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La Barre, W. (1951). Pediatrics Paranoia and Peace. Am. Imago, 8(1):99-105.

(1951). American Imago, 8(1):99-105

Pediatrics Paranoia and Peace

Weston La Barre

Dr. James Clark Moloney has got me mixed up with somebody else — with whom, the careful reader of his article 1) may decide. I am sorry he is so angry with me (or with whomever it is), if only because this tends to obscure the fact that in our seeking of a biologically sound, humane and permissive pediatric attitude toward children, I would have supposed we were natural allies.

I should like to rest my defense, very simply, on two quotations, which afford a more extended and continuous context than the brief quotation vouchsafed me by Dr. Moloney as the take-off point for his violent tirade.

“It is true we have no sound way of choosing among the many tribal voices as to everything that ought to go into the basic character structure of the ideal world citizen. There would be too much cultural subjectivity in any list of traits, if we chose them from the point of view of our own preferences. But we don't have to do such a grandiose and such an arrogant thing. The proportions of the necessity are more modest and clear. Let us see how the world situation itself is such as to help us define what we need by way of the minimally necessary qualities in our world citizens.

Social workers, psychiatrists, and mental hygienists will be quick to see that the anthropologist is here talking their language, and coming to the same conclusions they have come to, but by a different road. The student of culture-and-personality is convinced, as they are, that the world's peace is ultimately tied up with the kinds of human beings that our various cultures produce. Here is some of the anthropologist's concrete thinking.

The stubborn fact is that the world contains many racial and tribal differences.

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