Monday, 21 January 2013

Psychology of Politics...... and Graham Wallas.

I've been reading rather a lot by this man - Graham Wallas, recently. In a way it's why I haven't posted quite as often as before, as I've been reading his ideas, thinking how they relate to the modern world of politics and trying to understand how they might be updated to do so. The uppermost thought in my mind, however has been, what happened to his ideas?

He's really concerned, in Human Nature and Politics, written in 1908, with what lessons we can learn from the field of psychological study for the field of politics.  In my view the argument shouldn't really need to be made that this should be considered - I see politics as part of life, from the jockeying around the water cooler, to satisfying different generations and relations in a family, to the statesmanship between countries and continents, we're all human beings, and it's all politics.

Psychology, the study of the mind, and the mental characteristics of people, is to me, the inner life, of which politics is the outer manifestation.... the relationships we have with each other being related to the relationship we have with ourselves.

I'll probably post a bit more of his work, as it's having quite a profound effect on me. As is the thought, that over a century ago, there was a man thinking a number of similar things to myself - it's both inspiring and humbling at the same time.

But for now, I'll just leave you with some of his words:

 "Political impulses are not mere intellectual inferences from calculations of means and ends; but tendencies prior to, though modified by, the thought and experience of individual human beings."


  1. Have you read the Political Brain and/or the Righteous Mind?

  2. I've just purchased the Political Brain and I haven't read the other - do you recommend both?