Chapter 4: The Relationship of Societal Structure to Psychology



This chapter has to do with the hypothesis that certain attitiudes, values, constraints and characteristics that are manifest in the society on the macrocosmic level tend to engender similar and related attitudes, values, constraints and characteristics in the individuals that make up the society who then act them out in their personal lives. In other words societal structure induces individual character structure and affects individual psychology and behavior. Of course the opposite may also be truei.e. individual attitudes and values can beget and result in societal characteristics. This was the belief of Wilhelm Reich as set forth in his pioneering book, "The Mass Psychology of Fascism." "It is not difficult to see that the various political and ideological groupings of human society correspond to the various layers of the structure of the human character. ...After social conditions and changes have transmitted man's original biologic demands and made them a part of his character structure, the latter reproduces the social structure of society in the form of ideologies."1 Of course society as a whole is involved through its various institutions in inculcating various beliefs and attitudes in its citizens. The person who deviates from these beliefs, the political dissident. the cultural eccentric, is treated much as the heretic, the person who deviates from the beliefs of the church. They are all treated as pariahs. However, changes in the societal structure are only brought about due to the efforts of such people. In one case the Constitution, in the other the Bible, in another the examples set by cultural heroes, become the set of axioms from which all successive life is supposed to proceed. Every subsequent life situation is to be interpreted with respect to the original Gospel. Reich's point was that the societal characteristics caused the citizens to develop a belief system which then tended to perpetuate the societal characteristics. In such a way individual belief systems and societal structure become mutually reinforcing and interlocking.


Society's perquisites are granted to those who take to heart and exemplify the societal belief system. One either adapts well to those societal conditions whatever they might be or fails to adapt or rebels against them. People that adapt well become individual manifestations of the principles and values of the larger society in which they live. Thus one speaks of a good American, a good capitalist or a good communist as one who exemplifies the principles of America, capitalism or communism, respectively. One might also speak of a good Christian, a good Moslem or a good Buddhist. Combining the various social influences in order to get the general and complete picture, one might speak of a good Christian capitalist or a good Christian socialist or a good Jewish Marxist or a good Soviet agnostic. Conversely, one who is not well-adapted to the social structure within which he lives is either neurotic, a dissident, a malcontent, a misfit, a heretic or an eccentric. One is considered neurotic if he is just personally ill-suited to the conditions under which he lives. His ill-adaptedness is not a statement about the validity of the conditions under which he lives so much as an inability to exemplify them successfully. A dissident, on the other hand, is questioning the legitimacy of the conditions under which he lives whether these conditions are political, economic, cultural, religious or social.


The relationship between character and society can be one in which the individuals act in response to social conditions set from above or one in which individuals acting more or less spontaneously create or comprise a resultant social structure which is merely the sum of its parts. How much individuals are conditioned and controlled by their society either overtly through intimidation and arrest or covertly through conformism and psychological manipulation and how much individuals control and shape their societies is an interesting question. Are people who accept the value of freedom as espoused by their society accepting a value handed down from above or are they acting spontaneously to create new social conditions? Many societies that espouse freedom have in fact defined and circumscribed what freedom is and then castigated anyone not willing to accept their definition of freedom.


If we look at the social structure in terms of the relative psychological health or sickness it tends to engender among the individuals living within it, we can speak of a healthy society as one which tends to breed healthy individuals and a sick society as one which tends to breed sick individuals. If a society were truly healthy, then we might expect that the dissidents, the odd-balls or weirdos would be relatively sick individuals while the majority of people would be psychologically healthy. If, on the other hand, the society were a sick society, we might expect the dissidents and eccentrics to be the healthiest individuals while the average person, the "regular Joe" might be relatively sick. In addition it is possible that a society might evolve in either direction-toward more health and sanity or toward sickness and insanity depending on which way the dominant forces within it are tending.


It is possible to postulate a social structure and then ask what kind of individuals that society would tend to breed and if these individuals would tend to be healthy or sick, or, conversely, we can postulate the kind of individual character structure that would be desirable and then ask what kind of social structure would enhance and encourage that character structure. We can also examine existing societies and analyze the relationship between structure on the societal level and structure on the individual psychological level. We might identify the trends within those societies and inquire as to the health of the individuals within.


There is no doubt that Western civilization has been and still is dominated by males. We will examine the concept of masculinity in order to try and shed some light on the mentality behind the nuclear arms race, and we will suggest a new concept of masculinity which might enable us to break out of the psychological strait-jacket which predisposes us to pursue a path at the end of which is mass suicide.


Returning to the Nietzschean ethic of dominance, we note how this has been incorporated into the masculine character structure as the essence of masculinity. The idea of "power over" finds its expression on the domestic level as the power the man has over his wife and children who are supposed to be submissive to him. Thus hierarchal relationships constitute all of society and hold at every level. Similarly with nations. The prevailing notion that prestige accrues to the nation that has power over other nations, that this is synonomous with strength and highly desirable even in peacetime is hardly questioned especially by those males who happen to be in powerful, national positions. In the economic arena, it is thought only natural that those who are strong and powerful should win, should appropriate a greater share of material resources to themselves, over those and at the expense of those who are less powerful. The notion of survival of the fittest, social Darwinism, that strong males have a right in the competitive struggle of life to win out over weak males in the competition for wealth, for mates and for whatever else is at stake is part and parcel of the assumed values of Western civilization. Likewise, it is accepted that strong nations have a right to exploit, colonize, have hegemony over, dominate, browbeat and intimidate weaker nations acting in the interests of the stronger nation while disregarding the interests of the weaker nation (or paternalistically identifying the interests of the weaker nation as identical to the interests of the stronger). All of this harks back to Nietzsche-the glorification and adulation of power and the legitimization of the notion that the strong have a right to use the weak in whatever way they see fit without regard to their humanity.


We quote a moving passage by a feminist, Virginia Ramey Mollenkott, from the book, "Peacemakers: Christian Voices from the New Abolitionist Movement."


"As an emerging feminist whose doctorate was in the art of reading with care and precision, I discovered that when reading contextually, the Bible contains a strong theme of male-female equality and indeed a theme of human unity through creation and redemption. I learned that realization of that profound oneness or unity is meant to melt all barriers, whether those barriers are social, sexual, orientational, economic or nationalistic.

In this connection, I was moved by an essay by psychologist R.D. Laing on 'Us and Them,' and especially by this sentence: 'We are 'they' to them and they are 'they' to us.' I reasoned that if we got caught up in the destruction of 'them,' we were actually getting caught up in the destruction of ourselves [literally true in the Nuclear Age]. People in the Soviet Union inevitably think of Americans as 'them,' just as surely as we Americans regard Soviets as 'them,' with this important difference: that America has actually dropped atomic bombs, whereas the Soviet Union has not. (It felt so strange to me to realize that my own dearly beloved United States is feared around the world as a terribly violent nation.) I felt that Laing's insight concerning us and them was accurate even in the area of conventional weapons; but with the development of nuclear weapons that did not distinguish between combatants and noncombatants, the impossibility of distinguishing us from them became overwhelmingly  true. Having turned my back on psychological suicide, I was not drawn to the idea of global suicide.

It occurred to me that if 'the difference between men and boys is the price of their toys,' then nuclear weapons are the ultimate toy with the ultimate price tag: the destruction of Mother Earth.I began to notice a distinct correlation between attitudes of male supremacy and an attraction to weapons, including support of the nuclear arms race. As an evangelical, I was especially disturbed to realize that the then-emerging Religious Right coupled its claims to being biblical with a whole constellation of interests that are patriarchal in the extreme, and all of them oriented toward death.

While opposing equal rights for women and protecting the right of the family patriarch to punish 'his' children with impunity, the Religious Right supports unrestrained profit economics, the death penalty, ever increased military spending, and the expansion of nuclear power. So I came to realize that male supremacy in the home and church breeds the idea that dominance is acceptable and necessary in the larger society. (italics mine) Thus it breeds the dominance of the rich within the nation and the dominance of military and economic might between nations.

In this way, I came to realize that the perversion of male-female equal partnership contributes heavily to the armed-camp atmosphere of the world. (italics mine) My own experience had taught me that genuine love is always fostered by mutual give-and-take, while dominant power-over fosters only resentment in the oppressed and guilt in the oppressor. But I came to realize that these effects operate just as much between nations as they do between individual persons. The rigidities of hierarchy have brought the world only a push-button (or a computer error) away from rigor mortis for the whole human race.

At last I came to the point at which I knew that those who support male primacy in the home and church are only being true to themselves when they also support the oppression of the poor on the national level and the dominance of economic and military muscle on the international scene.  (italics mine) Although a few might partially  break that pattern, the trend of patriarchy seems to me to be hell-bent on self-destruction. As a biblical feminist, I choose flexible growth rather than rigid status quo, equality and mutuality rather than hierarchy, life rather than death.

The hope that keeps my vision of global harmony alive is the biblical theme that God intends, through human agency empowered by the Holy Spirit, to bring the whole creation under the loving sovreignty of the Christ (Ephesians 3:10 and elsewhere). I believe that it is possible for individuals and nations to learn to serve one anothers best interests in mutuality out of reverence for the new humanity embodied in Jesus. On the practical level, that would mean learning to solve differences by negotiation rather than by warfare and threats of warfare. I know, of course, that such statements sound preposterous to the ears of those who have internalized patriarchal ideas about what provides security and what legitimizes exploitation. Nevertheless, I believe that metanoia  is always possible as long as life remains. We can be transformed by the renewal of our minds. We can learn that, even in the twentieth century, security stems from doing justice and loving mercy and walking humbly with God.

Several years ago, I began to learn existentially what it means that perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). Because fear is the opposite of love, they cannot coexist. As I have grown in the ability to love, I have felt various longstanding fears melting away from me. Indeed, I have found that to the degree that I love, I do not fear, and to the degree that I fear, I do not love. And I have learned to deeply know  this: that like racism, sexism, heterosexism, and economic elitism, the arms race is an expression of fear. By basing our sense of national security on weaponry, we consistently reinforce our own fear of being attacked. The more we try to dominate the world by flexing our military muscles, the more we ourselves feel threatened, because in our hearts we know how empty such posturing really is. Hence, there never could be enough weapons to satisfy us. The more weapons we build, the more we stimulate the fear that makes us think that we still need more weapons.

The snarl of the cornered cur stems from fear. Macho insolence and brutality toward women stems from fear. Security can come only through trusting the love of God and obeying the biblical principle of respectful mutuality between human beings, between humankind and nature, and between nations. Although our patriarchal world adores economic and military might, we need not conform ourselves to this world. We can learn to do justice to one another out of reverence for the One in whom all of us live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28)."2


Masculinity has been so greatly associated with dominance in our culture and femininity with submission that the idea of relating person to person or nation to nation as free and equal entities is foreign to our nature. According to our way of thinking, there must be global hegemony just as one person must be on top in the familiy, and the only question is which nation or which spouse is going to be on top. We devote so much  energy to seeing to it that we remain on top rather than creating a situation in which there could be global harmony through global mutuality just as there could be marital harmony created through mutuality between spouses.


When we talk about strength, a concept closely associated with masculinity, the cultural association is strength to dominate, strength associated with power over. Thus our very notion of masculinity is based on the Nietzschean idea of "power over"-the weaker sex and the weaker nations. The feminine trait of nurturing and supporting represents power under-strength being used in the service of life as in the caring for the weak and vulnerable baby and small child-a giving from the strong to the weak-demanding nothing in return in the cause of the continuance of life, a giving from strength in the spirit that this gift will enable the weak to become strong thus completing the cycle-strength helping the weak become strong rather than strength keeping the weak weak. It is this kind of strength, strength in support of life that is the antidote to the masculine hierarchal concept of 'power over' which in the possession of nuclear weapons and facing an adversary who shares the same masculine concept is threatening to arms race us to nuclear oblivion.





The deadlock which results in continual uping of the arms race ante comes about because male pride is associated with national pride. Male pride cannot seem submissive, cannot seem weak, cannot seem feminine, cannot even seem supportive which is a feminine function. The fear of seeming less than masculine precludes the introduction into the arena of negotiations and superpower relations those qualities necessary for the preservation of life: concern or caring for the other side, giving up the idea of winning, understanding, gentleness, emphasis on a nurturing rather than a controlling relationship. We need to examine in more detail how notions about masculinity affect the relations between the superpowers. Could it be that the men involved in this power struggle are compensating for their own real or perceived lack of masculinity by wheeling and dealing on the international stage thus trying to manifest their fantasies of male dominance?


Dr. Helen Caldicott in her book "Missile Envy" says:


"A man named Mark Gerzon recently wrote a book called A Choice of Heroes  in which he examines the state of the world. He determines that it is in a serious dilemma and that certainly in the United States the decisions are made by a small minority-white Anglo-Saxon males, middle-aged and older. Because these people have created enormous problems, Mr. Gerzon says that we need to examine their psychological pathology. He says that typically these men never show emotion, never admit mistakes, and are very dependent upon others of the same sex for peer-group approval. They are always sure of themselves, are always right, and above all they are always tough and strong. He suggests that in the nuclear age, these men need to redefine strength and courage for themselves, to become men who have the courage to show weaknesses and fallibilities, to show emotion and even to cry when appropriate, and to admit mistakes. It really takes extraordinary strength and inner courage for a man to be able to do this. A weak, unattractive male, on the other hand, is a man who never shows any emotion or even admits to having emotions, who is never fallible and never admits to making a mistake, who hides behind his defense mechanisms and builds missiles. Such men, who in fact hold the reins of power in Washington, in the Iron Triangle, and throughout the land and the world, are anachronistic and dangerous in the nuclear age."3


Machoism may be the cause of the arms race.  Hardness and invulverability are the characteristics which macho man seeks to internalize as well as to externalize in military hardware. Softness, vulnerability, tenderness-these are seen as the characteristics of weakness and not incidentally of femininity. However, these latter characteristics, the characteristics of femininity, are also the preconditions for a loving relationship. Could it be that by their commitment to a certain set of characteristics, macho men have precluded loving relationships? The macho man would reply that he shows his sensitive side to those he loves and his tough side to those he does not love, those he doesn't care about, those he has no use for. But, the point is that, in a nuclear age, we can't afford to dichotomize any more. We cannot afford the luxury of separating people into in-groups and out-groups. We are all one by virtue of the fact that we can all be destroyed simultaneously by the sheer power and scale of nuclear weapons.


What is needed is a new male role model. Mrs. Caldicott suggests one. "There was one person who probably more than anyone else embodied these principles, and that person was Jesus. He was soft and loving, caring and nurturing, but he also had a powerful drive to correct evil and help people do the right things and could sometimes be positively aggressive if the need arose. He expressed righteous indignation and moral outrage when he observed people ill-treating or abusing others, and he uttered some very profound psychological truths. He was probably the most brilliant, well-balanced psychiatrist who ever lived."4


In fact Jesus should be the role model for the new masculinity-not John Wayne. His strength was an inner strength that was strong enough to care about and support others while at the same time being strong enough to be non-violent. Jesus was open and honest, not secretive and calculating. He did not have a protective barrier around himself but had the courage to be vulnerable.


Caldicott calls for women to come forward and make their presence felt. "If we don't stand up and rapidly become elected to the highest offices in the country and change America's national policies from those of death to those of life, we will all be exterminated. ...The positive feminine principle must become the guiding moral principle in world politics."5 She calls for men to express their emotions more, to become more emotional instead of cold and calculating. It is the cold, calculating types that can rationalize the expenditure of millions of innocent civilians in order to "win" a nuclear war. "I am often accused by men of being too emotional. It is absolutely inappropriate to be unemotional as one contemplates the fiery end of the earth. ...Emotions are almost never discussed by the people in the media or in the Iron Triangle."6


Overattachment to the value of winning, what Caldicott calls the "football-game mentality," even when "winning" means the suicidal sacrifice of millions of innocent bystanders, women and children, those very people that the macho military types are supposedly trying to

protect, follows the narrow-minded pattern of fixating on one aspect of reality exclusively even when that aspect, winning, has ceased to serve a useful, constructive purpose and in fact has come to serve the purpose of the cessation of life, not only the life of the "enemy" but our own lives as well. Caldicott goes on to describe the football game mentality: "In these tribal power games, the bottom line is always the zero-sum mentality. I win if you lose, and vice versa. There is no middle line or compromise if the masculine ethic is to be preserved. This is the football game mentality. Boys are taught in school to be intensely aggressive in sports, and the word "kill" is frequently used  to drum up the necessary energy to win. ...It is always the old men who send the young men off to die in their wars. ...It is never the people who make the decision to kill who get killed. It is the boys who usually don't even know what the dispute is about, let alone understand the intracacies of international politics. The old men act out their fascination with killing, their need to prove their toughness and sexual adequacy by using innocent pawns."7


Increasingly, those who are targeted for the killing and being killed are not even boys who have been inducted into the military but civilians, women and children, and those whose safety it is sought to assure are the same old, white males who promulgated the war in the first place. The military in the nuclear age, no longer seeks to protect civilians at the cost of its own lives, but seeks to preserve its own lives, the command and control, while using civilian lives as pawns. Even Star Wars is designed to protect not human lives as advertised, but missiles. It is one thing for generals on a battlefield to move men around as if they were pawns expendable for the purposes of final victory. It is quite another for civilian think-tank policy formulators to compose scenarios with complete equanimity that involve the expenditure of millions of civilian lives as pawns in a nuclear chess game in which final victory is achieved if our command and control structure survives and theirs doesn't. Of course, like the Generals, the formulators of these Strangelovean policies intend to survive themselves. It is not only the hideousness of some people using other people's lives to further their goals that is of concern here but the willingness to utilize, to expend innocent civilian lives, not only those of the other side, but those of our own people as well, in a quest for "final victory." Final victory becomes as hideous as Hitler's final solution. It is as if all the spectators at a football game were suddenly, without their knowledge or consent, forced to be involved in the game without the protective gear of the players themselves, and women and children were used as blockers and tackled and trampled in a frantic attempt to get the pigskin over the goal-line.


Not only are there the strategists and think-tankers who are willing to expend civilian lives in order to achieve total and final victory, there are the scientists and technologists to whom working on sophisticated weapons systems designed to destroy millions of innocent lives is incredible fun and represents the utmost in intellectual stimulation. "I asked Joe Weitzenbaum, professor of computer science at MIT, why these men work on systems of genocide, and he said, 'Do you know why? It's incredible fun.' They have an insoluble problem to solve like MIRVing a missile, and they solve it. The intellectual prestige and the approbation from their colleagues must be rewarding. Grants flow in from the Pentagon and corporations, and the scientist is set. His ego is gratified, and he does well financially, which is good for his family. As long as he can avoid thinking about the end result of his work (psychic numbing), he can be emotionally comfortable.

"Many scientists who leave military work say that all other jobs are really boring compared with their previous work because the intellectual challenges of the most sophisticated technology ever discovered are exciting."8


Compartmentalization of thought processes lets the technologist proceed with his fun, intellectually stimulating work without considering the consequences of that work. His emotional comfort is assured as long as he can convince himself that he is not responsible for the intended use to which his product will be put. But as Mrs. Caldicott says, "There is more to life than intellectual excitement."9 How can men so little value life as to spend their lives in the service of weapons designed to annihilate innocent women and children so that they can reap the rewards and ego gratifications which the military establishment is only too eager to bestow upon them. These people have to be politically unaware of the situation in which they exist and tremendously nieve to think that the money and recognition that flows their way is because of some intrinsic merit on their part and not part of a system of payoffs which is slanted toward people who play ball with the military. These people, at the same time, must be very underdeveloped emotionally not to care about or consider the fact that their efforts are going for the destruction rather than the preservation of life. But in the Strangelovean never, neverland in which they exist, destruction of life and preservation of life are two concepts which instead of remaining distinct opposite entities have comingled and come to resemble each other. Therefore, we can have a person who is working on implements of mass destruction portraying himself as a person who is working for the preservation of life. He is conveniently combining pre-nuclear thinking in which the destruction of some lives meant the preservation of others with the idea that the victory of our way of life is worth the sacrificing of most of the practitioners of their  way of life. In a nuclear age working on the means to destroy some lives means working on the means to destroy all life. We have to make a clear distinction and not be caught in the Orwellian logic that Peace is War and War is Peace. An MX missile is not a peacemaker but a warmaker. The final outcome of this process of devaluing life and peace and merging them with the concepts of death and war is a kind of valuelessness in which everything has equal value-war, peace, death, life, love, hatred-and out of fairness we are encouraged to assign equal value to all of the above concepts and leave the real decisions to the experts.


The technology of life-specifically the technology required to save children's lives in the Third World-is very unsophisticated, technologically speaking, and low-cost which means that there is probably not a lot of profit in it nor is there the kind of "fun" work and challenges which scientists so thoroughly enjoy. This stands to reason since most people are dying from preventable diseases, diseases the cures of which have been well known in many cases for decades. All this nonsense that our space program is resulting in scientific breakthroughs which are going to benefit all mankind is just that. Most of mankind's problems do not require further scientific breakthroughs or technological developments. The solutions to the problems are well known from a technological point of view. In fact breakthroughs in high technology only make the problems worse by empowering the strong who are better positioned to take advantage of them at the expense of the poor. This contributes to further marginalization of the poor. The problems involved are not technological but primarily distributive: how to distribute the knowledge and resources to the people who need them. As such they are political problems.


Four technologies which would go a long way towards solving the problems of Third World people are the following:

              1) Growth monitoring: through the use of such measuring devices as growth charts to enable the mother to detect early signs of malnutrition and deal with it.

              2) Oral rehydration therapy: consisting of a simple treatment with salts and glucose in water for a child suffering from diarrheal dehydration, the number one child killer.

              3) Breastfeeding: to nourish and protect the young infant from infection, and to follow good weaning practises during the transition to family food,  a period of high risk from malnutrition.

              4) Immunization: against tetanus, measles, polio, whooping cough, diphtheria, and tuberculosis which cripple and kill millions of children every year.


There is nothing here for the scientist or the entrepreneur to get excited about. All of these technologies are unexciting and cost pennies. There is no profit or fun in them except the fun involved in saving lives and preventing needless suffering. In fact these technologies run counter to the profit-making concerns of free enterprise. The recommendation of breastfeeding is to counteract the policy of American corporations who have been discouraging breastfeeding in order to sell infant formula to the mothers. This policy, while profitable to some American businessmen, is not in the best interest of the mother and the child who are less likely to be healthy and survive as a result of it. The American solution to the problem of Third World poverty is to sell something to the poor whether it be the infant formula or something else. Thus a solution which does not involve selling or profits is unthinkable. The problem is that this solution exacerbates the problem because it further marginalizes the poor. The poor need to be helped to the extent of getting into the position in which they can be self-sufficient rather than being placed in the position of consumers of corporation-produced products.


Clean drinking water, one of the greatest needs of the Third World, is not something likely to excite American scientists or corporate executives. The technology for it has been around for centuries. The irony is that, since these problems have been solved in this country ages ago and the technology already exists, high-level, high-powered technological types can't get excited about it although the implementation of these measures would save millions of lives. But, it is more important that our scientists have their "fun" and their intellectual tinker-toys. We must keep them occupied with challenging, intellectually stimulating projects so, I guess, we'll just have to keep inventing new weapon systems to give them something to work on if for no other reason. We wouldn't want them to get bored so we must keep them occupied in the one field which is truly exciting, namely the development of more sophisticated weapons systems.


"The scientists have been so brilliant that we now have the technology to solve most problems facing the human race-overpopulation, humger, energy depletion, polluted air and water, and the myriad medical ailments facing man. Such a challenge is probably the most wonderful and creative project any humane scientist could fulfill. I beg my colleagues to leave the business of death and to exercise their talents to preserve life."10


Caldicott goes on to comment on the macho ethic:


"So the military forces grow stronger and bigger, not just in the superpowers, but in Europe and smaller nations all over the world. I think the reason for this absurdity in the face of the anachronism of war is that men have not learned to behave any differently. The whole ethic of masculinity is tied up with being tough and courageous, macho and fearless and they cling to this behavior by building more weapons with almost frantic desperation.

The military trains its recruits to reject emotion in a cruel and violent way, so it can turn them into professional killers. The drill instructors use the terms, "maggot," "faggot," "snuffy," "pussy," or "woman" to knock their men into shape. The talk is demeaning both to women and to the men's own feminine side. They are trying to destroy the feminine principle. The drill instructors are often physically cruel and tough with their recruits and in the past have even killed some young boys in training them.

The result of this training is described in A Choice of Heroes . Men in battle develop a tremendous sense of comradeship under the adversity of battle, as they suffer and die next to each other. Only then do these men feel free to cry and show their fear and even to hug and kiss each other to demonstrate their love once they have proven their masculinity. What a tragedy of errors!"11


We don't need the military to teach young men discipline and to give them a sense of direction and purpose in life. These things can be learned just as well and, I would contend, even better in the Peace Corps. Instead of letting the Marines make men out of our young men, let's let the Peace Corps do the man making. Sure it would be a somewhat different concept of what manhood is all about. Instead of turning recruits into killers, the Peace Corps would turn them into men who would be literally saving lives by the prevention of children's dying from malnutrition and disease. Let us give the Peace Corps the resources the military now has, and, instead of indoctrinating our young men and women into killing as the American way, let us teach them, instead, the value of healing the sick, feeding the hungry, teaching the illiterate, sheltering the homeless. Let us teach them the value of helping our neighbors around the world instead of being willing to die to defend American interests. Let us teach them that our neighbors' interests in foreign countries-their interest in feeding themselves and raising healthy children-are American interests, too.


"Some people say that little boys should be allowed to act out their violent fantasies, so that when they grow up they don't need to behave like that anymore. But many men remain intoxicated by violence and potential violence. They watch with fascination the killing power apparent in the speed of military planes, racing cars, and the slow awesome might of Trident submarines. They have been seduced all their lives by the John Wayne image of the tough macho hero who shows no emotions while he kills people and is always right. They have been conditioned to believe that such men are to be emulated.

They have failed to understand that the image of John Wayne represents an emotional cripple, and they learn a painful lesson about reality and the human brain. War never creates the wonderful John Wayne experiences that men expect. The fantasy is rather like the unreal, old-fashioned love stories where lovemaking never induced pregnancy.

...This is a glorification of war and killing by a male-dominated society. War is nothing more than institutionalized murder. We say we are a Judeo-Christian society, yet we condone mass murder."12


And genocide as long as it's equal opportunity genocide. Of course genocide towards some well-defined ethnic group we don't condone, but the final solution to the arms race involving the cold-blooded contemplation and calculation and trade-off considerations involving millions of innocent lives, so long as they aren't confined to a single ethnic group, this kind of genocide our think-tank experts and administration officials consider with the same combination of managerial expertise and professional competence that they would exhibit in the perusal of their proposed departmental budgets.


"It is said that all wars are fought according to the rules of the last war. American society is still fascinated with prenuclear heroes like John Wayne. Ronald Reagan is to some a prenuclear hero-strangely anachronistic and almost willfully ignorant as he struts the nuclear stage. But he taps into people's tribal archtypal need for masculine heroes who will take care of and protect them. The thinking in America today about strength and toughness and superiority is prenuclear thinking. ...Another time I was invited to speak on a Chicago TV program. I thought I would be alone, but at the last minute a retired brigadier general turned up to participate in the discussion. For ten minutes, he talked in a calm, cool, nice way about nuclear war and the possibility of the world being blown up. He also used some factually incorrect information. As the arc lights were turned off at the end, he turned to me and aggressively said, 'You should go to Russia.' I thought for several seconds and decided to let him see the true fear in my soul, and I said to him, 'I fucking want my kids to grow up.' Well, he could talk about nuclear war with absolutely no emotion, the deaths of millions of human beings, but when a lady said 'fuck' to him, he was undone. He went wild and almost physically attacked me. The producer came running out to separate us, and there was nearly a brawl on the floor of the TV studio. The exchange made me realize that a lot of these military characters have an extraordinary amount of anger, which they keep under control at most times, but it is probably this anger and hostility that motivates them in their military careers. I decided then that it was very important to try to uncover these emotions, so that we could get to the true etiology of war, and to stop being polite and skating around on the surface of the issue.

...In many ways it seems to me that the diety of America has become money and that the true spiritual concept of God has atrophied on the vine of greed. The vital interests around the world, which the Pentagon vows to protect, are really only vital financial interests for trade or strategic minerals or raw materials. Six percent of the world's population uses 40 percent of the world's natural resources. America has only one vital interest to protect and that is its wonderful, ethical, moral principles, upon which rests the foundation of its society. It is rapidly losing, and indeed has almost lost, these guiding values of its soul, and has replaced them with a rapacious quest for more and more money."13


What are American interests around the world? One can only conclude that American interests are access to the world's non-replaceable natural resources, and to secure that access the American military is used to buttress a whole line of corrupt right-wing dictatorships who provide 'stability,' a stability which promises to keep its citizens, a vast majority of whom are both politically and economically disenfranchised, in exactly the same state while we Americans appropriate their resources-both natural and human in terms of labor-for ourselves. We do all this in the name of fighting communism which, after all, promises that the resources will be used to benefit the people. The American government has demonstrated time and again that it is neither interested in the political nor the economic well-being of the vast majority of the inhabitants of most Third World countries, and its only interest is access to their resources. And so we come full circle: resources are poured into the military which could be used to pull the Third World out of poverty but are instead used to protect our interests in the Third World under the guise of fighting communism which means that the vast majority of poverty-stricken people in the Third World are forcibly held in place in order that we may avail ourselves of their resources. Instead of our resources going to them, their resources end up coming to us and that's the situation our political and military structure is designed to maintain. As Richard Nixon said, "At least the communists talk about the problems. All that we talk about are the communists." The reason for this is that we as a nation are not interested in solving the problems. A solution to the problems of poverty, disease and illiteracy in the Third World would only create the problem for us of not having access to their natural resources and cheap labor. Therefore, it is necessary to create fear in our people by raising the spectre of the communist bogeyman whenever and wherever Third World peoples try to take control over their own lives and use their resources for the good of the vast majority of their own people.





The major block to a caring relationship between two men or between two nations represented by men is in my opinion homophobia. Thanks to Freud, the Christian notion of brotherly love as a distinct possibility devoid of sexual connotations has been debased. According to Freud, all caring, all tenderness represents latent sexual interest. "The experience of brotherly love is, for Freud, an outcome of sexual desire, but with the sexual instinct being transformed into an impulse of 'inhibited aim.'"14 According to Freud, "Love with an inhibited aim was indeed originally full of sensual love, and in man's unconscious mind is so still."15


If all caring directed toward another human being represents latent sexual interest, the man especially occupied with his masculine pride will not show caring or concern for another man, and men representing the superpowers will not show caring or concern for their counterparts across the negotiating table. Since brotherly love is precluded, the field is left wide open for power struggles, seeking to gain the advantage and "winning" almost by default because what other considerations are there if brotherly love is not even a mentionable consideration. In fact the expression of uncaring shores up masculine pride because it demonstrates a complete lack of sexual interest in the male counterpart. Since the worst blow to male pride is the fear of being identified as a homosexual, it is necessary to be tough in dealing with the other side, not to give in, not to be submissive, not to care, but to deal from strength, from power over, since male pride and national pride dictates that we cannot appear weak or feminine or homosexual. We certainly cannot appear to be sensitive to the other side since sensitivity is a well-known homosexual and feminine characteristic. This absolute refusal to exhibit brotherly love and to deal only out of considerations of power is in fact not a sign of strength but a sign of weakness, the weakness of men who are so unsure of their sexual identities that they must betray no sign of caring lest they be labeled a homosexual. Men who are sure of their sexual identity are not afraid to exhibit love and caring toward other men, are not afraid to display their emotions, are not afraid of being branded a homosexual, are not even afraid to cry. Without love, the arms race, superpower relations and most probably the human race are doomed, and as long as weak men with strong male egos who are afraid to show tenderness toward other men for fear of being branded homosexual are in positions of power, the lemmings of superpower relations will probably continue to run toward the sea of nuclear holocaust.


What is needed is more of the feminine principle of "power under" which by the way does not represent weakness. It takes a lot of strength to support and nourish life. We need to disassociate the concept of strength from the masculine concept of "power over," and at the same time restore the Christian concept of brotherly love as a legitimate end in itself devoid of sexual innuendoes. We must come to see that loving and caring for one's brother, for one's neighbor, and using our strength and power to that purpose is a legitimate masculine as well as feminine, indeed a human pursuit. One might think that the solution to this problem would be to bring more women into positions of power in government so that the Life Principle could predominate over the Death Principle. I think we do need more human beings of whichever sex whose values are strength in support of, "power under" and Christian brotherly love. However, not all women are nurturers in the broad sense of supporting life in general wherever it may exist. There are many women who support the overall patriarchal regime of male domination by:

              1) being attracted to and submitting to a dominant male and

              2) being supportive within her family unit or in-group, but            non-supportive and even hostile  toward groups outside the          family or in-group limit.

This type of supportiveness which is limited to one's own family, clan or nation-what might be called unconditional, limited love-supports the overall system of male domination both within the family and between nations. What is necessary is unconditional, unlimited love-love which reaches out beyond the family, clan or nation to other families, clans and nations.


What is also needed is love of the unlovable. Loving the lovable is easy, but it takes a special person to love the ugly, the deformed, the sick, the old. What is needed is love of mankind, which is inclusive of all human beings everywhere, not selective exclusive love of some human beings while at the same time advancing the cause of the chosen unit over and against other similar units be they families or nations. We must replace Freud's materialism in seeing every act as having sexual implications with Christ's spiritual concept of neighbor-love. A strict interpretation of Freud would trivialize Christ's concern for the poor, needy and oppressed as just a latent sexual interest directed toward these people. As if what He really was about had to do with a kinky sexual desire rather than a caring and compassionate spirituality. We must make the love of our fellow man the ascendant concept, a concept to which we can give our full support, and put sexuality in proper perspective.


We must make it culturally acceptable for men to relate to each other on other than a competitive basis. We must come to see that cooperation and caring among males is not necessarily a sign of latent sexual interest but takes as much strength or more than seeking to dominate. We must get out of the logical impasse that, if we are not dominant, then we are automatically submissive, that if we do not win, we necessarily lose, that, if we are humble, we have no self-respect, that, if we are caring, we are probably homosexual. We must replace the dominant/submissive dichotomy with the equal/equal relationship and with the supportive/supportive relationship in which power automatically flows in either direction as needs be in order to help the other party rather than to gain advantage over the other party. We are talking about "power under," power in support of, instead of "power over," power that seeks a gain for self at the expense of the other which is the traditional male/male form of interaction and relating. Mutuality and respect for ourselves and others, friendship, trust replace the need to control, the need to be on top. We must seek to cooperate rather than compete, to find the win/win solution even when we have more to gain in a win/lose situation because we have the power to win ourselves.


Cooperation and caring are not inherently feminine traits. They are human traits which have been made more culturally acceptable for women to exhibit. We need to see them as completely compatible with our masculinity and, indeed, to redefine masculinity to make these traits its cornerstone. We need to see Jesus as a strong masculine character and to see the great conquerors of history such as Alexander the Great, Ghengis Khan, Napoleon and Hitler as the weaklings. We need to see moral and spiritual strength as the basis of our overall strength-not the antithesis of it or something which is not really "real." We need to see that, in light of the nuclear situation today, haggling to gain advantage over the other side in overkill is ludicrous; it's a travesty of every value we hold dear; it's placing national and male pride over and above our own survival as well as the survival of the human race. It's not being willing to give up a mind-set the pursuit of which is not just the folly of millions of innocent lives lost, but the folly of the total annihilation and obliteration of the human race.


"...this tribal mentality, which once guaranteed survival, is anachronistic in the age of mass killing and genocide. Nationalism is just a sophisticated name for tribalism. ...If Darwin's theory is to prove correct, it is high time for those people who understand that nationalism now means possible extinction of one's own country, as well as the human race, to become leaders among the human family and direct these parochial instincts toward a sense of altruism, pride, compassion, and love for the family of man.

As I work with millions of people, teaching them the medical effects of nuclear war, I find that their instinct for survival overcomes the primitive instinct of nationalism. The instinct for survival is the strongest physiological drive we possess, being more powerful than those for eating or reproduction. When people are faced with imminent prospects of extinction because of their primitive tribalistic drives, they suddenly become transformed as they realize in order to save themselves and those they love, they must help and love others who are totally alien to them. It seems that these feelings are the real yearnings that each person fundamentally possesses within his or her own soul. We were not put on earth to make ourselves happy. The path to true happiness lies in helping one another."16


Familyism-the attitude of seeing one's own family in a competitive struggle with other families-is exactly analogous to nationalism, the attitude of seeing one's own nation in a competitive struggle with other nations. The identification of male pride with domination within the family, of domination over other families in a competitive struggle for superiority, and of domination of his nation over other nations are mutually reinforcing concepts that operate at every level of society from the microcosm of the family to the macrocosm of the nation. An attitude of mutuality and cooperation within the family, an attitude of cooperation among families and among nations, is what is necessary to replace the patriarchal attitude of male dominance and pride which, as wound up with the nuclear arms race as it surely is, is leading us down the path of destruction. In a sense it's a luxury we can no longer afford. As much as we don't want to swallow the bitter medicine prescribed by Jesus, the medicine of brotherly love, the medicine of extending ourselves for the other person, the other nation, we have reached the point in history at which , if we are to survive, we are being forced by the nuclear weapons themselves to love our neighbor because we haven't really any other choice.


We must ask ourselves: does the military really serve to protect us as civilians or are they the main threat to our protection. Responsible government officials have toted up balance sheets on which an "acceptable" nuclear war might involve the loss of tens of millions of our own citizens. As long as our command-and control structure, a certain percentage of our industry and a certain percentage of our population survived, nuclear war might be worthwhile. This type of thinking not only shows the ascendance of the Death Principle over the Life Principle but shows how civilians have just been reduced to pawns in the hands of the military establishment. The military and government establishment runs this show. Gone are the days when a soldier's honor was wrapped up in his willingness to risk his life in order to save civilian lives. Today we have military planners who are calculating how to save their own lives, their own commands, while at the same time sacrificing millions of civilian "pawns."


We civilians have very little control over this process although it is our lives as much or more so than military lives that are being put at risk. We can choose though to bring this whole system to a crunching halt at any time. In a nuclear war there no foot-soldiers. We, the civilians, have replaced the foot-soldiers as cannon fodder. In time of war the military has always sought to protect its upper echelon by using the lower ranks as expendables. In planning for nuclear war, civilians have become the lower ranks, and we are being enlisted to support an endeavor involving our own demise in much the same way that foot-soldiers have always been persuaded to die for their country, by appealing to patriotic notions of glory, the American way and Western values.


Rather than the military serving to protect civilians, the citizens are supposed to protect the military who, after all, hold the power and the decision-making capability over the logistics of when and where a nuclear war will be fought. The survivability of the military is unquestionably much greater than is that of the civilian population. They have the stores and the stocks, the underground bunkers, the aircraft, the fuel reserves, the water reserves, the organization. They are the ultimate survivalists. Is this all really in the interests of the average civilian? We must ask ourselves:"What have I got to gain from a nuclear war?"


Authoritarian relationships whether personal or national are based on power and control. They're based on forcing the other guy to do your will or face the unpleasant consequences. They only work efficiently when there is an imbalance of power, when one is acknowledged dominant and one is acknowledged submissive. If both are equal, then both seek to become dominant. The arms race between the superpowers is a relationship in which two more or less equal nations, nuclearly speaking, are seeking to become dominant. Neither can back off for fear of being relegated to the submissive role. Authoritarian relationships are predicated on inequality and imbalance of freedom. The dominant party has the greater amount of freedom at the expense of the submissive party. The master/slave relationship is characterized by a lot of freedom for the master and little freedom for the slave. The inequality involved is an inequality in the amount of freedom that accrues to each party. One party orders; the other follows orders. One side bids; the other side does the bidding.


Games are played around the concept of freedom. The ruling class will assert that a society is a free society as long as some people (namely them) within it are free. The oppressed class will maintain that it wants its freedom when what it really wants is equality with the dominant class. Unless the oppressed class intends to suppress the dominant class when it becomes free, it should really be for equality in the amount of freedom that the dominant class presently enjoys. Still equality as a rallying cry is not heard much these days while oppressed peoples continue to speak in terms of freedom. Freedom for all or equality of freedom implies a vision of the total society for which change is required. Just speaking about freedom shows only a concern for the group for which the spokesperson is speaking.





As a contrast, let us consider democratic relationships. A democratic relationship is one in which both parties are treated as equals regardless of whatever strengths and weaknesses either party may possess. One party does not try to exploit the other even though there may exist a disparity of power between them. Either party may request but not order and the other side is free to say no. The relationship is a voluntary or consensual relationship. Either party is free to leave the relationship. Interactions and exchanges are based on fairness, on mutual interest and satisfaction. Democratic relationships can be skewed a little toward power relationships if the parties seek their respective advantages in the transactions. They are more truly democratic if both parties are concerned about fairness. Equal value given for equal value received is the final goal with no regard to the respective abilities of either side.

There is another type of relationship distinct from either democratic or authoritarian and this is the caring or loving or Christian relationship. In this type of relationship each party, in addition to taking his own interests into account, takes the interests of the other party into account also and seeks to serve the interests of the other as well as self-interest. The transaction need not be strictly fair. Even mutual interest is not the guiding criterion. The Christian relationship is characterized by a willingness to give more and receive less if the other party is more needy and less able to pay. The intention is to achieve a final result in which the subjective satisfaction is equal on both sides, not just that equal values were exchanged, not just one that was objectively fair. Here we have the definition of equality which we submit to replace the definition currently in vogue in the US-equality of opportunity. Equality of opportunity is the same as the equality of contestants at the outset of a contest. Such equality is biased in favor of the strong and against the weak. The kind of equality advocated by Jesus is that compassionate equality which seeks to bring everyone to the same level of subjective well-being as the final result even if this means an unequal exchange of resources. In fact the exchange of equal values may result in a net gain for one side and a net loss for the other if the sides have unequal abilities to pay. Similarly, the distribution of equal amounts of resources may result in unequal satisfaction  if needs are unequal. So for both sides to wind up with equal satisfaction, it might be necessary for more to be given and less received by the stronger or more able party. This is the inverse of the authoritarian relationship in which the stronger, less needy party takes more and gives less resulting in still more inequality of satisfaction and an unstable positive feedback loop. Also he is taking what he doesn't need by virtue of the fact that he is more powerful. The Christian relationship is based on an assessment of the true needs of both parties rather than on an assessment of the relative power existing between the two parties or even what is objectively fair. It is not a submissive relationship because submissiveness is based on a transfer from the weaker to the stronger out of fear of the stronger. A Christian relationship is based on a transfer from the stronger to the weaker out of a consideration of the greater needs of the weaker party. It is a relationship which is inherently stable because it seeks to bridge the gap and bring both parties into a situation of equality. The authoritarian relationship is inherently unstable since it results in increased inequality and a misallocation of resources since one party gets things he doesn't need which is a waste and the other party is denied things he may desparately need which is also a waste. To sum up,

the Christian relationship is one in which the strong serve the weak as

contrasted with the authoritarian or Nietzschean relationship in which the weak are forced to serve the strong and the democratic relationship in which there are "fair" exchanges regardless of the inherent needs and capacities of either party. The goal in a Christian relationship is to bring the weaker party up to par so that they in turn may help someone else or even potentially the original caregiver if he should someday be in need.  

In "The Art of Loving," Erich Fromm contrasts the loving relationship with the democratic relationship.


"While a great deal of lip service is paid to the religious ideal of love of one's neighbor, our relations are actually determined, at their best, by the principle of fairness. Fairness meaning not to use fraud or trickery in the exchange of commodities and services, and in the exchange of feelings. 'I give you as much as you give me,' in material goods as well as in love, is the prevalent ethical maxim in capitalist society. It may even be said that the development of fairness ethics is the particular ethical contribution of capitalist society.

The reasons for this fact lie in the very nature of capitalist society. In pre-capitalist societies, the exchange of goods was determined either by direct force, by tradition, or by personal bonds of love or friendship. In capitalism, the all-determining factor is the exchange on the market. Whether we deal with the commodity market, the labor market, or the market of services [or the relationship market] each person exchanges whatever he has to sell for that which he wants to acquire under the conditions of the market, without the use of force or fraud."17


Fromm talks about a personality market in which we each put our own "personality package" on the market in the hopes of acquiring another "personality package" of equal or better value. This is the dynamic of how many relationships are formed in contemporary capitalist society. It is interesting to note how these concepts are reinforced. In a publication entitled "Spectrum" put out by the Expressions Singles Discussion Group, we find: "If love isn't all getting, neither is it all giving; it's a trade. We give, but if we don't get a fair return, love withers. Psychologists Elaine Hatfield and G. William Walster, who specialize in research on love, say that singles tend to pair up with people about as attractive, intelligent, educated and socially desirable as themselves, and to avoid those who have less to offer than they have. The happiest couples were those who saw their relationships as equal."18 Equal, that is, in terms of the "package" each has to offer the other on the personality market. According to this ethic nerds team up with nerds and raise little nerds while yuppies team up with yuppies and raise little yuppies. Thus class distinctions are maintained. It's just that the concept of class distinctions has mutated to where it involves one's intrinsic rather than one's extrinsic value.


While the fair exchange of commodities is a great improvement over the use of force to effect transactions under authoritarianism, it still can be depersonalizing and dehumanizing especially when the two parties have relatively unequal underlying situations. For instance, a fair exchange between a rich person and a poor person might be one that causes considerable hardship on the part of the poor person and adds an unneeded benefit to the rich person.

Fromm goes on to contrast democratic relationships with Christian relationships. "Fairness ethics lend themselves to confusion with the ethics of the Golden Rule. The maxim, 'to do unto others as you would like them to do unto you' can be interpreted as meaning 'be fair in your exchange with others.' But actually, it was formulated originally as a more popular version of the Biblical 'Love thy neighbor as thyself.' Indeed the Jewish-Christian norm of brotherly love is entirely different from fairness ethics. It means to love your neighbor, that is, to feel responsible for and one with him, while fairness ethics means not  to feel responsible, and one, but distant and separate; it means to respect the rights of your neighbor, but not to love him. It is no accident that the Golden Rule has become the most popular religious maxim today; because it can be interpreted in terms of fairness ethics it is the one religious maxim which everybody understands and is willing to practice. But the practice of love must begin with recognizing the difference between fairness and love."19


Although the Golden Rule can be interpreted as justifying fairness ethics, that by no means is a legitimate interpretation of it. Doing unto others what you would have them do unto you implies serving the other's interests not striking a bargain based on self-interest or mutual self-interest. It implies a fairness not with respect to the commodities exchanged but with respect to the net result at the psychological and spiritual level for both parties. Thus in an exchange between a rich and a poor person, at the commodity level, perhaps there should be an imbalance in the exchange in favor of the poor person so that the net result might be an equal feeling of benefit on both sides. Let us not exclude the spiritual benefit in the transaction that accrues to the party who gives more and helps the other party out. Equal exchanges at the commodity level between people who are at unequal underlying levels can mask an underlying exploitation of the vulnerable party while on the surface seeming to be totally legitimate. The Golden Rule implies serving the interests of the other in the light of a common, shared humanity which recognizes the equal inherent worth of both parties at the spiritual and feeling levels. The result should be equality on the subjectivei.e.spiritual level. The Golden Rule represents the exact inversion of Nietzschean, authoritarian relationships. It implies that the strong should serve rather than exploit the weak. It does not imply that the strong should become slaves to the weak or that they should become submissive while the weak become dominant. And it does not imply a permanent situation of dependence of the weaker on the stronger or the creation of a welfare class. It does imply a lifting up of the weaker by the stronger and the security of knowledge that if the stronger should become weaker there will be someone to lift him. The goal is to help the weak to become strong, to help the dependent become independent and to take care of those who cannot improve their condition.


At the commodity level, perhaps, the strong person might not seem to gain as much as the weak person or might even seem to lose. At the spiritual level, at the social level, at the level of love, helping one's neighbor yields rewards over and above the benefits accrued from commodities per se. In many cases the quality of a rich person's life will increase by actually reducing his level of consumption, by parting with some of his possessions, by working more and consuming less. Overindulgence in material consumption produces health problems both mental and physical, while simplification of lifestyle in itself produces physical and spiritual rewards. So an "unfair" transfer of wealth from rich to poor will produce benefites even at the physical, material level to both sides as well as spiritual benefits.


We have to consider the compatibility of individual and personal morality, lifestyle and principles with the social structure in which they exist.  Ideally, the society should encourage moral and ethical behavior at the societal level. The practices of society at the macrocosmic level should not be in conflict with ethical behavior at the microcosmic or  individual level. A society that teaches the Golden Rule should be set up so that people can practice it without conflicting with the mainstream economic and political practices of the society. A person who practices what is considered morally good by the society should be encouraged, should flourish and prosper, should be rewarded. Instead, what we find in contemporary capitalist societies is a conflict between personal morality and the type of behavior that is required in order to function adequately in the society. Like Brecht's Good Woman of Sechzuan, we find ourselves prospering when we are cold-hearted and cruel and not prospering when we are caring and humane. In the cultural milieu, we find ourselves prospering when we are insincere and phony and not prospering when we are heartfelt and authentic in our expression. People are forced into a situation in which they must operate according to two conflicting value systems and to separate the spiritual sphere from the secular sphere in order to do so. We not only have separation of church and state on the societal level; we have separation of the secular and the spiritual on the psychological level. Thus there cannot be unification of personality structure as long as this situation exists. We are a split personality as a nation, and we are split personalities as citizens. In order to overcome this split, we must have unification, not necessarily of organizations, but a unification of values at the societal level and at the personal level. We must not tolerate a situation in which the state espouses a different set of values from what represents a consensus of our common spiritual values or espouses the same values but acts according to a different set of values. Needless to say, in order to have good mental hygeine, our spiritual and secular values as individuals should also be in alignment.


"Here, however, an important question arises. If our whole social and economic organization is based on each one seeking his own advantage, if it is governed by the principle of egotism tempered only by the ethical principle of fairness, how can one do business, how can one act within the existing framework of existing society and at the same time practice love? Does the latter not imply giving up all one's secular concerns and sharing the life of the poorest? This question has been raised and answered in a radical way by the Christian monks, and by persons like Tolstoi, Albert Schweitzer, and Simone Weil. There are others who share the opinion of the basic incompatibility between love and normal secular life within our society. They arrive at the result that to speak of love today means only to participate in the general fraud; they claim that only a martyr or a mad person can love in the world today, hence that all discussion of love is nothing but preaching. This very respectable viewpoint lends itself readily to a rationalization of cynicism. Actually it is shared implicitly by the average person who feels 'Iwould like to be a good Christian-but I would have to starve if I meant it seriously.' This 'radicalism' results in moral nihilism. Both the 'radical thinkers' and the average person are unloving automatons and the only difference between them is that the latter is not aware of it, while the former knows it and recognizes the 'historical necessity' of this fact."20


One of the gravest criticisms of capitalist society is that it discourages love. It discourages people on a social level from participating in a fuller human experience. The society is set up as a number of independent economic units who are constantly in competition with one another and hence there is constant friction among them. This competitiveness precludes the fuller development of human relationships based on love, friendship, mutuality and cooperation. Thus one of the goals, if not the main goal, of a socialist society is to create a society which is richer and fuller in terms of the social relationships it engenders and encourages, a society in which the practice of the Golden Rule is the norm and not the marginal and eccentric exception.


The point is that competition destroys social love, that love that exists between citizens of a society or which might exist which is most akin to what Jesus called neighbor-love. One can not both love one's neighbor and compete with one's neighbor because competition implies seeking to gain at one's neighbor's expense while neighbor-love implies helping one's neighbor to gain, seeks the welfare and well-being of one's neighbor. Competition implies an exploitive relationship with one's neighbor while neighbor-love implies a nurturing relationship. The two kinds of relationship are contradictory, and to the extent one exists, the other cannot. "This competitive philosophy 'militates against the experience of community, and that lack of community is a centrally important factor in contemporary anxiety.' When people are defined as rivals, it is difficult to build an overall sense of community or establish a genuine connection with a particular other. 'Anxiety arises out of the interpersonal isolation and alienation from others that inheres in a pattern in which self-validation depends on triumphing over others.'"21 Alfie Kohn is quoting noted psychoanalyst Rollo May. In other words, the "glue" which holds social relationships together is eroded by the abrasiveness of competition.


In the presence of competition, social or neighbor love is turned into its opposite: rivalry. Relationships take on an adversarial quality. "Under conditions of competition, 'the failure of others has the same relative effect as one's own success,' so the failure of others is devoutly to be wished. It is a small step from wanting someone else to fail at a particular task to wanting bad things in general for that person. I come to associate your disappointment  with my pleasure, even when we are not in a zero-sum situation. It is another small step to adopting an adversarial posture all the time. One fails to distinguish between those others who are rivals and those who are not (at least for the moment). Put the two tendencies together and the pattern of behavior that emerges is one of treating virtually everyone as inimical to one's own goals and wishing them ill. 'In a competitive culture,' writes Henry, 'anybody's success at anything is one's own defeat, even though one is completely uninvolved in the success.'"22 Kohn notes the inverse relationship between neighbor-love and the adversarial relationshops bred in a competitive society. "If empathy encourages altruism and competition depresses empathy, then we should find an inverse relationship between competition and altruism-and so we do."23.


Competitive values are learned, among other ways, through sports.


"Sports not only reflect the prevailing mores of our society but perpetuate them. They function as socializing agents, teaching us the values of hierarchical power arrangements and encouraging us to accept the status quo. In a 1981 study of children's competitive soccer and hockey programs in New York and Connecticut, Gai Ingham Berlage was even more specific: 'The structural organization of these programs resembles the structural organization of American corporations. ...The values stressed in children's competitive sports are also similar to corporate values.' ...

Sport does not simply build character, in other words; it builds exactly the kind of character that is most useful for the social system. From the perspective of our social (and economic) system-which is to say, from the perspective of those who benefit from and direct it-it is useful to have people regard each other as rivals. Sports serve the purpose nicely, and athletes are quite deliberately led to accept the value and naturalness of an adversarial relationship in place of solidarity and collective effort."24


"I do not wish to imply that we can expect the present social system to continue indefinitely, and at the same time to hope for the realization of the ideal of love for one's brother. People capable of love under the present system are necessarily the exceptions; love is by necessity a marginal phenomenon in present-day Western society. Not so much because many occupations would not permit of a loving attitude, but because the spirit of a production-centered, commodity-greedy society is such that only the non-conformist can defend himself successfully against it. Those who are seriously concerned with love as the only rational answer to the problem of human existence must, then, arrive at the conclusion that important and radical changes in our social structure are necessary, if love is to become a social and not a highly individualistic, marginal phenomenon. ...Society must be organized in such a way that man's social, loving nature is not separated from his social existence, but becomes one with it. If it is true, as I have tried to show, that love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence, then any society which excludes, relatively, the development of love, must in the long run perish of its own contradiction with the basic necessities of human nature. ...To have faith in the possibility of love as a social and not only exceptional individual phenomenon is a rational faith based on the insight into the very nature of man."25

Elsewhere in this book we have proposed a social system based on political and economic rights which protect the most vulnerable members of society and on the expansion and extension of the concept of democracy to include the entire political-economic spectrum. The basic economic rights of the individual would guarantee that no one would live below the poverty line. There would be a transfer of wealth from the wealthier members of society to make this possible. This is the societal equivalent of a charitable act on the individual level. Therefore, social ethics and individual ethics would be in accord and the Christian attitude of "Love thy neighbor as thyself" would pervade the society by virtue of its embodiment in the social structure as well as being taught on the individual level. These two levels would mutually reinforce one another. For most people who are not extremely rich or poor, the society would operate according to the principle of "to each according to his work and contributions" so the work ethic would remain in force. For the middle class, for people who work for a living, life in a socialist society in many respects would not be that much different from life in an ideal capitalist society. Their economic well-being would still be related to their work. However, the kind of work, the quality of their work experience, the fact that there would be no unemployment, the fact that they would have guaranteed access to the medical system, protection in the case of disability or incapacity for work, and the fact that the amount of work they had to do to reach a certain level of economic well-being would decrease as productivity increased-all these things would be changes for the better in a socialist system. There would be no competition as society would be organized on individual desires and preferences in such a way as to benefit from cooperation.  This elimination of competition would free people to relate more lovingly socially not only in terms of their work and their economic functioning but as human beings in general.


For the bulk of the middle class, public life would involve democratic interactions based on free and equal relationships in which transactions would proceed from an ethic of fairness in much the same way that Newtonian physics applies to most non-extreme physical interactions. However, adjustments would have to be made on the low and the high ends of the economic spectrum not from the point of view, necessarily, of reducing the wealthy down to the middle class, but with the purpose of lifting the lower class out of poverty in much the same way that quantum mechanics rather than Newtonian physics must be used in extreme cases. People, for the most part, would still work for what they get and get what they work for, a time-honored American tradition. However, there would be harmony between the Christian ethic of "Love thy neighbor" on the individual level and the societal embodiment of that ethic on the macrocosmic political-economic level. The society would be set up to evolve in such a way as to reach the eventual goal and ideal of "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" and "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs" which are basically synonomous aphorisms, and in such a way that brotherly love could be made manifest and realized in the social realm.





As we have seen, relationships between individuals tend to mirror relationships between nations. The same values and attitudes that come into play in our individual lives come into play in our national lives. Therefore, investigating and studying the microcosm tells us something about the macrocosm and vice versa. We embark on a study of the nature of romantic love as it is one of the chief cultural heritages of Western civilization. We will see how some of the seemingly harmless underlying assumptions of romantic love when magnified to the national scale can create the situation the world finds itself in today: anarchy and intense rivalry between nation states and a world on the brink of nuclear destruction. We will see how romantic reltionships based on Christian love (Love your neighbor as yourself) have implications for relations between nations. That, in fact, it might be necessary to solve the problems on the microcosmic level (specifically in terms of adult male-female romantic relationships) before problems on a more global level can be solved. We hope not, but, if we can but understand what is going on in the microcosm, it will help us as we attempt to address the macrocosm.


We have already spelled out the difference between a Nietzschean and a Christian relationship, but a review is in order. The basic Nietzschean relationship is one which is characterized by "power over"-in this case by power of the man over the woman. So  we have a microcosmic hierarchy with the man on top and the woman on the bottom. This is the basic model for a Nietzschean romantic relationship; the woman is subservient to the man. The Nietzschean family is basically the same with children being added  at the bottom of the hierarchy. Notice how this arrangement fits neatly into a society which is composed of hierarchal relationships. In fact it is not unfair to say that a Fascist society gives rise to Fascist romantic relationships and that Fascist romantic relationships give rise to Fascist societies.


Today the existence of hierarchal, patriarchal, authoritarian relationships can be seen to be exemplified on the Christian right. Right-wing, fundamentalist Christians base their marital relationships on Ephesians 5:22-25 which says "Wives, submit yourselves unto your husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church; and he is the savior of the body. Therefore, as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives  be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it." Christian Right women are expected to be totally submissive to their husbands. Thus the dominant-submissive relationship is ingrained as a matter of ideology. In an article in Mother Jones magazine entitled, "Unbuckling the Bible Belt," by Barbara Ehrenreich, Elizabeth Hess and Gloria Jacobs, the authors write:


"Women's helplessness, their submission to their role, if not their man, could be dangerous. Despite the promise that the submission of the wife will be matched by the kindness of the husband, fundamentalist imagery sometimes vies with that classic of sado-masochism, 'The Story of O.' Bev LaHaye has called on wives to adopt the attitude of Jesus Christ: 'The willingness to be humbled, to be obedient unto death, and to be submissive.' LaHaye's instructions to the 'spirit-filled' wife could match the rules 'O' was presented with upon entering the Chateau where she was to be held in bondage by its male caretakers. Compare these two quotes:

          LaHaye: As the woman humbles herself (dies to self) and submits to her husband (serves him), she begins to find herself within that relationship. A servant is one who gets excited about making somebody else successful. ...You can live fully by dying to yourself and submitting to your husband.

          'O': You are here to serve your will drop whatever you are doing and ready yourself for what is really your one and only duty: to lend are totally dedicated to something outside yourself.

The tone might just be silly if it weren't for the seriousness fundamentalists have attached to wifely submission. If the line between normal and perverse sex is as thin as experts in the 50's thought, fundamentalist women are walking on a razor's edge: they are expected to submit and ultimately enjoy their degradation. The idea of pleasure never occurs to 'O', old-fashioned masochist that she is, but Bev LaHaye promises excitement  in the sevice of a total master. Yet she offers no recourse for the times when a master's whims take a malicious turn for the worse. Helen Andelin's naughty little girl getting spanked, and Bev LaHaye's 'excited' servant are both symbols of women's brutalization in right-wing Christian culture. There are few alternatives for the woman who doesn't conform. Even the books dedicated to helping men treat their wives better assume that women need to be dominated. 'When you bully your wife and push her around and overpower her with cursing and anger, you are really sick. You have a sick marriage,' warned Pastor H. Page Williams. But he was not surprised some men fell into this pattern. 'The reason this is such a big temptation is because a woman wants to be ruled. Her great desire is to be subject to her husband, because God has ordained it so . ...That's the curse of a woman. ...Her desire to be ruled leaves her wide open to be abused.' His solution? A call for absolute but enlightened monarchy-the man must be a 'good king' in the home.

Some fundamentalist ministers show no sympathey for women, despite what they might see and hear in their offices. 'Wife-beating is on the rise because men are no longer leaders in their homes,' one minister told an interviewer. 'I tell the women they must go back home and be more submissive. I know this works because the women don't come back.' University of Texas sociologist Anson Shupe described one woman he interviewed whose second husband had been beating her for four years. When she finally got up the courage to see her minister about the problem, he told her the abuse was her 'payment' for divorcing her first husband."26


Every man the Fuehrer in his own home with a social pecking order in which the Fuehrer of the nation is at the top is the world view of a Nietzschean society. The person above dominates the one below and is in turn dominated by the one above him. People at the low end of this social totem pole are supposed to be excited about serving the ones above them because what society's supposed to be all about is the emergence of the Superman at the top and people are supposed to identify with and love him even as the weight of the social order is crushing them. Sado-masochism on the personal level can be seen as the personal equivalent of Fascism on the national level and part and parcel of it. The same mentality permeates the entire society.


Romance in capitalist societies can be characterized as the free exchange of equivalent value packages in a fair and democratic manner. These relationships are based on mutual self-interest and can be viewed as similar to alliances between nations whose interests are aligned. Each man or woman looks in the romantic marketplace for a partner who has the same equivalent value in terms of his or her attributes and background-what might be called a personhood package-as his or herself in order to effect a transaction in which equal value is given for equal value received. This is deemed to be fair much as it is considered fair when commodities of equal value are exchanged in the marketplace. In this way each person gets what he or she deserves and does not get ripped off. Of course great care is taken to make the process seem completely unlike what it really is. Commodification is made to seem  most exquisitely divine.


"I am of the conviction that the answer of the absolute incompatibility of love and 'normal' life is correct only in an abstract sense. The principle  underlying capitalist society and the principle  of love are incompatible. But modern society seen concretely is a complex phenomenon. ...Even if one recognizes the principle of capitalism as being incompatible with the principle of love, one must admit that 'capitalism' is in itself a complex and constantly changing structure which still permits of a good deal of non-conformity and of personal latitude.

...The direction of social changes can...only be hinted at. Our society is run by a managerial bureaucracy, by professional politicians; people are motivated by mass suggestion, their aim is producing more and consuming more, as purposes in themselves. All activities are subordinated to economic goals, means have become ends; man is an automaton-well fed, well clad, but without any ultimate concern for that which is his peculiarly human quality and function. If man is to be able to love, he must be put in his supreme place. The economic machine must serve him, rather than he serve it. He must be enabled to share experience, to share work, rather than, at best, share in profits. Society must be organized in such a way that man's social, loving nature is not separated from his social existence, but becomes one with it. If it is true, as I have tried to show, that love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence, then the society which excludes, relatively, the development of love, must in the long run perish of its own contradiction with the basic necessities of human nature. Indeed, to speak of love is not 'preaching,' for the simple reason that it means to speak of the ultimate and real need in every human being. That this need has been obscured does not mean that it does not exist. To analyze the nature of love is to discover its general absence today and to criticize the social conditions which are responsible for this absence. To have faith in the possibility of love as a social and not only exceptional-individual phenomenon, is a rational faith based on the insight into the very nature of man."27


According to Fromm, love is not a phenomenon which, when realized by two people, overflows its boundaries and spreads into the general society around them. Love in capitalist society has become completely privatized so that as couples form, they become an egotism a deux. They become for  themselves and against the competing units surrounding them. Their love is in the nature of an alliance which seeks to promote the interests of the couple in a competitive environment. Love is entirely a privatized and commodified rather than a social and spiritualized phenomenon.


Bear in mind that we are talking about pure abstract models. In reality actual relationships may exemplify some attributes of both the Nietzschean, caoitalist-democratic and other models. Any particular relationship is no more likely to be based on a pure model than is any society in actuality likely to be purely Fascist, purely socialist or purely capitalist. There are many mitigating and contributive factors in actual cases, and we are considering pure models here mainly for the purposes of discussion and in terms of the light they may shed on actual realities.


We would consider a Christian romantic relationship in terms of the maxim-Love your neighbor as yourself. It would be based not on power over or on fair transactions but on a caring for the well-being of the other which is equivalent to the caring that one has for one's self. Therefore, each transaction in the relationship does not have to represent equal value given for equal received, but, on a spiritual level, both parties are interested in maximizing the well-being of the other so there is a kind of spiritual equality involved. This relationship is basically the inverse or opposite of the Nietzschean relationship in that it is based on "power under"-power used in support of the other. It is dissimilar to the capitalist-democratic model in that it is based on an active consideration of the welfare of the other in his or her own right as opposed to a consideration of mutual self-interest. That is, the capitalist-democratic model implies that one's interest in one's partner is based primarily on selfish reasons-what the partner can do for me-while acknowledging that the partner feels the same way-the partner is in it for what I can do for her. The Christian model assumes a caring for the other unconditionally and apart from other considerations while at the same time balancing this with a caring for one's self.


While capitalist-democratic relationships can be thought of as loving the lovable in the other person, Christian love relationships can be thought of as being based on loving the unlovable within the other person. This is not to say that the lovable is not perceived, appreciated and benefitted from, but that it is not the bedrock on which the relationship rests. Being "in love" is like being hooked on an addictive drug or the sugar in the relationship. It is focusing on that part of the relationship that gives us the rush. As in all addictions, tolerance sets in such that the sugar gives us less and less of a rush as time goes on until we "fall out" of love. At that time we notice all the warts and imperfections of our partner. If there is another suitable partner available, we decide that our current partner was not our "true love" and proceed to "fall in love" again with the new partner.


Loving the unlovable within our partner is equivalent to Christ's admonition to care for the "least of these my brethren." It is caring for and shoring up that in our partner that needs caring for but that is the least inspiring to us. It is where the work is needed. It is easy to take the sugar in the relationship. It is not easy to do that which is required to care for the other person which is a turn-off. The sugar turns us on. Caring for the sick, the mediocre, in our partner or in the population as a whole is not what we consider romantic. In this sense romantic love as we know it in our culture and Christian love are opposites. Romantic love is selfish. It makes us feel good. It is something we are in  not something we do. Christian love is based on the objective needs of the other party. It is something we give to them to help them overcome a situation in their lives that does not particularly inspire us as to their desirability. Romantic love is passive and receptive. Christian love is active and outgoing.


Christian love recognizes a weakness or shortcoming and seeks to help the other overcome it, seeks to shore up the other in spite of it. Nietzschean "love"-if you can call it that-recognizes a weakness in the other party and seeks to exploit it for our own advantage thus gaining "power over." This applies in the microcosm of romantic love as well as in the macrocosm of national politics. Christian love seeks to comfort the homeless within each of us as individuals in the same way that it seeks to comfort the homeless among us in the population at large. Contrarily, Nietzschean "love" seeks to exploit the same circumstance whether on the individual or the social level.


Just as the hierarchal family structure fits neatly into a hierarchal society, the Christian family structure, one that is based on acceptance of and shoring up and helping to overcome the weaknesses that may exist in the family unit, fits neatly into what may be called the ideal communist society, one in which the maxim, "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs," holds. We see in the ideal family structure the ideals of communism and Christianity, which are identical, at work: the strong helping the weak. A mother caring for her child represents the strong helping the weak and vulnerable. A spouse caring for a sick spouse represents from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs. The strong helping is similar to "from each according to his abilities." The weak receiving the help is similar to "to each according to his needs." If we can imagine a society in which the homeless are housed, the hungry are fed, the sick are cared for, then we can imagine a society in which we have cared for "the least of these my brethren" and a society that practices on the macrocosmic scale what the truly Christian family practices on the microcosmic level.


Romantic love in Western culture goes back to the Middle Ages. It first appeared in our literature in the myth of Tristan and Iseult, continued in the tradition of "courtly love," the chaste love of a brave knight for a fair lady that represented to him his perfect ideal, continued in the story of Romeo and Juliet and so on down to the present day. Robert A. Johnson in a book entitled, "We: Understanding the Psychology of Romantic Love" has undertaken an exhaustive analysis of the myth of Tristan and Iseult. The reason for this is the following: "The myth of Tristan and Iseult is a profound expression of the Western psyche. It tells us a lot about 'what makes us tick.' It is a vivid, panoramic view of the psychological forces at work in the unconscious of Western people for the last thousand years of our history. Above all, this myth gives us a painfully accurate picture of romantic love-why it came into our culture, what it is, and why it isn't working very well."28


Tristan and Iseult were the original romantic lovers. To recapitulate the myth as we will do it here-very quickly-doesn't do it justice. For this we refer you to Johnson's excellent book. Tristan, for reasons of his own, tricked Iseult the Fair into marrying the King. In the meantime Tristan and Iseult had drunk a love potion so, although Iseult became the King's wife, she and Tristan carried on a surreptitious, clandestine affair fraught with danger lest the King find out. The relationship was characterized by a lot of intensity and passion, meetings, partings, separations. There is a lot of high drama in their relationship. Tristan, distraught with the situation, leaves and goes to a new land where he makes a new and good life for himself. He meets Iseult of the White Hands who offers him all the good things of life: home, hearth, family. After marrying Iseult of the White Hands, he rejects her and all the basic good life she has to offer in order to have one last fling with Iseult the Fair. Tristan ends up dying a tragic death having achieved a satisfactory relationship with neither of the two Iseults.


The first point that Johnson makes is that the values of Western man, symbolized by Tristan, have become completely masculinized. " shows how the feminine values of feeling, relatedness and soul consciousness have been virtually driven out of our culture by our patriarchal mentality."29 Thus, the feminine side of Western man having been driven underground, he seeks to retrieve it by projecting it on a woman and "falling in love." Johnson sums up romantic love very nicely. "For romantic love doesn't mean loving someone; it means being 'in love.' This is a psychological phenomenon that is very specific. When we are 'in love' we believe we have found the missing parts of ourselves. Life suddenly seems to have a wholeness, a superhuman intensity that lifts us high above the ordinary plain of existence. For us, these are the sure signs of 'true love.' The psychological package includes an unconscious demand that our lover or spouse always provide us with this feeling of ecstasy and intensity."30 The point is that romantic love as we know it has nothing to do with caring for the well-being of the other person, nothing to do with neighbor-love in the Christian sense. It has to do with a feeling they inspire in us, a feeling of ecstasy. The important point is that we are involved in romantic love for selfish reasons that have nothing to do with the needs of the other person.


If romantic love has nothing to do with the needs of the other person but instead is a vehicle for our own happiness, then what is the connection with the other person? Well it is assumed that the other person is similarly inspired by us as we are inspired by them. In other words romantic love is based on a situation of mutual self-interest-not on an interest in the other's needs. It is easy to see how this type of relationship fit in with the rise of capitalism, individual rights, the pursuit of happiness and fairness in the exchange of commodities. It is a form of relationship well suited to democracy, capitalism and even socialism but not to the ideals of Christianity or communism. To paraphrase the Gestalt prayer somewhat, the relationship is based on the following understanding: "I do my thing and you do your thing. I am not in this world to diminish my self-interest on your account just as you are not in this world to diminish your self-interest on my account. But, if our being together is in our mutual self-interest, it's beautiful."


In "The Psychology of Romantic Love," by Nathaniel Branden (pub. 1980 by Bantam Books) we find the exposition of romantic love along the lines of the capitalist-democratic model: a romantic love based on mutual self-interest. "Love is the highest, the most intense, expression of the assessment 'for me,' 'good for me,' 'beneficial to my life.' (In the person of someone we love we see, in extraordinarily high measure, many of those traits and characteristics that we feel are most appropriate to life-life as we understand and experience it-and therefore most desirable for our own  (italics mine) well-being and happiness.)"31 So what we are interested in and pursue is our own happiness, and things work out for the best, presumably, because the romantic equivalent of Adam Smith's Guiding Hand sees to it. The situation works much the same as in the economic sphere in which we each pursue our own self-interest without regard to others and the Guiding Hand sees to it that everything comes out OK for everybody. I'm sorry, but I don't believe in this either in the economic or the romantic sphere. It totally contradicts the essence of Christ's teachings in which concern for the other was to be equivalent to concern for one's self. This is the essence of the contradiction between the values of Western civilization and Christ's teachings, and, may I suggest, the reason why Western civilization is not working either in the romantic or in the economic sphere. Branden goes on to extol selfishness as the basis of romantic love. "In sex, more than in any other activity, one experiences the fact that one is an end in oneself  and that the purpose of life is one's own happiness."32 Branden seems to think that the only alternative to total selfishness is slavery in which one's own good is totally submerged to the common good or the will of the state. As Christ made clear, this is not the essence of neighbor-love. Loving one's neighbor as oneself implies loving oneself as much as one's neighbor. There is an equality of self-interest and other-interest. There is not a submergence of one's own interests either to another individual or to a society at large. But neither is there a total concern only for one's self-interest. In a Christian romantic relationship, there is a concern for the "least of these" in the other, a concern for those areas in which one's partner particularly needs help, but this takes nothing away from the joy and delight one takes in those aspects of one's partner that are truly admirable and inspiring. And God knows, being human, we all need "a little bit of sugar to make the medicine go down" as the song from "Mary Poppins" says. Maybe this is the true role of the erotic, the sugar, in relationships: to make life joyous, to motivate us to want to go on living, to give us the strength to deal with helping our partners as well as the human race, move away from poverty, poverty of the soul as well as poverty of the body.


Again Branden's insistence that the purpose of romantic love is our own happiness: "The essence of the romantic love response is:'I see  you as a person, and because you are what you are, I love and desire you, for my happiness in general and my sexual happiness in particular."33 In other words your package has a value equal to my package so let's make a fair exchange and exchange packages. We deserve each other! One of Branden's more interesting observations is that when we love someone our self-interest expands to include our partner: "This is the great complement of love: that our self-interest expands to encompass our partner."34 So instead of viewing the world as made up of competing individuals each pursuing their own interests, we now have coalitions forming consisting in this case of the two romantic partners, who then operate with respect to the outside world as an individual competing unit. Since one's partner is contributive to one's own welfare, we don't want to lose her primarily because we would then lose what she has to offer us. She represents an investment and we should care for her much as we would take care to look after our other investments, because to neglect any of the properties that are relevant to our happiness or in which we have an interest is to neglect our own self-interest. The problem with this is the problem with the whole model: it treats the other person not as a spiritual being but as a commodity. Also it creates the mentality of a lot of family units in competition with other family units. In the same way, I suppose, one could extend one's family's self-interest to include one's community on the grounds that what's good for one's community is good for one's self. Thus one is for one's own community as opposed to other communities. And so on right on up to one's nation. One is for one's nation because what is good for one's nation is good for one's self and so we do what we can to see to it that our own nation wins out in the competition with other nations because this is in our own self-interest. Thus on a family level we try to "keep up with the Jones's." And on a national level we are Semper Fidelis. There are always some people with whom it is in our own interests to ally ourselves, and then there are the others with whom we are in competition, that is to say for whom we have no love whatsoever.


Branden does have some good things , in my opinion, to say about relationships. "To nurture another human being means to accept that person as he or she is, and yet to believe in possibilities within that person yet unrealized."35 "Without any implication of immaturity, there exists in each one of us the child we once were, and there are times when that child too needs nurturing. We need to be aware of the child in ourselves and in our partner. We need to be in good relationship with that child. To nurture someone we love is to nurture the child within that adult person, and to accept the child as a valid part of who that person is. To nurture is to love not only our partner's strength but also his or her fragility, not only that within our partner which is powerful but also that which is delicate."36 Branden is almost saying that we need to love the unlovable as well as the lovable. If he could only say that in the spirit of unconditional love for the other instead of conditioning everything ultimately on his own self-interest. Indeed he goes on to say "We do not want to be nurtured as an act of self-sacrifice. We want to feel that our partner is selfishly invested in the act of nurturing."37 How egotistical can one get! To think we are so wonderful that our partner positively delights in carrying our shit. Alas, doing something for the other's sake per se is not something Branden can entertain. If he can not justify every act in terms of self-interest, then it is an act which can never be committed regardless of the other's need for it.


Perhaps the best encapsulation of this attitude is this: "Of all the nonsense written about love, none is more absurd than the notion that ideal love is selfless . What I love is the embodiment of my values in another person; properly understood, love is a profound act of self-assertion.

"To love selfishly  does not mean to be indifferent to the needs or interests of the partner. To say it once more: When we love, our concept of our self-interest expands to embrace the well-being of our partner. That is the great compliment of love: to declare to another human being that his or her happiness is of selfish  interest to ourselves."38 To hear Branden speak of the "emdodiment of my values in another person," hearkens one back to Nietzsche's talk about the "noble values." In other words a person's worth is measured by his value which is a variable commodity, and, to the extent that a person possesses value -intelligence, beauty, strength, grace, personality-to that extent is the person worthy of our love. People that don't possess value, of course, are discards, rejects, trash. Notice how such a value system justifies the continuation of poverty, supports the existence of the underclass. In this value system, the underclass are simply the people who are not worthy, who don't have value. And why is it complimentary to tell someone that their well-being is in our self-interest. Their self-interest might change and then our well-being might not be in their self-interest and then where does that leave us? There is something about this that smacks of an alliance between thieves and murderers who are all bonded together in pulling off the job and then start to fall out and murder each other over who gets what share of the take.

Branden continues: "To love selflessly is a contradiction in terms.

"To help us understand this, let us ask ourselves whether we want our lover to caress us un selfishly, with no personal gratification in the doing, or do we want our lover to caress us because it is a joy and a pleasure for him or her to do so? And let us ask ourselves whether we want our partner to spend time with us, alone together, and to experience the doing as an act of self-sacrifice ? Or do we want our partner to experience such time as glory? And if it is glory that we want our partner to feel, if we want our partner to experience joy in our presence, excitement in our being, ardor, passion, fascination, delight, then let us stop talking of 'selfless love' as a noble ideal."39 Yes, it is preferable for our partner to experience all these good things when she spends time with us or caresses us, and, hopefully, this will be the normal state of affairs for most people. But what if we are sick, what if we are laid up, what if we have Alzheimer's disease, what if we have been in a serious accident? It is hard for us to imagine that our partner would experience any of those things as she changes our bedpan, but she might. But would you rather have her walk out the door if one of these unfortunate things happened to you and she found herself not selfishly invested in your welfare but, all of a sudden, selfishly invested in someone else's, no longer experiencing "passion, fascination, delight" being around you? I would rather think that my partner's committment to me and mine to her extended to those situations where one or both of us wasn't deriving any pleasure or joy from the situation but, still, there were needs that had to be met.

Maybe we were in a position in which we couldn't provide any joy or pleasure to our partner. Would you want your partner to walk out on you under these circumstances just when your needs were the greatest, when you were at your lowest ebb, when you were at your most vulnerable? Is that love? Is that commitment? Commitment is when you don't feel inspired and you do it anyway because you know the other person needs it. If we never expected to have these difficult situations come about, there would be no need for commitment. If we were always inspired to do the loving thing, if it were always in our selfish interests to do the loving thing, then we wouldn't need commitment. Commitment has no meaning if it doesn't have that: that we agree to do that which our partner needs, that which is necessary for our partner's well-being precisely when we don't feel inspired to do it. We must hope and trust that life will restore itself, normalcy will return and that life will once again be a joyous experience. Branden would assert that it would be in our long term self-interest to nurse our partner through an illness in order that we might resume our being the recipient of the pleasure afforded by our partner. But what if the chances of our partner ever recovering are nil? What if it's a terminal

illness requiring long term care-giving? What, in short, if it's a situation in which we never can expect to derive any benefits from our partner ever again? Do we turn our back on her? And should society as a whole turn its back on those citizens from whom it can never hope to derive anything of value again-the disabled, the retarded, the mentally defective, the aged?

As an example of the kind of Christian love I'm talking about, I have only to look at my own family. My sister was born with severe brain damage. There was no way to even get her to the point where she could care for herself. Throughout her life she had the mentality of a one year old. Here was a completely helpless and vulnerable individual. Well what do you do with her? Does the family ship her off to an institution to warehouse her for the rest of her life? Or does the family care for her giving her the love that she still needs and is very responsive to? My mother and father cared for my sister for most of the 33 years that she lived. It was a big burden. It meant giving up a lot of things as a family that we might have wanted to do. But you know in a way my sister gave a lot back. Sure she was helpless, Sure she required constant attention. But regardless of her brain damage, regardless of the fact she would never make a contrabution to society, regardless of the fact that she couldn't even take care of herself, she still gave back a lot of love. No, it was not a normal family life. Yes, it was depressing at times. No, there was no hope of progress in her situation. She was going to have to be taken care of by somebody until she died. She was a constant responsibility borne primarily by my mother. I give her credit for undertaking that responsibility out of love, knowing that her daughter could never repay her in any way.

My mother didn't become a martyr either. She went on to have a career as a teacher. She and my Dad travelled widely. They led a full life. For many years they had a person living in who helped with my sister. They could never have an elegant home because my sister destroyed things. She used to swipe whole spoonfuls of butter out of the butter dish and put them in her mouth before anyone could stop her. She used to get under the Christmas tree and pull it down on top of her. She was a mischief and a nuisance. It took great patience to put up with her. Her balance was not good and she used to fall a lot as a child. She had seizures which got worse and more frequent as she grew older. For the last 15 years or so of her life she was mostly bedridden. She was "the least of these my brethren." She was a person Hitler would have gladly sent to the gas chamber to put her out of her misery. She cost my parents a lot of money for doctors' bills and other expenses. She would wait by the window by the hour for my parents to come home. They were her whole world and she loved them dearly. She would cheer and cackle with joy when she saw their car pull in the driveway. It took her many years to learn to walk and her balance was always poor. She never learned to talk except to say Mama, Papa and Baba for brother. She never even learned how to use the bathroom by herself, and she went in her pants frequently. She used to slobber when she ate. Jeanne might have been a beautiful, talented and accomplished girl and woman. We'll never know. A couple of critical minutes deprived of oxygen while she was waiting to be born because the doctor was late and then a life that sufferred the results of that error for 33 years. I'm glad that my parents didn't put her in an institution. They did sacrifice. They exemplified loving the unlovable as well as the lovable in my sister. She was the "least of these my brethren" and they gave her a home and love.


Getting back to Tristan and Iseult, we discussed how Western man and woman have become masculinized and thus the feminine part of our psyche has been repressed. For a man this feminine part is then projected in idealized form onto a woman when we fall in love. She becomes the incarnation of our ideal. We idealize her. "Like Tristan, we are the children of sadness. Western people are the children of inner poverty, though outwardly we have everything. Probably no other people in history have been so lonely, so alienated, so confused over values, so neurotic. We have dominated our environment with sledge-hammer force and electronic precision. We amass riches on an unprecedented scale. But few of us, very few indeed, are at peace with ourselves, secure in our relationships, content in our loves, or at home in the world. Most of us cry out for meaning in life, for values we can live by, for love and relationship."40


Our idealization of the woman often times has little to do with who she really is and everything to do with our fantasies. Thus she is the incarnation of our values; she represents the fulfillment of our dreams. Johnson distinguishes between romantic love and human love which is very much akin to what we have called Christian love. He speaks of the confusion between the two.


"We are all so caught up in the belief that romantic love is 'true love' that we use the term for many things that are not romantic love at all. We assume that if it is love, it must be 'romance,' and if it is romance, it must be 'love.' ...

"It is hard for us to imagine that there could be any love, at least any worthwhile love, still alive for a couple after romance departs. But often these people have what the rest of us lack: love, relatedness, stability and commitment. In our culture we have romance in abundance: We fall in love, we fall out of love; we live through great dramas, filled with great ecstasy when romance burns hot and filled with despair when romance grows cold. If we look at our own lives and the people around us, we see that romance doesn't necessarily translate into love or relatedness or commitment. Romance is something distinct, something apart, a reality unto itself.

"Here, then, is the starting point for our exploration: Romantic love is not love  but a complex of attitudes about  love-involuntary feelings, ideals, and reactions. Like Tristan, we drink of the potion and find ourselves possessed: caught in automatic reactions and intense feelings, a near visionary state."41


Johnson equates romantic love with a religious experience, but it doesn't last because no person can live up to the idealized view that the other has of him or her. He says that we should reclaim our spiritual nature for ourselves so that we can live in the real world. "We might expect that a cult of love that specifically opposes marriage, that seeks to spiritualize relationship into a perpetual and superhuman intensity, would be a very poor basis for marriage and a very risky approach to human relationships. Yet these are the ideals that underlie our patterns of courtship and marriage to this day! Taken on the wrong level, these inherited ideals cause us to seek passion and intensity for their own sake; they plant a perpetual discontent that can never find the perfection it seeks. The discontent grays over every modern relationship, holds an unattainable ideal before our eyes and blinds us perpetually to the delight and beauty of the here-and-now world."42


One of the main tragedies of romantic love which has a lot in common with one of the tragedies of self-interest politics is that it implies its own system of morality, a moral system very much at odds with the traditional morality of honoring commitments and the Christian morality of loving one's neighbor. "And with [romantic love], a new morality enters the world. Those who drink of the love potion claim a special dispensation. Tristan tells us that he is innocent, that he has done no wrong, that he answers to a new set of laws. Inebriated as he is on the magic wine, he is lifted above the old standards of right and wrong: He will not be judged by any rule save the law of passion."43 The law of passion goes something like this: As long as one is "in love" with one's partner, he is obligated to honor commitments with her. But if he falls out of love with her and in love with someone else, he's not. How many times have we heard, as a justification for adultery, that so-and-so doesn't really love his/her spouse, but loves the gal/guy he/she's with. Falling in love with someone else justifies the dishonoring of commitments with respect to the original lover/spouse. This is very similar to self-interest (even Macchiavellian) politics in which commitments, treaties etc. are honored so long as interests are in alignment and then not honored once it is no longer in the interests of one of the parties to do so. Traditional and Christian morality assumes that commitments will be honored even when it is not in the interests of one of the parties not just when it is expedient to do so. But politics or romance or any type of human interaction in which people act solely out of self-interest leads to situations in which commitments are broken simply because it is no longer in the self-interest of one of the parties to honor the commitment.

"These miracles tell us that the lovers do right even as they seem to do 'wrong.' ...The 'other world' intervenes over and over into ordinary life to relieve the two lovers of the normal consequences of their acts, for if they are out of step with this ordinary world and with human morality, they are completely in step with that other world. But that world exacts its own price and has its own consequences..."44 The price it exacts oftentimes is the betrayal of the current lover when he falls out of love with her which is inevitable since he is really in love with his own idealized projection onto her. It is worth quoting Johnson at some length here since he understands the dilemma of romantic love so well and how it conflicts with traditional notions of right and wrong.


"When the love potion seizes Tristan and Iseult, it not only asks of them that they add a new dimension to their lives, it demands that they obliterate all sense of right and wrong, all the standards of loyalty, commitment, and faithfulness by which we ordinary mortals keep our lives and our human relationships intact upon the face of this earth.

We saw one drink of the love potion turn their world upside down. Now we see that it reverses morality: It reverses our values, turning right into wrong and wrong into right. Since the ascendancy of romantic love, most Westerners are torn constantly between two opposing ideals: One is the ideal of romance; the other is the ideal of commitment in human relationships. We commonly think they are the same, but they are utterly opposed.

With courtly love a whole new set of values came into our culture. Without our being aware, a new morality was born within us and began to shape our attitudes. Romance, in its purest form, seeks only one thing-passion. It is willing to sacrifice everything else-every duty, obligation, relationship, or commitment-in order to have passion. With courtly love we began to believe that the most important thing in life is to search for one's soul through romantic projection. We have not learned that there is any other way to find our soul. Our ideal of romance teaches us that we must seek the ultimate ecstasy, discover the 'enchanted orchard,' by the one means known to us: falling 'in love.'

The cult of romance legislates a new definition of 'good' or 'bad.' Our new morality says that there is nothing so important as to be 'in love,' to feel that intensity and ecstasy, to believe that one has once again found one's missing soul revealed in the beloved. Passion is the way-the only way-to wholeness and fulfillment. Passion is the one lane into the lost world of the gods.

Believing this, we could not help but enact a new standard of right and wrong: Whatever comes from being 'in love' is 'right'; whatever serves my passion is right; and whatever stands in the way of my passion must be shoved aside for the higher 'good.' We all answer with Tristan: 'You that sit in judgment on us here, do you know what cup it was we drank of on the high sea?' We believe that we have the right to follow our projections wherever they might lead and to pursue passion for its own sake, regardless of the relationships that are broken, regardless of the people who are hurt. Passion has become unconsciously defined as our highest good, our main goal in life; and all other values are commonly sacrificed to it.

Typically, a modern man will begin a marriage with his soul-image projected on his wife; he only begins to know his wife as a woman after the projection begins to lift. He finds that he loves her as a woman, he values her and respects her, he feels the beauty of being committed to her and knowing that she is committed to him. But one day he meets a woman who catches the projection of anima. He knows nothing of anima and less of projection; he only knows that this 'other woman' seems like the essence of perfection; a golden light seems to envelope her, and his life feels exciting and meaningful when he is with her.

On that day, the two opposing armies in the Western psyche take up their swords and go to war with him. The two moralities begin their duel. On one side, his 'human' morality tells him that he is wrong to betray his wife and set off on a course that will break his relationship. His instincts warn him to affirm what he has, to cherish the durable love that nourishes him, the stability and mutual trust that he and his wife have achieved.

But on the other side of his subconscious mind, another voice is heard: the morality of romance. Romance tells him that his life will only have meaning if he goes after anima, and that he must pursue his soul specifically in the body of the 'other woman'-nothing less will do, for there lies passion, and passion is all. The morality of the love potion tells him he must seek passion at all costs: He has a 'right' to fall 'in love' at random; that is what life is all about! He has an affirmative 'duty' to himself to get all the excitement and intensity he can. The ancient voices of Cathars and courtly knights and ladies all whisper in unison that 'true love' is found neither in marriage nor within ordinary relationship, that 'true love' is only found with a woman other than his wife-a woman whom he sees not as woman  but as the image of the goddess."45


Notice that the struggle is between what he perceives as his self-interest and his responsibility, his commitment, to his wife. In a society which encourages people to only consider self-interest, in a society which believes as Branden does, that romantic relationships are founded on self-interest and self-interest alone, it is not hard to see what the choice will be. This is the central explanation as to why there is so much divorce: People who base their marriages and indeed even their whole lives solely on self-interest will stay in those marriages only as long as they perceive them to be in their self-interest. When conditions change and they perceive that their interests are better served elsewhere, they will break commitment with their present spouse. It is interesting to see how Branden defines commitment: "[Commitment] means, first of all, the acceptance, without resistance or denial, of the importance of the other person to our life. It means that we experience our partner as essential to our happiness and are at peace with this fact. But it means more than that: it means that our experience of self-interest has expanded to include the interests of the person we love, so that the happiness and well-being of our partner becomes a matter of our personal, selfish concern. Without any denial or loss of individuality, there is the sense of being a unit, especially in regard to the rest of the world. There is the sense of an alliance: Whoever harms my partner harms me. And more: the protection and preservation of the relationship exists on my highest level of priorities, which means that I do not knowingly or deliberately act so as to jeopardize our relationship; profoundly respecting the needs of the relationship, I try to be responsive to those needs to the best of my ability."46


Another way of saying that "self-interest has expanded to include the interests of the person we love" is to say, in Fromm's term, that they have formed an egotism a deux. Now instead of one person peering out at the world through the eyes of self-interest, a coalition of two people peers out at the world. Instead of one person looking at the world as consisting of competitors and adversaries, a coalition of two, having made peace between themselves, looks out at the world. Branden never mentions anything concerning the longevity or duration of the relationship. What happens when we come to experience our partner as not essential to our happiness and in fact come to experience someone else as more essential? Well, as it turns out, after all the high-flung rhetoric about romantic relationships including, I will admit, some very good ideas, Branden ultimately cops out, acknowledging that in fact we have become a society in which serial monogamy has become the norm. "Divorce has become, increasingly, a normal way of life; it is not a deviation  from the normal pattern, it is  the normal pattern. ...It is an error to assume that a marriage is invalid if it does not last forever. ...The value of marriage is to be gauged by the joy it affords, not by its longevity."47  What Branden fails to say is that people divorce for the same reasons that he ascribes as to why they marry: reasons of self-interest, all the flowery language about changing and growing in different directions and divergent paths notwithstanding. And usually in the process the person who is left does not experience the situation as an opportunity for growth but as a betrayal of an alliance and is very hurt. He backs off from ascribing the rationale of selfishness to break-up and divorce as he has so painstakingly done with the forming of relationships although he probably knows this is the major reason. He just doesn't want to credit selfishness with the down-side of relationships, probably.


This increased responsibility to self has diminished our responsibility to the other with disastrous consequences for the family. "This protective obsession with self and image...also permeates family living. Carlfred Broderick, a sociology professor at the University of California, says increased emphasis on what he calls 'personhood'-as opposed to duty-has helped to unravel traditional family obligations. ...The focus in such on self, under the banner of personal fulfillment. 'Individual rights play a significant role,' he says, 'and that's where the tension arises' in today's families.

"Irene Goldenberg, a psychology professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, concludes that the cult of personhood has brought about a more selfish view of the 'responsibilities in a marriage,' including the responsibility for divorce. Goldenberg adds that the diminished sense of commitment has seeped down to children, leaching out old feelings of loyalty to the family. In consequence, she says, today's children are 'taking care of themselves first.'"48


We touch upon here what has become a commonplace justification for divorce: one's responsibility to one's own personal fulfillment. The balance has been tilted in favor of one's responsibility to one's self and against one's responsibility to one's family. Rather than being a protection of one's vulnerability, the assertion of individual rights encroaches on one's responsibility to the community and is used as a justification for ignoring one's responsibility to one's fellow man, in this case the family. "But we are really in the process of constructing a new morality in which freedoms we struggled for will be counterbalanced with a sense of responsibility, so that the freedoms don't become excess."49 Progress has been taken to mean an advance in personal freedom at least in the US. Perhaps we need to redefine the notion of progress to mean increased responsibility to one's fellow man. More importantly, both things need to be considered: increased personal freedom and increased responsibility to our fellow man. These things both need to proceed with some sort of balance.


Branden goes on to try and justify extramarital affairs in the same wishy-washy manner. "Sometimes we meet a new person who strikes chords within our being that have never been struck before; new doors are opened; new understandings and new gratifications are experienced. And we feel drawn to encounter this new person on every level-including the sexual-even though the attachment may not be strong enough to motivate us to separate from our primary partner.

"Sometimes we meet a new person of a kind who, in our earlier years, we felt we could not possible have, and now, when the opportunity is presented, the temptation may be felt as irresistable."50


As Johnson would say, the butterfly of animus has alighted on someone else's shoulder. The key word here is opportunity. Someone who acts totally out of self-interest may be escribed as an opportunist. It becomes in our perceived self-interest, when the butterfly of animus alights on a new person's shoulders to shift our affections, have an affair or get a divorce. Also when a person presents themselves whom we think may bring us  more happiness than the person we are involved with and perhaps committed to, it becomes in our self-interest to shift our alliance and allegiance to the new person. The only thing that would prevent this serial polygamy is a commitment to the well-being of the other-the person we are presently with-a neighbor-love for our current partner that transcends our own self-interest, rather than a commitment to follow the butterfly of animus wherever it may alight. Why not, if one espouses operating solely from self-interest, admit that when interests change partners will change and make that a specific part of the commitment? This would be the honest and integrated thing to do. But people caught up in the wine of romantic love cannot do this because to do so would contradict the myth; this would be a contradiction in terms. One can't "romance" someone, tell them how much we love them, how they're our soul-mate etc. and then say, "Oh, by the way, if some day it's in my self-interest to get involved with somebody else, let's agree that that's OK." The point is that romantic love contains an inherent lie and this is the lie: that while we pretend to value the other so much, what we really value is our  experience of the other.


"But a commitment to passion is not a commitment to a human being. In our culture we have these two feelings completely confused. We are all committed to finding passion, we are all committed to being eternally 'in love';and we imagine that this is the same thing as being committed to a person. But the passion fades; the passion migrates to someone else we feel attracted to. If we are committed only to follow where passion leads, then there can be no true loyalty to an individual person.

...Almost everyone is looking for 'committed relationship.' Most people sense that this is what they need, and people talk and read about 'relationship' incessantly. But for all our talk about 'commitment,' we are sabotaged by our assumptions before we begin. We assume that the single ingredient that we need for 'relationship,' the one thing it cannot do without, is romance. But in fact, the essential ingredients for relationship are affection and commitment. If we look clearly, we begin to see that romance is a completely different energy system, a completely distinct set of values, from love and commitment. If it is romance that we seek, it is romance that we shall have-but not commitment and not relationship.

A man is committed to a woman only when he can inwardly affirm that he binds himself to her as an individual and that he will be with her even when he is no longer 'in love,' even when he and she are no longer afire with passion and he no longer sees in her his ideal of perfection or the reflection of his soul. When a man can say this inwardly, and mean it, then he has touched the essence of commitment. But he should know that he has an inner battle ahead of him. The love potion is strong: The new morality of romance is deeply ingrained in us; it seizes us and dominates us when we least expect it. To put the love potion on the correct level, to live it without betraying his human relationships, is the most difficult task of consciousness that any man can undertake in our modern Western world.

Here, then, are the two moralities that we find in conflict beneath the tall pine tree: the morality of romance and the morality of human commitment."51


Finally, we see the reality that Tristan and Iseult the Fair do not really "love" each other at all. Each is using the other as a vehicle for intense, passionate experience. Neither is concerned about the other's happiness or well-being. We finally come to see that romantic love has more to do with the "power over" of Nietzschean love than the "power under," the support and caring , of Christian love. The "power over" is the very passion and intensity that the other person represents to us which is our projection on them. We have given them power over us by projecting our anima, our dream of perfection, on them, by making them responsible for our own happiness instead of seeking to develop our inner feminine nature and realizing our happiness thereby. We have become "romance junkies" in much the same way as we have tried to find our happiness in material things, in consumption, in the ingestion of something external. We refuse to do the inner work, we refuse to deal with what's "in here" but instead become addicted to what's "out there."


"This, whether we admit it or not, is what romantic love is. In Tristan and Iseult the egotism, the use of each other to create the passion for its own sake, is so blatant, so naive, and so childlike that it is unmistakable. But our own versions of this are scarcely more subtle. It simply never enters our romantic heads that there is something strange about seeking a so-called 'love' for the sake of my  fulfillment, my  thrills, my  dreams coming true, my  fantasy, my  'need to be loved,' my  ideal of the perfect love, my  security, my  entertainment.

When we genuinely love another person, it is a spontaneous act of being, an identification with the other person that cause us to affirm, value, and honor him or her, to desire that peson's happiness and well-being. In those rare moments when we are loving , rather than focused on our own egos, we stop asking what dreams this person is going to fulfill for us, what intense and extraordinary adventures he or she is going to provide.

There are two marriages that Tristan needs to make. The first marriage is an inner marriage with his own soul, with Iseult the Fair. That marriage is made by going to the inner world, practicing his religion, his inner work, living with the gods of the inner world. The second marriage is to Iseult of ther White Hands. This marriage means a union with another human being, and it means taking her as  a human being."52


What Johnson refers to as "human love," we refer to as "Christian love." For all intents and purposes they are one and the same. Johnson, evidently, did not want to introduce the topic of religion too overtly in his book. On the other hand, we want to give credit where credit is due even if the overt mention of religion turns off some readers. However, Johnson does acknowledge that what he is talking about is Christian neighbor-love: "If a man and woman are friends to each other, then they are 'neighbors' as well as lovers; their relationship is suddenly subject to Christ's dictum: 'Love thy neighbor as thyself.'"53 Human love or Christian love is based on the needs of the other just as is, to coin a phrase, communist love: "to each according to his needs." We are dealing here with what love is and what love isn't.


"Love is the power within us that affirms and values another human being as he or she is. Human love affirms that person who is actually there, rather than the ideal we would like him or her to be or the projection that flows from our minds. Love is the inner god who opens our blind eyes to the beauty, value, and quality of the other person. Love causes us to value that person as a total, individual self, and this means that we accept the negative side as well as the positive, the imperfections as well as the admirable qualities. When one truly loves the human being rather than the projection, one loves the shadow just as one loves the rest. One accepts the other person's totality.

Human love causes a man to see the intrinsic value in a woman; therefore love leads him to honor and serve her, rather than to try to use her for his ego's purposes. When love is guiding him, he is concerned with her needs and her well-being, not fixated on his own wants and whims.

Love alters our sense of importance. Through love we see that the other individual has as great a value in the cosmos  as our own; it becomes just as important to us that he or she  should be whole, should live fully, should find the joy of life, as that our own needs be met. ...

In its very essence, love is an appreciation , a recognition of another's value: It moves a man to honor a woman rather than use her, to ask himself how he might serve her. And if this woman is relating to himthrough love, she will take the same attitude toward him. ...

We can learn that human relationship is inseparable from friendship and commitment. We can learn that the essence of love is not to use the other to make us happy but to serve and affirm the one we love. And we can discover, to our surprise, that what we have needed more than anything  was not so much to be loved, as to love."54


Our capacity for loving will determine whether we can meet the other's needs. Love has more to do with accepting the worst in the other than benefitting from the best. Accepting the "least" as in "the least of these my brethren" in the other. What would the "least" be in a prospective partner? Physical attractiveness, looks, is a very important judgment criterion in Western culture. Can we accept as a partner someone who is not very good looking? Can we also see the beauty in her? The "least" in another person more than not has to do with esthetics. In fact we have elevated a morality of esthetics (and even cosmetics) above Christian morality. We value the charming, winning, good-looking person who lies and cheats above the person deficient in charm who obeys the law and cares for others. The person we put at the bottom of the social totem pole is not the criminal but the nerd. Most of us, if we had to make the choice, would rather marry a charming, good-looking criminal than a nerd, a person devoid of social gracefulness and charm, who does right by his fellow man. Our values have been distorted in favor of the values of romance, the values of illusion rather than reality, the values of style rather than substance. So who are "the least of these my brethren" when it comes to romance or love? They are precisely those people devoid of looks, charm and social grace-the nerds of the world. They are the poverty class of the social world. When Christ admonishes us to serve the needs of "the least of these my brethren," is he asking us to become romantically involved with a nerd? I think so for those of us who have attained sainthood in the love-relationship department. For those of us who haven't, for those of us who need that spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down, we should still try to accept the nerdly in our partner. This is hard to do if we are stuck on having the ideal man or the ideal woman.


The value system of Christ places more value on satisfying the needs of "the least of these" than it does on having a few people have perfect, ideal relationships with perfect, ideal partners. The nobility of the romantic world are the beautiful people. Christ asked us to care for those who are at the opposite end of the spectrum. Aristocracy places more value on the ideal, the beautiful, the strong. Society exists in order to satisfy the needs of these people, for their happiness. Communism places more value on satisfying the needs of the people at the low end of the social spectrum, and as such has more in common with the value system of Christ. We can think of an aristocracy of beautiful people and we can think of a proletariat of ugly people. There is both a wealth and a poverty of personal esthetics just as there is of material possessions. Nietzsche's only concern was for the high end of the social spectrum-the superman. He alone mattered. Lesser beings were not to be valued. Here you have the two contrasting visions of social evolution: on the one hand an evolution  carried along on the achievements of supermen who stand on the shoulders of lesser humanity; on the other hand an evolution  in which the whole human race acts in concert while valuing the welfare of the "least" member.


Accepting the "least" in one's neighbor or partner leads to a value system of being able to accept the "least" in ourselves, in other words, to self-acceptance. I would like to contrast the value of self-acceptance with the value of self-esteem and to show they really imply opposite value systems with regard to how we view ourselves. Self-esteem has to do with what is great, what is noble about ourselves. It is another name for pride. We think we're OK because of our accomplishments, our talents, our wonders. The problem is that we all also have a downside: our weaknesses, our shortcomings, our failures, our departures from perfection. When we're up, we can feel good about our upside, and we say we have self-esteem. But when we're down, the concept of self-esteem doesn't work because, if we value ourselves for how wonderful we are, and then we come to realize, even if temporarily, that we're not so wonderful, then, during those times at least, we devalue ourselves. The wisdom of self-acceptance as opposed to self-esteem is that even when we're feeling our lowest and can see all our shortcomings in great detail, if we can accept ourselves anyway, we can still feel OK. This is accepting the "least of these" in ourselves. Then of course when we are up, we can enjoy life even morei.e.the fact that we are self-accepting does not constrain us when we are seeing ourselves in a better perspective and feeling good about ourselves. If we value the great in others and base our relationship on that, then, when we find out that our partner is less than great, we devalue them. If we value the great in ourselves and then realize that we are less than great, we devalue ourselves. If we value  only the great in society, we devalue the less than great. On the other hand, when we accept ourselves and others even at our worst, our weakest and ugliest, we value ourselves and others all the time. When we accept the value of the "least of these my brethren," then we value all human beings. To discriminate among people based on their characteristics or their merit is to be a snob. We can be a snob with respect to ourselves too when we base our self-image only on our nobler characteristics and then reject ourselves, as we have rejected others, when we fail to live up to our noble self-image.


We turn now to an expert on love, Leo Buscaglia, who says in his book, "Love,"


"Before man can love all men or any man, his first responsibility in love is, and always will be, to himself. The Gospel statement, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself,' presupposes self-love and suggests that man 'shall' love others to the extent to which he loves himself. ...Suffice it to say that only to the depth and the extent to which one feels responsibility to grow in self love, so can he feel this toward helping others to do so. All men are related to a greater or smaller extent, interconnected, and each man who comes closer to himself in any way comes closer to others.

Albert Schweitzer said repeatedly that as long as there was a man in the world who was hungry, sick, lonely or living in fear, he was his responsibility. He affirmed this by living a life in this belief; a life of the loftiest order, the highest fulfillment, the greatest joy, the most elevated dignity and, therefore, the most towering love.

Society has not produced many Schweitzers, but all of us know and accept some level of responsibility to ourselves and to others. The fact is, to be human is to be responsible.

Many men find it difficult to assume full responsibility for even themselves, let alone for another individual, or group of individuals. Therefore, the idea of being accountable for a 'family of man' seems to them inconceivable, unrealistic, idealistic nonsense.

When love is truly responsible, it is one's duty to love all men. Man has no choice but to accept this duty, for when he does not, he finds his alternatives lie in loneliness, destruction and despair. To assume this responsibility is for him to become involved in delight in mystery and in growth. It is to dedicate himself to the process of helping others to realize their love through him. Simply speaking, to be responsible in love is to help other men to love. To be helped toward realizing your love is to be loved by other men."55


Responsibility is what connects us to our fellow man. And our responsibility to our fellow man grows in proportion as our love for ourself grows if we are to love our neighbor as ourself. I disagree with Buscaglia somewhat as I believe to be responsible to one's fellow man requires that we be of service to our fellow man in other ways than just to help other men to love and in particular to be of service to the "least of these." Our responsibility to our fellow man is not simply to have a "feel good" consciousness of love towards them but to address their needs whatever they might be including material needs.

Erich Fromm states: "Love is an activity, not a passive affect; it is a 'standing in,' not a 'falling for.' In the most general way, the active character of love can be described by stating that love is primarily giving , not receiving. Love is active; love is service to others. It is service to our partner; it is fulfilling her needs according to 'to each according to their needs.' We might ask that she also serve our needs according to the same dictum. Then the question is not who is getting more or less but are both partners needs, disparate as they might be, being satisfied? The question is not equal exchange for equal value."56 Fromm defines love as follows: "Love is the active concern for the life and the growth of that which we love."57 The emphasis is on the well-being of the other and service to the other. It is emphasized that this is to be mutual and not one-way. If the caring is only one-way, then the relationship is more like a Nietzschean one.


Fromm realizes that the basis of all love is love for the dispossessed and helpless. "Yet, love of the helpless one, love of the poor and the stranger, are the beginning of brotherly love. To love one's flesh and blood is no achievement. The animal loves the young and cares for them. The helpless one loves his master, since his life depends on it; the child loves his parents, since he needs them. Only in the love of those who do not serve a purpose, love begins to unfold. Significantly, in the Old Testament, the central object of man's love is the poor, the stranger, the widow and orphan, and eventually the national enemy, the Egyptian and the Edomite. By having compassion for the helpless one, man begins to develop love for his brother; and in his love for himself he also loves the one who is in need of help, the frail, insecure human being. Compassion implies the element of knowledge and identification. 'You know the heart of the stranger,' says the Old Testament, 'for you were strangers in the land of Egypt;...therefore love the stranger!'"58


In "In a Different Voice," Carol Gilligan understands the different mind-sets which develop depending on  whether one is more concerned with fairness ethics or human interconnectedness: "This conception of morality as concerned with the activity of care centers moral development around the understanding of responsibility and relationships, just as the conception of morality as fairness ties moral development to the understanding of rights and rules."59 Her contention is that there is a split between the masculine world of instumental abilities and the feminine world of relatedness. One set of ethics, fairness ethics, applies in the masculine world, the world of politics, economics and action, and another set of ethics applies in the feminine world which is privatized, primarily, within the family-the ethics of interconnecctedness and responsibility, essentially what we have called  Christian love. "...the morality of rights differs from the morality of responsibility in its emphasis on separation rather than connection, in its consideration of the individual rather than the relationship as primary..."60 She refers to a study which questioned people on their notions of morality. "...the reconstruction of moral understanding is based not on the primacy and universality of individual rights, but rather on what she describes as a 'very strong sense of being responsible to the world.' Within this construction, the moral dilemma changes from how to exercise one's rights without interfering with the rights of others to how 'to lead a moral life which includes obligations to myself and my family and people in general.' The problem then becomes one of limiting responsibilities without abandoning moral concern. When asked to describe herself, this woman says that she values 'having other people that I am tied to, and also having people that I am responsible to. I have a very strong sense of being responsible to the world, that I can't just live for my own enjoyment, but just the fact of being in the world gives me an obligation to do what I can to make the world a better place to live in, no matter how small a scale that may be on.'"61


Gilligan says that men are more likely to judge themselves on their performance, on their effectiveness, with respect to some objective measure of perfection; women are more likely to judge themselves with respect to their ability to meet others' needs. For men it is a more pietistic or self-centered criterion. For women the capacity to effect a positive change in another human being's life is crucial. Men have a minimal commitment to fairness while preserving the essential competitive and exploitive nature of most human relationships. "The moral imperative that emerges repeatedly in interviews with women is an injunction to care, a responsibility to discern and alleviate the 'real and recognizable trouble' of this world. For men, the moral imperative appears rather as an injunction to respect the rights of others and thus to protect from interference the rights to life and self-fulfillment."62


More corroboration of the contention that love is not a feeling but an action taken in the service of others comes from M. Scott Peck in his book, "The Road Less Traveled." "I am also implying that real love does not have its roots in a feeling of love. To the contrary, real love often occurs in a context in which the feeling of love is lacking, when we act lovingly despite the fact that we don't feel loving."63 The problem that I have with Peck and a lot of other writers is that they confine love to just the "consciousness" level, thereby relieving themselves from any responsibility for the material welfare of others. Peck's definition of love-the willingness to extend one's self for "the purpose of nurturing one's own or another's spiritual growth"-implies that we need not be concerned about any material needs that a person might have. We need not be concerned for the hungry, the homeless. It places everything on the level of just dealing with people whose material base is assured, who, after all, are going to be the people who mainly constitute the market for Peck's book. This reservation aside, Peck has some wonderful things to say on the subject. He is very much in alignment with Robert Johnson concerning the myth of romantic love. "The myth of romantic love tells us, in effect, that for every young man in the world there is a young woman who was 'meant for him,' and vice versa. Moreover, the myth implies that there is only one man meant for a woman and only one woman for a man and this has been predetermined 'in the stars.' When we meet the person for whom we are intended, recognition comes through the fact that we fall in love. We have met the person for whom all the heavens intended us, and since the match is perfect, we will then be able to satisfy all of each other's needs forever and ever, and therefore live happily forever after in perfect union and harmony. Should it come to pass, however, that we do not satisfy or meet all of each other's needs and friction arises and we fall out of love, then it is clear that a dreadful mistake was made, we misread the stars, we did not hook up with our one and only perfect match, what we thought was love was not real or 'true' love, and nothing can be done about the situation except to live unhappily ever after or get divorced."64


Peck makes a good point about selfishness and unselfishness. "It is not selfishness or unselfishness that distinguishes love from nonlove; it is the aim of the action. In the case of genuine love the aim is always spiritual growth."65 The point is that it is "the aim of the action" that is crucial. I would disagree that the only legitimate aim is spiritual growth. I would say that the aim should be meeting an authentic need or acting so as to increase the other's welfare or well-being. The other point is that, if this can be done in such a way as to be enjoyable to the one who's doing it, so much the better. If the person can feel good while performing an act of love, this is the ideal situation. However, there may be situations in which it is not possible to feel good while performing an act of love. In these cases the loving act may well be no less necessary. There may also be situations in which a person acts out of self-sacrifice in such a way as to not increase the other person's well-being although they think they are performing a loving act. This is unfortunate since neither party is well served and either the person acting is misperceiving the other's need or is operating under a delusion of what they think the other's need should be. Peck sums it up.


"I have said that love is an action, an activity. This leads to the final major misconception of love which needs to be addressed. Love is not a feeling. Many, many people possessing a feeling of love and even acting in response to that feeling act in all manner of unloving and destructive ways. On the other hand, a gebuinely loving individual will often take loving and constructive action toward a person he or she consciously dislikes, actually feeling no love toward the person at the time and perhaps even finding the person repugnant in some way.

...Genuine love is volitional rather than emotional. The person who truly loves does so because of a decision to love. This person has made a commitment to be loving whether or not the loving feeling is present. If it is, so much the better; but if it isn't, the commitment to love, the will to love, still stands and is still exercised."66


Peck feels as does Johnson that genuine love between a man and a woman only becomes possible after they fall out of love, after they go through the romantic phase of their relationship and get down to ordinary, everyday life, what Johnson calls "stirring the oatmeal." "To 'stir the oatmeal' means to find the relatedness, the value, even the beauty, in simple and ordinary things, not to eternally demand a cosmic drama, an entertainment, or an extraordinary intensity in everything. ...'Stirring the oatmeal' means that two people take their love off the airy level of exciting fantasy and convert it into earthy, practical immediacy."67


Peck has some interesting things to say about the relationship between freedom and discipline. "Freedom and discipline are indeed handmaidens; without the discipline of genuine love, freedom is invariably nonloving and destructive."68 With increased freedom goes either increased responsibility, increased caring for one's fellow man, or, inevitably, increased exploitation. That is why increased freedom in and of itself is not necessarily desirable. Opportunities are created for people to take advantage of each other; so some people may be better off and some worse off. Increased freedom allows the strong, who are better positioned to take advantage of it, to gain and strengthen their position with respect to the weak-even at the expense of the weak. The people who suffer with an increase of freedom are the ones whom either tradition, mores or laws and regulations protect. If a society is deregulated, if mores are relaxed, we cannot assume that people's moral consciousness has correspondingly been raised. For this reason, there must be new laws to regulate the excesses and there must be new mores. Increased freedom from which all benefit equally is desirable, but increased freedom from which some benefit at the expense of others is not.


Finally, Peck has an interesting transference of associations from the personal, individual level to the societal plane. "The problem of separateness in close relationships has bedeviled mankind through the ages. However, it has received more attention from a political standpoint than from a marital one. Pure communism, for instance, expresses a philosophy not unlike that of the aforementioned couples-namely, that the purpose and function of the individual is to serve the relationship, the group, the collective, the society. Only the destiny of the state is considered; the destiny of the individual is believed to be of no consequence. Pur capitalism, on the other hand, espouses the destiny of the individual even when it is at the expense of the relationship, the group, the collective, the society. Widows and orphans may starve, but this should not prevent the individual entrepreneur from enjoying all the fruits of his or her individual initiative. It should be obvious to any discerning mind that neither of these pure solutions to the problem of separateness within relationships will be successful. The individual's health depends on the health of the society; the health of a society depends on the health of its individuals."69


Although Peck has a misconception of what pure communism is-"from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs"-the type of society he describes in which individual interests are submerged in the state, which could more appropriately be described as a Fascist or totalitarian society, is worth discussing. The analogue is a relationship in which one person does all the giving and the other all the taking-what we have described as a Nietzschean relationship. The two societies Peck has described are indeed mirror images of each other . In the one it's all give and no take on the individual's part and in the other it's all take and no give. One is a society of martyrs and the other is a society of tyrants. One is a society in which one loves one's neighbor totally and one's self not at all. The other is a society in which one loves one's self totally and one's neighbor not at all. Let us imagine a society in which one loves one's neighbor equally with oneself, in which self-interest is balanced by other-interest, in short a Christian society. This is a society which would be healthy at both the individual and the societal level, in which the individual supports the society as well as himself and in which the society supports the individual. It would be a society in which "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs" would apply. If we can imagine an individual putting half of his effort into selfish pursuits and half his effort into pursuits which would benefit his neighbors, then there would be a healthy balance, and out of the societal surplus, the societal production, there would be enough to take care of the poor, the

the sick, the unfortunate and the disadvantaged, to guarantee everyone the basics of life and to take care of those who have special needs. Of course care would have to be taken that the societal surplus was redistributed in a humane and Christian way and was not appropriated by a certain group or class.


What we have been exploring here is akin to the unified field theory in physics-sort of a unified field theory of love. Instead of dissecting love into motherly love, fatherly love, brotherly love, erotic love etc., we have attempted to show how some of what passes for love isn't love at all and to come up with a theory that applies to all situations whether interpersonal involving a man and a woman or in terms of our relationship to someone on the other side of the world who may be living in poverty. We have attempted to show how Christian neighbor-love (loving your neighbor as yourself) applies to all situations.





There has been a lot of speculation starting with Freud as to whether repression is necessary for civilization or whether society can function quite well if people cease to be repressed. Reich, Marcuse and others have combined the Marxian analysis of society with the Freudian and have attributed authoritarianism and Fascism to sexual repression. Their thesis is that an elimination of sexual repression, a liberation of the instincts, would lead to a naturally balanced and ordered society in which there would be no exploitation or authoritarianism. This liberation on an instinctual level would be the necessary and sufficient condition to bring about a socialist society in which love prevailed, in much the same way that, for Marx, the public ownership of the means of production was the necessary and sufficient condition to bring about socialism.


I can't agree with these writers because I think that the pivotal point in the postulation of a compassionate, non-exploitive society is not sexual liberation/repression but the relationship of altruism to selfishness. The pertinent underlying political spectrum is not based on sexual freedom on the left and sexual repression on the right but altruism on the left and selfishness on the right. Thus Christian ethics are reintroduced as the basis of a socialist society instead of sexual liberation. Doing unto others what you would have them do unto you is inserted as the basis of a compassionate society and as the relevant political axis in place of the thesis that, if people were sexually liberated, they would naturally be more compassionate and caring toward others. In fact I would have to reject the hypothesis that sexual liberation is either a necessary or sufficient condition for a person or a society to be compassionate. This is not to say that sexual liberation is not a desirable thing in and of itself. I think it is. I just don't think that, in itself, it produces greater compassion or caring toward others in a general, social sense or will lead to a less competitive, more conflict-free society.


Having lived through the sexual revolution of the sixties and seventies, I would have to say that people who have experienced some degree of sexual liberation are just as likely to be politically right-wing as left-wing. They are just as likely to be pro-capitalism as pro-socialism, maybe even more so. The crucial point here is that people who believe that we should be strictly selfish are basically right-wing capitalists. Freedom at the expense of equality is a right-wing orientation. Therefore, sexual freedom, without any ethical concern for how this freedom might affect others fits in very nicely, philosophically, with right-wing philosophers such as Ayn Rand, one of whose tenets is that if everyone were totally selfish, the result would be the best possible and happiest society. I have to disagree with this on the grounds that a society that is totally selfish, seeking only selfish interests, is bound to produce conflict when one person's selfish interests clash with another's selfish interests. In such cases the stronger person will generally win their selfish interests at the expense of the weaker. There is no assessment of the relative needs of the two parties and some kind of proportionate solution worked out. Instead there is a winner take all philosophy. In a society in which there is no concern for the other, eventually a situation develops in which the strong come out on top and the weak at the bottom. Since there is no compassion involved, the strong and wealthy feel justified in ignoring the plight of the weak and downtrodden. After all they have won fairly and squarely in the game of life and the poor have lost-also fairly and squarely. Everyone has received his just desserts, and they have no obligation to sympathize with the losers. All attention is focused on the winners, naturally, and the losers are forgotten about. They have failed the biological test, the test of survival of the fittest. The most glaring thing wrong with this assessment is that, considering the demographics of the world as it exists today, the poor and downtrodden consist mainly of children who never had a chance.


Sexual freedom is just another dimension that the selfish individual can add to economic freedom. They are not at all antithetical as some radical writers would have us believe. The totally selfish person is interested in having as much as he can get whether in the material realm or in the sexual realm or even in the spiritual and psychological realm. Naturally, he thinks he deserves it, that whatever he gets accrues to him by virtue of his merit whether it is his superior abilities or his superior sex appeal or his superior powers of ESP. "Being all you can be" goes along quite nicely with having all you can have. It certainly does not contradict it. People who are selfish when it comes to sexual matters are just as likely to be selfish when it comes to material things and vice versa.


Therefore, I feel that the writers who felt that sexual liberation would lead to socialism were wrong. Sexual liberation, while a good thing in itself if there is an ethical component of concern for the other, is more likely to lead to a reinforcement of capitalism and capitalist ethics where the emphasis is on freedom and selfishness without regard for the consideration of others or trusting that the "Invisible Guiding Hand" will stand in for our lack of responsibility toward others. Similarly, the human potential movement, while a good thing in itself, does not predispose one toward socialism or socialist ethics. Here again the emphasis is on personal fulfillment which is ultimately a selfish thing as long as the emphasis is on my  self-actualization, my  self-realization, without concern for others either in terms of the other fulfilling his  potential or in terms of how my preoccupation with fulfilling my  potential might affect others not to mention a concern about whether another human being will even be able to fill his stomach let alone fulfill his potential. Here again the emphasis is on self with their being some slight intimation that once I  am fulfilled then I will help others which is reminiscent of the attitude that onve I have made my  money then I will help others. However, it is well-known that most charitable contributions do not come from the wealthy but from the poor and middle class. I would have to reject the notion that the attainment of wealth whether it be material, personal, sexual, psychological or spiritual is the pre-condition for being of service to others. The attainment of personal riches in whatever realm from material to spiritual without a concern for others is what Christ repudiated. And I would say that those who have supposedly attained enlightenment and that enlightenment is not directed toward an understanding of and a compassion for and a commitment toward "the least of these my brethren," that that enlightenment is not worth having. I do feel, however, that the attainment of some minimal level of well-being certainly expedites being of service to others. And people in extreme poverty themselves are not as likely to be able to be of service to others  until at least they have attained a certain level of comfort, although Jesus  said: "Take no thought for the morrow, either what you will eat or what you will put on."


So is repression necessary? What about the repression of the rich when a portion of their wealth is transferred to the poor? When we talk about repression or exploitation in a society, let us be clear that there is a qualitative difference between repression of the rich and repression of the poor. For a person beneath the poverty level to have to give up a certain percentage of his income for taxes is going to cause him, qualitatively, much more grief than for a rich person to give up the same percentage of his income in taxes. The rich person is not going to suffer at all, really, if he has to forego some luxury. His basic standard of living remains intact. For a poor person to give up a necessity, however, does involve suffering. Sexual repression certainly is not necessary in a socialist society. It would only conceivably be necessary in a society where labor power was so crucial that energy diverted to some other activity would be considered a loss to production. On the contrary most people who have a healthy sex life are probably going to be more productive than those who do not. The concept of a healthy sex life is totally compatible with a consideration and concern for the others involved while the concept of sexual liberation is not necessarily. In general, the freer one becomes, sexually or otherwise, the more responsible one must become in order to maintain the same ethical standards toward others. Increased freedom without increased responsibility implies increased exploitation.

Sexual freedom is seen by some as a way of counteracting authoritarianism fostered by the reactionary family and state. But sexual freedom without an ethical consideration of the extent to which one can be free without harming others is only a temporary change from authoritarianism. Authoritarianism is a hierarchal stratification of power with the strong on top and the weak on the bottom. Sexual freedom may lead to a situation where some have power sexually and others are exploited. As soon as a new order is established, this too will be made to congeal in the interests of the new strong, the new powerful with the result of a new system of authoritarian morality which preserves the privileges and interests of the powerful and also preserves the situation of exploitation of the powerless. This process also explains why many social trends that at first seem positive such as the peace and love movement of the sixties end up being corrupted. People simply move in to exploit whatever movement or trend creates a new dimension of freedom. This phenomenon is very much at work on the cultural level and explains why positive cultural innovations as they evolve often become negative. The positive energy of Woodstock turns into the negative energy of later concerts where people are mauled and killed. History is full of examples of repressed people being liberated only to institute a new order of repression. As such, liberation seems to lead merely to a shake-up (and sometimes a redefinition) of the ruling class rather than the institution of justice for all. This can be seen to be happening politically in both the Phillipines and Haiti where the departure of Marcos and Duvalier, respectively, has not led to the justice the people expected. Instead, new coalitions of strong men appear to reinstitute the same kind of oppression that existed previously.


To the extent that sexual freedom without ethical restraints to protect others serves the interests of people acting solely out of self-interest, they will feel free to have as many sexual partners as they desire and as many changes in partners and relationships as they can bring off. The desire for total freedom of partners is offset, however, by the need of self-oriented people to possess the partners they desire, namely, the most comely, attractive members of the opposite sex. There is then a desire to tie up one or more of these particulr individuals as sort of sexual properties. Marriage is the traditional way of establishing sexual property rights over another human being. If one person is in a position of power in the relationship, then the purpose of the relationship is to restrict the sexual freedom of the marriage partner without restricting his own. Thus others are put on notice that this person is his sexual property and is off limits to anyone else; the weaker spouse is expected to be faithful while the stronger spouse is not. Thus the prerogatives of sexual power and authoritarianism are preserved. Sexual equality is diminished. The rights of the more vulnerable people are abridged, and in fact they are worse off than before.


Looked at from this perspective, the serial marriges of contemporary society can be explained. A period of sexual freedom exists in which a peerson identifies "the best of the lot" so to speak. He or she then establishes this person as his or her own exclusive sexual property by marriage. As conditions change or when someone more desirable comes into his or her life, the factors of low concern for the other and high concern for selfish interests serve to create a dynamic in which the present spouse is abandoned in favor of the more desirable newcomer. The first person is divorced and exclusive property rights are established with respect to the second person. This process continues to repeat itself from time to time as conditions change.


If caring for the other was a larger consideration than pursuit of one's own self-interest or happiness, then the concept of sexual freedom would have different implications. Then instead of only pursuing sexual partners that suited one's self-interest, there might also be a consideration of the sexual needs of others even in the choice of partners. There might be a compassion for unfulfilled sexual needs much as there is for unfulfilled material needs. One might care about the sexually needy as one would care about the starving or homeless. This puts the situation in a totally different light. Rather than seeking the "best" mate as one would seek the best home or the best car (which would be the sexual equivalent of a plutocracy in which sex appeal replaces money) or even seeking a fair exchange in the marketplace by trading one's own fidelity for the fidelity of a package of equivalent value (which would be the sexual equivalent of democracy or socialism), a caring person might be concerned with satisfying the needs of someone who is less than desirable as a package, but who, nevertheless, had needs which needed to be met. Unattractive people have sexual needs and desires and caring for the "least of these" implies caring for people who are suffering because they are not having their sexual needs met as well as caring for people who are not having their material needs met. It is easy to love the lovable; it is not so easy to love the less than desirable, the unattractive, the sick, the deformed or disfigured in body, mind or spirit.


In a caring society, in addition to sexual freedom, sexual equality would also be an issue, and sexual ethics would be concerned with the limits to sexual freedom beyond which one person's freedom is another person's exploitation. Sexual compassion, in which the other's sexual needs are as large or an even larger consideration than one's own needs, might be encouraged. Instead of the notion of marriage being the procurement of exclusive personal property rights, it might mean an opportunity to serve another human being, to care for another human being, to give to as well as receive from another human being. Rather than just being concerned with the pursuit of one's own happiness, we might be interested in looking after the happiness of others as well. Pursuing the happiness of others is the beginning of community and the placing of individualism in its proper place.


I disagree with the writers who say that the elimination of sexual repression is a necessary and sufficient condition for socialism just as I disagree with the proposition that socialization of the means of production is a necessary and sufficient condition for socialism. Both of these things are desirable, but there must be an overt spiritual component at the base of any truly humane society, and I submit that that component must be a caring and a consideration for the weakest and most vulnerable members of that society in particular and a caring for the welfare and well-being of others in general. Secondly, I believe that one needs a constitution which embodies this principle and specifies to a fairly large extent the workings of the system in as mathematical a language as necessary. In this way the society becomes a cybernetic, a self-organizing,system working in the interests of its citizens, set up according to laws which have been shown to serve the interests of all citizens, fairly and impartially. Would you board a spaceship that hadn't been designed with respect to the principles of mathematics with all the rigor that that implies? Then why live in a society which has not been invested with the same theoretical rigor?


Thus a society is not set up just to make laws to protect persons and private property and to regulate disputes. It is set up according to algorithmic laws which embody compassion, freedom and equality as an information processing system which responds to the self-expressed desires and needs of its individual members in order to organize social life in such a way as to maximize the satisfaction of its people. Political-economic-social rights correspond to minimal guaranteed levels of satisfaction. The rational organization of society in such a way as to maximize individual happiness in as fair a way as possible is the goal. The purpose of government would not be decision making. Decisions, both individual and social, would be made by the people and this information would flow upward. The purpose of government would be to carry out the decisions of the people by organizing in such a way as to expedite the results that would then flow downward to the people in response to their preferences and demands. Power is distributed equally among all the people, and the government's purpose is to serve all the people. Just as individuals should serve one another, the government should serve the people; and not just the people inside its boundaries but people outside as well. This would be utopian speculation except for the fact that the mechanisms for embodying these principles can be specified and analyzed and the technology for implementing these principles and ideas already exists. Individual and social decision making functions which embody these principles have been spelled out elsewhere in this book.


It is certainly important to eliminate that repression which comes from the exploitation of workers and that comes from the deprivation of poverty. In other words care must be taken to relieve the repression and oppression of the weakest and most vulnerable members of society. To the extent that the rich who have no interest in helping the poor may be forced to do so by means of taxation, and who may claim that they are being exploited or repressed or stolen from, I would say that foregoing some luxury so that someone else may literally remain alive is not repression. In fact the rich person is spiritually repressing himself when he refuses to help or be concerned about his less fortunate fellow man. Also overconsumption is less healthy in the long run than underconsumption and leads to degenerative diseases. Simplification of one's lifestyle whether voluntarily or not can in the long run be the best medicine for someone who is living too high on the hog and may result in a longer and fuller life.


Ultimately, people are going to feel repressed if they have to do anything they don't want to do even if it is something which is literally necessary to keep them alive. That is why freedom should not be an absolute concept. It has its limitations, and those limitations have to do with the fact that not everything someone may desire is necessarily good for them let alone for anyone else who might be involved. Sometimes what a person may desire and what he may claim as his right in a free society goes against his best interests, his health and his welfare. There are good reasons for doing some things we may not want to do. Discipline is necessary to accomplish things that are good for us in the long run although there may be pain or displeasure involved in the short run. What's the difference between discipline and repression? Both are unpleasant to some extent. The difference is that discipline has some redeeming value whereas repression does not. For instance, it may be unpleasant for some people to exercise regularly. However, the quality of their life will be greatly improved through exercise. In fact their internal freedom may be greatly increased. They may have more energy and feel better than they have ever felt. So by giving up some freedom in one dimension they may have gained even more freedom in another dimension. This is why freedom per se is a limited and unreliable concept. What is good for the individual and what is good for society may involve some discipline, may involve some relinquishing of freedom.


There is an interesting dialectical relationship between freedom and discipline. It takes a lot of discipline or giving up of freedom, sometimes, to attain freedom in another dimension. The musician who disciplines himself to practice several hours a day eventually acvhieves a state in which he is musically free; he can do and play anything on his instrument. Therefore, discipline can lead to greater freedom. Discipline can enlarge a capacity and create growth. Conversely, lack of discipline, totally following one's own inclinations without self-criticism, always avoiding pain and seeking pleasure, can lead to ill health, disease and a diminution of one's capacities thus leading to a situation of reduced freedom. Some people are comfort junkies. They seek comfort at all costs. The avoidance of pain is their highest priority. They usually require greater and greater doses of whatever it is that gives them pleasure just as a heroin addict requires larger and larger doses because of the tolerance which he builds up. Eventually there is a breakdown of one sort or other since there is a fundamental lack of balance in these people's lives. In the same way that heroin addicts are fanatical and obsessive-compulsive about their fixes, wealthy people are obsessive-compulsive about their wealth even though in both cases the object of the compulsion and obsession may be killing them.


There is a dialectical relationship, physiologically, between pain and pleasure. The release of endorphins in the brain which serve to induce pleasurable feelings is brought about by activities which may be somewhat painful such as strenuous exercise. Conversely, the intake of stimulants or drugs which has the same effect of producing pleasurable feelings weakens the endorphin glands and reduces the natural output of secretions so that after the initial rush pleasurable sensations are diminished. The build-up of tolerance is such that it takes higher and higher dosages of drugs and stimulants to produce the same pleasurable sensations. The person, however, who is willing to undergo the pain of exercise, thus releasing the pleasurable sensations naturally, is actually strengthening the capacity of his own body for pleasure. The person who exercises may be cleaning out the accumulated debris that is causing him to feel pain instead of covering over that pain with a drug thus leaving the root cause untouched. The pain experienced during exercise may be related to this cleaning out process. That is, as the debris is cleared out, there is an associated experience of pain. Once the clearing has taken place, however, once the mind and body have been cleaned and lubricated, so to speak, the pain should disappear and pleasurable sensations increase. The endorphins, therefore, can be thought of as a natural lubrication of the mind-body.


Pain and pleasure are interrelated. Discipline is necessary to achieve both pleasure and freedom. Totally following one's inclinations and seeking comfort and pleasure can lead to pain and unfreedom. So I would say that discipline is necessary both for the health and pleasure of the individual and for the health of society. Helping others, giving to others, is a discipline that can lead to great pleasure, great satisfaction. Most people feel a warm glow and sense of satisfaction when they go out of their way to help someone in need.


In a highly evolved society there would probably be enough voluntary giving that coercive taxation would not be necessary. Contrary to the capitalist-romanticist vision that in a highly evolved society there would be no problems, only people pursuing their own privatized pleasures, I suggest that there will always be sickness, there will always be handicaps, there will always be disability, but, in a highly evolved society, these will be compensated for by the people's willingness to serve others and not to be just involved in the pursuit of their own pleasure. However, to the extent that coercion is necessary, the coercion involved or discipline required to transfer some portion of wealth from rich to poor cannot be as great as the coercion and discipline required of a person who is starving to death or homeless in freezing weather or who, for lack of medical treatment, must suffer with a curable disease.


To care for others, to do unto others as you would have them do unto you, may require some discipline, may require some pain both on an individual, charitable level and on a social taxation level. However, the price to be paid is well worth it if poverty and disease and suffering can thereby be eliminated.





When we consider male-female relationships, it seems that we are most human, most capable of giving and receiving love when we are most vulnerable, most open, least defensive. "Intimacy pertains to the sharing of the self on the deepest and most personal and private level-an 'exchange of vulnerabilities,' in the words of Masters and Johnson."70 Men, in particular, are advised not to be so closed, not to hold their emotions inside. Men are told that it is OK to release emotions, OK to cry. Sharing and disclosing are given high priority. Being secretive is counterproductive. Building trust strengthens a relationship. An armored, rigid, closed, defensive, suspicious personality is one that is incapable of giving or receiving love. We are told we can't be fully human, fully able to give and receive love, unless we are open and vulnerable.


In our conduct as nations, however, the opposite is true. We must have a strong defense or else we invite attack. We must be invulnerable, impenetrable. We must take a hard line. We must not trust our adversaries. We must be secretive. How many of us as individuals also feel we have to act tough especially around strangers or else, sensing a weak spot or vulnerability, those strangers will attack us-verbally or otherwise. It's as if they  are just waiting and watchiong for a perceived vulnerability so they can pounce on us . They are just waiting for a chance to harm, exploit or take advantage of us.


As nations what we are giving up with our rigidity is the same thing we are giving up by being closed and rigid as individuals. Sure we may prevent someone from attacking us, but we will also , most assuredly, prevent someone from loving us. We will miss out on the loving relationship both as individuals and as nations. We will be so immobilized by fear in our defensive stance that we will not be able to recognize or act upon a genuine opportunity to love and be loved when it comes along. We may think we are being strong but it takes a lot more strength to reach out to a stranger, to risk being open and vulnerable, than it does to surround ourselves with a personal or national fortress.


The strength required to serve others is much greater than the strength required to exploit others or to defend ourselves from others while we serve ourselves. In fact if we had the strength to serve the poor and needy of the world, we would not have to use our strength in defending ourselves against them. We would gain more by helping others in friendship, love and security than we would give up by sharing our material goodies with them.


Negotiations as the art of seeking to serve the other side's interests rather than as the art of demanding concessions based on our own interests is discussed by Dr. Caldicott: "Another emotional dynamic that needs to be examined is love. In our society, we are taught that we need love and people should give it to us. In a marriage unhappiness often eventuates when the partners do not feel that the other really understands or loves them. We need these emotional reinforcements. Actually the contrary dynamic is correct. The only way to true happiness is to give love and to have no need. I have found in my marriage that if I blame my husband for my unhappy state and I need his love, I don't get it. But if I abandon my selfish needs and give him what he needs, making no demands, just loving him, the tables turn and he gives me lots of love (but I have to totally renounce my expectations). In other words, I  make the first move, and this leads to conflict resolution. The only way a relationship works is for the partners to capitulate on their own wants and desires and to reach out to the other-in other words, to negotiate from the position of weakness and not one of [so-called] strength. It always  works. It is frightening to make oneself vulnaerable in a conflict situation in a marriage or in an intimate relationship. To do this is a sign of real courage and strength."71


What Mrs. Caldicott is talking about is negotiating out of giving or conceding something to the other side as a peace offering instead of trying to force the other side to concede to our demands out of fear of us. So the opening move is a concession not a demand in the hopes that the other side will do likewise and offer a concession in return. True strength comes from within. It is the ability to care for, reach out to and be concerned about the other side. What passes for strength, what is meant by strength by our national leaders is to force the other side to give us what we want or else face some punishment from us. Instead of war being the continuation of diplomacy, diplomacy becomes the continuation of war. As Dr. Caldicott so eloquently says, this doesn't work. As she points out, there is a relationship between vulnerability and reaching out to the other side. In a sense, to do so is to place ourselves in a vulnerable position, but this takes true strength. Negotiating from outside the barricade means exposing oneself-exposing oneself in order to reach out to the other side. This takes inner courage and strength while negotiating from so-called strength is equivalent to negotiating from inside the barricade, negotiating while surrounded with defensive and offensive weaponry and armor, invulnerable. This does not require courage. This does not require inner strength. And the process is doomed to failure since there is no love in it. Even if one side or the other is forced to acquiesce to the other's terms, a resentment is actuated which later can erupt in further hostilities. The whole purpose of negotiating should be to create love between the two sides. This can only be done through the process which Dr. Caldicott outlines. Negotiating from (so-called) strength is simply negotiating without courage. It is the equivalent of the individual situation in which a person surrounded by a wall of psychological armor tries to create a loving situation by demanding that his lover do his bidding. It just won't work. The person not willing to take a chance on being hurt has already foreclosed the possibility of being loved. To love, to create peace one must have the inner strength to be willing to be vulnerable in order to reach out and in order to let ourselves be touched by the other side. A person or a nation surrounded by armor cannot be hurt but  cannot be touched lovingly by the other party either.


We are on an ego trip both as a nation and as individuals. Pushy and shovey have replaced politeness and gentleness. We take what we want rather than inviting others to go first. Peace offerings have been replaced by bargaining chips. The use of force to get our way is pervasive whether on the battlefield or at the negotiating table. Power is used to get our way rather than to help others. This is true not only without the society but within it as well. People admire the "strong" man, the man who takes what he wants without pussyfooting around and detest the wishy-washy wimp who asks people's permission before taking anything. Rambo rules supreme.


Christ said, "Blessed are the meek." Humility, not pride, is the charasteristic of a spiritually evolved person or nation. Being humble, not being proud and egotistical, is blessed. If this is true for the individual, then it should also be true for the nation. As a nation we should have a national policy and attitude of humility. What would this entail? Number one-admitting our errors. Admitting that we have supported policies and governments that have persecuted, oppressed and terrorized their own people. Admitting that we have been more concerned about availing ourselves of the natural resources and cheap labor of others than we have been in helping others to achieve literacy and health and independence. Admitting that we have been hypocritical and self-righteous by characterizing ourselves as the good guys, spouting off about democracy while supporting military dictatorships who do not allow civil rights. We have not been satisfied with just our daily bread as in "Give us this day our daily bread" but we have changed this to "Give us this day our daily Mercedes." At the same time we have not allowed Third World peoples to have their daily bread by supporting regimes whose intents and purposes were and are to keep all the wealth in as few hands as possible and to prevent their people from ever having their daily bread.


Jesus said, "Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven." National humility would mean changing our ways and offering to share our resources and human energy in the cause of eradicating disease and poverty in the world, in eliminating illiteracy, in providing medical care and in renouncing our policy of allocating the lion's share of our resources to building instruments of destruction.

"The superpowers are married to each other on this planet. They either must work and live together, respecting their differences, or they will die together within an hour or two. In reality the marriage vow is appropriate for a future life-presrving relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union, viz: for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, forsaking all others, till death do us part, according to God's holy name, I pledge thee my troth. What each superpower must learn is that the true path to conflict resolution is to forget selfish needs and wants, and to pragmatically make the first move. This is negotiating from a position of strength and not weakness. They must learn the true path to conflict resolution."72





It has been said that there is a positive correlation between merit and wealth. That is to say that people who have merit, people of excellence, people with ability, people who work hard are the ones that end up with the wealth while those who do not have these qualities end up being poor. In fact after examining this hypothesis, I have concluded that in many instances the exact opposite is true. In the advanced capitalistic society we live in, there is a negative correlation between merit and wealth especially when merit contains a moral component. That is to say that people whose offerings are very high quality are shunned by the society while the purveyors of filth and crap are rewarded.


For example, let's look at the music business. You have musical ignoramuses in the rock field earning millions while musical geniuses in the jazz and classical fields starve to death. A piano player friend of mine told the following story. When he first started playing, he used to draw pretty good audiences. As his career developed, he studied and practiced and his abilities developed and his musicianship increased. As he got better, he noticed his audiences starting to diminish until one day when he felt he had truly mastered the piano, he looked out into the audience and noticed that there was no one there.


This theme is echoed in the Charles Mingus composition entitled "The Clown.73 The Clown was a beautiful happy guy who just wanted to make people happy. He had all these beautiful colors going on inside him, and he did his best to make people laugh playing at Rotary Clubs and dentists' conventions, but no one was laughing. One day he slipped and fell flat on his face and when he looked up he noticed they were rolling in the aisles. They were laughing their heads off. So he changed his act. He had someone drop a sack of flour on his head from 10-maybe 20-feet up. And the crowds went wild; he was packing them in. Playing all the big towns. And then one day something went wrong and the backdrop came down and hit him right on the back of the neck and something snapped. And the audience couldn't contain themselves. This was bigger than Dubuque! This was bigger than Dubuque!! This was his biggest success ever. He had really done it. He had really done it. But that was it. That was the end of the Clown. William Morris sent regrets.


This inversion between merit and wealth is the most obvious in the artistic and creative fields. It also holds to a great degree in the helping professions. We don't silence our intellectuals, artists and dissidents by sending them to Siberia. We just make it impossible for them to earn a living, or rather the "invisible, guiding hand" sees to that. What the Soviets accomplish by overt political suppression, we do through more subtle economic means. It's their own fault (or lack of ability) for not producing something that people want to buy. Novels go unpublished, visual art goes unpurchased, music goes unheard while at the same time we are bombarded with commercial jingles, dazzled with commercial videos, inundated with "artists" that have the sensitivities, sensibilities and maturity of Mafia hit-men. The "creativity" and production time that goes into one TV commercial are tremendous. It would be interesting to know a break-down by commercial of the costs involved. But this is probably top secret information. For the cost of one TV commercial, I daresay that 100 artists could be endowed for a year. Or for the cost of one commercial, 20 jazz concerts could be funded. If the cost of all TV commercials were funneled instead into the National Endowment for the Arts, we would see a flowering of the arts, a Renaissance, the likes of which has never been seen. And the companies could still be given some credit, a mention of their sponsorship here and there, as they are mentioned on public TV as a thank you for their funding without, however, the slick, overly produced commercial.


It is an obscene commentary on a civilization when someone like von Gogh, who never made a penny from his paintings while alive, has his works sold for 30 and 40 million dollars while dead.  Art has become totally objectified and commodified when the money changing hands does nothing to help the artist or to foster the growth of the art form. For the situation to be viable that money would have to be channeled back into the arts. But instead, art has become a repository of value, a thing, for rich folk to invest in. It is a way for them to diversify. So much into stocks, so much into bonds, so much into gold, so much into pork bellies, so much into art! There is a total alienation between the human energy and creativity that went into the creation of the piece and its value as an investment.


Capitalistic society invites creative people not to produce works of integrity, works that emanate from their souls, but instead to go to work for the advertising industry, to put their creativity to work in selling products, in other words to become prostitutes. Some "artists" do prostitute themselves in order to obtain the rewards and glamour that success in the mainstream of society obtains. Some of them either have too much integrity or too few opportunities to sell out, to prostitute their talents for such a cause. Not that they don't want to make money for what they do. But an artist doesn't want his talents subverted and subjugated for purposes which he doesn't believe in and which aren't under his control. He has to believe in what he is doing, and he wants to be recognized and validated for what he does period. Not for how effective he is at hawking widgets.


In his book "Trivializing America," Norman Corwin speaks of the forces at work which seem to discourage the authentic and profound and reward the banal and trite. Nowhere is the glare between the reward of trivia and the dismissal of substance more apparent than in the field of documentary making.


"The wonder is that these films get made at all. But once they are made, they take us into worlds that are sometimes as remote and unsuspected as the whorls of Jupiter, sometimes as close as next door; they inform, interpret, investigate, stimulate, recreate; they heighten our perception of our times, our mores and ourselves; they refresh and sharpen our sense of history; they are argufiers and persuaders, docents to the arts, preceptors to the sciences; they alarm, calm, arouse, edify, explain, influence, motivate. Whatever else they may be and do, they communicate through the universal language of the moving image, a tongue not very unlike the lingua franca of music; at their best, they dispense with the high services of dramatist and artificer, and address humanity and its condition by speaking to us directly. Those are no mean errands.

Yet for all that, most of these films gather dust in the vaults, and have been followed into those dim chambers by at least as many more fine documentaries produced since [the ones being discussed] were made. A few of them were shown on television, but only eight-probably the ones seen by the aficionado in Riverside-were shown in theaters, and then very sparsely. And that is particularly sad in these cruel times, because more often than any other vehicle, the documentary film is inspired by compassion, or energized by a crusading sense of justice. In a time as callous and cynical as the 80's, it is heartening to realize that at least one medium cares-about the handicapped, about the rights of minorities, about underprivileged children, endangered animals, drug addiction, pollution, the environment, victims of all kinds of predation. One can only watch with awed admiration the performance of documentarians who lavish time, energy and funds, sometimes cashing in their insurance policies or borrowing money to complete their films, sometimes risking health and even life, to do work which they hope will accomplish some good through disclosure, interpretation, argument or just plain truth-seeking."74


It's amazing that there are still people around who write from the heart, play from the heart, draw from the heart knowing as they must how little the society they live in values their creativity, knowing that they are probably dooming themselves to financial extinction. These are the true dissidents in our society, people who are sent to an economic Siberia, people whose voices are silenced not by political means but because they do not have economic access to the airwaves, people whose free speech is stifled due to the convenient unavailability of a podium. Unfortunately, hype sells, and the climate of public opinion, the climate of public sensibilities, the climate of public tastes and values is being systematically manipulated and controlled in such a way as to direct the flow of money into the hands of people who don't care about art or culture or education or inspiration or beauty or integrity but who cynically disregard the effect upon the American consciousness and character that their productions are having.


What difference is there between the situation in which a political dictator controls the information that gets transmitted to a people, a situation in which a central government controls the flow of information overtly and the situation in which a multiplicity of separate but converging private interests operating within a market environment virtually conspire to control the flow of information? In each case the result is the same. Certain information gets transmitted and certain information does not. The information that gets transmitted is the information that is perceived by the people in positions of power to be in their own interests and the information that gets suppressed is the information that is not perceived to be in the interests of those in positions of power whether those positions of power are political or economic.

In an article entitled "Networks Reject Firm's Ad That Scores Deficit," we find the following:


"Not unlike the government, W.R. Grace & Co. is having trouble fighting the federal deficit. The New York-based chemicals conglomerate has conducted a one-company advertising campaign against the deficit since November, 1984. Recently, however, the three television networks refused to air its newest ad because they found the spot too contraversial. ...'Contraversial issues are best handled in news and public affairs programs where they can be presented by experienced journalists without axes to grind,'  said Richard Gitter, NBC vice-president for broadcast standards, East Coast.

However, others familiar with television advertising suggest that the case illustrates longstanding network policies that discourage public debate on television and restrict controversy to those programs the networks control.

'To say that they are going to suppress advocacy advertising and address these issues in their news coverage just places much more power in their news coverage,' said Michael P. McDonald, general counsel of the American Legal Foundation, a conservative Washington foundation concerned with media. 'It is a kind of private censorship.'

...'We simply want to raise awareness,' explained Stephen Elliott, director of corporate advertising for Grace, 'to air the issue, and let people decide for themselves what to do about it.'

Grace sought to place the ad on national television following President Reagan's State of the Union address, but the networks refused.

'We do not accept advertising that promotes an advocacy position on controversial issues of public importance,' explained George Schweitzer, a CBS spokesman.

'Grace argued that the commercial was not controversial because nobody was in favor of deficits that we could think of,' Elliott said."75


Why are the networks so interested in avoiding controversy? Because it disrupts the "happy horseshit" atmosphere that has been established with their other commercials. The purpose of commercials is not to get people to think, not to raise consciousness as Grace is trying to do. On the contrary, the purpose of commercials is to dull our consciousness, to sedate our critical thinking abilities, to suspend our decision-making faculties, to lull us to sleep so that we will be more at the mercy of the continual suggestions that we consume, consume, consume. If this atmosphere were to be disrupted by the Grace commercial, if people were to start actually thinking about the commercials they were watching, then clearly the effectiveness of the commercials, hence their market value, hence advertising revenues, hence the salaries of network presidents and vice-presidents would decrease. This is clearly not in the best interests of network executives.


The article goes on to quote John F. Banzhaf: "'running a few ads on the deficit, say 10 a month, is more than balanced by (NBC anchorman Tom) Brokaw and company talking about it on news.'

"Grace offerred to compensate NBC for any time it provided opposing views under a fairness argument, but the network declined.

"'My personal view is that the networks tend too much to shy away from robust debate on public issues,' Banzhaf said. 'Having to give some time occasionally under the fairness doctrine is not all that bad.'"


It's not all that bad if you're not trying to maximize your profits. But, as businessmen, I don't think the network executives are in the business of giving anything away. However, the network executives admitted that having to give away free time under the fairness doctrine was not really the issue  after they had publicly stated that it was. Quoting again: "Actually, all three networks said that if the fairness rule were abolished they would retain the policies that caused them to reject the Grace ad."


How much chance does an average person without the means to publicize an issue of importance to him have if a corporation that has sunk over three million dollars into producing a commercial cannot even get it aired?


The article continues:"'The argument that they are afraid of offending people is specious,' said McDonald of the conservative American Legal Foundation. 'All the things they do in entertainment-such as ABC's program about the effects of a nuclear attack-are really advocacy under the cover of fiction.'"


Although the networks would like to have us believe that they are "afraid of offending people" and that they are protecting our fragile sensibilities by not airing anything "too controversial," the truth of the matter is that they air all kinds of commercials aimed at children advertising war toys. There is, of course, no controversy here because violence is something that is totally acceptable to mainstream American sensibilities. The National Coalition on Television violence has stated that "the average war cartoon averages 41 acts of violence per hour with an attempted murder every two minutes." Overall US sales of war toys have risen to a projected $1.2 billion dollars in 1985, an increase of almost 600% since 1982. Television programming of war cartoons grew from 1.5 hours per week in 1982 to 27 hours per week in 1985, according to the NCTV.


In an act of sheer magnanimity ABC offerred to air the Grace commercial from midnight to 12:30 AM if Grace would add a disclaimer labeling the commercial as paid advertising. Grace refused because it wants to air in prime time. It has aired on cable and a few assorted stations but still wants the networks where three quarters of all viewers tune. You see all those TV commercials which seek to identify themselves with America might be seen in a somewhat different light if people then started associating America with 200 billion dollar budget deficits instead of the home of the free and the brave and amber waves of grain. Image is very important and literally billions of dollars are at stake in creating the "right" image. Anything that interferes with that image-making process as does the Grace ad could degrade the value of all the other image advertising and thus result in the loss of billions of dollars to the networks. This is what is controversial: an ad which challenges the whole atmosphere in which TV advertising is promulgated.


One of the most anti-ad ads surfaced in San Diego on the backs of city buses in early 1988. This ad had city fathers apoplectic because it managed to attack three or four institutions that are almost sacred to mainstream San Diegans: the city of San Diego known as America's Finest City (and thereby, by implication America itself), the tourism industry, mainly hotel, motel and restaurant owners and most importantly football  itself. In an article which appeared in the San Diego edition of the LA Times, January 7, 1988 by Hilliard Harper entitled "Bus Poster Art Taxes Officials' Patience," we find:


"Rubbing salt into the wound is the fact that city hotel-motel taxes are helping to pay for the month-long public-art display, at a time when the city is busy girding for Super Bowl XXII, one of the biggest tourist draws in San Diego history.

The poster is a triptych of photographs showing illegal aliens being arrested and at work and carries the message:'Welcome to America's Finest Tourist Plantation." ...

San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau officials said the poster gives a 'totally false' image of San Diego and will be viewed by thousands of tourists on Super Bowl weekend."76


In fact there is a lot of truth in the image of a tourism industry in which the lowest echelon jobs are handled by the thousands of illegal aliens which flood across the border every week from Tijuana, 30 miles to the south. What irks the officials is that it totally disrupts the hoopla and the hype surrounding the selling of the Super Bowl in which literally billions of dollars are involved. Part of this hype is the selling of the City of San Diego as the ideal spot for a convention or a vacation or another Super Bowl. Literally millions of dollars in revenues to the tourism industry are involved. This disruption of the "happy horseshit" atmosphere surrounding the City of San Diego and the Super Bowl is what irked the officials after they had invested big bucks to create it in the first place. And it especially irked them that some tax revenues collected from the tourism industry went to fund the artists. What the artists did was tantamount to sacrilege, heresy and treason and it was funded by the City of San Diego and the motel-hotel industry itself! Of course the city fathers expect that when city tax money is given to the arts that the recipients will be grateful enough to use that money to glorify the City of San Diego. Hence the implication is that the entities that fund the arts should control the content, purpose and message of the art. These fellows were so outrageous because they refused to self-censor which all good Americans are expected to do. Of course these same Americans believe that Soviet artists aren't truly independent because Soviet censors control what they produce. But it is an unwritten rule in America that art funded by a certain entity shouldn't cause a decrease in revenues to that entity so the censorship is basically economic rather than political. And art which is political and is substituting for commercial advertising is a threat to the whole advertising industry. It is suggesting that people think instead of blindly absorbing suggestions.


"In a press release, the artists said that 'immigration laws attempt to deny a space for the undocumented worker, while at the same time, their space is clearly recognized by the local economic forces....

"'Without the undocumented worker, San Diego could not have a tourist industry... Spokesmen for the industry have admitted that the industry would not be possible without the labor of undocumented workers, busing tables, washing dishes, cleaning rooms-people who accept low wages." To think that "America's Finest City" is built on the backs of the poor is just unconscionable. Of course what the grantors had in mind was artwork traveling around on buses which glorified the City of San Diego-something which conjured up a positive  image.


It wasn't the first time one of the artists had been in trouble with the law. "Avalos has gained a national reputation for his art, which focuses on border-related issues such as undocumented workers. Two years ago this week his 'San Diego Donkey Cart' assemblage was removed from the US Courthouse plaza here by order of the chief judge of the US District Court.

"Avalos, who had received official permission to place the artwork on the plaza, filed a civil rights suit against the judge. The cart, which pictured an illegal alien being arrested by immigration officers, was ordered removed because it was a security risk." Security risk? This is heavy duty stuff. A judge orders the removal of a donkey cart because it is a security risk? Oh, and then those sneaky devils come right back and defame "America's Finest City" and football. Why they ought to be rid out of town on a rail! 


The director of one of the funding agencies, Jack Borchers, said, "I'm sure that the grant didn't anticipate something like this, but who knows? There's freedom in the art world. ..." That's just the point. As long as art funding agencies expect artists to glorify them, there is  no freedom in the art world. Councilwoman Judy McCarty said, "It sounds like they're saying we use slave labor like on the plantations. In the arts we don't want to be censors, but hey, if they're going to knock our city, that doesn't do the city any good." In the arts they don't like to be censors. They expect mature American adults to censor themselves. But if they have to be  censors, they will, although they will use the power of the purse to defund  would-be  critics. This way the censorship never has to be too overt. The point is that the city's only  interest in funding the arts is to increase the revenues of the business community, and when art runs counter to the intended-though unstated-purpose, the artists can kiss future funding good-bye.


But we have digressed from the artist who simply wants to be true to himself and his art. Of course in a free country, people are free to be true to themselves and their art. But if they are sincere and creative and try to make a living at it, they will be undercut by people who are insincere and uncreative, who are slick and eye-catching and marketable. It is even possible to commit some spectacular crime, get media coverage and hence name recognition. Once a person has attained name recognition by any process whatsoever, he is in a position to capitalize on that by writing a book, making appearances, endorsing products, going on the lecture circuit etc. Notoriety and fame are synonomous and highly marketable to boot. Name-recognition is worth money regardless of merit. There is an American tradition of immortalizing thieves and murderers such as Billy the Kid and Al Capone.


It is a shame but violence sells while beauty sits in the closet unappreciated. Horror and degradation make money while sensitivity and imagination gather dust. Esthetics have been trampled upon while garbage has become fashionable. Integrity has become a laughing-stock while schlock and hype have become the order of the day.


One can only note the similarity between the cultural products that we are sold as consumers which can be characterized in general as waste products and the waste products we pride ourselves on producing as a nation-the missiles, warheads, guns and bombs. It is as if both in terms of individual and national production and consumption we have gone out of our way to immerse ourselves in a sea of crap. Technologically sophisticated crap, to be sure, but crap nonetheless. Products designed to kill, to create violence corresponding to the violence packaged for individual consumption. It is as if we were so unsure of our manhood that we need large dosages of vicarious violence and large arsenals waiting to be unleashed to remind ourselves and others that we are really forces to be reckoned with, we are really people to be looked up to. They had better look up to us or else.





Nuclear weapons systems have definite sexual and anal overtones. Missiles, themselves, resemble giant phalluses which are hard and erect. They are housed in hardened silos. The nuclear equivalent of "Fuck you" is the use of the phallus-missile as an instrument of rape with the orgasm corresponding to the explosion of the nuclear charge at the climactic moment. It's as if we are saying, "Fuck you, USSR," with the missile delivery system representing our middle finger thrust upwards in the classic sign representing a harmful wish for the other side. We talk of being "hard on communism" and "soft on communism" as if our stance on communism were related to the tactile qualities of the national penis. We talk of the potency of our weapons as if the ability to rain death and destruction on innocent women and children were somehow related to our national virility.


Actually, the expression "Fuck you" is indicative of our schizophrenia towards the sex act. We have still not resolved the question in our own minds as to whether the sex act is an act of creation or an act of destruction, an act of love or an act of hate. Therefore, we continue to associate the sex act, the act which is responsible for the continuation of life, with a wish for extreme violence to our enemy, whether personal or national. To fuck someone is to harm someone, metaphorically; yet, in reality, the sex act is an act of mutual pleasure if both parties are willing participants. The willingness to wage nuclear war is the national equivalent of rape-murder. The launch of a "bolt out of the blue" first strike is the equivalent of the stalking of a woman by a rapist and then pouncing and raping when she least expects an attack. In an inversion of true sexuality the nuclear "orgasm," instead of being the method by which life is sustained, is the method by which life is terminated. Whereas healthy sex is an expression of love, the nuclear "orgasm" is an expression of hate. The mentality involved, the mentality of nuclearism, is the mentality that prefers to bring death, rather than life, into the world, the mentality that would rather destroy than create.


Alternatively, the missile can be identified with an enormous turd with which we are saying, "Eat shit, Russia." The turd-missile which we are willing to shove down their throat is perhaps a more appropriate symbolization than the penis-missile which we are willing to shove up their ass or vagina depending on whether we coceive of the sexuality of the USSR as male or female, motherland or fatherland.


The fascination with weapons systems can be seen as the symbolical manipulation of feces and the offensive implications of Star Wars as placing the American asshole directly over the face of the Soviet Union. If only Jonathan Swift were alive today! The willingness to destroy or "lay waste" the other side is the equivalent of depositing megatonnages of nuclear shit on the "person" of the other side. The total megatonnage in our arsenal can be seen as the national equivalent of a situation in which an individual stores up his shit, keeps an accurate accounting of its "throw-weight," checks it each day by sniffing over it and prepares to attack an opponent by hurling it at him. Come to think of it, this is much the same way that apes in the zoo behave with the actual stuff.


The reluctance to trust the Russians corresponds to anal-retentiveness, and the reluctance to diminish or reduce our arsenals corresponds to the reluctance to part with our feces as if our national feces were an inherent part of our national character. In fact we use the terms "Fuck you" and "Eat shit" interchangably in our personal life when we wish to harm another individual. There is no real differentiation or distinction between the case in which that harm is to be caused by forcing a turd down the other party's throat or ramming a penis up his ass. The intention and the results are the same. Both processes represent the hate process and the death process. Both processes symbolize death and destruction for the other side by menas of an imposition of our will, our strength and our power. Being strong is seen as the ability to inflict damage rather than the ability to support and sustain life, to nurture and to nurse. It's a willingness, when threatened, to threaten back, to counterthreat as opposed to turning the other cheek. There is a willingness to engage in hostilities as opposed to engaging in civilities, to see the situation in terms of dominance and submission, to see only two alternatives, winning and losing, rather than the alternative of taking the lead in conflict resolution, being strong enough to believe in the ultimate humanity of the other side, being strong enough to love in the face of a situation where the easiest thing to do is hate, being strong enough to say yes to life and no to death.


The arms race can be seen as a preoccupation with feces which leads to a national constipation since a healthy bowel movement would be equivalent to letting go of our nuclear weapons, dismantling them. The act of holding on to them as more and more of our resources are converted into nuclear waste and come through the pipeline of our national digestive system leads to a build-up, a backlog of poisonous death-causing material, creates pressure towards that cataclysmic moment when we have the ultimate national bowel movement. As we get more and more constipated, as pressure continues to build up, those who call for a freeze or reduction in the arsenals can be likened to those calling for a national enema, a freezing up of the pressures leading to disaster.


The ironic thing about this is that, as the arms race continues, as the national bowel fills up with more and more shit, the same debilitating process is being undertaken by the other side. Both sides are locked into a struggle to see who can be more constipated than the other, both threatening to rain down their national shit on the other side, both unwilling to have a healthy enema, both unwilling to go on a diet, both devouring resources that might have been used to sustain life, while millions die of starvation and dysentary, and instead turning those resources into shit, the poisons of which seep back into the national body politic and the national soul politic just as nuclear radiation leaks into the environment poisoning the atmosphere both physically and spiritually of those who created it in the first place.


In addition to the metaphors of nuclear weapons as the tools of rape and of our national anal-retentiveness in not wanting to get rid of them, there is an additional metaphor suggested in the movie, Dr. Strangelove. The character Jack D. Ripper has an obsession about not wanting to part with his "precious bodily fluids" and single-handedly instigates a nuclear war. This is a variation on the theme of not wanting to part with our waste products except by dumping them on the USSR in that he doesn't want to share that which is nourishing and life-giving. It is literally as if the man didn't want to part with his sperm and let it go into the woman's body since then she would possess the power deriving from the possession of his "essence." This is the ultimate act of conservatism, of trying to hold on to everything that is rightfully ours instead of sharing our life with others, instead of letting our resources flow into the hands of others trusting that the flow will continue on its eventual way back to us. Not giving life ultimately results in the loss of our own life since life was meant to flow and circulate not to be hoarded, possessed and conserved. The healthier the flow, the more likely are we as individuals to be nourished by that flow so that what we should be concerned about is adding our energy to swelling the tide of life and not trying to build a dam around our own little backwater. We are not only obsessed as a nation with holding onto our precious bodily fluids, but we are also committed to protecting US interests in the rest of the world which translates to maintaining the right and the privilege by force if necessary of extracting the precious bodily fluids of other less powerful and less well-developed nations and bringing them back here for our own consumption. We consume 40% of the world's natural resources having only about 6% of the world's population. Most of these resources are non-replacable so that should the peoples who reside on the land from whence these resources came desire to use them someday in their own development, they won't be available to them having already been plundered by a more "advanced" nation.


Another obsession of Jack D. Ripper was "purity of essence." He didn't want anyone else's bodlly fluids mingling with his so as to dilute the purity of his essence. He wasn't willing to share what he had with others because he might lose some of it, and he wasn't willing to let others share with him because they might contaminate him with their less than pure "essence." As a nation, we too are obsessed with retaining our purity of essence. Therefore, we can not entertain the idea of mingling with a dirty, communist country like, for instance, Cuba. Our administration, if it mentions Cuba at all, mentions them in the tone of voice as if they were some kind of trash, riff-raff, dirt. If they're communists, they can't be clean, self-respecting human beings almost by definition. The fact that in 25 years since their revolution they have gone from 10% to 90% literacy, and made similar advances in health care, food and shelter is something we are not willing to talk about. The fact is that their revolution has not just increased the quantity of goods and services, it has radically changed the distribution of goods and services, and this is what communist revolutions are really about. Before the revolution the upper classes had everything they wanted. It wasn't like a technical breakthrough was required. The point is that 90% of the people had nothing. So the distribution is the key point. The majority of the world's peoples today are in the situation of pre-revolutionary Cuba-a bunch of grubby, poor, shabby, sick, foul-smelling people. As far as the policy-makers of the US are concerned, they are a bunch of non-entities and we don't wish to contaminate our purity of essence by mingling with them.


Just as those individuals who are rigidly armored and defensive cannot give and will not receive love, we as a nation cannot love other nations, other peoples, until we let down our defenses. We are the national equivalent of the person who has been hurt in a love affair who says, "I'll never trust another man/woman as long as I live." We are unwilling to open up, unwilling to be vulnerable and, therefore, unable to give or receive love. To give or receive love means that we have to trust. We cannot further the cause of love or life without trusting. In order to have a meaningful relationship, we must communicate, we must understand the other party. Character armor and rigidity which may or may not protect us from being hurt again does definitely prevent us from loving and being loved and leads to impotence and frigidity. Nationally, we keep trying to prove that we are not impotent by building more and more penis substitutesi.e.missiles. But just as a ferocious exterior covers up the fact that inside the person is weak in life-force or impotent, a great showing of national character armor in the form of more and more nuclear weapons belies the fact that inside as a nation our ability to sustain and nourish life is drying up. In fact some of the most ardent arms-racers have gotten to the point where they value life little more than they value death.


As we slowly die internally from lack of loving (as opposed to being loved), as we become more and more impotent and look to nuclear war as the clear and final proof of our virility, it becomes even more important to us to preserve the appearance of potency, to preserve the appearance of strength by laying on additional layers of character armor. It is as if the weaker we feel inside, the more lacking in life-force, the more necessary it is that we have more and bigger weapons to compensate for our innate weakness and lack of vitality and to secure the appearance that we are strong and virile. We become more and more rigid mirroring in life the rigor mortis of death. Our national existence becomes a sort of constipated death-in-life as we choke on and become poisoned with the surfeit of our excess consumption which has been purloined and appropriated from the poorer nations of the world and as we feverishly try to hold on to the power that allows us to do so. We don't trust anyone, we don't love anyone and we can't shit. Love does not come into or flow out of our system, and poisonous waste products do not pass out because of our reluctance to let go of anything we might need to destroy our enemies. But by holding onto the poison that we deem so necessary to hold onto in case someday we might need it, we are slowly but surely poisoning ourselves. We are slowly, but surely, killing ourselves. We are willing to lead a sub-human existence rather than to change course and be willing to admit that we were wrong. We would rather die than lose face. Our national pride creates the inetia that stays us on our suicide course.


The end result of this process is that either we will die a slow death from national cancer of the bowel as the toxicity in our system continues to increase or we will lash out in one final attempt to vicariously experience life by destroying the life of our enemy, much as the psychopath feeling his life energy slipping away, tries to recapture the feeling of aliveness by destroying someone else's life-someone whom he intuitively senses is more alive than he is himself. He tries to capture the other's "purity of essence" meaning his sense of aliveness, and take it into himself. It is as if he is saying, "How dare you be more alive than me? How dare you love and trust and experience happiness? I'll teach you to live without character armor. I'll teach you to go naked. Here's what you get for living outside a psychological buynker. You think you are so smart. How dare you enjoy life while I find it necessary to slowly die in order to protect myself from being hurt. I'll teach you the unwisdom of your decision to live unguardedly. I'll prove to you that I  was right by destroying you." What is going on here is that the psychopath is envious of the other person because he/she has the guts and the strength to live in such a way as to say yes to life while he, the psychopath, is afraid to come out from his psychological bunker, he is afraid to live. A person or a nation that is frozen behind their defenses is a person or a nation that is killing itself. In order to live we have to know when to drop our defenses; we have to know when to try and trust again. We have to be flexible and defend ourselves only when need be and not as a matter of permanent policy and to live and love when the opportunity arises, and even to be actively involved in creating such opportunities.


Being unafraid to live does leave one more invulnerable to being hurt, even to being killed, but the alternative to this is to live in such a way as not to have really lived at all, to lead a death-in-life, a life deprived of touching, a life deprived of warmth, a life not worth living in order to protect a life not worth living. It is a life of psychological dynosaurism, an unmitigated evolutionary regression to bigger and better armor at all costs. Maybe the dynosaurs became extinct for lack of touching. In the final analysis it is better to have lived a shorter life and to have really lived than to have lived a long death-in-life, a life kept alive by mechanical support systems, a life indistinguishable from death. It is from having lived this life for some time that people get to the point of valuing life not much more than they value death. It is at this point that they can nonchalantly ponder the trade-offs of dooming millions of innocent lives in exchange for "victory," a victory that somehow eludes them because the only victory is to live and to love. As Dr. Strangelove, himself, the "victors" ponder an aftermath in which they, the ultimate survivors and , therefore, the ultimate fittest by definition, will be in the position of recreating the human race by being the ones to impregnate as many pretty women as possible.


Living for oneself at all costs, protecting oneself at all costs, results in a life not worth protecting. Living one's life well means to love and sustain the lives of others. We can no more build an impenetrable shield around our nation and have a national life worth living than we can build an impenetrable shield around ourselves as individuals and have a life worth living. To live courageously is to risk loving, risk trusting. To not risk loving because we might get hurt is a kind of psychological cowardice. If we are not willing to take the risks to create a world where love prevails and in which the climate for love is favorable, then we will have created a world not worth having. BY trying to hold on to our individual lives at all costs, we will have created for ourselves lives not worth living and a world not worth living in, a world of coldness, mistrust and paranoia, a world in which people are too fearful to take the chance of loving or to take the risk of letting someone love them.


Letting someone love you implies giving up some power. It implies trusting that person not to hurt you. It is impossible to let someone love you without creating the possibility that at some time they could, if they so desired, hurt you. It is impossible to let someone love you and be well defended against their hurting you at the same time. It is a contradiction in terms. Conversely, it is impossible to love someone and seek to harm them at the same time or seek to defend yourself at the same time. A preoccupation with defense precludes the possibility of loving or being loved.


We must come to see the value and yes even the necessity of loving the other peoples of the world be they Russians or Chinese or Cubans or Africans or whatever. We must come to see how much we are missing out by not sharing our world with them and not letting them share their world with us. We must come to see that a life of perpetually defending ourselves and protecting our interests is a life not worth living. We must come to see that building more and more barriers around ourselves, more and more perimeters of defense is defeating the purpose of life. We must come to believe that all men are brothers and come to see how wonderful life might be if we created a world which facilitated all men being brothers.