SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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In the meantime the more far-sighted Nazi government employed a staff of specialists working at methods to disorganise the nervous functioning of their adversaries which, as facts show, have worked very successfully and devastatingly upon the unlucky citizens whom the shortsighted, unscientific, etc., governments never guided toward the proper use of their nervous systems, or safe-guarded from the abuses.*
Perhaps at present, 1941, after some irreparable harm has been done, the governments of the world will awaken and realize that the proper functioning of the nervous systems of their citizens is in many ways more important than any gun, battleship or aeroplane, etc., could possibly be, as there must be a Smith1 behind the gun!
No matter who is finally 'victorious' in the present world struggle, no matter which way we look at it, the return to the old conditions is impossible. A complete neuro-semantic and neuro-linguistic revision is inevitable, and this revision is bound to lead away from aristotelianism. For this revision we are preparing the foundations in the formulations of general semantics. Before any lasting adjustments in the future social, economic, political, ethical, etc., fields are accomplished we have to be able to evaluate properly and talk sense. Otherwise the situation is hopeless.
Obviously, regardless of what the 'politicians' may say, in every country we necessarily have some kind of guidance by the government and executive power, no matter in what direction. Even 'complete lack of guidance' must be considered guidance of some sort, in the direction, say, of 'rugged individualism', etc., which, if carried to the limit, becomes the unworkable ideal of anarchy. In practical life such attitudes ultimately engender animal competition instead of human co-operation, and the very opposite of what we consider as the social feeling imperative for 'democracy'.
The real question is whether the existing governments are informed enough about human neurological problems, sanity, etc., and are intelligent enough, honest enough, etc., to guide and advise their people constructively and efficiently in constantly emerging neurological situations such as occur in home and school lives, in national and international affairs, etc. Unfortunately the answer is in the negative. At present there is no such government I know of. The Nazi government, on the other hand, has mobilized the psycho-logical knowledge available to them for destructive purposes, which must be professionally counteracted by the rest of the governments of the civilized world, if sanity is to prevail.
♦Taylor, Edmond. The Strategy of Terror. Houghton-Mifflin, Boston, 1940.