Englishmen, Frenchmen, Spaniards: An Essay in Comparative Psychology

Englishmen, Frenchmen, Spaniards: An Essay in Comparative Psychology

Englishmen, Frenchmen, Spaniards: An Essay in Comparative Psychology

Englishmen, Frenchmen, Spaniards: An Essay in Comparative Psychology

Excerpt

This essay was planned and carried out while the author was engaged in international work as Director of the Disarmament Section of the League of Nations. While fulfilling his official duties the author was led to realize the importance of the psychological factor in politics. Since politics is the art of organizing men and things, it may be understood in two main ways, according to whether stress is laid on the personal or on the real element. The first may be defined as the politics of people, the second as the politics of things.

Far be it from me to suggest that the study of things should be neglected. Yet its importance should not make us forget that ultimately the solution of political problems depends on the human element. It is in men that we shall find the true resistance; it is in men that we shall find the power to overcome it. Men, and not things, are the soul of politics, and if things must be studied in order to show the way out of political labyrinths, men must be studied in order to move actually out of them.

Now, in national politics, the primary factor is individual psychology, and the actual elements with which the statesman must deal are the psychologies of class, occupation, and region. He must endeavour to play on the several sub-characters which he finds in the several categories of his countrymen in order to bring them to a state of happy co-operation and mutual trust. In international psychology, by far the most important factor is national character.

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