Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Public policy, that necessary consequence of the Leviathan, is the end product of a power holder's reaction to fear. Man likes to view himself as a rational being endowed with the ability to govern his own life as he chooses. Yet, man's actions are not to be found originating within his mental consciousness in an example of spontaneous combustion. Man's actions are more properly defined as reactions. There must be an outside stimulus to motivate the human creature into taking positive or negative steps. The outside stimulus must be, either consciously or subconsciously, recognized by man as affecting him personally; and the knowledge of its doing so gives him an unpleasant sense ofinsecurity--of fear. Through inborn and experientially dictated responses which are individualistic in nature, man reacts to remove the fear and return to a state of mental tranquility. Man's acts are truly rational only in so far as they are a natural consequence of his need for security. Popular conceptions to the contrary, man does not feel secure if he is placed in a position where he is called upon to govern his own life. His very nature causes him to seek out and to allow others to stand over him. There have been those who have met man's need to be governed and have gathered to "themselves the power" to direct the composite man— the polity. It is to these holders of power that the ability to make public policy has fallen. Yet, these men cannot remove from themselves their own humanness. They, too, must have an outside stimulus to cause them to act. They, too, are motivated by fear and its reflection is found in the actions they undertake. Publlc policy, then, is a minority’s reaction to fear.
Jensen, Kurt L., "Public Policy: A Power Holder's Reaction to Fear" (1972). Student Work. 1874.
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