Man and His Circumstances: Ortega as Educator
by Robbie McClintock
XII — Towards an Exuberant Europe
La rebelión de las masas, 1930, Obras IV, p. :Z49.
The authentic situation of Europe amounts to this: its long, magnificent past has carried it to a new stage of life in which everything has expanded. But, at the same time, the structures that survive from the past are dwarfish, and they impede the present expansion. Europe developed within the form of small nations. In a sense, the national idea and spirit have been its most characteristic invention. And now Europe is obliged to surpass itself. This is the plot of the enormous drama that will be performed in the coming years. Will Europe learn how to free itself from its survivals? Or will it remain a prisoner of what it has always been? Once before it happened in history: a great civilization died because of its inability to surpass its traditional idea of the state.
XII — Towards an Exuberant Europe
Count Hermann Keyserling, Europe, Maurice Samuel, trans., pp. 8–9.
Count Keyserling suggested that some day Ortega would be recognized as a leader of "this age." Clearly, Ortega was not a leader of the age of world wars and the great depression; he appears insignificant compared to Churchill, Stalin, Hitler, Roosevelt, and de Gaulle. But Keyserling wrote about Europe, and he punctured the self-importance of official politics, national and international, with a telling irony. Keyserling was interested in spiritual leadership, and he was capable of laughing scornfully at the political pieties of his time. His book, he said, gave him a wonderful sense of inner liberation; he meant to occasion the same sense in his readers. So, too, did Ortega in his search for Europe.
With a happy laugh and a gracious gesture beckoning us to join him, Ortega renounced the fatalism of the sensitive seers who find themselves
Wandering between two worlds, one dead
The other powerless to be born....
The paralysis that Matthew Arnold recorded in his rueful rumination on the Grand Chartreuse seemed too easy a pose.Silent, while years engrave the brow;
Silent— the best are silent now.
Achilles ponders in his tent,
The kings of modern thought are dumb;
Silent they are, though not content,
And wait to see the future come.
Matthew Arnold, "Stanzas from the Grande Chartreuse," lines 85–6., 113–8, 157–162, in Arnold, Lyric and Elegiac Poems, pp. 214–217.
When men sink into despair, they cannot give birth to a new age; they can only stand mute, watching and waiting. With respect to despair, Ortega offered real leadership. In him the ancient will to believe awakened to a new life; he did not accept the self-pity implied in Arnold's depiction of the future that could not be born.
Years hence, perhaps, may dawn an age
More fortunate, alas! than we,
Which without hardness will be sage,
And gay without frivolity.
Sons of world, oh, haste those years;
But, while we wait, allow our tears!
Allow our tears, our dull indulgence? More happy years will not rise, without effort, unaided, from the ways of the world. The belief, the expectation that if we wait, sorrowfully but patiently, the future age will rise ineluctably of its own accord, is the source of our sterility, of our inability to give birth to this age. Ortega devoted himself to destroying this superstition that stood in the way of a new enlightenment.
With a hard gaze at the worst in the world, Ortega found that there were still great reasons for living and that men who had a significant raison d'être needed to ask for nothing more from life. From this affirmation there flowed a sense of possibility, a willingness to search out and try new potentialities; his adventurousness is unusual in twentieth-century thought. Ortega's writing resonated with the sounds of an authentic future, one that promised truly novel possibilities. His words resound with the affirmation that alert, thoughtful men can create great new works, a meaningful Kinder/and, if they will disengage themselves from the obsessions of the moment and look to the past and to the future.
Yet men have difficulty disengaging from the immediate; and those who think about politics by profession, the political scientist and political commentator, have special difficulty standing back from day-to-day developments, for they have become deeply involved in the conduct of politics; their attention is occupied by planning for contingencies, advising on priorities, and mobilizing opinions. With a few exceptions, even the more thoughtful columnists in our daily papers depend for their copy, not on their powers of original reflection, but on their access to men in high places; and political science has gained a quasi-official function, to wit, to rationalize established political practice as best one can. In pursuing this function, political scientists have become amazingly adept at hiding the human reality—the tragic, brutal, comic, joyous, loving, messy flesh and blood with which he ultimately deals—behind sterile ciphers and turgid phrases. Further, both newsmen and political scientists are busy men; they are obsessed with practice and hence they are chained to the endless now. For the most part, students of government lack leisure, the leisure that is the basis for all profound historical and theoretical reflection. As a result, we are rarely confronted by the serious, thoughtful construction of possible futures, by speculative visions like the European future sketched by Ortega. In short, political discussion rarely imparts a sense of liberation.
Keyserling and Ortega experienced a refreshing freedom. In thinking about politics, they ceased to feel limited by the issues their predecessors posed. They perceived the opportunity to ask new questions rather than offer yet another answer to the old. In this ability to pose political problems anew, the few visionaries like Ortega, managing to disengage themselves from obsession with the moment, were similar to the great political thinkers of the Enlightenment. Yet, owing to a deep involvement in practical affairs and lack of leisure most political thinkers now have difficulty perceiving the link between current political speculation and the Enlightenment. For most, the Enlightenment denotes a time of great theoretical innovation during which our current political and economic orthodoxies were worked out. We confuse the intellectual genius that conceived of these theories with the particular theories thus worked out, and in defending the latter we suppress the former. In this way, the very prestige we attach to the Enlightenment blinds us to the ongoing phenomena of enlightenment in European thought.
Shklar, After Utopia, p. 272.
Ibid., p. 219.
Take, for instance, the thesis that Judith N. Shklar has advanced in After Utopia, namely that "the grand tradition of political theory ... is in abeyance." For Shklar, the grand tradition was epitomized by the Enlightenment with its two salient characteristics of social optimism and radicalism, "the belief that people can control and improve themselves, and, collectively, their environment." Thus Shklar identified the grand tradition with a substantive task, the effort to control the external environment, the pursuit of an open political and economic future; and the point has seemed to stand, for since the Enlightenment political theory has in fact been concerned primarily with the means for perfecting the social and economic life of the community. But in twentieth-century Europe, the most articulate writers on politics have been, as Shklar described them, either romantics or Christian fatalists, and in both cases they completely rejected the social optimism and radicalism that is supposedly indicative of the grand tradition. Shklar found that the "romantic" theorists, a group that included Sartre, Camus, Malraux, Marcel, Heidegger, Jaspers, Arendt, and Ortega, were in basic opposition to the Enlightenment; since these writers renounced the pursuit of the substantive tasks that Enlightenment thinkers had made the goals of political theory, the current writers must have forsaken political theory itself.
For Sartre see Critique de la raison dialectique, Tome I: Théorie des ensembles pratiques, in which he tries to work out a conception of practical action that will be at once Marxist and existentialist and thus the basis for unifying the two movements. For Merleau-Ponty, see Humanisme et terreur. Shklar attributes to Merleau-Ponty the conviction that one can be neither "pro or anti—communist" (After Utopia, p. 150), whereas Merleau—Ponty said "On ne peut pas être anticommuniste, on ne peut pas être communiste" (Humanisme et terreur, p. xvii). Surely, Merleau—Ponty's whole argument was pro—communist, affirming that communism was not yet fully developed, that the humanist should protect and encourage its development in the expectation that someday one could be communist.
To be sure, twentieth—century romantics in Europe have denied, for the most part, that political reform and institutional innovation can bring much human progress. With the possible exceptions of Merleau—Ponty and Sartre in his later work, the writers Shklar studied have thoroughly rejected the particular kind of social optimism and radicalism developed in the Enlightenment. Jaspers with Man in the Modem Age, Marcel with Les hommes contre l'humaine, Ortega with The Revolt of the Masses, and Camus with L'homme révolté all turned their readers away from the tradition of optimistic reform initiated in the Enlightenment; and a book like The Political Illusion by Jacques Ellul, which appeared after Shklar's study, seems to confirm her thesis well, for Ellul draws upon the tradition she calls "romantic" and he thoroughly rejects the illusion that further progress can be achieved through political action. All these writers have asserted that the false spontaneity of crowds, which has become the stuff of politics, is not informed by man's better qualities, and that since man in a rigorous sense has no nature, but a character that he gives himself, reliance on politics for human self—definition is likely to impose the stamp of the worse upon the better. They have contended, further, that an outmoded rationalism inherited from the Enlightenment will lead to the reduction of man to an insignificant object, if such rationalism continues to be the epistemology upon which men base their political reasoning. Thus, contemporary "romantic" writers have voiced strong criticism of the Enlightenment.
For "Sapere aude!" see Jaspers' The Idea of the University, p. 24. This book and Marcel's Homo Viator could have been consulted by Shklar. Ortega's "Past and Future of Present Man," with its very optimistic conclusion was available in the proceedings of the 1951 conference, La connaissance de l'homme au XXe siècle, sponsored by Rencontres internationales de Genève. Jasper's The Future of Mankind, with its concluding prophecy—a very prescient one—of a new politics, was not published until 1958 in German and 1961 in English./p>
But a writer who claims, like Shklar, to have studied Hegel should be careful not to confuse a philosopher's criticism of something with his rejection of it. Men who despair of the morrow do not write on The Future of Mankind, Homo Viator, or "The Past and Future of Present Man." It was Karl Jaspers who reaffirmed Kant's definition of enlightenment, "Sapere aude!"; and there is no better advice for those studying contemporary political theory in Europe.
Ortega, and others among the "romantics," attacked the letter of the Enlightenment in order to revive its spirit. The problems of comprehension, in responding to their work, are ones of perspective. One now easily sees Enlightenment thinkers as proponents of an optimistic social and economic radicalism; likewise, one easily perceives the contemporary Europeans as pessimistic proponents of cultural despair: such views come naturally to anyone who is comfortable with the present order of things. But all the writers in question were acerb critics of the status quo in which they found themselves. From the point of view of the status quo, any critic is liable to be dismissed as a proponent of cultural despair; and the despair over man's foibles expressed by contemporary "romantics" does not go beyond that recorded in Swift's satires, Voltaire's Candide, Johnson's Rasselas, or Rousseau's Discours sur les sciences et les arts. William Burroughs' prose is no more destructive of human pretension than William Hogarth's pictures. Thus, it is by emphasizing one aspect of the Enlightenment and another of the present that a false dichotomy is set up-an age of hopeful theory against an age of sad despair.
The only real opposition is that current theorists are criticizing the substance of earlier theories. Hence Shklar correctly noted that the "romantics" have not been enthusiasts of either the social optimism or the economic and governmental radicalism of their Enlightenment predecessors, for the contemporary critics no longer believed that these particular concerns would produce the good life. But since European theorists like Jaspers and Ortega were not tied to the established system of practice, they did not need to confine their concern to given political, economic, and social practices; their optimism and radicalism, which was no weaker than that of their predecessors, becomes apparent in somewhat different concerns. Instead of social optimism, twentieth-century theorists have advanced an ethical optimism; and in place of governmental and economic radicalism, they have put forward a cultural and spiritual radicalism.
Shklar, After Utopia, p. 139.
Ortega, in particular, embodied the three cardinal traits by which Shklar defined the Enlightenment—radical optimism, anarchism, and intellectualism; but these traits were to operate through a hierarchy of activities that differed from the hierarchy envisaged by Enlightenment thinkers. Shklar unwittingly recognized the optimistic and radical character of Ortega's aspirations when she said that "in Ortega . . . the ethics of authenticity becomes ridiculous." She failed to notice that this "'ridiculousness.., undermined her whole argument. To prudent Europeans anxious to win favor in the courts of Louis XV and his like, Enlightenment theories of social and political organization were ridiculous because, like Ortega's ethics, they called on men to learn to live according to a better, more difficult rule of life. Louis XV was so oblivious to the changes building up around him that posterity has had to credit him charitably but apocryphally, with at least observing, "Apr.ls moi le deluge". The incredulity aroused in the old regime as the rights of man replaced the rights of monarchs can be inferred from the innocence reflected in Marie Antoinette's "let them eat cake." And every implementation of Enlightenment political theory was decried before the event as patently impossible. Any truly optimistic, radical theory cannot help but seem ridiculous to the conventional opinion of the time; for an optimistic, radical theory is one that cannot justify itself on the basis of what is given: instead, it invites men to transform the given to fulfill the possibility that it describes. Thus, Shklar's mystification at the ethics of authenticity should be taken as a sign that the spirit of Enlightenment still thrives.
Throughout The End of Ideology and especially in the epilogue, "The End of Ideology in the West" (p. 373), Daniel Bell makes points similar to Shklar about the condition of political theory. A difference, however, is that Shklar sought a rebirth of political theory, whereas Bell was content to see it pass, to be replaced by the techniques of administration. Bell's view, which itself can be considered as a widely shared ideology in a rigorous sense of the word, a body of ideas reflecting the interests of a group, in this case the students and practitioners of social, economic, and political technique, is not convincing. In the essays that Bell gathered under the heading "The End of Ideology," he did not really come to grips with the important subject that the phrase announced, and it is regrettable that such a weak book carried such an influential title.
Ideological conflict is no closer to ending than is political theory, but the categories of both are going through transformations. To come to grips with these transformations, we need a truly post-Marxian social theory, one that can go beyond the categories that Marx set forth. We do not need more neo-Marxian theories, ones that rely on Marx's categories and that find, as a result, an end of ideology. The means of production have arrived at a point at which class warfare in its Marxian sense is disappearing. The great issue in the resultant situation is the one about which Marx was prophetic and obscure: the withering away of the state. The state will not wither unless it is made to do so—that has become clear in recent decades—and it has become equally clear that certain people have an interest in maintaining the state apparatus and others have an interest in dismantling it. Contemporary ideologies will be found to be arising from conflicts engendered by these divergent interests, not between the rich and the poor, but between the governors and the governed.
Rather than being in abeyance, the grand tradition has merely been transformed: the desire for material progress that has animated Western history for the last three hundred years is turning into an equally powerful desire for cultural and spiritual progress. This transformation should come as no surprise. Anyone familiar with the function of theory should expect contemporary political philosophers to have lost interest in the social, economic, and governmental problems of the industrial democracies. Theory concerns ideal entities. The old concerns are theoretically relevant only to the developing nations where the rational organization of society, the economy, and the government is still a mere ideal. But in the developed nations, the social, economic, and governmental systems are going concerns; consequently, in these countries, the need is not for theory about these matters, but for competent, dedicated administrators who can preserve and perfect these ongoing, established enterprises. Hence, there is an end of certain sorts of ideology.
But civilization still has its discontents; life is not perfect; we have not been born after utopia. In the West, theorists have the opportunity that arises only infrequently in history; they can turn way from familiar problems and, with a fresh, expectant feeling, they can make love to a new mistress, namely, to the possibilities in human life that have arisen with the pedagogy of abundance. In times of abundance, human shortcomings and human possibilities are most marked in the ethical, spiritual, and cultural realms. Well then, let us turn our perfective powers upon these matters. Hence, social philosophers have tried to conceive of politics anew, this time of a politics of the spirit, for they feel a longing, a need for theory about the intangible work of man.
Ortega was a leader of the cultural optimists and ethical radicals—the contemporary exponents of the grand tradition. He criticized the present in the name of a possible future, a European future. He had none of the solemnity about present practices that we have grown accustomed to encountering in political scientists. His conception of Europe touched but lightly on economics, for in Europe what counted was the politics of the pure spirit, not the politics of the gross national product, with its buoyant ups and depressing downs, which everywhere seem to set the tone of national life. With the question of Europe we meet a youthful mood, a soaring of the spirit, a sense of vast possibilities, an impatience with plain realities, a willingness not only to criticize the given, but to try further to create something new.
Such soaring hopes, however, were a movement towards joy through sorrow: men like Ortega were optimistic about the possibilities for Europe because they were thoroughly pessimistic about the possibilities of the narrow nation-states. In the United States the creative despair that has taken hold in the European nations is only beginning to be felt. Most Americans sense that they have been born into a going enterprise, one that provides a structure within which they can achieve personal fulfillment. The situation was different for Europeans like Ortega; for them, the nations into which they were born came to seem confining. Their outlook reveals much about what is happening in the world around us.
La rebelión de las masas, 1930, Obras IV, p. 248.
"Nation" was the name for a huge but finite set of possibilities in the lives of particular men; it denoted important, different elements in the destinies of diverse persons. In times of national development, these various possibilities were as yet unfulfilled, but they were apparent as potentials to men. Thus, for one man the nation was a challenge to realize the possibilities of a great public office, for another it was an opportunity to accumulate wealth, for yet another it was a promise of military glory, for a fourth it was a tradition that invited him to literary creation, and for many others it was an occasion for sharing values, hopes, and reminiscences. The nation, which began as a pure form denoting manifold possibilities for diverse persons, was slowly brought into being as men dedicated themselves to realizing the personal possibilities that their ideal nation put before them. During the nineteenth century, Europeans had lived at the height of their times and achieved their destinies by struggling to fulfill the personal possibilities that had become conceivable for each as liberal democracy and industrial technocracy were joined within the national form. But in the twentieth century the national forms within Europe had been filled out; these denoted for men things that they already were, inevitably and without effort, not things that they might become with hard work and imagination "For the first time, the European meets in his economic, political, and intellectual projects with the limits of his nation; he perceives that his possibilities of life, his life style, are incommensurable with the size of the collective body in which he is confined. He then discovers that to be English, German, or French is to be provincial."
Ibid., p. 179.
Men had fulfilled the most significant possibilities for human life that they could set before themselves through the idea of the nation. This fulfillment encouraged men to perceive the state as an actuality; it no longer seemed to be a potential that by one's personal actions might be given a conditional actuality. The nation-state was a fact, a completed structure. Like the surrounding countryside, the nation-state was a thing that one found oneself in the presence of. Note the consequence. "No human being thanks another for the air he breathes because the air was not manufactured by anyone: it pertains to the class of things that 'are there', of things we call 'natural' because they are never lacking. The spoiled masses are sufficiently unintelligent to believe that the material and social organization, which is put at their disposal like the air, is of the same origin because it will apparently never fail and is as perfect as nature." That the residents of the world's great cities can no longer take for granted the air they breathe upsets Ortega's imagery, but it even better exemplifies his fundamental point: the complacent confidence that anything of human significance will take care of itself is supremely dangerous, for man has made himself personally responsible for the whole of his existence.
Ibid., pp. 272–3
Ortega drew a parallel between the mass man and the "mass nation," the nation that seemed to be there, complete and secure, as natural as the air we breathe. Both the mass man and the mass nation did no more than assert their right to be exactly what they were; the status quo was supreme and "more of the same" was its apotheosis. Both belonged to the class of heirs: they could take what was given and add not a whit, for both lacked a sense of potential, a vision of the future. Within the mass nation no exacting projects could be formed, for all the authentic ones had been finished and those that might be tried would prove to be perversions, as was the case with Fascist nationalism. Without being able to live personally involved in a developing enterprise, the European could not remain true to himself. "Europeans do not know how to live if they are not launched on a great, unifying enterprise. When this is lacking, they debase themselves, they lose courage; their soul goes out of joint. The start of this is today apparent to those who look. A century or so ago the districts that have called themselves nations arrived at their maximum expansion. Now they can do nothing more with themselves unless they transcend themselves." Only mass men could find fulfillment in the mass nation.
Ibid., p. 273
Paradoxically, the very limitation of the national form, the fact that it no longer denoted taxing possibilities, enabled the mass man to avoid perceiving his own limitations. Being relatively complete the nation-state did not force upon its citizens many great problems against which they could measure their capacities. It provided for a stable existence; and as long as one was content to take whatever it gave, the person had little need to learn to know himself. A larger, less limited, less fulfilled form was needed if men were to be able to test their own mettle; an occasion for finding in oneself the capacity to create more commanding offices, juster laws, more difficult enterprises, more productive theories would help men discover their limits. This occasion was Europe. "Only the decision to establish a great nation from the group of continental peoples will begin the pulsation of Europe again. They then would again believe in themselves, automatically they would require much of themselves, they would discipline themselves."
Europe—the curious maiden riding Westward with uncertain excitement on the back of a divine bull—has always been a shared adventure. With their national adventures completed, the Europeans needed to find a new undertaking. To maintain their vitality, men endowed with great powers had to dedicate themselves to heroic tasks, to the labors of Hercules and the journeys of Jason, all of which are given to strong men simply as significant tests of their strengths. Life was laying down another such challenge. The nineteenth century had taught men to aspire to a destiny defined within a national form; and with that destiny achieved, the European was challenged to the hardest task of all: to renounce the sovereignty of a familiar, established pattern and to accept freely a more demanding ideal.
Europe was the common destiny that would enable Europeans once again to get in shape. Europe was a form, a potentiality, with respect to which diverse persons could define different but convergent aspirations. In the twentieth century, the offices of national politics, economics, society, law, art, literature, schooling, and scholarship had been fully developed, and they required of the men who would perform them merely that these persons "take office" as the phrase now goes. In contrast, the offices of European life—of its politics, economics, society, law, art, literature, schooling, and scholarship—were not at all developed; these offices were possibilities, a teeming world of possibilities, each of which challenged a different man to develop them in his day-to-day activities. Creative discipline would again invigorate European life as men independently devoted themselves to the pursuit of these European possibilities.
Europe as a possibility, this Europe gave Ortega's distinction between the complacent mass and the heroic individual a constructive, open, positive quality. He did not seek to contrast the happy few with the vulgar many. For him the heroic ideal had become an open, democratic ideal, a unifying rather than a divisive quality; Europe presented a common challenge and the excellence it could engender was an excellence open to everyman. The essential difference between a man of noble character and one of mass complacency was not in the type of actions that each undertook, but in the spirit with which each pursued outwardly similar acts: the noble man chose to make his deeds serve a demanding ideal,_ whereas the mass man was content if his acts satisfied his immediate appetites. Beginning with identical endeavors, the noble would find greater possibilities in them because he was continually bent on transcending the given. But to be meaningful, transcending the given always depended on there being a given that could be pursued more easily than various other possibilities. A man could aspire to nobility only if there were possibilities beyond the given to which he could aspire sportfully. Hence, nobility became a meaningful possibility for everyman when, as with the pedagogy of abundance, the inertia of the mass ceased to be something imposed upon men by the paucity of their environment and became merely one of their alternatives in a world of leisure and luxury. In this situation, the self-satisfaction of the mass man became a revolt precisely because the mass man no longer needed to be of the mass, someone who asked nothing special of himself, for he could, if he cared, lead the noble life. Thus, the revolt of the masses was at once a sign of weakness and a sign of greatly increased potentiality.
Ibid., pp. 241–2.
Achilles' nobility lay not only in the deeds he did, but in his choice, in the fact that he chose to do heroic deeds rather than live a long life of comfortable obscurity. Without that latter alternative, his heroic achievements would have lacked an important element of their nobility, namely, that Achilles did them despite the fact that he could easily have done less, much less, and still have been a good and decent man. Here for a single person is exemplified the positive, common potential that Ortega perceived in the revolt of the masses and the decadence of the nation-state: these developments made it possible for everyman to pursue nobility of character. Each European could now renounce the way of inertia and define his own excellence by not being content to pride himself in the superficial, established accomplishments of his national existence, by seeking instead to consecrate his personal activities to realizing the European possibilities that fell within his destiny. In the heart of the danger the courageous man found his greatest opportunities. "Is it as certain as I have claimed that Europe is in decadence and resigns its power and abdicates? Could this apparent decadence be the beneficial crisis that will permit Europe to be literally Europe? The evident decadence of the European nations is an a priori necessity if a United States of Europe is ever to be possible, if the European plurality is to be sustained by its formal unity."
Many Americans feel that a United States of Europe would be a convenient political development. This attitude was particularly explicit under the Kennedy administration; and in general many hope that a resurgent Europe would be a healthy buffer between Russian and American power, preventing their potential clash. Those who hold this vision usually support the European unionists against the neo-nationalists like de Gaulle. American support was beneficial; but the Europe that Ortega and many others hoped to engender was considerably more dynamic and less predictable than the convenient buffer dreamed of by those responsible for American national interests. The question Ortega asked was "who rules the world?" and he thought that precisely that question was raised with the possibility of European union.
Denis de Rougemont, The Idea of Europe, pp. 354–362.
For men like Ortega, de Gaulle's Europe of the fatherlands would never do, for at a minimum Europe was their fatherland. European unity was not to be a way to aggrandize national grandeur. In The Idea of Europe, Denis de Rougemont indicated that Ortega's importance in the three thousand years of speculation about Europe was his realization that the decadence of the European nations was the basis and precondition for the vital emergence of a unified Europe. The thing that American politicians have not considered is the locus of this unified Europe that may rise like Phoenix from the national ashes. How far East would it range? How far West would it reach? What would be its center? its substance? and its form? Far from a mere buffer, a dynamic Europe might well include both Russia and the United States.
Ortega dreamed of a dynamic Europe. He was not an institutionalist. To be sure, he called on politicians to work out the machinery of European unification; but he seemed to put little store in mere machinery, and spoke much more often of the historical traditions that gave civic substance to the European idea. For Ortega the sense of a European destiny would spread among the people before meaningful institutions could be organized by the people. When you and I, as we are beginning to do, stop thinking of ourselves as Americans first, and Europeans second, if at all, and when we, along with countless Germans, Englishmen, Italians, Spaniards, Frenchmen, Poles, Russians, Swedes, Swiss, Czechs, Argentineans, Australians, and many others, begin to think of ourselves primarily as Europeans, and when these other labels mean no more to us than New Yorker, Burgundian, or Züricher, then Europe will be on its way to dynamic unity. We already speak of ourselves as Westerners; and the dynamic Europe of which Ortega dreamed may well be galvanized when this vague term, which is now so often used without feeling as a euphemism to cloak power politics deployed in the service of national interest, gains a common mystique, the power to stir up a sense of shared adventure and mission.
See "Los dos patriotismos," in "La pedagogía social como programa político," 1910, Obras I, pp. 505–6; and "La España official y la España vital," in Vieja y nueva política, 1914, Obras I, pp. 271–5. In El tema de nuestro tiempo, Ortega applied his dual conception to civilization rather than to society, in the three chapters "Cultura y vida," "El doble imperative," and "Las dos ironías," Obras III, pp. 163–178; in La rebelión de las masas, 1930, the world of the noble man is close to that of the vital society, whereas that of the mass man is like the official society, ·"Vida noble y vulgar, o esfuerzo e inercia," Obras IV, pp. 180–5; in En torno a Galileo, 1933, the dual conception was used to analyze historical crises, in which the official society collapses and men are forced to live in a vital society or perish, see especially "Cambio y crisis," Obras V, pp. 69–80; the duality is in Ensimismamiento y alteración, 1939, in which the idea of being inside oneself (vital) and being outside oneself (official) is set forth, Obras V, pp. 293–316; finally, this essay developed into E! hombre y Ia genie, 1949, 1957, Obras VII, pp. 71–272, the significance of which for this problem is apparent from its title. The similarity with Henri Bergson's The Two Sources of Morality and Religion is not due to mutual influence, as shown by the fact that Ortega's division between official and vital society goes back to his very earliest writings, which appeared long before Bergson published his essay on morality and religion. Both were drawing on a tradition of thought that suggested such a distinction.
Meditación de Europa,1949, 1960, Obras IX, p. 278.
Starting in his youth, Ortega repeatedly advanced a dual conception of community, for multi-sidedness was a constant characteristic of his thought. One hailed from two countries, he told "El Sitio": there was an official Spain and a vital Spain. Inhabitants of the first country liked to reminisce about past glories; participants in the second aspired to fulfill stirring common projects. The official society was established; its subjects encountered it as a given element of their lives. The vital society was in flux; its citizens made it an ever-changing creation of their effort. In short, a community could be understood as a reality or as a potential. If one were to use the Aristotelian distinction, Ortega wrote, tradition would be the substance of a community and a purposeful enterprise would be its form. More lightly, he observed that "it is a matter, then, of the great difference between what a man is from behind and what he is from the front, or what he is by tradition and what he is by purpose and enterprise."
Internationalism has generally been deemed "good" by the liberal spirit, and it has hence not received its due share of constructive criticism. To be meaningful, government must have direct contact with the people it governs; for this reason, existing world institutions are far from satisfactory: they have no basis, no power, no constituency. The question that should be asked is what world-wide institutions have direct involvement with persons in every country and have potentially universal functions. One set of institutions does meet these criteria: the educational institutions. For this reason, a significant world community, one populated by people, not secretaries of state, will be a cultural community with its institutional reality in the educational agencies. Consequently, the truly historic issue of our time concerns the relationship between the state and the school and the hope for a world community depends largely on our ability to free intellect from state control. For a preliminary, very sketchy adumbration of these matters see Robert Oliver, "Towards the Separation of School and State," Teachers College Record, Vol. 70, No. 1, October 1968, pp. 73–6.
"En cuanto al pacifismo;' 1937, Obras IV, p. 296, fn. 2.
From behind, there had long been a traditional Europe, which, in fact, had preceded the nations in historical development. As a young Europeanizer, Ortega had maintained that Europe was science: disciplined intellect, taste, and action. He maintained this view: a capacity for spiritual discipline had been the substance of Europe. Thus, Europeans shared a set of common intellectual attitudes, customs, morals, laws, and skills all of which dated back to Greek philosophy and poetry, to Semitic religions, and to the Roman Church and Empire. Consequently, men erred by conceiving of a nation as a self-contained community that could be abstracted away from the cultural ambiance in which it subsisted. That ambiance was Europe. Europe was an integral element of each developed nation, for the citizens of each nation not only partook daily of the European cultural traditions, but, further, the creators of each nation had proceeded precisely by using European skills and ideas to solve regional problems. For Ortega, recognition of this European precedence was essential to any coherent discussion of European unity, for it showed the inadequacy and nationalist subterfuge in theories of inter-nationalism. "European society is not, then, a society whose members are nations. As in all authentic society, its members are men, individual men, to wit, Europeans who1 besides being European, are English, German, or Spanish."
Not only had the nations been founded by the aid of customs deeply rooted in the traditions of official Europe; traditionally, Europe had a powerful political means for making itself felt in the affairs of men. This means was the balance of power, the established, official mechanism of European politics. The presence of Europe had been a changing yet stable equilibrium that reflected the unity of diverse components. The balance of the whole was the unity that had maintained the diversity of the different nations. No part, with its economic, linguistic, and political peculiarities, had been able to overwhelm the other parts and impose its peculiarities on all because the same European skills and principles that enabled any particular part to generate expansive power were equally available to the other parts to generate a countervailing defensive power.
Furthermore, not only had the European traditions enabled the various nations to maintain their diversity, many of the specifically European traditions had provided the raw material for creating and intensifying national diversities. Latin was the common basis from which a whole family of different languages had developed, each with its different literature; Christianity was the common religion from which the national churches had developed, with variously interpreted Bibles and liturgies; and the very idea of nationality was a common, European idea by means of which national peculiarities had everywhere been organized, preserved, and perpetuated. Traditionally, Europe had been the concord that, by preventing one part from supplanting the others, had preserved national discord and had made these different parts the creative fount of the European spirit.
"Un rasgo de Ia vida alemana," 1935, Obras V, especially pp. 203–6.
This tradition had entered into crisis. The crisis, as we have seen, arose because various nations no longer recognized or utilized the common, spiritual principles of Europe. On the eve of World War II Ortega criticized two countries for most egregiously abdicating their European heritage. On the one hand, in a profound analysis of what was happening in Germany, Ortega controlled his ideological rancor and found the source of Hitler's power in an exaggerated faith in the efficacy of technical solutions. Writing early in 1935, Ortega contended that all checks to the principle of organization had been withdrawn: everything would be treated as a technical question, and the individual, no longer seen to be of intrinsic worth, would be totally subordinated to the collectivity. L'esprit géométrique was running wild in Germany and was being applied to everything without the slightest qualification by l'esprit de finesse. The absolute collectivization of life was an inhumane denial of Europe; and if carried out, horrible tragedies could be expected, Ortega warned with painful foresight.
"En cuanto al pacifismo," 1937, Obras IV, p. 309.
On the other hand, British pacifism revealed a dangerous incomprehension of the European political system, Ortega wrote in 1937. War was not an aberration that men could willfully avoid by refusing to fight; war was a political technique that men had invented to resolve complicated problems of life. Peace was not a simple absence of war; and a pacifism that amounted to an arbitrary refusal to commit British power in the defense of its national and European interests was an egregious abuse of responsibility. Peace had to be constructed by inventing new means for resolving the problems that war had traditionally settled. In the absence of such invention, pacifism was false; it was an attempt to think away the realities of the European political system in which the pacifist lived. To create peace, one had to create a system that would take over the functions of the balance of power. For this purpose, all conceptions of inter·nationalism were inadequate, for the balance of power stabilized by periodic war was the inter-national basis of European politics. The danger to official Europe, especially in light of the reigning absurdities in Germany and Britain, was that Europe was not something sufficiently more than an inter-national system: therefore, misguided national policies could disrupt the relations among European peoples. Official Europe was not adequately developed to resolve the present problems without tragic effort and sacrifice. The Europeans needed to reorganize themselves, creating a stronger Europe; and as a result, rather than an inter-nation, "Europe would be an ultranation."
Ibid., p. 295.
"La sociedad Europa," 1941, 1960, Obras IX, p. 326.
Here Ortega shifted from the back to the face, from considering the actuality to the potentiality, from the historic substance to the prospective form, from the tradition to the enterprise, from official Europe to vital Europe. Eventually, a European ultranation would have an institutional framework, but these institutions would be a farce without something more, something vital to animate their official forms. Only a moving enterprise, which each person would find in his own, particular way to be of direct, intimate significance, could make great institutions pertinent to our inter-personal lives. Without such a mystique, the institutions of a unified Europe would be like the League of Nations, a sham for which Ortega reserved some of his most biting scorn, a gigantic association for administering the status quo. Ortega was not a prudential politician; he called on Europeans to aspire to something more. He tolerated the European technocrats, but he was not content with their vision. "The historic genius now has before him this formidable task: to advance the unity of Europe, without losing the vitality of its interior nations, its glorious plurality that has produced the unrivaled richness and vigor of its history."
Again, we touch on a problem of perspective. We Americans, along with many others, are only now beginning to be left unmoved by our national symbols. Few have transcended the liberal-reactionary opposition, an opposition integrally connected to national politics. We still argue about issues that arose in the course of knitting together different parts and strata of the national population, yet the basic commitments to integrating the people have been irrevocably made. Hence, from Ortega's point of view our whole framework of political discourse is anachronistic; this disjunction makes Ortega, especially the Ortega of the second voyage, hard to understand. One easily overlooks the depth of his radicalism, as he himself warned, and one reads what he wrote as if it pertained to the institutional tinkering over which the left, right, and center perpetuate their quarrels.
If one avoids this anachronism, one is then likely to connect Ortega to the destructive resentment that surges through the disengaged youth of our day. To be sure, Ortega's attack on the legitimacy of national sovereignty was as thorough and profound as any yet produced. But he did not make his attack for its own sake; he considered it merely one stage, an intellectual stage, in his positive effort to promote European unity. Ortega asserted that the nation-state was illegitimate, not to justify acting against the state with a clear conscience, but to provoke the discovery of what authority had now become legitimate, so that one could freely act in accord with it. Ortega remained true to the Cartesian method of doubt, for this method stipulates that until one has developed new principles to replace those that are found wanting, one should continue to live by the old; by preserving the past until the future is generated, this method is a constructive skepticism. Ortega's skepticism about the nation-state was profound; but it was nonetheless constructive: active negation was not necessary; the nation-state would automatically be demoted when it paled into insignificance next to an emerging European ultranation.
"Prólogo para franceses," 1937, Obras IV, p. 132.
Significantly, Ortega did not describe the features of the common project that would unify the European people. He pointed out that a unified Europe should provide substantial economies of scale. Further, it should have marked spiritual effects. As Ortega had thought that Spain could draw national strength from cultivating its regional diversities, he believe:! that Europe would draw strength from its national diversities. At a minimum, Europe should encourage the mutual comprehension of its parts, for the great weakness of the national system was that various European peoples confused the ephemeral images of their neighbors with reality, creating misunderstanding, distrust, and dissension. Also, the European enterprise should help the young find and fulfill their authentic destinies. That, really, was the whole point: the spirit was caged behind national bars and the young lacked the occasion to develop their real capacities. "Today," Ortega asked rhetorically, "can a youth of twenty form for himself a project of life that has an individual shape and that, therefore, can only be realized by his independent initiatives and his peculiar abilities?" Men could not form their character fully, intentionally, within the narrow nation; the European enterprise would be a great new form that would create spiritual space within which the young could grow and test their limits.
Ibid., p. 119; cf. Meditación de Europa, 1949, 1960, Obras IX, pp . .277–282.
But these functional features did not amount to specifications for the form. Ortega never explicitly presented his European ideal. Politically, it might be a federal unity. Reading between the lines in his later writings, however, one senses that he continued to think that Europe was intellect, science, morality, and art, and that cultural institutions would be important in the efforts to realize the possibilities of Europe. One point Ortega did make clear: a unified Europe might be as different from the nation-state as the nation-state was from the feudal system or the Roman Empire had been from the classical city-states. Without going into details, one can observe in the contemporary industrial democracies the beginnings of a cultural community in which the seminal issues will concern intellectual, educational, and cultural policy; in which the great public figures will be philosophers, scientists, artists, teachers, and mass communicators; and in which the decisive events might shift the community's effort from maximizing the material enrichment of its members to helping them achieve spiritual self-mastery or vice versa. These possibilities should be left, however, to later speculations. Ortega remained reticent about the details of his European ideal. He did not try to subject the European future to his favorite blueprint.
And Ortega had good reasons for his reticence. His critical canon made it unlikely that he would advocate a particular set of institutions for Europe, or present his personal conception of a European project as if it were valid for others. As no nation meant exactly the same thing to any two of its citizens, the form of Europe would have a unique physiognomy for each European. Recall that a civic ideal helped men create a community, not because it was identical for every person, but because it was a complicated, yet common, form that could be filled with a functional substance that, in each case, was different yet related. Such a form conduces at one time to both diversity and unity. Since innumerable substantial relations to this form can be established, it helps different persons define unique life programs for themselves; but since each unique life program will have been worked out with reference to a common form, the form helps diverse people harmonize their aspirations.
What the Europeans should seek, therefore, was not a single vision of a European project that would be forced upon all, but millions of independent visions, each of which would inform the life of a particular European with certain new, more interesting, more taxing possibilities. As these possibilities were fulfilled by each separate person, a single European achievement would aggregate from the myriad of different European projects. Thus, neither Ortega nor anyone else, not even a great group, could define Europe for the Europeans; to present a well-wrought plan would be to build a castle in the air. The real plan would be determined by the independent movement of many persons towards individual goals that they defined with reference to a common form. The men, the forms, and the ideas that would constitute Europe depended on the different determinations made by particular Europeans, each acting for himself. But the way that each would act for himself depended on the way that he perceived the possibility of Europe; and the European pedagogue could try, not to control, but to influence this pattern of perception.
Ortega's critical duty was not to produce a unifying project for all, but to provoke or invite many men to produce personal projects that, among other things, were each premised on a wider, more inclusive unity and harmony than Europeans had ever before taken seriously. To stimulate men in this way, the critic had to help them perceive the possibility, the desirability, of making real commitments to truly problematic matters. Here we meet yet another way of viewing the noble style of life: the adventurous, the heroic, the ethical always involves serious effort on something that offers no assurance of success. The revolt of the masses was a stampede away from such disciplined risks. The problem in creating Europe was one of redeveloping among men a tolerance for the profound anxiety and the keyed up pace, the alertness, that comes with any adventure/ any spirited undertaking that carries men into the unknown.
What encourages a man to define his personal hopes and duties by reference to great things, difficult things, ones that do not yet exist? What moves a man to determine his most important aspirations with regard to an indeterminate ideal, one that might lead him to greatness or to abject failure? In the past, what human capacity prompted men to plan their actions as if a nation-state or an industrial economy existed, even though there was little industry and no developed national state that could force national characteristics upon "its" citizens or even indicate what those characteristics were to be7 What human capacities had been the sources of man's historic creativity? How could these capacities be used to bring forth from the European peoples a great movement towards unification?
To answer such questions, Ortega reflected on the origin of the state. To be sure, he did not plan to reveal man's destiny by projecting into the future the erratic course that man has taken from his primeval past to his immediate present. A modicum of history teaches one to leave room for surprises. Thus Ortega did not study the origin of the state in order to force on the future the attributes of the original, essential state, of the "Urstaat"; Ortega was out to promote the kind of activity that had once originated the state and that might in the future create new social forms.
These two forms of projection differ in an important way. To project into the future a mode of action is not the same as to project onto the future a pattern of action. For millennia men have walked; they have not always walked to the same places for the same reasons. One can nurture a particular mode of action without predetermining the definite deeds to which it shall give rise; and through the turmoil of history there has been ordered change because men have preserved their basic modes of action and produced with these ever changing actualities. For instance, as men have used, between lapses, a particular combination of deductive and inductive reasoning, they have worked out physical theories as diverse as those of Ptolemy, Newton, and Einstein. In like manner, on various occasions the disciplined use of certain capacities had enabled men to create novel forms of community. Ortega sought in the origin of the state an insight into the kind of activity that had given rise to the state so that alternative means of human organization might be encouraged by encouraging the recrudescence of the originating mode of action.
Two questions can be asked about the origin of society, only one of which Ortega aimed to answer. One can inquire back through the origin in an attempt to understand the nature of its ingredients, or one can study the process of origination in an attempt to comprehend what the originator was doing to the ingredients. Anthropologists assure us that primitive clusters had a social organization even though the members of the cluster were probably unaware of their organization. In one way or another, this unconscious system of organization reflected the familial principle; and in one sense these instinctive divisions were the source, the origin, the ingredients of the first intentional efforts at conscious social organization. But this origin was not what Ortega was after; he wanted to understand the process by which particular members of a cluster first became aware of giving a definite organization to themselves. Ortega recognized that the unconscious organization of the cluster influenced the results of the first efforts at conscious organization. But he wanted to learn what impulse prompted men to become conscious of their organization and to try to shape it towards particular, desired ends. What motivated and empowered primitive men to make their cluster into a tribe with a purpose and mission?
Variations on the kinship theory of the state have long been the standard historical interpretation of man's social origins. For instance, it was asserted forcefully by Woodrow Wilson: "'What is known of the central nations of history clearly reveals the fact that social organization, and consequently government ... , originated in kinship." The State: Elements of Historical and Practical Politics, p. 2. The kinship theory of Adam and Eve in the Book of Genesis is notorious. Less well known are Hesiod's descriptions of the beginnings of the human community in the gift of Pandora to Epimetheus (Works and Days) and to Prometheus (Theogony). The Hesiodic version of the original family is curiously consistent with Ortega's contention that the family came as a defense against bands of young men, for Hesiod described a time before women existed, when there were roving tribes of mortal men: "For ere this the tribes of men lived on earth remote and free from ills and hard toil and heavy sickness which bring the Fates upon men .... " Hesiod, The Homeric Hymns and Homerica, Hugh G. Evelyn-White, trans., p. 9; cf. p. 123. Fustel de Coulanges, The Ancient City, Book II, "The Family," pp. 40–116, makes good, albeit exaggerated, use of the kinship theory in historical explanation. In De l'inégalité parmi les hommes, Rousseau raised some serious questions about the more anachronistic versions of the kinship theory, and anthropological research has borne out his suspicion that the family as it was known in Europe was not necessarily natural to primitive man. Be that as it may, the source of most types of social organization was one or another arrangement for the birth and nurture of infants.
In Plato's Republic Glaucon presented a social contract theory in Book II, 358–360; and the just state, especially in its early stages, is described as the result of an "as if" social contract in 368–374. See also: Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, Part One, Chapter XIV; John Locke, The Second Treatise of Government, Chapter VIII; and Rousseau, Du Contrat social, Livre I. In "Conjectural Beginning of Human History," Kant used both theories and in "Idea for a Universal History from a Cosmopolitan Point of View" and in "Perpetual Peace" he relied mainly on the contract. See Kant, On History, pp. 11–26, 53–68, 85–135. Ortega's own conception included several contracts. There was a contract between the virile males, and contract between the less active groups to control the virile males. See "El origen deportivo del estado," 1924, Obras II, especially pp. 616–9.
A theory of social contract was more pertinent to this question than was a theory based on the familial principle. By definition, contract theory pertains to the origin of intentional social organization; and Plato, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, and many others used it largely as a philosophical interpretation that did not need to be true to historical fact. Instead, contract theory has been an °as if" construction used to explicate one or another political theory. Ortega's conception of "the sportive origin of the state" included several contracts, and was in the end as much an °as if'" construction as the earlier theories; but on one matter Ortega thought his predecessors were far from historical fact and seriously in error.
Previous contract theorists had been primarily interested in the terms of the supposed contract, arguing whether it made the sovereign responsible to the law created or whether it put the sovereign above the law. They all took for granted, following Plato, that either way the reasons men had for entering the contract were basically utilitarian: men made a social compact to overcome the threat of the war of each against all or to avoid starvation by initiating a division of labor. Throughout these conceptions, and throughout familial theories, which based community on the needs of child rearing, theorists assumed that men were motivated by necessity, by utility, by prudence. These theories drew their conception of human motivation from the middle-class anthropology of the Enlightenment, from the bourgeois romances of noble savages and Robinson Crusoe.
Ortega, on the other hand, was schooled on the historical anthropology of Greece and Rome, and he was less ready to assume that primitive man would necessarily have acted like English merchants transposed to the wilderness. Ortega admitted that utility could be a common criterion for selecting one from among a variety of present possibilities; but utility did not bring those possibilities into being. Thus, the proverb that makes necessity the mother of invention was more carefully composed than one might think, for it leaves unanswered the truly interesting question— who was the father? ... Ah! Prometheus! Delightful rogue, did you steal the fire to serve your needs? Not at all! You stole it in a sportful play of wits with the great Zeus. Needs did not create the power of invention; it was quite the reverse. You first gave this power to the phratry of virile males who lived before women were created, and with this power they could have lived joyfully and on a par with the gods. But then, in fear and spite—at least as that old misogynist, Hesiod, tells it—Zeus fashioned the seductive Pandora and sent her with her vase of nagging needs to ensure that men would have to use their creative fire in mundane matters. But the fire was still sportful; needs held inventiveness down to earth, but the inventing itself always broke beyond the given, the expected, the habitual. Creation!—Creation was the work of exuberance!
Ortega, Concord and Liberty, Helen Weyl, trans., p. 75.
Creation always involved something that soared above and beyond the existing necessities. Previously, we noted how Ortega believed that in the balance between needs and abilities the perceived needs were more important than absolute needs. Here he took up the balance between capacities and desires in a slightly different way. Remember: "'whoever aspires to understand man that eternal tramp, a thing essentially on the road—must throw overboard all immobile concepts and learn to think in ever shifting terms."
Absolute needs, needs-in-themselves, were beyond human ken. Ortega concerned himself only with the palpable desires of men. For healthy development, these palpable desires had to be trying but not overwhelming: otherwise a man would break from the tension or go slack. Further, the needs a man perceived should be various in character; here Ortega departed from utilitarianism. Among the many things that men perceived as desirable, some were thought of as established necessities and others were considered interesting but superfluous. Man's creative capacities, his genius for adaptation, arose in the moments of leisure when a man suspended concern for the established necessities and when he indulged in a playful pursuit of the superfluous. Utilitarianism was useless. A people who settled dutifully to ministering to their established necessities and only to these would be devoid of creative power; they would never originate new, higher necessities of life. Furthermore, such sober people, men who consumed their energies in doing diligently what needed to be done, were likely to be upset by circumstances, for as circumstances changed, the established necessity would easily become a secondary matter and the secondary would become an issue of crucial concern, one whose importance the utilitarian would not recognize until it was too late.
"El origen deportivo del estado," 1924, Obras II, p. 611.
Over and over, Ortega called attention to the productive power of the sportive, the jovial, the playful. The genius of life for adaptation resided in its exuberance, which enabled the living to entertain both the primary and the secondary and to alter, when appropriate, these valuations. Great things are done for the joy of it, and man's many-sidedness is a function of the fact that he is a laughing animal. "Without greater solemnity, I would say that life is a matter of flutes: the most necessary is the superfluous. Whatever is content to respond strictly to the necessity that rules it will soon be swept away; life has triumphed on the planet because, instead of attending to the necessities that inundate it. life has flooded the world with exuberant possibilities, permitting the failure of one to serve as the basis for the victory of another." The origination of the state came, Ortega suggested, in such an exuberant flowing over.
Primitive man first lived in clusters that lacked an intentional social organization. To be sure, there were instinctive divisions: the women, children, and old men; the youthful males; and the mature males. Of these groups, the virile youths were the ones who were exuberant; they had the excess energy and impulse, after they had attended to their established needs, to band together and plan common enterprises. The state, the conscious organization of effort in the pursuit of a common goal, stemmed from their superfluous energies. Ortega hypothesized that the original organization, a phratry of virile males, came into being as the young men of a cluster joined together to steal and carry home the young women of a neighboring cluster.
Ibid., p. 616.
Evidence for Ortega's theory was considerable. The legendary rape of the Sabine women was an obvious example. Historical examination of Sparta, with its association of male warriors, and anthropological study of primitive societies, in which "houses of the unmarried" and other male associations were important, bore out Ortega's theory. Ortega mentioned Rome and Sparta: "El origen deportivo del estado," 1924, Obras II, pp. 619–620, and the houses of the unmarried, p. 617. A German anthropologist, H. Schurtz, had previously used the male associations as the basis for a theory about primitive societies, Altersklassen und Miinnerbünde, 1902. There is no evidence that Ortega was familiar with this work, although in 1937 ("Ictiosauros y editores clandestinos," Obras VIII, p. 386) Ortega praised Robert H. Lowie's Primitive Society, in which Schurtz's theory was criticized at length, pp. 257–337. But this was well after Ortega composed his essay on the origin of the state.
To be sure, in retrospect the utilitarian will say that these women, who were thus swept off their feet, served the need of preventing inbreeding. But only a Victorian prudery could lead one to believe that, in prospect, the youths initiated their audacious foray with the sober, righteous observation that for the good of the community they needed women other than those in their cluster. As the contemporary frat still says, they wanted new talent and they had sufficient excess energy to go out and find it. Thus the college fraternity is only a slightly sublimated version of the original phratry; and precisely the very virility of the males who made up this phratry had enabled them, Ortega thought, to originate purposeful social organization. The rapes they planned and performed led to war, and "with the war that love inspired arose authority, law, and a social structure." The male youths banded together to form secret societies for which they created codes, rites, and festivals. In response, to protect their interests, the women of a tribe set up a counter organization; and whether the male or the female organization became dominant was recorded long after the battle by whether rights of succession were traced through the maternal or paternal lineage. In any case, Ortega thought, the development of exogamy, war, authoritative organization, asceticism, law, and cultural association had been initiated by young men dispelling their excess energies in various unnecessary intrigues.
Ibid., p. 619.
Free, principled endeavor originated from the exuberant, sportive powers of men, from man's ability to turn away from important matters and to create and play a flute. The double meaning in English of the word "sport" is thus profoundly appropriate to Ortega's thought: the sport, the variation in normal type, occasions human development and at the same time is the creature of sport, of activity that gives enjoyment, recreation, pastime, and diversion. "It suffices for my purpose to present in the origin of the state an example of the creative fecundity that resides in the sportive potency." As Ortega saw it, all of man's great cultural works—law, science, religion, morality, art—were originated in sporting acts. This was the basis of his revaluation of values.
Scant similarity is apparent, however, between the exuberant search for women by a band of primitive youths and the ethical conception of a European ultranation. At our stage of historical development the appearance of willful fraternities would be a regression, a clear case of juvenile delinquency, and the development of an alternative to the nation would be an advance. But from the point of view of the participant in each enterprise—we should practice perspectivism along with Ortega—there was an important similarity. In both, the participant voluntarily took a place in a group, one that was not an established enterprise, joining in order to pursue the goal that the group had set itself. In both, the participant accepted rules, which were external to his whim, as standards that he should willingly attempt to fulfill. The essence of both systems was self-discipline; the source of both was a surplus, a set of possibilities that remained after necessities had been attended to. Ortega perceived, in the sportive origin of the state, that the primitive rules of the band had been the crude basis of law and ethics. He did not mean that primitive rules were an adequate substitute for ethics, but that primitive rules and each improvement that had slowly transformed the rules into ethics came from the same vital spring of the human spirit: sport. Any further improvement could also be expected to flow from the same source. Ethics were neither natural nor necessary; they were the self-imposed rules by which men ordered their superfluous spirit.
Two problems make it difficult to accept this coupling of exuberance with ethics. First, sobered by our Puritan heritage, we fear that exuberance is unethical: Dionysius seems to sponsor sin. For instance, Fascism provides an example of the sinfulness of a state with a sportive origin, for unquestionably both Mussolini and Hitler gained power through their ability to organize and manipulate the excess energies of groups that were unable to find an outlet in the established society. The Brown Shirts were a contemporary example of an association of virile males for the exploitation of those about them. The rules of this band were not a contribution to ethics, although they may be said to have had a sportive origin. Ortega would admit these observations and add that they were too superficial to be conclusive. Fascism was most significant, Ortega wrote in 1925, for what it revealed about the general condition of contemporary Europe.
"Sobre el fascismo," 1925, Obras II, p. 504.
Ibid., p. 503.
Fascism was essentially negative. The fact that it could gain power was a sign that European social movements generally lacked a significant, positive content. "Fascism and its imitators capitalize on a negative force, a force that is not their own: the debility of the others." The barbarism of the Fascists was a clear retrogression from the ethical level that Europe had attained, for the Fascists were not at the height of their times and could not improve upon the sophistication that Europe had achieved. But Fascism also clearly indicated that Europe could not simply rest at its established level. This retrogressive system was a palpable demonstration that the ideals of the nineteenth century had ceased to be effective in the twentieth. "If no one believes firmly in any form of legal polity, if there exists no institution that inflames the heart, it is natural that whoever ignores all these and occupies himself directly with other things will triumph. Hence, it results that the power of the Fascist shirts consists, rather, in the skepticism of the liberals and democrats, in their lack of faith in the ancient ideal, in their political shirtlessness. "
Each time Ortega dealt with the problem of Fascism he took it seriously; he assumed that there was some positive significance in it that could be uncovered. This is the true characteristic of the "open minded" person. He does not pliantly accept anything that comes his way; he tries to turn everything that comes his way to the best use he can. Thus Ortega used Fascism and other extreme movements to learn something about the problems that underlay twentieth-century politics. See "Sobre el fascismo," 1925, Obras II, pp. 497–505; La rebelión ... , Obras IV, pp. 189–192, 205, 211–5; "No ser hombre de partido," 1930, Obras IV, pp. 75–83; "¿Instituciones?", 1931, Obras IV, pp. 362–5; and "Un rasgo de la vida alemana," 1935, Obras V, pp. 184–206.
La rebelión de las masas, 1930, Obras IV, p. 194.
According to Ortega the ethical problem conjured up by referring to Fascism was of greater scope than that movement alone. To be sure, Fascism wrought great evil. But one would learn little by failing to take the Fascist seriously and dismissing him as a totally malevolent being. Fascism was a symptom, not a cause, of Europe's troubles; and by being content merely to suppress the Fascist, one simply forced the disease out of sight and gave it more time to incubate its terrors without resistance. The ethical failure of Europe was not caused by the presence of Fascism; rather, Fascism was an indication of the presence in Europe of fundamental ethical difficulties. Hence, it would be to put the cart before the horse to use the example of Fascism to suppress our exuberant sense of spiritual striving. To evaluate the significance of Fascism for ethics, one should use one's critical powers to show that it was a vacuous response to a real difficulty, namely, the filling out of the European nations. As an error, the Brown Shirts did not show that exuberance necessarily led to evil, but that men in search of an ethic could easily deviate and arrive at a bad one. To Ortega, Fascism was yet another demonstration that life "is the one entity in the universe whose substance is danger ."
Huizinga, Homo Ludens, pp. 1–27, 213.
Huizinga developed this idea at greater length in Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play Element in Culture. His chapters III–V are the most relevant to Ortega's conception and Huizinga referred to Ortega's "Sportive Origin of the State." Ortega thought highly of Huizinga's book. He referred to it twice, both times appreciatively: Idea del teatro, 1958, Obras VII, p. 489, and "Comentario al Banquete de Platón," 1946–1962, Obras IX, pp. 753–4. In 1943, Homo Ludens was the one book that Ortega, the unsuppressible publisher, put out in a Spanish translation, through Editorial Azar, which he had established in Portugal. Ortega's writings on sport and exuberance preceded Huizinga's by several years, and he claimed (Obras VII, p. 490, fn. 1) an important influence on his Dutch friend. But priority matters little, for the work of each makes a significant whole and both were surely familiar with Friedrich Schiller's "play impulse" that he found essential to art (see Gilbert and Kuhn, A History of Esthetics, Revised edition, pp. 366–8).
In the second objection, men grant that exuberance does not necessarily lead to evil, yet they doubt that sport can lead to good. For instance, Johan Huizinga separated the sphere of play from the "serious" questions of morality. In contrast, Ortega held that moral acts were freely willed; if they were compulsive there was no sense in distinguishing questions of morality from those of natural necessity. From where came voluntary effort? Certainly not from the capacities that allowed for mere subsistence, for these were fully occupied with the effort to provide for the root, physical necessities of life. Therefore, ethics had to come from man's surplus capacities, ones that remained after he had attended to his subsistence. Man had superfluous power, and his energy overflowed the walls of necessity; for this reason, man could invent rules for himself and will to follow them. Without exuberance, man would have no energy for ethics. Hence, the same play-element that Huizinga found to be so productive in culture was equally creative in the supposedly serious sphere of ethics.
For the etymology see "El origen deportivo del estado," 1924, Obras II, p. 617. Cf. "Discurso en el parlamento chilena," 1928, 1958, Obras VIII, p. 379.
"Carta a un joven argentino que estudio filosofía, 19241 Obras ll, p. 347.
In The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, Max Weber showed that it would be difficult to find a "sportive origin" of modern capitalism. The worldly asceticism of the Protestant ethic had extremely serious motives. Rather than disprove Ortega's theory, this difficulty gives a clue to the historical function that his exuberant ethic was to perform. Ortega believed that the spirit of industrialism, along with that of democracy, was in crisis. One of the causes of this crisis was the bankruptcy of the Protestant ethic and of its offspring—rationalist individualism. To put the matter another way, since the Reformation, Western civilization had been inspired essentially by serious motives, which the Protestant ethic typified. In the twentieth century the faiths that had justified this seriousness-belief in God, confidence in Reason, the lawfulness of Nature—were collapsing. These collapses plunged many Europeans into a deep nihilism. Ortega shared the general skepticism about the old justifications, but he was remarkably free of the despair and anguish that generally accompany contemporary skepticism, for he was deeply engaged in an attempt to transvalue our values. Ortega's position was premised on the belief that Western civilization could draw inspiration from a sense of the superfluous as well as it had from the serious. Whereas the Judeo-Christian fount of Western civilization was predominantly serious, the Greek heritage was essentially sportive. Unlike the Christian, the Greek basis for ethics was not invalidated by contemporary skepticism. Hence, the importance of Weber's analysis was not that it was an invalidation, but that it posed a challenge: will it ever be possible for a future Weber to consider "The Agonistic Ethic and the Spirit of Humanism"?
Ortega's statement that even wealth is a sporting achievement does not necessarily conflict with Weber's reflections about the relation of the Protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism. Salvation was the truly serious matter for the Protestant because it was so difficult. Weber's analysis of the relation of Calvinism to the spirit of capitalism unwittingly brought the latter very close to a form of sport, however. Calvinists believed in predestination, and therefore there was no earning grace through good works. One gained nothing of personal significance through business activity. "The life of the saint was directed solely toward a transcendent end, salvation. But precisely for that reason it was thoroughly rationalized in this world and dominated entirely by the aim to add to the glory of God on earth" (p. 118). As in sport, honor and glory were the end, only it was the glory of God rather than of the contestant. Also, there was another sportive quality to Calvinistic capitalism. The athlete seeks to prove to himself that he can perform the feat he attempts. Likewise, "in the course of its development Calvinism added something positive to this [confrontation of the ascetic with the world by ending monasticism], the idea of the necessity of proving [to oneself and one's peers, for God knew] one's faith by worldly activity" (p. 121). In general, see Weber, The Protestant Ethic, pp. 99–154. The possibility of a sportive interpretation of Weber's thesis does not contradict the observations in the previous paragraph; it is to pursue an answer to the concluding question.
In the same way, sport was the source of discipline. The essence of discipline is self-control, the acceptance of a code of conduct, and the voluntary submission to authority. Many confusions in educational theory have resulted from inability to distinguish between discipline and oppression. Although discipline often must be enforced, usually by one's peers rather than superiors, it really comes from within; whereas oppression comes from without. An example: the Spartans developed an extraordinary discipline in order to continue their cruel oppression of the Helots. There can be no discipline when one is compelled to do something. In sport, Ortega observed, men strove hard to accomplish things that they need not have accomplished. To succeed at his frivolous goal, the ·athlete submitted himself to a rigorous regimen; doing so, the athlete became the first ascetic, as the etymology of "ascetic"—self-denying in the cause of gymnastics—proved. Discipline was the means to "being in shape"; it was the result of the spiritual desire to excel all others, "to be the best man," as Homer put it. Discipline did not come from attending to truly serious matters. Even "solid and stable wealth is, in the end, an emanation of energetic spirits and clear minds; but this energy and this clarity are acquired only in purely sporting exercises that have a superfluous aspect."
Freedom and duty were a unity. The man who could only respond, who had no power of initiative, had neither freedom nor duties. Freedom arose as a man gained a sense of choice, the power to do more than nature commanded. Duty arose when the man who perceived his freedom thought that he ought, in order to pursue a chosen ideal, to affirm one and reject his other alternatives. Only men with agile spirits, a rich sense of the possible, and the courage to choose the more difficult alternative could have duties; Noblesse oblige! The free man exercised his freedom by creating duties for himself.
"No ser hombre ejemplar," 1924, Obras II, p. 358.
Ethics, discipline, and duty were self-imposed procedures that differed from the way of least resistance. Exuberance, sport, and freedom made such self-imposition possible because they were the overflow of force that gave men the power to pass up the way of least resistance and to take a more arduous route. "Moral perfection, like all perfection, is a sportive quality, something that one adds luxuriously to what is necessary and indispensable."
La rebelión de las masas, 1930, Obras IV, p. 263.
Europe would be developed through such sportive activity. Communities were the free, unnecessary creations of genius, a genius that might originate with a few but that could be shared by all. Again and again Ortega harped on the point: a society was a desirable project, an enticing task, a stirring hope, an exuberant aspiration that was conceived of by men. Imaginative men, who were strong enough to shake off the yoke of established necessity, were the originative source of vital societies. Caesar was a good example. At a moment of great confusion, Caesar perceived the outline of what was possible and initiated the realization of this order. "Imagination is the liberating power that man possesses .... The closed imagination of the Roman, represented by Brutus, advised itself to assassinate Caesar—the greatest visionary of antiquity."
"Mirabeau o el politico," 1927, Obras III, p. 625.
In the creation of new political forms, the men who first did the conceiving might not be paragons of prudence, good sense, or rational calculation. One of Ortega's creative heroes, the Marquis de Mirabeau, showed such imbalance; his youth had been leavened by great excesses and yet his imagination conceived—before it was necessary—that constitutional monarchy was the system that would bring order to Republican France. "Impulsiveness, turbidness, histrionics, imprecision, lack of intimacy, thickness of skin: these are the organic, elemental conditions of the political genius." These characteristics helped suppress the demands of apparent necessity and allowed the exuberance of the spirit to flow forth.
Nietzsche, The Joyful Wisdom, No. 95, Thomas Common, trans.
Obviously, this view contained a Nietzschean element. Nietzsche also praised the creative power of Mirabeau; but for both Nietzsche and Ortega, the demonic elements of the creative character, which were clearly present in Mirabeau, were not to be valued for their own sake, but to the degree that they freed a man to create more effective, more demanding values. By this measure, most of the gratuitous demonism of the contemporary avant-garde is mere trivia. Yet, even with that said, the dangers in assigning values a sportive origin should be recognized; the objection that making sport of serious matters can lead to abuses is true. The Marquis de Sade, as much as the Marquis de Mirabeau, sportively used his imagination to depict a possible way of life. Neither Ortega nor Nietzsche contended that a world that invited human self-definition was the best of all possible worlds, but that it was the world in which man found himself and that only by accepting this fact could men avoid the nihilism eventually engendered through self-deceiving myths.
Necessity was still the mother of invention; hence Ortega insisted that the exuberant creation of values should be followed by the prudent, reasoned examination of those values. Here was the proper function of reason, to evaluate the possibilities when one was perplexed about what one should do. But when one found oneself with insufficient or unsatisfying possibilities, prudent calculation was not the best means for creating new ones. In such straits, one had to be willing to rely on genius, on imagination, on exuberance, with the demonic element that often came with it. The fact that the demonic made abuses possible was the reason why life required men to be alert.
Renan used the image in his address "Qu'est-ce qu'une nation?" Ortega used the image at least three times in his writings: La rebelión de las masas, 1930, Obras IV, p. 265; España invertebrada, 1921, Obras III, p. 71; and Vieja y nueva política, 1914, Obras L p. 291. Each time he used it to point out that a society had to be based on a project that would win the commitment of the participants in it. Hans Kohn's conception of the nation is similar to Ortega's. For Kohn, nationality was not a natural phenomenon; it was formed by means of the decision to create a nation: n Although some of these objective factors (tradition, geography, etc.] are of great importance for the formation of nationalities, the most essential element is a living and active corporate will. Nationality is formed by the decision to form a nationality." The Idea of Nationalism: A Study of Its Origin and Background, p. 15. In conjunction with this point, Kohn, like Ortega, cited Renan's statement about the daily plebiscite (see p. 581, n. 13). Further, Kohn contended that some kind of supranationalism was necessary because democracy and industrialism had outgrown the national structures.
Genius alone was not enough. For a nation and, even more, for something greater, for Europe, many men of genius would have to conceive of great, unnecessary, yet interesting enterprises, and they would have to succeed in inviting others to join in pursuit of these goals, to join personally, intimately, with something integral to each contributed by each. A community of this kind Ortega described as a "daily plebiscite," a conception he borrowed from Renan. The daily plebiscite was a social contract of sorts, but one that did not bind the future; daily, men continually renewed or slowly eroded the spiritual bonds of a vital community. This daily plebiscite occurred as each member of a group went about his business, either recognizing deep within that he was part of a significant common enterprise or feeling estranged from such an adventure. To Ortega the daily plebiscite maintained a vital society as each member of the group continually reaffirmed its desirability by freely choosing to define his personal aspirations with reference to the common goals1 the unnecessary possibilities that the group represented.
With the idea of a continual plebiscite, political philosophy broke away from the conception of a community as a substantive bond, be it of blood, language, or history. A nation, for instance, was no longer viewed as something that was forged in the past and that should necessarily be perpetuated into the future. The official, traditional society had no rights of primogeniture over the prospective, vital community, for a moving project, the national future, was born before the national past and a moving project always preceded and was the condition of legitimate institutions. Men could not make authentic social commitments solely to past accomplishments, for the existent institutions were by themselves an established, developed enterprise, which meant that there would be nothing exuberant, sportive, unnecessary, or moral in a commitment to them alone. Authentic commitments were to a future that was not given, but was to be made. Moreover, the daily plebiscite meant that the vital significance of a group would disappear for any individual as soon as he ceased to define his aspirations with reference to its projects. Hence, in contemporary slang, participants in any group are free to "opt out." But to make good on this option with respect to the nation-state, which has become omnipresent in the world, the person can not merely opt out; he must further manage to define his aspirations with reference to some larger, more inclusive standard that may, some day, subject the nation-states to a higher law, as in the past the nation-states subjected the localities to more inclusive principles.
La rebelión de las masas, 1930, Obras IV, p. 263.
Human life is a matter of making things, of realizing in the future what was the hope of the present. Whereas the realization is rational, the work of prudential calculation, the hope itself is exuberant, the creation of the sportive overflow. In order for the rational calculations of each person's self-interests to cohere and aggregate into a cooperative community, each man had to be fired by a common hope stirring enough to command mutual allegiance, for men do not work and sacrifice for yesterday's realities, but for the morrow. "The state is always, whatever its form may be—primitive, antique, medieval, or modern—, the invitation that a group of men gives to other human groups to undertake a task together. This task, whatever its intermediate stages may be, consists ultimately in organizing a certain type of common life."
Ibid p. 276.
In sum, then, to create Europe would be a labor of love, a lark, an aspiration, a soaring free above the bonds of existing political necessities. The European creators would be masters of potentialities, rather than realities; their very existence was unpredictable: suddenly creative geniuses might appear. Their work would be the work of exuberant imagination; in the symbolical, metaphorical, spiritual realm beyond the existing necessities, they would perceive a possible Europe and challenge their peers to see who, for the fun of it, could most fully realize its possibilities. Thus, Europe would be built by invitation, for in answer to an interesting invitation men would spontaneously discipline themselves in order to join in the pursuit of the proffered goal. The work of making Europe would be free and difficult, for it would mean that the Europeans would do more than they needed to do. Then, European life would be a truly moral life, that is, a life in which one freely sets a taxing standard for oneself and holds oneself to it. To create Europe, men would use their freedom, their sportive powers, their imagination, their capacity for choice and dedication, their moral sensibility. And here the European critic encountered the real problem, for most Europeans had lost faith in these capacities. "Here is the difficulty: Europe has been left without an ethic."
Ortega's polemic was against a caricature of youth, depicting it as a period with no duties—those good old college days, the best ones of your life. Consequently, in "Juventud," 1927, Obras Ill, pp. 463–471, Ortega was more favorable to the youth of his time, but he reminded his readers that youthfulness was an obligation to set one's course for maturity. See also En torno a Galileo, 1933, Obras V, pp. 46–50, for more on the missions of youth, maturity, and old age. At the end of "Pasado y porvenir para el hombre actual," 1962, Obras IX, p. 663, Ortega made a dramatic appeal to youth, but it was an appeal that threw great obligations on the young. According to the stages of life Ortega gave in En torno a Galileo the mature man had to contend against those both younger and older than himself in order to realize his aspirations in the world. The old man, having attempted the active fulfillment of his destiny, would instead try to incite the young to define their destinies in view of the problems that the aged had found to be important. Curiously, the difference between somewhat skeptical attitudes toward youth in The Revolt of the Masses and the very enthusiastic attitude in "The Past and Future of Present Man" may be accounted for by Ortega's own transition from maturity to old age. In keeping with his own description of the stages of life, at 45 Ortega was skeptical and at 68 he was enthusiastic. Who says that Ortega was not systematic?
Ibid., p. 277.
Europe was an ethical problem, for Europe could be created only if men were willing to act exuberantly by conceiving of higher standards and holding themselves to these. At the close of The Revolt of the Masses Ortega suggested that Europeans would not create a European ultranation because their willingness to follow an ethic had disappeared. Youth was a chantage, an extortion, because adults erroneously believed that youth had no obligations, and in the name of universal youth the adults demanded carefree comfort. Thus men failed to see that precisely because the young were not yet overburdened by mundane cares, they were free to accept obligations in the significant sense. Because he did not confuse obsessive routines with exuberant obligations, Ortega castigated the cult of youth, by which the mature sought to escape the complexities of their lives, and at the same time he appealed to the young themselves to discipline their exuberant energies with a European ethic. Yet, this appeal ran against the temper of the times. "The mass man simply lacks an ethic, which is in essence the feeling of submission to something, a consciousness of service and obligation."
Men felt themselves to be mere foils for many forces. Necessity seemed master over all. Each individual was subservient to "the needs of society," and every rationalization of outrage began with an apologetic, "You must understand, we have no choice but to . ... " People could not act on principle if they perceived life as a series of compulsions, for acting on principle was choosing to act in accord with a self-imposed standard. Ortega did not believe that a man could rightly say that he had no choice; men always had a choice, for the power and possibility of choice inhered in the will of man, not in the objective situation. Human life was a moral effort; life was a struggle against one's circumstances to affirm one's chosen duty. Yet a radical defect in European culture blinded men to the openness of their lives. What was it in European culture that made men feel that they were not free to accept moral imperatives or to embark on exuberant adventures?
Unless Europeans rediscovered their ethical sensibility and their sporting spirit, Ortega feared that they would not build a European ultranation, for they would lack the playful character that enables men to undertake desired but unnecessary enterprises. Ortega did not regret the disappearance of a particular moral, a particular ethic, or a particular duty; he was disturbed by the disappearance of the capacity for moral activity, the aptitude for ethical thought, and the inclination to feel duty bound. Expediency seemed the only persuasive ground for action, which greatly diminished the European capacity for development.
Here, then, we have come full circle. The claim that Ortega was a leader of this age depends on his having helped set in motion the movement towards European unity. As he saw it, this movement would be a sportive movement, one undertaken in an exuberant spirit, a free acceptance of the rules that would create a more difficult, more interesting game. Without such a movement, the European man who let himself be confined in his nation-state would settle further into insentience and inertia. The problem, however, was that a sportive movement towards unity offered no guarantees to anyone; it would come about only if multitudes of men responded personally to an uncertain invitation. Here was Ortega's optimism and radicalism. Unlike the calculating political scientist, he believed that Europeans had deep within them the capacity for ethical effort; Europeans would respond creatively to the right invitation. If the human soul is inert, recognizing a reason for action only in the calculations of expediency, this ethical radicalism will be ridiculous. Ortega himself observed that it was out of harmony with the times. But Ortega was still willing to put the matter to a test, to a long-term test: he was not about to argue interminably whether the sportive creation of Europe was possible, necessary, and inevitable; he did not care to insist at the start that men have assurance of success. Ortega was engaged in a serious but playful experiment, trying through his sportive effort to help set in motion the process of European unification. One of the first steps of this experiment was a critique of the very attitude that would hold it suspect.
Where the expedient was sovereign, experiment was suspect. To encourage the European to experiment with unity, the critic sought to expose the cultural defect that made the expedient seem sovereign.
If you do not expect the unexpected, you will not find it; for it is hard to be sought out and difficult.