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2009.10.05, 1425  Yәrushâlayim Time

Roots of Obama's Social Revolution

My Birth Date: Obscure & Unlikely Key To Unlocking Source of Obama's Revolution & World's Ills

Have you ever wondered what was the 'State of the World' the day you came into it? What has changed since that day and have you, through your life's work and career, contributed in a positive or negative way toward bettering the world? If you haven't, you should. It's a worthy exercise personalizing your connection to the world… and an effective reality check. The day my daughter was born, almost a quarter-century ago, I purchased a couple of Israeli papers to make it easier for her to see what was going on that day. I'd been searching for such a connection for a number of years even back then.

For a number of years, I've searched the web for some significant event that occurred the day I was born: 1943.05.29. I've been searching for something that was not only significant in world events but also that I can relate to problems I've been grappling with; trying to educate the public to make the world better than when I entered. Ongoing military campaigns of WW-II achieved nothing of world note on that date. The most significant event on that date seemed to be the appearance of Norman Rockwell's painting, 'Rosie the Riveter,' celebrating women's contribution to the war effort, on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post—and I've never been able to find any meaningful connection between that and anything I could relate to, even in the smallest way, as my personal magnum opus contribution to the world.

Until yesterday, when my search turned up an obscure note keyed to my birth date from a scholarly 1997 paper in the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences on the development of psychology:

"51. Members of SPSSI [Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues] and the Eastern Psychological Association (EPA) were quick to rally around Watson. In a unanimous resolution, the EPA vouched for the 'scientific integrity and professional competence of Goodwin Watson, and in the value of his present work.' The EPA members also stated that they 'regard him as a loyal citizen of the United States and not subversive in either speech or conduct.' See 'Psychological Association Defends Goodwin Watson,' Science News Letter (May 29, 1943): 341…" (Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences: Vol 33(1), 39-60 Winter 1997 © 1997 John Wiley & Sons. Inc.

First, in light of the enormous global media attention to American Pres. Barak Obama's wide-ranging revolution of social issues, the phrase "Social Issues" caught my eye; then the full phrase: " Psychological Study of Social Issues."

When I saw the title of the paper, The Politics Of Scientific Social Reform, 1936-1960: Goodwin Watson And The Society For The Psychological Study Of Social Issues by Ian Nicholson, the phrases "politics of scientific social reform" and "psychological study of social issues," many of these terms headlining countless media pieces, captured my attention.

I was astounded to find the original root of Pres. Obama's entire web of social organization… and, more importantly, how the liberals have achieved such startling success by remaining under the radar until they were in control to announce a fait accompli; that the revolution was over, won and it only remained to inform the naïve and recalcitrant conservatives who have had their heads in the sand feeling safe for decades; and now that they finally realize that they're threatened they don't know how to extricate them.

Immediate confirmation of the origins of "social democratic goals" and "left-wing political alliances" among psychologists is found even in Nicholson's preface:

"This paper explores the development and subsequent transformation of a 'radical' professional model in American psychology. Its focal point is Goodwin Watson and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI), an organization Watson helped found in 1936. During the Depression, he and many of his SPSSI colleagues called upon psychologists to abandon value neutrality and political disinterestedness in favor of an explicit set of social democratic goals and left-wing political alliances. Government service and political [right-wing conservative anti-communist & McCarthy] persecution during World War II led Watson to conclude that his Depression era calls for sweeping change in psychology had neglected a number of significant political dimensions. Of particular importance was the problematic interface between psychological expertise and policy formation. In response to this concern, Watson encouraged the development of the now familiar model of the psychologist as a disinterested purveyor of value-neutral expertise."

Neither Glenn Beck nor scholars yet comprehend the length, breadth or depth of Obama's revolution, now "suddenly" revealed apparent fait accompli.

Within a day of discovering my key, as if corroborating its significance, Eurekalert published a corroborating brief of a professional paper by the Association for Psychological Science: "Wheres the Science? The Sorry State of Psychotherapy" (2009.10.02).

"The prevalence of mental health disorders in this country has nearly doubled in the past 20 years. Who is treating all of these patients? Clinical psychologists and therapists are charged with the task, but many are falling short by using methods that are out of date and lack scientific rigor. This is in part because many of the training programs—especially some Doctorate of Psychology (PsyD) programs and for-profit training centers—are not grounded in science…

"There are multiple practices in clinical psychology that are grounded in science and proven to work, but in the absence of standardized science-based training, those treatments go unused… a new accreditation system is the key to reforming training in clinical psychology. This new system is already under development: the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS www.pcsas.org)."

Obama's platform of "social change" revolution did not occur overnight. This is the culmination of decades of building the network who orchestrated the widespread liberal support that got him elected; a colossal achievement, of world significance, illuminated by the following abridgment of Nicholson's paper (see earlier link for unabridged paper).

"In 1939, the recently created Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) published an edited book entitled Industrial Conflict: A Psychological Interpretation.1 With articles on 'workers as a potentially dominant class,' a Marxist history of industrial conflict, and a critique of 'liberal' social science, the book was a novel departure for American psychology. Not only did the book examine subjects traditionally avoided by American psychologists, it did so from a politically and intellectually unorthodox point of view. Most of the contributions to Industrial Conflict were clearly informed by a socialist politics, and many questioned either directly or indirectly the very possibility of an objective science. Although the book was by no means indicative of American psychology as a whole, it was, however, representative of a significant minority of the field's membership. Industrial Conflict spoke for many of the field's younger members, and perhaps more significantly, it represented the views of those psychologists who wished to expand the field's role in everyday life.

"Less than ten years later, in 1945, the SPSSI launched its own journal, the Journal of Social Issues. The topic and the tone of the discussions in the new journal were very different from those that had appeared in Industrial Conflict. The 1945 issue on the 'Problems of Bureaucracy' is a case in point.2 The revolutionary images that had colored the pages of the Depression-era book had given way to a gradualist vision of liberal progress. Concerns about the relationship between psychologists and the general public were eclipsed by an emphasis on the place of psychological expertise in bureaucracy. Finally, the self-criticism that had characterized Depression-era discussions of social science had been replaced by a quiet confidence in the discipline's methods and vision. Eleven years on, the progression from radicalism to liberalism, from disgruntled outsiders to contented insiders was complete. In 1956, David Krech and Dorwin Cartwright published a brief historical overview of the SPSSI that effectively captured social psychology's prevailing political mood.3 The organization was presented as a stable and robust entity dedicated to liberal reform through scientific research. It was confident in its methods and clear in its mandate. Conspicuous by its absence was any sign of the spirit of the social criticism, activism, and class-based analysis that had animated the organization during the Depression.

"The political and institutional development of American psychology from 1935 to 1955 is one of the most important chapters in the discipline's recent history. For it was during this crucial period that the field was transformed from a predominantly academic system of ideas into the multifaceted profession that it is today… The present study will try to shed some light on this movement by examining the career of Goodwin Watson (1899-1976). Watson provides a useful focus for those interested in the history of psychological expertise, because his career and thought closely parallel the ideological and institutional trajectory of the discipline's applied wing. During the Great Depression, Watson was one of the most influential critics of mainstream psychology. He repeatedly maintained that psychology needed to reconstruct its epistemology and its model of professional practice to better facilitate social change. Instead of regarding themselves as dispassionate observers of objective truth, Watson urged his colleagues to regard themselves as politically committed activists. To further this end Watson helped organize the SPSSI in 1936, a body that would later play a key role in moving the American Psychological Association in a more applied direction.4 … By the 1950s, he was advocating a model of 'value-neutral' professional expertise similar to the much criticized model employed by contemporary psychologists. A consideration of Watson's experiences helps make clear the political and intellectual choices that psychologists made in their quest to exercise influence.


"Watson's formative years and his reasons for entering psychology in the 1920s typify the experience of many of his reform-minded colleagues. Born in 1899, in Whitewater, Wisconsin, Watson was the eldest son of Walter Starr Watson, a Normal School biology professor, and Ellen Goodwin Watson, a teacher turned homemaker. Both parents had a reverence for education and for the precepts of Social Gospel Methodism. God, science, and a Wesleyan 'enthusiasm for humanity' were the hallmarks of Watson's upbringing.5 Watson was ordained as a deacon in the Methodist Church at the age of eighteen and despite the uncertainties of faith he periodically experienced, he decided upon graduation from the University of Wisconsin to enter the ministry full time. He wanted to 'save the world' and in his Methodist mind, the ministry was the best place from which to undertake such a mission.6 There could be 'no hope for the ultimate solution of our social problems,' he wrote in a 1920 diary entry, 'except in the development of character,' a province usually overseen by religious educators.7

"Watson's enthusiasm for religious education was pronounced, but it did not last long. Shortly after beginning his work as a religious educator he began to question his faith and the efficacy of the church as an agent of social transformation. He was no longer moved by religious symbolism and his practical experience as a church worker in Harlem convinced him that the church would never be able to bring about social change on the scale he hoped for. Science, particularly psychology, appeared to hold this promise. In 1923, Watson left the ministry and enrolled as a graduate psychology student at Teachers College, Columbia University. The discipline was to pick up where the church left off. It was to be a vehicle for furthering a moral cause: the building of a new, more humane society. In an autobiographical statement Watson recalled thinking that 'we [in psychology] could do better the very things that the religious education program was trying to do…'8

"What was needed, Watson felt, was a psychology that would be socially engaged and politically responsible. He discussed the idea with several colleagues at the 1934 meeting of the American Psychological Association and found that there was support for a 'psychology [that] could properly help in making plans for transient relief, … collectivization, community planning, adult education, labor struggles, social insurance, economic reforms and revolutions.'11 With the help of Isadore Krechevsky (a.k.a. David Krech) and a handful of others, Watson made this idea a reality in September 1936, with the formation of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, a 'national group of socially minded psychologists.'12 With Watson as Chairman and Krechevsky as Treasurer, SPSSI declared its intentions in a bold statement of purpose. The Society would 'work effectively for both the immediate and ultimate freedom of psychology to do its utmost to make contemporary American society intelligible to its members; and to test hypotheses regarding social change.'13 In doing this, Watson hoped to inspire popular discontent, which he assumed would in turn bring about a scientifically administered, social democratic state.'14

"SPSSI's emphasis on the general public and its goal of bringing 'the scientists one step nearer to the statesman' led to new forms of professional activity.' 15 One of the most important initiatives involved what one modern theorist has termed 'conscientization': 'the effort to enlighten men about the obstacles preventing them from a clear perception of reality?' It involves the 'ejection of cultural myths which confuse the people's awareness:' 16 The 'cultural myth' that Watson and many of his SPSSI colleagues endeavored to expose was the capitalist economy of the United States. Having surveyed the American social and economic landscape, Watson was convinced that America's economic organization was grossly unjust. Capitalism was a system of 'scarcity' and 'exploitation of the many by and for the few:' 17 What kept it in place despite its many failings was a powerful ideological framework that prevented ordinary people from seeing the 'true' nature of social and economic relations. The task of the politically enlightened psychologist as Watson saw it was to penetrate this veil of false consciousness. He called upon psychologists to 'help the average citizen see through the efforts to misconstrue our economic and political predicament' on the assumption that working class awareness of the shortcomings of capitalism would precipitate significant political change.' 18

"Along with conscientization, Watson also urged his SPSSI colleagues to undertake an intellectual program similar to what Prilleltensky has termed 'annunciation': 'conceiving a just social arrangement in which the well-being of the population is fostered.' 19 In Watson's view, psychologists could help determine the character of the ideal society and the means by which that society could be brought to pass. The discipline could identify 'the liberties most essential to human satisfaction' and 'define, for the intelligent leaders of social progress, the conditions under which the state can be made a dependable instrument of peaceful social transformation.' 20

" 'I came to realize.' Watson noted, 'that there are really not many people trained in social psychology. who have had much contact with political theory and forces in other lands.' 28 Thus, in November 1941 Watson went to Washington, D.C. to begin his duties as Chief propaganda analyst…"

Then, buried in a discussion of Congressional anti-communist hearings swirling around Goodwin Watson, the obscure birth date key was even further buried in an even more obscure note, that unlocked the gate to this trail: The anti-communist Congressional Committee "ignored numerous character references from Watson's colleagues in psychology.' 51"— the inconspicuous note shown at the beginning of this article.

"In cultivating the image of objective expert, Watson was engaging in a communal activity. Wartime experience had led many of his SPSSI colleagues to a heightened awareness of the political problems of mobilizing and selling psychological expertise on a nationwide scale. Down-playing political commitments and heightening the apparent objectivity of psychology were the most promising means of strengthening the authority and political viability of psychology

"Ironically, the 'wiser course' that Watson pursued led him back to a manner of professional engagement with social change that was reminiscent of the program of religious character building that he had abandoned back in the 1920s. Wesleyan character builders had worked toward social improvement by means of individual conversion. Watson's 'new' approach to social reform had an equally individualized, spiritual focus. His attention now turned to 'T-groups,' a quasi-therapeutic procedure aimed at developing psychological wellbeing and social understanding.96 Watson thought that T-group graduates would be able to 'listen better ... understand better … [be] easier to work with … [be] more flexible [and be] more open to change.' Deployed properly, Watson also believed that the procedure had important implications for social change. It seemed to offer the possibility of meaningful reform without having to engage in dangerous and draining political confrontation. Groups of senior executives from government and business could be gathered together and sensitized to the psychological and social needs of the people for whom they were responsible. A sustained application of these procedures across all administrative levels would ultimately result in a better adjusted workplace and a healthier society.

"The vigor with which Watson mobilized T-Group technology is a testament to his faith in its reforming power. Like the itinerant Methodist minister of old, Watson spent many weekends in his later career traveling a modern 'sawdust trail,' speaking to small groups of the spiritually needy. However, the flock to which Watson now ministered was quite unlike the largely working-class Methodist audiences of old. Watson's new audience consisted largely of senior executives of the nation's largest corporations.97 They gathered together under the auspices of the National Training Laboratory's Key Executive Laboratory, an elite T-Group session for which Watson was partly responsible. A typical session would be held at a yacht or country club and might include such influential organization men as the treasurer of Dow Chemical, the vice president of Union Carbide, a division chief of the National Security Agency, and the manager of manufacturing of Lockheed Missiles and Space Company.98 Through invitingly titled seminars such as 'On Giving and Receiving Help,' 'Improving Interpersonal Perception,' and 'Significant Dimensions of Group Excellence,' Watson endeavored to facilitate social change by helping these executives become more sensitive, more socially minded, and more aware of the aspects of social change and group dynamics.99

"Watson's choice of senior management as both the site of psychological intervention and the engine of social reform may be viewed as a comment on what was politically feasible in Cold War America, but it can also be read as an endorsement of the virtue of the modem corporate sensibility. By 1960, Watson had largely assimilated the corporate world's own self-image as an enlightened domain in need only of an occasional bit of therapy. For instance, in 1963 Watson remarked that executives were 'more enlightened, socially conscious, [and] aware of a responsibility' than their counterparts in the labor movement.100 Far from being the fetters on science and a 'small reactionary ruling class,' as he had portrayed them in the 1930s,101 Watson now felt that corporations were benevolent friends worthy of support. They are now people's 'basic social unit,' the new 'community, a place where they are rooted, where they belong, where people will understand them and help to take care of them.' 102 They had:

"enlarge[d] their concern not only for workers but also for the communities in which they operate. The higher the level of management, the greater appears to be the focus on purposes and values. At the peak of the enterprise stand men who must answer the questions of 'Whither?' and 'Why?' and 'For what ends?' Profit is not the only determinant.103


"…In the 1930s, Watson translated a message of redemption through science into what then seemed like a plausible political program. His experience in bureaucracy and his confrontation with anticommunists in the 1940s and early 1950s, undermined the credibility of the Depression era framework. A different political language and new political allies were needed to realize the goal of a scientifically managed, democratic society

Watson's life-long efforts to address these [three pressing considerations: a commitment to progressive social change; a network of complex, sometimes dangerous political forces; and, finally, a professional obligation to maintain one's authority as a scientific expert] would seem to suggest that in order to purchase political viability and scientific status psychologists are often obliged to adopt a political and scholarly posture that ultimately subverts their moral intentions… Viewed in the light of Watson's postwar career, this perceptive passage adds further emphasis to the political and professional problems confronting all psychologists who wish to use their profession as a vehicle for significant social reform…' "

Rainbow Rule

This is the same agenda and methodology, that has informed and spawned the postmodernist philosophy (which asserts that there are no absolutes; everything is "value-neutral" and relative—moving goalposts everyday) driving the liberals' politics—globally. See my earlier 2005 paper, "Satan, Religion of: Relativism (2005.06.21)" and "Today's Satan-science or relativism vs religiosity" (2009.08.03; both in our Web Café archives).

Watson's seed has been sown from his early origins in pulpits to his later profession in psychology training in universities and board rooms, spreading among churches, major corporations and universities; upward to politics and downward into lower schools.

Quite a Medusa!

Implications For Today

Anyone who still thinks that the "capitalist" financial pillars of American civilization collapsed as a result of oversight, lack of regulation, executive incompetence or even "capitalist greed," delude themselves. Their agenda is exposed in the scholarly literature above. To even suggest leading liberals are unaware of liberal goals is a mockery of intelligent reasoning. So, look at who drove—deliberately undermined and sabotaged—Freddie Mack and Fannie May and all of the peripheral financial institutions to swamp themselves in making conspicuously bad loans they knew a high percentage of which could not be repaid, ensuring eventual collapse, with the inevitable domino effect throughout the supporting network of financial institutions. This deliberate and calculated sabotage was ramrodded by infamous rabid liberal, Massachusetts Sen. Barney Frank (Until he recently died, who ran Barney Frank's state, directing who was elected to Congress? Granddaddy liberal Ted Kennedy!) in collaboration with Nancy Pelosi and the whole liberal Medusa network that developed in the articles above. As an even further humiliation, the entire Medusa network labels patriotic Americans, who complain of these widespread betrayals of America, crazy rioters.

Viewed in the real world, countless liberal collaboraters—all striving for the same goal of destroying capitalism—come into focus. Blaming "capitalist greed" was the liberals' perfect propaganda diversion, at once diverting attention from the saboteurs described in these articles while blaming their unswerving target: capitalists.

Think about it: since the inception of capitalism, those who have a vested interest in their company and work are concerned for the long term. My undergraduate degree is a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (UF, '68). I can attest that the long term was taught in the UF Business School as a basic principle of doing business. The idea of "screwing the capitalists," taking what you can and absconding, is liberal, anti-capitalist, methodology. Surprise! The guys you love to hate are liberals, not capitalists; hate-mongering, slandering anti-Americans, not patriotic Americans.

Even if you ignorantly (and immorally) have been indoctrinated in liberal goals by the Medusa to generalize company owners and corporate executives as evil demons different from you—uncaring about their employees, society and America—they still want something to retire on down the line just like you do. They want jobs and prosperity for their children just like you do. As a point of business and financial education: dishonest, untrustworthy and unethical individuals are shunned even more in corporate and financial America than in the general public—and the higher one rises (the more one is invested) in corporate and financial America, the stronger that shunning becomes; a simple formula of avoiding being ripped off becomes increasingly important as one accumulates more to be ripped off. (To the dismay of liberals, these same corporate and financial Americans frequently are protecting their ability to support various charities.) The overwhelming majority of corporate and financial Americans are wise enough to recognize that they cannot afford to do business with such people. To blame the many for the evils of the few is no less immoral among corporate and financial America than among the general citizenry.

However, something, some government trend and theat, convinced them that the long term was being taken from them; and they had no choice but to consider their own families over the increasingly menacing, anti-capitalist environment, forcing those who recognized the inevitable direction of this threat to desert their ships. One doesn't desert one's ship unless all hope of saving it from sinking has been lost—and the liberal Medusa was firing torpedos from all directions.

While all of this was going on, exactly as the psychologists had correctly predicted, hedonist America was self-absorbed, heads in the sand, not listening until, perhaps, it was too late to stop the liberal tsunami. How gullible you, and even Glenn Beck, still are. How much more you still have to learn if you're going to overcome the Medusa.

For those who seek, or think they are receiving, counsel from psychologists: Caveat Emptor: hidden agendas (even many psychologists are themselves naïve & unaware of their "lofty goals," with which psych students are still unquestioningly being indoctrinated—"Don't think! It's my answers and political agenda or flunk!"—in universities around the world). This informs and impacts everything from politics to—wait for it—the "art" (humanities degrees) of archeology and Biblical criticism.

Wake u-uuup; wakey, wakey. You've been slumbering too long. Better get moving while if you still can.

The beginning of wise counsel is in revering -- and adhering to His Tor•âh.

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