Important questions of moral philosophy have been raised in course of the discussion. They have been subjects of endless controversy among academicians and professional philosophers. No useful purpose will be served by our getting involved in the sterile controversy. The controversy was sterile because problems of axiology were discussed in abstraction. The crisis of our time is indeed a moral crisis, but I would not start from that assumption. I would recommend a pragmatic approach to the problem of understanding the crisis of our time. Indeed, we should not start with the assumption that there is a crisis. Our point of departure should be a critical review of the contemporary world situation, which has compelled us to think as we have been doing for the last couple of years. Although we are discussing problems which until now were left to the tender mercies of academicians, they confronted us not as problems of pure thought but as realities of actual life. For us, they are not simply academic problems to be treated with pure logic in abstraction. We are discussing them to draw some very concrete conclusions. I do not feel at all inspired with the mission of offering a moral philosophy to the world. To build the airy structure of a moral philosophy is a waste of energy. Morality must be felt, and for that we do not need books and libraries. They may only confuse.
The civilized world has been confronted with these problems not since yesterday, but for a whole period - nearly of two generations, during which time they seem to have baffled human intelligence: they have defied solution on the basis of theories or ideas with which mankind has been proceeding until now. Experience drove us to the conclusion that human history has reached one of those recurring stages when man has to take stock of things, look back on his past, examine current ideas and cherished ideals critically in order to find out what is wrong or defective in them, so as to have brought him to a state of frustration and despair and hopelessness. And then, on the basis of a critical appreciation of the knowledge acquired in the intervening period, reject some of his old values or revise them in the light of his present knowledge, or to think out and evolve new ideas and ideals, entirely new ideologies, as guide and inspiration for the future. I came to this conclusion over twenty-five years ago. I began talking of Indian renaissance already in the early thirties. But at that time, I was far from looking at the problems as we do today.
For me, the problems were not abstract intellectual problems; they were problems of life to be solved empirically. I began as a modern believing man, believing in something supernatural, superhuman, but who at the same time felt that the old idea of God would no longer do, and that we must rationalize religion, conceive God scientifically. I was a nationalist. The experience of the nationalist movement made me doubtful about its possibilities. Marxism offered a promise; it appeared to indicate a more realistic and more effective approach to the problems which had puzzled the nationalist. The acceptance of Marxism as the philosophy of life implied breaking away from the old moorings of a rationalized religion.
But I have never been an orthodox Marxist. My attitude to Marxism was critical from the very beginning. That experience again, the attempt to solve the problems of life with the help of Marxism, brought me to the conclusion that communism also was not a cure-all. I reached the conclusion that until the intellectual, cultural, spiritual atmosphere of the country was changed, it was not possible to bring about a political and economic reconstruction of the country, such as would promote popular welfare, establish democratic freedom and social justice.
It was experience, gained in the various attempts at improving the lot of Indian humanity, which led me step by step to the realization of the fallacies and inadequacies of old beliefs, ideas, and ideals. The need for a new philosophy was not felt introspectively. It was not the result of my personal experience; it was deduced from a generalization of human experience of an entire period.
Notwithstanding the pragmatically proved errors and inadequacies of the Marxist political theories and social doctrines, I was confirmed in the conviction that materialism is the only possible philosophy. But conviction is based upon an intellectual judgment; it is not a dogmatic faith. Therefore, it did not prevent me from admitting the force of the recent challenges to materialism, particularly to its cosmology. It is also contended that materialism cannot have an ethics; that there is no logical relation between a philosophy of nature and a moral philosophy; that even if materialism could successfully meet the challenge to its cosmology, that did not qualify it to offer a logically deduced system of ethics; therefore, materialist philosophy could not indicate the way out of the crisis of our time, which is a moral crisis.
A characterization of the crisis will result from our critical review of the contemporary world situation. I shall not anticipate. Without anticipating, by offering a priori judgment, I may, however, express the opinion that a secular, rationalist system of ethics can be logically deduced from the mechanistic cosmology of materialism. I may further add that a moral philosophy which can do without a metaphysical and super-sensual sanction is the crying need of our time. If our discussion will not lead to this conclusion, I shall readily abandon it. Meanwhile, I assume it for the sake of arguing the case of materialism. If materialist philosophy is expected to yield an ethics such as will restore man's confidence in himself, it must be able to meet the challenge to its cosmology. It cannot stand, if its very foundation is blasted, and the mechanistic cosmology is the foundation of materialism.
The challenge to materialism as a cosmology is half a century old. It was delivered by the physicists who at the turn of the century discovered that the atom was not the ultimate unit of matter and on that evidence, hastily proclaimed the "dematerialization" of matter. People began to doubt the relevancy or correctness of nineteenth-century natural philosophy. Physics having revealed that the substratum of the world was not composed of "hard lumps of reality," philosophers imagined the imposing structure of materialism was crumbling. That was the beginning of the crisis of our time. It was a new flare-up in the age-long struggle between religion and science, between the religious mode of thought and the scientific mode of thought, between faith and reason, between mystic agnosticism and the empirically established belief in man's capacity to know. Being most probably the last lap of the life-and-death struggle, it has lasted long and has placed civilized humanity in a dilemma.
We are experiencing on a worldwide scale what happened two thousand years ago in our country. Buddhism was the scientific thought of its time. It flourished for a period of nearly a thousand years and pushed Vedic Hinduism from pillar to post. But finally religion triumphed, thanks to the absence of positive knowledge and general intellectual backwardness. The defeat of Buddhism was the greatest single misfortune experienced by India. She never recovered from the setback suffered in that remote period of history. The contemporary world is threatened with a similar danger. The scientific mode of thought, having driven religion from pillar to post, is meeting the final assault of the vanquished adversary. The sophisticated philosophies waging war against materialism with "scientific" weapons are all in the last analysis rationalized religion. Denying the possibility of man ever knowing anything, they preach a neo-mysticism and revive the teleological view of life, which is the expression of man's loss of faith in himself. That is the central feature of the crisis of our time. To come out of it, mankind must therefore have a philosophy which places man in the center of the universe, as the maker of his destiny, and celebrate the final triumph of science over religion.
They speak of a cultural crisis; if there is such a crisis, it is experienced only by sophisticated intellectuals; in reality, it is an intellectual crisis - a crisis of their intelligence. Otherwise, how can we explain the strange phenomenon of modern men, endowed with scientific knowledge, godless men, in search of soul, eager to enthrone a mathematical God in the place vacated by the old-fashioned God?
Sankaracharya's scholasticism, which belongs to the highest order of intellectual effort, succeeded in reestablishing the religious mode of thought, so very badly shaken by Buddhism. The scholastics of our time may also succeed in doing a similar mischief - promote a religious revival under the banner of the pseudoscientific cults of empiricism, positivism, realism, so on and so forth. A self-contained philosophy beginning with a mechanistic cosmology and ending with a secular, evolutionary ethic is the only guarantee against the danger - a philosophy which will give an integrated picture of human existence and explain human existence, including desire, emotion, instincts, intuitions, will, reason, without going outside the physical world, which is at least theoretically accessible to human comprehension.
But the crisis of our time is all-pervading, though it is not felt by the people at large as acutely as by the more sensitive and more alert few. Indeed, the victims of the crisis are not at all conscious of it. That makes it all the more difficult of solution. Therefore, to create a widespread consciousness of the crisis is the first thing to do. Whatever may be the cause of the crisis, it expresses itself in events of the daily experience of the common man and woman. They should be helped to learn the lesson of their own experience. A general consciousness of the crisis will thus be created pragmatically. Once that consciousness is created, the desire to understand its causes will spread.
Take, for instance, our own country. For hundreds of years, the mass of people has lived a life of misery. It was believed to be all due to the foreigners. Now the foreigners are gone. Is the condition any better? Is there any hope of amelioration? The people know that prices have gone up; they do not get enough to eat and clothe themselves. The peasants produce as much as ever, but food is not available at reasonable prices, and the peasants have to pay three times or four times for the articles they need. Cloth is produced as much as ever; yet there is scarcity and the prices soar higher and higher. This is a puzzling situation. Its anomaly can be easily brought home to the people at large, who at present are the dupes of demagogy. It can be easily shown, without maligning anybody, that the situation need not be as bad as all that, and that the hardships and privations experienced by the people can be considerably relieved. The people then will begin to ask why then it is so. Enquiry always yields knowledge and knowledge brings power, which in this case is self-confidence. The loss of faith in man's creativity is the cause of the crisis. That is the practical approach to the problem of the crisis of our time. If we begin from the other end, by raising controversial questions of axiology to be discussed in abstraction, we shall never come to grapple with the crisis in practice.
Turning to the world as a whole, one hears from all sides the talk of another war, while the crying need of the time is peace. Nobody wants war; yet war is on the offing. Every sensible man, who knows what modern war means, must be against it, not out of moral motives but out of sheer selfishness. War today is a double-edged sword; it is bound to ruin both the parties; there is as much chance of losing as of winning, and every victory will be a Pyrrhic victory. Therefore nobody wants war; yet war is on the order of the day. Who has placed it there? It seems to have become a matter of fate. Nobody wants war; everybody dreads the specter of another holocaust; yet all agree that it is inevitable. The helplessness of man and the hopelessness about his future have reached the limit. That is the core of the crisis.
Look at the situation from another side. There are plausible political theories; all talk of democracy; yet nowhere there is government of the people, by the people. There is a big discrepancy between the theoretical picture presented in the nineteenth century and the actual picture of today. Why is that so? It is because man's mind, man's intelligence has failed to take full advantage of the knowledge acquired in modern times and apply it to the solution of the problems of actual life. During the last fifty years, this failure has become more and more apparent, until the condition of man reached its present state of hopelessness and helplessness. Human ingenuity seems to be completely exhausted. It is not true that excellent theories have not been put into practice and hence the present pandemonium. That is only self-deception. We shall examine those theories. Meanwhile, this much can be said, that if those political theories and economic doctrines were capable of solving the problems of modern life, the world would not have come to its present impasse. Liberal, democratic, Marxist theories have all been practiced and all found wanting. Hence the crisis; hence the frustration, despair, and hopelessness. Fascism has been criticized and condemned. But how could it take the modern world by storm? Fascism only proved the failure of democracy such as it has been conceived and practiced until now.
The experience of contemporary history is a repudiation of classical, as well as revolutionary, social, political, and economic ideas. Everything is there in the world; it is possible to build up a better and freer society; yet things go from bad to worse. Only one conclusion can be deduced from this realistic analysis of the situation. Ideas entertained and ideals pursued until now must have been defective and illusory. They might have been good enough for other times and different conditions. Now they are antiquated. Failure and disappointment are bound to follow from attempts to solve the problems of the twentieth century with the ideas of the nineteenth or the eighteenth centuries. Man's ideas have not been brought up to the level of the material progress made until now. This lag between material progress and evolution of ideas is the cause of the crisis.
To the discerning observer and critical student, the contemporary world conditions present a dismal picture of decay and degradation; the perspective seems to be either of a ruinous war or a slow breakdown of the fabric of modem civilization, resulting in a relapse into medievalism. Is there no way out of the dilemma? Man's creative potentialities are unfolded today to a much greater degree; he knows much more; his ability to do things is much greater than ever before. The situation, therefore, should not be so desperate. It should be possible to avoid the danger. This conclusion sets us thinking. There is something which has been inhibiting man's creativeness, his urge to go forward, to break down intellectual and spiritual barriers to the expansion of the frontiers of freedom.
That brings us to the need of a new philosophy. But before we proceed to a discussion and exposition of the philosophy of New Humanism, the conclusion should be reinforced by a review of the experiences in particular departments of public life. We shall submit political and economic theories, classical as well as revolutionary, to a logical examination and also to the test of experience. Now I shall summarize the general discussion.
In the initial statement on the crisis of our time, three different theories of crisis are mentioned together with their respective suggestions to overcome it. Every one of them has proved either logically fallacious or pragmatically false. All of them claim to approach the problems of modem life from the rationalist and scientific point of view. Yet the doctrine that the root of the crisis is man's loss of faith is common to all the three - all three can be reduced to a common denominator - a teleological view of life, which is rationalized and mystified, more or less. The common theme is: Man, as man, is of no importance in the scheme of life and history. Faith in something mystic logically follows as the moorings of life. Leave that mooring and man must drift aimlessly and helplessly on the stormy sea of life. That is how the condition of the contemporary world is described and explained.
Sorokin's theory of culture cycles is dogmatic. Why cast human history in that pattern? Why should it move in predetermined cycles? The belief in a First Cause or a Prime Mover obviously lurks behind the "rationalist and scientific" theory. The religious essence of the theory is also evident in its very structure. Idealist culture is the highest form of culture, and there is no ambiguity in Sorokin's conception of idealist and ideational cultures. Both the "spiritualist," while "sensate" culture is materialist. Materialism may be depicted as the devil of the drama, but determinism cannot be easily disposed of. The teleological view is also deterministic. The movement of human history in the vicious circle of recurring culture cycles is a determined process. Indeed worse, it is predetermined because the determining factor is not inherent in the process; it is a deus ex machina. Sorokin is frankly an advocate of religious revivalism; he pleads for the restoration of faith. Therefore, his doctrine is not criticized simply by being characterized as religious. Its self-contradictoriness must be exposed. That also is evident. How does the evil of a sensate culture follow the good of the ideational culture? If the ideal of human life is reached in the ideational, that is to say, devotional culture, why does man fall from Grace again? No, the dogmatic doctrine of culture cycles makes no meaning. Man moved away from the security of faith because that was security of spiritual slavery. He must sail the uncharted sea of life until he discovers real security in the faith in himself. Sorokin advises him to return to the security of faith in a Providence.
Maritain and Berdyaev do not say essentially anything different. Man wanders away from his moorings of faith, experiences fear, and comes back. The common cry of all is: back to the religious mode of thought. Their new religious philosophy is differentiated from orthodox revivalism by a discriminating association with rationalism and scientific knowledge. But yet another attempt to reconcile faith with reason, theism or mysticism with humanism, medievalism with modernism is bound to be futile. The plea for a restoration of moral values deserves endorsement, but the morality of the modern man requires no transcendental sanction.
The Marxian theory is also teleological; history is created by the operation of the productive forces; man has nothing to do with it; he must recognize necessity and then he is free. Once you realize that you cannot be free, that you are bound hand and foot to some mysterious forces of production, then you are free! The Marxist conception of freedom means slavery for the individual, and a society composed of voluntary slaves can never be free, except in imagination or propaganda literature. As a matter of fact, by the conversion to the modern faith of Marxism, man willingly surrenders his right to freedom and cultivates a cynical attitude to morality. The exposure of the contradiction between the theories and practice of the optimistic nineteenth century helped the spread of Marxism, and the spread of this jesuitic cult has aggravated the crisis of our time. It has discredited materialism as antagonistic to moral behavior and ethical values and has thus played into the hands of the prophets of a religious revivalism.
The breakdown of the old social and political systems and the pragmatic discredit of their theoretical sanctions brought about the crisis of our time; the editors, inadequacies, and failure (in the case of Marxism) of the ideologies either of reform or of revolution created an atmosphere of frustration, despair, and disgust which aggravated the crisis. Civilized mankind is asked to choose between modern barbarism promising material well-being and security in a socially regimented and spiritually enslaved life, or a return to mediaeval obscurantism in search of an illusory safety in the backwaters of faith. This conflict of ideologies underlies the process of political polarization, which may any day plunge the world headlong in a titanic clash of arms. A large number of modern men and women who would go neither way are frantically looking out for an escape from the dilemma. The danger is almost overwhelming; still there is some hope. Therefore, it is a crisis. The hope must become a confidence. Never in history has man's ingenuity been put to a greater test. Man will have the courage to decline the security of slavery, in one form or another, only by regaining faith in himself. The civilized world will survive the crisis of our time inspired by the philosophy of New Humanism.
When we wish to contribute to the development of the new philosophy, we do not claim any revelation. We do not suck anything out of our thumbs. Everything new grows out of something old. We must take advantage of the entire store of human knowledge and draw upon the entire history of thought. The new philosophy, the need for which we are feeling, can be deduced from the entire current of human thought, which has flown ever since the dawn of civilization. The crisis of our time is the result of an inability to appreciate that great human heritage. There are abiding and temporary values. We have to find out the permanent values created in the course of human evolution. The elements of stability, of unity, of uniformity, ideals pursued ever since the appearance of homo sapiens, should be the foundation of a new philosophy. A philosophy thus founded will have no difficulty in solving the complicated problems which have been baffling conventional philosophers. The solution, however, will not be theoretical; it will come from action inspired by the new philosophy.
Ever since the ancient thinkers abandoned physical enquiry for metaphysical speculation, philosophy was vitiated by the fallacy of dualism. Modern science finally enabled materialism to conceive a monistic picture of the world. If the universe is a cosmos, it is arbitrary to break it up into matter and mind. A monistic naturalism does not allow evolutionary ethics to distinguish a world of values from a world of facts. But at this stage of our discussion, I don't want to speak on the theory of values, or deal with the problems of axiology. I only wanted to emphasize the point that a monistic philosophy cannot have a dualist ethic. Values are sui generis: they are born in our conscience; they are not to be deduced from facts; they are facts.
All the religious philosophers of the Middle Ages were frank dualists. The rationalist rebels against theology - Descartes, Leibnitz, Kant - also could not get out of the vicious circle of dualism. And as long as you remain entangled in that vicious circle, you cannot conceive of man being free. In the context of a dualist philosophy, the only logical consistent ideology which can offer security is religion, and the religious man must always bow before the will of God or the "moral" law of the teleological order. Morality is equated with absence of freedom.
The ultramodern empiricists also are essentially religious men; they declare that everything beyond the reach of direct experience is metaphysical. From that apparently scientific premise, they deduce a neo-mysticism which goes to the extent of denying man's capacity to know anything outside his own body. The world is veiled in an impenetrable mystery, and in every dark corner a god can be easily imagined. The neo-mysticism of the ultramodern empiricists installs God on the throne of man's ignorance.
In the realm of biology, the famous "missing link" is the mainstay of a dualist philosophy, which valiantly defends the long-lost cause of religion. Man rises out of the background of an inanimate world. The theory of descent may trace his origin to the most primitive organism. But there the chain of evolution breaks. How can life emerge from dead matter? That is the challenge of modern "scientific" dualism. Eminent biologists have taken up the challenge and their answer, based upon empirical knowledge, should satisfy philosophers having no axe to grind. The chemical composition of protoplasm known, the imaginary gulf between the organa and inorgana has disappeared. Even if empirical evidence and experimental data were really absent, the neo-vitalism of the ultramodern philosophers should be logically ruled out.
What is the source of life, if not matter? The breath of God. Whoever falls back upon that venerable fundamentalism can hardly pass as a philosopher, and any other answer would suffer from the fallacy of something coming out of nothing. If the religious dogma of creation by an almighty God is not trotted out in support of a "scientific" philosophy, then life appearing as a novelty out of dead matter is to be recognized as an empirical fact which corroborates the logic of monistic materialism. There is a red thread of continuity running through the entire process of evolution - organic as well as inorganic.
The veil of mystery lifted from the origin of life, man is to be regarded as a biological phenomenon; no human trait or behavior needs be referred to any extra-physical sanction for explanation. Instincts and intuition are not mystic categories to be regarded as elementary indefinables. The soul is not a spark of the divine light; as the sum total of the intellectual and emotional excellence of man, it can be more appropriately called the torch of humanity. Conceived otherwise, the soul is a fiction. An axiology built on the foundation of the exact knowledge of the biological phenomenon called man deduces all values from one supreme value. Thus dispelling all the confusion of academic moral philosophy, materialist monism alone can blaze a new trail for modern mankind. Applied to the problems of social existence, it can be called New Humanism.
What is the supreme value? One could almost say it is existence. But let us not run the risk of being identified with the ultramodern cult of existentialism, which with all its extravagances may not be altogether barren. However, I regard freedom as the supreme value from which all human values are derived. Freedom is the supreme value because the urge for freedom is the essence of human existence, and it is never in the danger of being mystified because it can be traced all the way down the process of biological evolution; indeed it is coincident, if not actually identical, with life. Since all ethical values are derived from the soulless animal heritage of man, they need no sanction which transcends human existence. Morality is a human attribute - of animal heritage. To be moral, one need only be human; it is not necessary to go in search of mystic, if not divine, sanction. Man need not be a slave of God or of his own prejudice (as in the case of modern moral philosophers) to be moral. Humanist morality is evolutionary.
The function of life is to live. The basic incentive of organic becoming is the struggle for survival. It goes on throughout the long process of biological evolution, until in man it becomes the conscious urge for freedom - the supreme human value.
When the human species appeared, the first thing for it to do was to struggle with environments for survival. That was the beginning of an endless struggle for freedom. Since then everything that man has done, every one of his acts, cultural progress, scientific achievements, artistic creations - everything has been motivated by that one urge. Man is infinite, while the universe is infinite, and his environment, in the last analysis, is the whole universe. Consequently, his struggle for freedom is eternal; he can never conquer the universe. Therefore, the urge for freedom is the only eternal thing in the world. This urge enables man to acquire knowledge, to conquer his environment by knowing it. In that process he solves another problem. What is truth? It is the content of man's knowledge. Truth is a value; but it is not deduced from facts; it is a fact because it is objectively real. Quest for freedom, knowledge, truth - that is the hierarchy of humanist axiology. Our values are not autonomous deities; they are interrelated, logically as well as ontologically. Therefore, we say that freedom cannot be attained by immoral means, nor an enlightened man ever be a liar. Freedom, knowledge, truth are values to be appreciated together by living them.
Humanism is not a new philosophy. In the past, humanists approached all problems of life from the assumption of the sovereignty of man. But man remained unexplained, veiled in a mystery. Now we know approximately what makes man a man, what is the source of his sovereignty, his creativeness. It is his capacity of knowing, as distinct from the common biological property of being aware, and knowledge endows him with power - not to rule over others but to create for the benefit of the race, and pursue the ideal of freedom further and further. As the content of knowledge is truth, the enlightened man finds in himself the sanction of the moral values cherished by him.
The humanist mission, therefore, is the pursuit of knowledge and dissemination of knowledge already acquired. If my understanding of the crisis of our time is correct (you shall have to judge that in this school), it calls for that mission which will enable the civilized world to get out of the present impasse.
In conclusion, let me recapitulate. I do not start with any a priori idea about the crisis. I do not look for it in the art and literature of our time, in the crumbling personality of sensitive people. That is a symptom of the crisis, but it is a minor symptom, a by-product. We must see how the crisis affects the life of civilized mankind as a whole. Intellectual and institutional equipments cannot cope with the requirements of the time. It is not a choice between two authoritarianisms; we must find a third alternative. The prophets of a revival of the teleological view of life, as the only way to bring man back to his moral moorings, preach spiritual authoritarianism as against the temporal brand. Their remedy may be more dangerous than the disease they propose to cure.
It took mankind centuries to revolt against the spiritual slavery which was the result of the original sin of ignorance. The standard of the revolt of man was carried forward during another several centuries by scientists, and philosophers who wisely accepted the leadership of science, and built up a philosophy not of airy speculation but on the solid foundation of positive knowledge. Eventually, a point was reached where old theories seemed to be challenged by experience. The tradition of religious thought, of the easy way of faith, had been lying dormant under the surface of modern culture. It took advantage of the opportunity and started an offensive when scientists were puzzled and philosophers turned out to be pusillanimous. The structure of scientific knowledge, however, was not so very unstable as to collapse on the first offensive of an atavistic prejudice. Its weakness resulted from overspecialization.
Different branches of science had surveyed various aspects of nature. The object of each branch of scientific knowledge was not the whole of reality. The fallacy was to make the partial view of physics, for example, a picture of the whole of reality. That picture was to be sought in an integration of knowledge acquired by the different branches of science. To build that picture of reality was the function of philosophy. But academic philosophy, except in the short period of Enlightenment, had never fully broken away from religious or metaphysical traditions. Therefore, it failed when the time came for it to take over the leadership of human progress. The root of the crisis of our time is to be traced in that failure of philosophy to justify itself. Therefore, I call it an intellectual crisis: intellectually bankrupt men are naturally demoralized. Having lost faith in themselves, they project their moral crisis to the world. Why should I look at the world through their jaundiced eyes or colored glasses?
Scientific agnosticism preached by modern scientific philosophers, ever since Mach and Poincare and down to Bergson, deprived man of his distinction from other biological forms - the capacity to know. Fortunately, sophisticated philosophies leave the bulk of mankind untouched. They have not joined the stampede of the intellectual elite, the artists and literateurs, back to the illusive security of obscurantism and mysticism, under the leadership of prophets who declare that man cannot be moral unless he accepts spiritual slavery. We cannot give them confidence. They would scorn any philosophy which is not cast in their obscurantist academic pattern. And words have meaning; once we get involved in the mazes of their jargon and tendentious terminology, we shall be nowhere; we shall betray the humanist mission.
We must speak the language of the people, look at problems from their point of view, from the experience of daily life. Fortunately, they are not corrupted by the perversion of modern scientific knowledge as preached to the semi-educated middle class. Scientific knowledge can be brought to them in a simple language. The old theories of the nineteenth century may be naive for the highbrow who cannot see the relation between science and life. Steam still has power; electricity can be harnessed for the benefit of man; medicine cures; biology explains a whole lot of things of daily experience; Darwinism is still to go to the masses, particularly in our country; psychology throws light on the mysteries of mental life. The people, particularly in our country, require this kind of knowledge; it will give them a sense of power; their moral stamina will be reinforced in proportion as knowledge liberates them from the traditional bondage of ignorance fostered on the authority of religion.
Nor is it necessary for the people to grasp the intricate problems of sociology; the breakdown of the economic system is a matter of their daily experience. It is not necessary for them to understand economic theories. They experience want when there is no reason for it. Once they are made conscious of their experience, they will feel the need for a reconstruction. Political problems can be similarly accessible to them in experience. Finally, we shall show them how they can take things in their own hands. But all these easy steps presuppose man's faith in himself. They will gain that faith also in the experience of doing things.
I see no other way out of the crisis. It is a creation of people who were to lead mankind. They have failed. A mighty resurgence of the common man and woman only can save modern civilization. To inspire that resurgence, organize it, guide it to fruition - that is the mission of New Humanism. Let us be true to our own philosophy.