Love, Knowledge and Authority as Recombinant God-Terms

Virginia Kohl

Presented at the National Communication Association Convention
November, 1998

Love, Knowledge, Authority: three basic ideals, variously embodied in structures of power, and all liable to such transformations that make them a mockery. As translated into the terms of social organization, they are necessarily somewhat at odds. But in moments of great exaltation, we may think of them as a trinity, standing to one another in a relation of mutual reenforcement (Kenneth Burke, GM, p. 124).


The abstractions and idealized connotations of "love, knowledge and authority" challenged Aristotle, as he grasped for words and chose philia for which there is no English counterpart to describe "love" as friendship: "It requires some degree of goodwill and mutual recognition," writes Terence Irwin, a recent translator of Nichomachean Ethics . "It includes the love of members of a family for one another [. . . ] It includes the favourable attitudes of business partners and associates and of fellow-citizens for one another." The terms remain an anomaly for us; yet, the "three basic ideals" allude to what we most require as social animals: orientation and affection.

Going-back-to-Aristotle seems to be a trend these days--when knowledge and authority are mere commodities of credentialing, and the political has been removed from Max Weber's hyphenated "political-economy." With paid politicians scurrying to fundraise for their re-election only days after assuming office, it seems that only philosophers and organization communication theorists are interested in the language of politics at the end of the century Weber introduced: From the domain of organizational communication we have Stan Deetz who has ridiculed Democracy in an age of corporate colonization , and Eric Eisenberg who wrote Jamming: Transcendence through organizing . From the domain of philosophy, we have Ludwig Wittgenstein who wrote that our only certainty for orientation resides in the shared agreement and understanding of our statements ("propositions") that are underwritten with the logic of syntax, and Richard Rorty who suggests that community exists solely through stories of "shared hope." Another philosopher, Walter Kaufman in his preface to Martin Buber's I and Thou wrote, "Modern Christian attempts to get back to a pre-Hellenistic Christianity are legion. They are also doomed. There was never any pre-Hellenistic Christianity" (p. 34).

Thus, in many ways we are back to Aristotle when we attempt to contemplate these Burkean god-terms. In his Politics and Ethics he strove to understand human organization--or otherwise stated, the purpose of interpersonal organization--from the family to the political system. The governments that he deemed "healthy" were monarchy (or "kingship"), aristocracy and timocracy (polity). Presently, as we strive to embrace the organizational mandate from paternalism to partnering (Center for the Study of American Business, 1993), not only do we find Aristotle's preferred patriarchy unsettling, but we also find a glimmer of hope: He tells us of the deviations from his stated healthy forms (aristocracy to oligarchy, kingship to tyranny and timocracy to democracy): "Democracy is the least vicious; for it deviates only slightly from the form of a genuine political system" since timocracy and democracy are related by concerns for equality and rule by the majority (Aristotle, pp. 226-7). Accordingly, in this time of global oligarchy, we should strive towards an Aristotelian mean--a "democratic polity." And Kenneth Burke's thoughts regarding both the "mockeries" of the ideals as misaligned in social organization, and potentially aligned in "moments of great exaltation" can assist us.


Ten years ago we were described as A Nation at Risk in a publication concerning our problematic potential for competing in a 21st Century global economy. There have been cultural signs since that could very well fall under the same title. Here I'm referring to the widespread popularity of the best-selling book, Who Will Tell the People and the hit song, Gangsta's Paradise . We are indeed a nation at risk when people of all ages recognize the sham of our democracy, identify with the lyrics "power and the money, money and the power, minute after minute, hour after hour," and see little or no hope for change.

But ironically things will change. Burke ( GM p. 517) writes that "we may state with confidence . . . that what arose in time must fall in time" and more precisely, "that the developments that led to the rise will . . . inevitably lead to the fall." He sums up this notion simply as "what goes forth as A returns as non-A." In our case, capitalism and democracy were spawned alongside the birth of our nation; our question becomes "what is, in terms of a political-economy, a desired non -A from the given in A?" How can we, as human agents, shape this Burkean inevitability rather than being passive victims to its (perceived) manifestation and revelation?

Now, more so than ever, tenets of democracy have taken a back seat to capitalism. In fact there are likely authors in Russia who would borrow Robert Cottrell's assessment, "Russia: The New Oligarchy" and write, "America: A Seasoned Oligarchy." Given the figures that Jason Epstein cites in White Mischief --that between 1977 and 1990 a mere 1% of the population received 79% of all income generated, "with much of that bonanza going to the top tenth of that 1%"--if it's not too late to deny a wealthy minority common rule, we'd best organize within our communities and lobby our legislators until curbs are placed on the liberties of corporations.

One place we're being asked to assume more responsibility, and thus are granted more voice, is in the managing of our public schools on a local level. Although the request is linked to the economic concerns of A Nation at Risk , an opportunity exists for us to consider the ideals of Love, Knowledge and Authority as we contemplate the kind of education we'd prefer for our children. After all, the ideals were first enacted in the domain of the family long before the organization of human communities who, through the years either voluntarily or non-voluntarily, conceded most of their power to a government. And in considering these ideals perhaps we can not only halt the reproduction of society as it is through the schooling process but also begin to educate a citizenry rather than continuing to foster a consumership.

Most of the educational reforms this century have been connected to the mental hygiene movement; the idea being that if children were only more rational, they'd be more moral. Yet Burke ( P&C , p. 274) makes a convincing case that attitudes and acts precede cognition and that we use our cognitve abilities in justification of an act; an attitude is a passive state of mind that may become active in a symbolic act in preparation for an act ( GM , p. 20).

Burke ( ATH , i) writes, "An attitude of Attitudes frames a point of view . . . [it's ideally] a manual of terms for a public relations council with a heart." But it needn't be and oftentimes isn't as Martin Buber (1970, p. 53) explains that there are essentially two kinds of attitudes--one of seeing things and people as "its" or objects of utility, and one of cherishing them as "thou's" in their uniqueness of form and/or knowledge. Although both men acknowledge that everyday life requires a move between one attitude and the other, they abhor the thought of people being seen as workplace commodities--as a means of production or service rather than ends (essences), in and of themselves.

Fortunately this kind of thought began entering the "managerial literature" a decade ago, followed by suggestions that we "democratize" the workplace. A difficulty with accomplishing such a feat is what Stan Deetz refers to as the corporate colonization of America , a close cousin to Burke's (borrowing from Thorstein Veblen) thought regarding "trained incapacities" and "the bureaucratization of the imaginative." All suggest that we have been so indoctrinated by the implementations and associations of order, hierarchy and bureaucracy that we no longer have the imaginative capacity to envision anything else. However Burke writes:

Bureaucracy and Hierarchy obviously imply each other. Logically, you can't have a Hierarchy without, by the same token, having a Bureaucracy (in the sense of an "organization"). But you might conceivably, have a bureaucracy without a Hierarchy. That is: there does not seem to be any logical contradiction in the idea of organized collaboration among absolute equals . But unless, in practice, authority is at least delegated, organized behavior as we know it becomes impossible (P&C, p. 282).

His reference to "delegated authority" suggests a lateral collaboration among "absolute equals" similar to that of Eric Eisenberg's in jamming , (an article he wrote in response to the failure of Total Quality Management prescriptions to adequately address the corporate demands for an immediate response when communications are a 'round-the-clock affair): "Jamming experiences provide us an opportunity to transcend the autonomy-interdependence dialectic, simultaneously allowing for the possibility of both." Not only is jamming "simultaneous" or improvisional in-and-of-itself as an athletic or musical form , but strengthening Eisenberg's thought is Burke's own when he analogizes the simultaneity of the trinity with love, knowledge and authority in The Rhetoric of Religion (pp. 27-33).

Burke was particularly interested in how humans became capable of maintaining socio-political hierarchies (or inequalities) in the first place. Of course he, like Max Weber, recognized several reasons why people submit to being ruled: (1) the authority of custom; (2) the authority of the exceptional, personal gift of grace or charisma demonstrated by a leader to whom one is personally devoted, and/or (3) by virtue of the belief in the validity of the legal statute itself; in such case, submission is not generally motivated only by fear or hope but by personal interests of the most diverse kinds, including a perceived elevation in status due to a loyalty to authority (Lassman and Speirs, pp. 311-312).

In The Rhetoric of Religion: Studies in Logology , Burke explores why we have such a deeply embedded custom of recognizing a higher authority and finds his answer in the first three chapters of Genesis. As a literary critic, he reads the chapters as a story of first principles, beginning with the primary theme of Order before any covenant is made between God and [hu]man. Furthermore, he explains how God's ordering of the natural naturalizes an already existing human socio-political order.

And as a logologer, a person who studies words about words, Burke recognized that our lexicon can only refer to three realms of what is around us: what's seen and can be pointed to in nature; those concepts from our socio-political lives, and whatever languages we've developed to talk about the use of words themselves. But because of our ability to abstract and idealize, humans managed to develop a way to talk about those things not in their presence--the transcendent or super (beyond)-natural. This means: humans took words from all three realms of an everyday vocabulary and imagined them in their most perfectly idealized expression. He calls these terms "god-terms" since they have been spiritualized in a dimension beyond human knowing--in the human imagination--and are returned, transformed, for continued use in everyday speech. God-terms show up in Burke's writings as capitalization's of words such as Love, Knowledge, Authority, Order, Hierarchy and Bureaucracy.

Buber (1970, p. 82) was one of the first authors this century to most emphatically and astutely remind us, "Our ordered world is not the world order." After the failed positivist quest of the Enlightenment to know the order of the natural world as physicists had hoped to but were stopped in their tracks when Heisenberg's work announced "uncertainty," numerous authors have echoed Buber's assertion. Consequently we are free to play around with Burke's god-terms of Love, Knowledge and Authority and see if we might just happen to stumble across some formulation of them, in "mutual reenforcement" of one another. Although I've mentioned their consideration as ideals both for our educational system and workplace, as ideals they are politically applicable, too. That's important since our political situation, as an environmental condition, not only determines what kinds of universal human experience we may know ( CS, p. 152) but also frames our motives since we derive "meaning" from the communication of our culture ( P&C , p. 19).


The interplay of the three ideals of Love, Knowledge and Authority would foster a political attitude or atmosphere which would contribute to Burke's notion of the scenic. I suggest a logical play with these three ideals in terms of attitude/motive and corresponding act; any act can be considered political, since by definition an act is public and can consequently be named as a political act or policy. In attempt to align these combinations with the political forms as named by Aristotle in his Politics , it seems as if in most cases a third term is omitted--perhaps demonstrative of Burke's notion of the lesser of two "equals" but probably more representative that all of the terms as they apply aren't really god-terms , infused with the human spirit. (I consider this extrapolation as a metaphorically useful way to enlarge our sense of scene as human agents since both attitude and motive are scenic terms, and I encourage those readers who disagree with my arrangement to play around with the idea since a trinity other than the two I've suggested may indeed exist.)

Authority/knowledge social control Tyranny (Fascism)
authority/knowledge love as violence (material) Democracy
Love/Authority speaking as Knowledgeable Monarchy
knowledge/Authority social violence Oligarchy
Knowledge/Authority benevolence Aristocracy
Knowledge/Love co-constructed Authority (therapy) Republic (Polity)
Love/Knowledge co-constructed Authority (spiritual) Democratic Polity

Each of these three ideals has (at least two) different frames of meaning. My intention is to show that the term is operative as a (capitalized) god-term only when both meanings are evident in the equation. For instance, Burke ( GM, p. 123) traces Authority as a god-term to its origin in the word auctor which can mean "originator" either in the sense of "progenitor" or "inventor/creator." He adds that from both of these senses comes our usual meaning of leader.

Likewise Burke ( GM , pp. 123-124) writes of the relation between faith and knowledge ( pistis and gnosis ) as he claims that they are both kinds of knowledge. Better still, he ( RR , pp. 184, 189) makes the distinction between faith and reason as kinds of knowledge as opposed to and separate from the senses and imagination as ways of knowing. As a god-term, Knowledge would necessarily incorporate all modes of knowledge including that derived from dialogue; Burke ( RR , p. 266) writes: "Language is the logological equivalent of grace."

With regard to Love, Burke ( GM , p. 122) imagines that "the natural, biological, tribal order of food and growth would seem to culminate in the emotion of love . . . but it is also to be seen . . . in the elder Breughel's engraving of Summer . . . " The latter reference includes an aesthetic realm and illustrates how "love" may have transcended the natural realm through an appreciation of art and beauty and become Love. In addition to the brief discussion of Love, Knowledge and Authority as ideals or god-terms, the "attitude/act and motive" arrangements as I have perceived them require some elaboration. I have drawn from Marsilius: Defender of the Peace (Lerner and Mahdi, 1972), a recent translation of Marsilius' political philosophy as based upon Aristotle's major writings.

Authority/knowledge. Tyranny as described by Marsilius is "a diseased government wherein the ruler is a single man who rules for his own private benefit apart from the will of his subjects (p. 461)." In keeping with Authority as a god-term, "Although tyrants were by definition rulers who usurped power by force rather than inheriting it like legitimate kings, they then established family dynasties to maintain their tyranny . . . [and] preserved the existing laws and political institutions of their city-states as part of their rule" (Martin, 1996, pp. 80-81).

Such rulers apparently recognize the power of authority both as progenitor (as they passed down their crown) and inventor (as they devised methods to maintain the status quo for their benefit). As motive, they "knew" from the situation of their culture ( P&C , p. 29) that they would be successful to gain control over the group, thus the "act" is one of social control .

(Note here I have included Fascism as a modern-day form of tyranny. With the aid of the "power" of mass media, physical force is no longer required.)

authority/knowledge. Democracy was also considered as a diseased form of government according to Marsilius: "[It is] a government in which the vulgar or the multitude of the needy establish the government and rule alone, apart from the will or consent of the other citizens and not entirely for the common benefit according to proper proportion" (p. 461).

Of course this wasn't the case when Americans embraced democracy as the aristocracy initiated the experiment. Here I indicated that neither Authority nor Knowledge ever materialized, although I believe our government began with an attitude of wanting to co-create (create is an Authority term) culture; consequently, the motive would've been generating cultural knowledge. However, our founding fathers had no idea of the fallout to be experienced from the Industrial Revolution. Their good intentions are evidenced only in "acts" of love as violence ; the aesthetic and imaginative sense was there but Love never materialized due to the attitudes of utility and competition within a free market economy.

Love/Authority. Monarchy was considered a "well tempered" government "wherein the ruler is a single man who rules for the common benefit and in accordance with the will or consent of the subjects" (p. 461). Kingly monarchy seems comparable to the authority granted to an elder in a community of villagers or tribe members. The chosen authority has a benevolent attitude (Love) toward his subjects and his motivation is to provide leadership and create harmony (functions of Authority) in his "act" of sharing Knowledge .

knowledge/Authority. Oligarchy , according to Marsilius, "is a diseased government in which some of the wealthier or more powerful rule for their own benefit apart from the will of their subjects (p. 461)." Burke (P&C, p. 179) writes that when a privileged group "controls the educational, legislative and class morality" and thus "fossilizes" a certain orientation, it is dangerous to society as a whole.

Such is the present-day scenario that both Deetz and Walter Nord (in Work and the political economy ) write of in terms of credentialing and managerialism and authors such as Ole Thyssen (in his title) have a response for: Second order morality and organizations . Additionally, notable authors in the field of education such as Neil Postman, Ivan Illich, Pierre Bourdieu and Henry Giroux as well as economists such as Robert Isaak have written on the inherent ills in the "reproduction of society" model.

In this rendition Authority is shown as a god-term and a purpose (motive) in and of itself: to create and order a political system that benefits a powerful minority. An attitude of knowledge (in the lower case) reflects a know-how to manipulate and utilize. The "act" can be none other than social violence.

Knowledge/Authority . As opposed to an oligarchy, an Aristocracy of "honorable ability" ( honorabilitas ) rules in accordance with the will or consent of the subjects and for the common benefit. Here because of their "abilities," their attitude is one of Knowledge and their motive is leadership in the sense of an Authority. The corresponding "act" is one of benevolence .

Knowledge/Love . Citing Marsilius (p. 461), "A Polity means in [one] sense a certain species of government, in which every citizen participates in some way in the government or in the deliberative function in turn according to his rank and with the will and consent of the citizens." Knowledge as a god-term is apparent here as an attitude since everyone as an agent is valued as a participant. The attitude spills over into the god-term of Love as a motive for the "act" of co-constructed Authority (for leadership). Borrowing from Carl Rogers and Martin Buber we can extrapolate the meaning of therapy to encompass both the tasks of parenting and education. As Buber writes so eloquently in Between Man and Man , the mission of such endeavors is having the uninitiated see from the other side, thus arriving at a form of mutualism.

Love/Knowledge . This is a category that isn't listed in Aristotle's Politics but may be a sound foundation for a Democratic Polity . Its basis is in an affirmation of dialogue. With an attitude of Love as a god-term and an ability to value the "otherness" in all things other than self, a motive (purpose) of Knowledge leads to an "act" of a co-constructed Authority . In this case Authority as a god-term designates both the origin and creation of some new, shared knowledge. And oftentimes such "new knowledge," because of its poetic nature, requires an imaginative use of language. Buber (1970) writes of three spheres of relation that correspond to cosmos, eros and logos: "life with nature, where the relation sticks to the threshold of language, life with men where it enters language [and] life with spiritual beings, where it lacks but creates language" (p. 124).


Burke ( GM , p. 324) selected the American Constitution as our representative anecdote--one from which we derive our "symbolic grounding," and thus our ultimate scene as agents. He reminds us that it was written as a response to what had been seen at the time of its drafting as agonistic to human action and agency--an oppressive monarchy. Our concern may become, "How well can it fare against a potentially oppressive Oligarchy" since the document heavily supports free enterprise.

It was written at a time when the world view was one of libertarian philosophy--a view that William Rivers (Peterson and Jenson, p. 69) describes as "the world as a vast perpetual motion machine, going timelessly on according to the laws of nature [and] men [sic] as creature[s] guided by reason, not passion or narrow self interest." (Yet most people in the world might sense that they're forced to continue playing a losing game of Monopoly.)

Of course this Newtonian metaphor of metaphysics has been replaced by Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle that has us "huddled together at the edge of the abyss." One of the foremost philosophers of this century, Ludwig Wittgenstein in composing On Certainty (1969) recognized, like Burke, that our use of language within a community provides us with our only empirical ground from which to act, since the logical and grammatical propositions of philosophy are inherent in our sentence formations.

Through language, we "order" our world. Although Burke's thinking predated what is called "second order cybernetics," his thought is consistent with this emerging literature that describes "dissipative structures" as displaying more complexly organized patterns than the ordered structures from which they are derived. Translated into terms regarding human learning and organization, we need the excitation (an outside energy source) of diversity and randomness--more human voices--for our continued development.

A more contemporary model of social organization would then not seek to impose unnecessary measures of social control but would look to expand the tenets of our Constitution to guarantee maximized expression from those silenced "parts" of our society as necessarily contributing to the "whole"--in apposition, not opposition.

We derive a sense of "the whole" by tracing the roots of the words "economy" and "ecology" back to their Greek origin, oikos , as both were used within the context of talk about "home." How removed we are from that meaning since Capitalism and its handmaidens of Christianity, science and technology have cast us into the scene of what Ron Arnett (1994, p. 229) calls "existential homelessness."

Burke explains how Christianity aided the spread of capitalism as a personal sense of superiority could be derived through a "paradoxical idea of lowly social election with regard to the afterlife" that translated into economic degradation ( RR , pp. 244-245). He adds that "the habits that would naturally go with such a way of life would be the kind that builds up the prosperity of the family--and thus the mores of early capitalism would eventually emerge" ( RR , p. 245).

As for science, Burke is not only concerned with the glut of information the discipline has generated at the expense of an appreciation of form but in its tendency to name and address only what it can offer a solution for ( CS , p. 144 & P&C , p. 125) In constrasting information with form, he explains that the details of information are in themselves interesting as they rely on a reader's ignorance; form relies on a reader's experience and common knowledge and thus, is communal. And an example of the latter case of "naming" could be found in the volumes of psychiatric disorders, for which medications can be prescribed for agitation and "indolence." Burke possibly would've asked, "Who wouldn't have Attention Deficit Disorder if situated in a public school classroom these days?"

And as regards technology, Burke ( P&C , p. 5) most abbreviatedly defers to Thorstein Veblen: "Invention is the mother of necessity." In an article from a recent issue of Harper's (May, 1997), we are reminded that machines will never develop "consciousness" or a sense of the aesthetic. Jaron Lanier speaks of communication as "an essentially mystifying act" and denies that the meaning of a conversation can be reduced to "objectifiable bits of information that are transmitted from one to the other" (p. 50). And David Gelernter inadvertently adds to Veblen's assertion as he says, "[P]eople don't feel the spiritual strength to turn down technology in the cases where it diminishes rather than makes better the texture of their lives" (p. 51).

On a positive note, partly because of the technology of the electric media (Gozzi and Haynes, 1992) and partly because of the mass of information (Said, 1983), we're rediscovering our roots as members of speech communities. In contemplating the epistemological differences between oral, written and electric media, Gozzi and Haynes (p. 220) warn that we are experiencing a "turbulent gap" in "striving to make the new media do the work of the old"--they specifically mention televised classrooms. "At its worst, the electric epistemology will produce negative empathy, leading to a society that is cynical, distrustful, impulsive and cruel" (p. 222). They conclude:

Wisdom in electric epistemology will require empathy [. . . ] yet an ironic distance from one's own empathy (p.226). Skills will be needed to "triangulate" information [. . . ] by discovering alternative versions, different ideological sources--yes, even the print [and interpersonal] versions (p. 227).

Stanley Fish (in Said, p. 142) concurs, in what he calls the need for interpretive communities. These are defined as "groups as well as institutions (principal among them the classrooms and the predagogues) whose presence, much more than any unchanging objective truth, controls what we consider to be knowledge."

In addition to rediscovering our oral roots, we need to heighten our aesthetic awareness. According to Weber (Lassman and Speirs, 1994), change won't likely be led by a paid politician since anyone who potentially might "charismatically" lead has entered the profession in service to "political lords" (p. 315). At best, he describes a political leader that sounds like Burke's (P&C, p. 195) description of a tragic hero: One who, with ethics of conviction and responsibility, says, "Here I stand, I can do no other" (p. 367).

Weber, Thomas Jefferson (see Letter to Peter Carr ) and Burke concur in saying that literature and art are ingredient to political action. The arts introduce us to the full range of human experience and enable us to voyeuristically experience life's universal tensions. Burke ( CS , pp. 71-2) writes that art stirs the imagination, introduces the "not-yet known" and provides the motivation for a grass roots political movement.

In what Burke ( P&C , p. 223) refers to as our Metabiological nature as "Bodies that learn language" ( P&C , p. 295), our ecological calling is to speak and move.

Again I suggest a good place to start is within our communities as participants in educational change. Burke ( CS , p. 49) addresses the problem with "bourgeois education" in that it reproduces the known--society as it is, and conformity. The root of the word "aristocracy" meant of "honorable ability." And that was a major concern of the Libertarians such as John Stuart Mill when he wrote On Liberty : that ability not be constrained by conformity P. 82).

There's one major obstacle to providing an education to a future polity in such a way that all may develop honorable abilities, and that is poverty. Impoverishment as "scenic" nourishes an impoverished attitude in viewing the world. Burke ( P&C , p. 213) writes that "any country can be branded as gross until its last slums are removed and their paupers are not given mere sustenance but the cultural equivalent of sustenance." He adds that "material needs are logically prior to ethical values" ( GM , p. 88); analogizes "predestination" as Heidegger's sense of "throwness," as we don't choose our parents or our circumstance ( RR , p. 268), and writes that "property" as a construct must include other such things as "jobs, homes and affection" ( CS , p. 216). It's part of our "trained incapacity" to blame the poor for their plight rather than the political-economy that has so ordered it.

In closing and as a final plea for the Arts that have been largely removed from our public schools, I'll return to Marsilius of Padua and his reasoning for a Polity to ingratiate all its members for governance:

By induction we can see that many men rightly judge about the quality of a picture, a house, a ship, and other works of art, even though they would have been unable to discover or produce them. [He cites Aristotle], "About some things the man who made them is not the only or best judge." It . . . does not follow that the wise can dicern what should be enacted better than can the whole multitude, in which case the wise are included together with the less learned. . . . For every whole is greater than its parts both in action and in dicernment (p. 481).

In "second-order cybernetics," Love is defined as embracing other complex minds (Keeney, p. 199); Mind is defined as an evolutionary process that involves perception, emotion, action and language (Bateson in Capra, p. 176), and Authority may be defined as the result of co-learning.

Love, Knowledge and Authority--a trinity and a tripod: From the three as mutually reinforcing ideals, we can focus in on a clearer picture of both a world and the world of human experience.

After all, as in any jamming session, we--in society--can only "play" as well as the least-skilled player among us: "[. . . ] The total knowledge that is usable by the entire group can only equal or slightly exceed the knowledge of the least informed (i.e., the least competent) member of the group" (Bastien and Hostager, 1988 in Eisenberg, p. 153).


The community of brothers is like a timocratic system, since they are equal except insofar as they differ in age . . . For [in friendship within a timocracy] the citizens are meant to be equal and decent, and so rule in turn and on equal terms (Aristotle, p. 228).

. . . It is presumably better to examine [the area of legislation] ourselves instead, and indeed to examine political systems in general, and so to complete the philosophy of human affairs . . . First, then, let us try to review any sound remarks our predecessors have made on particular topics. Then let us study the collected political systems, to see what sorts of things preserve and destroy cities, and political systems of different types . . . For when we have studied these questions, we will perhaps grasp better what sort of political system is best; how each political system should be organized so as to be best; and what habits and laws it should follow (Aristotle, p. 298).


Anscombe, G.E.M. and G.H. von Wright (1969). Ludwig Wittgenstein: On certainty . New York: Harper & Row.

Arnett, Ronald C. (1994). "Existential homelessness: a contemporary case for dialogue," in Rob Anderson, et al, eds. The reach of dialogue . Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, Inc.

Buber, Martin (1970). I and Thou . New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.

Burke, Kenneth (1968). Counter-statement . Berkeley: University of California Press. (1984).

---. Permanence and change . Berkeley: University of California Press. (1984).

---. Attitudes toward history . Berkeley: University of California Press. (1969).

---. A grammar of motives . Berkeley: University of California Press. (1961).

---. The rhetoric of religion: Studies in logology . Berkeley: University of California Press.

Capra, Fritjof (1996). The web of life . New York: Anchor Books/Doubleday.

Eisenberg, Eric (1990). Jamming: Transcendence through organizing . Communication Research. 2, 139-164.

Epstein, Jason (1996). White mischief . The New York Review of Books, October 17.

Gozzi, Raymond, Jr. and W. Lance Haynes (1992). "Electric Media and Electric Epistomology: Empathy at a Distance." Critical Studies in Mass Communication . 9, 217-228.

Irwin, Terence, translator (1985). Aristotle: Nichomachean ethics . Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company.

Keeney, Bradford P. (1983). Aesthetics of change . New York: The Guilford Press.

Lassman, Peter and Ronald Speirs, eds. (1994). Weber: political writings . New York: Cambridge University Press.

Lerner, Ralph and Muhsin Mahdi, eds. (1972). "Marsilius of Padua: Defender of the peace." Medieval political philosophy: A sourcebook . Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Martin, Thomas R. (1996). Ancient Greece: From prehistoric to Hellenistic times . New Haven: Yale University Press.

Mill, John Stuart. On liberty . (?)

Rivers, William L. (1971). "The intellectual environment libertarianism" in Theodore Peterson and Jay W. Jensen, eds. The mass media and modern society . (?)

Said, Edward W. (1982). "Opponents, audiences, constituencies and community" in Hal Foster, ed. (1983) The anti-aesthetic: Essays on post- modern culture . Seattle: Bay Press.