Mind Self and Society
Section 39 Conflict and Integration
I have been emphasizing the continued integration of the social process, and the psychology of the self which underlies and makes possible this process. A word now as to the factors of conflict and disintegration. In the baseball game there are competing individuals who want to get into the limelight, but this can only be attained by playing the game. Those conditions do make a certain sort of action necessary, but inside of them there can be all sorts of jealously competing individuals who may wreck the team. There seems to be abundant opportunity for disorganization in the organization essential to the team. This is so to a much larger degree in the economic process. There has to be distribution, markets, mediums of exchange; but within that field all kinds of competition and disorganizations are possible, since there is an "I" as well as a "me " in every case.
Historical conflicts start, as a rule, with a community which is socially pretty highly organized. Such conflicts have to arise between different groups where there is an attitude of hostility to others involved. But even here a wider social organization is usually the result; there is, for instance, an appearance of the tribe over against the clan. It is a larger, vaguer organization, but still it is there. This is the sort of situation we have at the present time; over against the potential hostility of nations to each other, they recognize themselves as forming some sort of community, as in the League of Nations.
The fundamental socio-physiological impulses or behavior tendencies which arc common to all human individuals, which lead those individuals collectively to enter or form themselves into organized societies or social communities, and which constitute the ultimate basis of those societies or social communities, fall, from the social point of 'View, into two main classes: those which lead to social cooperation, and those which lead to
(304) social antagonism among individuals; those which give rise to friendly attitudes and relations, and those which give rise to hostile attitudes and relations, among the human individuals implicated in the social situations. We have used the term "social" in its broadest and strictest sense; but in that quite common narrower sense, in which it bears an ethical connotation, only the fundamental physiological human impulses or behavior tendencies 'of the former class (those which are friendly, or which make for friendliness and cooperation among the individuals motivated by them) are "social" or lead to "social" conduct; whereas those impulses or behavior tendencies of the latter class (those which are hostile, or which make for hostility and antagonism among the individuals motivated by them) are "antisocial" or lead to "anti-social" conduct. Now it is true that the latter class of fundamental impulses or behavior tendencies in human beings are "anti-social" in so far as they would, by themselves, be destructive of all human social organization, or could not, alone, constitute the basis of any organized human society; yet in the broadest and strictest non-ethical sense they are obviously no less social than are the former class of such impulses or behavior tendencies. They are equally common to, or universal among, all human individuals, and, if anything, are more easily and immediately aroused by the appropriate social stimuli; and as combined or fused with, and in a sense controlled by, the former impulses or behavior tendencies, they are just as basic to all human social organization as are the former, and play a hardly less necessary and significant part in that social organization itself and in the determination of its general character. Consider, for example, from among these "hostile" human impulses or attitudes, the functioning or expression or operation of those of self-protection and self-preservation in the organization and organized activities of any given human society or social community, let us say, of a modern state or nation. Human individuals realize or become aware of themselves as such, almost more easily and readily in terms of the social attitudes connected or associated with these two "hostile" im-
(305) -pulses (or in terms of these two impulses as expressed in these attitudes) than they do in terms of any other social attitudes or behavior tendencies as expressed by those attitudes. Within the social organization of a state or nation the "anti-social" effects of these two impulses are curbed and kept under control by the legal system which is one aspect of that organization; these two impulses are made to constitute the fundamental principles in terms of which the economic system, which is another aspect of that organization, operates; as combined and fused with, and organized by means of the "friendly" human impulses-the impulses leading to social cooperation among the individuals involved in that organization-they are prevented from giving rise to the friction and enmity among those individuals which would otherwise be their natural consequence, and which would be fatally detrimental to the existence and well-being of that organization; and having thus been made to enter as integral elements into the foundations of that organization, they are utilized by that organization as fundamental impulsive forces in its own further development, or they serve as a basis for social progress within its relational framework. Ordinarily, their most obvious and concrete expression or manifestation in that organization lies in the attitudes of rivalry and competition which they generate inside the state or nation as a whole, among different socially functional subgroups of individuals-subgroups determined (and especially economically determined) by that organization; and these attitudes serve definite social ends or purposes presupposed by that organization, and constitute the motives of functionally necessary social activities within that organization. But self-protective and self-preservational human impulses also express or manifest themselves indirectly in that organization, by giving rise through their association in that organization with the "friendly" human impulses, to one of the primary constitutive ideals or principles or motives of that organization-namely, the affording of social protection, and the lending of social assistance, to the individual by the state in the conduct of his life; and by enhancing the efficacy,
(306) for the purposes of that organization, of the "friendly" human impulses with a sense or realization of the possibility and desirability of such organized social protection and assistance to the individual. Moreover, in any special circumstances in which the state or nation is, as a whole, confronted by some danger common to all its individual members, they become fused with the "friendly" human impulses in those individuals, in such a way as to strengthen and intensify in those individuals the sense of organized social union and cooperative social interrelationship among them in terms of the state; in such circumstances, so far from constituting forces of disintegration or destruction within the social organization of the state or nation, they become, indirectly, the principles of increased social unity, coherence, and coordination within that organization. In time of war, for example, the self-protective impulse in all the individual members of the state is unitedly directed against their common enemy and ceases, for the time being, to be directed among themselves; the attitudes of rivalry and competition which that impulse ordinarily generates between the different smaller, socially functional groups of those individuals within the state are temporarily broken down; the usual social barriers between these groups are likewise removed; and the state presents a united front to the given common danger, or is fused into a single unity in terms of the common end shared by, or reflected in, the respective consciousnesses of all its individual members. It is upon these war-time expressions of the self-protective impulse in all the individual members of the state or nation that the general efficacy of national appeals to patriotism is chiefly based.
Further, in those social situations in which the individual self feels dependent for his continuation or continued existence upon the rest of the members of the given social group to which he belongs, it is true that no feeling of superiority on his part toward those other members of that group is necessary to his continuation or continued existence. But in those social situations in which he cannot, for the time being, integrate his social
(307) relations with other individual selves into a common, unitary pattern (i.e., into the behavior pattern of the organized society or social community to which he belongs, the social behavior pattern that he reflects in his self-structure and that constitutes this structure), there ensues, temporarily (i.e., until he can so integrate his social relations with other individual selves), an attitude of hostility, of "latent opposition," on his part toward the organized society or social community of which he is a member; and during that time the given individual self must "call in" or rely upon the feeling of superiority toward that society or social community, or toward its other individual members, in order to buoy himself up and "keep himself going" as such. We always present ourselves to ourselves in the most favorable light possible; but since we all have the job of keeping ourselves going, it is quite necessary that if we are to keep ourselves going we should thus present ourselves to ourselves.
A highly developed and organized human society is one in which the individual members are interrelated in a multiplicity of different intricate and complicated ways whereby they all share a number of common social interests,-interests in, or for the betterment of, the society-and yet, on the other hand, are more or less in conflict relative to numerous other interests which they possess only individually, or else share with one another only in small and limited groups. Conflicts among individuals in a highly developed and organized human society are not mere conflicts among their respective primitive impulses but are conflicts among their respective selves or personalities, each with its definite social structure-highly complex and organized and unified-and each with a number of different social facets or aspects, a number of different sets of social attitudes constituting it. Thus, within such a society, conflicts arise between different aspects or phases of the same individual self (conflicts leading to cases of split personality when they are extreme or violent enough to be psychopathological), as well as between different individual selves. And both these types of in-
(308) -dividual conflict are settled or terminated by reconstructions of the particular social situations, and modifications of the given framework of social relationships, wherein they arise or occur in the general human social life-process -- these reconstructions and modifications being performed, as we have said, by the minds of the individuals in whose experience or between whose selves these conflicts take place.
Mind, as constructive or reflective or problem-solving thinking, is the socially acquired means or mechanism or apparatus whereby the human individual solves the various problems of environmental adjustment which arise to confront him in the course of his experience, and which prevent his conduct from proceeding harmoniously on its way, until they have thus been dealt with. And mind or thinking is also-as possessed by the individual members of human society-the means or mechanism or apparatus whereby social reconstruction is effected or accomplished by these individuals. For it is their possession of minds or powers of thinking which enables human individuals to turn back critically, as it were, upon the organized social structure of the society to which they belong (and from their relations to which their minds are in the first instance derived), and to reorganize or reconstruct or modify that social structure to a greater or less degree, as the exigencies of social evolution from time to time require. Any such social reconstruction, if it is to be at all far-reaching, presupposes a basis of common social interests shared by all the individual members of the given human society in which that reconstruction occurs; shared, that is, by all the individuals whose minds must participate in, or whose minds bring about, that reconstruction. And the way in which any' such social reconstruction is actually effected by the minds of the individuals involved is by a more or less abstract intellectual extension of the boundaries of the given society to which these individuals all belong, and which is undergoing the reconstruction-an extension resulting in a larger social whole in terms of which the social conflicts that necessitate the reconstruction of the given society are harmonized or reconciled, and
(309) by reference to which, accordingly, these conflicts can be solved or eliminated.
The changes that we make in the social order in which we are implicated necessarily involve our also making changes in ourselves. The social conflicts among the individual members of a given organized human society, which, for their removal, necessitate conscious or intelligent reconstructions and modifications of that society by those individuals, also and equally necessitate such reconstructions or modifications by those individuals of their own selves or personalities. Thus the relations between social reconstruction and self or personality reconstruction are reciprocal and internal or organic; social reconstruction by the individual members of any organized human society entails self or personality reconstruction in some degree or other by each of these individuals, and vice versa, for, since their selves or personalities are constituted by their organized social relations to one another, they cannot reconstruct those selves or personalities without also reconstructing, to some extent, the given social order, which is, of course, likewise constituted by their organized social relations to one another. In both types of reconstruction the same fundamental material of organized social relations among human individuals is involved, and is simply treated in different ways, or from different angles or points of view, in the two cases, respectively; or in short, social reconstruction and self or personality reconstruction are the two sides of a single process-the process of human social evolution. Human social progress involves the use by human individuals of their socially derived mechanism of self-consciousness, both in the effecting of such progressive social changes, and also in the development
(310) of their individual selves or personalities in such a way as adaptively to keep pace with such social reconstruction.
Ultimately and fundamentally societies develop in complexity of organization only by means of the progressive achievement of greater and greater degrees of functional, behavioristic differentiation among the individuals who constitute them; these functional, behavioristic differentiations among the individual members implying or presupposing initial oppositions among them of individual needs and ends, oppositions which in terms of social organization, however, are or have been transformed into these differentiations or into mere specializations of socially functional individual behavior.
The human social ideal-the ideal or ultimate goal of human social progress-is the attainment of a universal human society in which all human individuals would possess a perfected social intelligence, such that all social meanings would each be similarly reflected in their respective individual consciousnesses such that the meanings of any one individual's acts or gestures (as realized by him and expressed in the structure of his self, through his ability to take the social attitudes of other individuals toward himself and toward their common social ends or purposes) would be the same for any other individual whatever who responded to them.
The interlocking interdependence of human individuals upon one another within the given organized social life-process in which they are all involved is becoming more and more intricate and closely knit and highly organized as human social evolution proceeds on its course. The wide difference, for example, between the feudal civilization of medieval times, with its relatively loose and disintegrated social organization, and the national civilization of modern times, with its relatively tight and integrated social organization (together with its trend of development toward some form of international civilization), exhibits the constant evolution of human social organization in the direction of greater and greater relational unity and complexity, more and more closely knit interlocking and inte-
(311) -grated unifying of all the social relations of interdependence which constitute it and which hold among the individuals involved in it.