February 4, 1961
A great blizzard has been blowing since yesterday afternoon. Ten inches of snow have fallen. The children are delighted. So are Jill and I. The town is white, beautiful. There is no need to go anywhere. The house is warm, and we have the biggest eggs and finest steaks in America to eat if we feel so inclined.
Actually I am not much affected. I continue to divide and redivide my time. Too much is now going to the ABS. It improves. But I wish Ted Gurr could show more imagination and initiative. I need someone to promote the journal, as well, but lack the funds for the job. Maybe I'll have Ted switch to promotional correspondence, leaving me all of the editorial routine that he has been doing. Perhaps I can dictate annotations of the bibliography, using my portable Soundscriber.
Someone left a little booklet of 32 pages on Catholic Political Philosophy, by Gerald Treacy, S. J., in the bathroom and I read it. It is based on the encyclicals of Leo XIII, with Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur. It is a paean for Authority and lays all modern ills to the Reformation and Individualism. It seems oblivious of nearly everything that is happening in the present world, including some occurrences within the Church itself. In mature institutions it's the top and the mass that show first signs of discontent and changed minds, while the middle level "faithful servants," bureaucrats, and careerists are floating in their womb of certainty.
February 5, 1961
Symposium - Rule of Law (1 month) $3M - get student to work on this.
get biblio. out of ABS
write Jay on Cicero
Nuremberg trials, Drewy, etc.
Revision - A Government (4 months) $20M
B & N - Outline of IR (see re maps, add chapters) Read and revise mss.
Conclude (or forego) agreement on Elements with Praeger (1 month) $4M
Write welfare philosophy book (3 months) $2M
Get poetry published ($1/10 M)
Elections and Decisions (1 week) $ 0
St. Laurence Seaway Project Materials
ABS - write library letters, 400
Course work - Prepare for classes 21-23: Social Invention
News, Prop, Wd
Write: Asunian Peebles
Relm Foundation (write re Paragraph 139, p. 155 of UNESCO draft program)
Phone: Social Science History (2 years)
Columbia U. Library re class work
Primary Pure & Applied (with Ethics) Principle of Theology, Love, Politics, Art, Society and Human nature.
Writing of: Politician's Daughter (1 mo.) novel $5M
Participation (1 week) $0
Comparative elections (2 days) $0
Analysis of leadership (1 month) $1M
Challenging the Chair (hypnotism) (2 weeks) $0
Readings in social invention (1 month) $4M
Frontiers of Behav. Sci. (1 week) $1M
Republican (or Public Policy) for U.S. A. (3 months) $2M
Hold METRON meeting and bring books up to date
Do Income Tax by April 15
Dad's music book
Rutgers class on comparative government, etc, etc,
February 6, 1961 10 AM
The mind is far richer than any expression of it. But it is not as beautiful as some expressions of it can be. The beauty of the mind thus will always be best realized in its exhibition. Its truth will however lie buried within it.
Awakened at 5 AM with an ingenious and forceful plan of political activism in NYC. Worked 2 hours on ABS. Read a chapter of Chesterton's St. Francis and was seized with a desire to systemize philosophy. How wicked these countervailing activisms!
Saturday February 10, 1961
Reading this last week: Portions of Sayre's Government of New York City; Shubert's Public Interest; Briffault's Europa in Limbo; an Outline of Comparative Government; the NYTimes (daily) and the Post (1), New York World-Telegram (3), Catholic World (1); poems by Blake, Sundry mediocre contemporary Americans in a book called New Poems edited by R. Humphries; Realités (1), Time (1). Screened (averaging about 7 minutes each) approximately eighty articles in journals of social science. Hutchins on Two Face of Federalism. Dozens of circulars -- book ads, research reports, memoranda, and the like. Two articles in Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Several outlines of student papers. A number of letters. Passages from Piaget's Development of Thought in Children. A poor pamphlet called Catholic Political Philosophy. Half a dozen mss. for ABS. Passages from Adalbert Ames' papers, just published. Not the sort of diet I should have, but typical of what I get. The main deficiency is a single large tooth-sharpening, bone-hardening piece. A good mss. for ABS would do the job. Or reading Piaget or Ames at length. They are minds of excellence. There is much wasted reading but I cannot do much about it. I must have an opinion of certain works, for the public and students. I must glance through many for the journal. There is much merely informative material, as in the newspapers, my mail, the flow of ABS pamphlets. Reading swiftly for the ABS Bibliography is a strenuous but healthy exercise.
I have probably omitted a few items, for it seems to me that I am existing with a piece of paper in my hand constantly. The interruptions and unintellectual skirmishes and play with the numerous family are probably helpful for wresting me by sheer force from an even more constant preoccupation with the printed word. Still I long for an imaginary world without a piece of paper or a printed character. I should enjoy it for a time. It should not even have labels on cans, or tickets, or instructions on how to operate, open, put together, get a refund, buy more of same. Where must I go -- to some high mountain? To sea? To the Amazon? To some backward island village of the Mediterranean?
I ascribe about ½ of this reading to my being a homo politicus. I must keep up with NYC affairs, national and international affairs, the doings of politicians. It is 90% useless for intellectual growth, philosophical speculation, and scientific discovery. A fourth is for ABS, to make it a good magazine, and to save others useless reading and searching. A sixth is for my classes; a fourth is directed at the three aims just mentioned, the most important ones to me, which are not satisfied by the rest of the diet. A sixth is owing to the job of living in a printed culture. The description here is not the best of my weeks. it is not the worst.
Mr. Rose, our house painter stopped by this morning to ask me in the name of the Republic Party, one of whose captains he is, whether I might run for Mayor of Princeton. I explained how I was involved in New York City politics and said that I felt no fear of defeat but only a preoccupation with other important tasks. I did not refuse the honor flatly and shortly afterwards councilman Austin phoned to ask me to meet with a group tomorrow to discuss the nomination. I agreed, but warned him of the slight possibility of removing all the difficulties. The incumbent Democratic Mayor is Raymond Male. He has proven to be effective and popular, and is acknowledged to be most difficult to defeat. The position pays almost no compensation and is probably as time-consuming as being Mayor of New York. I doubt that I could make much of the post, even were I to win, for the parties of Princeton are not far apart and the town does not suffer from lack of leadership. Furthermore I should have to give up at least the locally focussed side of politics that I have been pursuing in NYC. Probably the national politics which I work at in NYC, such as the formation of a Republican-oriented association of intelligentsia, would still continue. Their focus is the presidential elections of 1964, ultimately. Now the larger game that might come out of the Princeton mayoralty would be state-wide office, or a larger influence in national politics owing to the continued political-professional positions I would hold.
Harold Lasswell came down from Yale Thursday to lecture to our Graduate Political Science Association at NYU. Stephanie N. has been in a tizzy over the affair ever since she persuaded me to invite him down. Now she is happier and relaxed. For finally he came and gave everyone two hours of his general approach to social science. Before the lecture he and Sebastian, who was grounded by fog from a flight to Burlingame, Calif., and I sat around the fireplace at 136 E 16th and drank Scotch and talked of many things. HDL drinks like a fish and gets more lucid and garrulous the more he drinks. We walked to Luchow's after the lecture to eat dinner. But had filet mignon of venison, HDL wiener schnitzel, and I a saddle of hare, all with steins of beer and red cabbage in abundance.
Also on Thursday I lunched with Vladimir Brailowsky and Arthur Gary, an NBC announcer. They are to help organize a political club among intellectuals of our acquaintance. Mike Scelsi, a Rep. State Committeeman, is in charge of organizing a formal committee of academicians for the State. I gave him a memo I had done on the general subject and he, and others, were pleased with it. They may adopt its suggestions in toto.
A big question now whether the republicans can turn up anyone of value in the mayoralty race in NYC. If I had had only three years of solid family residence in the City, I could probably receive the nomination and run a good race. I don't believe Judge Lefkowitz can win; Sen. Javitz won't run; Lindsay cannot win, too suburban a type. Congressman Fino wouldn't win. Not a broad enough appeal; too one-sided. So it goes. That leaves the gubernatorial as the next big political opportunity in the State and "Rocky" will want and receive (since he can pay for it) a lot of help. Only if he runs well, will he loom large in the presidential picture.
All very complicated and chancy. I'd better get back to my labors -- pay my accounts, draft materials to complete the International Politics book, plan the ABS, and write long-overdue letters.
Sunday February 12, 1961
Conversation on religion. Vicky finds Catholic "Confraternity" distasteful. Jill was arguing she should attend, since the priest had made a pledge to go a condition of absolution. Vicky was nonplussed. I interjected the opinion that if the priest was going to use the confessional to compel membership in an insipid group, Vicky should not ignore her pledge but should attend briefly and rarely. Jill was disturbed at this. But I believe it to be good honest give-and-take. She would neither learn much nor be spiritually elevated at these meetings..
Christ. Why did he die? Would it not have been worse to live as a damned person? Such is, after all, the worse thing that might happen to a man, and Christ was supposed to take on Man's worst punishment. To die for man's sins, is, after all, easy when contrasted with what they say man has to do for his sins, eternal torture in hell. Here is a proof of Christ's greatness but also of his manliness -- for he gave all he could and all he could give was death, dishonor, pain to himself. He couldn't give more, ergo was human. Moreover, he was human in a masses sense, not in the sense of those sensitive and educated souls who know that death in this way is not at all the worse fate that might befall one. Death without a Mission is worse. Agonies of disease and wasting are worse. Mental sickness. Indifference and Death of loved ones is worse.
No. of pop. [2 bell curves] T2 "B"Society at T2 = an extreme case by general admission
T1 = "A" Society at T1 The opposite extreme by general admission
Ideology A (Demo)
A and B and ... n are extremes. But are they not quantitatively different only. Will not the same laws govern both societies? Why must special laws be coined for A (T1) and B (T2 ) ? Why can't same scientific propositions (laws) suffice for both and n as well? There is erroneous widespread belief that a proposition has to be static and absolute. Not at all. You only need probability and distribution curves to set the whole of history into a single framework of law.
The history of social science remains to a very high degree unwritten. The history of science is itself new and largely unknown; indeed, if it were fully developed, we should have to go no further for the history of social science, for scientific development properly construed, is understandable as social science.
Since its history is unstudied, social science is ... (broken off).
February 15, 1961 10 PM
Mr. Alexander Boska, who was supposed to deliver a paper on the psychology of aggression in international affairs earlier this afternoon wrote me, in a letter that arrived this afternoon, that his boss at the export company where he works changed his evening work to Wednesday and told him he had to drop my course. I was concerned, for I had now to conduct an unprepared two-hour session. I needed too a citation of a work that I had given him. When I called his home to get his office phone, his wife heard that he was dropping the class and said forthrightly he was too anxious over his classwork and felt he would do a bad job. Actually, I had him spotted as an excellent student, around thirty or more, but with excellent grades at Queens where he got his AB. So I phoned him and asked whether he might come in tonight only to help me give the presentation. I did not mention what his wife had said. He responded favorably and showed up for the class. His paper was much better than he believed, of course, and we had a first-rate session. Afterwards he said that he would probably be able to persuade his superiors to let him attend regularly. I think he will, and am happy, for he has promise and a mild kind of Eastern European "presence" that I find compatible.
The classes in general go well. Twenty in Social Invention, 8 in News Propaganda and Politics, 15 in Psych Factors in International Politics, and, at Rutgers, 13 in European Comparative Government. A big load. The Rutgers course came on unexpectedly with the heart failure of Prof. Norman Stamps. The $1500 I earn there will pay Jill what she needs to run the household beyond my regular N.Y.U. stipend.. Nothing we do can begin to reduce our heavy costs of living to near the latter, even though I am next to Dimock, by $500, the best paid Professor of the Department at $14,500 for the nine months' academic year. Still, compared with the $30,000 I would receive in Advertising research, Company management or other business, this does not appear so much. Doing these extra chores for pay still seems better than selling our house, moving out of Princeton, which is probably the only true way of effecting an across-the-board cut in expenses.
* * * * *
Now it appears that those who engage in competitive sports are more rather than less likely to be aggressive, contrary to the William James thesis of the moral equivalent of war. Sublimation of aggression cannot only be ineffective. it may be self-defeating. Shouts directed at disturbing wives and children are supposed to be improper and too direct as aggression. The same shouts displaced upon non-disturbing family from other causes are supposedly also bad for the same reason and more. However it is a cheap, quick, and efficacious method of discharging tensions. It enables a writer, for instance (ha!), to get right back to work, a carpenter to pick up a new board, a driver to look calmly at the road ahead. Aren't these better than going for a long time-consuming walk, lighting up cigarettes and taking a whiskey, or eating one's guts away mile upon mile?
February 15, 1961 16th Street 9 AM
Can there be anything but applied social science? This is the second time I have been struck forcibly by the question. The first was five years ago and I noted it in a different form then.
Now I think of it as I read a serious article, "Temporal Experience", by Melvin
Wallace and Albert Rabin, in which, at one point, in reciting the findings of many studies of the origin and characteristics of the sense of time, they note a dozen psychological experiments in which great diligence is exercised to show that the sense of time changes with the context of experiences in which it is measured. Thus "the increase of the intensity of sound during an interval causes overestimation."
Now anyone who has watched a train approach knows this to be true. As the sound increases and the whistle blows louder, you become tense, your senses alert, you are filled with the great moment that seems as long as the whole passage before. The same is true when an artillery shell of the old type is fired towards you. Or with a child's whimper, a symphonic passage, and anything else one may think of.
Everyday observations have long ago pointed out this phenomenon and the others whose measurement they discuss even more so. Poets and novelists, lovers and soldiers, penitents and sybarites have elaborated the contextual relativity of the sense of time.
Why then the so-called scientific psychology of time? And why then any social science, if this is typical social science? Because, I think, if something needs to be done, this careful systematic approach will permit doing it. If we turned the experiment into one of applied science, we would, say, ask "what intensity of sound can be tolerated by a worker who must be able to react regularly to a machine's operation with temporal judgments from one-half to two seconds?" This problem would be solved readily by the same experimenter and the findings adapted to one or even a thousand man-machine situations.
We see then that the pure science is adding nothing to our sensitive ancient observations. Proust, Joyce and a thousand hoi polloi do as well, and , what's more, are as specific as our experimenters many times. The differences are that our "old-fashioned" knower is not geared to doing anything with his knowledge. our "scientific" knower believes he is; finding a new truth whereas he is doing so only in the trivial sense that every new observation is a new truth; more importantly, he is setting up a system for applying old truths! The old truths are phrased differently. They are embedded in different surroundings. Also they are usually related to more fanciful and romantic facts of life; a "lover's time", for example, is more attractive a topic than a controlled time of anonymous people in a laboratory.
The throng now appears to connect with another line of thought with which I have been more occupied. That is the poetic (creative) nature of scientific hypothesis. If the applied feature is what makes science distinctive, the truth-guessing element is identical with that of the poet. Or (dare we say it?) new truths are unlikely to come out of social science even while social science is of vast import to man, as much at least as natural science, whose truths, at least lately, appear to be arriving from out of the scientific procedures themselves and might not have sprung from the minds of a general man living a general life.
February 15, 1961
Sunday night into NYC with Jill to the Lincoln Day dinner of the NY County Rep Party at the Waldorf-Astoria. Good filet mignon, fair company, but dull and long withal, as always. So, returning, Jill was quite brisk in condemning my mad impulses to political activity. What's it all for, she says? Even at the highest level? Look at them all! They do not have any effect on the world and history? True. A woman's view. And many men's. So with wars. So with Sports. But she is right in one big way. Politics is gruesome, noisome. A bad way for any person who has higher ideals and is zealous of the pursuit of excellence to spend his time. But the end is the same as with all human ends, unless perhaps the great philosopher and discoverer way do a little better, that is, a slight chance at affecting history for a while, of doing good in a larger sense than ordinarily conceived. But Jill won't see this last. I think I might do some good and might be very good in high public office. But she has no dreams for me -- never has, I guess, save as an unknown, ordinary, unambitious, devoted guy, peaceable, with only a few easily-satisfied desires. How different from what I am and the truth is that she has known this ever since we first met. Yet she stubbornly holds to this ideal for me, even if unconsciously. She would have been much more pleased if I had only raised one idea every several years, like a kitten, and only got another after the first had matured and died. I suppose I must have some grains of those traits to please her generally. She does not nag, certainly, nor press her views actively, but I find it depressing to mention any ideas to her. She is quite incapable of enthusiasm for my projects and many of my ideas. The politics question is not alone. In fact, there I am within a hairsbreadth of complete accord with her. I just spoke with her on the telephone, at my initiative. I started enthusiastically and got bogged down in her unresponsiveness to my thoughts. We are at a difficult turn.
[Note: I think the following belongs in 1960]:
Hotel Vasto do Gama, Gordo, Portugal
In Paris, meetings with Father Morlion, Jean Debs, and 3 Venezuelans, the latter concerned that V. would soon be taken over by the communists. I question them rather severely in the second and final meeting, but it is obvious from my views that I am more for their people than they are. One, Ansola, is a young Department Manager for Creole Petroleum, the 2nd an ex-minister, the third a business man. I say "your oil is owned entirely by the government and by a couple of foreign companies" (Creole is worth 1 billion dollars, it is 96% owned by Standard Oil of NJ. "U. S. Steel and Bethlehem own and manage the iron properties, again with the government of V. You cite Nelson Rockefeller as being a great source of innovation, with his ranch, which he visits a couple of times briefly each year. With this social structure you cannot fight communism. You can only practice public relations a little while longer. Who is going to take to the barricades against the communists. Nelson R.? He will write off his ranch or his income against his huge income tax forms and lose practically nothing , and buy a coffee plantation in Brazil. The V. government? They are a handful of politicians. The people don't much care about their fortunes. Communism is already prepared for with these huge government possession. ESSO?. Another loss. Another 2 points drop in the stock market. Where are the fighters whom the Communists will meet at the end of the street? They don't exist. A military arm, but not strongly determined. A church of rusty weapons, considerable, yet not trained for the current mission against Communism. Some of the European immigrants -- Italian, Spanish, etc. Yes. They number some rugged individualists and would respond -- but cannot yet lead. Your owning class is oriented to Europe, not its own people. It holds stocks and bonds abroad. It will get out rather than fight. You must, therefore, be capable of far greater sacrifice than you evidence, despite the fact that you are willing to sacrifice more than most. You should prepare a formula for turning Venezuela over to the Venezuelans, not as a collectivity but as individuals. Take most, if not everything out of the hands of the government and the foreign interests. Do it gradually but really, seriously. And spend millions to back the movement for the plan. Otherwise you are sunk." I bothered them. I bothered even Morlion and Delos, who have become a little opportunistic and expedient. They want to undertake the job of starting a constructive counter-revolutionary drive in Venezuela without sufficient means and assurances. I don't. I should prefer to read a book, see my close ones a little more often, write poems and essays. We may have to see a couple more countries go communist before people there and everywhere get wise.[ end of 1960 segment]
February 19, 1961
Some say that great writers in political theory are venerated because of the great truths they speak. We ask: "one truth, 2 truths, how many?"and they must respond either 1, 2, etc. or that there is a very great proportion of truth in what they say. If the latter, then we say some "great men" speak much nonsense. Take Locke's Constitutions or Essay contra-filmer. Weak treatises of no consequence. So his worth, and all great men's work, must be judged by some part of it: what part, an influential part or a "truth"part (a "valid" part). We suppose the latter. Else they would be read as "lives of great propagandists" like "lives of great generals", etc. No, our friends say, rather desperately. It is the undeniable, indestructible truths that make them great. Very well. Treat them that way and we shall have no argument. Marshal their propositions if you can; isolate their values; make them precise if you can. Surely measure and rank the importance of what they say, but distinguish it from the truth of what they say. Then perhaps we can agree on his place in our span of attention.
February 23, 1961
It is bad enough when one forgets what he has written in his books. But it is worse when he congratulates the parroters of his words for the originality of their thought. And worst of all, when he says to himself thereupon "Now why didn't I think of that?"
Saturday February 25, 1961
We awakened this morning to the 13th birthday anniversary of Jessie. She is now as beautiful and well-developed as Vicky and Cathy. If I were a vain unbusy father I should parade around with the three of them, and their mother for that matter, gaining glory the easy way.
Jill has an irritating sinus headache. her birthday was yesterday and I bought a golden blouse with a Chinese collar and fluted front at Altman's in NY.
Vicky still has a cold.
The boys and I energetically discussed the size of man and the world, the creation of the world, the functions of God. They are all intelligent and quite capable of true conversation, giving and receiving very well, and full of surprisingly accurate and complete notions of profound matters.