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Saturday, August 27, 2011

A great thinker

Those of who who have found this page because you received a forged email, attributed to me, comparing President Obama to Hitler, should know right away that it is a forgery that does not reflect my views. I ask you however to read this entire post.

Three weeks ago, in the middle of a research trip, I dropped into Barnes and Noble and checked out the psychology section. I found a relatively new book by one of my favorite thinkers, Alice Miller, The Body Never Lies, and sure enough, my physical reaction told me that I was in the mood for it. A few days later, googling, I made the shocking discovery that Dr. Miller had died last year, and that I had evidently skipped the Times obituaries that day. The book was a good one, although not one of her best, and it set me thinking not only about my own life, but about her crucial historical insights and their relevance to what we are going through today.

The obituary and other material that has been published since her death revealed some surprising facts about her life. She lived most of her adult life in Switzerland, but because she wrote in German and her work focused extensively on Germany, I had always assumed she was German herself. She was instead born in Lwow, in Poland, in 1923--earlier than I had imagined--and according to her Wikipedia entry, written by a woman who claims to have known her well, she was in fact Jewish. Although much of her work dealt with the holocaust and its origins, she never mentioned that in any of her books, although she had some scathing things to say about the influence of the Old Testament in one of my favorites, Thou Shalt Not Be Aware.

Miller's greatest insight, in my opinion, was that children simply have no choice but to love their parents, no matter what their parents do to them, physically, emotionally, or even sexually. Those of us fortunate to have parents who actually respect us and encourage us to have our own feelings do not have to learn denial to feel that love, but they, she argued, are surely a relatively small minority. For much of western history, and certainly as late as the 18th and 19th centuries, child-rearing consisted explicitly of compelling children to affirm certain feelings and deny certain others. And even today, millions of parents punish small children, if only by isolation, for expressing certain feelings. My own experience has taught me that this is not necessary. Fortunately, I had started reading her when my own children were small, and their mother and I allowed them to express absolutely anything inside our home. I found to my amazement that they could get the most furious anger out of their system if allowed to do so in just a few minutes, and I know now they will benefit from that all their lives.

Because of feelings about their parents they must deny, Miller argued, many, many people spend their entire lives denying their true feelings about almost everything. All of society, she thought, was terrified of peoples' feelings about their parents in particular, and that went for our own profession of psychoanalysts and psychotherapists as well. She was among several who realized that Freud, tragically, had turned away from his original findings of sexual abuse among his middle-class female patients because they were simply too threatening to the society around him. Instead he decided that his patients, driven by "infantile sexuality" and fantasies common to us all, had made up their stories, thus shifting the guilt from the abusive parent to the innocent child. Now, as she mentioned in her last book, the leaders of the psychiatric profession have gone in a completely different direction: they treat their patients with drugs rather than take much interest in what actually happened to them. That is not surprising. As I well know, the most powerful drug in our society, more powerful even than alcohol or cocaine, is success. Most of those who achieve it regard it as proof that nothing that could have happened to them as children was very significant in the long run--which is, actually, often the exact opposite of the truth. Had their parents given them a genuine sense of self-worth, they would not have had to spend the rest of their lives frantically proving it with achievement and money.

Miller's work had historical significance because she dared to apply her insights both to artists and writers and to political figures--most of all, to Adolf Hitler, whose childhood and life she treated at length in For Your Own Good. Many of Hitler's biographers mentioned that his father beat him frequently, but, as she noted, nearly all of them immediately added that such treatment was normal in those days and that of course it would be a mistake to blame his crimes upon it. And indeed, in Albert Speer's memoirs one can find Hitler not only mentioning the many beatings his father gave him, but affirming that they must have done him a great deal of good. (I myself ran into that kind of censorship in the 1990s when I reviewed one of Pat Buchanan's books for an obscure journal that no longer exists. Attempting to explain Buchanan, I pointed out, and documented, that Buchanan, like Hitler, was an abused child who bragged about the good his father's beatings had done him. The publisher of the journal refused to print that.) The opposite, as Miller showed, was true. They left Hitler both with an obsession with creating great and lasting monuments, and with an endless reservoir of hatred which he could only satisfy at the expense of the lives of Jews and Poles. Stalin was also repeatedly beaten by his father. So, Miller showed, were many of Hitler's collaborators, from top Nazis on down to concentration camp guards. The racism of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries gave them the excuse they needed to treat millions of people the way they had been treated themselves.

Typically, as soon as I had discovered Miller I found a way to work her into my teaching, in a course on historical fiction about the great crisis of the first haf of the twentieth century. For several years I made students write papers using her analysis on characters in the books we were reading, and then, finally, in 1989 I summoned the courage to offer them the choice of writing about themselves. The results were quite astonishing, and led to more than one long-term friendship. But sadly, I can see now that Miller's work was suited to the Awakening, when the world was relatively stable externally and we could all focus on our inner lives. It is probably more relevant today than it was then, but it is harder to retain her perspective in the midst of yet another great political crisis. Yet we must try.

To begin with, the whole Boomer-led revolt against the world we grew up in that began in the mid-1960s was an explosion of raw emotion, a reaction against the denial our parents had resorted to, inevitably, to endure the depression and the second world war. Rock 'n Roll in the 1950s was loud, occasionally angry, and full of feeling, and older generations immediately understood its menace to their world view. That however was only the beginning. Boomers actually did a remarkable job of suppressing their feelings as children, but they made up for it as adolescents. And from then until now, their own feelings have been more important than anything else. "If it feels good, do it," has remained their motto, and that has contributed to the decline of rationalism among Boomers of all political stripes.

But beyond that, denial obviously has a lot to do with right-wing political activism today. More than once we have discovered that right-wing Republican politicians or fundamentalist clerics railing about the danger of homosexuality were actually struggling with their own feelings. And where does the strength of the anti-tax movement come from? Could it be that richer Americans regard their wealth as proof of their superior moral worth, and that any government attempt to take more of it threatens to make them confront the issue of why they needed success so badly in the first place? Are their coping mechanisms threatened by the idea that their wealth does not stem entirely from their own efforts? The answer, I think, must be yes.

It was not long before I discovered Miller that I discovered Solzhenitsyn, and The First Circle was another key text in the course that I taught. It, too, had a powerful message: that prisoners, excluded from society's system of normal rewards and punishments, were the only citizens of the Soviet Union free to discover and express their essential humanity and their true feelings. Sadly, perhaps writers like Miller--and Orwell, if he is rightly understood--will always be primarily a source of comfort to outsiders. I am no exception. I have often thought that had my life gone more as I had imagined it, the drug of success might have spared me a long confrontation with various aspects of the truth about myself. Yet it would have also left me with much less insight about a great many things, and fortunately, I must have enjoyed what I do more for its own sake than for whatever success it might have brought me. I hope younger therapists, in particular, will have the courage to pick up where Alice Miller left off, even if work like hers is destined never to become orthodoxy.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Two-party system

[Those of who who have found this page because you received a forged email, attributed to me, comparing President Obama to Hitler, should know right away that it is a forgery that does not reflect my views. I ask you however to read this entire post.]

With the exception of relatively short periods such as the 1820s, the late 1850s, and 1912, the United States has essentially had a two-party system. In the 1820s the Federalists disappeared and what drama remained took place within the Democratic Party, until in the early 1830s the Whigs formed in opposition to Andrew Jackson. About twenty years later the collapse of the Whigs, followed by a split among the Democrats in 1860, created a very confused situation that allowed Abraham Lincoln to win a sweeping electoral majority with only a little more than 40% of the popular vote, but the war turned the Republicans into the majority party at least in the North (and for a while, during Reconstruction, in some of the South as well.) In 1912 Theodore Roosevelt's attempt to return to the White House split the Republicans and Woodrow Wilson, like Lincoln, won a huge electoral majority with a popular minority. (Wilson failed again to win a popular majority in 1916, although he had a bare plurality.) Third parties won about five southern states in 1948 and in 1968 because of the civil rights movement, once again depriving the victor of a popular majority. Ross Perot played the same role in 1992 and 1996, although he won only a few electoral votes.

The two-party system has fulfilled the essential function of modern democracy: to allow the public, or that part of it whose votes cannot be counted on by either the Republicans and Democrats, to change our leadership when things go badly. William Henry Harrison, the first Whig president, defeated Martin Van Buren in 1840 because of an economic panic. Grover Cleveland came into office by a very narrow margin in 1884 because of disgust with Republican corruption. Franklin Roosevelt came in by a landslide in 1932 because of the Depression, and Dwight D. Eisenhower did the same in 1952 thanks to frustration with the seemingly endless Korean War. The civil rights movement and the Vietnam War destroyed the New Deal coalition in the mid-1960s and Richard Nixon barely made it into the White House in 1968 as a result. Watergate and the Nixon pardon brought in Jimmy Carter in 1976, but more economic problems and setbacks abroad turned him out four years later. Recession brought Bill Clinton in to power in 1992. The case of George W. Bush in 2000 was very different: the country showed no overwhelming disgust with the Democratic Party, and the best available evidence suggests that he was not really elected at all.

Most of these transfers of power, however, made relatively little difference to the country, because they took place in eras of broad consensus about the role of government. Harrison and hid immediate successor John Tyler made no attempt to bring back the Bank of the United States. Grover Cleveland's only policy difference with the Republicans involved the extent of the tariff. Franklin Roosevelt, of course, was a truly revolutionary President, but after he left the scene the Republicans did not try to undo his revolution. Indeed, Eisenhower not only left the major achievements of the New Deal alone, but also defended and continued Truman's highly controversial foreign policies. Richard Nixon made no attempt to undo the great society and even brought the EPA into being simply because he did not want to take on a Democratic Congress on that particular issue. Ronald Reagan's major contribution was to change a progressive tax system into a regressive one. Meanwhile, however, a new generation, the Boomers, was growing up without much respect for anything their elders had done.

We are now in a new crisis era, and we face a potential catastrophe because only one party--the Democrats--seems remotely capable of governing at all. That is not to say that the Democrats are doing at all well. Barack Obama's response to the economic crisis he inherited fell short in critical respects. The stimulus was not nearly large enough, nor sufficiently focused on jobs. His Justice Department and SEC decided to let the big banks and mortgage companies escape their responsibilities for the crisis unscathed. He did not take the opportunity to let the Bush tax cuts expire. After last year's elections he adopted the catastrophic idea that cutting the deficit was more important than creating jobs, and he refused to give up the fantasy that the Republicans might cooperate with him to restore the country's confidence. As a result, his approval now hovers around 40% and his re-election is anything but assured.

The country survived that kind of situation after 1932, 1952, 1968, and 1992; but should the Republicans regain the Senate and the White House next year we will truly be entering uncharted territory. Today's Republicans reject not only the American achievements of the last century, but also some of the foundations of modern western civilization. As Rick Perry explained to a New Hampshire voter last week, he believes both creationism and evolution should be part of school curriculums. (Perry actually said that Texas requires this, which is not the case.) The Washington Post reports today that while over 70% of Democrats believe in global warming, less than 40% of Republicans do. Perry, it turns out, is a genuine acolyte of Glenn Beck, who wants to undo the Progressive Era as well as the New Deal, and repeal both the 16th and 17th Amendments, ending the federal income tax and returning the election of Senators to state legislatures. All the Republican candidates, including Mitt Romney, have violently repudiated traditional American ideas of the separation of church and state. They are all committed to a fantasy world of low taxes, no government regulation, a free market for health care, and the end, more or less, of workers' rights. And we could find them in control of the government in January 2013.

How has this happened? The shift of the Republican center of gravity to the South, starting in 1968, is perhaps the biggest factor. The traditional southern distrust of government in general and the federal government in particular gave way to something new during the New Deal, but the civil rights movement restored it among white southerners. Meanwhile, the explosion of personal freedom that also began in the 1960s deeply unsettled many heartland Americans, some of whom turned to fundamentalist religion in response. Much of today's Republicanism is reactionary in the literal sense. If one listens to Rush Limbaugh for a while, the impression becomes inescapable that many Republicans reject global warming, stimulus programs, and evolution because Democrats and urban liberals believe in them. That is why the Republican Party now rejects so much of the western rational tradition--which those of us who live on the coasts or in the upper Midwest have been taking for granted for a long time.

And let there be no doubt: there is an element of racism in present-day Republicanism as well. Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma is known as a realtively sensible Republican--a doctor, as it happens, who has refused to sign Grover Norquist's no-tax-increase pledge. Yet here is what he said last week when a constituent asked him whether, in fact (as Rush limbaugh says almost every day) President Obama's policies were designed to destroy America:

“No, I don’t... He’s a very bright man. But think about his life. And think about what he was exposed to and what he saw in America. He’s only relating what his experience in life was...

“His intent isn’t to destroy. It’s to create dependency because it worked so well for him. I don’t say that critically. Look at people for what they are. Don’t assume ulterior motives. I don’t think he doesn’t love our country. I think he does.

“As an African American male, coming through the progress of everything he experienced, he got tremendous benefit through a lot of these programs. So he believes in them. I just don’t believe they work overall and in the long run they don’t help our country. But he doesn’t know that because his life experience is something different. So it’s very important not to get mad at the man. And I understand, his philosophy — there’s nothing wrong with his philosophy other than it’s goofy and wrong [laughter] — but that doesn’t make him a bad person.”

(You can actually here exactly what he said here. Barack Obama in fact graduated from law school with many thousands of dollars of student loan debt, money that was only paid off after the success of his autobiography. But Coburn must surely be speaking for millions of white Americans who refuse to believe that Obama could have honestly gotten where he is.

The Democratic Party remains a traditional American political party, with a broad spectrum of opinion and a tendency to give in to its moderate wing. The Republican party does not. Its most enthusiastic constituents, its media outlets, and nearly all its candidates are from its most radical wing. And that wing is entirely out of touch with reality.

This week about 3500 people looked at this web page. At least a thousand of you were conservatives drawn here by the fraudulent email, attributed to me, comparing President Obama to Hitler. That email has now been circulating for two and a half years, even though I and several media outlets immediately pointed out that it was a forgery. It regularly reappears on the same conservative web sites, such as freerepublic.com , and if anything it seems less likely recently that anyone on those sites will come forward to note that the forgery has been debunked again and again. To my fellow Americans who reached here because of that email I ask you to think about where you, and your country, are going. I believe you have lost your bearings and given up your judgment. Should you get what you want--should the Republican Party take over in 18 months--you will find yourselves and your children much worse off than you can possibly imagine.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Our second civil war

The political weather is heating up. How do I know? Hits on this blog are at a recent high, with 400 yesterday. (For obvious reasons, they tend to peak over the weekend and on Monday and decline somewhat for the rest of the week.) But over 200 of those were directed from snopes.com and another web site exposing the fraudulent email under my name comparing Obama to Hitler. In addition, while I have been away two citizens have left voice mail messages on my home phone wanting to discuss that email. A new rise in traffic began during the debt ceiling crisis, and now it is higher still. I'm used to this, but it remains an interesting indicator of where the country is.

Two world views are at war. The first, represented rather weakly by President Obama, represents what is left of the governmental and economic structure which the Missionary (b. 1863-1883) and GI (about 1904-24) generations built up during the first half of the twentieth century. That system was a child of the Enlightenment and believed that reason, science, and research could help government improve society, and it gave us public education at all levels, city planning, strong labor unions, interstate highways, some mass transit, regulated banking and securities markets, and federal responsibility for the economy. The second world view has always been with us in some form but it entered a new phase in reaction to the triumph of the first world view in the early 1960s, and also in reaction to the civil rights movement. It professes what amounts to Social Darwinism and believes in unregulated markets of all kinds, from securities to labor, low if any taxes, and, now, religious values as the basis for our society. While it may not represent a majority, it certainly commands a majority of the enthusiasm in the country today. That is what the circulating email and the phone calls I receive show. None of my actual posts on this forum has ever gone viral, and I don't think a single stranger has ever called me to thank me for something that I have actually said. I'm not complaining, especially about no. 2, but this tells us what we need to know about the passion abroad in this country.

The Democratic Party remains a collection of interests representing an ideology which it has essentially been ashamed of, publicly at least, since Walter Mondale. The Republican Party, while it will have trouble picking a candidate, maintains an ideological discipline that would be the envy of the Communist Party of the USSR. In Thursday night's Iowa debate, any candidate who had ever done anything reasonable-- voted for a desperately needed tax increase, cooperated with Democrats, passed a health care law, or endorsed civil unions--was given an opportunity to confess, recant, and write a letter of self-criticism, and almost without exception, they did so. The determination of the Republicans has allowed them to force the debt ceiling crisis, the downgrade, and the roller coaster swing of the stock market this past week--all of which will work to the disadvantage of President Obama.

The stock market developments suggest that another crash could happen at almost any moment. We should not be surprised. It astonishes me to think that I lived the first forty years of my life--1947-87--without experiencing a single stock market panic. (The 1970s did, of course, see a long, gradual decline, but that was a very different kind of experience.) Since then we have had the S & L bust, the dot com bubble, and the housing bubble, and the story is not over yet. This is very similar to the aftermath of the Civil War. Then, too, the country was awash in money--civil war greenbacks, instead of unlimited loans from the federal reserve, today--and markets were unregulated. The system was ripe for abuse, and abuse happened.

The political market also shows many similarities. The wounds opened by the Civil War never really healed. The South took a huge step towards genuinely joining the rest of the nation under the New Deal, which won the hearts of poorer southerners of both races, but that process was reversed in much of the South in the 1950s and 1960s. The Republican Party emerged from the Civil War in a precarious state, and that was a major reason why it insisted on enfranchising the freedmen. After they began to lose the vote in the South, the two parties were more equal in strength than at any time in our history. 1876 was the first of five consecutive Presidential elections whose outcome could have been changed by the shifting of one state. The Congress also swung back and forth, violently. I still need to learn a lot more about that era, but I suspect the reason was that while millions of Americans were deeply dissatisfied with the state of the country, the political system was too corrupt to respond to their concerns. Sound familiar?

Beginning in 9/11, the Bush Administration managed to channel enormous energy into enterprises of dubious utility into the Middle East. They also managed to cripple the federal budget for the foreseeable future. The Obama Administration's failure to reverse any of these trends suggests, sadly, that under George W. Bush--whose entrance into the White House was extremely fortuitous--the Republicans won the decisive battles of the current civil war. To be sure, they provoked an electoral reaction in so doing in 2006 and 2008, but the recovered a lot of lost ground last year. Whether or not they can regain the White House, they are obviously more than sufficiently powerful now to prevent any fundamental change of national direction for some time. To take one very important example, as Paul Krugman pointed out yesterday, the Republicans have successfully moved the national debate from jobs to deficits, guaranteeing that unemployment will remain high. To take another, the Republicans may have packed the Supreme Court to the extent necessary for it to overturn the new health care law. I am inclined to believe that Anthony Kennedy will not, in fact, provide the fifth vote for that momentous decision, but I am not sure.

The period from 1868 to 1901 did not bring any candidates for Mt. Rushmore to the White House, and its only lasting legislative contribution--the Sherman Anti-trust Act--was passed more or less by accident. We can survive another such period. Alas, the generational rhythm of human life, clearly, does not allow for uninterrupted progress.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Another perspective from the past

Last night came the stunning news that S & P had downgraded the obligations of the United States. I was shocked, because, as I tried to make clear last week, I do not see any evidence that the US is in any danger of meeting its day-to-day obligations, where are much less--about 40% less--than the $14 trillion figure we keep hearing. (For an explanation of that, see last week's post.) I don't know if we're likely to learn much about the internal deliberations of S & P, which, like all the rating agencies, was so dreadfully wrong about just about everything during the last decade, but I think there must be a very big story there somewhere. However, for the moment it seems better advised to wait and see what happens next week before commenting further.

Instead, today, I want to discuss an economist who died a few years ago at the age of almost 100, John Kenneth Galbraith. I knew him slightly, interviewed him a couple of times, and found him to be one of the earliest and most enthusiastic readers of my book, American Tragedy, to which he gave some unsolicited public plugs. I always enjoyed is writing very much, and in the stacks of the library the other day I happened accidentally upon a book of his essays from the 1960s and 1970s, Economics, Peace and Laughter. But the one I read this morning, "Economics as a System of Relief," paid huge dividends. Those of us who spend much of our time in the past have a great intellectual advantage: we are constantly exposed to perspectives that have become unfashionable and vanished from view that allow us to go beyond today's front pages. That is, come to think of it, the whole point of this blog.

The essential point of this essay was at the heart of Galbraith's work, embodied in three of his books: The Affluent Society, The New Industrial State, and Economics and the Public Purpose. The last one is the only one I ever read from start to finish and it was a mind-boggling experience. Essentially Galbraith argued that the classical theory of the market did not describe modern reality--if indeed it ever had. The market, as he explains again in this essay, is supposed to embody the sovereignty of the consumer, whose preferences theoretically determine what is produced. But in fact, he began arguing during the 1950s--the first great age of television advertising and mass consumption--the producer, rather than the consumer, often managed to determine in various ways what the latter would buy. Advertising helped create exactly the wants that were most profitable to satisfy. No one actually needed a new car every two years, but Detroit in those days was doing an excellent job of convincing American families that they did.

The market, then, as Galbraith saw it--especially any market dominated by large firms--was not an automatic regulator of supply and demand, but rather a game in which powerful producers had huge inherent advantages. He also noticed that because they were, inevitably, politically powerful, they could exert a lot of influence on what federal and state governments decided to spend money on. They could, and did, create a prejudice in favor of private consumption as against public goods such as mass transportation or a clean environment. If they made weapons--and it is my impression that the weapons industry was a much larger factor in our economy then than now--they could affect our foreign policy, as they certainly did as late as the 1980s, when the Reagan Administration, for example, finally brought to life the B-1 bomber, which successive Administrations had wisely rejected for more than 20 years.

Now it seems to me to be a big understatement to suggest that Galbraith was on to something. Indeed, he could not see forty years ago how far these trends were going to go. One critical symptom, it seems to me, is that marketing, rather than skill at production, has become the essence of American business strategy. Business focuses not on producing what people really need--which would be quite simple--but on making them want what they want to produce. I can see no reason why the SUV, a product I was never remotely tempted to buy, became the standard family car in the 1990s, and its promotion did enormous harm to the United States in several ways. But Detroit pushed it because it was the highest-profit item they could find, and it worked. That, however, is only the tip of the iceberg.

The energy industry, the food industry, the health care industry, and the financial industry, I have already noted, seem today to be the leading sectors of the American economy. Not only do they all create wants, but at least three of them deal in highly addictive substances. We have all read plenty and experienced a good deal of the way that the pharmaceutical companies have acquired unprecedented influence over the practice of medicine. They specialize in developing drugs of some (though often marginal) utility as palliatives for long-term conditions--because those will contribute the most, in the long run, to their balance sheets. We desperately need new antibiotics today, but I read about a year ago that no drug company wants to develop a product that will simply cure an infection in a week or so. We have an epidemic of emotional disorders now, recently discussed at length in the New York Review of Books, with a battery of drugs to treat them. Some of the hottest drugs of the last twenty years were those that enabled older men (and therefore, women) to have more sex. The food industry also pushes addictive substances like salt and sugar at every opportunity, apparently with enormous success.

The financial industry is a special case altogether. Galbraith had studied bubbles--one of his first books was about the 1929 crash--but he never imagined in the 1970s that the regulatory reforms of his youth would be undone, creating megabanks with the right to borrow from the Federal Reserve, trade stocks and options, leverage at 30 to 1, and devise unregulated financial instruments. That industry certainly created wants, not least the desire to own a home in people who could not afford one, or to take out a mortgage that was obviously going to be unsustainable. A bubble, actually, is probably the inevitable consequence of an unregulated market, particularly a financial one in which the supply of money is more or less endless. It seems that it would be hard to argue that the financial markets of the last two decades designed either the financial instruments people really wanted or the ones that were best for the general good.

Galbraith concluded his essay with some musings about the economic profession. He did not think his contemporaries would ever adopt his ideas about corporate power, because they were too subversive of traditional theory. He had more hopes for younger economists, that is, for my generation. With very rare exceptions--including his own son James!--they have let him down. He noticed that the Boom generation was rebelling against materialism in the 1960s and 1970s, but as we all know, that did not last. And indeed, Boom economists adopted Milton Friedman, not Galbraith, as their intellectual patron saint, and spent most of the last three decades elaborating free-market theories. Perhaps it will take yet more catastrophes to start a serious re-examination of economic principles.

A free market is not a self-regulating mechanism dispensing economic justice. It is a jungle in which the strong live off the weak. It can be made more just only by giving an independent agency--the state--regulatory authority and the will to use it. That is the real lesson of the last century. Sadly, it must be learned again. Galbraith always had a great sense of humor, which helped him enjoy nearly ten decades of life to the fullest. Like so many of our greatest thinkers, he seems to be most useful in allowing us, as Dr. Johnson said, better to enjoy life, and better to endure it. I miss him, but his words live on.