. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – Speaking Freely: The Roots Of Violence – Dr. Rollo May – Dec. 1970 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection.
With the events of 45 years ago shaking America pretty much to its core, the subject turned to the cause – where did this violence get started, what was happening to this otherwise civilized society in recent years?
And the airwaves, magazines and Town meetings were filled with discussion on where all of this was leading. People from every political shade of the spectrum were offering opinions and solutions. Some were thoughtful, others were knee-jerk and still others were pointing fingers, accusing the youth of America of falling under some Communist spell. It ran the gamut.
But the bottom line was – America had become fed up with a war which was dragging on for far too long, with far too many casualties and far too little justification.
One of those offering a thoughtful perspective on this new and dangerous phase of our culture, was Dr. Rollo May, a noted Psychologist and author – whose book Love and Will, published in 1969 became a best-seller and an influential work in the field of existential Psychology.
During the course of this interview done by Edwin Newman as part of the Speaking Freely series, May speculates on the causes of this new phase of violence in our culture; how it has sprung from a basic impotence to change society. The basic sense of betrayal many felt from President Nixon, who had run on a promise of ending the war in Vietnam, was now seen as someone who was responsible for expanding it – and out of a sense of futility over the electoral system resorted to violence as a way of attempting change.
An interesting analysis, which was more complex than a one-hour discussion could cover. But still, an attempt at trying to find answers to difficult questions for a society in fear of coming apart at the seams.
Here is that episode of Speaking Freely with Dr. Rollo May, as broadcast in December of 1970.