2011-10-27T20:20:33+01:00

What is good?

Here are my notes from a book called Freedom to Live written by Rober S. Hartman. Hartman devoted his life to answering a simple question of - What is good? - and thinking how to organize good. In his own words:

p33 I thought to myself, if evil can be organized so efficiently, why cannot good? Is there any reason for efficiency to be monopolized by the forces for evil in the world? Why is it so difficult to organize good? Why have good people in history never seemed to have had as much power as bad people? I decided I would try to find out why and devote my life to doing something about it.

I think it's similar question or a concern as - Why is it so easy to destroy anything and why it is so hard to create or invent new things? Or why does a little bit of goodness does nothing to evil and why does a little bit of evil destroys the whole goodness? Why does one nuclear bomb can kill thousands of people in a flash of minute and one hospital heal only couple of people in week?

So why? Isn't this just the way it works?

p183 The good takes time; one cannot be good in a hurry. A life can be extinguished in the flick of a second, but how painstakingly must the surgeon work to replace even one torn nerve. This is why peace will not come through so-called strong men. They look for easy and fast solutions. It will come through men of patience, compassion, and humility -- men of faith.

Hartman experienced the "atmosphere" first world wars, he saw his uncle in tears who was send to war and who knew he is going to die there.

p13 Reflecting upon this chilling experience today, I still feel the monstrousness of an earthly power that can send a young man of twenty-two to die.

Hartman acknowledges and reasons that many evil things back in the history were done in the name of "good". Good for us, good for them, good for the nation or good for the eternal life. The question of what good actually is, is a really tough one.

p150 These people, of course, do not want to be evil. They think they do good -- as did Hitler. Somehow their values must be reversed; what they call "good" must be shown to be evil, and what they call "evil" to be good. This again, evil must be overcome by good -- and by love.

Consider the joy of the nation that thought the first world war will bring them anything good:

p10 The second memory is of my father and mother dancing through the living room one August day in 1914 because my father had been accepted as a volunteer in the Kaiser's army. The glory of the Kaiser had entered our home. There were handshaking and congratulations all around. Germany, the greatest, the most cultured country in the world, had been attacked by her enemies, perfidious Albion, degenerate France, and brutal, backward Russia; and Germany responded as one man.

And the result? Was is good or bad? From a statistical point of view... :

p24 Germany lost in the First World War 1,808,545 dead, or three percent of her population. After the war the birth rate made up for this loss in 6.4 years. Thus it could be argued from a collective viewpoint, Germany lost nothing. But the individual casualty was a man, loved and loving, and his loss was irreplaceable. It was a life lost, a life wasted, dumped into a manhole. The state takes human life supposedly to protect the whole. But is a human life of less value than a collective?

Hartman went on with his search and even acquired law degree in hope that the law knows the answer.

p43 But when I got my law degree from the University of Berlin in 1932, I hadn't learned a single thing from law about good and bad. The law doesn't say. It tells only what is legal and illegal. It is an instrument that can be used for good or evil. Law like science, is morally neutral. With science you can make the Sahara bloom or you can turn the world into a desert. With law you can make evil look good by making it legal.

This note is also a perfect reasoning why law is not enough. There has to be "something" more.

What has philosophy to say about good?

p48 Believe it or not, you go through the whole of philosophy and nowhere do you find the solution to the problem of what is goodness in general.

So we are stuck:

p50 Now we knew how to make a bomb that would destroy hundreds of thousands of people, but we still didn't seem to know how to make ourselves good men. We might blow up our whole world before enough of us could find out.

Hartman say that the most important thing everyone should do is self awareness!

p61 The more I am aware of my Self, the more, and the more clearly, I define and fulfill my Self, the more I am a morally good person, a good 'I'. I am morally good if I am as I am. All the words of ethics mean this very same thing, this identification of myself with myself; being sincere, honest, genuine, true, having self-respect, integrity, authenticity. p66 This Self-awareness is different from knowing. Some people know everything but are aware of nothing, like the man in the Thurber cartoon about whom one woman whispered to another, "He doesn't know anything but facts." Others are aware of everything but know nothing. The first are informed fools, the second uninformed sages. The first are intellectuals without moral insight, the second are simple people with intuitive moral insight.

Despite the fact that ourselves is the closes "person" to us, it should be the best known. But this is not the case!

p69 She just is. ... She is, as we call it, transparent to her self. She is free to pour all her energies into living for others. Such a person we call a saint. Maria is a small-gauge saint. A great saint would be a person who matches the depth of his own being with the width of his intellectual horizont. This was Jesus. p69 Smartness doesn't help. You have to be, just be; you have to be natural and not pretend, not be proud or ashamed of this or that. You have to be able to put your worldly matters in their places. To be is probably the most difficult and, at the same time, the most important task of our moral lives.

The Anthony de Mellos book is all about self awareness. He also wrote that it's the most important thing. But unlike de Mello, Hartman tried to develop and reason tools and ways how to recognize good and evil.

There is interesting chapter called "George's -- and Everyone's -- Problem" which is considering everyone's problem and that is if to stay at work which forces unethical practices or which is ignoring the human being role during the working hours.

p103 Social and business pressures push us, and we go along, but the spark within is hard to extinguish, and even as we hurry to conform we may pause to wonder if this is all there is to life, and we glance uneasily over our shoulders (once a week or more), wondering vaguely if we haven't forgotten something, a cheerful word perhaps, a quiet moment, a little love -- could it possibly be ourselves we have forgotten? p106 The danger arises, I think, from the growth of organizational bigness. The life of the Organization is apt to become more important then the life of the individual. George and Jim are likely to become loyal Organization servants first, human beings second; executives first, lovers, husbands, fathers, or real persons second. Even friendships are likely to depend entirely upon their extrinsic value to the Organization. In all this, human intrinsic values naturally would take a beating. The inner Self would be practically lost.

As a person who could perceive both first and second world war, Hartman was really worried about the cold ward and the danger of nuclear war. Still he was looking forward to the future and had faith that things can change.

This book is out of print now which is a really big shame. The only way how to get is a library or to buy used one.


Here are my notes from the book:

Chapter 1 - I was born to die.

  • p9 This was the day when Kaiser Wilhelm and his six sons, each in a uniform of the various military formations, showed their faces and their power - the power of Germany - to the German people. Germany, whose imperial word was obeyed around the world, from Dares-salaam to Kiaochow, from Heligoland to Samoa, from Windhuk and Lome, Rabaul and Bougainville to Bikini and Eniwetok. All these, circling the globe, were German military bases. The world listened when the German Kaiser spoke. He was power, world power. Deutschland, "Deutschland ├╝ber alles" was no vain boast.
  • p10 The shock of seeing the death head atop the Kaiser in the Tiergarten was the first of four remembered experiences which by the time I was five years old had shaped my life. The second memory is of my father and mother dancing through the living room one August day in 1914 because my father had been accepted as a volunteer in the Kaiser's army. The glory of the Kaiser had entered our home. There were handshaking and congratulations all around. Germany, the greatest, the most cultured country in the world, had been attacked by her enemies, perfidious Albion, degenerate France, and brutal, backward Russia; and Germany responded as one man.
  • p11 This spectacle of marching men, with its aesthetic commotion, the songs and flowers, the flags and music, went on day after day for four years. Though it stirred me, I saw the dark side only. I remember thinking of the final destination, the helplessness of the fallen man disappearing into the black and bottomless manhole.
  • p12 My first three experiences were harbingers of the fourth. I came to think of my first three as the Face of Death, the Dance of Death, and the March of Dead. In the fourth I felt Death itself.
  • p12 I remember asking, "Uncle Alex, why are you crying?" He said "I have to go to war." "Why do you have to go to war?" I asked. "The Emperor commands it." "Well," I said, "stay and don't go." And he looked at me with eyes so sad I have never forgotten them. "I can't," he said, "and I am going to die." As he said this I felt steel tongs gripping my body. A cold dread filled me. I turned and ran from the room.
  • p13 Reflecting upon this chilling experience today, I still feel the monstrousness of an earthly power that can send a young man of twenty-two to die.
  • p18 Every day during a certain period one of my teachers -- a gentleman of the old imperial school, obviously -- required us to stand up at the beginning of class and repeat in chorus a kind of loyalty oath: "I was born to die for Germany"
  • p19 I devoted most of my time to the preparation of the paper, and found myself being driven on and on, getting in deeper and deeper as I wrestled, not just with the state and political parties, but also with life and death, war and peace, the One and the Many, and finally God, because once you start and do not stop you eventually must come to the problem of God.
  • p20 My birth, a cosmic event for the universe, an existential event for me, a blissful event for my parents, was a military event for Germany. It was manpower, a particle of the collective power of the nation. Thus, life was reduced to a matter of military supply. Love was reduced to the biological function of mating; happiness at the birth of a baby became satisfaction at the addition of war material; and death became a statistic.
  • p20 The key, I decided, lay somewhere in the correct answer to the question, "Why does a killer in war get a medal and in peace the electric chair?" In my diary I wrote on May 17, 1927: I have seen something remarkable. I was just in the movie and in the news there appeared Von Hindenburg. The people applauded. It seems people must always be enthusiastic for something. We must be careful not to direct this hunger for enthusiasm towards the military. But there must be some direction.
  • p21 I have seen something remarkable. I was just in the movie and the news there appeared Von Hindenburg. The people applauded. It seems people must always be enthusiastic for something. We must be careful not to direct this hunger for enthusiasm toward the military. But there must be some direction.
  • p23 Examples of this fallacy are given in every logic textbook: "Men are numerous; Socrates is a man; therefore Socrates is numerous." "The crowd is dense; John is a member of the crowd: therefore John is dense." In these examples the reasoning is obvious fallacious. But "Germany is powerful; I am a German; therefore I am powerful" was not obviously fallacious to Germans. Because Germany was militarily powerful in 1914, every German worker or mailman thought he was powerful.
  • p24 Germany lost in the First World War 1,808,545 dead, or three percent of her population. After the war the birth rate made up for this loss in 6.4 years. Thus it could be argued from a collective viewpoint, Germany lost nothing. But the individual casualty was a man, loved and loving, and his loss was irreplaceable. It was a life lost, a life wasted, dumped into a manhole. The state takes human life supposedly to protect the whole. But is a human life of less value than a collective?
  • p33 I thought to myself, if evil can be organized so efficiently, why cannot good? Is there any reason for efficiency to be monopolized by the forces for evil in the world? Why is it so difficult to organize good? Why have good people in history never seemed to have had as much power as bad people? I decided I would try to find out why and devote my life to doing something about it.
  • p35 Good has to do with concepts, not objects.

Chapter 2 - What is good?

  • p43 But when I got my law degree from the University of Berlin in 1932, I hadn't learned a single thing from law about good and bad. The law doesn't say. It tells only what is legal and illegal. It is an instrument that can be used for good or evil. Law like science, is morally neutral. With science you can make the Sahara bloom or you can turn the world into a desert. With law you can make evil look good by making it legal.
  • p46 Science has changed the physical way we live so much that Julius Caesar or Columbus would not comprehend it. Unfortunately, it is equally certain that Jesus Christ would find mankind little changed. For the inner landscape in which he was interested and where he hoped to establish the Kingdom of God looks as barren and sterile, as chaotic and anarchic, as neglected and uncultivated as in his day.
  • p48 I can't tell you what goodness is, I can only tell you what it is like. It is like the sun that radiates everything, that warms everything, that makes everything fertile and brings forth everything.
  • p48 Believe it or not, you go through the whole of philosophy and nowhere do you find the solution to the problem of what is goodness in general.
  • p50 Now we knew how to make a bomb that would destroy hundreds of thousands of people, but we still didn't seem to know how to make ourselves good men. We might blow up our whole world before enough of us could find out.
  • p52 When a person understands that a thing "is good" he doesn't need to know anything of the thing in question, but he must know something of the concept of which the thing is an instance.
  • p53 A thing is good when it has all the properties it is supposed to have, or put another way, a thing is good when it fulfills its definition. In other words, goodness is the fulfillment of anything's concept or definition.
  • p58 When one reflects that more human being have been killed by other human being in this century than in all previous recorded history, it is no hard to conclude that some things have gone wrong.
  • p61 The more I am aware of my Self, the more, and the more clearly, I define and fulfil my Self, the more I am a morally good person, a good 'I'. I am morally good if I am as I am. All the words of ethics mean this very same thing, this identification of myself with myself; being sincere, honest, genuine, true, having self-respect, integrity, authenticity.
  • p66 This Self-awareness is different from knowing. Some people know everything but are aware of nothing, like the man in the Thurber cartoon about whom one woman whispered to another, "He doesn't know anything but facts." Others are aware of everything but know nothing. The first are informed fools, the second uninformed sages. The first are intellectuals without moral insight, the second are simple people with intuitive moral insight.
  • p69 She just is. ... She is, as we call it, transparent to her self. She is free to pour all her energies into living for others. Such a person we call a saint. Maria is a small-gauge saint. A great saint would be a person who matches the depth of his own being with the width of his intellectual horizont. This was Jesus.
  • p69 Smartness doesn't help. You have to be, just be; you have to be natural and not pretend, not be proud or ashamed of this or that. You have to be able to put your worldly matters in their places. To be is probably the most difficult and, at the same time, the most important task of our moral lives.
  • p70 Children sense Personality; they respect a person who respects himself.
  • p72 You get your power in crises. A genius is in a continual crisis. He gets his power all the time. When you read the stories of men of science, like Newton, or of art like Bach or Michelangelo, you find that when asked their secret they gave almost the same answer: Anybody can do it who doesn't do anything else day and night. ... A genius puts his whole Self into a problem. He's not necessarily a good person morally -- he's just a genius. There's a difference between a great man and a great good man.
  • p74 We are all one, and when we do a wrong thing everyone has done it with us. That is why we are afraid that everyone knows. I am responsible for everybody else and everybody else is responsible for me. This is the meaning of love.
  • p76 I'm result of creation, of evolution. I began in infinity, and where do I end? Do I end with my death? Well, there's my son and my granddaughter. I am a link in the chain of generations on earth. Even though I have no children, my Self, my spirit, as I said, is not in space and time. How then can it die in space and time? It cannot die. Body and mind may fall away, but the spirit must go on to eternity.
  • p79 Self-aware, and who are truly themselves without knowing it. They are like people who enjoy the symphony without knowing the score. Should they learn the score, they would enjoy the music even more.
  • p80 I have moral values to the degree that I fulfil my definition of my Self. To the degree that I am I, I am a morally good person. Moral goodness is the depth of man's being himself, and that is the greatest goodness in the world. For what we find within us when we penetrate to the roots of our Selves, no matter what route we take, can only be described as God.
  • p80 So it is with many of us Americans. We play into the hands of the communists by putting money and other extrinsic values ahead of human value. The increase in juvenile delinquency, crime, corruption, and graft in American life is evidence of the leaks in our moral dikes. Violence is fast becoming part of the American way. Indeed, according to sociologist Lewis Yablonsky, a new kind of criminality is emerging, one who maims or kills and destroys for kicks and who has no regard for the rights and feelings of others.
  • p81 "We May Be Rich But They Are Happy" was the title of an article by British economist Barbara Ward in The New Your Times Magazine (May 5, 1968) in which she pondered the question, "Will the spread of Western technology cause the people of Asia and Africa to lose their secret of self-fulfilment?" "Our technical society," she writes, "so wrapped up in means and manipulation, too often fails to give us direction and dedication, without which we can be rich and healthy and strong, yet bored and joyless as well."
  • p84 God is valued systemically in theology, extrinsically in comparative religion, and intrinsically by a personal salvation. God is the supreme value, the value of values. Nothing more valuable is thinkable.
  • p88 Value, we may say, is meaning. When we say that life has meaning we mean it has value. The richer its meaning, the richer its value. When we say that life has no meaning, we mean it has no value. The poorer its meaning, the poorer its value. A meaningless life is without value, is no good.
  • p93 "To burn a man alive does not defend a doctrine, but slays a man... We do not testify to our own faith by burning another, but only by our readiness to be burned on behalf of our faith."
  • p99 A group of factory girls were given better working conditions, and productivity increased. Then the improvements were taken away from them, but productivity still increased. The girls got mid-morning breaks and a shortened work week, and productivity increased. The breaks were eliminated and the work week lengthened, still productivity increased. No matter what was done, productivity went up. Roethlisberger and Dickson, the men conducting the research, were puzzled and wondered what kind of logic was at work here. They concluded: What is done is not so important; what is really important is the human attention given the girls and the cooperation they give in return.

Chapter 3 - George's -- and Everyone's -- Problem

  • p103 We have defined goodness -- anything is good when it has all the properties it's suppose to have -- and we've build a scientific axiology around that axiom. With this science we have found that we can know and measure value in its systemic, extrinsic (social) , and intrinsic (Self or spiritual) dimensions, and we've found that a human life in its infinity is the most valuable thing there is.
  • p103 Men...have for the most a very lowly conception of themselves, that is to say, they have no conception of being spirit, the absolute of all that a man can be...Not only does a man prefer to dwell in the cellar; he loves that to such a degree that he becomes furious if anyone would propose to him to occupy the bel ├ętage which stands empty at his disposition -- for in fact he is dwelling in his own house... Yet man does yearn to be better than he is, to be truly himself. The divine does persist within; but we are torn this way and that. Social and business pressures push us, and we go along, but the spark within is hard to extinguish, and even as we hurry to conform we may pause to wonder if this is all there is to life, and we glance uneasily over our shoulders (once a week or more), wondering vaguely if we haven't forgotten something, a cheerful word perhaps, a quiet moment, a little love -- could it possibly be ourselves we have forgotten?
  • p105 The Harvard Business Review reports that eighty percent of the executives who would talk about it admitted that unethical practices are a generally accepted practice in their respective industries. Everyone of us, I have no doubt, knows personally of men who, under severe pressure and moral strain, have deserted their Selves and "cracked up" physically or mentally. Such value crises do not occur only in business, of course; they happen in the home, in the church, in politics, in every part of our lives.
  • p106 The danger arises, I think, from the growth of organizational bigness. The life of the Organisation is apt to become more important then the life of the individual. George and Jim are likely to become loyal Organization servants first, human beings second; executives first, lovers, husbands, fathers, or real persons second. Even friendships are likely to depend entirely upon their extrinsic value to the Organization. In all this, human intrinsic values naturally would take a beating. The inner Self would be practically lost.
  • p107 Nevertheless, men who know how to work with people are increasingly in demand in business. Surveys, indeed, indicate this quality is priced much more highly than technical skill in holders of upper echelon positions. Inability to cooperate with others and inability to judge people have been found to be two of the most frequent reasons for executive failure.
  • p108 A nation that aspires only to material progress, says historian Arnold J. Toynbee, is doomed to economic stagnation, boredom, and moral decay. No society, he insist, has ever flourished without a spiritual meaning. The same thing could be said about a man -- after all, most mental cases result from dull, hopeless, meaningless lives -- and the same thing could be said about a business, for businessman needs spiritual meaning in what he does as much as anyone.
  • p111 Thus, Self-development is not a luxury; it is a necessity for our being truly ourselves on all three levels. So George's own inner being has to become part of his job. He has to live on the top (intrinsic) level in whatever he does, and he -- George himself -- has to do it; nobody else can live there for him.
  • p113 You feel wonderful to be alive. Faith is exactly this -- to feel good in the world and to feel that the world is good.
  • p117 I used to think I was the most important guy in creation. Now I'm not so sure. Even so, my wife hes to keep reminding me, "Be humble."
  • p117 I know a fellow who is an engineer, one of the most lovable persons I know. He has many properties of faith, but he also has a deep-seated, intrinsic fear. He lacks serenity, is often on the defensive, is not expansive but narrow, and is easily hurt. Actually he is extremely successful in a material way, with a beautiful home and a garage full of Cadillacs. But he is always fearful he will lose all he has tomorrow. He feels he's no good; he shouldn't have been born; life isn't really worth the trouble.
  • p121 A wife who loves is usually more mature than a man. She loves you as a husband, not as an important or not-so-important man, and she may love you when you're asleep more than at any other time. To women, both the intellectual and -- if true women -- the social play small roles relative to love and compassion. Man are often lured by their intellectual and social power to insensitivity and disregard of the spiritual. Having to deal directly with the creation of life, women are usually more sensitive to intrinsic value.
  • p125 If, on the other hand, my life does have meaning for me, I will be quite concerned about the organization I work for, because it would have to dovetail with my own meaning. It it doesn't and I keep on working for it, I'm either a fake or unhappy or both. I cheat myself. I waste the divine capital that I am. I sell myself to the world, and I will pay for this betrayal by neurosis, by drinking too much, or by otherwise destroying my self, as if I ware saying that I am not worth the gift of life.
  • p127 For if the organization helps me to fulfill my purpose, I certainly will want to contribute one hundred percent of myself instead of holding back forty percent -- as studies have shown the average worker does -- and hurting myself as well as the company.

Chapter 4 - My self and religion

  • p131 For me, Jesus is that person who for the first time in human history articulated the nature of man's infinity in God. He gave added emphasis to the place of man in religious concepts.
  • p133 For unless you like your Self you cannot like anybody else. Unless you fell that you are important, nothing can be important to you. You must make yourself worthy of yourself to be worthy of your fellow man and of God. If you don't take yourself seriously, if you take yourself as an accident that might just s well not have happened, then you are lost; you cannot fulfill the meaning of your life.
  • p135 To those of us who aspire to Christianity, Jesus is he who came so that we may live, in the mediator between us and God. He must not be an historical character in space and time; the minute he becomes such we lose him and we lose Christianity. He must be outside of space and time, an intrinsic rather than an extrinsic person. We can understand Jesus only if we have a living relationship with him, as if he were along at our side -- the eternal contemporary.
  • p142 The entire world is nothing in comparison with human personality, with the unique person of man.
  • p145 He meant what he said: offer the other cheek also to be smitten.This, Jesus implies, will take the wind out of the sail of the other's anger, for there is no greater incentive for evil-doing than resistance to it. When you don't resist evil, you drain the fun from it. Nothing is more disconcerting to a ruffian than politeness.
  • p146 What is the secret? You have to find a logic that is different from that of the evildoer but which embraces both him and you. Since his logic is of the finite -- where he is on one side and you are on the other -- the surest way is to insert the logic of the infinite into the situation. This will embrace you and him on the same level, lifting him to yours. It will let him save face and make him understand you, through in his own, sometimes curious way.
  • p149 We need desperately to develop our sensitivity to evil, just as we need to develop our sensitivity to good, for we cannot overcome that which we don't know. So few people can smell evil, sensitively or vicariously, precisely because they have failed to develop their sense of values.
  • p150 These people, of course, do not want to be evil. They think they do good -- as did Hitler. Somehow their values must be reversed; what they call "good" must be shown to be evil, and what they call "evil" to be good. This again, evil must be overcome by good -- and by love.
  • p151 If you have conformed all your life, have never done anything particularly bad or anything particularly good, have lived according to the rules and customs, systemically and extrinsically, you will never even know what moral depth you have. You have never developed a sensitivity for either good or evil. You are a social machine, and there cannot be much joy in Heaven for a zombie.
  • p152 I believe the great impression Pope John XXIII made on all mankind was because he, with articulate goodness, filled the vacuum the churches had left. Alas, his work did not lead to action and, like Jesus, he left us no method to follow it up.
  • p152 How often do we turn the other cheek, go the extra mile, give the man out cloak? How often do we try to overcome evil by good?
  • p153 Our lore is full of stories of men laying down their lives for the sake of what they think or what they have or what they want; but how many have laid down what they think or have or want for the sake of their lives?

Chapter 5 - It's not too late

  • p161 Human being as individuals generally want the good, but as soon as they start thinking and acting in collective terms, i.e., in terms of a group, a mob, a race, a state, a nation, they tend to fall easy prey to evil. Since in the systemic only the system counts, all evil can be given a systemic status and thus appear justified. The legal system in particular has been used to justify evil.
  • p163 There is nothing wrong with our war logic; only the logic itself is wrong.
  • p168 If, however, you value thinking most highly, and there is a flaw in your thinking, then you value most highly something which is faulty, and all your valuation, all your history, goes wrong.
  • p170 It is the result of a trilogy of tragedies. The first was the Tragedy of Rome -- military despotism; the second, the Tragedy of Feudalism -- military absolutism; the third, the Tragedy of Democracy -- military giantism. The process is the same throughout, repeated on ever higher turns of the spiral of history: the exploitation of the civil -- with its rhythm of birth, life, love, and death -- by military state.
  • p179 Neither the German not the Russian nor the American nor, for that matter, the French, the English, the Indian, the Chinese, or any other revolution has challenged the supremacy of the state's military power over the life and death of its citizens. Revolutions as far have meant nothing but the transition of sovereign power from owners to managers. The machine grinds on not, as before, at the ruler's command, but "with the consent of the governed." It infiltrates today's political institutions. Juridical safeguards such as separation of power, bills or rights, guarantees of individual freedom, civil liberties, and the like scratch the surface but do not change the core. Every constitution contains an emergency trap door through which the rights, the freedoms, and the liberties of the individual can disappear. Strangely enough, these very rights and liberties come to justify, ideologically, the slaughters of the revolutions and the subsequent "just" wars of the republics. What was done before for the glory of the King is now done for the glory of the People -- for Liberty, for Freedom, for Brotherhood. These human ideals join others, including the idea of Christian love, which at various times have been used to justify murders, massacres, and wars. The United States of America began predominantly as a civil society, with an insistent warning from George Washington "never to run the course which has hitherto marked the Destiny of Nations" and permit its military function to become dominant. Yet even the United States has been drawn into the maelstrom of feudal power apparatus and has build the most powerful, most deadly military machine in all history. Today's nation state is a feudal relic -- but it rides on the wings of a jet stream.
  • p183 What can we do about it, you and I? There is no quick, easy solution, but there is a solution. The good takes time; one cannot be good in a hurry. A life can be extinguished in the flick of a second, but how painstakingly must the surgeon work to replace even one torn nerve. This is why peace will not come through so-called strong men. They look for easy and fast solutions. It will come through men of patience, compassion, and humility -- men of faith.
  • p186 Our days cries for moral leadership. We must mobilize our compassion and the intrinsic moral goodness of America to break the power chain of divine sovereignties and permit the human state to succeed the military state. For it is the moral goodness of America that makes this country great, the goodness that recognizes the infinite intrinsic value of the human person. We need to translate this moral goodness into international relations. We need to export it, for, in the long run, it -- rather our wealth, our standard of living, and our named power -- is what attracts the rest of the world to America. I have no doubt that the Soviet Union fears our goodness much more than our badness.

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