Lipton’s Journal/January 24, 1955/240

From Project Mailer

Yet the course of human history reveals something else. Which is that homeostasis through the centuries has been on the advance. Indeed, it should be, for homeostasis accepted its enemy sociostasis in order that homeostasis might grow. (My God, dialectics.) But each victory of homeostasis created a new more highly complex form of sociostasis, more capable of dealing with the more alive and varied homeostasis. That is why Western man today is at the edge of the abyss—the war is at an incredible level of subtlety and enormity. Yet the hope is that the social forms do change as they retreat.

Today saintly people do go into the Catholic Church, but they bore from within. The Church as it appears to get more flexible—and indeed its techniques amaze one with their variety, subtlety, power and insight—is nonetheless weakening. Saints and psychopaths are running wild through it, altering its sensibility. The church is being hipsterized. Television, Sheen,[1] advertising, talk of the Pope’s mistress at cocktail parties on the East Side, and in the arm of the Church, the F.B.I., they are getting paranoid sensitivity which is rendering the ridiculous to the liberal, and frightening to the conservative. The F.B.I. is just swept with the psychology of secret policemen who project onto the enemy their own enormous criminality. The result—for paranoids are usually right except that they have neglected the little matter of Time, they have over-anticipated—is that the F.B.I. is suffering from the most acute sense of being right, and yet to their horror, wherever they have scientific tests they discover they are more often wrong than right, even though they fight admitting it. The result is ferocious unbearable anxiety. The-anxiety-of-statesmen. One reads the word every day—a far cry from Victorian statesmen.

So, there is hope. For even as homeostasis is tortured, so too is sociostasis. The mass-communication media are always in danger of getting out of hand, the hipsters spread and so does hipster sensitivity. Hipsters are generally takers, they are cool, but hipsters will take even action from Givers, and great Givers are growing.


  1. From 1930 to 1968, Bishop Fulton J. Sheen (1895-1979), who had a doctorate in philosophy, appeared on radio and television offering humorous and thoughtful comments on modern life from a Catholic perspective. He is sometimes called the first televangelist.