Mastery

Philosophy helps us interpret history. Hopefully, the work here, and others like it, will help us to interpret history in a more constructive light. However, the theory of capitalism and other variations on Social Darwinism established the expectation that destructive competition was necessary and fundamental. This catered to the masculine tendency for aggression.

In this context, the organized exploration of human potential begun in the late 1800's suffered a severe shock from the nationalism of the first half of the 1900's. Aggressive competition achieved its ultimate expression in two socially impotent and horrifically destructive world wars.

The response of the spiritually sophisticated was to withdraw and suppress knowledge. Their interpretation of events might have been along these lines: The overthrow of barriers to communication and the development of national systems of education facilitated the spread of nationalism - an intuitive sense of cultural identity on a scale before not known. The tides of expanding identity clashed at national borders. Moderate leaders failed to manage the resulting public passions, which were instead manipulated by immature leaders to fan the flames of violence. As the Jewish populations of Europe discovered, demonstrations of good will were impotent in the face of this fury. Millions were slaughtered.

As a result, a conscious decision was made among the social elites to suppress awareness of the nature of personality until methods were developed that ensured graceful integration.

We must address now the central question: Is such integration possible, or is violence fundamental?