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Article
March 26, 1949

MENTAL HEALTH AND INTERNATIONAL TENSIONS

JAMA. 1949;139(13):852. doi:10.1001/jama.1949.02900300038015
Abstract

Members of the UNESCO Conference on World Tensions1 and the International Congress on Mental Health2 have recently reported deliberations of major significance to world peace. The conclusions are based chiefly on the psychiatric premise that human emotions ("human nature") can now be scientifically studied, understood and even changed both for the individual and the group. Wars are unnecessary and are not considered inevitable consequences of human nature. Some needs are vital to all men: these include freedom from disease, insecurity and fear. Men everywhere desire at the same time fellowship, respect of their fellowmen and a chance for personal growth and development.

Inequalities in the use of modern productive power and resources were considered partially responsible for economic inequalities, insecurities and frustrations which lead to group and national conflict. One group may be wrongly led to see another group as a menace through acceptance of false images and

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