The menace of the reformer: A psychological study


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Abstract

Discusses the concept of the professional reformer. The author argues that reformers' goal is to induce feelings of ultra self-consciousness in others. There is no doubt but that much of what passes for progress is in the hands of this self-appointed guardian of our moral, intellectual and spiritual welfare. Furthermore, modern means of communication have made it possible for reformers to reach out far and wide and to enlist others under a banner well-meaning. Motivational factors are discussed. Assumptions which underlie the program of the professional reformer are explored. The author concludes by imploring that reformers and their methods be banned in order that human nature can obey the laws of Nature and thus live humanly and naturally. Life must always be a perpetual struggle for existence and it is a false view of life that fools itself into thinking that this struggle can be removed. The aim of most reform is to remove the struggle from the lives of those who are not able to cope with the situations of living. No good can result from such a view. Not only is this true of life as a whole, but it is preeminently true of the moral aspect of life. Moral life may be defined as a struggle against the imperfect in attempting to remove the imperfect. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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