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National Educational radio in cooperation with the Institute on man and science presents a series of talks drawn from the institute's annual conference held recently in Rensselaer Ville New York the Institute on man and Sciences a nonprofit educational institution chartered by the New York State Board of Regions the annual assembly of the institute is designed to focus attention on 20th century technology and the human relationships resulting from its application. The speaker for this program is W. Warren wagered professor of history at the University of New Mexico. Professor wages topic is the city of man in historical perspective. Here now is Professor wager. I think my situation is a little like that of the conductor of the Albuquerque Symphony Orchestra. And don't be embarrassed if you never heard the Albuquerque Symphony Orchestra. It's not a touring orchestra. In fact we haven't even managed to tour Santa Fe yet which is about 60
miles away. But at any rate we were all pleasantly surprised in our local paper that the symphony had appointed new permanent conductors starting next year and then later on we found out that he is also the permanent conductor of the Bridgeport Symphony Orchestra and in Connecticut and the Calgary Symphony Orchestra in Alberta and. He makes his home in Los Angeles. I'm not going to split myself that many ways this summer but this is a beautiful illustration of the theme of my lectures here this week. The city of Matt here is working and residing in four different urban centers and perhaps spending an equal amount of time in each next year. And we are conditioned by our
18th century faith in human progress to extrapolate from the case of Sinjar Torpey and others like him. A future world city a universal human community in which people will come and go as they please. Live and work all over the planet. To say nothing of outer space and enjoy all the blessings of a rational and scientific world order in peace and brotherhood. What does today you might say we shall all do tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. And the divisions of race class nationality culture will one day be surmounted if not eliminated so that at last we can constitute a single family of man. Or so we might think. So we might be led almost unawares by this 18th century faith in human progress that I just
spoke of. And I suppose I could continue in this optimistic vein all the rest of the week. Another standard argument has to do with world trade one can bring out the impressive statistics. Or there's the old routine about the breakfast table which is loaded down with good things you know from all over the world with the Florida orange juice and Brazilian coffee and Danish bacon and Cuban sugar. Well cross out to. Cross out Cuban sugar and then we could have an enjoyable half hour at least listing all the many busy international organizations with very long names both inside and outside the United Nations which are hard at work of promoting health and fighting crime sponsoring research financing industrial development and sometimes even supervising truces. And then we have satellites and radio transmitters and cables and jet aircraft ships railways connecting every point in the world with every other point quickly
and safely. I think we even have fathered as fear the envelope of thought as he describes it that surrounds our globe as it is also surrounded by envelopes of air and water and earth. We no longer need to wonder what people are thinking in other parts of the world and how they are thinking whether it's Paris or Moscow or Cape Town or our Sydney York or Hong Kong. Or Rio de Janeiro. We know pretty much what's going on around the world. Our universities are crowded with students from all countries. The airwaves are full of radio transmissions from all countries. The libraries and book stalls are overflowing with books and newspapers and magazines from all countries and we have academic specialists with a detailed knowledge of the cultures and institutions of all countries so that we already could say that we live in a world community.
Or so we might think. But we can also accumulate evidence evidence that would lead us along very different pathways of speculation. It would take the value of everything we export to the rest of the world put together to pay our bills in Vietnam alone each year to pay the cost of an operation designed to save one half of a relatively small country from what is known as communism. An objective we inadvertently achieve of course by destroying the small country we live in a century that has killed 75 million people give or take 10 or 20 million it really doesn't matter. For the sake of preserving so-called vital national interests. And after all this slaughter we are still treated to the spectacle of France mania Nasser's Egypt Dianne's Israel
Russia China Chong's China and the United States of Johnson Reagan and Watts where the highest tribute that can be paid to a politician is to call him a great American. The power of national states over their citizens has never been greater. The growth of international institutions has been dwarfed by the far greater growth of national institutions. As just one small example the total annual operating budget for the United Nations comes to considerably less than the net annual profits of Procter and Gamble or Union Oil of California or the Caterpillar tractor company. Look it up and as I did in your in your world almanac since World War Two political crises have erupted that might have led to a third world war.
In the following areas Berlin Hungary and Korea the Straits of Taiwan Cuba and Vietnam. Have permanent settlements been arranged in any of these areas. Have any countries disarmed. Has the gap between the developed and the underdeveloped countries narrowed by even a fraction of one percentage point. Do we have fewer nuclear powers. Of course you know answer is always no. And although there are a number of hosts a tour a base here and there around the world the vast preponderance of the world's people do not belong to the jet set. Less than 3 percent of the population of the world's richest country the United States hold valid passports. Less than 1 percent leave the continent annually. Most of these for two or three week tours of the airports and hotels of Western Europe.
With maybe a little urban sightseeing thrown in for good measure. Almost all the world's peoples are hopelessly provincial narrow minded bigoted conventional self-centered ignorant and poor. Scarcely one in a million would be prepared to put the interests of humanity above the interests of his family his community his nation and within 30 years when you're speaker that this morning will be no older than Cary Grant is today. There will be at least six billion of these delightful organisms on the face of our planet of whom at least three billion will be starving or on the brink of starvation. So who ever said anything about the the city of man. If we were only spectators in a sort of cosmic Coliseum and we had a chance to gamble on the outcome of the game of life on the planet Earth we would
certainly put our money on the city of ants or fishes or flies before we risk a penny on such an improbable contestant as homo sapien. What I've come to talk about then is not something that exists save in the very fuzziest outlines. It's not even something that exists in men's minds with the exception of a few prophets and a few scholars and public men and those interested in their work widely scattered around the world. I'm talking not about something that exists concretely but about a vision. The city of man as a unified world civilization with one or with several harmonious world cultural super systems with an authentic world economy and a world government ruling under a world code of law. I'm not simple enough to believe
that we have a very good chance of translating this vision into reality in time to avert Armageddon. But I very much doubt that Armageddon can be averted in any other way. Quite clearly the the towering problems challenging mankind today are mankind probably beyond the power of any single nation or culture to solve. And just as clearly we have not yet screwed ourselves up to the point of resolving to meet these problems. From the vantage of a paramount commitment to mankind. Well for the book that I wrote the city of men I read all the material I could find by thinkers of this century which contained in some form or other the overarching vision of a coming unified world civilization and the prophetic books that you will encounter in that book
include such British writers as Arnold Toynbee Julian Huxley Lancelot law white and Continental scholars such as Karl Jaspers Erik Kahler payout the shopmen and gunner and the Indian philosophers. The Pali about a question on entry are all Bindo and among the Americans. Lewis Mumford. F. S. S. Northrup Peter I'm sorry William Ernest Hawking and Frederick Schuman in all a group of perhaps fifty people. Now they're not conscious. Of themselves as being a group of course and each of them is well-known for other reasons than the one which brought them together in my book. But I think I was right to see them from the perspective of their common attachment to the idea of a world civilization. And it goes without saying that many other thinkers around the world share and some of them
have articulated this same vision of the city of man each in his own way. Nor should we overlook the programs for world conversion and world unification in the process of those who represent in the world today such international movements as Marxism and Roman Catholicism. So I can't pretend for a moment to be some sort of prophet crying in the wilderness. When I was writing the city of man I felt really much more like a kind of secretary compiling the minutes of a very extraordinary meeting of the board. Still it would be equally fatuous to imagine that anything like a majority of the world's best minds subscribe to this vision of a city of man and when I say subscribe I mean more than a passive endorsement or a casual affirmation. I'm thinking once again of the phrase I just used Paramount commitment. This is rare but there are some believers in the city of man. Their belief has made at least a desirable ripple on the surface of contemporary thought and they do not
stand alone in the history of ideas. I think we can find consolation and also inspiration in recalling that the city of man is not a new idea not a new vision. On the contrary it can be traced back to at least the first millennium B.C. And in various parts of the world in a limited and temporary way the idea of a city of man has even found historical objectification. So that if we someday do succeed in establishing a unified world civilization against all the odds out of our contemporary chaos we shall only be building on a planetary scale. What has already been built on a continental scale many times in the long history of civilized life on Earth. Now I don't doubt that in many ways the planetary civilization will differ and should differ from any previous
civilization known to historians but in its general outlines and framework it will probably resemble them significantly and it will be meeting the same basic challenge the challenge that confronts a cluster of rival communities and cultures in the same ecumenical or known world when they have interpenetrated one another at so many points that they can no longer live together in any kind of tolerable harmony without To some degree dissolving the boundaries that separate them. Now what are these ecumenical civilizations these cities of Man Of The Past the most successful and long lived I suppose was the Chinese. And you're going to be studying that in the next two weeks. The cultural unification of the Chinese city of man was achieved during the second half of the first millennium B.C. by Confucianism. Politically it was unified under the
chin and Han Dynasty's from 21 B.C. to 220 A.D. and then periodically unified under the sweet and Tang dynasties of the Mongols and finally under the Manchus other examples of a city of man in the past would include the Arab Empire Of The had an abcess it lefse of the 7th to 11th centuries in the Near East and North Africa India in the days at least of the book the dynasty which ran from the fourth to the sixth centuries A.D. And then of course the Greco Roman world unified culturally by ATHENIAN And by Alexandrian Greek civilization and unified politically by the Consul's and the Caesars of Rome. In the second and first centuries B.C. and then also this is perhaps a doubtful case one could point to the Western Christendom of the 9th to the 15th centuries
unified culturally by Roman Christianity and politically in a very partial way by such experiments as the Carolingian and the Holy Roman Empire's. But whatever its claims to inclusion on our list one thing is quite clear it fell victim this western Christendom to cism civil war. The rise of unbelief the rise of the nation state in what we call the early modern period of European history from fifteen hundred to 1815 each of these cities of man that one can trace in the past and there are others that I haven't mentioned was literally all things to all men. Each was a world order with a world government law and economy and an integrated world. Religious philosophical scientific literary and artistic culture. Each had knitted some diversity into its life in varying degrees but each provided a fully formed
way of life thought and belief of a very high order in which all its people shared at least to some extent of course but a full range of life could be enjoyed only by the privileged classes. Primarily because of the economic level at which pretty modern civilization was forced to subsist given the limitations of its technology. Each of these cities of man also in shrines in it's thought in its world outlook of vision of itself and of the world derives in most instances from teachers and prophets whose doctrines were enunciated a few centuries before the political unification of the peoples in question. In the case of the Chinese the great formative ideas were supplied between the sixth and the third centuries B.C. chiefly by Confucius MOTU and and make mention of course
it was a relatively easy task for Scholars trained in the Confucian classics to see in the middle Flowery Kingdom of the great dynasties the han the Dong and so forth. A universal earthly order of reason peace and harmony governing mankind wisely according to the dictates of heaven. Neither ruler nor subjects always conform to the spirit or to the letter of Confucian tradition but this tradition served as the moral and spiritual Pollstar of Chinese civilization for more than 2000 years and in much the same way the Greco-Roman ecumenical civilization was nourished by the teachings of Socrates Plato Aristotle in the early Stoics and of course they date from the fifth to the third centuries B.C. exactly contemporary with the teachers of China Western Christendom in its turn assimilated the thought of
Greco-Roman antiquity and added to it the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles and the fathers of the early church. And if the West is destined as Arnold Toynbee feels for example to lead the whole of humanity to a new city of man a world civilization in the next century or two we should have already experienced in our own history in the West an age of great spiritual or philosophical minds and this should be within recent centuries. If the pattern of the past obtains to provide for us the moral and metaphysical foundations of our own forward thrust to universality and I think that perhaps we have. And if we did have such an age in our own modern Western experience I think it it began in the 17th century in what Alfred North Whitehead called the century of genius in the scientific revolution of Kepler Galileo Newton and so
forth. And in the philosophical revolution mounted by Bacon Descartes Locke and lipids the seminal ideas on reason experience cosmic order and human nature were advanced in the 17th century and then applied to the social and political issues to the study of history and to the formulation of a new vision of the city of men by the thinkers of the 18th century Enlightenment by men like Voltaire Rousseau To ago say Lessing and conned all of them true citizens of the world and then still further applications of their thought were made in the first half of the nineteenth century. But people like the common descent and of course Karl Marx and other names could be mentioned as well. And then we get to this twentieth century generation of prophets that I've already referred to who I think might best be
understood as yet another wave of Cosmopolitan prophecy originating in the tradition of the Unlike. And it's hard sometimes to think of these people as belonging spiritually to the enlightenment because they do differ in various strategic points with some of the emphases of Enlightenment thought. But I think from our perspective this may be the best way to see them as inheritors of the Enlightenment tradition the Enlightenment vision of the city of Man of the universality of ecumenist city of man and his culture and his civilization. And I think of this the 20th century prophets have added several important ideas of which I think the most significant for us are these. First that although it is probably up to the Western world to lead the way to the new synthesis the new world civilization this
coming world order will be literally Planetary in its dimensions. It will feel an obligation to draw on the cultures and the institutions of all civilizations past and present. East and West for inspiration and fulfillment. And second the last of those great enlightenment prophets that I referred to Emmanuel cond was among the first of modern thinkers to realize that liberating itself from superstition and dogma the Enlightenment had also liberated itself from servitude to any dog with TISM even the dog which is a pure reason. And Khan I think demonstrated with immense conviction two things. First the logical impossibility of man's ever knowing the world as it really is in itself which scuttles once and for all the claims of philosophers and prophets alike to absolute or final truth.
And second can't demonstrated the impassable gulf that yawns between facts and values. No amount of knowledge of the appearance of reality such as science such as pure reason supply can never tell us what we should do how we should treat ourselves and our fellow man what is good and what is evil. The discovery and I think it's a permanent discovery. I doubt that it will be overturned in the further evolution of thought. The discovery that Khan made about the separation between fact and value is yet another reason why we cannot afford to be dogmatists. And it also presents us with a perpetual challenge to define and to redefine and to
redefine again perpetually our goals in life as individuals and as a civilization. So to our 20th century prophets has fallen the task of elucidating these crucial implications of constant coverage. Well in the final analysis then the city of man if we follow this line of thinking that I think is sound. The city of man is not imposed upon us by external necessity. It's a goal that we can freely choose to pursue one of several alternative ideas of the Good Society available to us. I can't consistently argue that the city of man is the will of history or the God given destiny of man. It is an option an option I think with an exceptional heritage but an option nonetheless. And even if it should prove unattainable it
can be our Pollstar if we choose to make it so. But I don't think we have even a small chance of building a unified world civilization unless a very considerable portion of humanity does freely choose in the next few decades to commit itself to this ultimate allegiance as an act of paramount. Loyalty You cannot serve two masters. And I see no way of reconciling our current legally defined Paramount allegiance to the nation state with this higher commandment to love mankind and establish the city of man. You must as individuals make your choice. Do you pledge allegiance to Judaism or to your corporation or to your family or to the United States or to the white race or to Rome or to the city of Matt. And in my next lecture I want to begin at this point at the conception of the city of man as a fundamentally moral idea and the problem of our time as a fundamentally moral
problem. You heard W. Warren wager professor of history at the University of New Mexico as he spoke on the topic. The city of man in historical perspective Professor wagers spoke at the annual conference of the Institute on man and science held in Rensselaer bill New York on our next program Professor wager will return to discuss the subject. The concert of cultures these lectures are recorded by the Institute on man and science. The programs are prepared for broadcast and distributed by the national educational radio network.
Latin American perspectives
The Hummingbird and the Hawks
Producing Organization
WSIU 8 (Television station : Carbondale, Ill.)
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program focuses on "The Hummingbird and the Hawks" by R.C. Patton.
Series Description
A series of comment and analysis about current affairs in Latin American countries.
Global Affairs
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Producing Organization: WSIU 8 (Television station : Carbondale, Ill.)
Producing Organization: Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-3-37 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:13:33
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Chicago: “Latin American perspectives; The Hummingbird and the Hawks,” 1968-08-19, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 29, 2024,
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