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aware of the intellectual and moral challenge of industrial
problems. Because so many of the issues are controversial in
nature and because so many human values as well as economic
facts are involved, it is difficult to weigh class-room and text-
book data. . . . An increasing number of college students have

therefore determined to find out for themselves by entering
industry as manual workers, hunting their own jobs, living on
their wages and working day by day under the same conditions
as their fellow-workers."

"A TEN FOOT Shelf of Books for Trade Unionists" was
published in a recent issue of the Journal of Electrical Work-
ers and Operators, Washington, D. C., which includes an
unusually intelligent selection of titles in economics, history,
war books, fiction, drama, poetry, psychol-
ogy and biography. "The list was mac
up without an ax to grind or without an
peculiar propaganda intent. It was ma<
to include only those modern books whic
tend to illuminate the labor struggle."
should be of interest not only to trac
unionists, but to anyone who wishes
colorful but reliable background for the consideration
current industrial questions.

ARKANSAS' minimum-wage laws have been thrown into the
discard by the U. S. Supreme Court, following the precedent of
Adkins vs. Children's Hospital, the District of Columbia case,
which was a year ago cited when the Arizona law was thrown
out (see The Survey, Nov. 15, 1925, page 200). The Arkansas
law was first declared unconstitutional by the U. S. District
Court at Little Rock, when the Arkansas Welfare Commission
stipulated the minimum wage to be paid by the West-Nelson
Manufacturing Company. The law was upheld by the State
Supreme Court, but the federal court of the district felt itself
bound by the Adkins case, and the U. S. Supreme Court has
now upheld that decision.

A moving picture film which gives "a popular presentation of
standard working conditions for women" has been prepared by
the Women's Bureau of the U. S. Department of Labor. The
pictures were taken in modern factories during working hours
and depict actual workers and actual working conditions. "The
scenes portray such good workroom features as modern and
scientific methods of lighting, ventilating systems for the regu-
lation of heat and humidity, comfortable seats adjusted to work
and workers' and safety devices. . . . The good service facili-
ties . . . include sanitary bubble fountains, a wash-room sup-
plying hot water, soap and individual towels; a lunch room
where hot, nourishing food can be secured at noon ; a clean toi-
let room equipped with installations on the basis of one for every
15 women; a satisfactory cloak room ... a rest room . . .
and first aid equipment." The film is the third prepared by the
bureau dealing with special problems of women wage-earners.
The films are lent by the bureau, free of charge, to organiza-
tions and individuals for educational purposes.


A RECENT (bulletin of the Daniel Guggenheim Fund for the
Promotion of Aeronautics, Inc., states that "aerial service is
performing a multitude of services daily. . . . Just as the air
mail and air transport have become integral parts of American
industry, so is aerial service performing its part in modern,
Twentieth Century life." It cites the development of flying
fields or airports; the uses of aerial photography by railroads,
real estate and building operators, surveyors and map-makers;
the protection of crops by dusting or spraying by airplane ; and
"general service," such as sight-seeing, medical service, forest
patrols, study of traffic congestion. The Fund has appro-
priated $78,000 to complete the aeronautical laboratory at the
University of Michigan and other sums for aeronautical en-
gineering schools at Leland Stanford University an ' the Cali-
fornia Institute of Technology.


Why Come to Des Moines?


A'VELL-KNOWN publicity hound in the East
(which is the strange land that lies and lies
beyond the Mississippi River and whose in-
habitants know not the Great God Maize)
wrote me a moon or so ago saying: "Please
write me, omitting the usual Chamber of Commerce dope,
n answer to the question, 'Why go to Des Moines?"'
Being of a literal mind I replied: "Why, indeed?"
It appears that this was not a satisfactory answer. At
east it did not afford a sufficient basis for an article about
he National Conference of Social Work in The Survey.
'. was told that, although it is the function of a publicist
to take a basis of truth and weave it into a readable presenta-
tion, this was going a bit too far using "far" in an ex-
remely figurative sense.

Consequently I am ordered to set forth a few reasons
why one (or more) should come to Des Moines May n
to 1 8. Not why the Conference should come to Des Moines,
: or that has already been determined by a process of elimi-
nation or rather attrition. But why, since the Conference
is to be here, any one should attend this Conference, ac-
cepting Des Moines as a necessary corollary.

Every article or speech I am told should be con-
structed on the outline system. Here is the outline of this:

a. The uniquenesses of Des Moines and
towa, if any.

b. & c. The social significance of Des
Moines and Iowa to the Conference.

d. The significance of the Conference to

a. The Conference has never met in Iowa.
Des Moines is the smallest city in which the
Conference has ever met. It is probably the
only decent convention city that possesses at
the same time the advantages of Gopher
Prairie and New York. You can't get lost in
Des Moines. You can't even wander far
from the path. You can't possibly stay at a
hotel that is more than six blocks from the
farthest meeting place. You can't skip from
one meeting place to another farther than a
half-kilometer distant. In fact you can step
across the street from any one to most of
the others.

The convention bureau neglected to men-
tion that Des Moines is the only city that is
just a night from St. Louis, Chicago, Kansas
City and the Twin Cities. It is so easy to get
out of it and in a period of unconsciousness get
somewhere. No other city is so easily so.

Have you thought of this astonishing

Drawn by Alice R. May, Iowa

astronomical fact: that if a line be drawn from the cen-
ter of population of the country to its geographical center
the center of that line is just a few miles directly south of
Des Moines ? That should appeal to social statisticians and
to the graphic artists of the Russell Sage Foundation.

It is because of these things that Radio Station WHO
thunders nightly with 5,000 watt power its slogan "Des
Moines the Nation's Convention City." (The name of this
station is W H O, not WHY.)

b. The social significance of Des Moines to the Con-
ference: Des Moines has more golf holes per capita than
any city in the country.

Des Moines is unusual among cities because it has an in-
telligent, socially-minded mayor who doesn't care whether
he is asked to make a speech of welcome or not; and Iowa
has the same kind of a governor.

Des Moines has three universities and one of them
played Navy and Notre Dame last year.

Des Moines' community chest is one of the few that
goes over the top regularly. It maintains to an unusual
degree the good will alike of contributors and member agen-

c. The social significance of Iowa to the Conference:
Iowa is the buckle of the corn belt. Des Moines is the

capital of Iowa, its biggest city and in its
center. And the corn belt is just now the
seat of inflammation of the body politic.

Iowa is the typical agrarian state. Rome
fell because its social workers gave all too
little heed to agrarian problems.

Iowa is lowest in illiteracy, sixth lowest
in its death-rate, unrivalled in its fertility of
soil, in its economy of expenditure for good
roads and in its crop of broken banks and
broken hopes.

Iowa is the home of the consolidated
school idea. The greatest agricultural col-
lege in the world is an hour's ride from Des
Moines. The University of Iowa, three
hours away, is noted for its child welfare
research station, its remarkable medical school,
its mobile mental clinic, its department of
maternity and infant hygiene, and its many
other socio-educational accomplishments.

Iowa has a physical education law. Its
tuberculosis hospital-bed provision equals its
annual death-rate. Its state institutions for
mental diseases are models. Its state capitol
has the most artistic setting in the country.

Cooperation in Iowa among organizations
interested in social and civic welfare

s so




April 15, 1927

pleasant and cordial as to excite the comment of all who
visit the state.

Iowa offers to the Conference the opportunity to study
at close range rural social problems under average American

d. The significance of the Conference to Iowa: Iowa
has never had the Conference. Most of the experts in so-
cial work are men and women born in Iowa who have gone
East and stayed. As politics has neglected the corn belt,
so the leaders of social work have given prior attention to
problems other than those of the prairie and the small town.

Iowa needs the Conference also because it covets the
opportunity of welcoming its children and old friends and
their friends and the strangers from the strange East back
to the farm and of extending to the north and south and
west and east the hospitality and the kindliness which Iowa,
the nation's heart, feels.

In conclusion, although the above paragraph sounds like
a conclusion and is , 'I would quote from that aegis of
pure journalism, the Atlanta, Georgia, Journal:


A critic has observed, perhaps with more tartness than truth,
that if Cleon were running against Pericles in a typical Amer-
ican town, the majority would vote for Cleon. But Des-

Moines, la., has proved a shining exception. Some months ago
it may be recalled, Gertrude Ederle and Marion Talley hap-
pened to appear in DCS Moines on the same evening. Most
oracles would have staked their fame on a forecast that the
conquering swimmer of the English Channel would be greete<
by an overflowing house, while the youthful prima donna woulc
sing to a remnant weak and small. The fact was, however
that 5,000, as the reporter put it, "jammed the hall where
Marion sang, while 'Trudy' did her swimming stunt before a
crowd of 700."

But that incident, revealing as it was, is not why the capita
of Iowa is now being hailed as the "Athens of America." The
crowning test and triumph came a few nights ago when but
let the trenchant reporter again tell the tale: "The bill boards
of the same evening announced the appearance of Fritz Kreisler
master violinist, and Aimee Semple McPherson. It cost gooc
money to hear the virtuoso, while admission to the other's
meeting was free. Yet, nearly 3,000 people paid a total oi
$4,000 to hear the musician, while the dynamic figure of the
Pacific coast, with her sensational publicity, drew a house o:

Hail, all hail DCS Moines, "mother of arts and eloquence!'

P. S. BY THE EDITOR: Yes, there will be a program and
meetings and Kindred Groups and The Survey Book Dis-
play and meeting the people you haven't seen since Cleve-
land and consultation opportunities galore and lots o
things in addition to Des Moines and Iowa!

Mental Hygiene for the Feebleminded


'"THHE primary purpose of applying mental hygiene
[ methods to anyone, feebleminded or not, is generally
conceded to be an attempt to mould a personality so healthy,
so well-balanced and so familiar with the workings of its
own mechanisms that the necessity for meeting strange and
powerful experiences will not prove overwhelmingly dis-
couraging or terrifying. The true test of social adaptation
lies in this ability to handle oneself in the face of perplex-
ing issues in life, with a measure of flexibility and insight.
Since these essentials are faculties which have more to do
with the functioning of our emotional equipments than with
our intellectual apparatus, there is no reason to suspect that
the intellectually defective must necessarily be excluded
from the hope of attaining such a social adjustment.

But healthy emotional equipments and well-integrated
personalities do not come about by mere chance, even in so-
called "normals." Both of these qualities are the products,
either accidentally or deliberately instilled, of a wholesome
parental training during the plastic years of childhood. It
seems reasonable, therefore, to assume that in some measure
these fundamental training methods are as applicable to the
higher grades of the feebleminded as they are to more
fortunately endowed individuals. What, for example, is the
likelihood of instilling in children of moron intelligence,
one of the important requirements for securing and preserv-
ing mental health: the habit of facing reality squarely? In
all the field of mental hygiene there is no more necessary
lesson. The parent or teacher who has taught a defective
child to face the facts of real life as they are, and not merely
as he would like to have them, has done that child an in-
calculable benefit. The child is thus safeguarded against
a host of psychological dangers that often enough, under less
fortunate circumstances, lead to psvchoneurotic illness or to

crippling distortions of personality. Every psychiatrist
whether in private practice or in institutional work, can
recall case after case of mentally defective individuals who
were not taught this lesson of facing reality squarely, and,
when faced ultimately by a situation they could not evade,
felt compelled to protect their self-esteem or to excuse their
failure by translating worries and fears and discouragement
into physical symptoms of ill-health. One need not be
psychiatrist to realize clearly that many a child with an
I.Q. of from 60 to 90 has been just as astute as his more
highly endowed playmate in recognizing that a stomach-
ache turneth away wrath or that a headache absolveth
from duty.

Such reality-dodging devices as these should be regarded
as leading to as unhealthy a view of life among defectives
as in normal groups, and just as active measures are required
to be taken to correct them as one would use with one's
own children. It is a false and an unwise and a misplaced
sympathy that declines to teach the intellectually subnormal
the necessity of assuming their share of the world's dis-
agreeable but quite necessary tasks. Of course, in the case
of the defective these tasks and responsibilities must be
graded intelligently to meet fairly the individual's lessened
capacity. But to absolve a child, merely because his in-
tellect is below par, from any and all the duties of real life
is as certain to lead to adult selfishness, delinquency and a
difficult personality as would be the case of a normal child.

When the going in the world of reality becomes rough
it is human nature to wish to flee from the world of cold
facts and retreat instead to a little day-dream world of our
own making. Here everything is pleasant because we have
constructed this realm of phantasy to compensate us for
the harshness of reality: here we can forget the snickers

April 15, 1927



md jeers of those who taunted us with class-room failure ;
nere we can be kings or royal princesses to whom everyone
;lse bows down : here our word is law and we are literally
monarchs of all we survey. Is it any wonder that all of
us, the feebleminded included, are tempted to dally in the
world of make-believe longer than is good for us? The
larm in excessive day-dreaming lies in its tendency to lose
ontact with reality. Thus is brought about a state of mind
n which we are quite willing to believe we can go smoothly
hrough life disregarding facts and sidestepping our fair
hare of the world's burdens.

IEEBLEMINDED children can be taught and are being
taught to avoid excessive day-dreaming by exactly the
ame methods used by enlightened parents and teachers of
more highly endowed children. This method is based chiefly
n stimulation of a greater degree of group play with a cor-
esponding decrease in opportunities for this solitary form
f pleasure. Athletics, physical exercise, hard work all
these are useful. Even better is compulsory adherence to
a day's program whose every detail of routine is planned
and explained in advance, leaving scant time for day-dream-
ing. Helpful also are the group contacts and social life
afforded by association with the Boy Scouts, Camp Fire
Girls and similar agencies. These organizations are ex-
cellent solvents for a tendency to escape reality, and while
one does not advocate injecting into their ranks an excess
fof mentally defective material, yet one or two children
I with I.Q.'s above 60 who are reasonably well behaved will
I probably have no deleterious effect on the group as a whole,
while the group will almost certainly exert a beneficial
i effect on the individual defective. Summer camps conducted
! by private or municipal organizations and wisely supervised
likewise offer valuable opportunities for transforming the
j day-dreaming, socially-ineffective tendencies of the sub-
i normal child into a real capacity for community adaptation.
As the chronologic age of the defective increases, his
tendency to avoid facing a factual reality becomes evident
I in other spheres. One of these is found in his unwillingness
ltd reconcile a limited intellectual equipment with high hopes,
lofty ambitions or powerful desires. Those who work with
the feebleminded witness all too often the conflict aroused
'in the youth of moron intelligence who aspires to a "white
i collar" job, and who, as a consequence of his failure to
achieve it, grows bitter, sullen or anti-social. Many of the
methods of modern vocational guidance can be applied to
Ian encouraging extent with defectives. To be successful,
'however, such a task requires inordinate patience and tact
to inculcate in the defective a willingness to face his own
] limitations in one field and to re-shape his life-plans and
hopes on a lower plane in another. There is always danger
of going too far in this process, finding that a conviction
of hopeless inferiority has been instilled despite one's best

No group is more susceptible to a feeling of inferiority
than the feebleminded. It is, of course, well known that
many difficult or eccentric personality patterns, and a goodly
number of antisocial displays of conduct on the part of
defectives represent objectively the child's habitual mode
of reacting to a feeling of inferiority: a dual realization
that he is not quite as good as others and cannot compete
with playmates on wholly equal terms. To compensate for
this belief in his own inadequacy, he resorts to the same

variety of defense mechanisms utilized by his intellectually
superior companion, who also may be menaced by a spectre
of inferiority. These defense mechanisms range from a
meek and submissive acceptance of the inferiority in which
case one becomes a drab, colorless personality, sunk in a rut
of ineffectiveness to more aggressive reactions of arrogance,
loudness, bluster and threats, donned as a protective armor
to scare off those who might suspect the inner inferiority.

But no matter in what manner the defective may react
to his conviction of inferiority, the important thing from the
mental hygiene point of view is to determine what can be
done to dispell it. The first requisite is to get across to
the individual a belief that while one may be inferior to
others when it comes to getting school-work done yet
no one can be inferior in everything, and if arithmetic simply
cannot be learned it is likely that the use of a saw and
hammer can be. The basic principle of laying the spectre
of inferiority obtains with defectives as well as with anyone
else. It consists in a careful study of the individual's
capacities and the discovery of some hidden quality or ability
that has lain undeveloped, but which can, by training, be
developed to a point where the ability to excel is evident.
It matters little what compensating device is selected. It
may be found, despite academic failure, that the child
possesses a real capacity for protection and even leadership
among younger children; it may be he can be taught to
play the saxaphone or the "traps" in a manner to attract
favorable attention. The important thing for parents and
teachers of such children to realize is that despite the latter's
intellectual limitations they suffer as keenly under a feel-
ing of inferiority as do normal children, and that a careful
study of their individual aptitudes frequently will lead to
the discovery of some latent talent which may be developed

Closely associated with this matter of inferiority is an
instinct inherent in each of us which McDougall calls the
"instinct of self-assertion" but which perhaps may be more
easily comprehended under the term "the will to power."
It is based on a belief that there is no human being too.
humble (and this by implication includes the feebleminded)
who is not driven by a powerful urge somehow and at all
costs to make the rest of the world aware of his existence.
To succeed in this determination not to permit the world
to pass him by unnoticed, he resorts to an almost endless
variety of devices and expedients. These range all the way
from the simple and direct "showing off" of the young
child, through the slightly more naive but basically identical
mechanisms of the man who dresses flashily and rides in a
purple limousine, or of the shallow and superficial woman
who regales summer boarders with endless tales of her
many operations, down to the highly complicated and
thoroughly disguised devices of mature adulthood.

THE feebleminded are specially prone to feel that they
are missing their share of the limelight, and everyone
who works with them is well aware of numerous ways in
which they react to a blocking or frustration of their urge for
self-assertion. Not a few of the thrilling tales told by young
girls of being kidnapped or assaulted by strangers and many
of the blood-curdling exploits of adolescent bandits have
their origin in a thwarted desire to attain attention and

The handling of this frustration is similar to that of

9 8


April 15, 192

dispelling convictions of inferiority. Parents and teachers
who sense a growing chafing at a drab and colorless ex-
istence in defective children often can find qualities that,
when developed to their utmost capacity, will bring a satis-
fying, if fleeting, sense of superiority. Clubs and children's
organizations are useful with their systems of prizes and
awards for various accomplishments. Perhaps the well-
conducted special class under the guidance of a competently
trained teacher is the most likely place of all where the
instinct of self-assertion can be guided wisely into useful

Even when parents realize that their children are
mentally defective, it is an exceedingly trying task to make
them take a healthy view of the handling of such conduct
patterns as habitual temper tantrums, jealousy, disobedience,
pilfering and the like. Mothers and fathers of defectives,
like the parents of "normal" children, tend to incline
toward one extreme or another in their attitudes towards
the children : Sometimes they are harsh and tyrannical, again
over-solicitous and unwholesomely affectionate. Both at-
titudes are capable of doing incalculable harm to the plastic
and growing personalities of their children, but if a choice
were necessary it is likely that the over-affectionate parent
creates the most serious havoc. Out of a compensatory
spirit of parental love this type of mother or father lavishes
an excess of affection on the backward child. This is an
understandable and not a particularly unhealthy practice
but all too often, in addition, they deliberately absolve the

child from all ordinary necessity for obedience and discipli
Even more than normal children do defectives need the
support in later life of firm discipline. Fortunately their
vvellknown propensity for adhering tenaciously to habits
once learned makes such an inculcation of intelligent dis-
cipline in early years their adult safeguard.

During adolescence every boy and girl is beset by conflict-
ing emotions. Adolescence brings with it a powerful urge
to shake off the emotional dependence on one's parents

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