Abraham Rotstein, Weekend Notes XIII

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Weekend Notes (Overview)

Robert Owen (3)

[2] P. read Cole's biography of Owen. It is a poor biography and Cole was on the defensive about Owen's spiritualism when writing it. Owen's autobiography was written when he was 84 and is a lovely book, and what Cole didn't find, P. would find. The Cole biography showed that one ever thought of appreciating Owen like we do. None of the important problems are taken up and one wonders whether Cole didn't wonder about this man. Cole wrote an excellent introduction to the Everyman edition, although he wrote a bad biography. The Everyman edition came much later and Cole put together the best sentences of his biography.

P.'s opinion was confirmed that the superlative genius of the man was never even suspected. His early success was blurred and made to fade out, including his achievements (the eminent role he played at the time).

After I left, P. read the Everyman edition of Owen from cover to cover and didn't leave out a word and it's marked and annotated. P. thought he would write the Owen chapter, but now perhaps I should. (P. read Owen morning to night for a week. He also read Cole which is a bad book and did this simply to relieve his conscience that he hadn't overlooked anything.)

With Owen it's mainly the subject matter. We would have to quote Owen and he was a terrific writer on the essential points. Owen discovered and stumbled from one thing to another, from the system, to [3] unemployment, to the trade cycle, to capitalism, to the laws of capitalism etc. He had a scientific approach. In monetary reform he turned against gold.

But capitalism still had a tremendous run.

We should quote or rephrase from the Great Transformation. The Great Transformation Owen is not even continued anywhere. How often Owen said that he would devote his life and is ready to die! (P. underlined this). This is said in his biographies and he clearly considered it martyrdom.

P. had much excitement and pleasure from the Owen work.

His life experience was a terrific success as a utopian to 1815, when the trade depression set in for almost 20 years.

Notice his use of such words as hitherto and henceforth. This reminds one of Jesus and the personal revelation passed on is terrifically impressive. P. isn't trying to make Owen great and a genius. His failings, tragedies and weaknesses are as gripping and grant as anything can be. The greatest thing is the logic which pushed him on.

This was the first trade depression that England had. They were aghast and thought England's trade would recede in the next fifty years. The didn't know and foresee the 19th century.

But Owen thought that since the machine would fill the world with plenty, the workers would be clothed and nothing would be taken from the capitalist with his empty life.

[4] Owen thought that Malthus was ridiculous - man is born single, and since he produces more than double of what he needs in his life, how can Malthus be right? Malthus is in some sense right, only he was not right for the next 80 years.

The Villages of Union would have to go one to the land, because there were no markets, so that they would only undercut their own wages unless they went on the land. In this way they wouldn’t press on the labour market. The budget was based on 96,000 pounds and the interest would be paid from the Poor Land funds, but if the Villages prospered everybody would turn to them and you would have socialism. He implied that societies turned socialist through the supe-riority of their producing methods.

Owen's account of the year 1817 was true in every word, never shifting things.

His system of ideas was utterly illogical.

Why should the knowledge than man was determined by his environment convert him to tolerance? Because people weren't responsible for their views and so he could put up with anyone believing anything.

He said that he was an exception and had had these insights and this changed him. This was the way he was made.

Every person reflects his environment and this knowledge would create absolute tolerance. He never employed punishment for his education of people at Lanark where he met terrible things.

[5] (Keep his story terse and this is possible because one has much material.)

There is no logic in P.'s list of attributes which he made about Owen:

Moral statistics:

As regards moral statistics, P. thinks that Quetelet wasn't there yet. These statistics referred to vice, crime, prostitution, alcoholism, and the state of the people. By this standard New Lanark was a terrific success. These records would be regarded as the measure of the condition of the people. The terms moral statistics didn't exist yet (see the E.S.S.).

As far as factory legislation is concerned, Peel's Law of 1802 cannot be regarded as factory legislation. It referred just to the cotton industry and to the children (see the Southgate volume). Where did the Feel Law of 1802 come from? P. doesn't know and we should consult the Webbs.

There was no one word for employment. These were the sturdy beggars of the Tudors. They didn’t know of a trade depression, and suddenly the war of 1815 ceased and the unemployed would have fallen on the rates.

The 1834 law is a peculiar idea and based on a completely different notion: that the unemployment were to go into the poor house which was a horror. However this isn’t 1834, it is 1816. Everything happened between [6] 1816 and 1834 including Peterloo, and the agrarian revolt.

Also the Luddites existed in 1812. The modern view of the Luddites is that they were correct. P. took this from Meredith, The Economic History of England. Meredith really means the knotting frames. Only a conservative can say this. The liberals and Marxists would never agree. Owen would have terribly disapproved of the Luddites.

Business Cycle:
Behind unemployment, he discovered the business cycle. He said that there were no markets. Then there was the currency reform and this led him to labour {chlts} and he discovered the profit motive (immediate pecuniary gain). He then discovered unregulated competition and the utilitarian value scale.

He despised the rich but didn't want anything taken away from them. He discovered the speculative excesses and attacked these. He discovered class, that there were two classes, the rich and the poor and he tried to show the rich how little they would lose.

He was unshakeably gradualistic and was against violence.

Trade Unions:
The first mentions of the trade union problem is to the effect that the workers only agree in “zealous systematic opposition to the employers” (p. 30). He didn’t see that was the thing moralizing them. He became the idol of the trade union movement but he had no idea that the workers should associate. He didn’t realize that the Villages of Union should be associations.

[7] Socialism:
He discovered socialism - if the whole society was fraternal and united them a new society would begin. The opening essay on a new society was 1813. The others came in 1814 and 1815.

He thought of rehousing around the factory and having a settlement there. Concerning urbaniza-tion he realized that the congregation in towns was a moral and social disease. He said this much later in 1819. Only when everything failed, he took to the Villages of Union, not for people to become farmers but that the only way they would survive was on the land.

Expensive machines:
He saw that the manufacturer had to amortize it.

Localized animal: Toynbee's parochalism is close to this. Owen was the first to regard nations and nationalism as derived from fact that man was a localized animal.

He had a democratic and paternalistic approach: to consult the people but not to follow them. By democratic he meant converse or talked about.

School reform:
The school reform movement of Vienna of the 1920's conquered the Anglo-Saxon world. This is not derived from Pestolozzi but from Robert Owen. His aim on teaching people to think all their lives was progressive [8] education.

The progressive education discussed in Cole is of immense importance because he had it all.

Sexual Life:
He allowed incompatibility (later he stood for promiscuity?)

Open Air Life:
He was most emphatic to go out and see and enjoy nature.

Dance and Gymnastics: In England in 1815 the children were spindle legged. He understood the recreational needs fully for child life. He had a kindergarten but didn’t call it [like] that.

He discovered socialism and socialist morality. Tolerance was his answer and since it is our own answer we better look out.

He tried to obtain concessions from the higher income classes and by the time he made the Poor Relief report he had all these concessions.

He was for the pooling of resources – what we call collective resources. This was not communistic but communal, one of the variants of collective.

He said that the dividend should be distributed. He was for philanthropy and public debate.

We wrote a catechism to state his position. He wanted general and permanent reporting and his proposals were concrete. He wanted [9] absolutely to abolish war and armaments and colonies (?) He was for automation and mechanization and saw that there would be a boundless technological advance.

It is an incredible story and nobody has given it. P. thinks we should restrict ourselves. It is a new chapter of social history under the heading of a biography. We are not compelled to colour, or draw exaggerated perspectives.

Owen was convinced the populace was absolutely more degraded than before the introduction of the manufactures.

He lived till the age of 87 and died 4 days after being dragged from a platform. He stood for his ideas to the last. In 1813, he was 42 when he wrote the New View of Society (he was born in 1771.) He wasn’t young and had been at the head of New Lanark for 16 years.

What happened was the discovery of society. In German, society is for Hegel the “burgerliche gesellschaft” and is social and economic life. The contrast of state and society is typically German. In English, society is not contrasted with the state at all.

Socialism was used once before by a Frenchman. “Charity” was used for the word tolerance.

Write about Owen's discovery of society and say that the other things come up incidentally.

Distinguish three phases of Owen's development:
First there was the factory including hygiene, high wages, factory legislation, dress, school reform, etc. then he was stopped on unemployment [10] because he couldn't deal with unemployment which is not a factory matter. That branches off to the trade cycle, the currency reform and the other branch is the Village of Union. He was led on to capitalism, the business cycle, and currency reform but practically this led to the Village of Union. He discovered the unemployed, not the poor. He discovered, in the question of industry versus land, that if they lived collectively, expenditures would be lower. He said the poor should be nationalized (unemployment insurance) and the Poor Law made national. The State should take up the use of the unemployed e.g. Louis Blanc and the Atelier, and Lasalle. He said it first, that the government should finance the Village of Union. When the trade cycle lasted, the idea came up that the mode of life of the Village of Union would catch on and the country would become socialist and a new society emerge.

These are the three phases and between the Village of Union and socialism there was the American phase.

The administrative problem of the Village of Union was the Poor Law with the question of the unemployed. The word “unemployed” is not recognized. Both the poor and the unemployed fell on the rates.

In America he had a new principle that people do things together – “pooling of resources”, as a community of work and expenditure. He used the word community in the sense of a village. The county would set up the village and the poor rates would pay the interest on the loan. (We can show in our book how the interest is given, in the details supplied by Robert Owen). Later in life he started a Village but he didn’t succeed.

[11] Under P.'s presentation there is:
1) The Factory period
2) the Village of Union proposal
3) the continued depression.

It lasted 20 years and the whole chartist movement falls into the depression cf. Southgate. From 1815 onward is a long period of depression.

He became leader of the trade union movement against his will. He didn’t believe in it. With Chartism he didn’t see what political action would do, he wasn’t built that way. Cole is reliable on these phases.

Skip the long story of his career. Start on the period when he enters public life and was famous in the whole world because of New Lanark. Twenty thousand came and you can hardly get there. (It was near Glasgow and the Clyde river which flowed to the west, and the mill was located on it.)

For a time Bentham was one of the shareholders.

It was the Archbishop of Canterbury to whom he said that about Christianity. He gave a lecture in 1817 in England and declared all the religions were a fraud. Cole said that finished him. He knew he was challenging everything. Can you imagine a person thinking all this up by necessity, not speculation?

He rejected class war absolutely and in the sharpest way.

People on the left wing of Chartism were all Owenites. They really meant by Owenite a socialist.

[12] P. read Owen with the care and intensity which he hasn't read for a long time. P. never read this book through since it seemed to be so repetitious.

Cole said that the secret of Owen was that he was a bit mad, but if that’s the answer – many people thought that of Cole.

Owen was mistaken on the possibilities of capitalism but think how mistaken Malthus was and Ricardo with his crazy gold standard. (Ricardo delved and Malthus span and who was then the mad man?)

My question: Did Owen see the problem of the reality of the person and the reality of society?

It wasn't our problem that he saw. He welcomed the discovery of society as the source of tolerance and freedom. The individualism of the sects was the bans of mankind. This explains why he went far wrong on a number of things.

He was a 100% autocratic dictator and he never listened to anyone at all.

Owen has the complete idea of the transition stage to socialism. This is part of the Gotha program and touches on the question of the transition of Russian socialism to communism. There is a famous Engels sentence about the jump from necessity to freedom. It could be that Marx had it from the similar Owen sentence.

Owen had infinite compassion and was a Christian like no one else. He had faith in reason and faith in gradualism which came from reason.

[13] Tolerance he regarded as the fruit of knowledge. Knowledge of what? Knowledge of society.

He was weak and all his life he must have been afraid about working in a mill.

He says that the manufacturing problem was a double one: the mill was placed badly since there was not a single person about. There were then two sources of labour, the poor house children and the nearby village of the criminals and destitute. They had no children of their own. He says that after they had learned their trade, he became dependent on them and would manage them in the democratic concepts and het along with them. There would be no punishment. He never dismissed anyone for theft and violence and this takes strong convictions.

Re punishment: We don't know why we punish and we don't know what man is for. There is some characteristic of the human mind that it is satisfactory for one thing to follow another. This is related to the principle of sufficient cause (if something has happened then something must have previously happened).

From the point of view of social technique the parallelogram was an absurdity. He thought of nothing else but housing the poor and having them cook together and work on about a half acre for subsistence. They would be allowed to produce more but this would go to the community. But whey then should they give this money to the community? He had therefore to agree to people of the same ilk in the community, e.g. Catholics. But where would these people come from? He would therefore have to nationalize it. But the Poor Law was parochial and so he started the whole scheme in [14] America. However it broke down in quarrels.

Owen said he knew that society might be formed without crime and he didn't believe in original sin. This had an international aspect in the improvement of every nation in the world.

There was a strong fear of the French Revolution and of bloodshed and violence.

Our subject is the discovery of society and he put the whole thing into two words: machine and society. He said that Luddism was barbarism and he utterly averse to the class war. We must do away with the capitalist system gradually and peacefully.

We need an explanation of New Lanark as a boob which lasted 25 years by a man who started by borrowing 100 pounds.

The chapter on Robert Owen might be written in the form of a prologue and three scenes.

The prologue might contain Robert Owen's original endowment:

  1. Infinite compassion (p. 35, 40, 41).
  2. Boundless faith in reason (the visible fact)
  3. Dedication unto death (pp. 94, 108, 109, 216).
  4. Dread of revolution (anti-violence, gradualism, anti-anti…)
  5. Gradualism (against prematureness)
  6. Miracles of reason expected (in no time).
  7. Tolerance - the fruit of knowledge (of what? society)
  8. A weakly boy (never worked in a mill).

[15] Scene 1:
Owen stepped into hell – a secluded infant’s slaughter mill in the darkest Scottish congo, (these were not the highlands and there were no roads.) His father-in-law had notice the horde (500) of derelict pauper children and tried to help them. He came face to face with the children and the machines. Owen notices the adults too. They were all criminals. Also he saw the machine (p. 158).

Scene 2:
Twenty years of preparation in the wilderness. He was his own John the Baptist (p. 95, 154). There was a shower of miracles – general health, wealth, world fame. They were innumerable reminders to his audiences of this. Owen felt entirely the part of the saviour but was the selfless.

Scene 3:
Days of continuous revelation, 1813-1821 with 8 years of rededication. (p. 108, 111, 116, 119, 150). This was a typical climax of rededication, undaunted by the recognition of growing obstacles. (p. 108, 109). (Redeemed – p. 108). 1813 was the opining essay on the New View of Society, and in 1821 the Report to New Lanark. In every one of the steps during the 8 years, he says “it begins today”. The 25 years boom was at an end. All the wealth and fame came from the boom. From the factory came the discovery of unemployment and the whole of “society” emerges from the Villages.

He had three periods, the factory: unemployment, currency, and the business cycle, and Villages of Union, (which were impossible and would break down); and socialism.

[16] At the end of the book he shows that he will have 4 groups, those with no money, some money, much money etc. and it becomes a replica of the class structure. It was a way of solving the un-employment problem and making money. He republished Bellers at his own expense and he didn’t realize that he had Bellers. (Include the two details of the 96,000 pounds and the four classes from paupers to capitalists.) People would stay five to seven and be indentured. The whole plan for the 96,000 pounds is dropped. The principals was united labour, expenditure, and property and equal privileges. There would be private dwellings and the children under three would stay with the parents but all others would be housed together. Note that this would remoralize the country (p. 289).

Owen was deeply anti-revolutionary and shared the phobias of his time (the French Revolution). Owen was deeply anti-revolutionary and shared the phobias of his time (the French Revolution). He had phobias against any upset. He had a mania of opinion and against any upset of opinion and against intolerance. If he had thought of a social revolution would have gone mad. He never thought of general social change.

Up to 1813 there was no unemployment but in 1815 there was unemployment and in 1818 there were paupers. He published his first essay in 1813 and in 1815 there was the depression. It broke in on the country the same way as the 1929-30 depression broke in on America. Over-night everything stopped and by 1815 the poor were flooded with unemployment. He felt the whole thing should be nationalized. The Elizabethan was a national Poor Law although it was parish-financed. From 1536 an earlier Poor Law and from 1563, the Statute of Artificers was national and only the finance was through the parish.

He couldn't carry through the Village of Union. He said of course, [17] if the Villages of Union were so successful then the rest of the country wouldn’t remain under worse conditions. The whole country would gradually come under Villages of Union. He suggested the old and new system operate side by side and the new system would work. This idea underlies the socialist revolution and the Marxist superiority would win over the rest. He never thought of socialism but by 1821 he was a socialist.

He prepared for 16 years during which there wasn't any depression, unemployment or crisis. It was the pauper children that made him feel as he did. A principle came over him that if you understood the principle of society you would be tolerant. The light of this would be so strong that people would be blinded and it was not permitted to tell them the whole truth. Only tell them part of it. It was the truth of the discovery of society and that the individual was determined by his environment. Tolerance would come out of this and the religions would end. Peace would come over mankind.

In 1813 he was in the midst of the boom along with the rest of England and he didn’t know that the depression would go on between 1815 and 1848. During this period there would be the whole of the Chartism and the Trade Union movement (1828-32). After 25 years of boom there were 25 years of depression.

He saw at the beginning that the whole system doesn't work and this happened in the 8 years between 1813 and 1821. 1815 was the turning point. He unconsciously prepared for 16 years and had the revelation of the transformation of mankind and he was then called to lead society. Why did he think the world would be transformed and why not tell them all? He didn’t expect that capitalism could exist for another 150 years. He [18] saw that technology would be boundless with no limit, but he didn’t see that the profit system would be the system in which it would develop.

Socialism was unforeseen for him. With Villages of Union he said that if these were successful no one would want to live under worse conditions and the old system would shift into the new. The whole of the Marxist position is here, that the more successful sector would win out. It also presents the Marxist position that there wouldn’t be a world revolution. It could all start from the Poor Law reform. However, it was only in 1834 that there was a Poor Law Reform Act which came after the intolerable conditions and the very high rates.

For the personal side we should have the six things for the prologue have the six things for the prologue with no elevation or big words. Put it simply, the way it happened. One really has a story to tell that this would be the end of a religion of sectarianism and emotionalism in so far as it was the opposite of rational.

If we see his tremendous errors we can understand the depth of his tragedies. But the depth of his insights had, through Karl Marx, an influence on socialism in many ways.

Also nothing should be taken from the rich. Let them become parasites. The machine would create a thousandfold increase in wealth. He had never thought of socialism. Classes would lose nothing and the social framework need not change for all this to happen.

The Marxist idea of the possibility of evolution as a socialist method neglected the problem of freedom entirely. “Vociferous friends of freedom” is a term Marx used in the Communist Manifesto. The phrase [19] “freedom to starve” became a socialist slogan.

Owen is dominated by his anti-revolutionary and pacifist statements of sheer toleration. There is no class struggle, which is an unnecessary irritation.

Owen’s rationalism started from the individual selfish interest and it is only through the welfare of the community that he can be happy. He jumped out to the position of individualist self-interest by denying that the individual could be happy outside society as a whole. He doesn’t follow the lines of selfish action (the class struggle which develops out of the liberal economic principle) and he jumped the conditions of 1813 before unemployment set in. His intuitions were along the lines of moral and intellectual development.

He discovered society and the technological civilization and he discovered that it is the machine that does it.

Today these things are doubted. The Clapham school wants to minimize the Industrial Revolution. It is an absurdity to say that these people didn’t see what they saw. He complained of its effects on the Scottish rural society and that the coming of the machine made the employer press the worker beyond his strength. The Clapham school conquered England within idea of no industrial revolution. Beales dropped the term and so did Cole, and it is the present school in England.

The anti-capitalist school had dropped many things e.g. wages began to rise after 1832-6. Under Speenhamland there was no bottom in wages (a supplement from the Poor Law). Therefore there was no working class and Speenhamland was only abolished in 1832 after these events.

[20] The whole system could have collapsed if the workers wouldn’t have wanted it (?). Speenhamland did prevent starvation as long as it lasted. This is not accepted e.g. Sraffa. P. doesn't think that Sraffa read The Great Transformation. The Great Transformation is not the last word but it still says a great deal.

Owen didn’t understand the workings of capitalism the workings of capitalism and what he said was nonsense. He thought that the more machines there were, the less labour is valued. He wanted labour to be independent of the market. The problems he raised were insoluble because he had a mistaken understanding of the workings of capitalism. So did Ricardo and Marx, but Owen didn't understand the things that Ricardo and Marx had completely established. There is no sign of his ever having read anything at all but he was a voracious reader as a child. He was a “selbst-denker”, a thinker on his own. This power and impetus led him from one thing to another. From action to theory he discovered the important things e.g. factory. How could he have discovered all these things and got angry?

There was a strong element of revelation. He was his own John the Baptist and had his own personal story and had to reveal it to others.

(Write with a factual tone and without elevation. The reader prefers that tone to any other.)

Note page 5 “full extent…” - that he couldn't give away the thing and that they would be blinded. Take this à la lettre. Owen was such a person and Jesus was such a person. He became head of the religion of charity and didn't know what doubt was. He never doubted although he was elastic and made enormous concessions. You must know him well in [21] order not to say that he never developed. He wasn’t shaken by these things and you doubt only because you are shaken. He had a clear thought he would be killed by the mob.

The mind works from principle and works from external knowledge.

Man’s self interest lies in his craving to be happy but reason proves he cannot be happy except by making the community happy. This would come through life and everything else is needed except experience (?)

The Marxists abhor hedonism but accept the utilitarian value scale.

His religion of charity was Christianity all over. He didn't stay on this level but sent the children to the kindergarten and didn't take any children under ten.

On this principle of the self and the community it is a crude atomistic individualism and a crude Christianity which he attacked. The 200 years of religious war had led people to a hatred of sects which couldn't be exaggerated. The Church always protected any soul from the state but the religious wars brought in absolute state power (Hobbes and Spinoza). In England in the second half of the 18th century there was a new outbreak of sectarianism and a new outbreak of dissension. They were driven crazy by sectarianism and it must have been bad in Wales

On page 19 “hitherto” occurs three times and there other phrases for it. This is the proclamation idea - a realistic experience of new birth and rebirth and yet he was out and out anti-revolutionary. To act like that is a mystery.

[22] What really moved him was that the position of the poor didn’t call forth one petition (p. 21). Wages were very low and the hours were increasing fast. He meant the mills. In 1750 Manchester started growing and by 1813 it was something horrible. There were two kinds of workers: the small children of the work houses who were crippled and worked to death, and the adults in the village he created, were people from Ireland and West Scotland and the scum of the earth.

That is why a Village of Union seemed a possible thing.

(Find Lanark on the map.) Owen said that it was in the wrong place and that the falls were inaccessible. Water was the only source of power. Lanark was in the Scottish lowlands.

People refused to hand over children at the age of 8 or 10 only, and insisted on children being taken from the age of 5 up. Owen didn't allow children under 10.

Distinguish between his pedantry and the practical endeavours such as the nationalization of the poor; the Villages of Union, the socialism and social morality which are proofs of his being pushed on to the new society by practical endeavours. His Messianism and ecstatic attitudes show the preparing of others so that they might not be blinded by the light. There was a determination to death. He didn't refer to socialism but to the transformation of the world and the nature of society. Tolerance would follow and Christianity would disappear. He said that the social framework wouldn't change. If Christianity disappears and man changes from top to bottom that is what he was preparing for, to transform mankind.

[23] But he didn’t see that it involved the economic system and he didn’t know that it was capitalistic, so how could he arrive at socialism?

He did focus on the machine and that was making society had and would go on and on. He said he must remoralize them.

He made Christianity responsible somehow for the machine. (P. would look for the passages to confirm this.)

We should now check for any sign in his autobiography that he was starting on something entirely different. Cole didn’t have the imagination to see that he wasn’t talking about socialism and capitalism. All he said was that a new principle of immediate gain was a disaster and the machine had done it.

"Freedom and Technology" (5) - General Comments

[24] It occurred to P. that the book has two questions worth raising: 1) Why is there a weakening in the insistence on freedom
2) How could it overcome it.

We are answering both questions and put in this way it gets you off an anti-totalitarian book, which is meaningless and goes in the old political ruts. Our objectivity consists in pointing out that we are unfaithful to freedom, and in pointing out to the Russians that they are in the same boat as e are. These are the foundations for such a position and the reader begins to see that the superiority we claim, is on good ground.

The book needn't be exhaustive, but still it must be written quite definitively. We would have to make sure we have it soon. The main points of the argument are mentioned in the Introduction and although there may be other points and important excursions on the same points, one could regard it as a settled framework.

Under the human story of the machine, P. wants to discuss the effects of the machine, not the complaints. It is difficult not to fall into the old rats because the Industrial Revolution had so tremendous and terrible effects.

However, everybody knows the effects and perhaps we won't discuss the effects but only the social philosophy - child labour, the weaver's anguish, skilled labour etc.

[25] The chapter on social discontent would be a further chapter about the discovery of society. We should take note of the comments in "Weekend XII” and relate this to the discovery of society and the early Marx. We should also add Fourier and Saint-Simon and see whether they were or were not further discoverers of society. See also the Mantoux book.

We must have a dialectic that the criticism of society was directed towards an evasion of the recognition of the reality of society. It ran along these lines all the time and complained of things one shouldn't complain of, partly because it didn't want to go socialist, partly because the socialist didn't want to recognize the limits either. Socialism doesn't deal in the same kind of illusions but only in others.

That would lead to a point where the criticism of society is discontinued for two different reasons:
1) to evade the socialist conclusion
2) to evade the limitations of it.

The former is the anachistic-liberalistic criticism and the latter is the socialist-communist criticism.

My question: Why do we use the "evasion"? Why would we not assume that this was simply vaguely seen?

For the first group it is an evasion because they don't face up to the risks and costs of change. The socialists however, don't want to face the finality and reality, and hold on to the illusions. The question is whether this isn't an excellent reason why the criticism of society was discontinued and there emerged two schools of pessimism:

[26] 1) the ultra-liberalistic (Sartre)
2) the ultra-anti-liberalistic such as the Stalinist type of pessimism.

This would be a very simple way of presenting the philosophy of our time and would be worth writing a book if it proves true.

The criticism of society stopped and it wen to take up human existence. This is argued neither on the basis that short of socialism, man's life is unliveable, nor that the reasons to go socialist are basically libertarian. The criticism in post-socialistic and it is really based on continuing illusions about socialism which take two directions: either that human society is unliveable, socialist or not, or there is a completely different conclusion, that the limitations of society must change the idea that man has any residual freedom. For example, the Stalinist communist's conclusion is that society sets the limits, but that man shouldn't imagine that he is a creature of freedom, e.g. there is no crime in his conscience at all. This is accepting the reality of society in a way which relinquish the residual freedom of man.

We must bring in socialism because Owen established the whole problem which includes socialism. And the question is where does socialism come in? We never could answer this question until the early Marx. The whole book is socialist e.g. Shaw.

We react to the reform of socialism which takes in the February speech of Khrushchev and the October revolution in Hungary. That is the question of the reform.

Shaw is the representative of the socialist critic of man who [27] criticizes the non-socialist because his own acceptance of the reality of society makes the other a funny figure because of his ignoring the reality of society.

Sartre is the critic of man is a socialist but does not recognize the reality of society. He complains that human existence is self-contradictory and inadequate. Sartre insists on man's residual freedom but ignores the reality of society and see no place for the individual life as freedom.

The Stalinist communist accepts the reality of society and draws the conclusion that the insistence on man's freedom is invalid and meaningless.

All the liberal socialists reject the reality of society. We have discovered that is is insufficient to pass on to the Owenite position (he was a socialist), unless you realize that there are limits set to the reform of society by its nature. Owen let this an open question. He didn't think there is any trouble if you have reform up to the limit and then stop screaming.

P. thinks that his terms begin to work and throw light on the difference of these positions. Owen was sufficient for the liberal socialist who ignores the reality of society, and who would stumble ever the reality of society from the first and is in danger of premature resignation. If we say that in Owen we have the discovery of society up to the critical point we mean whether this reality of society is an ultimate. We say yes, that on Owen's horizon it is an ultimate and it is the great importance of the discovery that it went all the way. Owen [28] discovered it right to the point where it reaches the reality. He isn't dominated by the reality but he got further than anyone else except for Shaw.

In Shaw however, the determination of the reform of society was limited by all kinds of considerations e.g. the mass scapegoat. Shaw is an anti-democrat and therefore suffers from grave limitations.

Is it correct that the discovery of society led to the criticism? My question: Isn't that how it has discovered?

Yes, it is the same thing. The machine partly caused and partly revealed the reality of society. E.g. it was like the H Bomb which caused more rays and revealed the existing ones.

It is really necessary to show the social philosophy which reacted to the various phases of the machine.

What has socialism to do with the whole thing? If society consists of individual atoms, the self-interest of each atom in the society is the upshot of the atoms. Then the criticism of society is directed always toward the structure of the society.

How do these atoms behave and what kind of structure is meant here? Property and political systems are meant. The liberal criticism is that the institutions are not sufficiently free and if they would be, they would function. But they might also say that within the freedom of the atomistic structure it should also be just, but on the whole the socialist criticism was different. You must have a different economic organization and the complaints would disappear.

[29] On the whole there was an acceptance of this position until society moved into the socialist form and then there was a new kind of criticism which made its appearance. This was a criticism of human existence and here there is a big difference between acceptances of the reality of society or not. Sartre doesn't accept the reality of society and says that socialism doesn't work as he would wish, while the Stalinists accept the reality of society but reject freedom.

In Shaw you have a criticism of the individual, and then the society that accepts the reality of society but doesn't insist on reform. This makes the criticism unsatisfactory because he thinks there is something wrong with the mass of the people e.g. The Appleart, of On the rocks.

My question: We've raised the question of socialism earlier, but we haven't answered it.

P.: This takes us back to Owen. With Owen it is the discovery of society which is the main story but he is credited with recognizing the reality of society in the crucial sense of limiting all human aspirations after the transition to socialism.

The reality of society is not a metaphysical explanation but an elaboration of a technological civilization.

P. thinks that the idea of compelled to compel is satisfactory. It may be a symbol of something deeper but it is satisfactory. It might seem not to add anything, but that we are compelled does not take away our freedom while compelling others to takes away our inner freedom.

[30] The very important point is that being compelled is not the end of our freedom, but being compelled to compel is, e.g. being made to pay taxes does not take away our freedom.

In the tyranny problem (cf. the poem by Illyes) the complaint against tyranny doesn't really touch upon the complaint which the poet really put across. It is not of being compelled, but the poem says that the horror is the person going over and being on the other side of himself. Any conventional description is really the tradition of the vote against tyranny, while this is the actual hold on the souls which amounts to an inner death and is beyond death. The poet must strain to get at this and explain in what sense self-alienation occurs.

My question: On this question of being responsible for our opinions, supposing that we hold an opinion which is different from the one that society or the government is holding and acting upon, are we then responsible for their opinion?

No, we are only responsible for the opinions which we create and also for the conflicts which these opinions create.

We write from the angle of the world experimenting with socialism so that the reality of society has more topicality then before. Premature acceptance is inpermissible, but for the reform of society (that is what is meant by socialism) the acceptance of the reality of society is of enormous importance. If you deny it, you might fall into the criticism of man which is nihilistic, and if you accept it you might deny man's residual freedom (i.e. his ineradicable or native or inalienable freedom. However P. doesn't like this latter term which is a barter term).

[31] If we write a book, then the reality of society becomes of immense importance and of topical interest and what we reject may be the realistic of man or the loss of man's native freedom.

We work back from the idea that what we call the recognition of the reality of society and the acceptance of it comes in as a characteristic of Robert Owen alone. There is one other person, Comte, but he comes to a different conclusion of not being committed to the reform of society. With Owen we have that commitment.

If we move to the position where socialism is the topical question, the choice may seem to be between native freedom with no reality of society but a criticism of human existence in a nihilistic way, or the alternative of the acceptance of the reality of society with the annihilation of the individual's native freedom. We are working for an insistence on the recognition of man's native freedom while recognizing the reality of society.

The topical interest comes up in the struggle for maintaining the freedoms. While under totalitarianism conditions this is denied in principle, in the libertarian position it goes by default because the reason why freedoms are list is because there is no recognition of the reason why freedoms are lost is because there is no recognition of the reality of society, with a consequent devastating absolutism of ideals.

We haven't shown why an insistence on absolutes leads to the relinquishing of freedoms.

My question: Why can't we have both together?

These reasons leading to a loss of basic freedoms answer my [32] question. That would mean that the metaphysical fear which dominates technological civilization leads to no freedoms. You are afraid to have freedom. Relinquish absolutes is relativizing human possibilities.

P. hasn't investigated this matter and it hinges on the 'volonté de tous' and the 'volonté générale' and how they are linked.

P. knows a number of things which are the results but they don't have any direct relevance to the incoherence of our value systems e.g. the insistence on absolutes while at the same time relinquishing interest in freedoms.

P. sees an incongruence in it and there must be some very simple explanation to this. On the whole, one explanation would be that we regard ourselves as being of our native freedoms and a relativization of the abstract values, and this seems to be largely a function of emergencies. Perhaps there is here a pathological disturbance which would be at once assuaged and removed as the reality of society was recognized. The point is that as long as this has not happened we are each in a state of emergency. We are in a mobilized condition and in a state of panic which excludes those freedoms which are at their best under normal conditions.

P. is not satisfied with this explanation. For example, there is an insistence of freedoms in Russia by Americans which is at a maximum, while in Russia there is an insistence on justice which is absolutized. But why is there a minimum of insistence on justice in Russia? Is there [33] some connection here or is it a pseudo problem? E.g. whatever we insist on in another country is an emergency for which we can relinquish home values. This is therefore no answer for it might be justice or freedom e.g. I want justice abroad, I lose freedoms at home. There is the same connection between justice as between freedom and freedoms. If we mean any kind of absolutes and any kind of application to domestic institutions, it seems that anything external creates a tension eliminating the internalization of the same or a different value.

Myself: and because a political state is always in a condition of tension it would always mean relinquishing certain values.

P.: It explains too much.

Why is there so little insistence for these freedoms and such a strong urge towards it? A technologically induced internal danger is understandable. What a difference does it make if we recognize the possible limitation that lies immanent in society? If one goes on the analogy of other revelations it is not easy to formulate. It goes on the analogy of some external distortion.

Myself: The reality of society itself is only a metaphor for something that you can just approximate in a very general way.

This is resolved by the inevitable alternatives, and being compelled to compel. If you recognize this you can’t recognize the opposite. What effect has this on residual freedom? There may be a connection as long as the alternative picture is atomistic and as long as that is the basic vision of society. I needn’t recognize the [34] inevitability of choice nor the fateful character of being involved in compulsion. If I now accept both then all I am responsible for is whom do I compel to what, and what choice do I make. That is a different position, and that is accepting as final that I do make choices and I am engaged in compelling others. Therefore native freedom is restricted conceptually to these choices and to compelling to what?

P. made these point 30 to 35 years ago and came to the conclusion that the only choice was how much power and power for what. This is one of the choices and the second one is whom to compel and to what.

This is the immanent limitation of his freedom and that would make him essentially and always a committed person. It would give some sense to Sartre’s committed person and is in a sense unavoidable.

It really boils down to the fact that the reality of society involves choices between inevitable alternatives and of these there are two: choice between originating power of one kind and another. P. usually also says what degree and what kind might depend on the man, but not whether or not. This involve this famous compelling of compelling. Therefore he cannot claim not to be committed because he cannot avoid choosing, nor he can avoid participation in this compelling of others. This being so, his native freedom conceptually carries these commitments and it is not conceivable otherwise. One can say that the only way of bearing this commitment is to endow others with the capacity of not being compelled. My freedom consists in his freedom from [35] compulsion an if people have civic liberties then I am safe from this. It really makes for a free society because not only yourself but others are disengaged. P. can’t get any further now.

We should regard this disjunctive treatment of the nihilistic liberal as also annihilating the anti-liberal.

In Sartre there is only a liberalistic absolutism. The inevitability of commitment is only another way of accepting the reality of society. There is an insistence on non-acceptance which comes from deducing this commitment not from the inevitability of society, but from something else e.g. the moral personality. Commitment comes from the inevitability of choice. Perhaps we are here at the heart of the matter.

Of course the social complaint is of the lack of freedom, the lack of justice, the lack of order and it is on this score that the complaints are raised, but actually the question in these systems is where is freedom located? It need not be located in the selfish individual, but located in the process of history or the fulfillment of some ideas – the hero of history etc.

All we need to show is the rule of the machine on one hand, and society on the other, on these social philosophies. P. has already started doing that.

This very basic question of the Rousseau problem may be that all the alternatives always are created by social situations and the roles you must choose. The individual’s choice is restricted to these. This [36] is his native freedom.

At what point is dynamic survival dependent on the new role to save society? It breaks away in an emergency and a different mechanism is in play.

Comments on my "Introduction", Draft #1

[37] The book begins in a subject matter way: one subject and one interest, and in an argumentative way. Out of these elements and our own growing clarity we can build up simple and forceful arguments in one direction.

There is no problem of writing, just clarity and comprehensiveness.

The Introduction is on the lines not of answers but of questions, P. doesn't think that we are much advanced beyond this and it is as much as we start with. P. thinks that it sets the tone of the book and he is happy to accept his as setting the tone of the book we are trying.

What is most successful is the presentation of the figure of the person and the machine. This hinges largely on the fact that the reality of society is linked with it. Life in society has one thing as it’s background – freedom. These are the elements which come up here, which to P. seem rich and promising enough to warrant a book. Altogether the questions which are put are successful and effective. The tone is not too optimistic and leaves the question open, but with a basically positive tone and the two together are the only possible way.

As to the presentation of the argument, it can be improved only as the book takes shape and it is quite easy to sharpen the edges. This cannot be done short of the book being there.

One thing is almost completely left out: the anti-economism of [38] our position and the danger of the economistic position, although this would link Russia and America because both are economistic.

It is a relief to P. that I managed to write without falling into the old ruts because I might never get out. It is successful and certainly forcusses on freedom and technology. No one doubts that there is some kind of freedom problem and technology is worth discussing. If one wished to criticize and correct it we would have to leave out a clause here and here. If I rewrote if it would be different.

P. thinks that a whole step has been taken. Nothing that P. has to say on Owen wouldn't fit here.

The social and then individual discontent are simple and strong points which have never been made. Also the early Marx is taken up in a double sense. He had this popular type of humanism and was extremely spiritualistic as far as the nature of man is concerned, and was so radical as regards the reform of society which couldn’t go much further. We won’t have much trouble with the idea of atheism: that we don’t have faith or belief is an illusion that is very peculiar – what we need is more tolerance and not more faith.

Much more cannot be done now. Also the Preface should be written when the book is finished, – that is when Prefaces are written. P. is very eager to have this book done. It has a different tone from anything one reads – it is basically more optimistic in tone.

P. thought it's good to see how easily I take to straightforward presentation of material and broadening it as parts of an argument.

[39] There is not a deviation in style, level or tone and that is more important than anything else. That is the safeguard of writing. Even sometimes when one feels one might be more shocking. The wealth of material doesn’t really allow that. It works only with comparatively restricted equipment. We really want volume, mass and therefore we must watch that the tool simply doesn’t go through the sack.

The Introduction, if it can be done, argues against the table of contents. It should be an intermediate layer of ratiocination between the actual subject matter of the book and the deepest true interest you appeal to and that you want to awaken. Naively, you may assume that it is the subject matter which is important, but it is the effect of the subject matter on your mental make-up as you are, and this is something that cannot be directly approached. The event of the impact on you, giving you interest, is what the book will produce. That can’t be directly approached, otherwise the book wouldn’t be written.

If the Introduction put in many details that lead up to the revelation, then many more people would respond to it. P. also feels that it is a much more reasonable undertaking, because as a matter of fact the level is there.

P. finds himself participating much more than he should. P. doesn’t find that the writing is personal, but from the subject matter point of view this makes it strong, simple and clear.

The brown "Weekend Notes" have their own style which runs on perfect form and perfect metaphor. They also run on cadence and fine [40] phrasing. This is the basic writing-the clearest, simplest and most lucid expression of thought. The more I develop this and take over from the brown book writing style into the Introduction the better. Much is there already.

The introduction will have to be much harder in order to cut: it is still made out of cheese and the cheese will cut the knife.

The Great Transformation (4)

[41] P. has found the press cuttings of The Great Transformation and will send them on to Beacon Press.

In The Great Transformation "that society should be more human and just” is the dilemma. But this is pre-Keynesian. Keynes showed that there is an interference which makes it work, i.e. if you interfere with money it will work. The old school had said that if you interfere with money it won’t work.

P. thought of the factory laws and social security and not of the monetary system. As to the factory laws, they would interfere. It is probably Keynes’ discovery that the monetary system can compensate for them, that explains the working of the market system despite the interventions.

The liberals, such as Mises, said don't interfere, and if you do don't be surprised if it breaks down. This referred primarily to trade unions and factory legislation.

M.P. thought that this was the weakness of P.’s position, P. however, never said that there existed a utopia which had to be stopped. There never was such a utopia and it was a construction which explained the empirical data on this hypothesis. This is not the same but it is permissible.

The criticism has never been investigated with precision, not even with the precision of the thesis. P.’s instinct is that this is methodically a mistaken criticism and it means that the main argument [42] is on trade unions and social legislation and not on money. But Keynes' position might be right and sound and so we don't extend the interventionist argument to money.

But the intervention of democracy and the pressure of inflation is not something which Keynes’ policy would permit. Keynes says that some inflation is necessary for the system under certain conditions but this assumes there would be government intervention in planning and in investment possibilities. But Keynes remained a staunch liberal and never favoured government control of investment.

Interdisciplinary Project (2)

[43] The July meeting in New York was attended by Oppenheim and Sweet. Sweet is expanding and continuing a dissertation done 42 years ago at the Oriental Institute in Chicago by Walter Shventzner. Sweet ix expanding and continuing this dissertation on our lines. This will be an event in the historiography of Assyria and Babylonia. Sweet says that Oppenheim had stuck out his neck by publishing his paper in our book. P. thought that this was a minimum point but now the position is entirely different. After P.’s lecture to them, the dissertation will run on these lines. P. feels that both are won over.

Sweet is assistant to Landsberger and is engaged in one of the really important publications coming out of Chicago. He is a young fellow and was convinced we were on the right lines two years ago. P. found out that Landsberger, (Zeus Almighty) is reading “Trade and Market”. Landsberger must have pointed out that this is too serious a matter to ignore. However, Sweet says that Landsberger claims that in Cappadocia there are markets, but three are “ideal markets”.

Bohanan didn't come because his life was ill, but we had a discussion on his work.

P. had Oppenheim and Sweet to himself and he had the occasion to lecture them on the old versus the new approach, and what is the logic of the new approach. Oppenheim left the impression that he understands. Emmet was there again.

P. had with him the survey of equivalencies, elite circulation, poor man’s money, operational devices etc. P. had with him the lecture [44] on equivalencies and their impact on money institutions in the early empires.

P. would be quite ready to give a popular presentation of the economy in archaic society, but not in the old ruts. He would give a half dozen institutions which were overlooked und these would outflank the old problems, and by outflanking them, circumvent the preconceived notions, and then would move in and kill them off. Not by a frontal attack, for P. is Chinese enough to see that a frontal attack means moving in to the enemy’s camp.

Harry gave a lecture on prestige a lecture on prestige and accumulation. Harry was mistaken, but P. sees that there are three problems:
1) Debt and debt bondage
2) dependent labour
3) the services, which are connected, and which come to you through land ownership.

Behind these, the economic effects of prestige are hidden and come through these three: people being in debt to you, being bonded and labour dependent on you and the economic prerogatives going with land ownership. The prestige and treasure material now looms large.

Bohanan sent P. another paper of Steiner which he edited. This paper is toward a classification of labour and starts with great brilliance.

P. had a paper from Walter Neale on how he defines services in the substantive economy. Although Harry thought it's no good, P. thought there was merit to take up services. Walter locked for the solution in [45] the same direction as Steiner, and P. would like this to be discussed in August.

Much has happened and P. knows what he wants.

The Early Marx (3)

[46] What position shall we give here to the early Marx? There are a number of points to the early Marx and he takes up a complex position because he follows the traditional German idealism by taking freedom as the central term of the moral world so that history is a development towards freedom.

Socialism is a jump from the realm of necessity (this is not the early Marx). The most important term is that the human characteristics of man are the ones which characterize society, but the collective character of society dominates. It is not the independent individual but the individual as a representative of the race. That’s where Marx gets the idea that all objectified value realms in society must be distinctive human. That is the answer to the dilemma of the animal character of man. The human relationships between individuals are the immediate ones not the mediated. What on earth would follow from this for our problems? One would think that the recognition of animal society was basic to Marx which is all about the generic character of man and his achievement. Yet there is not much of this in the early Marx which is basically a society of individuals but in institutions and in society it is the ‘genus man’ which counts. Therefore the role of the individual is given as a function of the group in relation to a situation. P. doesn’t know how far this takes one and couldn’t say what does all this mean. How does dialectical materialism emerge? Nobody knows, not seriously.

Sartre and Camus

[47] P. read Camus' "The Fall". It is a very peculiar book. To controvert the position of the French “angry men” is a peculiar task – because he presents his angry men so well. He presents his egotistic self-centered man with so much consistency, one has the feeling it’s not to the point. No one is faintly similar to this kind of person. It is a marvelous piece of writing and a master piece, but slightly irrelevant.

What P. realized since, is that this problem of freedom is more definitely linked with modern pessimism than he knew. As regards Sartre’s “Ways to Freedom”, it is a bit old fashioned, but it is the freedom problem as it is put there. Also another thing is important to Sartre – the atheism. The greatness of “Les Mouches” is the atheist message.

His main philosophical work On Being and Not Being is out and out Marx. P. doesn’t think that he knew the early Marx at all, and unless one knows the early Marx one knows nothing. By taking up a writer like Sartre, we are following the problem of freedom across the land mark of the early Marx, and are taking up the question of atheism and somehow our lense does focus.

Modern Politics (4)

[48] The situation in Hungary continues very bad.

The disarmament conversations are not helpless. The Business and Americans want to get together and the British don’t allow them to. The British throw monkey-wrenches, but the greatest-wrencher is Adenauer and he is successful. The world is afraid of Russia, she is getting so powerful. The Globe and Mail is fiercely for recognizing China. They do it twice a day and they are taking the Russian side of the disarmement talks. (They had a cartoon on their race track etc.)

Politics must make one's own interest run parallel with others, so that they should push your cart in their own interest. That’s the essence of good politics. You should not show yourself blocking others in your own isolated interest. The British are blocking the Russian and American agreement.

Philip Deane had an article that the Russians and Americans wanted the small nations not to produce the bombs. The danger is great that one of the Nassers will get hold of the bomb.

My question: Is there a real chance of some agreement?

That depends on whether the Americans and Russians can put up a pretense to trap he small nations so that thy won’t make a bomb, and be inspected by them. That is the greatest danger. Fortunately Canada is not aspiring to make a bomb.


[49] A recent issue of the New York Times magazine had an article by a lady arguing seriously, responsibly and knowledgeably on going steady among the teenagers. It is an astounding article. It is written in the east and it would perhaps to be possible to write it in e.g. Denver. It is the healing process of this disease which is America, proceeding before your very eyes. This is an obvious recuperative and healing process on such a vast scale that what one usually says about America seems pointless and anachronistic.

She says the teenagers behave as married people – final in their conventions, acceptedness and in the settled seriousness of its content. It is as if she spoke about a population on the moon – all the advertisements are utterly out of date. The young people are living in a different fashion which is unrelated. Only the parents are living in the old world and understand nothing.

My question: Are these different conventions or are they stronger forms of the old conventions?

Two months ago the protests were heard against going steady. The Catholics don’t want boys and girls together and want to keep the old American dating methods. Some Catholic Bishop recently spoke about 40 unwed mothers in a local school etc.

But to publish in the New York Times magazine a full blown article saying that this is all to the good - she says how and why and what happens [50] and what are the dangers and what should one do etc. P. questions whether it is possible in the framework of an earlier monogamic sexual life. Suddenly a process of healing appears and this vast disease of the past thirty years is fading out. It started with the youth movements and the Freudian era. It was a complete and a critical disorganization of personality mainly linked with sex and sex life, but nothing else. Even business receded in importance compared to this subversive attack.

This process of going steady is a social, cultural and biological revolution of the first order and it means that everything that was advertised and sold to the public as the juvenile delinquency problem, parents problem etc. is attacked at the roots. It is beyond the scope of anything that anyone of P.’s generation could have thought up.

America produced the young marriage for students, which worked wonderfully and couldn’t have been better at all. My question: how does this link with Freud and the youth movements (above)?

The new introspective methods moved progressively west from the 1920’s to the 1950’s and became part of the culture. The youth movements started just before the last World War and never became powerful in America, but the general turning to psychoanalysis as a technique of life occurred in the Anglo-Saxon countries, and also with the Dutch, the Swiss and the Germans. All this was accompanied by the disintegration of actual personal relationships and by an increasing loosening in sex life and [51] the responsibilities connected with if cf. the novels and literature of the period.

It is peculiar that "rock and roll" should have come at the time of the formulation of new morale.

The cake walk came from the waltz which started in 1810. The waltz was then not regarded as a possible dance but it came from the people. However in the 1820's it became accepted in society.

The instinctive reason that the people elected Eisenhower was that only a military man could arrange for the retreat that was necessary. Also only a military man would have no sense of honor.

China (2)

[52] In today's Globe and Mail there is an extremely exciting Chinese report on the moral and cultural life plan. This was mapped out for e.g. the non-conformist, the semi-non-conformist, the habitual non-conformist, the occasional non-conformist etc. and what you should do with these people in a country where everyone is a civil servant. The Chinese have answered this in a veritable heehive of niches. Thus they are saying what use they will make of the reliable, the non-reliable, the militant, disgruntled etc. They are remapping society from the angle of freedom, and if we wait a few days we will get hold of these documents and make more of them.

If we refer to these documents in the book, people will realize that we are not talking in a vacuum, and this might be an interesting book.

We are much influenced by the Chinese, and we should read up something serious and basic on Chinese philosophy.

Time Magazine had an article on the Globe and Mail pieces on China. There are now about twenty reports which are widely read and create an enormous interest in the American press. The Americans want them. Canada has taken the lead in this matter but it is provincial writing. The tone was that China is an underdeveloped country. The author hasn’t heard that had some literature, art, philosophy, before he was born.



[53] The Russians in the past four weeks are thoroughly disillusioned again. After getting rid of the Stalinists are they starting a new life in Prague? That is perhaps the weakest spot on the whole planet to start a new life – that faded question mark which is Czechoslovakia. The Czechs are a faded question mark because they are too weak to be what represented up to now – question mark.

My question: What does P. make of the recent Russian events including the removal of the Russian leaders?

Malenkov was a runner-up for Khrushchev’s post and was not a Stalinist but a Malenkovite. Khrushchev is very deft at palace intrigue but that’s not impressive or winning.


P. is borne out in the new Diefenbaker (Cf. Weekend XII on the Canadian elections). Each of the three questions had a fifteen to twenty year background.

It would have been unwise for the press to reflect it before, and afterwards the national instinct was not to shout these things from the house tops. (It is a question of P.’s method).


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[54] Adler[1] was utterly and had much more influence on education children than Freud. His name get lost. His was more an injunction than Freud's, which was a discovery.


P. had a nice letter from Tawney about "Trade and Market". He saw that there was much of interest to him and wrote in a very friendly and warm tone. Tawney is now 76. P. met met him 20 years ago. P. was pleased with Tawney's letter.

Melvin J. Lasky

Lasky in an unintelligent and incompetent fellow. He is an unalphabet - a low-type journalist without education and background. His report on his travels to Hungary at the semi-humorous level of the entire-filet writers.

"La Tyrannie"

Ilona: In Mrs. Orbach's translation, (of the poem by Illyes) by losing the frame of the repetition (la tyrannie chez les tyrans) the artistic possibilities got lost. At the elbow of the French translator sat the Hungarian and line by line the music and the meaning were transmitted.

P.: the poem is one of breathless horror, inexpressible horror. She however, is full of the expression of the horror. For him it is the [55] inadequacy of everything he is saying, while with her it is the exact opposite. However, she is an enormously intelligent poet with an associative power of presentation.

The poem contains the horror of the deepening understanding of what the tyranny is – it is a further onrush of deepening and deepening insight

She is a very gifted poet.

K.P. Personal (2)

P. had a lecture on the theory of fascism, socialism and communism which he gave in various lengths and to various audiences. The time varied from 8 to 50 minutes. For the 8 minutes, the lecture was delivered at the slowest pace emphasizing each word. P.’s strength was in the question period, because of the utter strength and sincerity of the answers.

P. doesn't feel safe from the health problem.

Editor's Notes

Text Informations

Date: July 20, 1957
KPA: 45/09