peterson lobster
On today's show we dive back into Political Ponerology where we find useful information concerning the many complicated laws governing individual and social life, as well as how a lack of awareness can lead to great tragedy. As Lobaczewski wrote, comprehending these laws, or even having an instinctive intuition of them, provides us with the wisdom and practical insight necessary to reach our goals and to mature our personalities as much as possible, creating a healthy social structure in the process.

Lobaczewski anticipates many of the topics discussed by Jordan Peterson: social hierarchies, the importance of the individual, equality of opportunity, the inevitability of certain forms of inequality and the positive roles they play, as well as the dangers of other forms of inequality.

So join us today as we discard ideology to seek out a more nuanced view of society and the role of the individual.

Running Time: 01:35:41

Download: MP3 - 87.6 MB

Previous instalments in our series on ponerology: Here's the transcript of the show:

Harrison: Hi everyone. Welcome to Mind Matters. I'm Harrison Koehli. Joining me are Elan Martin and Corey Schink.

Corey: Hello everybody.

Elan: Hi everyone.

Harrison: Today we are going to return to Ponerology to discuss one of its early chapters. Looking back on this chapter I recall the first time I read it more than 10 years ago and I realize how much I didn't really understand it the first time I read it and I think that's probably the experience most people have reading this book because it's pretty dense, hard to read. But I found over the years of reading more extensively and learning more things, going back to it, I find that there's a lot in there that I didn't actually know was in there at the time.

Some of the sentences and ideas might have stuck in my head so that when I encountered them again in another form it kind of run a bell and made a connection. But it was particularly in the last couple of years of listening to Jordan Peterson that a lot of the ideas have come together.

So we're going to be looking at some of the sections from chapter 2 which Lobaczewski calls Some Indispensable Concepts where he gives the required background for making sense of everything that comes after this. If you've been listening to the previous shows you probably know that his main question is to explain pathological social structures like was encountered in the Soviet Union and various communist states at the time.

As a psychologist he is laying out the things we need to understand in order to make sense of this. Primarily he argues that we need to understand psychopathy and certain concepts surrounding that that haven't really been understood or studied but there's a wider background too. One way to put it is if you're going to study a disease state in an individual you have to know a bit about the healthy individual first of all, the way things should work and why things work that way when they do and then to be able to see how things go wrong and then to be able to answer the question of why things go wrong.

So one of the first points Lobaczewski makes in this chapter is that it really is the individual that is the unit of analysis and observation. He gives a short history of the foundations of psychology and sociology, pointing out that it wasn't until relatively recently that there could be even a semi-adequate science of these kinds of things. Auguste Comte was the first sociologist and he studied the family unit. That was the smallest unit he went to. J.S. Mill brought it back down to the individual. Since then in psychology we study individuals to know what's going on.

That is really where it has to start and not just for understanding ponerology but for a wide variety of things. This is why Jordan Peterson often talks about this. In most of his talks he speaks about the importance of understanding the individual and about societies that respect the individual and understand the importance of the individual and what that means.

So Lobaczewski gets into that as well. That's where he starts. What does it mean to understand the individual and how will that then affect our analysis of macrosocial phenomena? Well to understand the individual we need to understand psychology and physiology and where those two intersect. He would call that perhaps biopsychology.

Today we have various kinds of neuroscience. If you look at the field of psychology there's a heavy focus on the biology of what's going on. That's where you get people like Adrian Raine who does all kinds of work on the brain and neuroscience and the author of Behave. Corey, you know that guy right?

Corey: Robert Sapolsky.

Harrison: Yeah. And of course their approaches might be limited to a degree but there's a lot to learn from that. One of the points Lobaczewski makes is that you need to understand biology. You need to understand the hardware that we've got because that to a large degree, if not explains, contributes to why humans behave the way they do and why they think the way they think and the deeper things, what he calls the instinctive substratum. This would be a common approach today maybe in slightly different terminology, but he argues that we have a long evolutionary history that has contributed to the bodies that we have but also the instincts that we have. We have a substrate of biology and instinct and emotion and all that combines into behaviour patterns that affect the way we react and behave in all sorts of different situations.

So of course there are going to be instincts and behaviours that we have in a social situation that will create the social structures that we can see, whether from the smallest level of analysis - an individual in relation to their family members and the people with whom they interact, whether in the social structure at work or the social structure of a group of friends or any kind of small grouping of human beings - and then from all those individual interactions, those one-on-one interactions and those individuals a groups, you get a super structure that builds on top of that, that we call society.

One of the observations that he makes, that Peterson makes repeatedly and it's only going back that I see that Lobaczewski doesn't use the word leftist but that's the kind of word we'd use today, the people on the left, the communist, socialist ideological types, he would say a better way to put that would be to call them pathocrats or supporters of a pathocratic ideology. They deny the physiology. They deny the biology and they focus strictly on perhaps the psychological or sociological and that's essentially neo-Marxists' and the postmodern neo-Marxists' world view, that there isn't a human nature, that human nature is malleable and it's completely determined by social forces.

So the way that translates into a wider ideological framework is that human nature can be made to be whatever we want it to be. This goes back to the talks that we had about religion and religious ideologies which are basically, "This is our vision of the good humanity, what humanity should be or could be and here are all the rules and practices we will institute in order to make people like that because they are malleable." But the error in that is that people are not that malleable. In fact they have a nature. That's what Lobaczewski is going about doing in this chapter, to give the most basic and barebones but fundamental shared features of humans to give an idea of what that human nature is.

Maybe to give a little summary of what he says that leads up to the more social stuff is that if you look at the individual and you take into account physiology and psychology, you find that there are a few shared phenomena that we need to understand, one of which is memory and memory association, reasoning and what he calls a basic intelligence which is like a social intelligence. You might even be able to call it common sense. He does at various times. It's just the common sense of people interacting with each other, the intelligence that they show in their interpersonal interactions with each other.

So he would include basic societal norms and morals in that but that are shared widely throughout the whole human species, arguably. This is the area that Jonathan Haidt looked into with his Righteous Mind, these moral taste buds, the basic moral impulses that all humans seem to have but where we differ is in the specifics of how we address those moral concerns.

But the reason that he brings up memory and association and reasoning is that those are the foundation of basic human behaviour. I mentioned on the last show that I don't think we every often sit back to think about just how important memory is and how central it is to human consciousness, that everything we do depends on memory, even in the tiniest span of time, even stringing together a two-syllable word. In order to say a two syllable word you have to have a continuous memory that's cycling back on itself of what you were saying or not saying before you said the word, from the instant you first said the word, how long you've been saying that syllable and the next syllable comes around.

Within all of those tiny memoires and reversions to memory within just saying that one word you have your long term memories of language and all the ideas and concepts and feeling surrounding that word and then of course the context in which you're saying it and the larger thought in which you're placing that word.

Intimately tied with memory is association, the way one thought or image flows to the next and that of course comes from memory too. Any image that comes to mind is an image that is in some way culled from memory either because it resembles something or you're remembering an actual thing. You're remembering what you teapot looks like or the idea of teapot might come up as a memory within a certain thought, etc., but these follow certain universal rules.

All humans remember, unless they have some kind of brain damage or other problem and memory contributes to all of that and the way that memories and the process of thought comes together is associative. Then reasoning is on top of that as well. We think in terms of certain logical rules, at least most of the time. Even then there are certain patterns to it. But when we are reasoning about something there are certain universal standards by which we reason; something either happened or it didn't and if it's not you're lying. It's not you're lying or you're mistaken. But there are certain bedrocks of truth and reasoning.

The way this plays into the larger framework is that these psychological phenomena are what determine these interactions that we have with others and when they go wrong, when there are problems in those reasoning process or thinking patterns or in basic intelligence and the way we interact with each other, we could call those moral failings, there are reasons for why they go wrong. He lists the very basic one, what he calls selection and substitution of premises, where something goes wrong in your reasoning process to the degree where you can believe something that didn't happen or justify something based on a false premise or believe a false premise, in order to make the thinking relatively logical. It needs to have a certain form for people to be able to get behind it, to get behind their own thoughts. This is where self-justification and rationalization come in.

This can cause not only interpersonal problems but in a wider social framework it can be directed and influenced and even brought on by an external factor that has a distorting effect on human reasoning, cognition, thinking, intention - everything we think of as contributing to our behaviours. This can be traumatic experiences or direct, conscious malevolence of a person, either a parent or some close relation or someone that you don't know. This could be a figure that has a wide social influence that can distort your own reasoning, your own thinking, your own morals even.

That's just a very basic introduction of some of the points that Lobaczewski makes on why you have to start at the individual.

Corey: I just wanted to talk about why I think he calls these indispensable concepts. Jordan Peterson made the distinction in a talk, I'm not sure when he made that talk, but he was discussing the distinction between tragedy and evil and how when you're trying to understand what evil really is, you have to make this distinction between a normal person and their moral failings and the actual cruel imagination of a psychopath. He uses the example of the motto at (I think) Auschwitz, that work can set you free.

Harrison: Work will set you free.

Corey: Work will set you free. He said imagine the kind of cruel, disgusting and sadistic imagination that would conjure up this cruel joke and then place that in front of all these slave laborers who are working for their death. He mentions the fact that it's our moral failings, our short-sighted, limited way of viewing the reasons that other people make the decisions that they make and our lack of awareness of what's really going on, why they're acting the way they do.

I think of just one example - the election of Donald Trump. When you look at it through the moral prism of the left, what you see is a resurgence of white nationalism and that's what they see because that's the image that they've conjured up of what Trump represents, what white people represent, what capitalism represents, all of these different things that have all of these moral connotations that seek to explain reality.

I've just been reading this really good book called Alienated America and it's all about the sociological reasons and psychological reasons that people put so much faith in Trump. It's because he was talking to people who had lost communities. They weren't necessarily diehard conservatives but they were people who had no civic culture whatsoever to turn to. In their neighbourhoods churches had disappeared. Jobs had disappeared. Families had disappeared. For them this was like an apocalyptic moment and they voted for Trump because he was speaking directly to them when he would say, "Everywhere I go I see a disaster. This is a total disaster."

So what they see in him is the hope that he'll do something to bring back jobs. When he says make America great again, what they're hearing is "We'll get our families back. We'll get a sense of belonging back. We'll get some sort of meaning back." But when you view it just through a complete moral lens, what you see is this resurgence of white nationalism and on the opposite end, when you don't understand where this more liberal mentality is coming from, then you just put more of the moralizing about libtards and liberals have always been the source of communism and evil in the world.

So you have to be able to understand the basic tragedies that are inherent in our limited awareness of reality and how that can result in bad things. But not necessarily because these people are evil because they have a different moral outlook. It doesn't mean that you're evil because you can have this moral outlook, you can be wrong, but it can be just because you are not using these higher functions that he's talking about. You're not drawing on memory. You're not using the associations you're biologically granted, to go out and make connections, to learn, to augment the memory that we have with more and greater information.

It's just kind of a fact of life that we're going to have conflicts and that there's going to be strife, but it's not necessarily this total evil that he talks about, the essential psychopath, the actual sadistic mentality that would put a cruel joke on a slave laborers camp just because it delighted at the suffering of other people. As Jordan Peterson says, it's that extra suffering, that joy from suffering, that cruel imagination that you have to be able to distinguish from the follies of the catastrophes that impact everyone in their life.

He would say earthquakes aren't evil. Some random fight isn't necessarily evil. Arguments are not evil but what's really at stake here is being able to differentiate true evil from just tragedy.

Elan: This is a point that Lobaczewski gets back to several times in this chapter. There is very little in contemporary society that encourages the appreciation and understanding and knowledge of those with different moral value and structures or priorities. So this has made for a very easy time for some who have entrenched themselves in a liberal or conservative camp to deny or diminish or subvert any of those qualities in the other side that is of value where Lobaczewski would say that all of these leanings have value when they're constructive in a full spectrum of what a society is capable of and what it consists of.

You mentioned a few minutes ago Harrison, we have Jonathan Haidt's Righteous Mind and this book that you just mentioned that you're reading Corey. I don't know if it's only because I've just become aware of these recent studies or the fact that they haven't been around and that we're just now coming to a new understanding, but it seems like this very understanding of why we should value the other side, so to say, is so important and develop an objective language for those deficiencies that each side has as well, not just their strengths, but where they tend to go wrong.

Like yourself Harrison, I've gone back to this book many times over the years and I was just reading portions of it that I could not have understood to the degree that I do now, 10 year or even five years ago. I feel like Lobaczewski sounds like Peterson, or he sounds like any of the good social critics that we're finding these days who are describing the phenomenon, especially on the Marxist cultural left, that is just so corrosive. So I'd just like to read a couple of things here that I feel are spot on and comment on some of the things that are more tertiary to the main point that I want to get across. So Lobaczewski says,

"If various circumstances combine, including a given society's deficient psychological world view, individuals are forced to exercise functions which do not make full use of his or her talents. When this happens said person's productivity is no better and often even worse than that of a worker with satisfactory talents. Such an individual then feels cheated and inundated by duties which prevent him from achieving self-realization. His thoughts wander from his duties into a world of fantasy or into matters which are of greater interest to him in his daydream world.

He is what he should and deserves to be. Such a person always knows that this social and professional adjustment has taken a downward direction. At the same time however, if he fails to develop a healthy critical faculty concerning the upper limits of his own talents, his daydreams may 'fix on an unfair world' where 'all you need is power'. Revolutionary and radical ideas find fertile soil among such people in downward social adaptations. It is in society's best interests to correct such conditions, not only for better productivity but to avoid tragedies."

He goes on to say,

"Politicians should also be aware that in each society there are people whose basic intelligence, natural psychological worldview and moral reasoning have developed improperly. Some of these persons contain the cause within themselves. Others were subjected to psychologically abnormal people as children. Such individuals' comprehension of social and moral questions is different, both from the natural and the objective viewpoint. They constitute a destructive factor for the development of society's psychological concepts, social structure and internal bonds. At the same time, such people easily interpenetrate the social structure with a ramified network of mutual pathological conspiracies, poorly connected to the main social structure."

That gets to what you were saying about all of this projection of the worst tendencies on the part of the right splashed across the whole spectrum of Trump supporters.

"These people and their networks participate in the genesis of that evil which spares no nation. This substructure gives birth to dreams of obtaining power and imposing one's will upon society and is quite often actually brought about in various countries and during historical times as well. It is for this reason that a significant portion of our consideration shall be devoted to understanding of this age-old and dangerous source of problems."

We've recently read about feminists who have come out and said point-blank, it's all about acquiring power and that's it! Power as an end unto itself. Power, not as a means of making things better for all regardless of who they are and what role they have in society, but just the total selfish, pathological accrual of raising one's self to a stature that is inappropriate.

There's another portion in this chapter where Lobaczewski says there are people who understand that they may not be the most intelligent or have the most talents or exist high up in the social hierarchy but they're willing to accept those that are above them and earn more and who do well for themselves if it's proportionate, if there is a balance. But when they notice among those who are fluffing themselves up and gaining wealth and power that's so disproportionate to their station, to what they've been able to accomplish, to their gifts, then there's a natural resentment and anger that builds and justifiably so.

I think that also goes a long way informing and explaining why you have a whole population of people who are in support of Trump and who have had enough of the neo-liberal policies and politics of the left that are so obviously an attempt to attain power for themselves and nothing else.

Harrison: I want to go back to a couple of things that you brought up. First to give some background on the first quote that you read, where he's talking about upward and downward social adjustment, the background to that is actually quite important and even profound and complex because he's describing how society develops normally when normal humans are just left to their own devices. First he makes another very Petersonian point, that as the most complex species on the planet, humanity is also the most variegated. We have the most variations in individual traits.

This would be getting into personality differences like the big 5 which we had a show about that, and how unequally distributed talent is and competence, how in any different field you're going to have a very tiny minority of the population that actually has the aptitude or will succeed in that field. But when there is a healthy social structure in place, people tend to sort themselves into a natural hierarchy where the people at the top of each individual hierarchy are the ones with the talent, the competence. He points out that it's never going to be perfect but that's the direction things go into.

I'll use a musical example. You've got an orchestra. You have auditions and tryouts to get into this orchestra and then you have people who have some talent who are making a judgment on your ability, your proficiency, the degree at which you can perform and then you'll be hired. So you'll end up getting an orchestra with many talented people. Some will be more talented than others and they might get the opportunity to play the solos and you've got second and third violins and things like that, but you're going to have a pretty good orchestra if you've got a pool from which to pull people out.

So you've got a bunch of potential candidates and you pick the best ones. Some people just aren't very good musicians, even if they devote their lives to it. They really want to be a good guitar player or violinist but they just kind of suck. They'll never be at the level where they would be accepted in an orchestra. Maybe they might if they really work hard but some people probably not. Some people, no matter how hard they try they just don't have any musical talent.

But then if you change that structure and you introduce some chaos into it, let's say the people doing the auditions themselves have no talent. Maybe it was a government appointment of something so that you have a centralized government that controls every aspect of social life so some party leader has a third cousin that wants a position. "Oh, we'll put you in charge of the music department in 'x' city." First of all, they can't really tell who's more talented than others. They might have an idea but they might themselves have political reasons like "Who's going to give me the most money to get in?"

So you introduce this artificiality to the process to the point where you'll get an orchestra composed of some people who can play, some who can't, some who just got in there because they were related to the person judging the auditions, some people who paid a lot of money to get in. You get this mishmash of people who aren't competent or talented and you get an orchestra that sucks, that can't play good music. This applies at every level in every kind of social institution. You have the more natural process where people sort themselves into a shape that works and then in this first scenario, people are happy with that.

So you've got people who go to watch the musicians who realize they themselves will never have that talent, never get that position. They aren't jealous. They enjoy the other people's success because they get to enjoy it, at least that's one reason. Then you've got the second scenario where people aren't properly placed based on their own characteristics. The guy in this situation who just got the position because he was a relative of some party leader is upwardly adjusted, Lobaczewski would say. He is a talentless individual who has been raised to a position of authority and power and he doesn't have the actual talent and ability to fulfill his functions in that role.

So one of the points that Lobaczewski makes is that a person in this position, on some level knows they're a fraud. They know they can't possibly produce or do their job and so they tend to become very overbearing and hysterical and a bit mad because they're in this position where they don't fit. That's an uncomfortable position for anyone. It's kind of like not knowing how to swim and you're thrown in a swimming pool and you have to learn on the spot. Well what if you can't learn? What if it's a situation in which you actually require years of experience and you're thrown in there and you have to pretend? That initial lie to yourself and to everyone around you takes a toll mentally and emotionally.

He points out that people in these positions will tend to then be threatened by anyone who does have talent because they are competition. Their position is now in jeopardy because by virtue of their position, they will be getting certain advantages from that because, again, that is also the way that humanity develops social structures. The people at the top of hierarchies get more privileges. They get more of a reward for their greater talent and ability. So he doesn't want to give that up because he's getting more perks than he would get otherwise. He wants to keep his position even though he knows he's not good in that position. So he will then sabotage other people in his department of whatever group he's in, to keep that position.

You get this really pathological structure. It is diseased. It is a diseased social structure that cannot function to the degree that it would if it was more evenly balanced based on competence.

So on the other hand you get people who have a lot of talent, who are stuck in these low-level positions doing menial jobs that they're way over-qualified for and they themselves will also get resentful.

Elan: Right.

Harrison: The term he uses is that they aren't in a position of self-realization, self-actualization. They aren't where they fit. There is more to them. They can contribute more to society and to their own lives and their families' lives, to society at large. They would be doing more good in a position where they had more responsibility and more, perhaps, power, but they're stuck and they can't get up because the opportunities are blocked because of these artificial injections of an orderly element; "I choose to put these people in these positions based on my arbitrary rules" and that just totally messes up the natural process.

So this is what creates the revolutionary situation. Lobaczewski proposes a possible test or measure that could be developed in order to apply to societies in question to see how ripe for a revolution they are. He basically says we should be able to come up with a measure of a bunch of individuals in a given society and whether they're upward or downward adjusted. I think that should be possible. Then the higher the number, the more stable the society is and the lower the number, the more disorganized the social structure is and the closer it will be to revolution because like in that quote that you read Elan, people in that position get resentful when they're downward adjusted. They get resentful. They have contempt for the people above them, the people who have positions that they don't deserve, who abuse their positions and that creates the potential for revolution.

There's a phenomenon that Lobaczewski doesn't talk about precisely, but it's in there too. You might call this a very unequal situation just in the sense of all other things being equal, there would be more of a natural structure. There's an inequality in the sense that you have almost dispossessed people, but people who are under their station, who really should have more and you've got people who are above their station who have more than they should. This is from a book that Peterson has recommended called (I think) Killing the Competition and it's a study of economic inequality. The researchers have found that in places where economic inequality is the largest, the murder rate is the highest.

The reason is that it's usually with young males because young males are competing for position, competing for social status essentially and when they have no opportunity, when they're stuck at that level, that creates this inter-competition between all these young males who don't have a way of finding a healthy role in society to play. So they get into drugs and gangs and then they're competing for women by getting the most power that they can in that situation, the most prestige, the most status and they end up killing each other. That's where murder rates are the highest. When there's a more equitable distribution where young men in that position would have the opportunity to actually get decent-paying jobs, the murder rate goes way down. That's just one example.

So one of the ideas in this chapter that, again I didn't realize until re-reading it, is that even though Lobaczewski doesn't use the word, he is talking about equality of opportunity in lots of these sections. He's talking about how important equality of opportunity is because when the opportunities are there, that allows for the social structure to emerge. That allows for the people with talent to get into positions.

From a more leftist perspective, he also argues that one of the important things is that the people on the bottom who don't have talent to the degree where they would naturally be in a position of influence and authority, need a relatively equitable exchange. They need to be able to function. They need a decent basic income, for instance because when they have too little, like Peterson again says, that's when you get problems. When the social structure is so entrenched that the top percentage ends up getting the majority of the wealth - that will happen in any given social structure - but they get so much and in addition to that, the people at the very bottom don't even have enough, that is also a very dangerous position to be in.

But just to get back to what I said right before that, Lobaczewski isn't saying that equality of outcome is a good thing. He'd totally agree with Peterson. I'll read just a couple of sentences where Lobaczewski is talking about this. You can see the comparison with what Peterson says.

"Profound psychological variegations may strike some as an injustice of nature but they are right and they have meaning. Nature's seeming injustice is in fact a great gift to humanity enabling human societies to develop their complex structures and to be highly creative at both the individual and collective levels. Thanks to these variations, the societal structure implicit within can also develop. The fate of human societies depends upon the proper adjustment of individuals within this structure and upon the manner in which innate variations of talents are utilized.

Our experience teaches us that psychological differences among people are the cause of misunderstandings and problems. We can overcome these problems only if we accept psychological differences as a law of nature and appreciate their creative value. This would also enable us to gain an objective comprehension of man and human societies. Unfortunately, it would also teach us that equality under the law is inequality under the law of nature."

That gets back also to what one of you were saying about the political differences, in the United States for instance and the tensions between the left and the right. Lobaczewski is basically saying that's understandable as we know from Peterson and Haidt, the psychological differences between conservatives and liberals. Those differences are there but like Peterson and Lobaczewski are saying, if we understand the importance of those differences and the role they play, it takes the bite out of the conflict between them. "Okay, I don't agree with you. I could even put myself in your position and see your point but I don't agree. But I can understand the role you're playing. In this situation I think you happen to be wrong. I know you think I'm wrong, but there's probably going to be some going back and forth between us." It's just accepting that other people have different viewpoints and sometimes they're right. Sometimes you're going to have the better position. Sometimes they're going to have the better position. It will depend on the context.

If you can understand that, that can diffuse a lot of social tension. But unfortunately, one of the many deficits in western culture is - I think - a lack of this psychological knowledge. This is why I think that we should probably have psychology classes very early, to be able to teach stuff like Haidt, about this sort of thing.

One other thing in that quote that I wanted to respond to was the bit about pathological ramified networks that spring up in groups. You referenced what Corey was saying about the reaction on the left to Trump. Maybe I just didn't understand the connection you were making because what I understood from that is that he's saying is that within a given society you will get on one level, mafias. You'll get groups of people that will form together and form their own little society which will be pathological in nature, that exists not within the normal societal structure. It's there but it's not integrated within the wider structure. It's like a tumour that grows on the body. A tumour. It isn't integrated with the wider social framework.

What Lobaczewski is saying is that those groups are often revolutionary activist groups when they get into the realm of politics, like Antifa or something like that or the Right Sector or the Salafist Jihadist movements in various countries. These are the mini social structures that develop that then want to take power because they can't see the wisdom of social structures. They can't see the inherent wisdom in a hierarchy of competence. They look at a normal society and see only oppression. They see people on the top and just the very thought of people on the top to them is reprehensible. But the reason that this is going on, according to Lobaczewski, is because people like this usually, at least the motivators of these movements, have something wrong with their brains, essentially, their minds, like psychopaths and schizoids. They can't see social reality the way normal people can and it strikes them as an injustice.

Another reason it strikes them as an injustice is because for them, they would like to have the freedom and power to do certain things that other people find socially reprehensible, for example a mafia. A mafia wants to be able to get away with all sorts of crimes that are outside of the realm of normal human interactions and enterprise and they want to be able to get away with it. So they realize the only way they can get away with it is if they have some equitable exchanges with cops and politicians and the people in power protect them in some ways and maybe even put some laws in place that will give them an advantage. They realize they need legal power from the highest positions in order to get what they want and to be able to do what they do, which is totally outside the bounds of normal human societies.

Elan: I feel like you sort of answered your own question, by comparing the mafia to the far left in this country. You do have these radical people who want to do exactly what they want to do. They're trying to gain political influence. They have been putting pressure on politicians to enact certain legislation. In Canada we have the law that Jordan Peterson was resisting. You have an attempt to browbeat and abuse police officers. We've recently seen videos of the Antifa groups lambasting and browbeating the police for just doing their basic job of keeping civil order. They've taken over the streets in certain sectors. They have influenced the media in presenting things in their own fashion from their own perspective or point of view.

So I'm not sure that there's that much of a difference in some ways.

Harrison: I'd agree but there needs to be some distinctions made. Like the reaction to Trump, probably the vast majority of people who have a negative reaction to Trump and see the rise of the far right and alt right, are just normal people. They're what we would call normal liberals who don't have psychological knowledge, don't appreciate the perspective of the right, who are being hystericized by various factors, but they're not part of a ramified pathological network necessarily. They can be and I think some of the examples you raised are, like revolutionary groups like Antifa and various activist movements and activist leaders, are pathological and are these vectors of pathological chaos.

But in the wider framework, I think it is primarily the acting out of these normal human differences without understanding. I think there are some distinctions to be made because there's the implication in what you said I think, that all of these people with a violent reaction to Trump are part of a ramified pathological network and I just don't think that's the case. There are plenty of normal people who are rabidly anti-Trump.

Elan: Oh absolutely! I have friends I've known for many years who have surprised me in their responses to Trump who I would consider to be very normal and in many ways psychologically healthy. So I didn't mean to suggest that the entire left liberal wing of American citizens are reacting in this way. However, it's such a shock to me in so many ways, that they don't see some of these things for themselves and have joined the women's march in a response to Trump's perceived misogyny and have reacted so negatively in some ways, to the idea that immigration should be more rigorously enforced. The danger of the pathology among the very far left is so present among those that are in the centrist field that I have to acknowledge it. I'm responding viscerally to it.

And who knows? In all honesty, if I wasn't making such a focus of trying to understand this and spend so much time looking at this and reading and working on SOTT and discussing these ideas here, I could even see my own liberal tendencies veer off in a direction - maybe - in some of these ways if I wasn't looking at things in as nuanced a way as I possibly could.

Having said that, now that I have, to the degree that I am, it's a very difficult thing to see among people I would hope could be more objective and look at more data and have a healthier outlook towards those phenomena that we're seeing unfold right now.

Harrison: This comes back to one of the first points I brought up at the beginning of the show of these basic human universals like memory, association, reasoning and then the errors that crop up in those which are subconscious selection and substitution of data, those errors, which I would say apply perfectly to a lot of the anti-Trump/anti-alt right world view or mentality. Within that mentality there are all kinds of falsehoods, seeing the wrong things, seeing things that aren't there. For instance, as we did on the show with the MAGA hat kid, seeing things that aren't there and creating these whole narratives instantaneously that go on for a while that aren't based on anything in reality.

These are normal human process such that where they go wrong, they create the opening for what Lobaczewski is talking about - a further progression of this other disease state. It is normal human failings in reasoning and moral reasoning that create the opening for, in this case, the far left to capitalize on that hysteria and to then take things. That's how revolutionary movements work. A society becomes hystericized. They are seeing things in the wrong terms. They're not seeing reality as it is. They've got all kinds of illusions about what's going on and strong emotions about it which then gets exploited, manipulated and used for a small group within that to then take power.

That's what we saw in Ukraine with the Right Sector and the far right in the Ukraine, ironically, the biggest, most successful far right movement on the planet today and yet you don't hear anything about it in the western news "because Russia".

Corey: I just wanted to go back to what you guys were discussing. There are a couple of ideas that you brought up concerning the ideologies that colour and taint the left and the right side of the political spectrum. I just wanted to read a quote. I think you touched on it Elan but I wanted to re-read it. Lobaczewski writes that,

"The quality and richness of concepts and terminology mastered by an individual and society as well as the degree to which they approximate an objective world view, condition the development of our moral and social attitudes."

When you look at some of the basic assumptions that are flowing in an undercurrent beneath the left especially, but also the right, these basic assumptions about human nature, on the left you have the Marxist postmodern view of human nature, that there isn't really a human nature, that I can do whatever I want and that if there's any inequality at all in the world then it's because of some evil tribal leader who tricked everybody into giving up their food so that he could have all of their food. It's this very bleached view of human reality and of human nature that would make it almost impossible for somebody who accepts those assumptions as fact, to understand the actual nuances that are inherent in living in any human society.

Harrison, you disentangled and discussed Lobaczewski's view of human society, especially the adjustment and the aims that normal people have and how they're not represented in the left's discourse today, not in any real, meaningful way, and not on the right either. It's a little bit more in the centre right, with Jordan Peterson especially with him coming out and giving more of a common sense, human-centric, individual-centric way of viewing reality. It's not that it's just a problem in the universities, but as Lobaczewski writes, these condition the development of society's moral and social attitudes. They determine the kind of policies that we take, the kind of policies that we implement, the kinds of things we allow corporations and governments to get away with.

Right now I'm thinking specifically of the right, the free market will just sort itself out and that everything will just work fine if you let corporations do whatever they want without any intervention whatsoever, that any form of intervention is some sort of a sin. I'd imagine that that had a large part to play in the mess that we're in right now, the idea that you can just let automation come in and wreck entire industries, throw people out of their jobs, ship jobs overseas and then that there would not be any impact or that if there was any impact it didn't matter because the free market was allowing it all to happen.

No, that's not the responsibility that we take as human beings for one another. that kind of idea is pathological and it's wrong too! There's no such thing as a free market equilibrium where everything just clears and everyone is happy. That's not reality. It's an asinine assumption that some ivy league or Chicago school or neoliberal or neo-classical economists use in order to get another job or their PhD. I don't want to get into that too far, but just to say that these assumptions impact the policies, they impact society and they condition our moral attitudes in general so that once you accept these basic lies, essentially, it makes it almost impossible to have even the basic conversation that needs to be had.

You could say, "We have the left. You think this. We on the right don't agree but we can at least respect one another because we're in the same country. Do we want to exist as a country or do we think that we're immortal? Do we think that we're so exceptional that there's nothing that we could do that could possibly lead to a horrible outcome for us as a nation? Just having this basic respect for human nature, for the human instinct is I think one of the biggest takeaways that you get from this chapter. "Oh yeah, that is pretty much what human nature looks like, isn't it?" People go through disintegrative states. They suffer. They work. They want to succeed. They want to function well. They want to be able to contribute to society in a way that is fair and when they do, they achieve a sense of social justice for themselves and their family which then reaps more rewards. There's more fruits for others involved.

But it's not divorced from human nature. That is inherently a part of it. That's what limits us, our moral understanding, our moral failing will trip this process up and we have to be able to at least understand and reach out respectfully and be able to say "Okay, this is wrong. We need to get an objective understanding of what's going on because we have brains so we can think and we can use our brains to make actual, good decisions with a sense of goodwill and we don't have to succumb to the rancor and resentment of these ideologies, all of these moralisms. We can just start from a sense of learning."

Elan: I'm really glad you brought up the free market Corey because one of the things I had noticed recently in reading a proponent of the free market was pretty much what you're saying; how much lack there is in understanding of the pathological element that completely negates any kind of well-functioning of a so-called free market. That's of course one of Lobaczewski's main points. If you're not taking into account the individual's relative state of psychological health and the percentage of individuals in a given society who will never be healthy by virtue of their wiring, essential psychopaths and the influence that they have.

If you don't account for that type of thinking and influence within a given society, there's no system that will ever work. You have to qualify it. You have to be able to weed out or find a system that at least mitigates the effects of psychopaths.

Just on that note, I have a relative who has got a wonderful job in a high end corporation where he was told he'd be able to exercise his talents and he found out that there was a hefty little bit of corruption going on. So he reported on it and was in fact fired and it was quite a lesson to me, that the corporation would prefer to keep the corruption in place because of the nepotism involved than weed it out.

I have another friend in recent years who had also had a very good work ethic, worked very hard and had reported some inefficiencies in things that were going on in her department and was targeted by someone very high up within the corporation she worked for and she was terminated on a whimsical premise. It was very sad. She was beside herself with grief for having been shafted. She didn't understand. She knew that she had this enemy and it was very gratifying for me that I could say "Look, there are some people who are just this way. They exist merely for their own self-aggrandizement and power and their position in a given hierarchy and they don't care a whit for yourself or for the well-functioning of an organization or for society or for anything else. Read this and this. Read Paul Babiak and Robert Hare's Snakes In Suits."

So there's a whole place for which understanding the pathological element of a society takes and that we should consider and that's another main point that Lobaczewski brings up in this chapter in trying to understand what makes a society healthy and what gets in the way of that.

Harrison: Moving on to another point, there are some interesting things from the end of this chapter. One thing that stuck out to me was his discussion of democracy because he provided some interesting conditions for a successful democracy. He said it needs a prior tradition or history of that form of government, a developed social structure along the lines of what we're talking about, a social structure that can develop through equality of opportunity to some degree, and level of education. The governmental and societal form of democracy is partially justified by the healthy common sense of the individuals within society.

What he means by that is basically that in a social hierarchy you have some people who are in positions of authority and know certain things, whether it be political, economic, organizational things. There are people with some degree of expertise that the vast majority of people have no understanding of, sometimes less than no understanding of. They're just completely wrong on their gut intuitions about the way the economy should be and the way politics should be. Most people's opinions are worthless on things like that.

But, he says that the vast majority of people do have a healthy degree of common sense, specifically in this social structure manner. They can see when someone is in a position that they don't deserve. They can see frauds to some degree. Of course not all the time and some frauds are really good. When I was reading this I got the example of the Kardashians. The Kardashians are really popular among a segment of the population but most people I talk with are like, "Man, these people are stupid." I think a lot of people watch reality TV not because they have any kind of admiration for these people, but it's kind of fun watching a bunch of people who don't really deserve to have the kind of stature that they do.

But you can see someone in a position who hasn't gotten there by anything that they've done. You wonder "Why does that person have everything that they've got? What have they done?" I think that's where most people are right. People have the ability to have a thermometer. They've got a certain kind of sense of what's going on and what's right and wrong. They may not know the specifics but that sense can be trusted. It can also be manipulated.

Elan: I do have a quote that may be relevant Harrison.

Harrison: Yeah, go ahead.

Elan: And one that I wanted to read from before when you were talking.

"Technically speaking, it would be easier to construct appropriate methods that enable us to evaluate the correlations between individual talents and social adjustment in a given country than to deal with the prior proposition of the development of psychological concepts. Conducting the proper tests would furnish us a valuable index that we might call 'the social order indicator'. The closer the figure to +1, the more likely the country in question would be to fulfil that basic precondition for social order and take the proper path in the direction of dynamic development. A low correlation would be an indication that social reform is needed. A near-zero or even negative correlation should be interpreted as a danger sign that revolution is imminent. Revolutions in one country often cause manifold problems for other countries so it is in the best interests of all countries to monitor such conditions."

We quite often see polls and indexes and things that indicate the relative happiness of a given nation. There was one that we published on SOTT recently that showed that Finlandians in general were happier and more contented than Americans and proceeded to outline what some of those reasons were. I was wondering if in the vast reams of data that Peterson goes through to explain what makes a society healthy, if there was any kind of contemporary index. I think there's one that refers to the quality of life, was it?

Harrison: Mm-hm.

Elan: That might be the closest I can recall to something like this.

Harrison: Yeah, I was looking around to try and see if I could find if anything existed. I was thinking there's quality of life, there's job satisfaction. There's got to be a bunch of measures like this that have come before that could maybe be combined into something like this. But then I actually did some searching. I looked at job satisfaction. Throughout the world job satisfaction seems to be relatively the same no matter what continent you are on. That's the only thing I could find, by continent.

So you probably have to get into country and even county level analyses of things like this. For the most part it was something like 70% job satisfaction everywhere, how happy are you with your job. There are various measures of things that they ask but the vast majority of people were fine with their jobs, fine with how much they made, fine with their boss. I didn't really find the smoking gun that I was looking for to see what stuck out.

Corey: That's really interesting because that kind of flies in the face of the idea that people follow the markets. You're just going to get up and go get a job. If all the jobs leave your town you're going to move to the next city to get a job. No, people just will settle with what's there and everyone kind of likes their job the same and pretty much no matter what you're doing, your identity isn't tied up in your job necessarily for most people.

Harrison: I found that quote I wanted to read. He's talking about democracy. He says,

"These facts partially justify the idea of democracy, especially if a particular country has historically had such a tradition, the social structure is well-developed and the level of education is adequate. Nevertheless, they do not represent psychological data sufficient to raise democracy to the level of a moral criterion in politics. A democracy composed of individuals of inadequate psychological knowledge can only devolve."

Especially in the west there's this idea of democracy as the be-all, end-all of societal forms and that every country should be a democracy and if that country isn't a democracy well we should make it a democracy because everything will work out. Well it doesn't work out and there are reasons for that. For instance, like he says, a lot of countries that aren't democracies don't have a history of democracy and don't have a very developed social structure and don't have a high level of education. Those are all prerequisites for democracy.

That's another point that Lobaczewski makes repeated in various sections, which is the need for an evolutionary as opposed to revolutionary means of societal development. Peterson talks about this. Putin talks about this, that it can only cause harm to make grand changes to a social structure, to a government structure if it's not just a natural development of what's going on. You have to insert reforms piece-by-piece and bit-by-bit to get something new. You can't just tear something down and replace it with some new structure that usually, in the vast majority of cases, just results in a nightmare.

One of the other points that he makes - he brings up some of the things that we talked about like the things that will deform the social structure, the things that kind of tear it apart. So he gives the example of pathologicals, like psychopaths and people with other personality disorders, like you were saying Elan. I'll read that paragraph. He says,

"At the same time, such people easily enter" - oh no, you actually read that quote earlier about the ramified network. So within even a healthy society you still have this stuff going on. I think Lobaczewski would argue, and it's just observable, that if you take any given society, you could probably rank order them by the influence and the harm caused by a specific portion of the population, by the psychopathological portion of the population and you're not going to get any country in the world that has zero damage caused by this group. But what you will find is that even without widespread psychological knowledge some countries do do better than others.

Even in the west we do have a lot of people in prison because a lot of the people in prison are actually psychopaths. Our society isn't so far gone and so diseased that all the psychopaths are running free all the time like they are in some societies, like they have been historically in a lot of societies. Eighty percent of the people arrested for serious crimes are psychopaths. That's pretty good for where things are.

Corey: Yeah.

Harrison: And it's primarily the US and some western countries that have all the research on psychopathy and that have court systems that take all this stuff into account. We're not totally in the dark about these things but of course things could be a lot better at the same time. They always can be.

But some of the other things that he says raise problems in this society are the normal things. He lists racial, ethnic and cultural differences and especially historical grievances because with historical grievances there's two sides to the equation, right? You've got the people on the receiving end of the historical injustice but then you also have the contempt for the vanquished that the victors have. So in any place where there is a deep historical grievance you're going to get these conflicts that can last for generations. One of the points that he makes is that in a situation like this it will require, he guesses, three generations of good relations and positive developments before these kinds of conflicts will die down and go away. It is a very real problem and not an easy one to deflate.

So when you look at all these places in the world, the ones that come up recently in the news like Kashmir or Israel/Palestine, how long has the Israel/Palestine thing been going on right? It's been three generations already. You could predict that if there ever were a successfully implemented peace plan or whatever, which is unlikely, the lingering resentments and contempt on both sides would be around for a long time.

One of the points he makes is that these problems are compounded in giant countries like the United States, China and Russia because you have so many different cultural and ethnic groups, especially in Russia, that you can't escape inter-ethnic conflicts. It's nice to imagine this multicultural utopia where everyone just gets along but that's not really the way it works in practice.

Elan: (singing John Lennon) Imagine all the people...

Harrison: Not going to happen. Another problem with giant countries is because they're so big and the ruling party is so geographically far away from the majority of the people, there's this disconnect that happens. It's like the problem with an empire. The centre has to rule primarily through government regulations and then those regulations can be so divorced from the actual realities of any individual county that that just causes resentment.

So he actually argues for more of a decentralized system of government for giant countries, semi-autonomous regions that have a large degree of autonomy. I was thinking about this in terms of Russia because that's the direction that Russia was going in the 1990s, giving up a lot of autonomy to the regions in Russia. But that in itself had a lot of problems because Russia in the 1990s was completely lawless because the government was just a joke, basically no government. It was a group of criminal oligarchs who ran the country and Yeltsin was basically just a puppet and not a very good one at that.

So Putin came in and he actually has re-centralized power in Russia, so taken away a lot of the autonomy that the regions had; appointing region heads, region governors as opposed to having local elections. There are two sides to that kind of policy that seems to have had - well one of the positives has been the re-establishment of the rule of law in the country but I think Lobaczewski would argue and another guy I like even though he's American, Gordon Hahn, argue that there's going to come the time where only problems can results if all these regions aren't given a bit more autonomy.

Chechnya, for example, has a lot of autonomy, partially as a result of the end of the Chechen War where now Russia has to give some special treatment to the region in order to keep them in line, to make them feel as a part of Russia. That has been successful but now you have all these other regions are like, "Well why is Chechnya getting all these perks? Why can't we get them to?" So in Russian society there are still these lingering resentments and a lot of the regional heads are totally corrupt. For a massive country it is a massive problem too and I have no idea what all the right things to do would be, but just to point that out.

Another one of these problems, in addition to these racial, ethnic and cultural differences - oh he does list religious and moral differences but he says that's actually lower on the list. For the most part the problems posed by just religious or moral differences are secondary to the ethnic and cultural differences. Where religion can become a problem, he says, is when there is the introduction of a religious ideology of supremacy, as we discussed on our shows on Salafi jihadism and Talmudic Judaism. But for the most part people just get along and you can see that. People were getting along relatively well in Iraq and in Syria before the ethnic tensions were weaponized and disaster resulted from that.

One of these other problems is that in a country that isn't more homogenous, like Japan, when you have different ethnic groups - and I've read this too in relation to Russia, where you have some regions with four or five different ethnic groups - they all identify with their ethnic group. Sometimes it's a minority, sometimes it's a majority, but they want to be equally represented in power or they want complete power. But when you have these kinds of cliques that develop and let's say that a minority group in one multi-ethnic country or region has the majority of political power. What they then tend to do is to put their own people in other positions. It's basically affirmative action. They put people into positions based on being part of their ethnic group and that results in this kind of cronyism and nepotism that results also in this upward adjustment where people are put into positions of power for which they aren't talented enough.

It's the same thing that's going on in Venezuela too. In Venezuela, after the revolution, a lot of people were put into positions of influence because they were part of the revolution, not necessarily because they were any good at what they were supposed to be doing. So I think that has contributed to a large degree to the societal situation in Venezuela regardless of questions of the result of sanctions and external intervention and manipulations and things like that. From a societal point of view, it basically is identity politics to a degree. Identity politics, cronyism, nepotism, results in bad things.

When you don't just let people sort themselves according to their own talents, when you have any kind of extraneous category that you put on top of that, it's just a disaster. It could be a small disaster or a large disaster but any way you look at it, it's not a good thing.

So to come back to the free market, I think there is a true principle behind the idea of a free market. When you let people just do their own thing, they tend to sort each other out, sort themselves out into a structure that at least functions and can function relatively well. When it gets turned into a specific economic ideology to the exclusion of all else, of course that will be a problem. But the principle is I think at least sound. When you let people just make, just zero in on the economic decisions people make, if you just let them do their own thing for the most part - you always have to take into account other factors and extreme cases - but for the most part people will make decisions and some people will get rich, some won't get as rich, but it tends to stabilize.

I think it's been like that for all of history. Specifically in the United States things have really taken off in the last 15 or 20 years where the inequality is getting larger. At the same time there has always been a level of relative poverty, right, because poverty in other countries is different from poverty in the US. Poverty is measured relatively, usually. If you're just in the bottom 10% you might be considered to be in poverty. But in a lot of western countries, even if there's a large degree of inequality, the people in poverty still have more than people in poverty in another nation.

So you can have an extremely inequitable distribution of wealth and money and still have the people on the bottom being relatively well off. That's not to say that it couldn't be better. Well put it this way: theoretically it's possible to have a country where everyone has the minimum they need to be relatively happy and not to go into debt, etc. and that country can still be extremely inequitable, possible the most inequitable if the top has way, way more than they do. But still no one's dying on the streets from starvation. No one's struggling just to survive. So inequality in itself isn't something you can look to, to get a snapshot of a country. There are other factors to take into account. Just wanted to say that.

Corey: I think that's really useful. You'd have to look at that country's - like we have been talking about - their psychological and moral awareness and knowledge because you can have a condition where someone is relatively well off. They're living a great life but due to lack of proper self-rearing, lack of taking care of themselves, lacking a sense of responsibility, they just do drugs, they're a total wreck and then they blame everything on the economy or they blame everything on a political party and they're looking for a saviour.

You can have a large number of people like that if it becomes this cultural force and it's spread through movies, films, books, ideas, just this general lack of backbone which we discussed on previous shows, can only be corrected by proper self-rearing, by sucking it up. That's basically the only way to get around it. You suck it up. You get things done and you stop whining like a little baby. Nobody's going to come save you. Nobody cares. Get it together. Or don't! Just go spiritually extinct. That's fine.

Elan: On that note Corey, I was thinking about the left and wanted to come back to that quote, "If various circumstances combine including a given society's deficient psychological world view, individuals are forced to exercise functions which do not make full use of his or her talents. When this happens said person's productivity is no better and often even worse than that of a worker with satisfactory talents."

So certainly we see this kind of dissatisfaction on the part of the right, who in many cases are just looking for jobs and economic opportunity on a basic level, especially in the bread basket in the Midwest where populations found Trump's message so appealing. Is it a problem you think on the part of the left that they're not sucking it up?

Corey: When I read that passage, the first thing I thought was the stereotypical Starbucks barista with three PhDs. {laughter} Basically they work at Starbucks. They're smarter than everyone and they live in San Francisco and then they go to their anarchist meetings after work because they're so used to this sense that "the man" is keeping them down. So I thought possibly that had a part to play in it on the left but I didn't put much more thought into it than just the Starbucks barista.

Elan: I'm wondering what there is in the form of deficiency and maybe it's only what Peterson talks about in terms of cleaning your room.

Corey: Well and it's also these big cities I think are more likely to sway over to the far left, big cities with people who make more money. Maybe it's more expensive to be there but a lot of them probably make more money and to them it's something that you're entitled to. It's something that you're used to. "Everything is fine. There's nothing wrong in my life. My family's perfect. I have two kids. I have a six-figure a year job and the economy where I'm at is booming. The stocks are fine. Obama's great. Obama was handsome. It's just that basic, it's superficial. It's not maybe necessarily that they're not sucking it up, but it's just a matter of this superficiality that we've talked about before that happens when you go through periods of good times, where times are good and you adopt these doctrinaire beliefs that if only you could eradicate all suffering then life would be better. Everyone who owns a business is exploiting their workers and exploitation is bad."

All of these vary simplistic notions about reality, that they don't stack. You can't really logically understand the world better with them. You just have to smash them onto the world, make everything fit into these pre-existing ideological categories.

When times are simple, that's relatively easy to do. It's not like your life depends on knowing what's actually happening or knowing objective reality so you can get away with sliding away from reality and engaging in all of these different ways of rationalizing this or that situation. In the end though, that just ends up with bad times. Times get worse then people have to actually apply their minds to figure out what's going on, to learn the truth, to engage in lifelong pursuits of understanding what's going on and not just an evening of searching on Google for Marxist literature. {laughter} But guys go through their whole lives to understand the complexities and understand the meaning, I guess, of life.

Harrison: On that note I want to read one final thing to close out the show. So before I do that I'll say thanks for tuning in for tuning in and we'll be back next week hopefully with special video-graphic awesomeness. We'll see and we'll announce all that next week.

But to close out, here's the last couple of paragraphs from this chapter.

"If societies and their wise people are able to accept an objective understanding of social and socio pathological phenomena, overcoming the emotionalism and egotism of the natural world view for this purpose, they shall find a means of action based on an understanding of the essence of phenomena. It will then become evident that a proper vaccine or treatment can be found for each of the diseases scourging the earth in the form of major or minor social epidemics. Just as a sailor possessing an accurate nautical map enjoys greater freedom of course selection and maneuvering amid islands and bays, a person endowed with a better comprehension of self, other people and the complex interdependencies of social life, becomes more independent of the various circumstances of life and better able to overcome situations which are difficult to understand.

At the same time, such improved knowledge makes an individual more liable to accept his duties toward society and to subordinate himself to the discipline which arises as a corollary. Better informed societies also achieve internal order and criteria for collective efforts. This book is dedicated to reinforcing this knowledge by means of a naturalistic understanding of phenomena, something heretofore comprehended only by means of excessively moralistic categories of the natural world view.

Such a system would be better than any of its predecessors. Building it is possible and necessary, not just some vague futuristic vision. After all, a whole series of countries is now dominated (this is in the '80s) by conditions which have destroyed the structural forms worked out by history and replaced them with social systems inimical to creative functioning, systems which can only survive by means of force.

We are thus confronted with a great construction project demanding wide-ranging and well-organized work. The earlier we undertake the job, the more time we will have to carry it out."

Thanks everyone for tuning in and we'll see you next week.

Corey: Bye everybody.

Elan: Take care.