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United States National Will: A Psychodynamic Theory
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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This thesis addresses the problem of the concept of national will. Present concepts are held to be inadequate because they arbitrarily separate national will from the political decision-making process and because they are psychologically unsound. As a result the concepts are of limited value in understanding the way in which national will is expressed in the United States. An hypothesis United States national will is the collective intent of the group empowered to decide policy on a given issue is proposed. Utilizing the concepts of group psychodynamics, a model for United States national will is constructed. The model requires that issues be defined in relation to the psychodynamics of the group involved with the particular issue. It shows how changes in the issue can result from communications within the group or from communications to outsiders. Such changes in issue are held to produce a new group, whether or not the group membership changes. The model also shows that national will becomes the expression of the decision made by the group, provided the group controls the resources necessary to enact its decision.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE