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American Social History (1959)

Lecture 34 (52:19)

The mind of the people in this country has never  wanted  to live through the two extremes of war  and  peace. But  only  in alternation, that  there-people were  very  brutal in  wartime   indeed,   and  that   they  were  very  sweet  and pacifistic  in peacetime. But this isn’t the problem. You have to be a warrior in peacetime, and you have to be peaceful in wartime. That is the moral problem of mankind, if you want  to comprehend our  undertaking as human beings.

—March 25, 1959

Transcript

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{word} = hard to understand, might be this

...of course, there -- quite a number of remarks on how to write and how not to write a paper. And I'm a little squeamish on one point. When -- I think a historian or student of history, even if they only take one course in history, should know one thing. The first thing in history are names. And it is rather insulting to feel that not even half of you spell my name right. And they have given me wonderful names. I mean, "Rosen-" -- "Rosenstalk," and what-not. But I am not stalking. I think this is insulting. You must assume that I do not even read the front page of the paper.

Then there is a second item, which I talked over with my colleagues. And I'm not here to train dogs, but I'm here to teach. And that's something different. But you are really -- are making for trouble if you never read over your paper. I mean, most of you type such a paper and never look at it. And it's just full of the most incredible, atrocious mistakes. Now I think the one thing you -- you can afford to do, to be punished by having to read what you have written. It is stupid enough, of course, in most cases; and I understand why you don't like to read it again. But it's the only way in which you -- can discover all the mistakes you make. Just in spelling. And why I -- should have to chew this! I am not a cow's stomach. It is insulting. Grown-up people -- you wouldn't write a letter to your s- -- to anybody if you would -- would apply for -- for a -- for work or for a job. You certainly would read over this paper. Don't I deserve that much care? Then there are some minor things I have noted, I mean. Some of you make quotations, and always quote the secondary -- source. Now I'm not interested in educating -- you should be interested yourself. The val- -- value of such a paper is that you go back to the primary sources yourself. It is a great pity that you miss this opportunity for your own, so to speak, astonishment. To use a primary source is something quite different than to copy a quotation from a second-hand book. And you are only living in this paper world of textbooks. That's not history. And that's not knowledge. And that's not understanding. And if the -- such a textbook gives you the -- the road sign where to find the source, and you want to quote something, you have to go to the -- to the source. You cannot quote second-hand, and then telling me that you went to the source. Or hiding it, or concealing the fact where you get the source. It's all dishonest.

And -- as I said, I'm not interested. I'm obviously -- you should be interested. Because what -- why do you study if you do not wish to reach the -- the ground floor, and -- and really get -- go down to the grass roots of history? And the grass roots of history are sources, where the thing is first recorded and first reported. And you live just all in this refrigerator, suspended animation at 35

degrees where nothing can die and nothing can grow. And that's your mentality. It's no temperature, because it's lukewarm. Any source is exciting, but textbooks are of course boring. So you are -- are you?

But -- there is an opportunity to get interested, if the -- such a paper gives you this great privilege that this poor librarian has to get you out the source book. You never pity us for the boredom you produce.

And this is -- there are of course I have -- I am honored to say there are -- half a dozen very good papers. But out of 76, that's not so very many.

I already tried to tell you that -- the League of Nation was not an issue in this paper. And I have taught in vain if you do not see that history has nothing to do with -- with programs, with -- with -- in the abstract, with assertions of good will. You remember the story of Abolition -- of -- of Prohibition, working itself to a pitch in -- up to 1920, and then being dismissed in 1934 and '35. That can give you an example of how little programmatic declarations mean if they are not backed up by decisive action. And so I tried to tell you--just to bring you back into the course of our thinking--that the League is not the issue before the people of the United States at this moment. The League is composed by opponents. That is, by Russia as well as United States. And it cannot move, since we cannot decide the issue of national and Red China. And the Security Council is composed of the Chinese veto -- veto.

So we have blocked the path to the -- to the League ourselves by this strange abstraction. And it has no teeth in it, either. It's a debating club. And as far as debating goes, then it renders a good service. It is nothing else. It was -- once was made to move, as you know, because the Russians happened to be absent. This will never occur again. You can have only an implementation of the -- foreign policy of the United States when it is derived from our already-experienced interests and sacrifices, and not by an abstract idea of "how nice it would be if," you see. The world is not run by nice intenti- -- good intentions. As you know, the way to hell is paved with good intentions.

And if I achieved one thing in this course, I would -- would be -- feel grat- -- feel very gratified to bring you down to the courage to look at our actions, and derive our philosophy from our actions. And not first to dream something up and never then implement it downstairs. Our actions lead to certain commitments, and they lead us on.

It just seems to be very -- you are not in- -- in- -- -able, I think, to -- to learn history, as long as you really think that you are looking at other people's high principles, and the way they cheated themselves out of them.

I was asked yesterday to explain why history was not a science. And I think when we now come into this profound problem of the color question in this country, and the labor question in this country, and the immigrant question in this country, and the child -- children's question, the juvenile delinquents in this country, and all the other minority issues, it is just as well to remind you once -- more that we cannot know of any one of these things in a scientific way, because history is not a science. And perhaps you would be ki- -- good enough to take this down as my testament, so to speak, with you. You -- somebody has to tell you this, that it is nonsense to call history "a science."

The reason is very simple. You understand by science a triangular relation. Here is the mathematician. Can we get rid of this?

(Pull down, and it'll --.)

Here is your human -- the human mind. And here are the objects which we try to penetrate. The object is, at the outside, you see, as a phenomenon, as an -- appearance, is obscure. And we try to make it transparent, so that we can look it -- through it, and make it, you see, move and behave as we want, against its appearances. Any science tries to brush aside appearances, and instead of saying "water," which the poet uses, or "Forget-me-not," we finally say, "H2O," because we have reduced this entity of nature to numbers and figures, you see. Numerals. We mathematize nature. And that's the idea of science. And we see electronic machines today, the -- it seems possible to -- even to reach into our own animal nature and declare parts of us as pure mechanisms in so many numbers.

Now the historian has the opposite task. Here are events. And here are you, your mind. And the darkness, and obscurity, and the obtuseness is in you. The events are living events. There are the United States. They have become a fact. And one day they came into being. And so these events look -- stare you in the face as bare facts. But at one day, they were the opposite. They were {trials}. They hadn't yet happened. The 4th of July hadn't occurred. They hadn't been -- the Declaration hadn't been declared; the war hadn't been declared; the peace hadn't been concluded; the Constitution hasn't been passed. None of these verbs, you see, had been petrified into monuments, into papers, into laws.

Now your mind is obtuse, very dark indeed. "Confused" is the mildest expression. And it is anti-historical. So the problem of the historian is to bypass your obstruction, and to make these events either bypass you, or go through you--if you kindly will enter the stream of events, and participate in them. So the historian is not fighting the obscurity of the events. They speak for themselves. It's not very difficult for anybody -- a little enthusiastic to understand what the people on the 4th of July, 1776, felt. But it is very difficult for me to understand

your attitude. And that's the trouble with the historian, that he has a public that lives outside history, as you do. And to get you into the swing of history, that's the task of the histori- -- the history department in this university and everywhere. Historians try to remove the block which the fact produces, that in every generation, children are born outside of history, and that it takes them at least 30 years to become capable of participating in what already is going on, and which you obstruct.

So the obstruction in science--and I -- I offer you here some very important explanation which you will not hear otherwise, because the truth -- of these things always comes to this country only 30 years later. In Europe, people know this already. Here you cannot talk about this, because here people are sciencedrunk. They think science covers anything. History has nothing to do with science, because history starts from the other end; it starts from the obscurity, the darkness of your heart, and the indifference of your mind. You are perfectly indifferent. You say, "That's a museum -- that's the way I look at this." "This is cave man." "This is myth."

At the same time, I tried to show you that on May 1st, this country was steeped in mythical existence, more than any generation of the last 1900 years, because you were asked to celebrate Law Day, and Joseph the Worker's Day. Purely mythical inventions that -- put you nowhere in time and space, that are quite outside history. Just defense mechanisms. Mythical.

The only primitive people I have met are the living. The so-called primitive are highly sophisticated, highly disciplined, highly liturgical, and very religious people. They couldn't exis- -- have existed for 7,000 years without this. Whether you can exist for more than your daily existence, that hasn't been found out, yet. It could be the end -- your end, and the end of Los Angeles, and the end of California, if you proceed as we do -- do proceed now, with the help of -- of television, and -- and all these other daily narcotics.

So can you see that the human mind, in its educational activities, has two opposite duties. One duty is to explain and to enlighten us over the darkness of the world around us. You know this book, The World -- Sea around Us, wrote- -- it's a very good book title. And it means that around us, we can't see too clearly, so we use microscopes, and telescopes, you see, to enlighten us about these obscure things, who appear so different from what they really are when we want to use them and employ them.

So this is the -- the action of sci- -- the scientist. The scientist makes dark things clear. But the historian makes a clear history valid and irresistible to you, who offer resistance, because you want not to be thrown out of your environ-

ment, out of your daily existence, out of your narrow interest, out of your mentality. And it takes a tremendous effort to make you forget yourself, and to enter the meaning, you see, of life in -- in -- on a more universal scheme. Your life is very small. You're {mainly} interested what dress to put on, what girl to meet, what -- what examination to pass, what credit to get.

Well, obviously, for example, in this history course, the examination is the real obstacle for your understanding of history, because you listen with half an ear only, you -- because the other half asks, "What is he going to ask in the exam?" So how can you listen to me? If you give even one thought at this moment to your exam, you see, it's -- you're split. Because what you want to get out of the exam is the opposite from what I have to try -- I have to try to make you forget yourself and your self-interest, and to understand that you are moving in a larger context. Obviously, the business of the historian is not to make you examination-conscious, but to make you mankind-conscious.

And so the whole apparatus of this college, as you know, is geared to scientific studies, where an exam is a very reasonable thing, where you can prove that you have understood water. But in history, it's the opposite. You are destroying yourselves, because you think after you pass the examination, you know history. It is impossible to know history, you see, in this same sense. Can't you see this? Because history is very outspoken. But you can't hear it. And I have to try to open your ears so that you -- it vibrates inside of you.

When -- I wrote my first big his- -- book on -- in history, it was on the Middle Ages. I used as my motto a word which Socrates spoke when he was going to die. He was condemned, as you know, to drink the hemlock cup. And his friends had prepared his flight out of -- Attica, and they said, "You must save yourself; you are too precious."

But Socrates said, "The laws of my city speak so eloquently and they reverberate, they echo so, resound so much in my mind, that I can hear nothing about myself."

Now that's history. When the laws of mankind, and the irrepressible movement into which you have the honor to be engaged and to be thrown, they speak much more loudly than your purpose of making an exam. And I think therefore that hundred years from now, the humanities will not take -- make you take exams, when they come out from under the over-domination of the sciences. Because in our field, examinations destroy the value of your study. They make you think of yourself, when the whole purpose of a class meeting is to make you forget yourself.

I think that if you would take this seriously as a -- as a -- anticipation of what your grandchildren will be allowed to learn in this country, if there is still -- such a thing, you could immediately make some progress in your own thinking if you would split all your superstition that the mind is one, and behaves toward mankind in the same way as it behaves toward water, and coal, and chemicals, and bodies, and bones, and earth, and such things. Towards your hu- -- fellow human beings, who live with you in one human family, the whole problem is for you to get excited, to get interested, and to participate in their endeavors, and in this process, find your niche inside this larger flux, and to forget completely what now at this moment you think is important for your self-interest, and sel- -- your aggrandizement, and for your own aims and purposes.

And this is the double role of education: you have to develop this liberty at times to look at things and want to know how many atoms compose this -- this molecule, you see. That's how we deal with the world. But with society, we deal in the other way. We have to admit that we are there the weak spot. Society has not yet gotten into us. We are looking at it from the outside. And as long as we treat society as a thing, we don't know what it is, really. It has not gotten a power over us so that we are member -- members.

History tries to remember the living beings of the past, so that they become members of your family again. And the very word "remember" is a very beautiful term, if you take it a little seriously. We talked about it yesterday. I think I should say it, here, too. The word "remember," by strange accident, has changed from "memory," with an "o" into "remembrance," with a "b." But you may use this for your understanding of the theory of history, the theory of studies, the theory of the humanities, the theory of human understanding--you may use it to -- to say that to remember means to make the so-called dead facts of history members of a living society in which George Washington is just as much alive as you are. And I tell -- to tell you the truth, a little more alive than you are. You see, all history tries to convey to you the -- the threat, the menace that you are dead, and the dead are living.

Don't you think that Herman Melville is more alive than you are? Or George Washington, for that matter, or Abraham Lincoln, or St. Augustine, or Christ? Aren't they ahead of you? They have much more life in the future than you have at this moment, and this will ta- -- will take a great effort for you not to be considered absolute dead. -- You -- history tries to reverse the relation of death and life. And to say there are, in the past, particles of future life which already have started, and which you either can prevent from growing into their full stature, or whether you -- you can help to grow into their full stature. I mention to you only those processes in history which still have a future. And your idea, that you stand here, and there is the past and there is the future, is mere supersti-

tion, is myth.

The past that we remember are those parts of the body politic who -- the members which have already been developed, the limbs of this wonderful body of time, you see. Man is -- lives in a body of time and not in a body of space. That we call his political existence. Society is the rhythm of -- through -- of all times. And part of these rhythms are at this moment paralyzed and blocked by you. You won't -- hear the music of the spheres that want to reach its appointed end. It's like a big symphony, and you sit between the third and fourth movement perhaps of the "Eroica," at this moment, and you cannot hear that the music has to be performed. It has to go on. You sit there like one of these beats in the -- in the Partitur, you see, on -- on -- on paper where the notes are printed. And you are just one of these vertical lines, you see, and try to prevent the flow of the music.

That's what a student of history is: he's a block. Not to say a blockhead.

But history is a started symphony. And it has started long before you. And we try to make it here so that you can get into the chorus at the appointed hour and begin to sing your -- your part in it.

So please put down this scheme and think about it. You haven't to believe it -- to me, because it's new to you, I know. The whole country here is just wild with superstition about refrigerated and dead things. You all treat yourself as a mechanism and as a commodity. But you aren't. You are either the enemies of life, or the promoters. You are either grave diggers, you see, or life givers. And that the -- in every minute--when you are neutral, when you are indifferent, when you are blas‚, when you say, "I don't care"--you destroy. And life has to pay the penalty for it. Somebody else has to die or go to prison for your indifference.

Indifference, you see, is the -- is the death of history. Lukewarmness. To be wicked, and then to invite this district attorney to put you to death is less scandalous than indifference. Neutrality in history is intolerable, because it makes important things unimportant. A murderer thinks at least that it's worth his life to kill this person. So he thinks of action as important, and not as unimportant. But you people say, "I don't care. What is this to me? What do I get out of it?" You are the devil incarnate. Neutrality is deviltry.

Because there are only two attitudes. Either we employ the things, or the spirit of history employs us. Either we are the employers or we are the employees. You cannot stay outside this situation. There is no room in between. And you think you can en- -- you live in this world in between, which is no world at

all. It's just a cold hell of your own self, and your own in- -- self-interest. That doesn't exist; that's -- that's like a hyphen, a hiatus, in between.

You --. Look, here you come to this class. Before, of course, you had to put on a dress, you had to shave. You had to use things. Every day, we -- we alternate constantly between using things and putting ourself into the employment of a higher order. Any moment you have to make this alternation, this choice. But that's so -- why life is so exciting, because the degree to which we, you see, use things, and the degree to which we are allowed our creator to employ us, that is our liberty, this alternation { }. But you have dropped -- you have buried your liberty. There are no free people in the United States at this moment, because you all -- have all sold out to science, and think that you are objects that can be explained by science. You are mechanism. So you have abandoned your freedom. It doesn't take a revolution to do this. Lukewarm people are slaves.

I still have to meet free people in this country. There are very few. Read The Hucksters. That's a book where freedom is reconquered, you see, against great -- great odds. But there are very few people who simply say that this alternation is the breath of freedom.

And so I think, beyond the scope of -- of any history, a -- a course on American social history after all deals with the thing nearest home to you. But how can you understand Roman history, Egyptian history if you have no relation to American history, but -- think that's a science of facts, you see. History has been, so to speak, justified in being taught, when out of the facts which you can find in any book listed--you see, Declaration of War in 19- -- 1861 or something--you again have reconquered the identity with the people who did the acts before they were acts. When they were agents, you see, and when they were acting, and they were enacting these things.

In the Bible, you see, the -- this con- -- is very simply dealt with. The astrologers of Egypt saw the stars and the moon, and they worshiped them as facts. And Moses laughed at them--he had been a professor in Egypt for -- first, so he knew all this--and he laughed at them and said, "Well, before the -- sun would move, somebody said, 'Let there be -- fiat lux.'" And this is the interesting part of it: when there was no sun and there was all of a sudden the decision to have a sun. And this is in history the same, to remind you that nothing -- that we -- is around us has existed always, that all the time somebody had to risk, and stick his neck out, and say so, and then it came to pass.

So you poor people think that -- that the facts are important. They are only important in dead nature. Uranium, that's a fact, a deposit. And yet even, you know, the geologist tries to write the history of nature, and to understand

why uranium generated -- originated one day, taking a leaf of course from the Bible in this respect. The -- all natural history is an imitation of the Bible story. And -- but we are not in history. We have nothing to do with facts. They are just the background, the backbone, the -- the cemetery. We walk to the cemetery and there we read a stone, "George Washington," and then we try to conjure up the dead until George Washington lives among us, and we say, "That's a fact." But what's the Feier? Why has he this monumental -- George Washington memorial in -- in -- in Washington? Isn't that right? And the mon- -- the monument is only the starting point; it's not the end.

That is for children. And I'm afraid that most of you who go to Washington treat history as children. And when they go to the Lincoln Memorial and to the Washington -- -morial, and then you think you know who -- Washington and Lincoln were. Of course, you know nothing about it. That's just the reminder that you may one day remember them. And you remember them when they dance and walk with you, ahead of you, and lead -- and if you follow them, and when you have reversed the order of time, and when past and future can no longer be distinguished. That's the ambition of history: to make you see that many good people who have lived before you are ahead of you to this moment and wait for your following. And you think the other way. You think since you live in 19- -- -95 -- -59, you are more modern. Modern man is obsolete. You are in no way more modern than the people who have solved the problems on whose solutions you thrive.

But we are -- that's not your -- your fault at all. I mean, it hangs like a cloud over this country, this loss of liberty. To treat history as a science means to abo- -- abolish liberty. And that's very serious. And -- no Committee on UnAmerican Activities, and all this stuff has anything to do with the abdication of liberty -- of the educated classes in this country. In your colleges, you cultivate slavery, servitude -- servitude to -- to self-made, you see, laws of science, including you, who -- who have produced science. We, the producers of science, how can we underlie the laws of science?

Well, so -- you -- now that's extra. I don't get paid for this. But you must watch out. You will have children and grandchildren. And you must make sure that they go to schools in which liberty is preached and not servitude. And this is your responsibility, whether you major in history or no; I don't care. This is not important. But 30 years from now, there will be no United States of America, or it will be only under the condition that science is limited to where it belongs, to dead things, and not to human beings.

You have the honor of this -- illustrious company of all the saints, of all the Apostles, of the kings and prophets, of the legislators of old; and instead of

joining this company of risk-takers and trailblazers, you look at them and analyze them away as having a mother complex or something like that. So you kill the spirit from the outside, because you never have allowed yourself to get into the swim. You stand at the shore and laugh at the fishes that -- that -- that swim in the sea. But our Lord was satisfied to be called a fish, a living fish; that's all. Because He lived in the waters of the spirit. And that's why the sign for Christianity in the Catacombs has been a fish.

When we now come to the masses, I'm quite shy to begin where I must begin: with the question of the Negro in the South. I have never lived in the South. I have only very few friends among Negroes. I have some, but I don't feel sufficient number to really be competent. My only comfort is that nobody is competent to speak on the Ne- -- Negro question, historically. Nobody. And what I can do, I think, is to draw your attention to a number of facts that seem to me overlooked. On the other hand, I shall -- assume that you know the most essential parts of the story. And I haven't to tell you that there was a civil war fought about the emancipation of the slave. This I take for granted.

However, I would like to draw your attention to one neglected fact, that by 1830, the situation of the Negro in the South changed. And that what was not a burning question up to 1830 got worse and worse between 1830 and 1860. This is so important, because it can -- make you understand that history doesn't move in a straight line. It is not evolution. It is not progress. But it is: jump--we spoke about this--leap forward, and then getting stymied. The fact that things between 1830 and 1860 had to grow -- get much worse before they could get better, you see, is a law of historical behavior which deserves your attention, because it is true about many other things, that things must get worse before they get better.

I think in any family, when a father takes to drinking, you will not use -- any extreme means at the beginning. Things have to get much worse before you say he has to get a guardian and he cannot dispose of his property anymore. That's -- has to be very heavily underlined before you can take such a step. And it is funny, everybody in his personal behavior knows this law, that things have to get much worse before they can get better, you see. But in the general history, the books are written -- from year to year, like chronicles, as though things happened, you see, one thing after another. It's not -- not -- not so.

The Negro question till 1830 seemed to be possible of evaporation, of vanishing. After 1830, nobody in his five senses could believe that it would be changed by itself, so to speak, automatically by evolution. People in the South down to 1800 had believed that the abolition of the slave trade--which the English, you see, put through for America, just as they had the navy for us, so also they had the abolition of the slave trade long before we had--that the disappear-

ance of the slave trade would diminish the numbers of the slaves, and they would disperse. And there would be constantly a -- a number of slaves emancipated. They would be property holders. They would -- and most of all, they would go to new regions. They would not remain concentrated in the states in which they were so numerous: Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama.

In 1830, the evil spirit of Mr. Calhoun entered the stage. And Mr. Calhoun held that by all -- with all means and instruments, the Negroes should be kept in these slave-holding states. So they passed a law by which any agency that tried to persuade a Negro to leave one of these southern states, you see, was made impossible, unworkable, so that --.

Well, it's very inviting. You could all do this, Sir. The gentleman there, in the background. If you have to make such -- gymnastics, please leave the room.

The -- in this very moment, when the South looked at the Negroes as a procession--not to dim- -- be diminished, but to increase--the whole situation changed. There's a very interesting book written in 1926 by a South Carolinian, Mr. Theodore {Gervais}. And the book is unfortunately unknown, and very many -- more spectacular books are bandied around. Theodore {Gervais}, printed in Raleigh, I think, North Carolina--I'm not sure. No, in Charlotte. It -- what is in North Carolina? It's not Charleston. Some other place than Charleston. Well, you can find it. Theodore {Gervais} is the man. He's obviously is a newspaperman who cannot write book -- a book; I mean, the book is poorly composed. And that may have prevented its great success. But his whole point is that the prevention of the migration of the Negro only became a fact in 1830. And so the cloistering, the -- the -- the concentration of the -- you see, of the -- identifying the South with the Negro, you see, made any solution later then impossible.

The first rebellion of the Negro, of some impact, the Nat Turner rebellion, occurred in 1831, in Virginia. And since 60 white people, I think, left -- lost their lives in this upheaval, tremendous terror spread of course in the South. And panic is the worst adviser, of course, for any solution. This is contemporary with Calhoun's decla- -- you see, law, in -- passed in the South, that in -- in -- in his state, that you could not have an agency that -- like -- as in Europe, you see, would provide advice and transportation for the -- the one who wanted to leave the state.

{Gervais} then goes on to prove that even the building of the railroads did not consider this necessity, you see, of opening avenues from the South towards the West, but only considered the South as a closed region.

I won't go into the details, but my attention had been drawn to this fact long before I read {Gervais'} book, and I tried to collect evidence myself, that the situation in the South is quite different before 18- -- let us say, -28, '29--the days of Haynes -- Webster's Reply to Hayne, you see, which you have studied after all a little bit--and afterwards.

Once you begin to consider this, you see that any such question of masses, that have not reached their final status of individuality, personality, civic rights, depends absolutely on the expectations we connect with their present-day condition. If you have a child, that is mi- -- a minor, you are patient, because you know that in a normal course of events, at 21, you get the key of the house. And therefore, patient or impatient, it is not intolerable to be kept back, and to be under -- under custody and to be under orders, because your status as of now is related to an expected future.

Hence, I feel entitled to say: in history, expectation is half of the event, half of the historical experience. The doctor who goes up in the air at 670 miles' speed, you see, since he expects to reap great benefit for humanity from it, you see, is not panicky, you see. If you would have put up -- any man there meaninglessly, you see, into such a vehicle in space, he would ha- -- call it torture. You see, you would say that you abuse him, because there is no prospective -- perspective and no -- no expectation.

And so half of life of -- real people live is not what happens today -- but the light in which I interpret what happens to me today. Now after 1830, the interpretation of the Negro existence in the South changed. Up to 1828 or '30--I mean, it's very doubtful which year you want to choose--the Negroes and the white men in the South had still the common expectation that the question was solved, that it would dissolve, that the number of emancipated slaves would increase constantly, that they would disperse, that the slave trade would cease and would plug the hole, so that there could not be a great, you see, increase from the outside. And therefore, I think that's the last moment in the history of the South--and that's its tragedy--the white and blacks still had a parallel, or even identical, expectation of the future.

What I, as an onlooker, and as I say, a very little experienced man in this whole field, cannot understand is that the white man in -- the governors of the southern states, never speak in the name of their black subjects. That's to me intolerable. They always speak against them, and na- -- never out of their own mind. That's not government. That's tyranny. I've never heard any governor, even -- not even Senator {Sparkman}--and such reasonable people--speak so that I feel that they speak as their black -- the people they represent in the South and who happen to be black, would like them to speak. That's not government, you

see; that's certainly not democracy.

And this has ceased to be possible in 1830. And it was not impossible before, because there were certain common expectations of how the color question could be solved so that everybody, you see, could accept it. There was no, at that time, certainly not the slightest -- idea in the South, that this was eternal. Mr. Calhoun then made his strange moves and speeches. And he was, you see, a poor white who married a cousin who was rich -- a rich white. And of course the poor white are, as you know, always worse than the rich white in the South, because if you throw yourself into a -- into your wife's interests, you are much more energetic than you -- when you follow your own interests. And most people marry ideas in the similar way, you see, that they --.

I -- I knew a gentleman of the -- who married into the Adams family in Boston, you know, the great--no, the -- yes, the Adams family, the great family of the presidents, you see. And I won't give his name -- because I must make him ridiculous, you see. He was of course the son-in-law. He knew all of -- about the pedigree of the Adams, and about their merits. And he was the only man, when we visited there, who would boast, because he was only the son-in-law, so he had every reason to cover up his deficiency by completely marrying the cause of the Adams.

And this is of course the story of the Confederacy. If you take Jefferson Davis and all these people, partly they were not at all rich. You always read this as an explanation in the Civil War that some of these leading Southerners were not at all plutocrats, and were not at all slave-holders themselves, and were not interested materially. The story of the human spirit is quite different, I mean. We are much more passionate for the cause which we embrace, you see, than for the cause which is native with us. You find most people quite aloof about what has come to them, you see, by birth and so. They -- they can tower over this. But when you fall in love, then the man becomes dangerous, you see. Then he is blind by love. And then he'll defend through thick and thin what he has adopted. The story of course of Hamilton, who never was an American, and so became, I mean, the most passionate American statesman.

That's not an indictment of the man who embraces such a cause, but it -- I only offer you this as -- to show you that the thing which is offered to you as an explanation of history, this so-called economic explanation, is ridiculous. You use usually -- any decent person, any I know, you see, doesn't rationalize his material interest, but he rationalizes his passions. And that's something very different, because we are passionate about the -- the people we have not -- we want to love and want to be loved by. And life is a little mo- -- more complicated. We are not automate- -- automats who, because we -- we need to be fed, then kiss the hand

that feeds us.

But this is -- this underestimation again of human freedom again is very typical of your situation, I mean, that a man like Charles Beard could explain away the aspirations of humanity in this country -- is a remarkable feat of -- of treating you as donkeys who -- which eat grass and cabbage.

The story of Calhoun is much more complicated. He was a frontier man, a poor white, but he married into this clan, you see, and so then of course this became the -- adored situation, you see, which he defended through thick and thin. But much more recklessly than a man born to the -- to the -- to the coat of arms. Calhoun made this very -- this strange remark, and really shocking remark, that the Negro in the South should exist as a peasant class. But that's of course an ambiguity. He assumed--Calhoun--that the Negro in the South was living like the peasant class in Ger- -- in Europe -- in Central and Eastern Europe, which shows his complete ignorance. Of course, a plantation worker was not at all like a peasant in Europe, who had his home, and his house, and his -- his own economy, and was not driven by a whip in -- to his work. He got paid -- he lived in a monetary economy. And it only shows you the illusions most Americans to this day, by the way, have about Europe. I had to read a paper that America went to war against German absolutism. Now, I can sh- -- only tell you that the emperor of Germany never had any of the powers of the president of the United States. There is no such thing as German absolutism. It has never existed.

But that's one of these cheap slogans; the farrer away a country is, the more you can embrace it with one slogan. And about China, it's of course even worse today, or Russia, than it was -- is in this paper with Germany.

Now in the same way, Mr. Calhoun said, we need a peasant class. The -- the black man is the peasant class. So you see by this ambiguous term, he wiped away the accusation of slavery, "peasant" hadn't the bad odor, you see, of "slave," you see. He didn't go into any comparison with the --. And he overlooked the -- the factory aspect of the plantation, where hundreds of people, you see, worked together, because the peasant class isolates, of course, the individual worker, you see, and the individual family. And the plantation doesn't.

Well, so much today.