Fundamentals of Social Psychology

Chapter 40: Leadership and World Progress

Emory S. Bogardus

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LEADERS have given their lives to local, state, and national progress, but few have concentrated on world progress. Of these few, a large percentage, such as Alexander, Julius Caesar, Napoleon, Wilhelm II, have dreamed of world progress in terms of personal control. On the other hand, a small percentage, chiefly religious leaders and notably the Founder of Christianity, have sought world progress without desiring personal gain ; they have made the Great Sacrifice. Their support has been and still is wholly inadequate. World-minded leaders need world-minded followers; both are essential to world progress.

Intersocial stimulation and response on a world basis is a logical phase of social evolution. The expanding scope of intersocial stimulation is evidenced by the historical succession of horde, tribe, tribal confederacy, city-state, feudal state, monarchical state, and democratic nation-state. The next step will be perhaps a world leadership and a world community loyalty which will maintain and enrich national loyalties, but, more important, will give a whole new emphasis to social evolution. A small but increasing number of persons are attaining a scale of world attitudes. Although the existing world organizations are nearly all voluntary, with little power of enforcing rules in a world-wide way; and although they are functioning largely as social units in their own behalf rather than in specific support of world community, they are nevertheless manned by leaders who are creating a world opinion.

There are religious, business, scientific, and literary leaders who have leaped the boundaries of nations in their thinking, and have begun to establish world-wide contacts. Foreign travel, the universal language of the motion picture, international press associations are indirectly pushing forward the processes of world interstimulation. Improvements in rapid communication, including radio telegraphy and telephony are annihilating mental as well as geographic distances between population centers and bringing civilization closer together daily around a world conference table.

Studies of business cycles are revealing that "the forces which, in the long run, control the trend of prices, are world-wide rather than national

( 463) in scope."[1] Basic social conditions are the same the world over. Human wants are multiplied and met the world around by the observance of the same basic social psychological principles. Business, moreover, is pushing its activities to the ends of the earth ; labor, also, is establishing "internationales."

The essential unity of human minds everywhere has been recognized.[2] The social patterns of life that are common to all peoples of the earth, testify again to world unity.[3] "It is because the same relations in communication, thought, and tools everywhere prevail that the cultures of the world have the same form and manifest the same processes. This is what is meant by the universal pattern."[4] The unity of mental processes among all peoples, and the diffusion theory of the spread of culture forecast the day when the world will have one culture and one civilization, not monotonous but variant in expressions.

Grotius and his successors who have developed international law have had a world vision. The Hague Tribunal, although helpless in a real international crisis, has been a step toward world community. The members of the League to Enforce Peace, although curiously stressing the idea of enforcing peace had a world ideal in mind. Those who established and who have maintained the League of Nations are advocates of world progress. President Harding through the Washington Conference on Limitation of Armaments, which was based on the dubious principle that independent nations should come to agreements on world matters without giving up even a small degree of sovereignty to a world organization, may be credited with promoting the growth of a world opinion, a world conscience, and an open world diplomacy.

At best, however, the efforts of all the leaders of international law and of world peace are likely to break down because of the absence of an adequate coercive world opinion to compel a self-centered nation to obey. Moreover, the absence of a tangible world concept in the minds of national leaders prevents them from judging their official acts in the light of world needs, and thus prompts them, as the German people were led, to postulate false national values.

Before any leaders with wholesome world attitudes can succeed in establishing a practical League or Association of Nations, the majority of the people in the leading nations will need to learn the meaning of the concept of the world as a social group, to think in world terms, and for

( 464) a period of time long enough to enable such attitudes to become habitually established. They will need to learn to judge the acts of their respective nations in terms of world welfare, but this they cannot do until local, provincial, and national thinking is supplemented by world thinking. There is an abundance of local minds, but only a few world minds capable of grasping the details of world problems in their full significance. World minds are the natural results of thinking about world problems.

Despite the progress that is being made, the people of the different leading nations have not sensed the meaning of world community. There are leaders and advocates of Western civilization and of Eastern civilization ; the differences between the two civilizations, not the likenesses, are receiving the attention of hectic and spectacular movements on both sides of the Pacific. The ordinary leaders and members of the Western social order are widely proclaiming the superiority of Western civilization. They fail to study, either at all or with unprejudiced minds, the worthy points of Eastern development ; they see chiefly its defects. They even do not feel humble because of the weaknesses of Western life. Likewise, many of the leaders of Eastern life are silently and politely feeling a sense of pity for Western chauvinists. Rabindranath Tagore freely expresses himself in terms of scorn for the greed of Western society; while another leader, Gandhi, openly repudiates many Western fundamentals.

Leaders are needed to develop the best traits of Western civilization, and of Eastern society; they are also needed to synthesize these best traits of Western and Eastern cultures, and other leaders to educate the peoples of the whole world in the practice of world values.

A worthy trail in the analysis of the best traits of Occidental civilization has been blazed by Charles A. Ellwood.[5] Following his pioneer work we may say that the social values in Occidentalism are of two classes, those derived from ancient life and those from modern (nineteenth and twentieth century) times. The two divisions contain four and three sets of factors respectively. (1) A set of ethical and religious values was derived from the Hebrews and early Christians. In the former the major concept is justice; and in the latter, love. (2) A number of philosophical and esthetic values was contributed by the Greeks. (3) A set of administrative and legal values, stressing the rights of property, originated with the Romans. (4) A set of personal liberty values was developed by the early Teutons and given concrete modern expression under the laissez faire doctrine of the nineteenth century in Western Europe and the United States. Within recent decades three additional

( 465) values have been produced by Occidentalism, namely, (5) scientific methods, (6) business and industrial techniques, and (7) as an antidote to economic extremes, humanitarian values.

For purposes of building a new synthetic set of world values, the following analysis of Orientalism may be suggested. Orientalism is known (I) for its self-sacrifice values, which makes Occidentalism seem to the Oriental synonymous with organized selfishness. (2) There is the contemplativeness of Orientalism culminating in metaphysics. (3) In the East there is custom veneration, for parents, for established ways, for the naturally and socially stable phases of life, and for law and order. (4) There is a set of human courtesy and appreciative values, crystallizing in conventional standards. (5) Orientalism is esthetic and mystically, not rationalistically, philosophic. (6) Orientalism is noted for its sense of social solidarity, which produces a strong sentiment of local and social obligation. The social group and its standards are the major concepts and the individual, the minor. In the East the family group is the unit, as compared with the individual in the West. (7) The Oriental lives in generalizations rather than in particularizations—a principle which is fundamental to the Oriental's other traits.

When the positive elements in Western and Eastern civilizations are brought together, certain conflicts are evident. For example :

The rational versus the mystically philosophic.
Particularization versus generalization.
The individual over against the family unit.
Horizontal love versus vertical love.
Facts versus concepts.
Individualism versus solidarity.
Personality versus impersonality.
Liberty versus formality.
Action versus contemplation.
Finding versus losing.
Dominating versus appreciating.
Acquiring versus understanding.
The physical versus the psychical.
Anxiety versus tranquillity.
The means of life versus the sake of living.

These contrasts, some of which have been analyzed by scholars such as Inazo Nitobe and K. S. Inui, upon reflection provide bases for building a world community that will be superior to either Eastern or Western civilization. Many are complements rather than opposites, which may be fitted together into bigger and broader concepts than have yet been thought out.

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Some of these apparent contrasts are but the opposite phases of the same spiritual phenomena. The differences are superficial in character. Beneath the contrasts is a genuine unity. Many represent simply differences in degree. For example : the rationalist is also a mystic, but less mystical than the true mystic. The latter is also a rationalist, but less of a rationalist than the true rationalist. He who particularizes also generalizes, but less so than does the true generalizationist; the latter in turn also particularizes but to a lesser degree than does the thorough-going particularist. Thus we might continue throughout the list of contrasts. After all, both Occidentalism and Orientalism are the products of a universal group life in which human beings are born, reared, and matured. In fundamentals there is an amazing similarity. The color of skin, the slant of the eye, and the shape of the shin bone may vary; social heritages have become widely different: but inherited predispositions and processes of developing attitudes are similar.

The laws of human nature, whether of the East or West, are evidently of the same pattern as the laws of physical nature and the universe. In these realms we find harmony built out of so-called opposites. The' centrifugal and centripetal forces operate to produce a universe, and the laws of heredity and of variation function together in producing standardized species and races. If we hold to the theory that ours is a dualistic universe, we may say also that it is a universe. There is one harmony, and within this harmony there are two general sets of apparently contradictory elements, centripetal and centrifugal, heredity and variation, stability and change, evolution and revolution, individualism and solidarity, conflict and coöperation, hate and love. The advocates of a world progress that is based on the idea of world community, believe in a synergizing of Occidentalism and Orientalism ; this belief seems to be in harmony with the principles of the physical universe and of social logic alike.

Some of the actual contacts that are being made between Orientalism and Occidentalism have been unfortunate. Commercial traders, such as opium and rum dealers from Western countries have often belied the best phases of Christianity and brought reproach upon constructive Western principles. The impact of Western industrialism and Western freethinking has frequently had disintegrating Eastern effects, producing a "common loss of equilibrium."[6] Western ideas of democracy are up-setting the force of Eastern traditionalism.

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Christian missionaries have been carrying Western ideas to Eastern peoples, but in recent years Eastern religious leaders have been reacting unfavorably. China has been asking for a chance to develop a Chinese Christianity rather than have an American interpretation forced on her. Buddhist leaders are adopting the American Sunday School idea and other western methods. Eastern nations are asking for autonomy in changing their social cultures even in its religious phases.

In Western countries, Orientalism has not exerted a wide influence, for Eastern visitors have come as students not as leaders pressing ideas and methods on Occidentalism.


It now remains to examine some of the values upon which world leaders are basing their hopes. 1.The world as a single community is becoming psychically one faster than racially one. If mankind had a common origin, he dispersed in various directions over the earth. In migrating, man encountered different environments, and became differentiated into races and cultures. The cultures are now being united.[7] The inventions in communication have brought the people of the world into close contact, and made possible the production of a world civilization. The common culture will perhaps always show marked variations, but its unity is apparently fundamental. Inasmuch as the different climatic regions of the earth will continue to function in producing dark and light-skinned races, and sunny and serious people, distinct races biologically will probably remain, although an increasing amount of racial admixture, intermarriage, and amalgamation may be expected to take place.

2. The world is being characterized by an expansion of the individual's sense of social and ethical responsibility. The concept of progress is probably marked by this phenomenon more than by any other. Moreover, it is only a puny conception of man's ethical possibilities which would deny the continued expansion of man's sense of social responsibility—to include mankind.

Individuals here and there are asserting a world sense of ethical responsibility. Some have died and others have suffered imprisonment rather than submit to narrow racial or religious, or national ideals.

3. Human civilization is slowly moving toward a world political institution superior in strength to the most powerful nations today, and

( 468) yet jealously guarding the needs of individual nations, both large and small. Such a world organization may be built out of the virtues of present-day nations; it probably will not abolish nations, but foster them as long as they work for the planetary good. It will undoubtedly do away with hypernationalism, provincialism, and chauvinism. It cannot function well unless it eliminates the balance of power theory, the secret treaty habit, and territorial aggrandizement schemes. It will also be necessary that chauvinistic national leaders be supplanted by world-minded national leaders, and that the populace be trained in world ideals as well as in nationalism.

4. Democratic world leaders alone are certain of permanent social esteem. Autocratic world leaders soon feel the stinging whip of public opinion. They are able to survive only as long as they appear in the cloak of sentimental and "patriotic" nationalists who are "defending" their country against subtle and dangerous enemies or else in the guise of being "of the people" and hence democratically-minded.

Moreover, history throws overwhelming doubt on the possibility of a world political structure being built out of autocratic principles without carrying in itself the elements of decay and self-destruction. Rulership from the top down exclusively, bears its own seeds of destruction in the prolonged power which it gives the few over the many. Through autocracy, even the education of the multitude can be subverted.

The evidence indicates that not autocracy but aristocracy will exist with democracy in world community. The tendency is toward a democratic aristocracy, an aristocracy that is being guided by the needs of the many, that is not wasting itself in extravagant living, that endeavors to stimulate all individuals to reach increasingly higher levels of social achievement, and thus create a democracy of social aristocrats, of superior men and women with superior social attitudes.

Industrial democracy is developing as a world value. Neither labor nor capital is entitled to full control. One has as its chief goal, capital; the other, wages ; both these ends are materialistic, and in conflict at times with democratic and spiritual values. According to present knowledge, an enduring world community will place service values in control, not only of labor and of capital, but also of all occupational and professional activities of man. Individuals in increasing numbers are striving with one another in rendering service. Profitism and speculation are being slowly supplanted by the service attitude. A creditable advance has already been made in putting the service standard in charge of several pro-

( 469) -fessions, such as the ministry, teaching, social work, the judiciary, medicine.

Unfortunately, however, the service attitude is being profaned ; people seek public esteem because they are rendering service ; the service attitude is coming to mean that "I will serve you, if you will serve me in return." Gamblers even operate under the banner of "rendering service"in the form of excitement to men who otherwise would be smothered in routine, machine-like tasks of daily life.

5. The world is becoming increasingly spiritual. The trend of evolution is unmistakably from the dominance of the physical forces to control by spiritual forces. The psychic factors in civilization have been gradually emerging into positions of control. For decades the need has been urgent for the establishment of a universal language, common to all mankind. A truly international university would further the evolution of world community. Clearly, leaders wholly filled by the dynamic of genuine Christian love are needed in order that the most spiritual world values may be realized in all lands.

A plan to secure "world team-work" has been suggested [8] whereby each of the nations annually train 2,000 leaders in politics, science, and internationalism; 1,000 to come from the home country and 200 from each of five other countries. In this way there can be an interchange of ideas and cooperative programs of world welfare developed. Leaders in world progress thus can be trained in all the more important countries.

A world leader, however, must devote most of his time to educating people up to the leader's levels. In a democracy there are few progressive leaders in public life because voters are not educated to the point of supporting progressive persons. "Voters have attitudes and prejudices which incline them against the new ideas of the progressive leader."[9]

Humanitarianism is not enough, for it has no goal outside itself, and is apt to become self-centered and professional. Christ's principle of love is humanitarian, but more—its ultimate goal is located outside and beyond humanity. Thus it becomes a dynamic force for perpetually putting new and sacrificial living into world loyalties. Science has invented such powerful engines of human destruction that the people of the world are not safe until they learn to appreciate the meaning of the concept of the world as a group, and on the basis of good will to develop habits of appropriate behavior. Interdependence of groups the world

( 470) around has come, and has "caught the world with a group-sufficiency philosophy." An intergroup and world philosophy is needed. To this end it makes all the difference in the world whether leaders are habitually socialized or not, whether they regularly put the welfare of their followers ahead of personal gain, whether they are understandingly guided by the principles of world welfare and progress. In its last analysis intersocial stimulation produces world conscious men and women.


x. In the past many would-be world leaders have courted self-glory and power.

2. A few world leaders have sought a better world order without accepting personal reward.

3. World interstimulation and response is a logical phase of social evolution.

4. The personal attainment of world attitudes waits on education and of the changing of traditions.

5. The essential unity of human minds presages a world unity of social culture and organization.

6. The successful establishment of a League or Association of Nations requires world thinking on the part of the majority of people in the leading countries of the world.

7. World progress hinges upon the appearance of leaders who can synthesize the best social values in both Eastern and Western civilizations.

8. The contradictions shown by a comparison of Orientalism and Occidentalism are chiefly complements, differences in degree, or else superficial.

9. The working out of "world values" is one of the next great sociopsychological tasks.

10. The world is being characterized by an expansion of the individual's sense of social responsibility.


1. What is meant by "the essential unity of human minds?"

2. Explain "world community."

3. What are the leading traits of Western civilization?

4. Of Eastern civilization?

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5, Compare Eastern and Western ideas concerning the family?

6. Illustrate : The Oriental generalizes and the Occidental particularizes.

7. How are some of the differences between Orientalism and Occidentalism chiefly differences in degree?

8. What is meant by "world values ?"

9. Distinguish between autocracy, aristocracy, and democracy.

10. Why is humanitariansm not sufficient to guarantee world progress?


1. What is meant by world progress?

2. Name five leaders of world thought at the present time.

3. Why are there so few leaders of world thought?

4. Why has the Hague Tribunal not been more effective?

5. In what ways is Eastern civilization superior to Western?

6. How is Occidentalism superior to Orientalism?

7. How do "chauvinistic national leaders" hinder world progress?

8. What do you think is the best procedure to follow in order to guarantee world peace and progress?


Anesaki, M., The Religious and Social Problems of the Orient (Macmillan, 1923).

Cooley, C. H., Social Organization (Scribners, 1909), Ch. XXXVI.
————, Social Process (Scribners, 1918), Ch. XXIII.

Ellwood, C. H., The Social Problem (Macmillan, 1919).

Follett, M. P., The New State (Longmans, Green: 1920), Ch. XXXVI.

Giddings, F. H., Democracy and Empire (Macmillan, 1900), Ch. XIX.
————, Studies in the Theory of Human Society (Macmillan, 1922), Chs. IV, XIV.

Pillsbury, W. B., Psychology of Nationality and Internationalism (Appleton, 1919), Ch. X


  1. R. T. Ely, Outlines of Economics (Macmillan, 1923), p. 320.
  2. Franz Boas, The Mind of Primitive Man (Macmillan, 1911, Ch. IV.
  3. Clark Wissler, Man and Culture (Crowell, 1923), Ch. V.
  4. Ibid., p. 97.
  5. The Social Problem (Macmillan, 1919), Ch. II.
  6. Cf. M. Anasaki, The Religious and Social Problems of the Orient (Macmillan, 1923), Chs. III and IV.
  7. If the reader holds to a polygenic origin of mankind, the point still obtains that there is a general trend toward cultural unity.
  8. Survey, Sept. 15, 1923.
  9. J. M. Williams, Principles of Social Psychology (Knopf, 1924), p. 215.

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