Chapter 9 -- Education and Marriage

Paul stayed briefly in Philadelphia. He became a naturalized citizen, for the second time taking a formal oath of allegiance to the United States. Now he had to make a choice as to where to continue his education. It was time to explore more of America. While in the service one of his officers spoke highly of Southern California and its pleasant climate. Accordingly Paul applied to and was admitted to the University of California at Los Angeles.


Oath of Allegiance
Addressed to New Citizens of the United States

I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen;
that I will support and defend the Constitution and law of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic;
that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same;
that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law;
that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law;
and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion: So help me God.


California was another state of the Union that Paul was able to explore. Hollywood turned out not as glamorous as he expected. But he was getting a good education, both in the humanities and in business administration, his practical choice of a major. With the help of part time jobs and his veterans benefits he was able to support himself.

Following his graduation he started to work for the County government. Now another unexpected event turned him in the right direction. The phenomenal growth of the County mandated the automation of its property records. A pioneering large scale computer system was installed. Paul's continuous interest in new ideas and techniques lead him to apply to work with the new system. He now learned about the systems approach, the way to organize and operate complex activities. "Chaos can be organized." Paul hoped that perhaps the chaotic activities of humanity, so often turning into disaster, could be improved through better systems and institutions.

Paul now reached the financial security to start a family. He met Florence -- Florrie -- and marriage followed quickly. They had three children, and Paul should have been able to settle down to lead a normal life. But his past drove him on to gain more experience and knowledge of the world.

Paul switched jobs. He started working for the aerospace industry. There he discovered the military-industrial complex -- the endless quest for ever more powerful weapons, and incidentally, endlessly increasing military expenditures and profits. He should have been satisfied with raising a family and enjoying a good middle-class life style.

But an obsession began to take hold of Paul. He could not forget the Holocaust and the death of so many innocent victims. He tried to understand why and how such acts of genocide could have happened. Because everywhere he saw the military as guards and facilitators he sensed that there was a connection. Accordingly history, and especially military history became another preoccupation. He gained a good knowledge of war and militarism, and started to understand why humanity was tormented by such a harmful social institution.

Paul's historical researches also gave him a glimmering of the cure to the sickness of militarism. He learned about the exploits of Alexander the Great. This king of Macedonia united ancient Greece, conquered the Persian Empire and tried to set up the universal human commonwealth more than two thousand years ago.


Excerpt from Class Report -- Ancient History 1
Alexander the Great

One of the most successful military leaders in world history, he would have been just another of the conquerors of temporary empires -- like Genghis Khan or Napoleon -- except his vision went beyond military campaigns and battles. Forcibly uniting the warring Greek city-states, he undertook the conquest of the huge Persian Empire. Unlike modern day military leaders who typically hide in safe bomb shelters, he personally led the decisive charges of his cavalry in key battles. Because of his personal bravery, he gained the respect of the very people he conquered. And along the way he learned the secret of the unity of mankind. At his great feast of reconciliation at Opis, attended by representatives from the provinces of his great empire, he proclaimed his philosophy of reconciliation and brotherhood. His conception of unity was Concord among the nations, which demanded the elimination of their mutual antagonism.

His philosophy of reconciliation may be summarized as:

God is the common father of mankind
All men are brothers and should live in Concord without strife and quarreling
There is a divine mission to be the harmonizer and reconciler of the world, to bring it to pass that all men, being brothers, should live together in Concord, in unity of heart and mind.

His early death stopped the implementation of his ideas within his own empire. Yet his philosophy was passed onto the Roman Empire, where ultimately the subject people received Roman citizenship and equality before the law. The founding fathers of the United States were influenced by these ideas. They created institutions that similarly enable the functioning of a multi-racial, multi-ethnic society -- perhaps ultimately becoming a model for a unified world commonwealth.




Continue

Return to Contents