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Full text of "Man In The Modern World"

MAN IN THE  JvtODKRN  WORLD

and unvarying instinct; it can be moulded into the most varied
forms. It can be canalized into competitive sport, as in our own
society, or as when certain Filipino tribes wore induced to substitute
football for head-hunting. It can be sublimated into non-competitive
sport, like mountain-climbing, or into higher types of activity alto-
gether, like exploration or research or social crusades.

There is no thcoi-oticul obstacle; to the abolition of war. But do
not let us delude ourselves with the idea that this will be easy. The
first step needed is the right kind of international machinery. To in-
vent that will not be particularly simple.: sanctions against aggressors,
the peaceful reconciliation of national interests in a co-operative inter-
national system, an international police force- we can see in. principle
that these and other necessary bits of anti-war machinery an* possible,
but it will take a great deal of hard thinking to design them so that
they will really work.

The second step is a good deal more diflicult. It: is to find what
William James called a "moral equivalent for war," while at the
same time reducing the reservoir of potential aggressiveness which
now exists in every powerful nation. This is a psychological problem.
Thanks to Freud and modern psychology in general, we are now be-
ginning to understand how the self-assortive impulses of the child may
be frustrated and repressed in such a way as to drive them under-
ground. There in the subconscious they may persist in the form of
crude urges to aggression and cruelty, which are all the more danger-
ous for not being consciously recogur/ecl.

To prevent the accumulation of this store of psychological dyna-
mite and to find ways in which our self-assertive impulses can issue
along conscious and constructive channels is a big job, It moans a
better structure of social and family life, one which does not inflict
such frustrations on the growing human personality; it means a new
approach to education; it means providing outlets in the form of
physical or mental adventure for the impulses which would other-
wise be unused even if not repressed. It is a difficult task; but by
no means an impossible one,

Thus in the perspective of biology war first dwindles to the status
of a rare curiosity. Further probing, however, makes it loom larger
again. For one thing, it is a form of intra-specific struggle, and as
such may be useless or even harmful to the species as a whole, Then
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