April 19, 1941


JAMA. 1941;116(16):1774-1775. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820160026009

If a normal, healthy impulse is forcibly repressed, according to Sir Walter Langdon-Brown,1 it comes to the surface again in an abnormal form. If an evolutionary demand meets opposition from a nation which is convinced that its culture is the only one really worth having, the consequences to civilization prove serious. World War II is in essence therefore, he believes, the result of an attempt to stem the tide of an evolutionary process tending toward greater internationalism. Both constructive and destructive impulses are present in the human mind, and at times the destructive element predominates in society. The destructive impulse, Langdon-Brown believes, is rationalized by the claim that the old state of affairs was so bad that it had to be destroyed before anything better could take its place. There are those in our own country who even now are advocates of this philosophy. Since the ordinary person wants

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