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Kenneth ClarkKenneth Clark
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used to say to me, “Kenneth, we have to learn to take mankind where it is.” One of the things she said to me after my presidential address--in which I was arguing for the need to look at our leadership in the nuclear age in terms of stability and psychological egoism in the exericise of power in order for mankind to increase its chances of survival. I didn't share that with her before I delivered it. It was one of the few things that I didn't share.


Your presidential address--you're talking about when you became President of the American Psychological Association.


The things that she said after that really got me were, one, “Kenneth, why do you want to save mankind?” That shocked me. It took me a long time to come up with an answer, which was inadequate. I said, “We have grandchildren.” The other thing she said was not quite as biting. She said, “You know, this would not be the first time that a species did not survive because of some kind of inadequacy. It's conceivable that the human species has certain kinds of inadequacies, non-adaptive characteristics which could lead to its extinction.” That's the kind of woman I was married to. The quality of our communication, well.


Isn't it so that some people have observed, maybe some philosophers have observed, that man is perhaps the only animal, as a group, that will go out and kill others of his species wantonly. Among other animals an individual might go berserk, but there aren't group annihilations.

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