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us in the solution of the problems created by organizing our efforts instead of using our ill-adapted and self-conflicting animal impulses as guides will serve to allay strife and establish liberty and freedom among the members in organized society. The public officials in the social order should suppress their personal feelings and impulses, class prejudices and interests, in adjudicating these claims and rights and be guided instead by social values and ideals.
The rank and file of the members of the social order in acquiring similar social habits of reaction in the social situations created by their organized endeavors will then be participating in a joint will, in common social purposes. And their wills will thus find freedom from the strife, discontent, and coercion that result when these matters are decided by impulse, fear, and favor. They now find satisfaction and freedom, not in the gratification of their animal impulses in these social situations, but in the realization of social ideals—the ideals of social democracy, social justice, social welfare, and social efficiency. The will of such a socialized person finds freedom, even though his overt activity is necessarily circumscribed by organized or institutionalized activity, because his will is not contending against, trying to thwart, the wills of others in the interest of unsocial impulses and satisfactions but has the same common purpose and tends in the same direction as the wills of the other members; for each of these socialized persons wants to be just toward the others, wants to be democratic toward the others, wants the best welfare of the others, and wants all these things efficiently realized. How can there be a co-operation of wills and inner freedom and
a tranquillity between those who do not want to be just toward each other? He who denies justice to another is against the other person. The other one feels that he is not with him. It is strife and coercion, not inner team work and freedom. They who do not wish the best welfare of the other persons who are inevitably bound up with them in the social order are against them. This is contention and hostility, not community of purpose and will, even though there be outward order of overt activity. Those who are indifferent to social efficiency are against the other members of the society, for the energy and time of people are naturally precious, and those who would wastefully use the time and energies of others are against them. This again is not team work in purpose but rank individualism, a using of each other as mere environment, a pitting of one against the other. Such attitudes do not result in an inner harmony of feeling and purpose, the sort of team work of wills that should be built up for the purpose of enabling the members of society to supervise properly the team work of effort in their social order.
The fundamental points of strife among the members of a society of people whose overt activities must, for purposes of existence and higher standards of living, be denied freedom of range and be circumscribed by organization are the division of the work and burdens in the organized effort and the products and services thus produced, the distribution of participation in the control over such organized activity, the purpose of this organized activity, and the manner of organizing this activity. These are points of strife because the native impulses of man are not adequate to achieve the orderly solution of these social problems. The unsocialized jungle impulse tries to grasp all it wants or to bestow without regard to the just claims of others. Man in addition sometimes possesses an unnatural cancerous desire, namely, vanity. The desires may have present among them foreign hostile desires, a germ disease, as cellular life may have foreign hostile cells in it. The character may be subject to sickness, as is the body. This insatiable desire causes man, when afflicted with it, far to outreach the animals in the magnitude of his selfishness. Man will then not merely eat to satisfy his appetite and bodily needs, while others unjustly go hungry, but extravagantly waste food for the show of it. He will indulge in costly decoration, not for the beauty in it, but for the sake of display. Natural jungle impulse does not weigh, except for fear or favor, the cost to others of producing desirable things. It will work to excess, kill, and maim, provided these costs are sustained by others. Such a one has no conception of social efficiency, but rates efficiency in accomplishing desired ends only in terms of cost to himself, ignoring all the costs to others that are entailed and that he does not have to recompense.
For the comparatively limited extent of team work which is necessary among the animals, nature, as we say, has provided them with impulses that are adapted to such dovetailing of overt activity. Some of these impulses have been inherited by man, but such limited natural impulses, which in part constitute the original nature of man, are not adequate to bring about the proper motivation of the vastly greater team work required in the populous societies of man. Consequently inner strife will ensue unless the original nature of man is modified, his will becoming socialized in order that there may thus be a concert of purpose and will to direct and supervise the necessary concert of effort and activity in the social order. We may call these forms of organized activity social processes. Such social processes, the processes of producing, dividing, deciding, or controlling, need for their supervision social aims or ideals as distinguished from personal attitudes and impulses. The social problems arising in a social order, as contrasted with the natural problems arising in the natural environment, require for their solution social values, ideals, and principles, as contrasted with the inadequate natural impulses that constitute the original nature of man but are apparently well adapted to the natural environment. Conscious social endeavor within a social order should be guided by known and explored social values and social ideals, as contrasted with primitive reactions within a jungle, guided by blind impulses and attitudes.
The people and the officers of a society, in so far as they are directing these social processes, should not be guided by immediate personal impulses but should suppress them and be guided by the social ideas and ideals of justice, democracy, welfare, and efficiency. We sometimes speak of such officers as having the judicial temperament, refers to the difference between being governed by fear or favor, or by the impulse of the moment, and being governed by certain more stable social feelings and ideas.
It is not necessary of course that the conception of these ideals should be identical among the members of society. It is not the judgment but the will that is involved, the attitude, the aimwhether or not one wants to be just, wants to be democratic, wants the other person to have a say—that makes for strife or for the team work of wills, the common aim. Given the common aim, the members of society will work out the ways and means of moving toward the realization of their common purpose to be just, to be democratic, to promote their best welfare, etc.
This process of working out ways and means requires the development and use of social machinery and technical information and judgment. Throughout the social order in all its various institutions questions will arise which will be decided, not by the expert, but by the laity involved. Among them, even among those guided by a unity of purpose and a willingness for unity of action, differences in information and judgment are inevitable. But all action cannot be halted until a unanimous opinion is formed, for the loss due to paralysis of activity while the form of action was being debated would be too great. It is often better to have action, perhaps not the wisest, than to halt endeavor. Since some sacrifice is necessary under these conditions, after first threshing out the problem for a time in public debate and discussion for the purpose of forming public opinion, the question may then be submitted to a vote. This device serves to keep the social machinery going without unanimity of judgment.
A majority judgment prevails on the ground of least sacrifice, not on the ground of better efficiency in judgment. The presumption that the more efficient or correct judgment would have a greater appeal and win over more voters is hardly supported by the facts of social life and the registered decisions of the voters. It is not always true that it would be less sacrifice for a minority of voters to forego having their judgment prevail than for a majority. Among the people imbued with the spirit of democracy, if such a condition arose the majority would not say, "Well, we have the votes, what are you going to do about it?" but would consider the relative sacrifice that would be incurred by the minority if the decision went against them. If the majority perceived that the minority felt keenly that their sacrifice would be the greater, the majority would then arrange a middle or less severe course, or would give in until a further period of educational campaigning had taken place and then submit the question again for a vote. Perhaps public opinions would, during this period, undergo a change. Within the small, face-to-face groups in society, for instance in the family, democratically minded people often differ in judgment upon matters that come up for mutual consideration. Such persons consider the sacrifice it would mean to the other if the decision went against the other and give in if the sacrifice of the other is perceived to be felt more keenly. This act of giving in, either in part or altogether, may then be reciprocated by the other when upon another occasion the situation is reversed. Such persons defer to the judgment of others involved even when this is quite contrary to their own judgment, provided it does not offend against the attitude or will to be just, democratic, etc. One's attitude toward justice and the democratic spirit is not to be compromised; but one can differ with another upon the best ways and means of attaining justice, democracy, etc., and can forego his judgment in part and arrange with others for some modified method of attaining social welfare, justice, and democracy. There is no reason why this same spirit of democracy may not pervade a larger group.
The ideal of democracy as the rule to govern participation in the control and supervision of the social order may not of course be the goal toward which society is moving. It may be in some entirely unseen direction, our segment of the movement toward the great goal being so insignificant that it is after all too small to disclose the true direction of the entire movement. Yet the ideal of democracy has the earmarks of a great social goal, for it has infinite possibilities of development, and there are always at hand ways and means of making it workable in the successively unfolding conditions arising in the social order.