The Atlanta Inquirer  /
 SATURDAY, OCTOBER 11, 1997   /  "To seek out the Truth and report it without Fear or Favor"
Letter To The Editor:  Violence Must Not Ruin Schools — 

     I respect Robert Benham, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia, for his urgent plea to the Georgia Legislature to support programs whose purpose is to prevent crime among young men and women (Journal-Constitution 1/18/97). 

     I want very much for the people of Atlanta to know that there is a means at last to accomplish this and save the children from harm.  That means is in Aesthetic Realism—the education founded by the eminent man of thought: poet, critic, and social scientist Eli Siegel. 

     As teachers on the faculty of the not-for-profit Aesthetic Realism Foundation in New York City, my colleagues and I have conducted classes for NY teachers for more than 20 years on the Aesthetic Realism Teaching Method—and through it, students don't want to hurt other people or take, cruelly, what belongs to them. 

     With knowledge and compassion, Mr. Siegel explained this fundamental fact, never understood before: Contempt for the world—the desire to "lessen what is different from oneself as a means of self-increase as one sees it"—is the cause of cruelty, including a youth mugging an older person on an Atlanta street; or someone getting a victory from insulting or hurting a person of another race.  I learned that the desire to have contempt is in everyone, older people and younger people alike; it is as frequent as a person just feeling, “I know better,” and in a superior way ignoring someone's opinion: which I remember doing often. 

    Young people feel angrier at the world than ever, and a big reason is they are being economically robbed by our unjust economy.  Many are hungry.  Many have lost their homes.  Many see an uncertain, maybe jobless future as inevitable.  Aesthetic Realism taught me that young people—like adults who are much older—can change the anger they feel at injustice into an unfair and ugly contempt for everyone, especially those they feel are very different from themselves.  Ellen Reiss, the Class Chairman of Aesthetic Realism, explains this, and every parent, teacher, student should have the opportunity to study what this means.  She writes, in the international journal The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known,

     "A person before you—whether in a classroom or a subway—is the world, and how you see the world is how you are going to see this person. When we see someone different from us, we either feel, 'Here’s a chance to respect the world more by respecting him,’ or 'Here's a chance to get revenge on a world I don't like by despising a person ....' "
    The answer to this horror has two parts. 1) America needs a just economic system in which people who are young and old don't suffer from such deprivation they feel the world is an enemy.  For this to be, people need to answer honestly and deeply this question of Mr. Siegel: "What does a person deserve by being a person?" It will be seen that justice is for every American to have as much access as any other to the tremendous wealth and resources of our country.  And 2) people, young and old, need to learn how to like the world—see this is the true victory, through which we respect ourselves.     

    Young people whose teachers use the Aesthetic Realism Teaching Method learn how to use reading, arithmetic, American history, algebra—every subject—as a means to like the world and comprehend people.  Even in the toughest neighborhoods in New York City, through this true, tested method students learn their subjects and fighting in the classroom ends—they become genuinely kinder. 

    There was a seminar in the Aesthetic Realism Teaching Method on September 25th titled "The Aesthetic Realism Teaching Method Shows Students Every Fact Has Meaning—& They Learn!" I urge people who can, to come to seminars at the Aesthetic Realism Foundation in New York City — (212) 777-4490 — or call the Foundation and ask for information. 

    Aesthetic Realism enables people to see new and exciting meaning in other people, understand one another as never before, and be kind. 

Arnold Perey, Ph.D.
Aesthetic Realism Consultant
New York 


   Arnold Perey writes:

Eli Siegel explained this fundamental fact, never understood before: Contempt for the world—the desire to "lessen what is different from oneself as a means of self-increase as one sees it"—is the cause of all cruelty, including a youth mugging an older person on an Atlanta street....  — Arnold Perey, PhD

   More articles on education

Aesthetic Realism and Language Studies


   • Patricia Martone
   • Monique Michael
   • Lauren Phillips
   • Avi Gvili
   • Leila Rosen
   • Helena Simon


Aesthetic Realism and Science Education


   • Bénédicte Caneill
   • Christopher Balchin
   • Barbara McClung
   • Rosemary A. Plumstead
   • Sally Ross
   • Helena Simon


Arithmetic: The Aesthetic Realism method

     • Lori Colavito

Physical Education [& Special Education]

     • Jeffrey Williams

More [Racism; Violence in Schools; Privatization; Drugs]

     • Alice Bernstein
   • Vincent DiPietro
   • Arnold Perey, PhD
   • Jeffrey Carduner
   • Rev. Wayne J. Plumstead
   • New York Beacon

Aesthetic Realism Foundation
Eli Siegel Collection
Aesthetic Realism Theatre Company
Nationwide Links about Aesthetic Realism
Aesthetic Reaiism vs. Prejudice
Friends of Aesthetic Realism--Countering the Lies
Barbara Allen: Flutist, Consultant
Aesthetic Realism & Self-Expression
Nancy Huntting, Consultant & Essayist
Towards Middle East Peace: Articles by Ruth Oron
Photography Education
Aesthetic Realism in the Press




To the educational foundation where the philosophy founded by Eli Siegel is taught

Aesthetic Realism Foundation

141 Greene Street
New York NY 10012