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cross each other's paths if the valuation of the social order or the attitude toward it is that it is merely an environment. Society and its social order may be regarded by a person as merely an environment in which he is born and which he, as best he can, is to use and exploit to further his own particular aims. The community and its social organizations are not of him but are something apart, as things in nature which he merely uses to serve his own ends. Thus he uses the people about him and the social machinery as he would the stones in a hillside or electrical energy. These things are not part of us; they are environment. They follow their natural ways with no regard for humans, and we treat them the same way.
When we use electrical energy we feel no obligation to it. We do not say, “Electricity, you did this for me, now I will do this for you in return.” It does nothing for our sakes. We just use it. So some may regard and treat accordingly society and the social order.
The social order is not the mere environment of the various people in a community, something apart from each one.
It is an illusion to regard the social order as something apart from one, as a piece of iron or stone. It is a part of you and you are a part of it in action and reaction, in effort and enjoyment, and perhaps in purpose and will. The social order is not a thing above or otherwise apart from the members of society; it is pan-psychic, panhuman, and has infinite possibilities of becoming more so.
The social will is not something apart from the wills of the members of society, an environmental force merely to be utilized by anyone in his interests, as he would utilize the power of steam. Nor is the social will a sort of supra-will into which the individual may merge and lose himself. It is a pan-will, a will that is a force which is the resultant of all the wills in society, a part of each member. The will of each person, instead of losing itself in, or being displaced by, a supra-will, or struggling against, dominating, and utilizing the social will as an external thing in the environment of the individual, becomes a part of the pan-will. This is not a struggle of wills for domination, but a participation in the formation of a common will to control the social order.
There is a deceptive quality about the extensive team work which takes place in modern societies. The visible, outward, overt activity is so orderly and dovetails so nicely that it seems to indicate a corresponding inner harmony of directive thought and feeling among the people. And yet all the time there is an inner strife, a feeling of coercion and rebellion. It is quite possible for the team work of a people to be improperly motivated. Such is largely the case now, for our organized or socialized overt activity is not motivated by democratic feelings or by socialized wills. The socialized will is guided by social ideals, not by the impulses of the moment, nor by habits founded upon such native impulses.
Democracy is not a particular form of organization of government, nor even the extensive team work in the other overt activities that take place in the social order. Democracy refers to the will. It is the will to co-operate. It is the team work of the wills of the members of a society which is built up to serve the purpose of guiding the inevitable team work in the overt activities of its members. It is not an outward dovetailing of arm, leg, and trunk movements, but an inner team work of feeling and purpose; not the outer acts of co-operation, but the spirit of co-operation. The first essential for a democratic society is that the people should have democratic feelings, that is, that they should really want the other person whose effort is united with theirs to have a participating voice in the control of the team work. They must desire to be democratic, feel that desire to be worth while. The will should be socialized, idealized, and democratized. The person who is controlled by his impulses as they well up in him, at one time listening to the others concerned and giving in to their wishes according to his mood, at another time riding roughshod over others and forcing his will upon them if he can, has no more a socialized will than have the animals in the grip of their natural impulses—impulses adapted to animal life and animal environment, not to a social order. Nor is that person's will democratized who is controlled by his feelings of good-will or ill-will, according a voice in affairs to those he likes and not heeding the will of those not in his favor.
We can rise from a personal solution of the question of participation in control over the forms of team work in society, industry, government, education, and the family, as this leads inevitably to coercion and servitude, to inner strife and discontent, to a social solution which gives freedom and allays strife. When the members of the face-to-face groups in society seek in an undemocratic manner their own will without regard for the wills of the others involved, strife ensues, strife of a petty order. But when powerful groups in society do not heed the wills of the other members and ride over them if they can by means of the power of their advantageous circumstances, widespread discontent and inner strife, if not outward acts of violence, prevail. They who do not consider the wills of others and who would have their own way when the efforts of others are necessarily dovetailed with their own are not democratic in spirit. This is not team work of wills but contending of wills. It results in a coerced co-operation of outward activity. Such organized activity in society is not properly motivated.
Those who seek to control their outward overt activities can find satisfaction and can realize their purpose in the face of the necessary inevitable dovetailing of that activity with the activity of others by tyrannizing over the wills of others, by denying them satisfaction and freedom, by directing the team work according to their own whims or interests, or by having their wills undergo a socializing process. The latter means that the natural animal feelings and impulses that well up in us and induce and guide overt activity will upon occasion have to be inhibited and displaced by social values and ideals.
Man has inherited a few forms of instinctive, overt activity, that is, skeletal activity, which dovetails with that of the other people about him. Man now satisfies his hunger, his need for bodily comfort, excitement, pleasure, etc., by means of highly complicated forms of activity that are far removed from the forms of activity that were employed as the means of securing the gratification of these needs in the jungle or other natural environments of primitive man and the animals. Much of this artificially organized activity may be quite monotonous and irksome and may be carried to the point of painful fatigue. Society may organize itself in more efficient ways that will reduce such burdens. But that is another problem apart from the one under immediate discussion. These forms of highly organized activity necessarily give rise to a group of artificial situations in which, if we react according to our natural animal impulses, strife and loss of liberty and freedom result. When we engage in the artificially organized activity of the social order we then are necessarily confronted with the fundamental problems of dividing the burdens entailed and the desirable products created, of deciding what is to be done, how it is to be done, and who is to have a voice in deciding these questions. Now nature has not equipped us with a group of impulses that are well adapted to the successful solution of these particular artificial problem situations arising in a social order—an order that is quite remote from the environment in which man received his endowment for the life-struggle. Nature would have us grasp and fight for ourselves, share with the young, and so on. Such a personal and animal-like solution of these modern social problems arising with highly civilized forms of team work in the social order simply leads to strife over these shares and fighting to carry out one's will and impulses against those of others.
The question is, How can we preserve freedom and liberty and allay strife in the face of inevitably organized endeavor ? Certainly not by reacting in these social situations according to personal feelings and impulses. It seems that this can be achieved by replacing these ill-fitting animal impulses and feelings with social values and ideals. We can motivate the social order by social values and ideals instead of by personal feelings and impulses. We may rise to an impersonal social valuation or appraisement of the claims and rights of each person in these new social situations. This social appraisement denies any sound foundation for special privileges and claims upon the part of certain persons and classes in society upon nature, upon the social order, or upon other persons, as if nature were specially created for certain persons, or as if the social order were historically evolved for the benefit of certain persons favored over others, or as if some people were created merely for the purpose of being used by other specially favored persons.
A person, a class, or a people may inherit superior powers or go to the trouble of creating forms of might. Now they may assert that they thereby gain superior claims upon nature, man, and the social order, and it is their right, their mission, to use these powers against the others to establish such claims. The others will then contend that it is their right to resist such pretensions and use of might, and the struggle will be on. So this whole proposition ultimately rests upon the conception that the setting of man in the universe was for the purpose of becoming the theater of unending forms of strife and contention. I would suggest a pragmatic philosophy to those who submit to the view that a study of the history of the universe does seem to indicate that the function of man in it is to be the bear pit for the the entertainment of the stars. Why not go on a strike, stop these periods of carnage, and see what the stars will do about it? Those who persist in carrying out such a conception of the rights and mission of might in the world succeed only in building up an environment that finally overwhelms them and with superior power strips them of their forms of might and uses such power to establish a social order with rights that rest upon nobler bases.
If we deny that the possession of forms of might constitutes in itself the ground for superior claims and justifies the use of such powers in enforcing these claims, then other grounds than the possession of might must be sought as the basis of the rights and the claims of the members of society.
There are no chosen classes or peoples. The social appraisement of these claims rates them all as equal. The members are equal in their right of access to nature, equal in their right of opportunity to the privileges of the social order, equal in their claims upon each other, so that each member who contributes of himself and his energies to the organized activity of the social order has the right to an equal return from the others for his contribution. Otherwise some members are specially privileged and use others as mere tools, while they stand apart from the common endeavor. There is also an equality of right of participation in the control over the organized activity among those whose energies are thus joined. The recognition of these claims as social rights which are to guide