chapter  VIII
9 Pages


Any social condition that imposes unnecessary pressure and restriction on people attacks their affect-ego. Any social condition that robs the individual of his sense of security hurts his affect-ego. I suggest, on the other hand, that the affect-ego is also the core of the social personality, it is that that determines the quality of the good or bad citizen, the good or bad fellow-being. The more satisfactory, the more level are the emotion-egos of individuals, the more do genuine peace and genuine happiness fill the spheres of communal life. And all the disharmony of our day, the restlessness and dissatisfaction, the disunity and universal tendency toward animosity and the struggle of all against all, the insincerity even where there is no special advantage in being insincere, the nervous sham-peace in social life-all this is due to the fact that the emotion-egos of people are under constant strain, owing to complicated conditions of living, and to the experience of injustice and enslavement. The person with a harmonious affect-ego reacts-that is to say, lives and acts-in

4. Sufficient and appropriate food, with all the necessary vitamins; sunshine and air; hygienic and fairly comfortable housing; public transport saving as much energy as possible, with frequent services in all directions and pleasant, wellupholstered coaches; not much noise on the streets, no industrial fumes and poisonous products in residential districts; green parks and benches wherever possible; public lavatories in far greater number than has been usual hitherto, and for men and women alike-all these factors, if provided satisfactorily, would contribute to a better development and better-preserved integrity

Inner freedom and spontaneity, and relaxation in the measure necessary for well-being, depends not only on one's inborn capabilities, not only on appropriate impressions received in one's youth, but on the sum-total of the above lifelong environmental influences; and each separate item of them is contributory to the individual's affect-ego. Yet, as has been said, the quality of the affect-ego largely determines whether or not the particular individual can behave calmly under average conditions without undue excitement, and whether or not the individual has the desirable nervous energy, enabling him to be as good and kind and loving, as dutiful and tolerant as he is expected to be, and as he himself would naturally like to be.