity to have you exercise some discretion. One of the worst things that can happen to us. Is if we fail. The desire of the nice students the discriminating capacity to run their own lives. This is what it takes to have a free society that is free. As opposed to a public relation image ridden manipulated Madison Avenue substitute. And it seems to me it's high time that we in the universities had the courage. To practice what we preach and to stand up and be counted. For. Now I'm not in the position of buying the notion that a university is a town meeting or can be run as a town meeting or that one should negotiate with students as if they were a labor union. But we certainly ought to be in the position of thinking about what do the students have. That is. Their right.
As then me in growing up and being an adult and playing adult roles in an institution that they have a very great concern with. And for our students to be passive manipulated objects. And their four best years we have no one to blame but ourselves. If then they get out of here they do nothing but sit on the sidelines and bits. And not get in and help the tried and learn the Civic. If they can feel this is following a protest with politics and words by getting up and affirming mind the world is evil it's much worse than I thought my father has feet of clay I've been Rob and then saying. J. It has no right to be that way it's awful I protest. Was no more idea about responsible democratic action than some of the cokes have. Protest about Vietnam but do nothing about changing the administration. Now as far as I'm concerned it is absolutely absurd in a
constitutional democracy to protest. And not to affect the political action. And if people don't want or don't want anything more than protest. About all a win is a form of science righteous exhibitionism which doesn't move the Democratic Society one inch towards an effective goal but is a very effective means to the people who want a copout to feel that they have been noble but don't really want to accept the job or run on their own. Knowing it citizens who buy junk running their roads and we need them. Desperately. We need to make all of our people citizens and that's why. The ghetto and it's empowering and the empowering of the poor. Is absolutely essential for a society you want that wants to be free. No one. In either society can be defined as a non-person. Without it costing all the rest of us and
costing as heavily in the. We are not islands and tie it to ourselves. The university. Unfortunately has multiple relies. On the one hand it has relations with the Department of Defense. Nancy and the CIA. And on the other it has relations with the Peace Corps. And the better one hopes of the Office of Economic Opportunity is that thing still survives and amounts to nothing. I want the relation of the ghetto in the universe and the relationship was some sense of purpose and meaning. The one thing that we can hold to most of us as likely. Is that decent people concerned with room moving avoidable human misery. When we have knowledge. It is a common denominator of agreement. Among decent
mankind that this is the job that we all know needs to be done. And this is a job which if you get that. Gives you some sense of purpose and you don't have to go to GONNA WORK AT IT. And if you don't work at it in your own backyard you pretty soon discover that your backyard extends to the rest of the world. And that in attempting the Romano the avoidable human misery in society you have some sense of mission. You have some sense of involvement and you have an opportunity to use. Every bit of ability we have in the way of knowledge and the imagination. And if we can begin as we must. The liquidation of the Cold War. We have a ghastly and serious rage. Against an exploding situation of world poverty that has almost passed us by. Thank you.
That was Norton long professor of politics and chairman of the department of Brandeis University speaking on political reality and individual responsibility. Selected questions from the audience were posed after Norton Long's lecture at the University of Illinois Centennial symposium. What is the practical way to make a beginning effort towards change. Do we tackle it in the elementary school or through adult education or by subverting the media or what. Well I think the practical way. To get at where we're. Going to add school. You'll have to make the best of it. Take the Mickey Mouse courses and get your license. You won't be able to practice. If you get in it was school. They usually don't know patching you can teach in your class. Try to do so.
Try to persuade other people. That was them. Educational period in a child's life. Preschool kindergarten the first two grades. We do a half way decent job then. The very good cook nice to cation the kids of America. We. Are sure to have a salvage and pair job at best. Probably a drop out. So more power to anybody who goes in elementary education. One of the sad things about. A mixed up hierarchy the people who teach kids at the most important stages in their lives at the lowest reward the least prestige and the least training in the least recognition. And the work on something to try and change. Certainly we want to try to do something about the media. Maybe you do a gross misinformation in this program the public. Failure of people
any kind of affective framework with which to deal with issues. The media in the United States an awful lot better than any of the rest of the global have to face that work with. You know only say on such a large question and that is if anybody really know. How to start doing something the job to do is to get with it. Whether you're trying to organize a campus and develop an effective relationship or you want to get some free speech or anything else the thing is to stop yelping you get to work. Can or should religious and hence moral institutions guide political and suspiciously immoral institutions. Do we as citizens have a right to expect our legislators to be honest. Well I don't know. Seems to me that. You know it's a mixed verdict on religion.
And. Most of what's good in the world we go to religion most of what's bad. I mean. The Cross and the state are both symbols of religion. Just does not. And foreign aid. And symbols to. The Janus kind of thing it goes either way to go together. There is an air allegiance back terrible burning a lot of. People so much that if they don't agree with us and their point of view they're perfectly willing to destroy him. To make them shape up. You know. Toleration. Is a rather right flower and I happen to agree with David whom we had over the wars of religion actually is a result of boredom as a result of people learning any fruits of religion ration
from the theologians. As far as the honesty of the registration is concerned. That is your right. To keep informed. And if you elect Croxton keep electing crux. Perry stumbled bombs. It is your fault. Most of you are very smartly going to be able of grog. If you don't like what's going on. Do something about it. The second speaker in this session of the University of Illinois Centennial symposium entitled Man and the multitude. Is the Reverend James M. Gustavsson professor of Christian ethics and chairman of the Department of Religious Studies at Yale University. In 1054 55 he was assistant director of a study sponsored by the American Association of theological schools and the Carnegie Corporation dealing with theological education in America. The report was published as a
book in 1057 which he coauthored with the late age Richard neighbor. He is also the author of treasures in earthen vessels the church as a human community published in 1061. In 1962 63. He was a visiting professor at Harvard Divinity School. Mr. Gustafson will now speak on morality and religion sustaining or restraining. I want to declare openly at first what kind of selfhood. In various track terms it seems to me we ought to be achieving. My own vision of a self. Immoral self which would have integrity and power. Is that of a being who has clear intentions. Or. Has a capacity for reflection. Has a sense of purpose and direction. And is an agent.
An actor. An exerciser of influence and will. And initiator in the course of human events. The question then is. Does religion sustain or restrain one from becoming this kind of person. Does morality. Sustain or restrain one from becoming this kind of person. I want to begin with I suppose the most common experience all of us share namely what it means to be a member of a family. And I want to began this question of sustained restraint. By simply asking. Is the family sustaining or restraining with reference to our becoming. Moral actors. How can we interpret the meaning of living together and living together particularly in a family.
When I was a student at Northwestern I was the assistant in a course in the family taught by a sociologist who had a definition of the family which went as follows. The family is a group of people sharing a common household and a common economy. Now that always struck me as having something missing. To it. One reads on and one finds that a family is a group of siblings with parents which is to say. It is a biological unit. Or one can find many an angry young man who can quote the following kind of statement. The family is an oppressive force denying liberty and fostering guilt. Now we may be less than satisfied with any of these in isolation or with all of them put together. But even in the minimal. Kinds of things that are asserted in these presumed definitions of the family. One thing is recognized and that is.
That one lives in the family in relationships. Even though there is more to the family than sharing a common household in economy and a common economy. Nonetheless family life is a life of sharing. And even though there is more to family life than being in a biological relationship to others. Nonetheless relationships are the essence of the biological character of the family. The sexual union of parents and the children born to them. And even though one may not always feel that the family is an oppressive force which was. This kind of assertion recognizes. And asserts for us that the family consists of relationships which very often are highly charged emotional psychological relationships. The least we can say that the family is a unit. In which one has a kind of pattern of relationships within which there is some kind of creative sustaining interaction between a restricted number of people. Now
Man and the multitude
Norton Long and James Gustafson, part one
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Episode Description
This program, the first of two parts, presents lectures by Norton Long of Brandeis University on "Political Reality and Individual Responsibility" and James Gustafson of Yale University on "Morality and Religion: Sustaining or Restraining?"
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A lecture series commemorating the centennial of the University of Illinois.
Politics and Government
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Producing Organization: University of Illinois
Producing Organization: WILL Illinois Public Media
Speaker: Long, Norton E.
Speaker: Gustafson, James M.
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 67-41-6 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
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Duration: 00:29:46
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Chicago: “Man and the multitude; Norton Long and James Gustafson, part one,” 1967-10-10, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed February 3, 2023,
MLA: “Man and the multitude; Norton Long and James Gustafson, part one.” 1967-10-10. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. February 3, 2023. <>.
APA: Man and the multitude; Norton Long and James Gustafson, 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