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February 1940

Social Forces in Personality Stunting.

Arch NeurPsych. 1940;43(2):425-426. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1940.02280020233021

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In this readable, vigorous essay the author seeks to direct attention to what he believes to be an important and long-neglected fact, without which the ills of both the individual and society are not comprehensible. His thesis is that the great majority of the physically adult population of the world of all times has been psychologically—i. e., intellectually, emotionally and volitionally—immature. He includes in this characterization most of the leaders in industry, politics, military affairs and the church. Wherever the organization of human society is characterized by exploitation, autocracy and competition—in which the growth of individuals is considered to be dependent on "spiritual anthropophagy"—the result is arrested and imperfectly integrated personalities in both the exploited and the exploiters, the victims as well as the victors in the conflict. The aim of the predominant activities of such a society—which are industrial, political and military—is megalomanic power over others, and this is

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