Publication Date

Fall 1993

Document Type



Originally published in: Modern Age, 36 (Fall 1993): 6-16.


Method demands definition for the sake of economy or efficiency. The intellect abhors a vacuum, so myth fills the void; the mind creates what it needs. Politics is one such affair of emotions and dreams, of psychic states that dwell in the twilight between “the clarity of life and the simplicity of death.” Method, which is born of insecurity, expresses an understandable aspiration to orderly simplicity. But life resists simplification; it preserves its integrity. If method is primarily an affair of the intellect, organization certainly is not. It belongs to life, not to abstraction. Its patterns may seem simple on paper, but in operation it is a tangle of seeming cross-purposes.