Escape into reality

ESCAPE from war, save when it really is escape Powers of Evil had much to do with the creation from war, is an indulgence which we of the modern world should never allow ourselves.
Artists and the writers, however, find it more There are many ways of forgetting, at least for the difficult to play the game of abstraction. They are time, the horrors and insanities of battle, and we compelled to isolate the individual human being, are familiar with them all. The most prevalent and time-honored is simply the old "end justifies the background. His feelings, thoughts and tragedies means" faith. Like all blind beliefs, this is a form are center stage; he is a man much like ourselves, of wishful thinking and a proclamation of whether he be at the front in our nation's army irresponsibility. But there are other ingenious while we sit at home, whether he be German, contemplate without discomfort military eventstaking place elsewhere, while we play a round of Our social and political views have become so golf; we may not forget entirely that men are unreal that the poorest the imaginative writer can dying in agony while democracy is being "saved," do is usually "real" in comparison. Thus it is often but we have so conveniently contrived to adopt a the writer of what we call "fiction" who brings us remote perspective that our personal disturbance closest to reality in time of war, or in retrospect is relatively slight. Statisticians, politicians and upon a past war. He speaks a language that is military men are very good at this particular sort actually our own. He writes about as in war, and of abstraction from reality, which is one reason therefore, we think, it is not difficult to justify why we should have a healthy distrust for all recurring discussion of current war novels, even if these include many undeserving of the first rank inliterature.
We may avoid consciousness of the full depth of tragedy in war by quoting statistics to The peoples of the world are being trained for ourselves; after all, the population of the earth is war today on a larger scale than at any other time growing so rapidly that no presently conceivable in the history of mankind. Nearly all the "war" war, A and H-bombs included, can be expected to literature being produced, "first rank" or not, reverse the trend; further, automobile accidents shows an attempt to penetrate some of the daily rival the debit side of the war ledger.
psychological causes and effects of this vast Nemesis. A reading of war novels is especially convenient hypothesis that life without wars timely, too, with the most recent chapter of large- would soon grow effete, and that living in a world scale hostilities not yet even temporarily ended in of threatened death is part of the spice of living— Korea. Many of these stories are by men who therefore, let us eat and drink more frenetically, have had combat experience in World War II, and even, than usual. The personification of entire while the attitudes and conclusions expressed in alien populations as if they make a single entity of respect to the essential ingredients of human the Enemy helps us, too, in all these attempts at nature vary greatly, these men seem less and less mental escape. And small wonder, since the habit of making preposterous fetishes to represent the A recent volume, Attack, now in Bantam Pocket Book circulation, is a terse account of one MANAS Reprint - LEAD ARTICLE
segment of the last war in Germany which could human personality, some attention needs to be well be on the recommended list for prospective paid to what he says. He says this, and he says it conscripts. The author, Perry Wolff, concerns in the language of war, which is that of drama and himself with the ideological issues no more than of tragedy. Mr. Wolff is not a pacifist, but he does fighting itself. The collective enemy and refuses to make front-line action seem any better one's collective allies become impersonal— than it is. His line troops, almost to a man, reach irrelevant to the individual soldier's struggle to a point of desperation from which no ideological keep his sanity. The following passage, it seems propaganda can rescue them, and which may be to us, supplies part of the feeling of war, which expected to mark their personalities to the end of carries through so many moments of relative their days, if they happen to survive. A dialogue between a Staff Sergeant and a new replacementsets the tone: Tonight the enemy was quiet, but on other nights he could be heard shuffling, digging, talking "Well—after a while you do everything you can, his alien words. Daylight dilutes the sounds of war, and when it's like it was at Prummern, a shell on the but in the night the enemy was truculent and lefta you, a shell on the righta you, dead all around jangling. He rattled his mess gear, he fumbled with you, you think you're the luckiest bastard in the world his equipment, his shovel clattered against a rock.
because you're still around. Understand?" Each night someone thought he saw him or wascertain of his position, and a shot would be fired or a grenade would be thrown that harmed nobody. A "I usta think that way, too. But I think right flare would fly up, explode, hang like a tiny sun now that if I could just get a nice clean wound right battling midnight, and reveal nothing, a humanless through here"—he grasped his thigh—"something land. After the explosion of light would come quiet, that'd get you out, I'd settle for it, I sure would." worse than noise had been, because enemy turned allhis thoughts to enemy.
There would be an instant like this, pinched "Whaddya mean?" asked the sergeant.
between bayonets, and three hundred fingers would Stoddard spoke up from the ditch. "He means, steal inside the trigger housing, feel the apostrophic metal, and wait for the next identifiable sound. Hush,expectancy, waiting; the deception of quiet; no one "I ask you, too: what would you settle for?" was able to understand that the enemy was equally A pause. Then: "I'd give a foot." frightened and had turned his finger to the trigger.
Finally, a relaxed word, and the moment would collapse to reasonableness and continuity.
Until the enemy threw back a grenade.
Mr. Wolff was himself attached to a combat The sergeant spoke again. "If I could find a nice unit, and Attack can be assigned to what his shoo mine when nobody was lookin'—especially publisher's agent calls "intense personal experience. Perry Wolff's infantry division fought Willis blew the smoke away. "You're plumb its way through Europe, participating in all crazy. It ain't worth no foot. At least to me it ain't." campaigns from Aachen and the Battle of the Bulge to VE Day. During this explosive period of "I come from Chicago," said the sergeant. "And the war, Mr. Wolff spent nine months in the front there's an old one-legged man in the neighborhood, name of Thomas. Anyhow, he lost his foot last warand they gave him a new one, and nobody can tell the When a man who has passed through Wolff's difference. He's got a store on the corner of Halsted experiences tells us that the prolonged experience and Cornelia. Anyway, he's got a wife, a lot of of battle will produce the partial collapse of every Volume V, No. 11
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dough, and he's got a new car every year. I'd give a The dog-fight had lasted twenty minutes, Andy Kyle later told us. To me it had seemed like a second.
But into this second a lifetime of grievances had been "Jesus Christ," said Willis, "you must be nuts.
crowded. My guns had spoken for the pogroms I had lived through, for the pregnant mothers whose bellies I had seen torn open, for the cellar days of mychildhood, for the yellow Star of David, for the "You're scared," answered Willis. "You musta anguished screams of people, my people, who were at this very moment burning in Hitler's extermination ovens, for Guernica, Coventry and Pearl Harbor. . . .
Willis continued. "Whyncha blow a foot off? Here we had matched guns with professional soldiers. We had adopted their language, theirtactics, their weapons.
Stoddard answered, "Some guys in C Company tried it. It was working all right, too. That's what I In the one act of firing, I felt as if an end had heard, and so the general sent down an order saying come to all the years of temporizing. By pulling two that the next man who tried it would get twenty years triggers, just squeezing them gently, I had felt a "One soldier picked up his MI and blew his big It was amazing, I thought, how again the simple toe off. He had the court-martial the same day. He proved to be the most direct. The most eloquent rebuttal to brutality was brutality in return. Such wasthe logic of our life, of our civilization, and of the Tighe was silent for a moment. Then: "I'm moment. A man could express himself most fully twenty-one. Twenty years makes me forty-one.
compromising. The world was not for passive people.
They perished. Only they who fought back would pondering is Louis Falstein's Face of a Hero. remain alive, even if only in the consciousness ofthose who came after them.
Falstein was an aerial gunner, owns a PurpleHeart, four air medals and nine battle stars. His What of compassion and concern for others' leading character apparently represents himself—a welfare is able to survive in men who consistently face the prospect of searing death? Mr. Wolff tries persecution. His revenge is sweet when the to answer the question in Attack, and his bomber hits German targets and when his own conclusion is that even among the few who keep guns strike, yet even here, in the consummation of any aspiring part of themselves alive, fewer still the sort of righteous hatred all G.I.'s were emerge without moral mutilation. Even friendship supposed to have, there is a touch of the ominous.
quails before war, and the comradeship of two And Falstein's final conclusions are even more so.
men who share battle together in Attack is nearlyruptured. Men can be, in other words, more than the creatures of circumstances, even in front-line to believe that except for that one time of the warfare, yet Wolff finds the odds so heavily defeat of the Nazis, the peaceful way is the right against the full resurrection, after battle, of their way. But it is not always easy, in the terms of the former selves that the psychological casualty list adage, to switch horses in midstream. No special will be always far longer than we might expect: finger of blame, certainly, can attach to Falsteinfor his feelings, and one may even feel able to The tempo of the artillery fire was crisper.
share his temporary exultation, in battle, yet his Danger was coming closer, and fear was caught in histhroat, yet he tried to think to his depth.
final philosophy on war can hardly bedistinguished from Nazi doctrine: He could not. There was a thin film of stupidity between his mind's eye and a solution. He waited fortruth to flash clearly, but it would not. At one Volume V, No. 11
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moment he believed it made no difference—his terms. The terms are set by the nature of man, concern with Stoddard was without conditions, he and the price of warfare is always too high in the helped the man for no recompense, he was doing mentally and emotionally maimed. Can anything something that had to be done and had not to bequestioned. It was for no reason he wanted to release his friend. There was no need to balance the episodes unappetizing alternatives available? Perhaps we and background of their friendship against the shall be able to see alternatives clearly only when emotion he felt when he thought of his friend. It was we have all learned to stop viewing wars in categorical. It did not need understanding. The abstract terms. Until then we can honor and friendship existed, no matter the conditions, and there sympathize with the men who are committed to was no need to think why he troubled himself for hisfriend.
entering this losing psychological struggle—committed, in part, through our own Except that he did think. He had chosen his friend for his own need. This need had beengenerated by the abnormality of Army and war.
There had been a time—only the day before— when he had used Stoddard and called him friendbecause the use fitted his need. The moment in thetruck was no longer unconditional and pure; Harrisrecognized now that he had seized Stoddard only tohelp himself. And there had been another time—when he had lain on the straw and pitied Stoddard,and called his pity friendship. But now he couldconfuse nothing else with his friendship.
Although he could not mark the lines or count the minutes, there were places and times in whicheach man had understood the other and felt as he felt.
They breathed together. It was not that they called toeach other, or that they called on each other for help.
Harris could see Stoddard in himself, and himself inStoddard. This was their friendship. Yet there werelimits to friendship. It could be forgotten in dangerand at distance. The Army could attack it, and thewar could dissolve it. Nevertheless, it was not fragile.
After life itself, it was the next necessity.
Stoddard and Harris made it, saving a spark of that so precious essence which makes manmore than beast, but it was a close call and bothknew it. And they were exceptional men,consciously fighting against the effects of the warupon themselves. What of the others, thethousands of Tighes and Willises, who were lesswell equipped? Here, we think, is the final case against war.
Most men simply cannot win against the forceswhich move to destroy whatever wholeness andbalance they have known. This is not a politicalissue, nor an issue set in conventional pacifist Volume V, No. 11
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policy seem much more apparent than theadvantages. So it is hardly surprising that the man who is told that communism is the big evil stillwonders if its drawbacks are (for him) any worse A COLLEGE TOWN.—Conditions have changed than (or as bad as) "liberation" bombing, or little since my last letter—the French still "look economic and political domination by a non- on" at the international scene, apparently powerless to alter it; the great majority have nointerest in rearmament, or the right in Indochina, or the budding conflict in Tunisia—and see in allthis principally more reason why the problem ofliving in France itself is not going to get bettersoon.
read the newspapers ask what "those Americans"are going to do next and why they can't act in amore mature and understanding manner if they aregoing to take upon themselves the destiny of theworld. The French are often frank, making plainwhat many Europeans think of American policy,which to them seems to be aimed toward warrather than peace. One wishes that moreAmericans could live in Europe, and see life froma slightly different angle. With war memories stillrelatively fresh, preparations for reneweddestruction cannot be engaged in enthusiastically.
Moreover, it is generally felt that rearmament isbeing imposed by the United States, not by thewill of the French people. Maybe someAmericans make a lot of money duringrearmament, but here there are very few whoprofit; most people merely find their already lowbuying power further decreased. Only the wealthyFrench can afford the labor-saving devices whichalmost every American family has. And with thetremendous rise in prices since rearmament began,the average salary hardly buys everyday essentials.
Present French politics seem directed from Washington, not from Paris, and the ordinary manhas a hard time digesting propaganda for"democracy" when the "democracies" now upholdthe feudalistic French empire in Africa andIndochina. There is no reason to limit liberty,equality and fraternity to a chosen few. It isunfortunate but true that the defects of American Volume V, No. 11
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of mystery—sources of regeneration andpsychological inspiration for the Africans. The LOST KEYS
waters of those wells flow from the pulsating "THE people on the streets in New York all heart of the earth, not the "earth" of terra firma, seemed to be wearing a set mask of facial muscles.
but the living earth, conceived as a kind of "All- Only the children had the open faces of natives." Father" of every being and creature. The sense of This was the reflection of Esther Warner, author interdependence with nature is born in the grain of of New Song in a Strange Land (Houghton Liberian life, but it is also taught and imprinted Mifflin, 1948), upon returning to the United upon the consciousness of the people by tribal States after a stay of several months on a custom and tradition. Indeed, it is hard to Firestone rubber plantation in Liberia where the distinguish between the voice of tradition and the work of her husband, a research biologist, had more intuitive wisdom of the heart, so closely taken him. Mrs. Warner candidly reveals her united are the "culture" and the "nature" of these susceptibility to the magic of the Never-Never Lands of far-off and ancient places. Herself an The importance of tribal ceremonies to the artist and craftsman, she sought out the human Liberians is illustrated by what was said to Dr.
beings behind the masks—the overlays of artificial Harley, a medical missionary, by a native boy who "adjustment" to the ways of white civilization— had reached the age of initiation into manhood.
worn by the natives of Liberia, and found, like a According to Liberian belief, "Until a boy goes to few other lovers of the creative, the genuine, and the Poro, he is without a soul, without even the the honest in human relationships, an almost name he will have later." The ordeal is painful, untouched treasury of these qualities, with whose but Fau, the doctor's steward—a "boy" who was keepers she was able to make a fair exchange.
larger than any of the whites present at this scene insisted that he must go back to his people to be frequently—we come across a book which leads its reader through some portal of rare perceptive "Dottar," he repeated, "I am a small boy. I want experience. The reader may forget the genius of to go to the Devil bush to become a man." such books; too often we do forget them; but "But you are a civilized boy, Fau," Doctor said.
there is certainty that their writers can never "We have taken much care to teach you." forget the impact of what they have seen and "Dottar," he said miserably, "look at my foot." understood—no more than the heightenedawareness of what the ancients called "initiation" We all looked at the mound of flesh which can be dulled or lost. Mrs. Warner was able tocross the outer threshold which bars most "All right," Fau went on, "suppose I take a Westerners from the inner life of the Liberian cutlass and cut off the big toe? Can that toe walkalone?" This was a purely rhetorical question and he natives because she spoke to them in the language did not pause for an answer. "I am a person only as I of a fellow craftsman—or perhaps it was really the am a member of my tribe. I can no longer walk alone language of a fellow human being. She never than my toe can walk if I cut him off. If I do not get assumed that being white and "civilized" made her the Devil's toothmarks on my back, I do not belong to a more important person than the blacks of my people. I am as dead to them, less than a deadgoat. For a goat that is dead is a dead goat. I would be dead to them without ever having been anything." Reading this book is likely to make you feel that in places like Liberia, beneath the brush and become a man according to the custom of his wild growth of the jungle, are hidden deep wells Volume V, No. 11
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A beautiful Liberian woman asked Mrs. Warner, relationships of missionaries to the Liberians: Dr. Harley has never committed the crime of which many missionaries are guilty—asking the natives to burn their gods. He is too much of ananthropologist and too much of an artist. His big The beauty of Mrs. Warner's book—beauty collection has come to him voluntarily by people who have no further use for their fetishes. It is not the communicated by the rest of this passage: purpose of this book to comment on mission work butI cannot help postscripting it with the remark that I Sahda felt a cadence of the elements running wish all missionaries were anthropologists and through her being, with tones of depth and height medical doctors. Those who feel that Christianity which were beyond the range of my sensibility. I and Western civilization are synonymous have could not hear all that Sahda heard nor feel all that wreaked unmeasured havoc. When all the old ideas she felt because I had not earned that right by living are destroyed before new ones have had time to grow closely with the weather. Since she was a child tied into a way of living, there is chaos and tragedy.
on her mother's back, the wind had been her song, thenight had been her inner silence and loneliness, the The superficial quality of the quick-change storms wresting the jungle her unleashed strivings.
teachings of some groups was shown by a native boy For this, Sahda, I would gladly barter my radio. You who once came to my house on the plantation. I say I come from a land of "boxes that talk," but I am noticed that his arm had been tattooed with a strange humble before you whose soul is not choked with head, quite unlike any native drawings or the usual "It's Jesus," the boy told me.
We end our report on this book reluctantly.
Some nostalgia of soul holds its pages open, some yearning to understand which is more than "Well, Ma," he said. "I go to one mission curiosity, more than wonderment at the strange school. I sit down there. The missionary tell me I got yet inwardly familiar simplicity of these people.
to get Jesus under my skin. Then I can't do bad thing They seem to have held sacred some of the keys again. So I get photo of Jesus from one English bookand I have him put under my skin." to life that we have lost. We want those keys, yetcannot have them by imitation. A barrier of "And does that stay your bad ways?" I asked.
sophistication and world-weariness stands "No, Ma," he said. "It don't. And it hurt like between us and such islands of natural life. But at least, we can feel a Promethean frustration in the New Song in a Strange Land is really a work constraints of our bifocal vision, through which of psychological sculpturing, in which the dignity we see so much, making us realize, tragically, that of the Africans is gradually revealed by deft strokes of Mrs. Warner's art. First she peels awaythe coarse bark of external subservience to thecoastal whites. She finds that "civilized ways," tothe native, means "stealing." The Africans respectthe whites for their peculiar attainments, but arequick to recognize personal weakness andinadequacy in representatives of the invadingculture. Except for technology, it seems, we areall "natives" of a sort, and the Liberians are inmany ways a better sort of natives than the whites.
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We need to realize that such a demand can THE PERFECT GOVERNMENT
never be satisfied by a new design for government.
This realization was surely an essential part of the IT seems likely that the quest for the best possible genius of the Founding Fathers of the United system of government has at least one thing in States, who knew that governments never create common with the search for happiness—neither freedom: men create freedom, and protect their goal can be reached without abandoning all freedom by limiting the power of government.
familiar modes of approach. The men who are The political dilemma of the present lies in the fact complete, in other words, are never the men who that we now think that we must increase the strive after happiness; they are after something power of government to preserve our freedom.
else, and the happiness comes as an unexpected The men who are able to find a way out of this overtone which graces their lives because of how dilemma will probably be the Founding Fathers of tomorrow's revolution. Ordinarily, we think of"revolutions" as being against some tyrant or Good government, by a parity of reasoning, is oppressing class, but the next revolution, to be government which attaches very little importance worth anything, will have to be psychological to itself—which is the functional result of men rather than political. What is needed is a new doing together what they cannot do singly or in vision of the ends of human life, to which, in time, small groups. This, we think, would be a system political relationships will adjust themselves.
which would return the power of moral decisionto individuals, where it belongs.
After all, we claim that "democracy" is the best form of government because, in theory, atleast, democracy is by definition the respecter ofindividual choice. Quite conceivably, a tired andinefficient monarchy with very little centralizedpower would afford its people more actual libertythan a bustling "democracy" with a very high taxrate and a propensity for getting into internationalwars.
It is true that the problems of the modern world seem to make this sort of government—agovernment without much power—a completely"unrealistic" ideal. We live in a period ofinternational crisis, apparently continuing crisis,but since it is a crisis between nations, instead ofbetween individuals—between one great mass ofdepersonalized individuals and another greatmass—the artificial sense of participation whichindividuals gain through propaganda may not lastas long as the crisis itself. And when their senseof participation dies, their protestations that theyare a "free people" may also die away, to bereplaced by insistent demands for the reclamationof individual decision.
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the world the power and reality of our devotion tothese principles.
. . . and Ourselves
Instead of encouraging independent thought and criticism as the best demonstration of the vitality of THE termination of Robert Hutchins' career in the truths inscribed on our hearts, we are busily educational administration was an unhappy engaged in suppressing them. If it is impossible for a man to be a professor unless he holds views that the perennially stimulated by this unorthodox majority will approve, then the American universities gentleman's embarrassing questions concerning will become little more than detention homes for the the orthodox University viewpoint. Though now young, with technical schools attached.
serving as an Associate Director of the Ford Back in 1946, at the University of Chicago, Foundation, Dr. Hutchins nevertheless finds Dr. Hutchins delivered one of his most radical occasions for continuing his Socratic probing in addresses—"The Administrator." The temptation the educational field, and since these may now be expected to be fewer and farther between, a recent University administrator must resist, is the same Hutchins article in the Progressive seems temptation which confuses so many public figures at times of national crisis. "The Administrator"was not designed to win friends and influence Dr. Hutchins has never written about higher people in university circles, but at least Hutchins education as if it were an end or aim in itself, was following his own prescription—he has never whatever his "ideological opponents" may claim.
believed that educational or political progress can His obvious intent, similar to our own, has been to be achieved without a large amount of daring and demonstrate that certain fundamental issues are now crucial in our social, political, educational,and family lives, and that the most rewarding The academic administrators of America remind investigation of these issues necessitates a one of the French revolutionist who said, "The mob is consideration of the vital relationships of trends in in the street. I must find out where they are going,for I am their leader." all four fields. Serving as a champion of academicfreedom, Dr. Hutchins is no less concerned with Almost every American university is managed in terms of the social pressures prevailing at a given the ominous attack on free thought in political life, time. An administrator who administers is bound to in the community, and in the family. Yet, he says, the standardization-of-thought trend is often a He must try to induce those to whose care the direct result of our educational procedures: curriculum has been committed to face the problems We must admit that our education has been very it raises as persistently, as seriously, and as little of that philosophical, historical kind which impartially as possible. In this connection, too, the would enable us to understand what is going on in the administrator must be a troublemaker; for every world and to exercise an informed, critical judgment change in education is a change in the habits of some upon it. In the absence of education and experience members of the faculty. Nevertheless, the our first reaction in the face of a totally new situation administrator must insist on the participation of the is fear, fear of the unknown and uncomprehended.
faculty in the constant reconsideration of the meanswhich it is using to attain the end of the university; In addition to the vain and irrelevant effort to for his duty is not merely to decide upon the classes of build up overwhelming military power, we have cases committed to his care, but also to see to it that begun an unprecedented attempt to ensure the the other members of the community do not become conformity of our citizens. That is, of course, wholly office-holders in relation to the categories committed inappropriate to the struggle in which we are engaged, for the liberty inscribed on our hearts hastraditionally included freedom of thought, speech, and association, and now, if ever, is the time to show administrator. If he fails, he should resign. He Volume V, No. 11
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administrator must himself be in perpetual administrator who is afraid of anybody or anything is difficulty, and that he is much more useful to the body of individuals he seeks to instruct if he A concluding thought of "The Administrator" constitutes himself a radical rather than a focusses attention upon processes of common moral deterioration, as applicable to both politics and education. And it may be that the same political office-holder or a parent, in any case, the process of comfortable decline in originality can same opportunities and the same temptations are often be observed in American family life: present. We are sure that we need more parents The end of an institution gets lost as it matures.
who are constantly "in trouble" about something The enterprise goes on because it started and runs for important, with their schools, their communities, the sake of running. If any other consideration than or their families. All pioneering thought brings that of self-perpetuation is allowed to enter, it isusually that of prestige. Let us be famous for the sake about difficulties, reproaches, condemnations, or, of fame. We see a similar phenomenon in the case of states which have lost any conception of the end of overcoming difficulties, history teaches us, grows political organization. They say, let us be powerful for the sake of power. The fact that the purpose ofuniversities is rapidly lost has led to the suggestionthat they should be burned down every twenty-fiveyears, or that the original faculty should consist ofmen forty years old, that no additions should bemade, and that they should all retire at the age ofsixty-five. These proposals seem drastic, but they arelittle more so than the facts demand. It is imperativeto force the periodic reconsideration of the purpose ofan institution.
We doubt if Dr. Hutchins has ever actually been an arsonist. Unlike the fictional hero of TheFountainhead, moreover, he has never beenknown to blow up a University, and even lesswould he be inclined to put the torch to a goodproportion of American homes. But he clearlyconsiders many forms of habitual and traditionalthinking in need of purification by flame. It iscertainly possible for the home and family tobecome "ends in themselves" and to lose a senseof direction, even as they appear to mature.
We wonder if each parent cannot find some provocative suggestions in Hutchins' commentsupon the obligations of good administration? Theparent, actually, is an administrator, but all toooften is the sort of administrator who never admitsto the possibility of being "in trouble" himself,while he will often wax indignant over the troublesof native non-conformity into which his childrenare precipitated. But Hutchins tells us that the Volume V, No. 11
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human race, according to Seidenberg, is foreseenas a day The Trap of "Progress''
when the organization of society will have proceeded THE idea that Western civilization, bag and to its final crystallization, when, "in a period devoid baggage, has climbed aboard a wayward bus, of change, we may truly say that man will enter upon headed for both known and unknown disaster, has a posthistoric age in which, perhaps, he will remainencased in an endless routine and sequence of events, been gaining currency for the past generation or not unlike that of the ants, the bees, the termites. . . .
so, but only recently have these ominous looks at Man may likewise find himself entombed in a the future found a place in authentic scientific perpetual round of perfectly adjusted responses. . . .
literature. Just why thinkers who commonly avoid Man will hasten along his predestined way under the the slightest breath of extravagance should now illusion of attaining his freedom on even higher levels feel free to exude gloom from every pore, we of existence, while actually sealing his fate by all thedevices his dominant intelligence can command. . . .
cannot say, unless it be that the outlook is In this mechanization of the individual we cannot fail gloomy, or that they have become infected by the to see the eclipse of the spiritual structure of man." collective anxieties of ordinary folk.
One may easily recognize these tendencies in modern society, but has not the author, like undeniable. In the Scientific Monthly for last Tolstoy during his period of helpless self-disgust, December, a reviewer of the dark predictions of identified his own—our own—malaise with the Roderick Seidenberg's Posthistoric Man (Chapel intrinsic nature of things? Is this doleful doom Hill, 1950) is held almost spellbound "by the written in all the stars, or only in those particular remorseless logic of clear and pregnant statement, by the epic development of his [Seidenberg's] The institutions of the West, including its conception to its stark conclusion." The reviewer, religious institutions, have evolved to their present Bentley Glass, objects to this version of the "decline of the West" on several grounds, but is consideration to the "spiritual structure of man." unable to restrain his enthusiasm for Seidenberg's What, then, is so remarkable about the fact that, brilliant argument that modern man is moving toward a static period in the life-cycle of thehuman race a time when an eventless monotone If society once drew strength and sustenance will overtake mankind, similar, as the title from the inner sources of being through therevelations of saint and mystic, it seems destined to intimates, to the supposed entropy of pre-historic abandon this well of inspiration in focusing wholly upon the external manipulation of its affairs and the Seidenberg contends that the very process of purely mundane solution of its problems.
civilization will eventually choke off all individual The acceptance of this state of affairs seems distinction, all originality. "Social" measures will to imply a prior acceptance of the Comtian assert the rule of statistical welfare over the analysis of human history, under which the final eccentric deviations of individuals. The private stage of human development is to be marked by a individual may expect to be "organized" into complete rejection of all metaphysical doctrines or nonentity. In primitive times, social controls were theories of superphysical causation. First we unconsciously embodied in "accepted rituals and outgrow theology; then we eschew metaphysics; dogmas." Today the functions of these controls and now in the golden age of scientific certainty, we abandon all but the positivist outlook, manfully incorporated "into the rationalized and purposive suppressing as vagrant fantasies all past, present, institutions of civilized society." The future of the and even future visions of non-material reality.
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And if, in the grip of the Garrison State, we come control of infections "may seriously interfere with to despise ourselves and our mean motives, and by reaction to despise and fear other men, until we development." The antibiotics do not destroy, but create the monstrous armament of the present-day only check the activity and spread of infectious war machines to suck away our vitality, our germs. The antibiotics also "check" the normal freedom, and even our hope of freedom—why, all development of antibodies to overcome the this, we are forced to admit, is part of the "natural disease, so that the patient may suffer a relapse order of things." Our life-cycle is spent, and too when the administration of antibiotics is stopped.
progress, it seems that we now must organize "stark conclusion" from biological forms of further measures of control. Thus a proposed analysis, it should be permissible to draw on other analogies in examining his thesis. For example, in require food processers to gain permission from the development of modern agriculture, a wide the Food and Drug Administration to include new variety of poisonous insecticides have come into "chemicals" in their products. Cancer researchers, use, and may be regarded as a part of the meanwhile, are asking for a similar provision to "organization" of our food-producing resources.
apply to both food and cosmetics. Dr. W. C.
These "modern" methods have doubtless been Hueper of the National Institutes of Health told regarded as typical of the march of progress, yet the House Committee that certain dyes seem to be now we learn from a House Committee hearing cancer-producing—even dyes now certified by the that residues of these poisons have to be eliminated from such universally used products as smoking, he said, is among "recognized and baby foods and peanut butter. L. G. Cox, a suspect sources" of cancer of the lip, tongue, oral technical representative of the Beech-Nut Packing cavity, larynx and lung. He also reported "that Company told the Committee: "Fragmentary data 250 cases of bladder cancer in dye workers had indicate that a newborn baby may already have a been definitely traced to a dye called beta slight amount of DDT stored in his tissues, . . .
naphtholamine and that more than a thousand and may be receiving additional amounts in his cases were on record in all countries." (New mother's milk." A New York Times report (Feb.
York Times, Jan. 30.) Even the carbon black in 1) gives the testimony of Mr. Cox on the spoiling eyebrow pencil, when heavily used, may be In 1948, he said, the company had to reject squash from Florida, peaches from Pennsylvania and frightening about all this—for these may be only a celery from Florida; in 1950 it incurred a financial few of the things wrong with the organization of loss of $15,000 by having to reject contractedvegetables exposed to BHC, and to buy others in the modern progress, and who knows what horrors open market at much higher prices; and in 1951 it are still concealed? One hesitates to draw the next was "forced to reject contracted apples in New York breath. We could, of course, take up organic gardening to eliminate the hazards of insecticides.
"progress" emerged in a conference on antibiotics "organization" and its special ills. Eating food grown on naturally restored soil might make us Sciences. Physicians reported that the use of healthy enough to get along without antibiotics, antibiotics such as penicillin, streptomycin, perhaps with fewer doctors, with the possible chloromycetin, aureomycin, and terramycin for the result of weakening even the organization of the Volume V, No. 11
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machine and came to the conclusion that it works chemicals might be harder to get along without, and think of the vice presidents in charge of sales Sympathy for the poor but honest cotton bug who would join the unemployed, the advertising prompts a wondering about the next generation of talents that would waste on the vine, and the vast cotton plants: could they, conceivably, mutate into factories that would have to start making eucalyptus hybrids as a result of these intruding something useful! These organizational reforms might go far to reverse the trend prophesied byProf. Seidenberg; then, if we wanted to completethe job, we could abolish war, that greatest of allorganizational structures. Peace, of course,would be a shattering blow to modern industry,and perhaps we are not really ready for so far-reaching a disaster. Only a few pacifists are readyfor that, and they, poor visionaries, do notunderstand the logic of modern progress. Theyare foolish enough to want to resist thecompulsions which underwrite Prof. Seidenberg'sscience of human decline.
However, just to show that there are wheels within wheels—that, so far as technology isconcerned, some radically new approach topractical problems may be just around thecorner—we may cite from the Organic Farmerfor January the report of an "electronic" bug-chaser which is now being used by Arizona cottongrowers.
This device, which seems straight out of the Arabian Nights, is able to send out "vibrations"which drive away insect pests. An aerialphotograph is taken of the land to be de-bugged;the exact area marked off on the print, cut out,and placed in the machine, along with a eucalyptusleaf which cotton bugs uniformly despise. Whenthe machine is turned on, the bugs "see"eucalyptus instead of cotton, and take off forgreener pastures. The theory is that each speciesof plant has its own magnetic rays by which theforaging bugs locate their nourishment. Themachine, it is claimed, changes or camouflagesthese rays. Arizona farmers at first laughed at thegadget, but watched a 20-minute demonstrationwith growing amazement. A large operator inMarana, Arizona, said: "We investigated the Volume V, No. 11
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Periradiotherapeutische zahnärztliche Betreuung bei Kindern Der Beitrag erschien in:Maiwald, Hans-Joachim (Hrsg.): Kinderzahnheilkunde. Grundlagen, erfolgreicheKonzepte und neue Methoden der Kinderbehandlung in der Zahnarztpraxis. Band 2,Teil 5, Spitta Verlag, Balingen 2000 Einleitung Früh- und Spätfolgen nach Bestrahlung und Chemotherapie von Malignomen imKopf-Hals-Bereich erschwere

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