KALOS: What Is To Be Done With Our World?

A General Utopian Strategy

Preface to Kalos (1969)

  • Alfred de Grazia, Naxos, Greece, April 2009
  • Heraklites, Raphael, School of Athens, Vatican

(Pictures: Alfred de Grazia, Naxos, Greece, April 2009) - Heraclitus, Raphael, The School of Athens, Vatican.)
Man sets for himself ever more daring tasks. He hopes to create primitive life forms; he hopes to land on Mars; he hopes to dwell in Antartica; he hopes to eradicate cancers; he hopes to make computers do much of his routine thinking; these hopes and many more, are indeed partially fulfilled.

But the most engrossing task is yet to come. That is World revolution. By "World revolution" we mean a massive beneficial social change around the world in one generation. Such a revolution is nothing else but the imparting of decent order to the present chaos.

Thoughts of the greatest changes should not frighten and freeze mankind. Unmotivated, uncontrolled, and unguided, still man is already changing greatly. All things are in flux, said Heraklites in the ancient beginnings of philosophy; all things are in flux, because all things are full of gods.

Change is of the essence of things; directed change in the greatest challenge of the future. This book is a study of man's troubles, a vision of his possibilities, and a design to supply his needs. It seeks to orient the activist, and to reassure and enthuse the people. Its approach ranges from microscopic to macroscopic; its method is empirical and operational; and its purpose is to prescribe the political tactics of the coming fifty years within our general utopian strategy.

In this age, the pennant of "democracy" flaps uselessly over dictatorial, conspirational, exploitative, quiescent, and maladroit regimes. Political scientists must use the term frivolously since it has long been known that it refers to both nothing and everything, even though the skies resound with claims to it. Very little is agreed about a government that is of the people, by the people, and for the people. So our idea of the good is summed up in the word Kalos, and democracy is to us Kalocracy - the good regime. To bring about "good democracy" in the world is the purpose of this tract on the Kalotic Revolution.

Look around at most human organizations and activities today; in them, willing or not, people are doing a bit to make the world worse. This immense tragedy must be reversed: everyone will do a bit to make the world better! That is Kalos.

Kalos: Word and Deed

To have Kalocracy requires:

First, an authoritative system of goals: that is called "Kalos." The principal parts of Kalos are the Trilogy of human drives: Emos, Pneumos, and Dikeos, which essentially mean to ingest, to quest, and to adjust.

Second, a group to achieve the ideals rapidly: the Tutors, they shall be called, if they are active. Sympathizers are called Kalists.

Third, a Method of Revolution: Stressed Democracy and Kalokinesis, to bring a) large-scale 360° change b)rapidly c) everywhere.

Fourth, a set of policies (economic, social and moral) that are sufficient, if adopted, to achieve the kalotic goals.
Fifth, constitutional process (or structure) for considering, shaping, and executing the policies. On the world level, this is Cosmarchy. On the group and national level it is Toparchy.

Coinage and Etymology

Several words have been coined for the purposes of this work. Each was needed for one or more purposes: as linchpins to help hold together a treatise of large scope; as substitutes for common words that were overladen with connotations; as rhetorical devices; as tokens of the cosmopolitan spirit of Kalos; as means of orienting bodies of data; and as common referrents that should remain the same when the treatise is translated from one language to another. The etymology of all is classical Greek, a common source of scientific language, except the word "Tutor" which is from Latin and means "teacher" in several languages.

Kalos is constructed term, as are all of the kalotic elements. Its ancient relation is kalon, which means "the beautiful" in an ideal sense, well-formed and virtuous. Even closer is Kaloskagathos, which "became the ideal of every citizen aspiring to higher culture, finally coming to mean simply 'civic virtue'." Werner Jaeger, Paideia: The Ideals of Greek Culture (trans. Highet, New York: Oxford Press, 1939), Vol. I, pp. 416,444.

Emos meant "mine", all that belongs to one and that one takes in. Dikeos also has an ancient relative:"Dike means the due share which each man can rightly claim." It implied the legal enforceability of justice. It meant also equality under the law. Ibid., P.103. Pneumos is "spirit," "air","Soul". The adjectival forms (-os) of Greek simulated in the endings is intended to lend operationalism and force to the words.

Kalocracy, rule by Kalists and Tutors, believers in Kalos, uses the common "-crat" and "-cracy" endings (cf. democrat) in its literal ancient sense of the ruler or governing power (kratos).

Dystrocracy (see below p. 18) comes from the word "dystropos" meaning misoriented, ungovernable.

Stratocracy comes from "stratos", army, the root in strategy, meaning military.

Taxocracy is in origin "taxis", an arranging, a class of magistrates.

Plutocracy is from "plutos" meaning wealth, and ploutokratia.

Politist (cf. p. 82) is a political activist of any movement: A Tutor is a politist of Kalos. (cf. Alfred de Grazia, Political Behavior (1952); New York: Macmillan, 1962, Chapter 3, for etymology)

I. Of Time And Earth

Kalos is to be a whole, a 360° view, a right for many wrongs. We agree with Ralph Waldo Emerson:

When we see an eager assailant of one of these wrongs, a special reformer, we feel like asking him, What right have you, Sir, to your one virtue? Is virtue piecemeal? This is a jewel amidst the rags of a beggar.[1]

Yet wrongs are to be righted wherever they are confronted.

In the midst of abuses, in the heart of cities, in the aisles of false churches, alike in one place and in another, wherever namely a just and heroic soul finds itself, there it will do what is next at hand, and by the new quality of character it shall put forth it shall abrogate that old condition, law, or school in which it stands, before the law of its own mind. [2]

Imagine the world as a wheel. Its hub is the Kalotic Revolution. From the hub, every way to the rim of the wheel is the fastest way. We can move in from every point on the circle. The move can be personal, or of a group, a church, a state, or an army. Who begins, begins Year One. We shall know it has begun when, looking back, we say "It was then that Kalos started. [3]

  • Bombay (Mumbai), 1985.
  • Dance of Shiva
  • Wheel of Time - Sun Temple Konarak

The Cosmic Dance of Shiva has been represented for 5,000 years as occupying the centre of the universe. The wheel of time flowing continuously and eternally in cycles is Hindu and Buddhist. Cf. Grace E. Cairns, Philosophies of History (New York: Philosophical Library, 1962) pp. 69,89
(Pictures: Bombay (Mumbai), January 1985. From trip to India at the time of the tragedy of Bhopal. Bombay is also the place where Kalos: What Is To Be Done With Our World?  was first published; Dance of Lord Shiva; Wheel of Time in Temple of the Sun, Konarak)

The Year One

To be honest and right, any promises of change must be registered on the scale of time. So must any change itself. A science without command of time is an absurdity. [4] Time is the fourth dimension of politics as of all other reality. The plans of the present generation are obligations of everyday politics, and, for the next couple of decades, of political planning. What is possible for the next generation is educational planning. What is possible for the next century is centennial planning. The work of the next thousand years is speculative planning. Afterwards comes the neoterium. Neotic planning is so remote and difficult as to erase the ordinary meanings of the word "plan". It actually runs into the ultimate base and residue of human nature, and therefore is a kind of minister without portfolio in our daily lives. It merges into philosophical planning, which pervades all phases of planning and defines what is possible for man in his nature regardless of time.

O Friend, End of all endless movement,
How many bends of the river are still before me?
nd with what wilt thou reveal
Thyself to me? [5]

We assert from the start that all must be in the spirit of each other: contradiction and confusion are to be avoided. A person who is immersed solely in the spirit of the moment is good only if a servant of the total view and drive; if separated from them he is useless, or even dangerous. A new toparchy or cosmarchy needs to be introduced not too soon, else it will be opposed and destroyed, yet not too late, else the possibilities of an adverse order will be promoted.

This present statement of the new public order is aimed at the next ten years and the generation to come. It is political and educational planning. From it stem implications of the philosophy underlying it, implications for actions today, and implications for a long time to come. When those values are stated which have their application in the future but their beginnings today, we propose the initial steps of intelligent long range policy: research; planning.

We wish that we might benefit the present and the full range of futures. But we are constrained by the heavy difficulties of organizing ourselves now and in the near future: we are made innocuous too by the increasing rate of human indifference as the mind moves into the prolonging future. Therefore, we are forced to take care of the present better than we take care of the future.

Still a certain futurism is both necessary and desirable. An orientation to the immediate causes the greatest confusion and misery; it is deluding and thus confusing, subject to every force and thus miserable. Only the simplest things may be enjoyed without prospect. Even these are shaped by retrospect, which is itself a kind of mirrored - futurism of the mind, inasmuch as we only remember what we are structured to reenact. For such reasons, we take on the next or second generation as the target that is possible. We can amply schedule it and yet can feel it coming. We shall base it upon the far future, or the nature of man as we know him.

Desperation cannot tolerate humility. It is acknowledged that the future is difficult to program. But everyone of competence in this world has to face the challenge, so aptly put by the Black Power revolutionaries: "If you don't have a solution, you are part of the problem."


Among the human values, shifting like cloud shapes in our time, it may be that earth and its preservation stand as a great solid mountain -- a primal value in which we can root ourselves.

If fact, human values spring from earth values and must be supported by them. But to have earth values we must extend our vision and see the earth whole, as the astronauts saw it and as the ecologists have begun to see it.

Ann Morrow Lindbergh has spoken well. [6]

Suppose a pilot were to reconnoiter the world from the stratosphere, with the peaceful intent of discovering the condition of mankind quickly and overall. He would observe some basic facts about the political order.
He would be greatly impressed by the barrenness of the world.  Its vast empty spaces where rare specks denote fishing and mineral exploitation, or oases. [7] Water would cover most of the globe, while inhospitable mountains, deserts arctic ice, tundra, and jungle would be amply displayed. His X-ray cameras would indicate in many desolate places the presence of buried civilizations; there settlements once flourished, only to be covered over by the dusts of catastrophes humanly or naturally caused.

He would see the concentration of peoples on the temperate and sub-tropical plains of Europe, China, India, and America. He would see traffic moving in great part along a few river arteries, several ocean channels, and a couple of dozens of major railroad lines.

Suppose that he had made the flight a few years earlier. In several places, such as between Vietnam on the one hand and United States, the Soviet Union, China, and Poland on the other, he would observe abnormal traffic diversions, that is, unusually high and temporary flows of material and people. These he might rightly adjudge to indicate human emergencies of some kind.

In other places he would observe traffic to discontinue between some points between which no natural barrier appears to exist. He would note, for example, that between Cuba and the United State of America, between China and Japan, between East Germany and West Germany, between Greece and Turkey, and around Israel, that masses of people are not visibly represented by arteries of commerce. And checking back on maps prepared by previous reconnaissances, if such had ever been drawn, he would conclude that these peoples were barred from each other, or that they were so deprived of the essentials of commerce that they could not connect with one another.
The first hypothesis, that they are hostile, would seem correct in some cases. But he would have to know also about invisible causes. such as national boundaries, to understand why in large areas in India, China, Africa, Brazil, and Indonesia, where people were abundantly registered in his scope, people appeared to be scarcely in touch with each other, or if so, at a rate too slow for the shutters of his cameras. These are the "immobile poor masses"

He would notice, if he could penetrate their palls, a couple of dozen megalopolises of the earth in which were tightly gathered a quarter-billion of mankind, and from these would shoot most of the lines of commerce and communications.

The pilot has already begun to exhaust his discoveries, or at least his store of explanations. He has reported, and we are duly impressed, that man today is an agglomerative being, who shuns or cannot tolerate most of his physical environment. His agglomerations are selectively connected, the level of activity varies from one place to another, and the volume of commerce and communications among them bears little relation to the size of the concentrations. Everything else is to be more closely explained on the ground.

The pilot should now descend. The gross physical world of man, falling into the proportions he has described, is a highly differentiated world. Now from a low altitude using sensors that detect heat, and taking climatic and population norms as constants, he discovers the energy concentrations of the world and he finds again several answers, but even more questions.

In what we know to be Central North America, Western Europe, and various spots of the Soviet Union, vast amounts of Industrial and vehicular heat are being dissipated. Could his instruments distinguish so sharply, the pilot would preceive a three-to-one ratio even of bodily heat dissipation, so caloric is the human diet in these places of industrial heat. But he also notices strange heat vacuums in the core of some highly concentrated heat-giving places. He might not guess that these are the bureaucratic, white collar centers of Peking, Washington and Moscow and the office and slum central sections of western cities.

Down to Earth

He might as well come down completely to earth, for it is in the loading of all these building boxes and communication lines, in the electric waves, in their hearts and minds, and in their ways of life, that men are to be discovered.

Here on earth, the law of skewed distribution which can be seen from the heavens prevails with everything and everyone. The industries of the world are concentrated steel in several western places, oil in many places but in few hands, electric power in a number of places but used in great amounts in a few. Wealth is accumulated in great disproportions among certain persons and peoples. If just India were to begin consuming resources at the rate of the United States, the total conventionally defined basic resources of the world would be used up within twenty years. Coercive force is controlled by a few persons and people. Three out of four billion people live in extremely modest circumstances about which some of them complain and most do not, and, strangely, those who do complain are likely to be better off than those who do not.

The United States of America with under five per cent of the people, occupies the peak of most distributions-force, production, consumption, and ownership. In the case of many specific indicators-oil, income, computers, for example-it holds half of the world value. And within the U.S.A.. the goods of life are peaked too. One per cent command as much as all the rest of industry, property, and force. Obviously the U.S.A. is a critical factor in the status quo and hence in any revolution.

Our pilot's work is useless now, for the problems of Earth become overwhelmingly psychological. This Earth is in sore trouble. Its collective mind is dominated by uncertain subjectivists commonly called liberals and dogmatic realists, communists and "red baiters." It is neither free not secure, but merely drifts. Illusions of many types generate in the people, which, being contradictory, create confusion in many ways, the most fundamental of which is general unbelief in any specific prospect for mankind.

Unbelief is an epidemic destroyer of both freedom and order, of psychic and material creativity. The people become a great disturbed ant heap, moving in every direction, each picking up what lies before him and dropping what he is carrying, not enjoying the past, not relishing the present, not shaping the future.

Yet this Earth has a material resource, though it cannot appreciate it. It has a consensus, though it cannot comprehend it. It has a leadership that stands unrealized. It knows forms of government that are adequate to its needs and therefore has a possibility of a free order that it has not captured. What is, need not be; what may be, can be better that what is.

II. The 360° War

Disorders Without Dimensions

What are the years like, just before the Year One of Kalotic Revolution?

They are years of "360° War," the system of international and domestic disorder of the late Twentieth Century. It is disorder without dimensions. Pierce the container of human society from any side and angle, and desperate conflicts are touched.

In 1770, Edmund Burke spoke for today: [8]

There is hardly a man in or out of power, who holds any other language: that government is at once dreaded and contemned;that the laws are despoiled of all their respected and salutary terrours; that their inaction is a subject of ridicule,and their exertion of abhorrence; that rank,and office, and title and all the solemn plausibilities of the world, have lost their reverence and effect; that our foreign politicks are as much deranged as our domestick economy;... that we know neither how to yield nor how to enforce; that hardly any thing above or below, abroad or at home, is sound and entire; but that disconnexion and confusion, in offices, in parties, in families, in the nation, prevail beyond the disorders of any former time: these are facts universally admitted.

With the 360° War, there is not and will not be any peace for the sake of peace. The basic condition of true peace, internal and international, a belief in some principle of legitimacy, is missing;the conventional, legal, and purely powerful forces that used to contain violence are weakened everywhere.

There exists within and among the world's nations a continuously boiling struggle to survive and rule. A full range of "limited weaponry" is employed and must be employed by all parties.

The symbols of policies and propaganda are everywhere alike: "self-determination;" anti-imperialism;" "peoples' war;" "foreign aid;" "socialism" "democracy;" "self-defense;" "colonialism;" "insurgency;" "confrontation;" "freedom." [9] [One might add today: "human rights" - Note of the Editor]

The limited available resources for the 360° War are disposed and allocated as parts of world-wide plans and priorities, but also as patterns of spasmodic or compulsive behavior. The U.S.A. was in Vietnam according to a general world scheme but also as a result of uncontrolled reactions in line with a type of American character. (...)

Wars in which two sides may be clearly distinguished are becoming less common.

Ideology is declining as a factor in causing conflict, but competition for ideological advantage has never occupied so important a place in the calculations of politicians.

One must understand how, out of a universal set of conflicts, a positive world order can be generated. Otherwise the situation is underestimated, its course may be blindly opposed, and its potential may be exhausted.

The incidence of disorders and violence in the world is high.Ten percent of all who lived in the first half of the twentieth century died as a result of war. [10] It has been the deadliest century since explosives were invented. Probably thirty percent of all people have undergone the agonies of wounds, rape,horror,disease,uprooting,prison camps,and confiscations of property, at the same time. Since the last great war among the large powers, there have been several dozen minor wars, several hundreds of revolts, and many thousands of violent demonstrations. [11] About three-fourths of the world's nations have been involved in some kind of warfare. Because of the savagery of the Nazis in World War II, the total casualties of the more recent conflicts have not approached one quarter of those caused between 1939-1945. [12] Nevertheless, the fewer casualties of the present period is a fact that bears little relation to the importance of the struggles being fought.

Social Tensions

Criticality is an uncertain judgment. The calculations of world powers can change a relatively quiet area into a stormy one, or a local crisis into a world crisis. Radio communications and air supply and transportations, plus Maoist doctrines and successes, permit considerable violence nearly anywhere. The world consensus now lets any trouble be rationalized in terms of world revolutionary slogans. The United Nations provides a mechanism for receiving and announcing the universal meanings of local disputes.

Which local point is to be selected or employed for escalation is also difficult to foresee. Indicators that scholars are compelled to use to demonstrate the relative criticality of tension areas are not to be relied upon. They have little predictive value. The latest World War, and perhaps the final devastating war, might have begun over a few Soviet-implanted missile sites on the islands of Cuba in 1962. So many are the prophets of doom, however, that there will always be someone who is correct when he says, "The next world crisis will occur in..."

As with criticality, so with stability. Numerous scholars have sought indicators of instability. Dividing 84 countries into "modern" (24), "transitional" (37) and "transitional" (23) types,7 the Feierabends found the modern most stable, the traditional considerably less so, and the transitional least stable as indicated by the number and intensity of tumults, coups,and insurrections.[13] Since the transitional countries are presumably countries in which people are more able to agitate and have more unfulfilled wants, the findings appear to be logical. Actually, the really considerable difference in stability relates to the modern countries as opposed to the transitional and traditional lands. And the modern countries are, of course, without exception well-to-do countries; that is, per capita indicators of well-being are a good deal higher than in the in the others. (...) As with criticality, so with stability: the world is in trouble everywhere. No country has the true qualities of stability. Each depends upon world order; the world depends on all of them. All need a Kalocracy.

III. Pre-kalotic regimes and capitalism

IV. Poverty and false accounts

V. Privilege and property


[1] Essays (Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1876), p.263 [Back]
[2] Ibid., p.263 [Back]
[3] The Cosmic Dance of Shiva has been represented for 5,000 years as occupying the centre of the universe. The wheel of time flowing continuously and eternally in cycles is Hindu and Buddhist. Cf. Grace E. Cairns, Philosophies of History (New York: Philosophical Library, 1962) pp. 69,89 [Back]
[4] Behavioral scientists are tooling up for the challenge. See, for some of their methods and projections, Herman Kahn and Anthony J.Wiener, The Year 2000: A Framework for Speculation on the Next Thirty-Three Years (New York: The Macmillan Co., 1967). The early work on William Ogburn was important, e.g., on Culture and Social Change (selected papers, O.D. Duncan,ed.,Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964). [Back]
[5] In the encounter with Absolute Being, as recited by Radhakamal, Mukerjee, in The Density of Civilization (New York: Asia Publishing House 196), p. 12. [Back]
[6] New York Times, February 21, 1970, p. 12. [6]
[7] The Astronaut's companion may wish to journey with a textbook in hand; see, for example, NASA, Ecological surveys from space (Washington, D.C., U.S. Govt. Printing Office, 1970); Scientific American, The Biosphere (San Francisco: Freeman, 1970). [7]

Notes 2

[8] Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents. [Back]
[9] Albert and Roberta Wohlstetter, "Third World's Abroad and at Home," The Public Interest (1969), No.14, pp. 88-107; Carl Leiden and Karl M. Schmitt,eds., The Politics of Violence: Revolution in the Modern World (Englewood Cliffs,N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc.,1968); Morton Halperin, Limited War in a Nuclear Age. [Back]
[10] Quincy Wright, A Study of War (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2nd ed., 1965), pp. 212,242,569. [Back]
[11] Harry Eckstein reports 1,632 "internal wars" in the period from 1946 to 1959 alone. IV History and Theory (1965), p. 133. [Back]
[12] World War II,1939 to 1945, cost 17 million military and 34 million civilian dead. Half as many soldiers died in World War I (1914-1918), and 30 million civilians, but the population base was only one-half its World War II size.  [Back]
[13] Cf. Ivo. K. and R. L. Feierabend, "Aggressive Behaviors Within Polities, 1948-1962 : A Cross-National Study,"X Journal of Conflict Resolution No. 3 (September, 1966), pp. 249-71. [Back]