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Title: Janus in Modern Life
Author: Petrie, W. M. Flinders (William Matthew Flinders)
Language: English
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  JANUS IN MODERN LIFE



                                 JANUS
                                  IN
                              MODERN LIFE

                                  BY
                         W. M. FLINDERS PETRIE
                  D.C.L., LL.D., F.R.S., F.B.A., &c.

              _Fools only learn by their own experience,
             Wise men learn by the experience of others._

                                LONDON:
                    ARCHIBALD CONSTABLE & CO. LTD.
                10 ORANGE STREET, LEICESTER SQUARE W.C.
                                 1907.



"There are two roads to reformation for mankind—one through
misfortunes of their own, the other through those of others; the former
is the more unmistakable, the latter the less painful.... For it is
history, and history alone, which, without involving us in actual
danger, will mature our judgment, and prepare us to take right views,
whatever may be the crisis or the posture of affairs."

  POLYBIUS.



PREFACE.


These papers essay an understanding of some of the various principles
which underlie the course of political movements in the present age.
There is no attempt at introducing any considerations which are
not familiar to every intelligent person, nor any comparisons with
other instances which are not already well known in history. Why
considerations which seem so obvious when stated, should yet not be
familiar, may perhaps be due to the estrangement between science and
corporate life, which is an unhappy feature of a time of transition
both in education and in motives.

The point of view here is that of public and general conditions and
not of private variations of beliefs. Such moral factors, though
all important to the individual, are not so much the subject of
the direct physical causes and effects which are here considered.
Similarly the beneficial result of private benevolence is not added
to these considerations, because it is largely outside of the effects
of conduct, and finds its good in amending or neutralising the evil
consequences of various actions. It will always have its scope, but in
opposition to, rather than in concert with, the direct effects which we
are here to consider.

Too often the objections to various new views are based upon some
sentiment of one party, rather than upon the reason which is common to
all parties. Here, on the contrary, the aim is to consider the natural
consequences of various actions, apart from personal opinion, and
therefore on a common ground which all readers can equally accept.

The position of a partisan or an advocate has been avoided so far as
possible. No doubt to many of the statements and deductions here, one
party or another would cry, Anathema. As a whole the results are more
in accord with Individualism than with Collectivism; but an attempt
is made to trace what are the limits of a Collectivism that may not
involve deleterious consequences. It may seem a fault to many minds
that no cut and dried definite system or course of action is advocated;
many people prefer a medicine which is guaranteed to relieve all
their complaints, instead of a physiological research on the obscure
causes of their troubles. But, if we are to advance, we must study
the diseases of bodies politic with the same disinterestedness, and
somewhat of the same unfeeling temper, as that of the physiologist in
dealing with "animated nature." Such a line of study will be useless
to the politician, so long as he is an opportunist or a placeman;
and useless to the socialist, so long as he refuses to learn by the
experience of others.

The present time seems to most people so infinitely more important
to them than the past or future, that they are impatient at the
introduction of comparisons which seem to reflect upon their immediate
judgment, or of anticipations which would check their present
gratification. They forget that it is only a fiction to speak of the
present, an infinitely thin division between what has been and that
which will be. Every step of the past has been a present, living,
urgent, imperative, to the whole world; and every such present has
been entirely conditioned by its past, just as the future to us is
conditioned by our present. If any race now cares to learn somewhat
from its own past, and that of others, it may benefit its own future;
if it prefers a blind selfishness, a better race will be welcomed to
its place.

Janus, who looked to the past and to the future, was the god whose
temple stood always open during war, that he might bring peace upon
earth. And in our day it is only the view of the past and the future
which can warn us of evils to come, and save us from violence and
confusion.



CONTENTS.


                                                                    PAGE

  PREFACE                                                              v


  CHAPTER I.
  CHARACTER, THE BASIS OF SOCIETY.

  Production of character the most important object, p. 1. The
  known conditions of physical variation, p. 2. Mental equivalents
  of physical variation in (1) benefits of ability, p. 4; (2)
  Inheritance, p. 4; (3) Artificial increase of variation, p. 5;
  (4) Excitement of variation, p. 6; (5) Gain by use, p. 6;
  (6) Loss by atrophy, p. 7; (7) Variation made permanent by
  competition, p. 10. Immutability of general type, physical and
  mental, p. 11.


  CHAPTER II.
  PRESENT CHANGES OF CHARACTER.

  Loss of national character by emigration, p. 13; by promotion
  of sloth, p. 16. Lack of adaptability, p. 16. Low type of
  public pleasure, p. 17. Repression of character by communism,
  p. 20. Conditions of successful communism, p. 20. Communism
  in early Christianity, p. 23. Intense competition
  among herbivora, p. 25. Communism fatalistic, p. 26.
  Destruction of character by municipal communism, p. 26.


  CHAPTER III.
  TRADE UNIONISM, ITS FLOWER AND FRUITION.

  Town influence in Rome, p. 28. Decay of the country, p. 29.
  Growth of trade unions, p. 30. Trade unions compulsory, p. 30.
  Cheap production for the proletariat, p. 32. Sharing of proletariat
  burden by a trade, p. 32. All property hypothecated to
  the Trade Unions, p. 33. The social burden the destruction of
  Rome, p. 34. The growth of the little-Italy party, p. 35. Devolution
  of government, p. 36. The state regulation of prices and
  wages, p. 37.


  CHAPTER IV.
  REVOLUTION OR EVOLUTION?

  Great effects best produced by small causes, p. 40. Revolution
  leads to greater tyranny, p. 40; also leads to military
  despotism, p. 41. Radical changes show ignorance, p. 42.
  Scope to be allowed for gradual change, p. 43. Variability
  tolerated by bye-laws, p. 44. Effects of small changes as seen
  in Death Duties and reduced colonising power, p. 44. Income
  tax and expulsion of trade, p. 47; benefits of taxing extravagance,
  p. 52; Irish tenant right, p. 53; high interest on loans,
  p. 55; equalisation of land values, p. 56; growth of cities, p. 57.
  Effect of workmen's compensation, p. 58; of old age pensions,
  p. 59; of state help for children, p. 60. Effects of wealth in the
  hands of different classes, p. 60.


  CHAPTER V.
  THE NEED OF DIVERSITY.

  Variability needful for advance of a species, p. 65. Large
  states a necessary result of rapid communication, p. 66. Diversity
  needed therefore within the state, as well as between
  states, p. 67. No moral obligation to uniformity, p. 67.
  Separate states needed for a doubled-centred diversity, p. 70.
  Diversity as yet remaining in marriage-law and custom, p. 71.
  Society a mixture of many past stages of culture, p. 72. Present
  education a bar to progress by diversity, p. 73. Need of diversity
  in education, p. 75.


  CHAPTER VI.
  LINES OF ADVANCE.

  Personal initiative essential, p. 78. Prevention of waste the
  main principle of advance, p. 79. Gain in health, p. 79. Gain
  in amount of activities of life, p. 80. Gain in rapidity, p. 81.
  Gain by working instead of playing, p. 81. Gain by saving
  waste in renewal, p. 83. Gain by permanent marriage, p. 84.
  Gain by high-tending of families, p. 85. Gain by improving or
  weeding of bad stocks, p. 86. Gain by individualism, p. 89.
  Gain by free combinations, p. 92. Gain by international
  labour, p. 93. The meaning of war, by trade, by armament,
  and by violence, p. 95. Improvement of checks, p. 99. The
  ultimate type of states, p. 100. The ultimate type of man,
  p. 101.


  INDEX                                                              105



JANUS IN MODERN LIFE.



CHAPTER I.

CHARACTER, THE BASIS OF SOCIETY.


In considering or designing any kind of work the first and most
essential condition is the quality of material that has to be used.
"You cannot make a silk purse out of a sow's ear." And what is
true materially is true also mentally; the character of a people
is the essential basis of all their institutions and government.
If we intend to consider what improvements are possible, or what
degradations may occur, we must treat the matter entirely as a question
of character. "For forms of Government let fools contest, whate'er
is best administered is best," and the administration depends upon
the character of the people. We see on all sides that races of a
low character necessarily pass, by the force of events, under the
domination of other races who have a higher or stronger character. It
is the quality of the race which is the most essential and determining
factor in its history. That every nation has the kind of government
which it deserves, is an old remark, which implies that its character
determines its fate. The diligent but cautious Scot; the slovenly
Slovene; the self-deceived Gaul; the tediously complete and logical
German; these all show the manner in which their administration is the
product of the individual character. Further, happiness is essentially
dependent upon character, and is—by comparison—determined by
character alone, almost apart from external circumstances.

It is therefore a matter of the first importance to consider how
character is produced or modified. Possibly to some it may appear
presumptuous to apply to the mind those natural laws which it is
now generally agreed apply to bodily development. Yet even the
probabilities of chance distribution may be shown to apply to the
varieties of mind; both by rough observation in general, and also
by a test case quantitatively applied (see _Religion and Conscience
in Ancient Egypt_). A feeling against this treatment of the mind
by material law is based on the idea that it implies an absence of
free-will. But, to take an illustration, a railway company may be
certain of carrying very closely the same number of passengers each
day, without in the least embarrassing the free-will of any passenger
as to whether or no he will travel. Let us notice, therefore, how
the various principles of physical modification are applicable also
to mental change. Whether it may be that changes take place by the
inheritance of acquired characteristics, or whether they occur solely
by accidental variation which proves beneficial, is a much debated
question which is not requisite for us to settle here. It is agreed
that in the physical life of all animals it may be seen that: (1)
Favourable variations give a determining advantage to one individual
over another, or to one more than another against a common enemy; (2)
Useful variations tend to be maintained in successive generations;
(3) Artificial conditions tend to produce variation; (4) Greater
variability accompanies unusual developments; (5) Growth is directed
and encouraged by use; and (6), as the total activity is limited,
therefore disuse causes atrophy and degradation, by favouring of parts
more used. To these follows the important corollary (7): Variation
being only of benefit where there is competition in which it gives an
advantage, its improvements will cease to be maintained in the absence
of competition; it is only competition which makes improved variations
permanent. For instance, if there were no carnivora the swifter deer
would not have found their pace a benefit, and there would be no
sufficient cause for their attaining their present swiftness. In place
of looking on selection as merely a struggle we must look on it as the
sole physical means of permanent elevation, the motor which has raised
every species to its present point of ability.

To these principles common to all organic nature must be added another
which is almost peculiar to man alone. We often hear that environment
is the determinant of the nature of both animals and man. But the
distinctive quality of man is the subjection of the environment to the
ruling faculty; man is not necessarily conditioned by his environment,
but a direct measure of his civilisation is the extent to which he
creates his own conditions. Other communal animals, as the ant, the
bee, or the beaver, have anticipated this to some extent; but in man
alone can the ruling faculty rise to an entire reversal of almost
every condition of environment.

The mental equivalents of these physical modifications are obviously
true in common experience and in historical example.

(1) That a favourable variation of mind gives a determining advantage
needs no illustration, as every sharp and able man of business has
shown this in all ages.

(2) That mental qualities are inherited has been pretty generally
recognised, and the work of Galton on Hereditary Genius has enforced
this by statistical example. But the historical consequences have not
been sufficiently noticed; for it is obviously possible by selective
action to increase or diminish not only the bodily activity but
also the mental ability seen in the whole community. The series of
proscriptions of all the leading men of Rome, alternately on one side
and then on the other, from Marius down to Octavius, was so disastrous
a drain of political ability, that only the Julian family was left; and
there was never an able emperor of Roman ancestry after that line was
extinct. The expulsion of the Huguenots from France drained it of the
active middle class minds, and left the great gap in the continuity of
sympathy which made the Revolution possible. The later expulsion or
extermination also of the active upper class minds drained that land of
nearly all the hereditary ability of the race: the consequence has been
to leave at the present day a nation of mediocrities, among whom there
is but a fraction of the genius seen in Germany and England on either
side of it. Almost every leading name is that of a foreigner, as for
instance Waddington, Zurlinden, Eiffel, Reinach, Rothschild, Gambetta,
Maspero. Another very important consideration is that sporadic ability
is not inherited in the same manner as long continued family ability.
Not a single Roman Emperor who rose solely from his individual powers
left a worthy and capable son. The Gordians were a good senatorial
family, and ran through three generations on the throne. In England
the same thing is seen. The main source of new men of ability is from
sturdy Puritan or Quaker stocks that have long practised self-denial
and hard work; old families with long traditions of public service
continue usually on the same line of ability; but the _nouveaux riches_
who have sprung forward on some lucky speculation or trade enterprise
usually go hopelessly to pieces in the next generation. The longer a
useful type has been maintained the more stable it is.

(3) That artificial conditions tend to produce variation is obvious
in every civilisation. The more intense is the artificiality of life,
the greater are the extremes of ability and incompetence, of riches
and poverty, accompanying it. It is often a problem to kind hearts
that there should be such misery and degradation side by side with the
ease and welfare of civilisation. The answer is that it is inevitable,
because the very same artificiality which gives scope to the capable
to rise, equally gives scope for the incapable to fall. Every chance,
every opening, every benefit attainable by exertion, is a means of
advance to him who uses it; but it is accompanied by equal chances of
failure, equal openings to loss, equal injuries resulting from sloth,
which are the equally sure means of degradation for those who have
not the wit or energy to avoid them. The "submerged tenth" is the
inevitable complement of the leading tenth.

(4) Greater variability of mind accompanies unusual development;
this is seen in the great outbursts of mental activity which have
occurred along with external expansion in the times of Elizabeth and of
Victoria. Or in earlier times the growth of Greek literature following
the Periclean expansion, or of Roman literature with the Augustan
settlement of the world.

(5) Mental growth is directed and encouraged by use. This fact is so
obvious that it is proverbial, as in the saying, "The mind grows by
what it feeds upon." All mental training and teaching recognise this,
but it is true in later life as well as in youth. It is well known
how in the least civilised races small children are as advanced—or
more so—than in higher races. The Australian is said to come to a
standstill at ten or twelve years old. The Egyptian seldom advances
mentally after sixteen. A low-class Englishman does not improve after
twenty or so. A capable man will continue to expand till thirty or
forty. And the man of the greatest capacity will continue to grow
mentally, and assimilate new lines of thought, until seventy or eighty.

Thus the greater the power of use and the activity of the mind, the
longer will it continue to grow. This may well be regarded as one of
the main tests of a great mind; and it is strictly in accord with the
system of the well-known embryonic changes passing from lower to higher
stages, and continuing to grow in development into higher and higher
types. The savage ceased to grow mentally even while in childhood; the
sage continues the expansion of mind to extreme old age.

(6) Disuse of mind causes atrophy and degradation. This principle
is one of the most important of all in its practical bearings. The
familiar figure of the later Merovings, the _rois fainéants_, is
an historical example: freed from all necessity of thought by the
assiduity of the mayors of the palace, the family mind atrophied
further in each generation, until the king became a puppet without
volition in royal affairs. The same working may be seen in the
upper classes of many countries, where the spur of the necessity
of action ceases. Within a century of the cessation of the Moorish
wars the chivalry of Spain began to atrophy; the same was seen in a
century after the cessation of civil war in France. In England the
strong tradition of training for the public careers in the civil and
military services and parliament, has saved the upper classes more
than elsewhere. But a rich family without active interests almost
always shows atrophy of mind. There is a fine saying of Mencius,
"Those whom God destines for some great part, He first chastens by
suffering and toil." The same tendency to atrophy is equally seen in
the lower classes, when the necessity of self-help is removed. And many
of the modern movements have been of a degrading tendency, leading
to the holding back of the capable and the artificial help of the
incapable. It is obvious that if persons have retrograded and got into
difficulties, they are presumably less capable than those around them.
If then they are relieved independently of their own exertions, their
incapacity is fostered and they retrograde still further. To compensate
them for their incapacity by relief works, by farm colonies, by outdoor
relief doles, by maintenance of their children, will inevitably lead
to further atrophy of mind. The doctrine of equality of wages in a
trade is a double injury, it encourages the most incapable man that can
possibly squeeze into the trade, and it discourages the capable man who
is worth far more than the average. It must tend to drive capable men
out of the trades which they might have raised by their example and
stimulus, into other lines where capacity can still earn its value.
The mental atrophy that has come over ordinary workmen is appalling,
at least in the region of London. In case after case, the common sense
and intelligence seems to have been entirely lost, and the grossest
blunders will be made by well-paid men; and it is safe to say that in
most business a really capable and active man can do from three to six
times as much as the average workman, beside avoiding the loss of time
by mistakes. In short a certified ease of conditions, and absence of
direct penalties of incapacity, has atrophied the ordinary working mind
to a point which is dangerously low in comparison with that of other
races. The remedy lies in training the incapable by a stern discipline
of gradually teaching them the maximum that they can perform in the
day, with good direction and avoidance of bad conditions. After a
couple of years of such intensive training they should be drafted into
ordinary factories, with the warning that if they fall out of work
again, another year's compulsory hard training will be the result.

In another way this atrophy of mind may be seen and felt as a temporary
condition by members of boards and committees. What is everyone's
business is nobody's business; and when each person feels that he is
not personally responsible, a numbness and inaction ensues which is
characteristic of such bodies. Men, any one of whom would act sensibly
when alone, will succumb to the paralysing sense that they need not
think because nine other men are doing so, and the results are well
known as characterising these assemblies which have "neither a body to
be kicked nor a soul to be damned." There are very few public bodies
which are not really dependent on the individual thought and design of
one person, criticised and amended by the collateral views of others.
In short, all action and rule must be personal and not corporate,
however much the person may be checked and controlled by general
opinion of the public, or of a restricted body. Without personal
initiative atrophy is the result.

Another great theatre of mental atrophy is officialism, where a man
is bound to follow certain rules and routine rather than to think.
A German has remarked to me that a man who is perfectly reasonable
and intelligent in private life becomes quite foolish as soon as he
enters his office. This constant result is the strongest reason for not
extending official control of affairs needlessly, or the management
of public work by officials. Private enterprise will always be more
effective than an official system, because it is solely the result of
individual initiative. The enormous monopolies of railways in England
are on the whole far more beneficial to the public than the State
railways of other countries. The evils of corporate monopoly, checked
by law and supervision of the Board of Trade, are less than the evil of
stagnation by official atrophy. In the Republic of France the principal
line runs its best trains slower than, and at three times the cost of,
the best trains on great English lines.

(7) It is only competition which makes permanent the improved mental
variations which occur. The evils of competition in physical things
almost disappear in the mental field; and, unless misused as in a
foolishly designed examination, there seems an unmixed benefit from
unlimited competition of mind. It is only by such competition that
higher types of ability have been established in the past, and it is
to such that we must look for future improvement. It is true that in
various directions we find a dislike of competition; but that is the
surest sign that it is effective, and therefore beneficial to the whole
body.

We see then that each of those principles which rule in physical
modification is equally true of mental modification.

But though the modes of mental variation may be fairly clear, we
must not be carried away by the view that therefore great changes in
man are to be expected. The effects of various conditions upon the
body are tolerably familiar, yet the average form of man has varied
extraordinarily little during ten thousand years. The highest type
of ancient man differs almost inappreciably from the highest type of
modern man, certainly by not a tenth of the difference that may be seen
between different types at present. It may be practically said that man
is at a standstill in physical development. Sanitary improvements and
better feeding may do great things, but they leave the essential form
and constitution unaltered. The same is true of mind. When we become
familiar with details of early ages nothing is more astonishing than
to see how unaltered the mind of man is in its essentials. In tales
and maxims six thousand years old we see not only the common stock of
primary instincts, but also the _finesse_ of conduct in public life,
the modes of ensuring respect in dealing with superiors and inferiors,
the attention to very varied elements of character, and a fine suavity
and kindliness pervading the whole. There is not a single class or a
single public body at present that practically stands as high as the
ideal of two hundred generations ago. And when we look at the material
civilisation we see still farther back the appreciation of qualities of
work which only a very small proportion of mankind care for now. The
overwhelming zeal for minute accuracy was as perfect a mental state at
4700 B.C. as it is in a Royal Society paper of our day. The subject
and the method have changed; but the mental attitude is the same in a
man who demanded, and in those who executed, beautifully true plane
surfaces, and long measurements exact to far within the variation of
size caused by a hot or a cold day, and the men now who triangulate
a continent and measure the world. The mind is the same, only the
stock-in-trade of it has increased. At the beginning of history the
palaces were adorned with table services cut in the hardest and most
beautiful stones, exquisitely formed and polished; and such homes
were assuredly inhabited by men whose tastes and artistic sense were
closely the same as the best of ours, and who would, like us, have
revolted at most of the products of the present time. Not only was
there the body of highly skilled and intelligent men to do such work,
but there must have been a widely spread standard of taste demanding
this exquisite work as an aesthetic pleasure. The nature of mind is
unchanged, its motives, its feelings, its sense of life; only in
knowledge and the applications of it do we differ from the earliest
civilisation that we can trace.

It is, therefore, quite unreal for us to anticipate any change in the
essential nature of man in the next few thousand years. The increase
of knowledge and its applications will not alter that nature, or the
relation of mind to mind. We shall still desire and admire the same
things, and be moved by the same impulses; and we may neglect as
ignorant dreams all speculations about any essential changes in the
motives or constitution of man.



CHAPTER II.

PRESENT CHANGES OF CHARACTER.


Having now seen how the fluctuations of amendment or deterioration
of character, are subject to the same common laws as those of the
variation of physical structure, we are in a position to see more
clearly the effect of gradual changes around us in England. Emigration
has been very active in the past three generations, and immigration has
recently become important. The loss of the earliest emigrants who moved
for religious and political reasons affected the national character
very little; there was plenty of solid character remaining in England,
and the removal of the more disputatious elements gave added strength
to those who continued at home. The compulsory emigration of convicts
was similarly a gain by removing those who were most out of harmony
with the majority. Happily those whose characters made it most irksome
to them to comply with the legal formulae of life at home, were just
those best suited for the type of a new country, less restrained and
more varied, with greater scope for enterprise. So far there had been
a gain by removal of the two extreme types. But then succeeded a most
serious movement of the voluntary selection of persons who thought that
their energies would have a better and more remunerative scope in the
colonies. This implied a draining away of those who had intelligence
to choose a more promising career, energy to break with their
present life and start afresh, and who possessed most adaptability,
self-reliance, and hopefulness. All of these qualities are greatly
needed at home for a prosperous population; and the incessant natural
selection from the general mass, and removal of those who had most
of such qualities, must have produced a serious effect on the home
population. We see in England undoubtedly a lessening of sturdiness
as a whole, and the deficiency of the abilities which have been most
exported. There is a general outcry about the lack of adaptability in
business; and the general want of self-reliance is shown by all the
grandmotherly legislation which is sought and granted. At first we
succeeded in getting rid of some amount of less desirable stock along
with the capable stock; but in later years most countries will not
admit any but good stock, and we lose the valuable examples of national
character without any compensation. The drain of capacity from the
nation is a most serious feature of life in England; and how far the
prominence of the "submerged tenth," and the large proportion who live
only a week's remove from starvation, is due to the lowering of the
standard of capacity by the emigration of the more capable, is a very
important question. The same consideration applies to Ireland in a far
more acute form, as the emigration has been of much larger proportions.

A large immigration into England has recently grown up. So far as this
is of more energetic men, who see their way to win over our heads,
they should be welcomed. The German who comes to England to establish
factories and exploit the English market is at least a gain to the
country, as it is far better he should do this in England rather than
expend all that energy and management out of England. The trade and
manufacture of England have been largely built up by immigrations of
Flemings, Huguenots, Dutch, French, and now Germans, who have each
contributed to our capacity for work. In commercial business the
foreign influence is strong. In north-west London one-tenth of the
private residents are of German origin. A movement is going on quite
comparable to other great race movements of past history; but it only
affects the upper classes, and not the hand-labourer. Beside this there
is the large movement of the lowest and most depressed mass of European
humanity, from the sink of poverty in Poland and Western Russia. It is
essentially a bad stock, one of the lowest in Europe; and the large
proportion of criminal cases arising among these immigrants shows how
undesirable they are. To allow such a low type free settlement in
England, after draining the capable Englishmen to the colonies, makes a
serious danger of a national collapse under a sudden pressure of some
new circumstances, which might arise by trade or warfare.

Some other consequences which flow from recent changes will be dealt
with in the fourth chapter in considering the effects of small causes.

The low type of character prevailing in all classes in England at
present needs to be fully recognised. No doubt there has been in
past centuries more external coarseness, and this detail strikes the
attention of many people because it differs from their own present
convention. But mere directness and plainness of speech is quite
immaterial compared with the essentials of working power of mind and
body, and the capacity for intelligent interests. Some centuries ago,
when men thought more about the quality of their actions, sloth was
ranked as one of the seven deadly sins. But now, in place of regarding
it as anything wrong, there is an elaborate system of compulsory sloth;
it is enforced by heavy penalties, and drilled into the character by
example and self-interest. One man is forbidden to lay more than three
hundred bricks a day, another forbidden to make more than so many glass
dishes, another forbidden to attend to more than one machine. In every
trade where a selfish short-sighted policy has gained its way, there
is this system, which is doing inconceivable harm to character. The
compulsory glorification of sloth is the most deleterious misfortune
that can happen to a nation. The wreck of wars, pestilence and famine,
will leave a more hopeful prospect than that of a people sunk in
organised sloth.

Connected with this is the strange lack of thought and adaptability in
common matters of everyday life. The daily loss of time, and cost in
trivial matters, which affects thousands of persons, makes a heavy tax
on the whole. For instance, such a simple matter as putting the offices
of a terminal station at the ends of the platforms is still ignored
at many termini; the name of a station is often hard to find, and is
never once put up in most termini; the price of a ticket is often not
to be discovered; the right types of carriages are only now being
tried, after persevering in a wrong form for two generations. In the
streets the same lack of sense is seen in the immense omnibus system,
which is difficult to use, especially for strangers, owing to the lack
of numbered routes and conveyances. It has been officially decided
that the numbering of routes and omnibuses is beyond the powers of
the London County Council; and we must be compensated by the pleasing
reflection that something at least is too hard for that body. The
thoughtless edict however was enforced that every vehicle must carry a
white light in front, and all the distinctive colours of the tram-car
lights were abolished, causing great inconvenience at night. Even in
the most recent appliances the same dulness is shown; electric fans
are commonly placed where they only stir foul air, and not where they
draw in fresh or expel used air. The whole lighting system still throws
away two thirds of all its cost by lighting sky and walls as much as
streets. In every direction it seems hard to believe that five minutes'
thought has been given to matters costing thousands of pounds. If we
traced such a mixture of design and of chance in any other subject it
would lead to some curious speculations on the implied limitations of
the directing Intellect. And in private matters it is the same; the
extraordinary blunders and oversights in common trade work show that
the most obvious details have not had a minute's real thought given
to their arrangement. The result is an accumulation of difficulty and
muddle which cripples, if not destroys, the purpose of the work. This
persistent dulness, and incapacity for management and design, shows a
defect of character which is a heavy detriment to the whole community.

The pleasures of the public show the same low type as their business.
The illustrated papers that are read, apart from serious news, are a
revelation of the vacuity of the public mind, as the advertisements
are a testimony to its imbecility. The absence of any thoughts or
information that can enlarge the mind, or give it fresh insight or
understanding, and the fatuity of the illustrations, show the helpless
little round of common ideas of the well-to-do classes: while the
dishing up of legal filth for the lower classes, and the morbid love of
trivial accidents and catastrophes, shows terribly the mere animalism
which fills their horizon. The one subject on which most print is spent
is that which is absolutely futile, sport and games. Whether one group
of men, selected by mere accident, is a minute trifle more active than
another accidental group, is a matter of such utter insignificance that
it would seem impossible to suppose that anyone would turn the head to
see the result decided. Yet such questions absorb most of the interests
and spare thoughts and reading of a great part—perhaps the greater
part—of the population, just as the races of the circus swamped all
other interests of the decadent Roman. The results which they crave for
cannot possibly mean anything to the present or to the future, as the
selection is merely due to accidental causes. Even a lower depth is the
relative excellence of two horses which are completely unknown to the
persons who speculate on them. The utter waste of thought and print in
such interests is a form of insanity which is worse than a drug habit,
as it implies a hopeless atrophy of the mind to interests which would
help it or develop it.

The whole interest of betting on sport, and also of gambling, is
another evidence of an unwholesome condition. It implies a craving
for excitement apart from personal exertion, which is always a bane
to character; it involves the idea of gain apart from labour of mind
or body, which is demoralising to the sense of work; it results in
unearned fluctuations, which induce a wasteful habit; and it is based
on the essentially ungentlemanly principle of benefiting by the loss
of another, whereas all honourable gain is by the sharing of the
benefits of labour. If a large part of the public are determined on
deteriorating in this manner, it might be better for the community to
satisfy it by public lottery, where one party is the government, which
at least removes the last-named serious detriment to character. The
gaming at Monte Carlo is moral compared with promiscuous betting.

The objections to such forms of interest are perhaps too often urged by
moralists who wish to cause an alteration in the customs around them.
Even if we can care for the benefit of persons with such interests,
certainly we are not likely to make any difference to them by talking
on the subject. But as students of diseased society we may take a deep
interest in such forms of aberration as a pathologist may in a case
of cancer. And it is difficult to feel any particular wish to change
habits which so obviously belong to a bad stock that is hardly worth
improving. The best hope is that the unmitigated results of such mental
disease may quickly have full effect on the type, and result in its
extermination before a better class or better race. So far as cure
is possible, the most hopeful direction is by an increase of useful
and beneficial interests, which will make such vapid and senseless
amusements decay by mere disgust.

The distaste for work and craving for amusement extends beyond the
above limits in a manner very deleterious to character. It is a feature
of a decaying civilisation, as shown on the later Mykenaean frescoes,
and the rage for the circus in later Roman times. Besides the waste of
time and labour, it acts injuriously in producing a restless incapable
type of mind, brought more forward lately in motoring; and also by
creating a false social atmosphere, in which the business of life is
contemned and treated as a drudgery, instead of being a main subject of
interest and emulation. As the shrewd Carl Peters remarks on English
society, "Nobody can fail to be struck by its utter recklessness and
shallowness," and "an increasing objection to labour is noticeable
right through the British nation."

These various forms of a low type of character are on the increase, and
it does not seem at all likely that they will be checked, except by
great disasters which remove the less capable part of the population,
and compel the rest to adopt a more energetic mode of life.

Among the various movements which are by some expected to benefit
character, the communistic ideals have enthusiastic support. But it
must be remembered that all such types of society tend to repress
ability. If any form of communism is to succeed there must be a fixed
minimum of labour compulsory on each member; and it is certain that
human nature will take the minimum limit as all that need be done. The
tendency will be to drag down all energy to the speed of the weakest.
Moreover, if there is to be any private _peculium_ outside of the share
of common produce, the able man will at once rise into a capitalist; if
no private _peculium_ is tolerated it is certain that ability will be
driven out to other lands, or to other lines of life where communism
cannot be enforced. It must always be kept in view that mediocrity
hates ability, wherever it comes into comparison or competition; and
in a uniform community, mediocrity must be dominant, and ability
persecuted.

Again the communistic type tends to repress variation and diversity
by making everyone subject to the control of the dull average; and
this repression is most fatal to due advance by natural selection of
beneficial variation. We may see in France how a centralised management
by the State accompanies the lack of enterprise in affairs. It is
notorious that in business the French will not spend freely on creating
new openings and encouraging new demand. Probably the habit of mind and
the type of government act and react by one intensifying the other.

Where we can study an actual working system of communism in such a
climate as our own, we see that it only succeeded by some elaborate
and very forcible regulations. To outsiders, ignorant of the machine,
the less advanced states of society are generally supposed to be very
simple, and to leave a large amount of liberty. On the contrary,
whenever a barbaric or savage society is really understood, the
complexity which is essential to its success is seen to be even greater
than among ourselves. The movement of society has been from an earlier
complexity of special restriction, to a later generalised simplicity.
The whole of northern Europe appears to have had a very similar system
of communal organisation, which has been mainly brought to light by the
researches of Dr. Seebohm. The peace was kept by making every relation
of a man responsible for his actions; either wounding in any degree,
or murder, had to be compounded for by fines extending even to distant
cousins, which were payable to the similar relations of the injured
or murdered man. The immediate male relatives, father, son, brother,
and first cousin, were responsible for two-thirds of the blood money,
and other relations to the fifteenth degree made up the remainder.
Thus the criminal law was communal in a full sense; and injuries were
fully compensated in a manner which made every man his brother's keeper
in a real communism. How would modern admirers of communism like to
undertake the responsibilities of making up for the misdeeds of every
relative? Yet that is an essential part of communal duties.

The poor-law system, as revealed in the Norse laws, was that all
the poorer men were bound to do a certain amount of work for their
chief, like the payment of taxes at present, which amounts now to
more than a month's work in the year. In return the chief was bound
to see that they were insured against extreme-poverty or distress.
They were free to accumulate wealth if they had the ability to do so,
but their bargains and marriages had to be ratified by the chief in
order to safeguard them from the follies of incapacity. When a man
wished to resign this position of insurance against misfortune there
was no objection to his independence, and he could do so on paying
a small fee, and having a feast with the chief and witnesses. But if
after that he played the fool, and his family came to naught, no one
was responsible for them, as he had resigned his insurance. There
was but one course left, a wide grave in the churchyard received the
whole family alive, and only the one who survived longest had the
right to live at the cost of his chief afterwards. Such was the price
of communal support; and this decisive treatment, even in Christian
times, ensured the sturdiness of the hardy Norseman, by effectively
weeding the incapable. This was the practical working of the communal
system which did not check ability, and which succeeded in our
climate in past times. It needed a fuller organisation of penalties
and obligations than our present individualism; and whether any
communism could permanently succeed with less compulsion may gravely
be doubted. In using the terms Socialism and Communism they are taken
here in their widest sense, as referring to all the courses opposed to
individualism. Such is the general usage of our language at present,
and we cannot restrict these terms solely to extreme views, as some of
their advocates would wish. Moreover, it is the influence of views on
practical life that we are considering, and not an ideal state which
never has been realised, and probably never can be put in practice.

A favourite idea has been that the New Testament teaching favours
communism. To many such an authority would be decisive; and those who
would not accept it as authoritative, must consider that the teaching
is at least that of men who had such an instinctive knowledge of human
nature, and such sympathy with the springs of action, that their views
have held Western man more firmly than any other system. The first
point to notice in looking at the teaching, is that it was given to
a very severely selected group of persons. The early disciples were
one of the hardest-weeded bodies of men that ever existed, like the
Huguenots or the Quakers; ready perception, hearty conscientiousness,
and a will to do right at all costs were the first qualifications,
and incessant persecution from various sides weeded out all those who
had no deep root of character. To such a body temporary communism was
almost a need of existence at starting; all the causes and characters
which would ordinarily make it a failure were weeded out, and such a
highly selected group might safely benefit by a system which depended
on self-abnegation. But so soon as the Church spread, no trace of
communism remained; and even in general altruism the injunctions
referred only to the Church and not to the world. The teaching was
"Bear ye one another's burdens"; not, bear the burdens of the Roman
rabble, but only those of the stringently weeded community. The one
saying which survived most strongly of all the Gospel teaching, and is
repeated oftenest, is, "To him that hath shall be given, and from him
that hath not shall be taken away even that which he seemeth to have."
The full benefit of capacity and its utmost gains, and the direst
losses of incapacity, are the main principle that is inculcated.

In another point of view the parable of the prodigal son is sometimes
felt to inculcate the ignoring of failure in life, and the permitting
of follies to have no effect on the position of a person. The prodigal
son among us is too often allowed to go on draining the resources on
which his brethren rightfully have a claim. But the father in the
parable, who had divided the family property already, was not intending
to give anything more to the prodigal, however penitent he might be;
forgiveness might be his, but the other brother was reassured at once
by the formal declaration, "All that I have is thine." The greatest
penitence, and the fullest forgiveness after it, will not give the
prodigal a farthing beyond those rights which he has already misused.

Another appeal has been made, to a comparison with nature, in favour of
communism. It is asked why we should be struggling like the carnivora,
instead of peacefully browsing in amity like herbivora. But it would
be hard to find a more intense example of competition than that among
the cattle. Look at the skeleton of a bull, and see how every rib is
broadened out into an armour plating for its vitals, each rib lapping
over the other, so that no opening can be found for the point of its
adversary's horn. None but those thus proof against goring have ever
survived the desperate struggle of the strongest. In place of the
artificial paddocks, where man has placed a single bull to lord the
herd, look at the tragedy of the wild cattle, where the dispossessed
chief of the Chillingham breed mopes apart in sullen anger, a Saturn
dethroned and banished by the Jupiter who now leads the race. Then
reflect how competition is more bitter and more intense in the bovine
commune than among any individualistic carnivora.

The communistic view appears to tend to fatalism. This is practically
seen for instance in Tolstoi's _Peace and War_, where the gigantic
movements of the French and Russian hosts are looked on as inherent in
the millions of people, and not originating in the leaders. And the
habit of looking to the commune as the source of action will naturally
tend toward a sense of the impossibility of altering the determination
of a whole people, and the powerlessness of the individual against such
forces. Now nothing more surely undermines activity and initiative than
a fatalistic view. It saps the whole springs of action, and destroys
the spirit of advance and improvement. In this aspect therefore we
again see how injurious the communistic ideal is to solid character.

The recent growth of "municipalising" enterprises is another outcome
of this spirit. The principle of it seems to be to absorb any public
business which appears profitable, whether conveyance, supplies of
material, or contracting for public work. Apart from the fact that
only strong personal interest in management will make such enterprises
profitable, there is also the inherent objection to the bad management
which clings to the atrophy of mind of officials, as such; but there is
also another serious influence upon character, which we should notice.
The energy and initiative needed to start and work improvements, which
is the essential source of profit in business, is easily suppressed or
driven away. Many an enterprise which would succeed well is set aside
because of the risks or the trouble of starting it, many another is
left alone owing to little deterring causes; and if the great incentive
of the possibility of large profits on some schemes, to compensate for
the risks of many failures, is cut away by a municipality having the
right of seizure of whatever succeeds, the whole enterprising character
is cut down at the roots, to the immense injury of the nation at large.
Supposing that some public enterprise makes 20 per cent. profit to its
shareholders, the people who use it are certainly better off, or they
would leave it alone, and the profit is no loss to the community, as
it merely means so much transferred from one pocket to another, and
none wasted. But if such enterprises are choked at the roots by fear
of seizure, the whole community suffers. Who will care to develop
suburbs by starting electric trams when the whole can be seized in
twenty-one years, so soon as it begins to repay the risks incurred?
This short-sighted grasping system has held England back behind most
civilised countries, and been a gigantic public loss, not only by
hindering specific enterprises, but more by thwarting most valuable
characteristics.



CHAPTER III.

TRADE UNIONISM, ITS FLOWER AND FRUITION.


When we are continually assured that there is a new and better way of
doing anything, it is only reasonable to ask if anyone has tried it
before. "The proof of the pudding is in the eating," and if some one
has eaten such a pudding before us, we may be saved from using up good
materials in a bad concoction. Until now the attention of historians
has been so fixed upon the great military autocracy of Rome, that the
growth of trade unionism and socialism under that government has been
overlooked. Here we will trace and put together such facts as seem
curiously parallel to the growth of modern unionism; and which, when
they outstep our present position, may serve to show what further
developments may be expected by us.

The first great step, which bore centuries of bitter results, was the
favouring of the townsman as against the countryman. The voter in Rome
could push laws to his own advantage in the hurly-burly of the public
assembly, while the countryman was working hard in his furrow miles
away. The conquered provinces were a great temptation; they had to
yield tribute, grain came pouring into Rome, and why should not this
abundance benefit the citizen by being sold at a low price? They forgot
the countryman. His toil was none the less because Carthage or Sicily
or Egypt were being plundered. But his pay was much the less if his
produce lost its market value. The cheap corn of Gracchus was the knell
of the honest agriculturist, as Professor Oman has pointed out. The
only remedy was to try to cheapen production in Italy. This was done by
giving up the small farmer altogether, and running only big estates by
slave-labour, the human machine which was to Rome what machinery is to
us. This staved off the evil somewhat. But soon the townsman demanded
more and more, and at last free doles of corn were given to him, and
agriculture became impossible in Italy. What tribute-corn did to Italy,
cheap transport has done to England. The townsman is always favoured
at the cost of the countryman, and the country is being depopulated.
Not only cheap bread, but doles of every kind—hospitals, wash-houses,
music, games, libraries—all are given to the townsman, while the
countryman cannot possibly share in such doles. A large policy of
equivalent benefits to the countryman would be the only corrective to
this one-sided and deleterious favouritism. But the votes carry it, as
they did in Rome.

In the earlier part of the second century, under Trajan, two little
statements show what was going on. A guild or trade union of firemen in
Asia Minor wished to be incorporated: but the emperor forbade, because
such trade guilds became political centres. There must have been
some experience of such movement for it to be anticipated. The other
statement is that the more able and wealthy men avoided entering the
guild of permanent aldermen, or _curia_, because of the burdens which
were thrown upon them. A century later, about 230 A.D., all trades
were organised into corporations or trades unions, recognised by the
government, instead of being only private societies as before. This
seems to have been a compulsory unionism; but there was some difference
in class between this trades unionism and our own. In Rome the trades
were in the hands of smaller men, and not of large firms and companies
as much as with us; and on the other hand the mere mechanic was
usually a slave, this slave labour being economically the equivalent
of machinery in our time. Hence the Roman trades unions were small
employers of the status of our plumbers or upholsterers, more than, as
with us, a large mass of crude labour organised against all capital.
They were trade unions, rather than unions of the mechanics as against
the managers. The compulsory entry of all the master employers into a
union would no doubt be a step very welcome to modern unionism; and the
compulsory extension of it, so as to leave no free labour, would be an
ideal condition, in which picketing would be quite superseded by legal
compulsion to join the union. The differences therefore were mainly
such as our trades unions would desire, and aim at in future; in short
unionism by 230 A.D. was more developed than it is at present with us.

But here came in a very difficult question, which is before us also
whenever unionism becomes dominant in any trade. It is all very well to
let unions pillage capital, or even pillage each other, but can they be
allowed to pillage the poor? This at once clashes with the favouring of
the proletariat. It has already raised an acute difficulty in England.
The Bricklayers' Union cannot be competed with from abroad, except
very slightly by means of imported wooden houses. Hence this union
has been able to close its grip firmly on the throat of the public;
it has raised wages, and it has cut down work from eight hundred or
nine hundred bricks laid daily to two hundred and seventy or three
hundred and thirty in different standards now. By raising the cost
of labour to about three times the amount, the cost of building as a
whole must be nearly doubled. The dearness of lodging of the poor is
really due to the remorseless extortion of the bricklayers, abetted
by the extravagant building regulations locally in force in their
interest, to increase the expenditure on a building. In the country
there is disgraceful overcrowding for lack of cottage accommodation,
and in towns miserable rooms fetch high rents. The ground-landlord,
who is so much abused, has little to do with this; for ground-rents
are seldom more than a tenth of the house rent and taxes. If all land
were confiscated to-morrow it would not lower most rentals more than a
fraction. If the Bricklayers' Union and all its results were abolished,
rentals would descend to nearly half the present amounts.

If we were to meet this difficulty in the way that Rome dealt with it,
the Government would give the Bricklayers' Union an absolute monopoly
of building, on condition that dwellings under a certain value were
charged at a third of the cost of labour, that is on the old terms of a
full day's work fifty years ago, leaving all later profits to be gained
from the wealthier classes. In the present straits about housing it is
by no means certain that this would not be a popular course.

In Rome the grain importers and the bakers were the two trades
which touched the proletariat most closely. And early in the third
century these, and probably other essential trades, were organised
as monopolist unions, on condition that the union was bound over to
do a certain amount of work for the poor at a nominal rate. Thus the
wastrel was favoured and protected, with his right to maintenance;
and all profits of the business were to be made from work done for
those who could afford to pay for it. This is unquestionably an ideal
toward which a great deal of social legislation is tending at present.
Railway companies and tramways are bound to carry workmen at nominal
rates, while all their profits are to be earned from wealth. So far has
this burden been imposed, that the construction of one railway line at
least has been prevented by the heavy toll of cheap transport which was
demanded before sanctioning it.

If the trade is not in the hands of a single firm for a whole district,
like a railway company, there arises the problem, how is the burden
of cheap work for the poor to be distributed over the constituent
firms? This was solved in Rome by the union, which was the sole body
recognised in law. Each member of the union was assessed by his union,
on the basis of both his capital and his trade returns, and he had to
do so much of the cheap work in proportion. Hence the wealth of each
firm determined the amount of their proletariat taxation. If they could
withdraw temporarily part of the capital from the business, their
assessment would be lighter. Hence to each person the aim was to work
with the smallest amount of capital, and to remove from the business
all spare capital, and invest it elsewhere. This naturally resulted in
business being badly worked. The difficulty was met by the law that
all capital once in the business could never be withdrawn; and all
profits—and, later, all acquired wealth—must be kept in the business,
so that the richer firms should do their full share of proletariat
service. The results of these logical developments of unionism and help
to the proletariat, were that many withdrew altogether from unions,
retiring on a small competence rather than live under such a burden,
and that there was a general decline of commerce and of industry.

Property having thus become the gauge of responsibility in the union,
the only way to prevent desertions was to declare that the property
was attached to the union permanently, and whosoever acquired it did
so under the implied covenant of supplying the share of union work out
of it. The result of this law was that no one with capital would join
a trade union, as their whole property became attached to the union;
and poor persons were not desired on unions, as they could not take
up a share of the proletariat service. This condition was met by the
law forcibly enrolling capitalists in the unions, and demanding their
personal service as well as the use of their capital.

By 270 A.D. Aurelian had made unionism compulsory for life so as to
prevent the able men from withdrawing, to better themselves by free
work individually. He also gave a wine dole, and gave bread in place
of corn, to save the wastrel the trouble of baking. In the fourth
century every member, and all his sons, and all his property, belonged
inalienably to the trades union. By 369 A.D. all property however
acquired belonged to the union.

Yet still men would leave all they had to get out of the hateful
bondage, and so the unpopular trades—such as the moneyers in 380
A.D. and the bakers in 408—were recruited by requiring that everyone
who married the daughter of a unionist must join his father-in-law's
business. And thus "the Empire was an immense gaol where all worked not
according to taste but by force," as Waltzing remarks in his great work
_Corporations Professionnelles_, where the foregoing facts are stated.

There was but one end possible to this accumulation of move upon move,
on the false basis of compulsory trade unionism, and work under cost
for the proletariat. The whole system was so destructive of character
and of wealth that it ruined the empire. Slavery was by no means the
destruction of Rome, it flourished in the centuries when the Government
was strongest, and diminished in advance of the social decay. Vice
was by no means the destruction of Rome, it was worst when Rome was
most powerful and was lessened in the decline. The one movement which
grew steadily as Rome declined, and which was intimately connected
with every stage of that decline, was the compulsion of labour and
the maintenance of the wastrel as a burden on society. It was that
which pulled down the greatest political organism, by the crushing of
initiative and character, and by the steady drain on all forms of
wealth. The free Goth was the welcome deliverer from social bondage.
This growth of trade unionism has been followed here as a whole,
without stopping to note other effects of the same type of mind, which
are also very instructive to us. We now turn back to look at some
earlier developments.

The Empire had a long age of internal peace, from the accession of
Vespasian to the rise of Severus, comprising four or five generations.
Men had forgotten in Italy and the provinces what war meant, as the
only troubles had been frontier fighting. They ceased to value the
strength of unity, and the importance of keeping the empire bound
together. The sayings attributed to Gallienus in the middle of the
third century cannot be looked on as merely wild vagaries, contrary
to all the public opinion around him. Had no one else advocated the
subdivision of the empire, he would never have continued to jest about
not needing the produce of Gaul or of Syria. Such phrases must have
been familiar among a little-Italy party, of whom Gallienus was the
agent and mouthpiece. And such a situation will help to explain his
conduct regarding the captivity of Valerian his father in Persia. A
glance at old Valerian shows him to have been a rigid gentleman of
the old school, like Galba or Nerva. And, when he was captured, the
little-Italy party who had hold of Gallienus were relieved rather than
otherwise. Had George III been captured by the French, probably George
IV and Charles James Fox would not have been very anxious for his
return.

The policy of the party seems to have been to encourage each province
to start a separate government under its local ruler, in touch with
the Roman Government, but with recognised independence. Britain was
separated, and was only reunited to the empire at later times for
short periods; Postumus, Victorinus, Tetricus, Carausius, Allectus,
Constantius, Magnentius, Magnus Maximus, Jovinus, all ruled without
any check from Italy. Syria was separated with such good will that the
coinage for Zenobia was struck at the Imperial mint in Alexandria. In
all, nineteen independent rulers are enumerated in this reign; and no
attempt was made to reunite the provinces. There were gains in such a
course; the heavy charge on Italy of keeping a great army was lessened;
the risks of civil war seemed to be reduced, when each province was
not tempted to set up its own ruler for the whole empire; and local
feelings and variations could have free scope. It might be thought that
three centuries of rule had fitted the provinces to hold their own in
the world, and to be ruled independently. The result of the experiment
in devolution, or home rule all round, was a time of such anarchy,
misery and loss, as had not been known since a unified civilisation had
existed in those lands.

After the immediate catastrophes had been somewhat rectified by
succeeding emperors, Aurelian took up the great task of reuniting the
whole empire. He carried this out victoriously; Tetricus from Gaul
and Zenobia from Syria adorned his triumph. But Rome was bitter at
such a policy. A furious rebellion broke out, nominally called the
revolt of the mint; that it was a great social movement was seen by
Gibbon, though he confesses that it is mysterious how three senators,
most of the senatorial families, and multitudes of minor people were
involved in it. The fighting was so severe that five thousand of
Aurelian's trained army were killed. That the mint workmen took part
in it is certain: but probably the mint was adopted as headquarters
of the movement owing to its strength. All this shows that, so far
from the great victories making Aurelian popular in Rome, they were
most bitterly opposed. The only ground for this must be that a very
strong party clung to the little-Italy policy, and hated Aurelian in
consequence. This movement gives good ground for interpreting the
policy of Gallienus in the way we have done above, as being a great
party policy and not merely an imperial freak.

Within less than a generation later came the vast socialist decree of
Diocletian, regulating all prices and wages throughout the empire. A
maximum value was fixed for every kind of food—grain, wine, oil, meat,
fish, vegetables and fruit. Hence such food would never be produced
where the natural conditions prevented a profit within this maximum
price; nor would it be transported beyond the distance within which the
maximum yielded a profit. Whole districts must have been cut off from
different kinds of supply by such legislation. Meanwhile the wages of
labourers, of artizans, and of professions were all equally regulated,
so that the best men could never have their superior ability rewarded.
The prices of skins and leather, of all clothing, and of jewellery were
likewise defined.

The consequence must have been that the losses in bad years of supply,
owing to weather and other circumstances, must have fallen wholly on
the producer, who might be ruined by the whole brunt of the loss,
instead of being partly compensated by a rise in prices which taxed the
whole body of users. No wonder that after such a law the whole empire
plunged ever deeper into poverty and confusion. The coinage depreciated
even more rapidly than before; and the economic distress of such a
fixed system with a falling currency must have been overwhelming. Such
were the results of one of the great socialistic attempts to remedy the
course of events by artificial legislation.

We thus see how by the establishment of unionism, the feeding of
paupers, the devolution of the empire, and the legislation on prices
and wages, the socialistic policy brought to naught the greatest social
organism that had yet appeared in the world.



CHAPTER IV.

REVOLUTION OR EVOLUTION?


Those persons who are unaccustomed to consider the great effects
which flow from a continuous action of small causes, are too liable
to suppose that a large result can only be obtained by a violent and
immediate action. They suppose that only some mighty impulse can change
the face of affairs; they pray that the mountains be rent, and look to
the earthquake and the tempest, not thinking that it is the still small
voice that really directs. They forget that it is the humble earthworms
that plough the land, and the invisible bacteria that destroy nations
and alter the face of politics.

Ignoring the far-reaching after-effects of action, men are led to
over-do all the changes which they attempt to carry out by direct and
immediate means. This is like a child who asks to have its hand cut off
because its finger aches.

The bad effect of sudden and violent changes may best be observed
in our own history. The great changes of the Civil War left England
without any checks on the violence of parties. The King and Lords had
been abolished, and the Commons ruled alone. The fierce factions of the
Presbyterians and Independents would have wrecked the country, had not
a ruler come forward far more arbitrary than the one already rejected.
Charles had looked over the wall when he tried to arrest five members,
but Cromwell stole the horse outright when he dismissed the parliament
by armed force. Pride's Purge was a greater violation of popular
liberties than anything done by Tudor or Stuart; and the effect of half
a generation of such violence was that the nation was heartily glad to
get back a worse king than the one they had beheaded. Cromwell's great
service was, that he saved England from a fanatical and factious House
of Commons, by exercising monarchical prerogatives which Charles never
dared to assert. The needs of the time drove him, as a capable man,
to act for the highest good outside the law. When we hear a faction
lauding Cromwell now, it may be overlooked that he made short work of
Fifth Monarchy men and other extremists; and that the great struggle
of mind to him was the dire necessity of crushing the factions, and of
using that compulsion which he clearly saw was the only alternative to
anarchy. The bitter persecuting spirit of the factions was far more
violent than any course of action which preceded or followed their
rule. Neither Charles I nor Charles II touched the private religious
actions of the people; but the factions proscribed even the private use
of the Book of Common Prayer. The subsequent Five-mile Act regulating
public meetings for worship was mild compared with the domiciliary
visitations in search of the Prayer Book in 1645. But for the visits
of the parliamentary soldiery, breaking into chapels and putting their
swords to the breasts of the kneeling communicants, there would never
have been the milder dispersions of the Restoration. But for the
bitter persecution of the so-called Malignants, and the deprivation of
the clergy throughout the country by the parliament, there would never
have been the milder reversion of Bartholomew's Day, 1662. In every
point the violent changes of constitution wrought more tyranny and more
personal hardship than was even caused by the revulsion which followed.

In France the same effect was seen. The Revolution probably caused more
bloodshed and more personal misery in ten years, than the old _régime_
had done in a century. England has paid twenty-five millions a year for
a century past as interest on the debt incurred for crushing Napoleon.

Another result should be noted with care. A great popular ferment with
a diminution of constitutional control, must result in establishing
a military despotism as the lesser evil for the country. Caesar,
Aurelian, Cromwell, Napoleon, all arose from the popular party, as the
necessary substitutes, by arbitrary action, for the constitutionalism
which had been abolished. In the place of the legally regulated
courses, more or less unsuitable and corrupted, it proved absolutely
necessary when they were abolished to have some other supreme authority
with power to enforce obedience.

We are not concerned at this point to consider the relative right or
wrong of the various parties just mentioned; that has nothing to do
with the matter. The lesson is that a violent and rapid change of
constitution leads to worse evils than those which it is sought to
remedy. Every existing order of things, however imperfect or bad, must
have a certain balance of parts or it could not continue. And when
that balance is destroyed the results can seldom be foreseen. It is
exactly the same in nature; when any species of animal is exterminated
suddenly—as by firearms—the far-reaching consequences of its
disappearance cannot be anticipated; other species will increase or
disappear, and even vegetable life will be modified.

The phrase therefore of a "radical reform," or briefly "radicalism," is
in defiance of natural science and of historical experience; it denies
the principle of gradual evolution in the development of institutions
and of character. A small amount of experience of different types is
enough to show its fallacy, for radicals say that "travelling abroad
always spoils a good radical."

In order to avoid violent change it is needful to allow free scope
for gradual change. The greatest catastrophes may be caused by the
accumulation of small forces; when a tiny stream becomes dammed by a
landslip it may form a lake, which in bursting will devastate a whole
valley. So when the gradual movement of a people is checked, and an
artificial condition is enforced by laws, the breaking down of such
restrictions will cause wholesale disaster. Had the Romans allowed
free immigration of Gothic settlers there would never have been the
Gothic conquest of Italy. Were the Californians and Australians to
allow a free immigration of Japanese, under fair and equal laws, they
would not have to fear a squadron demanding justice in their ports.
The necessity of violent changes is therefore always the fault of
those who prevent gradual changes to fit new conditions. If the House
of Commons tries again the experiment of the Long Parliament, and by
force or subterfuge abrogates the second chamber, it will be largely
due to the House of Lords refusing changes in its mode of action. An
Upper House which elected a legislative committee, like the election of
Scotch and Irish Peers, would be in a far stronger position. The House
of Commons at present is too much like an elephant picking up pins; and
if the public become so much disgusted with its incapacity for business
that at some crisis they throw the reins of power to an able man like
Kitchener, it will be largely due to the fossilisation of the Rules of
Procedure. A Lower House which allotted its time strictly according to
the value of its votes of supply, or of the interests involved—which
registered its decisions instantly, as by the electric signals which
are now found in every hotel, and which employed diagrams in debate
by means of the lantern and screen which are now found in every
school—would stand a better chance of coping with its business in a
creditable manner. The fault of violent change, and all its damaging
consequences, rests in the first place on those who resist gradual
change.

It is therefore needful to leave the way open for gradual changes. In
every new law, the changes of circumstance which are likely to arise
should be anticipated, by leaving the way open for them to begin to
act gently and gradually. The principle of fixed fines (based on
income tax), regardless of any reflection on character, for various
infractions of a civil law (or even of some criminal laws) should be
always open, so that, as necessities arise, the prevalence of such
fines would call attention to the need of some change. An excellent
system has been found in allowing a department a large latitude in
interpreting a law, or a dispensing power in administering it; and this
system might well be extended so far as it was not seriously abused by
favouritism. Another mode of change is to permit a variety of types in
different places, as in local administration, and then allow a large
latitude for the adoption of any type found to work well in another
place. This is partly reached by varying bye-laws; but this might well
be extended higher in the scale, and with local liberty to adopt any
bye-law already sanctioned elsewhere. The ways would thus be open for
gradual movements, which could extend until they produced such pressure
on the larger and more organic laws as to cause a serious legislative
step.

We will now turn to observe the far-reaching actual and probable
effects of various laws, which at first might seem quite inadequate
to cause such changes. Some years have passed since the graduation of
death-duties, and we can begin to see the effects. The simple action
of a tax, without any compulsion, has produced a profound change in a
family system which centuries or thousands of years had left unaltered.
The notorious clinging to power and money among the aged, has given
way before the screw of the State. The custom which left the control
of large estates to men generally between fifty and eighty years of
age, and hampered their development by the dying hand, has largely
yielded to the Indian custom, of the division of property among sons
on their marriage or entry on public life. It is becoming habitual for
a father to establish his sons with the family property, and only
to retain such a portion of the estate as he may wish to fill his
declining activities. This is a very beneficial change, though by no
means a grateful one to the Exchequer which has brought it about. In
lesser properties the same action occurs; a father will buy an annuity
for himself, and distribute the remaining capital, each son being at
liberty either to place his portion at compound interest, so as to
replace at the probable date of his father's death the full amount
which he would have received otherwise, or else to trust to replacing
the amount when he may be at his most remunerative age.

Not only is this a great social change, with far-reaching consequences
in the management of property, but it will also act in other lines.
When a man deals with his property in the unchecked privacy of a will,
he can neglect the pressure of personality of his children in favour
of the sentiment of leaving a powerful family name in perpetuity. But
primogeniture must more or less succumb before the obvious personal
claims of those who are joining in the daily life. It requires not only
a flinty heart but also a brazen face, to leave younger sons penniless
when personally distributing the means of ensuring the happiness and
the amenities of life. Hence it is probable that estates will be much
more sub-divided, and sons encouraged to continue to live on corners
of the paternal acres. In short it will be a step toward the French
infinitesimal splitting of property.

This again will act in a fundamental manner on our colonising ability.
Primogeniture has made us a colonising race; no system is so perfect
for ensuring a supply of fit colonists. When each wealthy house in
the land educated two or three sturdy sons, with every benefit of
health and knowledge, and then sent them out to form new centres,
with a small capital to start with, and a reserve of help at home for
any dire emergencies, the most perfect colonising machine had been
evolved. Without these conditions England could never have filled
other continents as she has. When sons stay at home on portions of the
old estate, and have not enough wealth for the high training of their
families, all this colonising power will be at an end. France cannot
colonise because her domestic system does not produce this type of man,
fitted in person and in condition to take up such a life. Our high
death-duties are a certain way to stop educated colonisation.

Another change is also seen resulting from these duties. England, more
than other lands, was rich in private treasure houses of precious
things—pictures, statuary, libraries, and other collections. These
represented a large amount of capital locked up, but it yielded a rich
interest in the home education of the upper classes, in redeeming
them from the dull, unimaginative, coarse, or sordid lives of wealthy
classes in some other lands. So long as a duty only equal to a few
months' or a year's interest was levied, the succession was not too
burdensome, and the state reaped a steady small return. But when
the possession of such means of amenity involves at each generation
a crushing tax on the productive part of an estate, they must be
sacrificed. The collections are vanishing to other lands, where such
short-sighted policy is unknown, and England will be left bare. A
far more profitable policy would have been to exempt all artistic or
historical collections from death-duties, if they were thrown open to
the public for a certain number of days in each year. They would thus
have become partly public museums, provided free of all cost to the
surrounding districts.

Another serious consideration is that 10 or 15 per cent., or even
20 per cent. in case of bequests for public purposes, is taken off
accumulated national capital and thrown into yearly income. The estate
duty is incessantly eating up the national reserves, and using them for
current expenses. We should call any family which did this shameless
spendthrifts, yet this is the immoral fashion of our taxation.

The effect of income tax is one of the most serious economic subjects,
because it directly touches the production of wealth. There is little
objection to income tax for emergencies of war, because if merely
nominal (1_d._ in the pound) during peace, the true amount taxable
will be well known, and a sudden increase will be truly collected and
will not have distinct economic effects if only used for a year or
two. But treating direct tax on incomes as a large source of revenue
has very important effects on a commercial nation. A tax as high as
1_s._ in the pound is practically a tax on all English enterprise
as compared with foreign. If a mill can be run at Calais to produce
non-dutiable articles, free of income tax on its dividends, while a
mill at Dover pays 5 per cent. tax on its dividends, that constitutes
a discrimination of 5 per cent. against the English manufacturer's
capital. The outcome of the whole is that all shares of English
companies will stand permanently at 5 per cent. lower value than the
shares of foreign companies. Or in other words £4 interest will have to
be paid by an English company for £95 raised by debenture, while the
foreign company will raise £100 for the same interest. The immediate
result is that investments will increasingly be made in foreign
governments and companies, whose dividends are payable _abroad_,
instead of in London. This is not merely an evasion of tax, but it is
perfectly legal if the dividends are spent abroad. No one need pay
tax on any cost of foreign travel or residence if they draw the money
from foreign sources, and do not let it be trapped in London. Thus
there will be an ever increasing demand for purely foreign investment,
according to the amount of tax on the investments in England. If
the proposal was carried out to tax all investments much higher as
"unearned income," it would cripple all English manufacture for lack of
the capital, which would be driven abroad to escape the tax. It might
be thought that other governments will come into line, and tax equally
with ours; but if they see their own commercial advantage they will be
very loth to put this bar on English capital flowing into their land
to gain freedom. Even if France and Germany did as we do, it might be
well worth while for Monaco to become the financial centre of Europe by
having no income tax on companies centred there. The recent De Beers
decision illustrates this very clearly. A company with its work abroad,
and its investors largely abroad, is taxed on all its income because
it uses a few square yards of space in London as an office. Obviously
it will not remain. London will no longer be the centre of commercial
work of the world if 5 per cent. or perhaps 10 per cent. is the price
to be paid by all who use it. No company will remain in England that
is not fixed by its works being here, and all those who are fixed here
will work at a permanent disadvantage compared to the foreigner. It
is doubtless thought that the large income yielded by the interest on
the national debt is a safe and easy subject of taxation; Italy indeed
raises 20 per cent. income tax on its debt interest. But this tax is
purely nominal, as it is discounted in the price of stock, and such a
government is merely paying with the left hand what it takes with the
right. The case is seen clearly in Italian stock which stands at 20
per cent. lower value than it otherwise would; that is to say, that
Italy pays say £4 for the loan of £80 now, instead of for the loan of
£100 which it would receive if this tax was not imposed. The same is
equally true of the tax as applied to government salaries; it cannot
be evaded, and therefore it is merely a diminution of the salary, or a
depreciation of the quality of men obtained for the nominal salary. A
government cannot tax its own payments by any financial jugglery. Of
course a government can cheat like a private person; promise a certain
payment, and then break its word, and pay less by a tax. But that is
only a transient profit raised by the sale of its character, and is not
a permanent bargain.

Another effect of income tax will be seen if the proposed higher
grading of incomes is carried out. The same changes that we have traced
owing to the death duties will be produced by the life duties. Property
will be sub-divided wherever possible. Every child will have a trust
created for its benefit, every member of a family will have a separate
income, every large estate will be nominally the property of a group
of independent persons—a family club. This will tend, like the death
duties, toward equal shares, instead of the parent hive system of
primogeniture; and it likewise marks the end of educated colonising.
The effect of this may be good for family life, but it will be
disastrous commercially. There will no longer be the large capitalists
who can take the risks of great enterprises. To raise a large floating
capital for great undertakings will require the co-operation of so many
small capitalists, that it will not be worth while for any one investor
to give time to the affair. The lack of personal concern and interest,
and the cost of dealing with widely collected capital, will all be a
detriment to enterprises of large extent.

But the most disastrous as well as immoral kind of taxation will be
that proposed as additional upon all permanent investments, under
the guise of "unearned income." It is a fatally easy screw for a
government to put on; but the effect of it will be to penalise all
British manufacture in competition with foreign productions. All that
we have noticed about the effect of a 5 per cent. tax will apply far
more rapidly and decisively if a 10 per cent. tax should be put on.
Shippers would sail under another flag and transfer their offices of
registration; manufacturers would pass to a tax-free country; and a
larger proportion of persons living on fixed income would spend it
abroad. Beside the material disadvantages of such high taxation on
enterprise, it would be a grave moral detriment.

It is too often forgotten that in taxation the government wields one
of the greatest means of moral education. What does it say now by its
taxation? Suppose a man to have saved £100, and to consider whether
he will spend it on unremunerative pleasures, or on useful public
works. The government says, "If you will spend your money on waste
and luxury, paying for useless and monstrous rooms, making men stand
idle in your hall, or decorate your extravagant food; if you will make
women waste their eyes and lives on a fresh absurdity of fashion, or
sell their souls; or if you will pay boys to become ne'er-do-weels on
golf-links—in short if you will do as much mischief as possible, we
will take 5 per cent. of your money. But if you spend it on benefiting
the world, improving cultivation, building railways, opening the waste
places and making them blossom, we will take 18 per cent., and leave
you only £82 out of your £100." That is to say 5 per cent. on the
original earning of the capital, 5 per cent. tax on investment income,
and 10 per cent. on death duties, as estimated on large capital by
the Income Tax Commission, 1906. And if the proposed higher taxing
of so-called "unearned income" were carried out, this government
claim would rise to 23 per cent. or even higher. In all reason, after
money when earned has paid its tax of 5 per cent. it should be free
of all further claims, at least if employed for public utility, and
there should be no tax on dividends whatever, nor any death duties
on savings; all such taxation falls eventually on the capital of the
useful undertakings, and directly cripples the industry of the country.

The only way to escape the deadly effects of income tax upon home
manufactures and produce would be to lay a countervailing duty on all
imports, and a bounty on all exports. Then, and only then, would the
manufacturer or farmer here be on exactly the same footing as one
abroad. Then, and only then, would free trade be really carried out.
So long as taxes fall on home production or home capital, which do not
fall similarly abroad, so long free trade cannot exist.

Another highly immoral view of taxation is that of "plucking the
goose so that it feels it least." Such a maxim was appropriate and
excellent for an opportunist minister of an autocratic sovereign. But
the first necessity for the political health of a democracy is that
the individual shall feel every tax; such is the only way to prevent
the squandering of public money by the votes of ignorant taxpayers. It
would be very wholesome if the national expenditure was presented as a
series of personal bills, showing how much was spent on each department
by an average £50, or £100, or £200 householder. He would then be as
much ashamed of the smallness of some items as of the largeness of
others.

What is needed in place of the tax upon industry is a tax upon
extravagance. We are accustomed to taxes which far exceed the prime
cost upon tobacco and alcohol; and other luxuries should also be
similarly taxed. If instead of taxing income (which is often requisite
for reasonable living, or else usefully spent on improvements of the
world), we had the luxuries taxed, the only people to complain (if the
change were gradual) would be those who wasted instead of using their
income. Let all ostentation be taxed very heavily, spacious rooms,
large numbers of servants, costly food, motor cars (not professionally
needed), entrance money for amusements, and tailors' and milliners'
bills; and then a much smaller amount of such extravagance will equally
bespeak wealth, and gain as much social consideration as at present.
Such would be a moral taxation in place of the present wholly immoral
and indefensible system of taxing industry and leaving waste unchecked.

We will now look to other eventual results of small continual action.
The effect of transferring little by little the property in Irish
land to the present occupiers has not been sufficiently noticed. For
the present generation such a transference was merry enough to the
tenant. But when he sells to another tenant what is to happen? Will a
future tenant enter and gradually expropriate the present tenant, by
treating him as a landlord? Certainly the present tenant will not be
so foolish as to be thus trapped, he will demand money on the nail.
How then is the future tenant to get his capital to buy the land? In
most cases he will have to get it by borrowing on mortgage. And if
the government is not prepared to always keep open a loan office for
every incoming tenant to the end of time, a loan society or company
must be his resort. Then if he should not pay this rent to the distant
intangible society, his mortgage will be foreclosed. In place of a body
of landlords, and landlords' agents who could always be personally
approached, Ireland will fall into the hands of a landlordism of
distant money-lenders without souls or feelings, and whom neither
blandishments nor bullets can affect.

The remedy for land difficulties and various ills, that has been so
often proposed, namely the State ownership of the land, is by no means
promising. The greatest objection that can be flung at a landlord is
that he is an absentee. No amount of agency, no excellence in the
subordinate, is thought to compensate for the personal interest, the
personal influence and care, of a good conscientious landlord spending
his life among his tenants. Yet the State ownership would be worse
than any absentee landlord. The agent would be that of an impersonal
government, and responsible to nobody so long as he fulfilled a certain
set of hard rules. He would have no personality more or less pliable
behind him, but would blindly carry out the general dictates of a
Parliament or a Revenue office, which neither knew nor cared about
any personal exceptions or local details. We all know the ways of the
Inland Revenue already; the extortions which have to be tediously
reclaimed at a greater cost of time than the refunded money is worth;
the starving of the Post Office in order to wring a profit of 50 per
cent. on the whole correspondence of the country; the various illegal
demands which have had to be resisted by legal trial, and appeal over
appeal, at a ruinous cost to those who will not be cheated; we see in
France and Italy the atrophy of a railway system which is ruled by
government officials. And yet unobservant enthusiasts wish that every
field should be under some petty official tied by red tape, and every
farmer bound by laws and regulations which could never be applied to
even a small district without individual hardship. The townsman cannot
be allowed to play political experiments with the largest industry of
England, of which he is profoundly ignorant: it must rest with the
farmer only, to decide if he prefer to be under the Inland Revenue
or under his landlord. It is notorious that government lands are
administered more wastefully and less remuneratively than any private
property; and it would be ruinous to tie up the whole country to such
administration. It is useless to say that these are mere abuses which
must be rectified. Let them be rectified in the minor scale first,
before the system can be applied in the major scale. There is no kind
of government in the world that would not ruin this country if it
introduced State ownership. Human nature does not allow of it, and only
ignorance of human nature could propose it.

Another large effect of trifles is seen in the cumulative character
of borrowers. Mr. Harold Cox, M.P., has reminded those who are in
favour of rather confiscatory proposals, that a loss of character of
a public body, so that their good faith is not certain, may easily
mean that they have to pay 4 per cent. instead of 3 per cent. for
loans: and hence that all rents of public works paid for by loans will
have to be 33 per cent. higher. This loss is far more than could be
gained by entire confiscation of ground values, and entire ruin of all
landlords. That this is by no means only a future risk may be seen in
the stock list any day. India is not entirely safe; there are risks
of financial ruin—by conquest, by ruinous wars against invasion, by
ruin in insurrection, by ejectment, or by having to drop India owing
to a collapse of the navy. Yet all these risks together are thought
to be less than the risk of bad faith on the London County Council.
Their stock stands at a lower price than India stock. Such is the large
result of the many little touches of folly and extravagance which have
lowered the financial barometer.

Another instance of remote changes is in the effects of the steam
engine and other cheap and rapid communication. The full extent of the
changes caused are yet far from being completed. Externally the great
change is that of the equalisation of land values for agriculture all
over the world, as the produce can be carried from land to land for a
small part of its value. Hence tropical lands with rapid growth and
high fertility will compete with others; and the cheapness of labour
there, owing to the smaller requirements in a warmer climate, will
react on all agricultural wages. There will also be a demand for cheap
labour to work tropical lands to their full extent; and the facility
for transportation of labourers will result in constantly shifting
energetic people from rather cooler climates into the hotter land for
a time, and withdrawing them again. The same system we already carry
out for governing classes in India; and cheap transport will make it
possible for an energetic race to hold hot countries continuously,
without decay due to enervation by climate, as was the case in all
earlier northern invaders.

Internally the changes owing to cheap communication are that land of
similar quality equalises in value; and hence the worst land will
fall to bottom price all over the country, and cannot be locally of
any higher value. Also it will be difficult to get people to live in
unpleasant districts, as they can easily shift about; hence wages will
need to be higher in such districts, and therefore the land will be
still lower. Thus the mobility of the inhabitants exaggerates the
variation of land values already due to differing quality. The more
bulky industries that need cheap land, and not much labour, will be
fixed in the unpleasant districts; and peasant proprietors will tend to
the worse land, as being abnormally low in value. Regarding movement of
population only, as capable men can move about freely to get work that
gives them full scope, the less capable will supplant the capable in
all work that they are able to do. Hence we shall no longer find men
of high quality leading simple lives in remote districts. The gain to
the whole community is clear, but we lose one of the most interesting
types of national character. The free and rapid transit in cities will
cause them to be much less crowded in one mass. At Chicago men go to
business from five miles out in five minutes. Our cumbrous stoppages
along the whole route must be entirely given up for the outer districts
of London. What is needed is a series of new centres twenty to thirty
miles out of London; joined, some to the City, some to the West End,
by non-stop trains, at sixty miles an hour. Such is certainly the
type of great city which will finally be reached—a county covered
with separate centres linked by trains at the highest speed. As we
shall note further on, the development of great equatorial estates of
European powers, and the growth of immense permanent armaments are both
the inevitable result of rapid communication. We see thus how the whole
type of human life and conditions has been altered, and the whole balance
of circumstances readjusted, by the evolution of cheap motor power.

We have already noticed another effect of this change, in the increase
of emigration draining the more capable persons from England, and so
leaving a residue inferior in energy, initiative and self-reliance.
This deterioration of the occupants of England and Ireland is thus due
to the purely mechanical contrivance of a steam engine.

We have now traced the large effects of small economic causes, and
we see how such apparently insignificant alterations may be far more
effective and act far more beneficially than smashing the social
machine with a sledge hammer because it does not run smoothly. We will
now turn to look at some of the effects of favourite ideas of the
present time.

The compensation to workmen for accident seems at first sight a
righteous charge upon capital for the benefit of those who are injured
in their business. The immediate effect upon character is to save
the careless, thoughtless, and incompetent from the results of their
faults; this at once reduces largely the weeding and educational
effects of the bad qualities. No man would ever have become careful
if he did not find the necessity of being so. Even if a tendency to
malingering can be avoided, yet the teaching effect is done away.
It may be thought that it is better to save the individual from his
indiscretions rather than cure the race. Like most sentimentalism it
causes more misery in the long run. Another, and entirely separate,
effect is to prevent the employment of those who by age or bodily
defect are the more liable to accident; the immediate hardship of loss
of employment to these classes is, in the total, probably greater than
the hardship of loss of employment by accidents which it is sought
to compensate. We injure the individual as well as the race by such
grandmothering. A severe law demanding full and adequate protection of
workers, where they can be mechanically protected, is the utmost that
could be beneficially enforced.

The provision of old age pensions is another pleasing scheme. In
the first place it will diminish the need of foresight and of
self-restraint; it will thus weaken character by removing the great
driving force of self-interest. The burden will have to be borne by
all, including those who are already at the last gasp, and will tend
to push such over the border line. It will not discriminate between
those who have borne a large share in the cost of national renewal
by bringing up a family, and those who have selfishly squandered all
they received. And like outdoor poor relief, it will be discounted
in wages, and tend to lower the wage rate if no savings are to be
expected. A sounder plan would be to revert to the kind of communal
system of our forefathers, and make a legal demand for a pension of,
say, £2 a year from every child, and 10_s._ a year from every grown
up nephew or grandchild. Thus those who have done most for the State
by renewal would receive most in return, and the greatest inducement
would be given to bring up children to active and capable lives. The
idea of a right to maintenance would be the knell of any State which
undertook it. The endowment of wastrels, the taxing of all the capable
for the propagation of the incapable, and the wholesale deterioration
of character, would be utter ruin to a nation. Nature knows of no right
to maintenance, but only the necessity of getting rid of those who need
it by mending or ending them.

There is another movement which seems most desirable and humane at
first sight, and irreproachable in its economic aspect: the saving of
infant life by greater care. A huge waste of life is going on, and
it has been proved that it is preventable. But however much we must
sympathise with it, we cannot shut our eyes to its meaning. England
produces over 300,000 excess of births over deaths yearly, and perhaps
a tenth more might be added to that by care of infant life. But would
that tenth be of the best stock or the worst? We must agree that it
would be of the lower, or lowest type of careless, thriftless, dirty,
and incapable families that the increase would be obtained. Is it worth
while to dilute our increase of population by 10 per cent. more of the
most inferior kind? Will England be stronger for having one thirtieth
more, and that of the worst stock, added to the population every year?
This movement is doing away with one of the few remains of natural
weeding out of the unfit that our civilisation has left to us. And it
will certainly cause more misery than happiness in the course of a
century.

Lastly, let us look to the general question of the results of the
accumulation of wealth in the hands of different classes. Roughly we
may divide three classes of money-earners: the lower, who receive
weekly pay, and are tempted to spend it all by the certainty of poor
relief when needed; the middle, who receive yearly pay, and must
save if they are to avoid losing caste in late life; the upper, who
make large but uncertain profits by organising work, or by financial
manipulation, regular or irregular. During the last century we have
seen a great growth of wealth in England. At first it spread to
workmen and manufacturers, then to the middle classes generally, and
latterly much has accumulated in the hands of large operators with
trusts and financial dealings. What has been the result of the wealth
in the hands of each class, to that class, and to the whole community?
The rise of workmen's pay has mainly been used up; there has been a
great benefit by improving the conditions of life, but perhaps half of
the increase has been lost in mere waste; very little has gone toward
lifting families to a higher class, and but a very small proportion
has been saved. The whole property of the poor is estimated now at
nearly a year's income, the result of savings in a century, or less
than 1 per cent. saved. When we turn to the middle classes there is
a worse spectacle. There was, broadly speaking, but little need to
raise the standard of expenditure among the middle classes. They
were fairly comfortable, and need not have spent more on themselves;
their gains might have been spent on profitable enterprises, or given
for endowments to public purposes. On the contrary, but a small part
of their gains have been saved or remuneratively spent, and far the
greater part has disappeared in ever-increasing ostentation. It has
been turned into a curse by creating an absurdly artificial standard of
living and of sociality, so burdensome that every man is ashamed to ask
a friend to the leg of mutton dinners of his grandfather's standard.
It is thought mean to spend less per head on a single dinner than the
amount which ought to keep a man in comfort for a couple of weeks.
Real, genial sociality has been uprooted and killed in the senseless
race of ostentation. And practically nothing has been done for public
benefits by endowments. As a manufacturer in a park, with a motor,
remarked, "you cannot expect anyone not to spend up to his income." The
idea of using what is really requisite for successful living, and not
squandering money beyond that, is entirely forgotten. The simplicity
of having nothing that is unnecessary, the pleasure of having a large
balance to use beyond the needs of life, and the comfort of never
needing to worry about money, are all unknown to those who spend up to
the hilt, and who turn their money into a grinding curse of life. The
distribution of surplus wealth among the middle classes has proved an
entire failure in national economics.

Now, lastly, the surplus is passing into a new class, the large
business speculator, the financier, and trust-man. So far as we can
yet see, this class is justifying itself far more than the middle
class. In fifty years the middle classes have not given as much to
endow education as the millionaires have given in five years. A man
with a gigantic income cannot spend more than a few per cent. of
it on himself. He must use it for large public enterprises which
benefit mankind. To put it in another form, a great dealer has
organised a method for taxing the community in such a way that they
do not notice it. And if he spends the tax on public improvements or
endowments—railways, new inventions, or universities—he is an active
benefactor to the whole community. He sponges up the surplus which
would otherwise be frittered away in ostentation or luxury, and drops
it out where it is a permanent benefit. As a principle we may hate the
trust-man and multi-millionaire, but he may be a lesser curse than the
extravagant middle or lower-class man. War is hateful, but it may be a
lesser curse than rotting in peace. So long as the average man shows
by his selfish luxury that he is incapable of managing wealth, so long
the private taxer—who prevents some of the waste—will be a positive
blessing to the community. The evolution of the great money-manager
type now going on is a distinct step forward in the prevention of
waste, and the growth of a better system of expenditure. A million
pounds a year scattered over a hundred thousand men will be all eaten
up in luxuries or lost in folly; spread among a thousand men it will
only swell their wasteful pride of life; but put it in the hands of ten
men who have worked for it, and they will spend most of it in useful
work that will bear fruit. Until the education, moral and intellectual,
of the average man is on a higher plane, it will be well for the
surplus wealth to be in the safer hands of those who have proved their
capacity for avoiding waste. The evolution of society is not fitted at
present for a wealthy middle-class, or a proletariat domination.

We have now seen in many directions how great are the changes in the
constitution of society, which are brought about by a succession of
small movements, each of which imperceptibly bears its share in the
change. We see thus how carefully small tendencies should be watched;
and we learn how needless and often how futile is a violent uprooting
of institutions instead of a gradual growth.

Another lesson to note is that every attempt to interfere by
legislation in the natural working of causes is more likely to do
harm than good. The long lesson, which it took all the middle ages to
teach, was that legislative interference with trade always did harm;
we have come to believe that in a half-hearted way, but we are still
perpetually longing to tinker society by interfering with natural cause
and effect.



CHAPTER V.

THE NEED OF DIVERSITY.


A large part of the aims of government in all ages has been the
securing of uniformity, and much of the misery of mankind has been
caused by the enforcing of it. But when we look at nature we see that a
highly uniform species is the least likely to advance; and a seedsman
or a breeder will try to break up too uniform a strain by exciting
conditions which may lead to beneficial new varieties. It is only in a
fluctuating species in which new "sports" easily arise, or are quickly
developed by conditions, that we can expect to acquire new qualities or
beneficial advance.

It is therefore one of the essentials for an advancing species that it
should have full scope for diversity, so that any new varieties may not
be crushed out by a uniformity of conditions. Too uniform a type of
government is a deadly thing. Compulsory orthodoxy killed the vitality
of Spain, and—so far as it succeeded—that of France also. No state
was more brilliant or vigorous than the Norman rule in Sicily, which
equally patronised Muhammedan and Christian.

Diversity may be secured in two ways, either by large varieties within
a single great state, or by differences between homogeneous small
states. The diversity within a large state may be seen in England or
America; diversity between small states was attained between the cities
of ancient Greece or mediaeval Italy.

But we meet with limiting conditions in the necessity of combination
for mutual support; and in small states that can be carried out by a
vigorous intolerance which weeds out those who are not conformable, and
drives them into more congenial communities. Intolerance, therefore, is
a gain to a small community, though detrimental to a large state where
it excludes the neighbourhood of variety.

In modern times it is with large states that we have mainly to deal.
They are a necessary development where communication is sufficiently
easy for the concentrated military pressure of the whole to be brought
to bear on a single point. If states are so small that concentration
on the border is too easy, the state will expand; if concentration is
difficult owing to size, the state will tend to fall apart again. The
size for states which is most successful is a function of the facility
of internal communication. Let those who deplore the absorption of
small states, and the growth of Imperialism in all countries, ponder
the tale of the North American Indians, who resented the power of the
white man, and considered how to rid themselves of him. Their great
council was rejoiced, when one sage said that if they would do as he
said, he would promise that no white man should remain. "If the white
man is to go you must give up all that he brought, the horse, the gun,
the blanket, the firewater; if you will do this you may be free." They
thought—and then said, "No, he must stay." So, if we are willing to
revert to nothing quicker than a cob, we might get back to a Heptarchy.

The modern condition of great states being therefore forced upon us by
the railway and telegraph, the only practical question is the form of
life in such communities. Uniformity that is enforced, either by law,
or by custom or fashion, is certainly a detriment, as it will suppress
the useful variations when they arise. And the objection to it bursts
out in the form of anarchism, which is specially a disease of great
states. The amount of anarchism is very closely related to the size of
the state; and it is probably an exact measure of the internal strain
produced by repulsion of diverse types and the pressure needed to keep
them together.

It is only a very crude form of intolerance to expect many tens of
millions of people to agree in religion, morals, and government. A
degree of intolerance that may succeed, and even be useful, for some
thousands, will be disastrous if applied to as many millions of men.

But here we run against another guiding principle of many people. It
is often assumed that possibly in government, probably in religion,
and certainly in morals, there is an absolute standard of right and
wrong, immutable and irremovable. To take the last subject—that of
morals—to the utilitarian they are the conditions for the well-being
of society, and may vary indefinitely with the variations of society,
and he recognises that there is perhaps no action which may not belong
to the best code of morality for certain possible conditions. To the
theologian morals are the Divine dictates, which have varied immensely
under different dispensations; and the Patriarchal, early Jewish,
Prophetic, or Christian codes are represented as quite incompatible one
with another. The subjects of sister-marriage, concubinage of captives,
lapidation, private revenge, communal or individual responsibility,
and others, all show how entirely variable the presentation of the
moral standard is for different states of society. Hence we must always
regard any given moral standard as being rightly associated with some
particular condition of society and typical of it; much as the colour
of red heat, or yellow heat, or white heat, is typical of particular
temperatures. And instead of blindly reprobating those among us who do
not conform to our present theoretical standard, or even the present
normal standard, we should regard them as fragments of a different
society gone astray in time or space.

Thus we see that diversity should be tolerated up to the limits
of the laws that are absolutely necessary to avoid confusion and
misunderstanding between members of the same community: and there is no
constraining principle which would narrow the variability allowable,
short of permitting injustice, hardship, or unfair competition between
those who need to work together in mutual confidence and good faith. It
may truly be said that civilisation is the means for giving scope to
diversity.

Under stagnant and uniform conditions there may be a fossilised form
of civilisation; but any living form must yield opportunities for
individual effort, and every such opportunity is the making or marring
of the man who rises to it or who falls before it. The leading
tenth and the submerged tenth are equally the proof that a living
civilisation is doing its work of sorting out the best and getting rid
of the worst stock.

From another point of view, toleration is essential to completion.
The enormous variety of character, and ability for special work, is
all needed in a complete community. There are many "wrong paradises"
in a whole society. We see the necessity for mental diversity, from
the pure mathematician who is proud of the inapplicability of his
results, through all the successive stages of research work, commercial
work, administrative management, and mechanical work, even down to
merely automatic work which needs no more mind than a cow's. And it
is perfectly clear that such mental diversity must have corresponding
variety of external life to accommodate it. The student or experimental
worker finds the disturbances of communal life almost insufferable,
while the mechanical worker would be miserable almost to suicide in
the silence and lack of excitement of a life devoted to abstract
thought or to millionths of an inch. If, therefore, the productions of
the externals of life differ so profoundly in a complete society, we
must expect and allow equally great differences in all the feelings,
instincts, and requirements. One man may have a physical repulsion
to affecting his mind and condition by stimulants and narcotics, a
repulsion that extends more or less to every one addicted to such
drugging of the senses. But it would be a misfortune to be without
that variety, and the world would be poorer by losing Falstaff, or
even Bardolph. The utmost we can say is that we should never be blind
to the bad effects on the community of a low type if it be too widely
diffused.

So long as the extreme parties are but a small portion, and the
distribution of variation is normal, most in the middle course and
thinning away to the upper and lower limits, the society is stable and
benefits by its variations. But if the curve of variation is irregular,
and shows two large groups with fewer in the middle course between
them, the condition is dangerous. We had such a condition in England
in the seventeenth century, and after a long struggle of each group
to capture the middle party, the separation into two communities took
place. The spiritual ancestors of Clifford and Perks and Byles were
happy in their paradise of intolerant puritanism in New England, while
Old England had internal peace for a couple of centuries. Another such
process of fission now seems growing imminent, and it is again the
question as to which group will capture the middle party. The positive
danger of a diversity running into two separate groups is notorious in
history. The Copts invited the Arab invasion to rid them of Byzantine
bondage; the Britons invited the Saxons to save them from their
neighbours. The ideals of a County Council which will not tolerate a
quiet square in London, or of labour members who promote marches of
the unemployed and unlimited taxation at their will, may drive the
best thought in England to the tranquillity of a well-governed capital
abroad; and as there are many people now who would prefer in England a
Boer domination to that of the party represented by Cecil, Halifax, and
Riley, so there are many others who would rather submit to a German
government of London than to a sacking by a hungry mob. The segregation
into two groups with an unstable link between them is fatal to the
virtues classed as Patriotism. A studious Englishman would sooner have
a Japanese or Russian professor for a neighbour, than have the average
drinking workman and rowdy family who may be his distant cousins. And
assuredly he would make no personal sacrifices to keep out of England
any people who were proved to be the moral or intellectual superiors of
the rest of his countrymen. We thus see that diversity, however great,
must vary about a single centre, if it is to be favourable to society
as a whole.

Looking at the general domination of modern law it is truly astonishing
how much uniformity is possible. But the fact of a uniform law being in
force must not blind us to the existence of a great amount of diversity
being now tolerated side by side with it. For instance, we are so
accustomed to think of only one type of marriage that the various
stages recognised in Roman law seem astonishing. Yet in legal status
in England there are ten stages surviving, most of which are tolerated
by the law. There is (1) royal assent, needful in the royal family,
just as it is needful in every family in some African communities; (2)
normal religious or civil marriage; (3) marriage of divorced persons,
only civil; (4) within prohibited degrees, but tolerated socially, as
deceased wife's sister, or (5) not tolerated, as uncle and niece; (6)
quasi-permanent connection with full legal responsibility for children;
(7) temporary license. Only in case of lack of full consent does the
law step in to punish, in (8) marriage under age, (9) bigamy or (10)
violence. Every one of these stages has been normal in some conditions
of society, and most are normal in some countries even at present. We
may, for example, instance (1) normal in Benin; (2) religious marriage
only normal in England; (3) normal in Eastern Europe; (4) normal in
our colonies; (5) normal in Italy; (6) normal in Islam; (7) normal in
Madagascar in interregnum of sovereignty, and in other countries; (8)
normal in India; (9) normal in Islam; (10) normal in most warfare.
And each of these stages carries with it in England different legal
and social conditions. Again, as regards the period of the marriage
ceremony, the Church has had a long and hard fight to get it recognised
as a hymeneal ceremony and not a maternity ceremony; yet the latter
status is recognised in law as equal to the former, and it is still
prevalent among a third of marriages in some Australian colonies, and
very largely in England, both in the country from end to end and in
town life. On the whole some fifteen hundred years of church pressure
has not turned the scale very far against the older custom, which we
might well call approximation by trial and error. Such is the diversity
which is yet uncontrolled.

We must regard society, therefore, as in the above definite subject,
in the light of a mixture of many stages of evolution. We may still
sit at table with palaeolithic man, put into modern dress and eating
modern dishes it is true, but absolutely in the palaeolithic stage of
thought and intellect; he is entirely absorbed in the interests of
hunting wild animals, and devoted to his appliances for the chase,
while incapable of making or improving anything belonging to a higher
kind of civilisation. Crime and illegalities are very largely merely
survivals of different conditions of society, which the law of the
majority has not succeeded in repressing. As such, the more reasonable
and favourable mode of dealing with them would be deportation to
communities where such actions are still normal. Instead of five years'
sentence for bigamy, let us exile a man to a Muhammedan country. If we
were seriously to establish island communities where theft, violence,
anarchy, and other phases incompatible with any passable diversity,
were still normal and unpunished, we might leave all those who
preferred to practise such conditions to work out their own life and
views with kindred minds.

Regarding now the individual rather than the community, we see in
modern education a very serious force acting against that diversity
which is needful for progress. So far as it is a social force, owing
to the herding together of large masses of children, and so destroying
family types, it is mainly deleterious. The enforcement of trivial
and senseless regulations by boys themselves is entirely a detriment
to character, as destroying a habit of dealing with matters on their
own merits, and creating a terrible bogey of senseless public opinion.
The compulsory games and the ordering of the use of personal time,
is another detriment, for it certainly destroys some ability which
might find its footing in the character permanently. But beside the
detriment of the system of herding, there is the more direct question
of the influence of the teaching. Most children begin with a great
curiosity concerning the world and their experience of it, a curiosity
which when unguided leads to many unpleasant and inconvenient results.
Hence, instead of guiding it aright, and encouraging the benefits of
it, the selfish and lazy plan of elders is to destroy and obliterate
the reasoning interest in things, and try to enforce in its place a
knowledge of matters, which are generally less useful, and certainly
less interesting, than those which a child wants to know about. The
leading factor of character, the acquisition of knowledge of benefits
and injuries, of good and of evil, is mainly rooted out; and the new
plants of abstract ideas and bookwork require generally many years to
take good root, if they do so at all. This system lies at the base of
the unintellectual character of the average educated Englishman, who
takes no useful interest in anything. As an example of this, there is
a foreign land full of interest, scientific, historical, and social;
for a quarter of a century hundreds of Englishmen have been there in
comfortable official positions with reasonable leisure. Yet there is
not a single good memoir produced, not even a hundred pages of original
matter, outside of official work, by all this mass of educated minds
during nearly a generation. The possibility of what might have been
done in such grand opportunities has been stamped out by the education
which they have suffered. They are all of regulation pattern, with as
little variation as is possible between different temperaments—amiable
upright men, who will leave no trace of anyone being the wiser in
future for their existence. Such is the product of the numbing chill of
uniformity, and the weeding out of the advancing power of diversity.

We are all familiar with the epigram of England having a hundred
religions but only one sauce; but we see a worse misfortune in the
absurd incongruity of now having two hundred religions and only one
system of elementary education. Amid the great variety of minds, which
is illustrated by the free choice of religious belief and practice,
we certainly require a great diversity of education to bring out the
best development of each type. We require simultaneous experiment on
a small scale, instead of vast experiments of Acts which apply to
the whole country for a generation at a time. Every Act is only an
experiment, and one which is usually spoiled by attempting too much
in a compromise, which is neither fish, flesh, nor fowl. Had there
been in 1870 a hundred schools used for experiment, say five of twenty
different types in different parts of the country, the life-history
of the pupils would by now have given us a firm basis for rational
adjustment of a system. It is fatuous to suppose it possible to make
one Procrustean bed to fit children of the country, the mining centre,
the manufacturing district, the commercial town, or the fisher folk—of
the Yorkshire tyke, the Suffolk dumpling, or the Hampshire hog. Nor is
it merely the success of a system in producing examination results that
has to be attained. It is quite possible that the best workers in after
life may not be the best to cram with temporary bookwork. Nothing short
of twenty years of active life can test the value of the education on
which it is based.

Should we not at least try the effect of varying amount of control by
the central board, the local council, and the teacher himself? May
not some latitude in subject be allowed to a teacher, to follow lines
which his own mind is best capable of making useful? Should not a great
difference be made between the town, where an infant school is needed,
to keep children safe while parents are at work, and the country where
they can be left to play in the open? Should not country teaching be
adapted to making agriculturists? Might it not be possible to leave
children entirely in the fields till sixteen, provided that they could
pass in reading at nine, and in figures at twelve, however it was
learned? A solid two years' half-timing from sixteen to eighteen, when
they valued knowledge, might be worth all they gain in the present
way. Such are a few of the questions to which answers are necessary,
before we can begin to provide for the diversity of education, which is
certainly requisite if we are to make it successful—a help instead of
a detriment in after life.

And in more detailed education is it not possible to let a child's mind
grow on what is of interest to it—to further it on whatever subjects
are most attractive and easy to that type of mind, until the habit of
learning is so developed that it can be more easily levelled up on
the subjects which have been neglected? The mere habit of learning
and applying knowledge has to be acquired to begin with, and surely
the easier subjects are the best on which to practise the power of
concentration of mind. The trainer knows that his monkeys cannot be
taught unless they can concentrate attention on the subject in hand.
In every direction we need to gain diversity—in types of society,
in customs, in varieties of mind; and to gain this basis for useful
variation we must begin by cultivating diversity and providing for its
success, in place of attacking and crushing it wherever it appears.



CHAPTER VI.

LINES OF ADVANCE.


Before we can imagine what may be lines of possible advance, for the
individual or the community, we should base our ideas on observing
what have been the means of advance in the past. Many of the Utopian
visions which have been sketched by different writers are in flagrant
contradiction of all history and human nature. It is at least far more
likely that gain in the future will be on similar lines to those which
have been successful in the past, rather than on lines opposed to all
previous growth.

The personal, rather than the communal, advance is the main
consideration, inasmuch as it is personal initiative of the most
able which helps the rest of the community forward. The greatest
improvements are the result of a single mind, animating perhaps a small
group of similar minds. We all know how such great benefits as prison
reform, the abolition of slavery, the restriction of child labour,
and similar movements of which the public are now proud, were each
originated by one mind, and worked by a small group in the teeth of the
bitterest opposition to start with. It goes without saying that the
same is the case in all inventions; it takes not only an inventor, but
also a commercial organiser (seldom one and the same man), to help the
public to any improvement. If ten thousand men could be picked out of
any one country, so as to remove the most fruitful minds, that country
would come to an entire standstill, and would continue in mechanical
repetition until a fresh generation gave a chance of the rise of
original minds. Probably not more than one in a thousand minds causes
useful advance among the others. And the majority of men lead automatic
lives, of which the reflexes have been trained by teaching and
experience to do what is required, and the daily actions are performed
without a single real thought, but only in response to external stimuli
of sights and orders. It is therefore in the development of the able
individuals, and in giving every chance to such whenever they arise,
that the hopes of the great mass must lie.

It is perhaps not too much to say that all general popular advance of
the community at large is based on the prevention of waste. Wherever
waste exists improvement is possible; and we need not trouble ourselves
much about the construction of the social organism, so long as we can
lay our finger on the waste and check it. As with a machine we know
the amount of force that is put into it, and can see what percentage
is yielded up usefully in its output, so it is with a community. The
design of the nature and quality of work done by the community or the
machine is another matter; though that again comes under the head of
waste if the quality is bad. We will now look more precisely at the
gains by prevention of waste in health, life, energy, and renewal.

The saving of health is one of the greatest steps that has been made,
as it has been suddenly performed within a generation. Man had
unconsciously conquered bacteria to a great extent by the invention
of cooking, and by the experimental learning of cleanliness; but the
scientific attack on bacteria and protozoa has given the prospect
of preventing all epidemic disease, and largely increasing the
efficiency of man in the most fertile countries. This advance means
the economic exploitation of the whole tropical regions, which—with
cheap transport—will provide an immense fresh basis for the advantage
of other lands. The gain in antiseptic surgery, giving safety for
operation on all internal organs, as it only affects the small
proportion of sick and injured, is not of so much general importance as
the conquest of the microorganisms, which have hitherto ruled the best
part of the world. It is in the complete domination over all forms of
life, however minute, that we shall find one of the greatest lines for
future advance. Only a small band of workers, about one in a hundred
million of the world's population, has made this advance possible.

The saving of life is another great step which will give man far higher
power; not only in the mere hindrance of death, but far more in the
increased power of work _per_ day. The power of continuity of work
is a growth of civilisation; and it is obvious that a man who can do
twelve hours' work _per_ day, instead of six hours, not only lives
virtually twice as long, but costs the community only half as much
for what he does. This continuity of work, or industry, is seen in
both high and low classes of work. Some races can do more than twice
as much agricultural work in the day as others. The same is true of
scientific or commercial work. And there have been some of the highest
minds which could only work for two hours a day, while others could
work up to fourteen or sixteen hours daily. This power of continuity
of work is obviously then a matter improvable by cultivation, both in
the individual and in the race; and as it may easily double a man's
effective life it is certainly a line of great promise for the future.

Another direction for saving a portion of life is in the rapidity of
thought and action. It is easy to find a difference of two or three
times the amount of work _per_ hour between different men. All that we
have just said about the continuity of work applies to its rapidity;
and a large gain may be looked for in cultivating pace and vigour. We
need hardly note that trades-union ideals would destroy instead of
promoting these most promising and fruitful lines of advance.

In transport from place to place the movement at fifty miles an hour
instead of five means a gain of several years of life to most men.
But here we have probably reached the useful limits, as any possible
further saving would not yield much more time.

The saving of energy is another form of the question of continuity of
work. The ideal of work—as varied as possible, and as interesting as
possible—being the joy of life and the greatest good, is an aim hardly
yet grasped by more than a very few persons. To the majority, work is
a hateful thing, to be done solely in order to get means for enjoyment
in some other way. This essentially savage and uncultivated ideal
needs to be steadily rooted out by the better adaptation of work to
the individual. An education which started by cultivating the natural
interests, using them for mental development, and only superadding
what further knowledge was really requisite for life, would greatly
help to eradicate the false and low idea of work which prevails. There
is a common feeling that business cannot be interesting in itself; but
there are few, if any, businesses which if intelligently followed will
not yield scope for some real interest of observation and study. The
greater application of mind to the work of life will leave far less
scope for fruitless amusement and—as a great painter remarked—"there
is nothing of interest in life to be compared with work."

To minds which are incapable of continuity of work, or of relaxation
by variation of work, mere amusements are needful. Darwin's health
prevented more than two hours' work a day, and the flimsiest of
novels was his needful relaxation. But the need of amusement for this
purpose must be taken as the index of incapacity for continuity—as
an unfortunate failure of mental and physical health—as a disastrous
defect when it occurs along with great abilities which can only
thus work at low speed. The same may be said of athletics; the need
of physical exercise outside of work is an index of incapacity for
physical health adapted to the work, an unfortunate failure of those
who are of defective condition. The idea that no one can be too strong
and robust is a wild exaggeration; physical strength needs to be
proportioned to the nature of work, and a slender wiry man will do far
better for indoor life than a plethoric mass of brawn and muscle which
needs much exercise to keep in health. Unlimited robustness is not an
absolute good, to be pursued at all costs, or else we should make
every schoolboy a Hun, living without shelter, and feeding on flaps of
raw meat which form the only saddle of his horse. In brief, the need
of athletics shows a weakness of body to be remedied, or a physical
over-development unsuited to the person's work in life; it is the mark
of unfitness, and the need ceases so soon as a man is adapted to his
work. The need of spending any considerable time on amusement is the
sign of an incapacity, which has to be removed by strengthening the
mind in the individual or in the race. The passion for amusement is
the sure evidence of a defective education, which has left the mind
incapable of continuity, or bare of interests. An important advance
therefore lies in better use of the time which is at present wasted in
fruitless action of mind or body; better adaptation and education for
the work of life will gradually raise the standard so that this form
of waste will be avoided. We do not expect a uniform type of horse to
be equally adapted to draught or hunting or racing; and similarly we
ought to specialise on different types of men fitted for agriculture,
or mechanical work, or office work.

The great subject of the waste by renewal of the population in each
generation has an immense variety of aspects; but the essential
importance of it is seen when we reflect that about half the labour of
the world is swallowed up in this renewal. The burden of production, of
rearing, of education, and the waste and loss in the process, exceeds
that of any other activity, such as supply of food or shelter, for
the adult. Hence any possible saving in this great mass of labour, or
reduction of waste, is of the first importance to the individual and
the race.

Those who have proposed temporary marriage hardly seem to have
considered that one of the most important economies adopted, perhaps
dating from a pre-human period, was that of permanent marriage. This
saved at a stroke the enormous loss of time and energy in the rivalries
of repeated mating. The gain to the race by leaving the members free
for continuous work is greater than the loss by reproducing inferior
stocks. There is no need for the system to have been intentionally
adopted for this purpose; but merely a race which economised the time
of repeated mating would soon oust a race in which it was customary.
For this reason any fancied reconstruction of society without permanent
marriage is entirely futile; even if it could be universal, yet the
advantage given to the lazy and emotional type of man above the
continuous worker would soon pull down the race. One frequent argument
for a more revocable union is the number of divorces effected or
desired. But nearly all such are among people whose judgment in any
other line of life would certainly not be trusted, and who habitually
get into trouble over other communal obligations. To abolish marriage
for their benefit would be as reasonable as allowing all debts to be
repudiated because such people cannot pay their I.O.U.'s. There is
moreover a great gain in permanent marriage when judiciously effected,
by the new mental pivot of a sense of permanent ensurance of various of
the conditions of life, which liberates the attention of both parties
from a large number of points, and leaves each free to concentrate
attention on a partial phase of feelings and duties. It is a far higher
and a spiritual counterpart of a successful business partnership,
where each member trusts the other to manage a different part of the
affair. All this mental economy and help would be impossible without
permanence.

Another wastage which has been greatly reduced in modern times is that
of high birth rate and high death rate. The allusions in mediaeval
times show a state much like that now described among the Slovenes,
where incessant maternity is only balanced by the reduction of children
due to filth, neglect, and bad conditions. The modern ideal of a small
family carefully tended is an immense advance, both for the individual
life and for the saving of waste. But its benefits should be sought and
not commanded. If the neglectful, dirty, and wasteful stocks of low
type in our midst let their children die off, it is the only balance
to their overgrowth, which would soon outnumber the better class of
population. The right end to begin at is by insisting on hard work and
tidy living, under penal enactments; the saving of the children may
then be left to take care of itself. To begin at the sentimental end,
as is now the fashion, is to degrade the whole race by swamping it with
the worst stocks.

The line of progress in invention is the remorseless "scrapping" of
poorer machines. The more serious the progress becomes, the more
scrapping needs to be done. We must not be surprised then if a sign
of human progress of mind and body should be the large number of
inefficients who are thrown out of work on the scrap heap of society.

In another direction advance has been made by general lengthening of
the stages of life. The early marriage and early deaths of past times
brought the cost of renewal at every twenty years, which was a much
severer tax on the community than renewal in thirty or forty years.
There is probably also a great benefit in the higher development of
parents before each generation. It is well recognised how the later
children of a family are more able, and of a more finished quality than
the earlier; great examples of such a view in older literature being
Joseph and David, and in our own history, Alfred. The longer growth of
mind before each generation appears to be a great gain of advance for
the race. Among the lower races, by far the most advanced are those
like the Zulu, which have a long period of hard training and active
life before settling down to family duties.

The often debated problem dealing with the human refuse of bad stocks
is one which presses most on an advanced civilisation. We will not do
like the Christian Norseman, when he put the ne'er-do-weel family into
a wide grave in the churchyard, and wiped his hands of them. We will
not even leave them to exterminate themselves by their own follies,
vices, and ignorance. But if the state takes up the burden of such
wastrels it must have an entire control of them. Responsibility without
rule is worse than rule without responsibility. The only safe course
is a rigorous enforcement of parental duties; with the alternative of
penal servitude in state workshops, the mother and children together,
the father elsewhere. There is no middle course, of semi-maintenance
by school meals, which will not injure the children by their being
correspondingly neglected at home, injure the parents by lowering the
spur of necessity to work, and injure the state by flooding it with the
worst types.

Much more drastic treatment of the unfit has been advocated, as by
Dr. Rentoul. In a future period of civilisation a logical course of
treatment might have a chance of adoption; but in our age any serious
changes of the habits of thought and action will not be tolerated,
unless brought about very gradually under small influences, such as
we have noticed as acting through taxation. What we need is to try to
give effect to the gospel of giving to him that hath, and taking away
from him that hath not. The most likely opening for such a line of
advance would be giving partial state maintenance to the best stocks,
so as to ensure large returns from them, and taxing down the worst
stocks—exactly the opposite course to the present craze. Let us try to
realise if there be a practical system for this advance.

We should need a Board of Health in each area of about 10,000
inhabitants, composed of three examining doctors. Every child on
leaving school, or at about fifteen, should be examined, merely by a
glance at the greater bulk of normal cases, but carefully in extreme
cases. The finest 5 per cent. both mentally (shown by school-leaving
certificates) and physically as well, should be premiated by assisted
higher education of suitable type. The worst 10 per cent. should be
remanded to a training school where physical and mental development
would be scientifically carried out, and as much profit as possible
made from their labour toward self-support. This would reclaim the
hooligan class effectually before they run amuck, and help on those
who need care and assistance to get a good footing in life. No course
could possibly be kinder for the weaklings. At the age of twenty a
further examination of both the best and the worst classes should
ensue. The best half of the most able should receive a certificate
granting them practically free support for all children they may have
after they have reached the age of twenty-five. The worst half of the
most incapable, or 5 per cent. of all, should be required to report
residence during their lives to the Board of Health of their district,
and informed that if they had any children they must pay a heavy fine,
or else go into servitude. This would practically mean the segregation
of the lowest class of the unfits under compulsory work. It would be
cheaper to the state to keep them thus at work, than to pay poor rates
to maintain this submerged twentieth and their helpless families.

In all these proposals there would be no Socialistic constraint of the
great majority, which is normal in mind and body. But such attention
to the unfit would be merely adding a porch to the poorhouse, the
hospital, and the asylum, and there sorting over the material which can
be possibly saved from a bad end. The nine-tenths of people who were
ordinary would be thus left even more free for individual growth than
they now are, when hampered by the inefficient residue.

We might not exclude the thought of another favourite idea of some
reformers which in a modified shape might be allowed to gradually take
root. Since Spencer Wells familiarised the world with an operation
for which he will always be remembered, hundreds of women have
gladly improved their health by a safe treatment, which, if anything,
threatened to become too fashionable. Every woman who was, as above,
required to report her residence as being unfit, and being liable to
heavy penalties on having children, should be offered the option of
perfect freedom if she chose the operation. The marriage of such women,
with men who were condemned as unfit, would entirely free both parties
from reporting and inspection in future, and give the best prospect
of happy lives to the weakest and less capable of the community, free
from what would be only too truly "encumbrances" to such people. This
course might give a permanently safe line of improvement, without any
consequent stigma or hardship in the world around; and so gentle a
change—beneficial to the individual as well as the community—seems
not outside of future possibilities. At least such a course would be
the more practicable form of such a proposed change. Of course, no such
legislation would be complete in its action, and evasions would often
occur. But if it checked even one half of the growth of bad stock it
would be an enormous gain.

We now turn to other lines of advance from the communal point of view.
The old system of community, in which all the nations of northern
Europe lived, was based on each man being his brother's keeper;
every one was liable to fines if any relative committed a crime, in
proportion to their closeness of relation. To this succeeded individual
responsibility, both in property and in penalties. This raises the
question whether it is possible to separate property and penalty in
communism. At present the tendency is to a state communism, begun
by heavy death duties and taxation (for a variety of purposes which
the taxed do not use or require), amounting to a quarter of all
property. If this system is extended, and property becomes more largely
hypothecated to public purposes, then when a man is condemned in
heavy damages or fines his neighbours will suffer by reduction of the
rateable property. Will it not be thought more fair for his relatives
to be responsible for the public loss? And if so, we indirectly revert
to the payment by relatives of a share of all fines.

To anyone who has had experience of combined labour, it is obvious how
two people working together do not perform twice as much as one alone.
There is always a loss by one waiting on the action of another; and
it appears as if the amount of work done only increased as the square
root of the number of people working together. Hence the group-work
of communistic taste is very wasteful. This is practically seen among
the Slavs in Russia, where communal agriculture—which is extolled
by its admirers—produces far less _per_ acre on fine land, than is
obtained by individual agriculture on poor land in England. Again it is
notorious how the Irishman who goes to work apart among individualist
people, then flourishes as he never does when held down by the communal
claims socially enforced among his own countrymen. This is the root
of the success of the Irish out of their own land. Thus we see how
communal action is the more wasteful form of labour; and how it was a
great advance for man when he made individual success entirely depend
upon individual labour.

Another question is what form of government will most favour the
strong breeds and the new strains of ability as they arise? Certainly
any system which ties the actions of one person with those of others is
detrimental to ability. The better man is held back by the co-operation
with others, by their lower example, and by their direct disfavour. Any
communistic tie is unfavourable to advance; and it was a great step
in favour of new and improved variations when each individual stood
entirely on his own resources, and was not bound by his inferior kin.
In every way, therefore, individualism was a line of advance for men in
the past; and the principles which are involved promise that it will
yet likewise be the main line of future advance. If we look practically
at which class of government is associated with advance of ideas, of
inventions, and new types of thought, let us put on one hand the more
individualist countries, America, England, Germany, and perhaps France,
and on the other hand the more communist countries, Switzerland,
Norway, Ireland, Greece, Australia, and especially New Zealand. Can
we question for a moment which type of country is most advancing the
intellect and abilities of man?

But we must not forget that Union is strength, the motto that Belgium
strangely took on separating from Holland; and combined action has
great advantages. In this view the beneficial combination is that
to which all contribute without one being a hindrance to the other.
How far can these benefits be gained without loss to the improved
individual? The main principle is that all combinations must be
entirely voluntary, and have no suspicion of coercion about them.
Where even "peaceful persuasion" comes in, ability is crushed, and
the whole community is the loser by it. Coercive union of individuals
is the unpardonable sin against human nature, because it kills the
hopes of the future. The safe line of advance is combination by
large clubs for every purpose, with healthy rivalry between similar
institutions—benefit clubs, co-operative stores, co-operative works,
holiday clubs, and insurance of all kinds. Every inducement should be
held out to join in such combinations, giving them the assistance and
security of official auditors, as is provided for friendly societies
at present Every line in which any class can profitably unite for
economic action, on an entirely voluntary basis, and without any tie
on the individual beyond his share in the enterprise, is a clear gain
to society. In this way the taxation for these ends would fall on
those who benefit by them, and not on those who do not want them. Thus
the individual would be free to take, or leave alone, the benefits
provided; and many purposes to which taxation is now applied would
be far better effected by gigantic clubs of those classes who want
such assistance. Taxation must be strictly limited to those purposes
in which all persons must necessarily share, such as protection and
justice.

Hence a future line of advance lies in a great development of purely
voluntary co-operation in any one class, in order to obtain the
advantages of combination. In one direction it is clear what immense
savings might be thus effected. Co-operative purchase of supplies and
cooking, with distribution of hot meals to subscribers, would save
perhaps a third of the cost of living to the working classes. And if
the prepaid weekly subscriptions might be deducted before wages were
received, such a system would go far to solve the question of proper
feeding of children. Again, the education of hand-workers in the
subject of economics can be best furthered by the experience gained in
co-operative works, and even on this ground alone every encouragement
should be given to such combinations of workers.

Another line of advance now coming into practical view is the use of
various nationalities, according to their abilities for different
kinds of works in foreign countries. We have seen, in Europe, Italian
miners taken to many lands for tunnelling and submarine work, we have
Norwegians largely employed in our shipping, and English engineers
find many careers abroad. Of recent years the great mass of cheap
skilled labour of China and Japan has been getting its due share of
the world's work. The infamous manner in which the Chinese have been
treated in America is apparently now nearly at an end; the Republic
where all men are free and equal will be coerced into fairness by the
reasonable refusal to take American goods as long as the Americans will
not take Chinese labour. In British Columbia the Japanese are objected
to because they are more industrious, more economical, more sober
and quiet than the white, who, as their inferior in these principal
respects, cannot bear their competition. The Americans are likewise
trying to prevent their industry, while at the same time wishing to
make the Panama Canal with Chinese labour; in this they will probably
be rebuffed, unless the whole national position is put on a fair basis.
The objections to Chinese labour in South Africa have never been put
on the real fact—tacitly felt, though unexpressed—that the white
dreads the competition of an economical people. First they were said to
be tortured in slavery, a lie which served its big political purpose
until it was found that they would not leave; then the danger of public
crime and burglary was put forward, until it was shown that there
were fewer criminals in proportion than among other inhabitants; then
a cry of immorality was raised, until the Colonial Secretary stated
that the Kaffirs who would replace them had just the same habits. Now
the Transvaal refuses to destroy its own welfare by the falseness of
playing with any of these cries; but such hatred to free labour has all
served the political ends which were intended by an unscrupulous party
that revels in keeping a conscience. Meanwhile the Prussian Board of
Agriculture desires to import Chinese agriculturists into Germany; and
it will be strange if the great German coalfields in South Wales are
not run by the cheapest labour that can be obtained. We have no laws
to prevent Chinese working freely in England, and we cannot afford to
wreck our great China trade by starting a gross injustice of exclusion.

If objections are felt—by a people so immoral as ourselves—to the
toleration of any habit of foreign residents, let it be legislated upon
equally for all nationalities in England. In this way the Canadians
expelled the rowdy negroes who had taken refuge with them in the days
of slavery. A rigid and impartial punishment of rowdyism cleared out
the undesirable negro, and left the inoffensive behind. The only
possible course of safety is not by any laws directed against any
one race; for when such laws break down in the growth of the future
there will be a terrible economic—if not political—catastrophe.
Rigid laws to check evils of all inhabitants of a country alike are
sound and safe, and will prevent most of the objectionable results of
immigration, Jewish, Italian, Chinese, or any other. With such laws a
great advance can be made by the free use of that kind of labour which
is most adapted to the work, whatever source it may come from. Such
must inevitably be the course of the distant future; and those who
play with holding what they please to call a "white man's land" will
find that "mean whites" of hot countries are wholly inferior to other
races which are fitted for such a position. Bret Harte has well stated
"the conscious hate and fear with which inferiority always regards the
possibility of even-handed justice, and which is the key-note to the
vulgar clamour about servile and degraded races."

Another subject which has seemed to be a most promising line of advance
is that of the reduction or abolition of warfare. We must not limit
our view in this to open and direct violence, there are other forms of
warfare quite as effective, and causing as much, or more, misery in the
total. The warfare of trade is always going on, each nation is pushing
its neighbours as much as it can for its own benefit. Some gain benefit
by closed markets and bleeding a monopoly, others benefit by open
markets, and each fights for what it wants by trade methods backed with
force. The free trader honestly believes that all this can and should
be abolished by each country producing what it is best fitted for, and
a tacit or legal understanding that there is to be no trade rivalry on
the various lines thus assigned to different countries. Such would be
the only system which could abolish trade warfare. Under such a system
advance would be greatly checked, if not killed. Look at the history
of quinine; only twenty years ago it was 10_s._ an ounce, and the
growers (though competing among themselves) did not think they could
improve the process or reduce the price. The chemist in Europe stepped
into the market and smashed the old system by much cheaper artificial
quinine. But the growers, sooner than be ruined, invented extraction by
petroleum, and brought down the price to 1_s._ 6_d._ an ounce. Now here
were two acts of violent trade warfare between countries; the result
being such an improvement that instead of one of the most life-saving
medicines being a luxury, it can now be used six times more freely than
before. Without trade war this would never have come about. Free trade
implies free competition, and that is trade-warfare.

Another form of trade war is holding a country for the sake of a
monopoly of trade, thus enabling a group of manufacturers—say of
France—to tax all the inhabitants under their government, especially
in colonies—as Algiers, Madagascar, Tahiti, &c. This is simply a form
of tribute, like the taxation levied by Rome on various conquered
countries; it holds back the taxed countries. If other countries wish
to get a share of that trade they will have to fight, by trade or by
violence, to conquer the right to join in it. And a trade war which
shut, say, all English markets to France, until all French markets
were open to England, would not violate any economic principle. It
is meeting force by force, exclusion by exclusion; and no shudder at
our using trade war ourselves will prevent for an instant the trade
war which is used against us. Our principles will not weigh a feather
in other nations' practice. But warfare is a temporary measure, and
retaliation must only be temporary. The great danger would be in
establishing a permanent system of taxation of foreign productions,
which would be worked to the utmost by trades unions at home, in order
to enable them to bleed the country to death by high prices. This
terrible danger of ruin is the main reason against protective duties,
though seldom, if ever, noticed in public discussion of the subject.

Another form of warfare is the relative burden of armaments. This may
be called slow combustion, in contrast to the open flame of war. Now if
there is no joint limitation—as at present—the most long-sighted and
powerful nation stands to win at this game; the result is the same as
if actual war were in progress, but the terrors and destruction of war
are avoided. But if there be a joint limitation of armament—as some
hope may be established—it must be on such a basis that no one state
is left in a condition of clear superiority to another, otherwise it
would tie the inferior state to be in a permanently inferior condition.
And the qualities which will win will be subterfuge, evasion, and bad
faith; whichever state contrives to be better prepared than another
behind the agreement will stand to win when the war does come. In the
unlimited condition the qualities win which are those best for mankind
in all other respects; in the limited condition the qualities will
win which are worst for mankind otherwise. The real fact is that great
armaments are like great states, a needful condition of the new speed
of communication. When it took two or three months to move an army
from central Europe to England, we had two or three months to prepare;
when it takes only two or three days we must be always prepared. No
one can put the clock back, and steam is the end of small armaments.
Within a generation of quick transport being started, big armaments
were found needful, and will never cease to be needful. Great permanent
combinations of states are the only line of relief under the new
conditions, which bind mankind for ever in the future.

Let us look now at direct war. What are the qualities which tell
for success, looking to the wars of recent times with which we are
familiar? In the brains of the army the main qualities have been (1)
Foresight; (2) Combining power; (3) Honesty; (4) Imagination; (5)
Skill; and in the muscle of the army (6) Physique; (7) Industry;
(8) Tenacity. In short, success in war requires precisely the same
qualities as success in peace. Even if the cause is bad, yet it is the
best man all round that wins. In each case recently the winner has
been the better power for future civilisation. War then may be defined
as the concentration into a year of the same results which would take
place by economic causes within perhaps a generation or a century. So
far as violent changes are undesirable—as we have noticed before—so
far war is undesirable. But on the purely humanitarian view it may be
better to flee before one's enemies for three months than have three
years' famine; it may be better to kill 100,000 in a brief campaign
than starve a million during a whole generation by bad trade owing to
slow economic changes. War strikes the imagination and impresses the
thoughtless with its horror, but a starving peace may be a far more
painful process.

It is difficult to see that any of the causes of trade war, armament
war, or open war are at all likely to be less in the future than they
have been in the past; and if the causes are the same we must expect
like effects. Nor do we see that any result of these different kinds of
war is injurious to that character of man which is requisite for his
advance in better lines. Each of these forms of competition tends to
give an advantage to the best qualified race, and to promote the most
beneficial strains of character. On the general principle that slow
evolution is preferable to violent changes we must look for advance by
intensified trade war rather than by armaments, and by the strain of
armament rather than by open war.

A direction in which great improvements of organisation may be
attained would be in better adaptation of checks. So far as possible,
checks should be abolished by establishing interests in the same
direction between different parties. The profit-sharing movement is
an excellent beginning of what needs to be fully and exactly carried
out. The checks of inspection, which have been so greatly multiplied
lately, are peculiarly liable to abuses; and a system of fewer and far
superior inspectors, much less inspection, and much heavier penalties
to correspond, would in the long run prove the safer line. The great
check by popular election is very wasteful, a general election costing
the country over a million pounds in various ways. Precisely as fair a
check would be gained by summoning one in a hundred of the electors by
lot at the day of election; and the nursing of a constituency would be
much diminished.

Lastly, let us look at the final type to which man will probably be
led by natural survival. This enquiry is limited throughout to those
qualities which are the product of external causes; and no attempt
is made to estimate the more spiritual side of man or his higher
mental development. For that we have not the same physical basis
of research, and it would be a fruitless mixture to include such
considerations—however important—in an enquiry which by its scope
might be similarly applicable to lower organisms. We are therefore
dealing here only with the physical basis of civilisation.

For the sake of safety from aggression and prevention of small
quarrels, federations of great size must prevail; while those
federations which allow for the greatest diversity between the states
will prove more adaptable and vigorous. Similarly, states which allow
of the greatest diversity of life to the individual will succeed best,
by the promotion of the most vigorous strains. More systematic law
will be needed between states. This may perhaps be on the line of all
contracts being on the seller's law, and all marriage on the husband's
law, regardless of change of residence; and all contracts being suable
on their own law in any state.

The greatest empires have in the past allowed great diversity between
states. Persia left each land to its own laws, and only required the
control of a satrap, a small tribute, and unification of army and navy.
Rome interfered very little with local law, and left the principal
cities autonomous throughout the empire. Britain has carefully
preserved local law where a system existed, as in India, the Cape,
and many varieties nearer home, even in England itself. The United
States have kept local laws of states and local legislatures. Hence
it is likely that groups of states with great variety of type will
prevail, only unified by a common system of defence and compulsory
taxation for that purpose. It is even conceivable that such a system
might be established in England, if the Privy Council was supplemented
by Colonial ex-ministers of long standing, and was granted powers of
assessment over all parliaments for the common defence.

The type of man which must prevail is that of the greatest industry and
greatest individuality; each man belonging to many voluntary societies
for various united benefits. Agriculture, the main industry of man,
will be far more elaborate and economical; as much so as the present
Chinese system, or even carried to further detail with machinery. And
the unlimited supply of atmospheric nitrates, now in sight, will also
greatly increase production. Profit-sharing or the shareholding of
all workers must gradually prevail in all industries. The growth of
rapidity of thought and action, and the economy of organisation, will
enable a living to be earned with perhaps half a day's labour, or less.
The large balance of time, beyond that which will be needed for bare
necessities, will be spent on a much greater development of natural
resources and conveniences of life; each man will thus enjoy the result
of an immense accumulated capital of improvements and benefits. In
short, each one will be rich, either by the cheapness of articles or
abundance of money, a merely relative question. The accumulated wealth
of improvement will leave a smaller profit on labour, or in other words
capital will command a very low interest. Therefore there will be
less inducement to work for saving; and hence spare time will be more
readily employed in the personal quest of knowledge, and enlargement
of mental interests, in literature, in science, in history, and in the
arts, or among the less capable in mere amusements. But the higher the
social organisation and reward of ability, the more intense will be the
weeding of the less capable, and the more highly sustained will be the
general level of ability.

That fluctuation will occur is inevitable; but it will be gradually
understood that the utmost freedom of labour and communication is the
only way to allow changes to be gradual, and so to avert the great and
disgraceful catastrophes of forcible migration of hordes. Hence there
will tend to be an incessant flow of labour from country to country,
assisted by international labour bureaus: thus the wage of any given
ability will be equalised over the world, and hence prices of all
produce will equalise also. The whole of this action will further
enforce the power of ability, and tend to end or mend the less capable.

We must, then, look for a world with approximately equal civilisation
and prices in all lands; but with each people developed in their
own lines of ability, in accord with climate and conditions, to
such a point that no other people can compete with them in their own
conditions. The equatorial races tending to have less initiative
and vigour than those of colder climates, the equatorial lands will
therefore tend to be each attached to a temperate land which will
supply more energy to their development; while a steady drift of
population from colder to hotter lands will take place, as for a
generation or two they will retain a greater vigour. Thus the tropics
will be the seat of the keenest competition and extinction of races;
while the borders of the arctic regions will always afford most room
for human increase.

So far as peoples turn their backs on the inevitable goal, they
will have to painfully retrace their course, or else disappear by
extinction; while the peoples who move toward the lines of success will
be the fathers of the future. Will they be found in East or West?



INDEX.


  A.

  Ability, inherited, 4
    sporadic, not inherited, 5
    driven out, 3, 4, 8, 21
    favoured by war, 98

  Administration depends on character, 1

  Advance checked by communism, 20, 21
    checked by education, 73-75
    due to individual, 78, 80
    gained by saving waste, 79

  Agriculture, elaboration of, 101
    to be saved from townsmen, 54

  Amusement, passion for, 20, 82, 83

  Anarchism, product of great states, 67

  Armaments, big, needful, 98
    war by, 97

  Artificial conditions encourage variation, 5

  Athletics, needed by the unfit, 82

  Atrophy of mind, 7-9

  Aurelian, 36

  Automatic lives of majority, 79


  B.

  Barbaric society, complex, 21

  Bartholomew's Day, 1662, 41

  Benevolence, scope of, v.

  Betting, 19

  Birth rate, waste of high, 85

  Bricklayers' Union, influence of, 31

  Building, dear in England, 31

  Bye-laws, value of, 44


  C.

  Capacity, _see Ability_.

  Capital used for income, 47

  Capitalists, result of diminishing, 50

  Catastrophes produced by small causes, 42

  Cattle, competition among, 25

  Change, gradual, to be allowed, 43
    effect of, 13, 63
    violent, injurious, 41

  Character, the basis of society, 1
    production of, 2
    subject to natural law, 2
    low type at present, 15-19
    killed by municipalising, 26
    grown by experience, 74

  Checks, better use of, 99

  Children, later more able, 86
    maintenance of, 8, 60, 86-88

  Chinese labour, need for, 93-95

  Civil war, results of, 39-41

  Civilisation a means of diversity, 68

  Clubs, benefit of, 92

  Collections, dispersal of, 46

  Colonising result of primogeniture, 45, 46

  Combinations, must be voluntary, 91

  Combined labour, wasteful, 90

  Committees, mind of, 9

  Commons rule alone, 39-41
    weakness of, 43

  Communal organisation of early Europe, 22

  Communication, results of, 56, 66, 98

  Communism a bar to useful variation, 20, 21
    and early Christianity, 24
    and fatalism, 25, 26
    and labour, 90

  Compensation for accidents, 58

  Competition, necessity of, 3, 10
    dislike of, 10
    among cattle, 25

  Continuity of work, power of, 80, 81

  Co-operation a main line of advance, 92

  Cox, Mr. Harold, 55

  Crimes, survivals of early life, 73

  Criminals to be sorted into communities, 73

  Cromwell an arbitrary ruler, 40
    value of, in anarchy, 40, 41


  D.

  Death duties, effect of, 44, 46

  Despotism, a refuge from anarchy, 41

  Devolution of the Roman Empire, 36

  Diocletian, decree of prices, 37, 38

  Disciples, early, hard-weeded, 24

  Diseases of bodies politic, vi., 19

  Diversity, need of, 65-77, 100
    of moral standards, 67, 68
    of types required, 69
    dangerous form of, 70
    still existing, 71-3
    of marriage laws, 71, 72

  Dulness of observation, 16, 17


  E.

  Education, a bar to advance, 73-76
    experiments needed, 75
    variety of, needed, 75, 76

  Elections, waste by, 100

  Emigration beneficial, 13
    harmful, 13, 14

  Environment subject to man, 3

  Equatorial races, future of, 103

  Escape of the capable, 8

  Extremes of condition appear together, 5


  F.

  Factions of the Civil War, 39, 40

  Farm colonies, 8

  Fatalism and communism, 26

  Federations must prevail, 100

  Five-mile Act, 40

  France, ability drained from, 4
    cost of Revolution in, 41

  Free-trade only possible with bounties, 52

  Free-will a subject of normal variation, 2


  G.

  Gallienus, 35

  German immigration, 15

  Government cannot tax its own payments, 49

  Gracchus, cheap com of, 29

  Gradual changes to be allowed, 43


  H.

  Happiness based on character, 2

  Health, saving of, 79, 80

  Housing problem, cause of, 31

  Huguenots closely weeded, 24
    expulsion of, 4


  I.

  Illustrated papers, 18

  Immigration, 14, 15

  Income tax, effect on trade, 47-49

  Individual thought essential, 9

  Individualism a line of advance, 91

  Infant life, saving of, 60

  Inspection, abuse of, 99

  Intellect, limitations of, 17

  Intolerance of Puritans, 39-41, 70
    gain and loss of, 66

  Investments, foreign, demand for, 48

  Ireland, emigration injuring, 14
    land-holding in, 53

  Italian labour abroad, 93


  J.

  Janus, the peace bringer, vii.

  Japanese too industrious, 93


  L.

  Labour, combined, wasteful, 90
    in the tropics, 56

  Land in Ireland, 53
    state ownership of, 53-55
    equal values of, 56

  Laws impartial to all residents, 94

  Life, infant, saving of, 60

  Life-duties, effect of, 49

  Lighting system faulty, 17

  Little-Italy party, 35-37

  Loans, risks of, 55

  Local administration, variety in, 44

  London County Council, 17, 55

  Low races pass under higher, 1


  M.

  Malignants deprived, 41

  Man subjugates environment, 3
    permanence of type of, 10-12
    final type of, 100-102

  Marriage ceremony, period of, 72
    laws, diversity of, 71, 72
    temporary, 84

  Medical examination of children, 87

  Mencius quoted, 7

  Mental changes similar to physical, 2-7
    qualities inherited, 4
    growth encouraged by use, 6
    growth to old age, 6

  Merovings, degradation of, 7

  Middle-class waste, 61

  Mind subject to natural variation, 2-7
    variability induced, 6
    arrested at various ages, 6
    atrophy of, 7-9
    unchanged in nature, 11-12

  Monopolies, 9, 96

  Moral standard typical of a society, 68

  Morality, relative standard of, 67-68

  Municipalising enterprises, 26


  N.


  Nationalisation of land, 53-55

  Nationalities, use of various, 93

  New Testament teaching, 23, 24

  Norse poor law, 22, 86


  O.

  Officialism, 9

  Old age pensions, 59

  Oman, Prof., 29


  P.

  Pasts have all been present, vii.

  Patriotism killed by separate groups, 71

  Permanence of type of man, 10-12

  Peters, Carl, opinion of, 20

  Physical changes similar to mental, 2-7

  Pleasures, low type of, 17-19

  Polybius on history, iv.

  Poverty results from opportunity, 5

  Prayer, Book of Common, proscribed, 40

  Present time, apparent importance of, vii.

  Prices, consequence of regulating, 37, 38

  Primogeniture diminished, 45
    effect of, 45, 46

  Private enterprise most effective, 9

  Prodigal son, his rights, 24

  Profits to be earned from wealth, 30-32

  Profit-sharing, 92, 99

  Proletariat, support of, 30-32

  Property parted in life, 44, 49

  Proscriptions, disastrous effect of, 4

  Provinces parted from Rome, 36


  R.

  Radicalism contrary to evolution, 42

  Railway stations, faulty, 16

  Railways, effects of, 56, 66

  Rapidity, gain by, 81

  Reasoning interest obliterated, 74

  Regulation pattern men, 74

  Relatives, responsibility of, 22, 89

  Remedy for the incapable, 8

  Renewal of population, 83

  Rentoul, Dr., 87

  Responsibility without rule, 86

  Retaliation in trade war, 97

  Retrograde characters ruined by help, 7

  Ruling faculty of man, 3


  S.

  Scrapping of machines and men, 85

  Seebohm, Dr., 22

  Selection the means of elevation, 3, 20
    repressed by communism, 20-27

  Slavery not fatal to Rome, 34

  Sloth a deadly sin, 16
    now compulsory, 16

  Socialism, use of word, 23

  Society, barbaric complexity, 21
    a mixture of stages, 72
    final type of, 100-103

  Sport, 18, 19

  States, large, a result of speed, 66

  Submerged tenth, 6, 14, 69, 88

  Survivals of earlier stages, 72, 73


  T.

  Taxation in death duties, 44-46
    on capital, 47
    on trade, 47-50
    in life duties, 49
    immoral, 50, 51
    should be felt, 52
    limitations of, 92

  Taxation of extravagance, 52

  Tenth, submerged, 6, 14, 69

  Theologic morality, 68

  Thought, lack of, at present, 16

  Town, type of, 57

  Townsman favoured, 28

  Trade unionism and sloth, 16, 81
    in Rome, 29-34
    compulsory, 30-34
    and the poor, 30, 31
    assessment of tax, 32

  Transit, rapid, result of, 56-58

  Trust-man class, 62

  Trusts, creation of, 49


  U.

  Unfit, treatment of, 87-89

  Uniformity, evils of, 65, 67

  Unintellectual character, source of, 74

  Utilitarian morality, 67


  V.

  Variability induced, 6

  Variation produced by artificial conditions, 5
    needed for advance, 65, 69
    about one centre, 70

  Vice not fatal to Rome, 34

  Violent changes injurious, 39-41


  W.

  Wages, equality of, 8

  Waltzing quoted, 34

  War by trade, 95
    by armaments, 97
    by violence, 98
    favours best stocks, 98
    causes, permanent, 99

  Waste, taxation of, 52
    the bar to advance, 79

  Wealth held by different classes, 60

  White labour dreads competition, 94, 95

  Work, distaste for, 20, 81
    power of, 80, 81
    to be adapted to the person, 81, 82

  Workmen, atrophy among, 8

  Workmen's Compensation Act, 58


  BRADBURY, AGNEW & CO. LD., PRINTERS, LONDON AND TONBRIDGE.



Transcriber's Note

  Obvious punctuation and spelling errors have been repaired.

  Pg. 108: Added missing sub-topic heading "I." of Index.





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