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Title: A Vision of the Future: based on the Application of Ethical Principles
Author: Clapperton, Jane Hume
Language: English
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*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Vision of the Future: based on the Application of Ethical Principles" ***

                         A VISION OF THE FUTURE

                         _BY THE SAME AUTHOR._

                     Crown 8vo, 443 pp., price 8/6.

          Scientific Meliorism and the Evolution of Happiness.

“In the Author we recognize an advanced thinker of a rare and high
order.”—_Westminster Review._

“We earnestly advise all to read this admirable book.”—_Weekly

                   KEGAN PAUL, TRENCH & CO., LONDON.

                Crown 8vo, 207 pp., cheap edition 6_d._

                 Margaret Dunmore or A Socialist Home.

“The story in the life in _La Maison_ is very well told.”—_Literary

“In the chapter on _Unselfish Love_ there are some sound and sensible
views which might well be adopted without waiting for the advent of The
Unitary Home.”—_Times._

“Decidedly entertaining.”—_Manchester Examiner._

                    SWAN SONNENSCHEIN & CO., LONDON.

                         A VISION OF THE FUTURE
                                BASED ON

                          JANE HUME CLAPPERTON

                     “_HITCH YOUR WAGON TO A STAR_”

                    SWAN SONNENSCHEIN & CO., LIMITED
                           PATERNOSTER SQUARE


                              TO MY FRIEND
                         GEORGE ARTHUR GASKELL

                             To the Reader

Social Problems are the chief interest and study of my life.

In 1885 I published in London a work entitled _Scientific Meliorism and
the Evolution of Happiness_.

The world of thought has acquired new knowledge since then; and many
social changes have occurred. The present volume is not a replica of
that work, although, as before, my aim has been to gather together the
currents of meliorism pursuing diverse courses throughout society and to
throw upon these the light of fresh knowledge gained by investigators of
economic and social science; and, above all, the light emanating from
philosophic thinkers who recognize that the path of improved outward
conditions, and the path of inward progress for man, lie parallel to
each other. It is my belief that in this dawning epoch of conscious
evolution man may, if he so chooses, push forward the actual life of
to-day and merge it into the ideal life of to-morrow.

There has recently occurred a widespread commemoration of the birth of
that pure-souled American, who was pre-eminently a teacher of the ideal
life. This volume, I hope, will be read in America, and, to the memory
of Emerson I tender homage, while adopting his phrase, “_Hitch Your
Wagon to a Star_,” as the motto of my book.

The toil of man’s daily life alas! is indeed as the straining and
jolting of a lumbering wagon,—it grovels, it wallows, it drags wearily,
and the soul of the wagoner soars not.

But there are few thinkers who confront the great social question of the
hour as not the rescue of the submerged tenth merely, not the elevation
of the masses only, but the uplifting of _all Humanity_ to higher levels
in the scale of being.

When the great process of social reform is animated and ruled by that
lofty aspiration, the lumbering wagon of toil will become a triumphal
chariot of moral and spiritual progress.

                                                   JANE HUME CLAPPERTON.


 CHAP.                                                              PAGE
       Initial Chapter—HAPPINESS                                       1

                     Part I—ECONOMICS IN MODERN LIFE

     I THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION                                      23

    II ORGANIZED INDUSTRY                                             51


     I THE LAW OF POPULATION                                          79

    II THE PROBLEM OF SEX                                             97

   III EUGENICS OR STIRPICULTURE                                     114

    IV MARRIAGE                                                      131

     V PARENTAGE                                                     149

                       Part III—ABNORMAL HUMANITY

       THE ELIMINATION OF CRIME                                      163

                    Part IV—EVOLUTION OF THE EMOTIONS


    II RAPACITY, PRIDE, LOVE OF PROPERTY                             202


         CIVILIZED HABIT OF MIND                                     237


     I THE NEEDS OF ADOLESCENCE                                      257

    II DOMESTIC REFORM                                               268


       PRIMAL ELEMENTS IN HUMANITY’S EVOLUTION                       287

       SUMMARY                                                       319

       SYNOPSIS                                                      325

                            INITIAL CHAPTER

  The ultimate value of all effort is the production of happiness,
  and objects excite our interest in so far as we believe them to
  be conducive to that great and ultimate consummation of
  existence—Happiness.—J. C. CHATTERJI.

The age in which we live is one of great activity and general movement.
We are passing out of the mindless, genetic, into the rational,
conscious epochs of evolution; and while, at every stage of human
history, right conduct depends objectively on relatively true thinking,
and subjectively, on good impulses, a transitional period such as the
present demands special efforts to attain to an adequate and clear
conception of the problems of life.

If no correct philosophy of life comes to birth in the thinking centres
of our social organism, general conduct will continue harmful to many
and inimical to progress.

How may the truth of a philosophy be tested? No better answer, I think,
can be given than that of Buddha, of whom it is chronicled that he said
in reference to a projected philosophy—“After observation and analysis
if it agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one
and all, then accept it and live up to it.” Our theory of life must
appeal to the developed reason of civilized man and carry a conviction
of its truth. Moreover, it must be all-embracing. Sectional aims and
aspirations will never suffice. The aim must be universal, i.e.,
directed to the well-being of all mankind.

In view of the question: “What is the primary object of human life?” two
significant facts are apparent. First, the perpetual aim, conscious or
instinctive, of man, as of all physical beings, is to compass the
satisfaction of his desires, viz., contentment. Second, however diverse
and conflicting may seem the opinions held by popular teachers on the
subject, there is nevertheless an essential unity. For all point to some
kind of happiness, in the present or future, for oneself, or others, for
individuals, or for the race, as the ultimate end of existence.

A close observation of actual life—apart from theories of duty—reveals
incontestably that the instinct to seek pleasure and avoid pain is
universal and paramount. It is the general force ruling individual
conduct. A child shrinks from lessons and seeks play because the one
causes painful effort, the other gives pleasurable sensations, unless
there are the beginnings of an intellectual sense and the child is what
we call studious; in that case the sense of effort is overcome by the
pleasure of learning, and there is no unwillingness. Or when the
representative faculty is strong, the thought of a parent’s or teacher’s
approval may be so clear in the young mind as to make the future
happiness counterbalance the present effort. But it is always pleasure
at the moment, or pleasure in anticipation, or fear of punishment, viz.,
avoidance of pain, that gives the stimulus to work. The human nature of
a tender mother is much the same. She hates to hear her offspring cry,
she loves to see them smile. She _seems_ to sacrifice herself to them,
but in reality it is not so; for her greatest pains and pleasures reach
her through them. Her personal desires, her dearest hopes, are centred
in her children. She is proud of their acquirements, ambitious for their
future, happy in their success. When she strives to check and discipline
them, it is because she dreads, for them and for herself, some baneful
consequences should she refrain. She does not act for a selfish end. Her
nature is more complex, far wider and deeper than the child’s; but her
action is essentially the same. She is avoiding painful and seeking
pleasurable sensations, present and future, for herself and her

Nor with the poor man is the position different. The pain of hunger or
the dread of hunger, for himself or those beings whom he loves,
stimulates to a life of continuous and wearing toil. If he submit to
present pain, it is that he may avoid remote pain, and secure the
satisfaction of his most pressing wants.

The leisured classes are differently situated. With conditions of life
that place them above the struggle for subsistence, they seek enjoyment
according to individual character and tastes. Whatever interests the
mind and stirs the emotions pleasurably will be pursued. We speak of
this and that career as guided by genius, ambition, benevolence, and so
forth, but in every case these qualities of mind have pushed choice in
the direction which will gratify the individual.

If we say goodness, not happiness, is the proper aim of life, we must
allow that goodness means the aiding to bring happiness to mankind.
Religions signifying less than this are unworthy the name of religion.
Now it is emphatically the good who keenly suffer in the midst of an
evil social state where poverty, misery and crime abound. It has been
truly said—“The contrast between the ideal and the actual of humanity
lies as a heavy weight upon all tender and reflective minds.” These
perceive that goodness, in their own case, has depended largely on the
conditions of their lives, while thousands of their fellow-creatures
have had little scope for goodness, because born and brought up in
degraded, vile conditions they had no power to escape from. It is no
consolation to the good to point to a future happy state and to
immortality for themselves. The actual is what concerns them. Their
feelings get no rest, their intellects surge with perpetual efforts to
conceive some means of radical reform, some method to secure more
goodness and more happiness for all, i.e. for every woman, man and
child, alive in the present day.

Turning now to published opinions concerning the object of life, Carlyle
taught that conscientious work was the main business of civilized man.
“Be indifferent,” he cried, “alike to pleasure and pain; care only to do
work, honest, successful work (no futilities) in this hurly-burly
world.” He directed attention from abstract ideals of the future to the
actual life of the present, pointing out the miseries and shams of the
evil social state and powerfully inveighing against its corruptions. To
maintain an outward existence of active usefulness and an inward state
of quietism and stoicism was Carlyle’s conception of an individual’s
duty, but while there was to be no seeking for personal reward he
believed this course would result in blessedness, and blessedness meant
something purer, nobler, more desirable than happiness. If we take his
own history set forth in the _Reminiscences_ as carrying out this
theory, we find that in his case it broke down. He toiled and plodded,
doing successful work to the end of what appeared a noble, victorious
career, but the blessedness never came, or if it did, it was not nobler
and purer than happiness. It was a gloomy state, bankrupt of hope and
full of querulous, dissatisfied egotism.

George Eliot gave us no theory of life in any of her works of genius.
The action of her influence is, however, unmistakeable. It was to
develop social and sympathetic feeling, to make individuals tolerant and
tender towards their fellows, judging none without due regard to his or
her surroundings. She has accustomed her thoughtful readers to the
scientific aspect of human nature and social life, to watch the manifold
relations between the two, the action and interaction of forces without
and within, and to see the continuity of causation along with the
reforming effect of ceaseless changes. The evolutional conception of
life underlies all her work. The pictures are realistic, there is no
false colouring and vain delusions, no perfection of character—but
aspiration, effort, broad humanity—and no perfect happiness attained.
She indicated, however, that the social state wants altering, and
readjustments there would conduce to nobler life and greater happiness.
She hoped for progress by gradual changes in the outward social system
and in inward human nature. “What I look to,” she once said, in
conversation with a friend, “is a time when the impulse to help our
fellows shall be as immediate and irresistible as that which I feel to
grasp” (and as she spoke she grasped the mantelpiece) “something firm if
I am falling.” Although George Eliot formulated no theory I conceive she
held the belief that happiness for all at all times is the object of
life, and to be arrived at, chiefly, through the development of the
altruistic or sympathetic side of human nature.

Some writers teach that culture is most to be desired. The rapid growth
of wealth in this country has forced upwards in the social scale a class
of people destitute of culture and refinement. This class dominates
society and takes the lead in fashion. Luxury and ostentation are
everywhere prominent; extravagant modes of living prevail without the
comfort of the former simpler and more genial modes, and this is side by
side with poverty and destitution that do not decrease. Patronage, with
its demoralizing influence on both classes, is the most conspicuous bond
between the wealthy and the poor, and vulgarity of mind characterizes
the age. There is little to surprise us in the fact that gentle, refined
natures withdraw from public life into a narrow sphere, not necessarily
a selfish one, but a sphere bounded and circumscribed by their own
personal tastes and temperaments. Finding solace in intellectual
pursuits and a pure elevated enjoyment in the study of art and
literature, they adopt the theory that culture is the proper business of
man. Sweetness and light have been held up as the panacea for all the
ills of life and the “elevation of the masses” as the true social

Other teachers, thinking less of intelligence than of moral sentiment,
point to perfection of character as the aim of life. They recognize the
marked diversity in human nature. Some intellects are slow and dull,
incapable of being kindled into fervour or brightened into swift
reflection, and culture for such is hopeless. But in God’s sight,
surely, all men are equal. Birds without song have brilliant plumage to
compensate the defect, and so with man. The “law of compensation” holds
throughout humanity they have said, and, for the most part, hearts are
deep and tender even when heads are dull. Our finest works of literature
and art may fail to give one pleasurable sensation for lack of the
special faculty to apprehend their beauty, but kindness makes the whole
world kin. When the noble, generous, sympathetic side of human nature is
appealed to there comes a quick response. Happiness is the aim of life,
but happiness implies excellence of character, the emotional and moral
elevation of all mankind.

That Ruskin’s views were similar to the above we learn from his _Crown
of Wild Olive_. “Education,” he says there, “does not mean teaching
people to know what they do not know—it means teaching them to behave as
they do not behave. It is not teaching the youth of England the shape of
letters and the tricks of numbers, and then leaving them to turn their
arithmetic to roguery and their literature to lust. It is, on the
contrary, training them into the perfect exercise and kingly continence
of their body and souls by kindness, by watching, by warning, by precept
and by praise—but, above all, by example.”

From the field of modern science there has come as yet no direct
teaching on the subject of life’s duties and purpose, but two of our
eminent scientists have thrown out hints that are important and
significant. The late Professor Huxley says of his own career: “The
objects I have had in view are briefly these—To promote the increase of
natural knowledge and forward the application of scientific method to
all problems of life—in the conviction that there is no alleviation for
the sufferings of mankind except veracity of thought and action and the
resolute facing of the world as it is when the garment of make-believe
by which pious hands have hidden its uglier features is stripped off.”
(_Methods and Results_, Essays by Thomas M. Huxley.)

Professor Sir Oliver Lodge has stated that new paths of investigation
are opening up to science. Telepathy, clairvoyance and some other allied
psychic states have been tested and found in the range of actual fact.
They reveal qualities in man which although special to a few individuals
only, are latent it may be in all, and point to an unknown province of
nature to which man seems related independently of his five senses. It
becomes evident that by the “resolute facing of the world as it is,”
science is altering our conception of man’s existence and nature, and
extending our vista of his future.

Positivist thinkers, who base their teaching on materialistic
philosophy, have bright anticipations for the human race, although ages
may elapse before the realization of their hopes; and the existence of
poverty and misery in our midst is fully recognized, graphically
described, and feelingly deplored. The exponents of Positivism are
eloquent, cultured, refined. We want a new religion, they say, and
without that, no rapid progress can be made. The public mind is all at
sea, floating in a chaos of unfixed beliefs, and to reach settled
convictions and formulate a creed is the crying need of our times.
Religion is a scheme of thought and life whereby the whole effort of
individual men and societies of men is concentrated in common and
reciprocal activity with reference to a Superior Being which men and
societies alike may serve. The Superior Being is collective humanity,
and men’s true business is to understand and seek to perfect human
nature and the social state.

A marked feature of present-day French literature, we are told, is a
reaction of religious sentiment against the rule of scientific
naturalism, and religious sentiment dominates in the strangely pathetic
and fascinating journal of the Swiss author, Amiel, which has been
widely read. “To win true peace,” says Amiel, “a man needs to feel
himself in the right road, i.e., in order with God and the Universe.
This faith gives strength and calm. I have not got it. Sybarite and
dreamer,” so he addresses himself, “will you go on like this to the end
for ever, tossed backwards and forwards between duty and happiness,
incapable of choice and action? Is not life the test of our moral force?
Are not inward waverings temptations of the soul?” To the question—Will
all religions be suppressed by science? he replies: “All those that
start from a false conception of nature, certainly,” and adds
reflectively: “If the scientific conception of nature prove incapable of
bringing harmony to man, what will happen?” To which he answers: “We
shall have to build a moral city without God, without an immortality of
the soul.” Then, protesting against Emil de Laveleyes’ notion that
civilization could not last without belief in God and a future life, he
exclaims: “A belief is not true because it is useful; and it is truth
alone—scientific, established, proved and rational truth—which is
capable of satisfying now-a-days the awakened minds of all classes.”

I have here presented what is only a meagre reflection of portions of
our mental atmosphere, but I know of no clearer, more definite thoughts
emanating from influential teachers calculated to throw light on the
great enigma of life. It may seem to my readers that on these mental
heights unanimity exists as little as on the lower planes of man’s
discordant impulses, his confused and conflicting actions. Clearly we
have no philosophy of life as groundwork to orderly personal and social
action, no religion of vital power to bind the nations in one, no moral
code adapted to the complexities of our social relations, and, above
all, no steady belief in a universal love to sweeten society from end to
end and create the requisite medium in which alone the nobler qualities
of human nature will bud and blossom.

Nevertheless the diverse opinions held by the above thinkers are not
irreconcilable. Carlyle’s “blessedness” is the feeling of harmony with
the divine order of development in humanity and the universe, therefore
it is identical with Amiel’s “true peace.” The Positivists’ “Supreme
Being” is the perfected man whose endowments of sympathetic fellowship,
emotional sweetness, intellectual light, moral strength, kingly
continence of body and soul, and knowledge of truth are specialized and
pointed to by George Eliot, Ruskin, Huxley and others. All have simply
given expression to aspiration from the subjective side of their human
nature conformably to the evolutionary process within themselves, and
the attitude of mind produced thereby in each. Partial, but not
contradictory views, characterise those thinkings. Beneath superficial
differences there lurks a unanimous belief that harmony of life with
conditions—viz., happiness, is the legitimate _aim_ of life. A Humanity
steadily moving in a given direction may be infinitely varied in detail,
and since the correct philosophy of life must be a wide generalization
embracing all, we need not wonder at its slowness to appear. Modern
nationalities are only now emerging from the individualistic to pass
into the socialistic stage of industrial development. Our popular
writers and teachers, springing from a specialized class—not the main
body of the people—instinctively show their limitations by
individualistic or sectional modes of thought. Mark, for instance, the
insufficiency, nay, the pathetic absurdity of the thought—Culture will
cure the ills of life, in face of the fact that thousands in our midst
to-day possess no intellectual desires whatever, while the appetites
belonging to their physical nature which forms the very basis of life
have never been properly met and satisfied.

In setting forth a definition of happiness we have to recognize the
marvellous complexity of human nature. We have to take into account not
only variations distinctive in, and native to, separate individuals, but
the gradations and variations within each individual arising from
progress, or the reverse, in his or her outward condition and inward
development. Contentment means the satisfaction of desire. But desire
may be directed to the physical plane, the emotional plane, the mental
plane, the spiritual plane. The harmony of all life is happiness, and
brings blessedness or peace.

Having shown that practically infants, children, young men and women,
adults and old people of every social class are similarly engaged in
seeking happiness, each according to his tastes and tendencies
controlled by his personal, social and spiritual development; having
shown also that thinkers and writers offer no condemnation, I proceed to
point out that this universal habit is in harmony with evolution. It
tends to personal evolution, i.e., to expansion and elevation of
character and capacities. Moreover, it tells favourably on general life.
It tends to social evolution, i.e., to expansion and elevation of the
social organism or collective society so long as the method pursued by
each individual is unhurtful to the other organic units incorporated in
that society.

To seek to attain happiness at the expense of other human beings whose
happiness is thereby sacrificed, is of course evil. It is anti-social,
or vicious, i.e., it is wholly adverse to personal evolution and social
evolution, in other words, to general progress. But given a society that
has carefully surrounded its units by conditions of personal freedom
(harmonious with general well-being) in which to seek innocent
happiness, the normal man or woman on a level with the average of his
race is not in any danger of preferring the vicious course.

That we confuse a wholesome love of pleasure with selfishness arises
from the fact that individual selfishness unhappily is developed by our
present evil system of life. Notwithstanding, it is easy to show the
real value of pleasure by its ready alliance with unselfishness. A
significant feature is this—people take pleasure in uniting for
pleasure. Sensuous pleasures are taken as a rule, socially, it being
recognized that to civilized man the presence of the enjoyment of others
enhances his personal enjoyment. The physiological effect of pleasure is
to promote health and activity. “Every pleasure raises the tide of life;
every pain lowers the tide of life,” says Herbert Spencer. The pleasures
of love are essentially and pre-eminently invigorating and social. It is
only when they are selfishly pursued that evil creeps in, and what
should produce the purest happiness becomes degraded into a source of

It seems hardly necessary to point out further that asceticism and
purism are immoral because directed against an element in happiness.
Whenever science finds out means to alleviate suffering or free the
condition of pleasure from accidental accompaniments that are evil, it
is clearly the duty of man to hail the discovery and apply it that he
may add to the sum of human happiness.

Before touching on environment, i.e., the social condition under which
alone general happiness becomes possible, I may classify desires into
primary and secondary in order to make the subject clearer. Primary
desires are those common to all physical beings, the satisfaction of
which (in man) is necessary to healthful ordinary social life. Secondary
desires are those whose satisfaction is necessary to some individuals,
but not to all.

Desires for food, clothing, shelter, also for work alternating with
rest, and for love, belong to the first class. They are primary and
fundamental. But desires that imply a development of cultured intellect,
of delicate sensibilities, of high moral and emotional attainments, of
aesthetic tastes, and of spiritual life are secondary desires, i.e.,
they are not common to all at the present stage of the evolution of man.
That they may become so is devoutly to be desired; but if we expect to
reach a high standard of life in the social organism without first
securing for its individual units the satisfaction of primary needs, we
indulge a vain delusion. Does a tree throw out fruitful branches before
it is rooted in the soil at its base? Development depends on the
satisfaction of primary needs, and proportionally to these being made
secure will the satisfaction of the higher desires become necessary to

Now in relation to primary needs, the conditions which it is the duty of
society as a whole to secure for the individual are, first: Freedom to
act for the end of securing satisfaction of desire; second, opportunity
for acquiring the means of satisfaction; third, ability to adopt the
means; fourth, protection of life and action. And these conditions have
a wide implication. The first implies some control of individual conduct
as regards propagation, that each social unit may possess a sound
constitution and the comfort of physical health. The second implies
access to nature. The third implies education to give knowledge and
skill. The fourth implies an organized society with an appropriate,
scientifically arranged system of industry.

That our present confused industrial and social system—the survival of
an archaic state—is inimical to happiness, few thinkers will deny.
Discontent is not confined to the poor. Where wealth abounds there is
little, if any, real happiness. “The towers of Westminster,” says Edward
Carpenter, “stand up by the river, and within, the supposed rulers
contend and argue.... The long lines of princely mansions stretch
through Belgravia and Kensington; lines of carriages crowd the park;
there are clubs and literary cliques and entertainments, but of the
voice of human joy there is scarcely a note.... And I saw the many
menacing, evil faces, creeping, insincere worm-faces, faces with noses
ever on the trail, hunting blankly and always for gain; faces of stolid
conceit, of puckered propriety, of slobbering vanity, of damned

“O faces, whither, whither are you going?

“No God, no truth, no justice, and under it all no love.

“O the deep, deep hunger!

“The mean life all around, the wolfish eyes, the mere struggle for
existence, as of man starving on a raft at sea—no room for anything

“O the deep, deep hunger of love.”

This picture of the degradation and misery of rich and poor alike is
essentially true to fact. Our collective life does not supply the
necessary conditions for real happiness in any section of the community;
and nothing less than a reconstruction of society and regeneration of
its life will suffice to meet the wants of humanity. Immense efforts are
put forth in philanthropy and benevolence. Enormous energy is expended
in partial or sectional reforms; for quite correctly has it been said
that “Reform tends to run on a single rail, the majority of people
refusing to study society as an organism of organisms resting on
biological law.” (John M. Robertson.) We make no attempt as yet, to
prevent waste of energy, to focus the factors of meliorism, to mass
them, to direct them straight to the causes of evil and apply them
effectively there—and that, because we have no carefully constructed
scheme of thought and life whereby the whole effort of individual men
and societies of men is concentrated in common and reciprocal activity
to the end of creating happiness for all.

Social regeneration is necessarily of a two-fold character, embracing
action without and action within. The first—which I call objective,
signifies collective action on the physical plane adapted to promote and
sustain the healthful, happy vitality of a race expected to grow
steadily and uniformly in physical, mental, moral and spiritual
elevation. The second, which I call subjective, signifies collective
action directed to the repression of all the unsocial desires of
man—those selfish emotions and narrow affections that alloy the mental
and moral structure of human beings and render it impossible to develop
the spiritual side of Humanity. The Darwinian laws—supposed by many to
be still applicable to man—had relation, not to happiness, but to the
preservation of life and the continuance of the race in the genetic,
unconscious period of evolution. It is in the conscious period or stage
of evolution that happiness evolves. Our present system of social life,
if system it can be called, is a chaos of conflicting interests, duties,
thoughts, feelings, actions—a prison-house in which the finer qualities
and attributes of man can scarcely exist.

Let us put forth all our strength to create out of this chaos “the
garden in which we may walk.” Let us break down the walls of our
prison-house till it “opens at length on the sunlit world and the winds
of heaven.” (Edward Carpenter.)

                                _PART I_
                        ECONOMICS IN MODERN LIFE

The only safety of nations lies in removing the unearned increments of
income from the possessing classes and adding them to the wage-income of
the working classes or to the public income in order that they may be
spent in raising the standard of consumption.—J. A. HOBSON,
_Contemporary Review_, _August, 1902_.

                               CHAPTER I
                       THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION

  It is a leading thought in modern philosophy that in its process of
  development, each institution tends to cancel itself. The special
  function is born out of social necessities; its progress is determined
  by attractions or repulsions which arise in society, producing a
  certain effect which tends to negate the original function.—WILLIAM

If we view the physical aspects of existence in relation to happiness,
it is obvious that the satisfaction of desires for food, clothing and
shelter stands first in order of urgency in the life of nations.

That modern nationalities are very far from the attainment of this
satisfaction of primary wants is lamentably evident to the eye of
observers who examine the conditions in which the great majority of
their members live. Food to the mass of the people is excessively dear.
In order to buy it for his family, a workman has often to spend
two-thirds of his weekly wage, leaving one-third only to meet the cost
of shelter and clothing, and nothing at all for recreation and

If we add to this difficulty of satisfying the primary needs of a family
on average wages, the frequent lack of employment with the consequent
lack of any weekly income at all, and the prevalence of low wages,
rightly termed starvation-wages, we have before us a picture of the
utter inadequacy of our present industrial system to subserve general

It is necessary to understand something of our present industrial
system, its foundations and evolution in the past, if we are to forecast
the changes that will occur in the immediate future, when the
fast-growing recognition of its manifold failings must inevitably bring
about a different order of industry. Private property in land and in
other essentials for the production of food, shelter, clothing, etc.,
lies at the basis of the present system; and since the direct object of
private proprietors is not to satisfy the primary needs of the people,
but to create individual profits, we cannot wonder that a system thus
motived by selfishness works out in a miserable and wholly imperfect

The industrial class may be broadly divided into two sections, employers
and employed, while a few highly skilled workers, members of the
professions of law, medicine, arts, letters, and science stand in a
measure outside this category. Landlords and shareholders as such are an
idle section of the community. They absorb the labour of a multitude of
workers, while giving no personal service in return. Quite truly has it
been said: “The modern form of private property is simply a legal claim
to take year by year a share of the produce of the national industry
without working for it.” (_Fabian Essays_, page 26).

In comparing past forms with the present forms of industry, a
distinguishing feature of the latter is the number of great factories
where workers toil long hours, usually in the tending of machines, to
turn out for the private profit of their employers, vast quantities of
goods destined for retail distribution all over the world. The large
organizations of industry, so familiar to us, are of quite recent
growth, and already show signs of a coming change as sweeping in its
scope as any changes that have occurred in the past. Yet to listen to
the expression of opinions that prevail in literary and upper class
circles, one would suppose we had reached finality in our social system,
and that the conventional tributes paid to proprietors of land and
capital in the shape of rent and interest would, as a matter of course,
remain legal to the end of time.

Now let us glance at the history of the past. For two centuries after
the Norman conquest, intestine war and feudal oppressions embittered the
life of the British labourer. He might be called from the plough at any
moment to take up arms in his master’s quarrel, and if he sowed seed and
saw his fields ripen, the harvest of his hopes might still be cut down
by the sword of the forager, or trodden by the hoof of the war-horse. He
was bondsman and slave, defenceless in the hands of the lords of the
soil, who at best, protected him only in the barest necessities of a
scanty livelihood—a hut without a chimney, its furniture a great brass
pot and a bed valued at a few shillings. (Wade’s _History of the Working
Classes_.) A change for the better came after the plague of 1348, and,
when by perpetual warfare with France, men had become more valuable
through diminution of their number.

King Edward the Third freed the bondsmen to recruit his armies, and
enforced villeinry service was exchanged for service paid by
wages—these, however, were ordinarily fixed by statute. In the middle of
the eighteenth century wages stood at the ratio of about a bushel and a
half of wheat for one week’s labour; by the middle of the nineteenth
century they had fallen to what could only purchase one bushel of wheat.
(_Threading my Way_, R. D. Owen, p. 220.) The cause of this change was
that meanwhile, two clever men—Arkwright and Watt—had made discoveries
which gave an impetus to industry beyond all previous experience.
Mechanical aids to production were invented, and the consequent
cheapening of products created more and more demand. Machinery and human
labour side by side were under stress and strain to meet the call of new
desires. Cotton and wool and flax were woven into fabrics and poured out
of Great Britain to every quarter of the globe; capital was amassed, and
wealthy capitalists bid against each other for more labour still.
Agriculturists flocked into towns, factories sprang up in all
directions, population rapidly increased, and children were sucked into
the industrial maelstrom, for health and happiness were in no way
considered when remunerative work was offered.

Outwardly the British world had altered. Internal warfare had passed
away, and the war-horse was no longer visible in harvest-fields. The
scene now presents a resemblance to a huge hive of bees industriously
secreting and amassing honey for future use. Great Britain has assumed
beyond her own shores a foremost place among civilized nations. The
resources of her newly-created wealth seem boundless, and everywhere her
power is felt. She can thin the ranks of her population, and swell her
army to conquer and suppress the tyrant Napoleon, while keeping at work
the enormous leviathan of her own trade and commerce by the deft fingers
of her little children. Summer and winter find her tiny bees—infants of
seven or eight—at labour in the factories from six a.m. to noon. One
hour for dinner is allowed, and they toil on once more till eight
o’clock at night.

Were these, then, the “good old times” of which we are proud? At all
events they _were_ the times in which England’s greatness was
established and vast fortunes were built up, founded upon the industry
of young children sweating in factories for thirteen hours a day.

“It was not in exceptional cases,” wrote Robert Dale Owen, when on a
tour of inspection of factories with his father in 1815, “but as a rule,
that we found children of ten years old worked regularly fourteen hours
a day, with but half an hour’s interval for the midday meal, eaten in
the factory.” In the fine yarn cotton mills, the “temperature usually
exceeded 75 degrees,” and in all factories the atmosphere was more or
less injurious to the lungs. In some cases “greed of gain had impelled
mill-owners to still greater extremes of inhumanity, utterly disgraceful
to a civilized nation.” Their mills were run fifteen, sometimes sixteen,
hours a day, and children were employed even under the age of eight. “In
some large factories, from one-fourth to one-fifth of the children were
cripples or otherwise deformed. Most of the overseers openly carried
stout leather thongs, and frequently we saw even the youngest children
severely beaten.” (_Threading my Way_, p. 102.) At that period Robert
Owen the elder expressed himself thus to the Earl of Liverpool: “It
would be clearly unjust to blame manufacturers for practices with which
they have been familiar from childhood, or to suppose that they have
less humanity than any other class of men.” The system was what Robert
Owen condemned, and he strained every nerve to bring about some
alterations in the system. He wrote and spoke and agitated for the
protection of children by law, and for their compulsory education, and
he publicly exposed the ghastly evils that spring from competition
unchecked by law, while left free to regulate itself at any amount of
cost to life, health, and happiness.

After the lapse of about four years, the first point aimed at by Robert
Owen was gained, and infants became protected by statute from gross
oppression. His second point was gained in 1870, when the Government
Bill for National Education was passed. And ever since the period of
that noble, unselfish life, minds have everywhere been awakening to the
truth of his third point, viz., that frightful evils inalienably belong
to free industrial competition.

Owen proved that in the year 1816, the machine-saved labour in producing
English fabrics—cotton, woollen, flax, and silk—exceeded the work which
two hundred million of operatives could have turned out previous to the
year 1760. (_Threading my Way_, p. 218.) The world was richer then to
the extent of all this enormous producing power—a power, he thought,
surely sent down from Heaven to set man free from the ancient curse that
in the sweat of his brow should he eat bread. But what were the actual
facts? There was no respite from toil for the workers, no freedom from
the curse! Throughout the old and new world, senseless machinery
competed with the living sons of toil, or, as Robert Owen expressed it,
“a contest goes on between wood and iron on the one hand, human thews
and sinews on the other—a dreadful contest, at which humanity shudders,
and reason turns astonished away.” (_Threading my Way_, p. 218.) The
problem presented was this: A recent rapid growth of wealth had enriched
the few and left many in misery; nay more, it had lowered and pressed
down the many to depths of degradation previously unknown. Were there no
means by which mankind could _unitedly_ work for the benefit of all, and
all be made happy as the world grew richer? Political Economy suggested
none, and Robert Owen turned from its futile study to that of the facts
themselves. He was a manufacturer, in sympathy with employers as well as
with employed. He had every opportunity for a practical understanding of
the interests involved, and he gave years to the study of this question
in a spirit of keen inquiry and ardent devotion to the cause. His
ultimate conclusion was that in _some form of socialism alone_ could a
remedy for the existent evils of industrial life be found.

Henceforth he laboured to give to the world an object lesson in
socialism. He embarked his fortune in bold experiments, which proved—as
in the case of New Harmony—financial failures. Into the details of these
failures I cannot now enter, nor have we to deal just yet with socialism
as a remedy. My present purpose is to show the origin and reality of the
evils inherent in the individualistic system of industry—evils on which
the argument for socialism is based. And I must reiterate the statement
made by John Stuart Mill in 1869, that the fundamental questions
relating to property, and to the best methods of production and
distribution—questions involved in socialism—require to be thoroughly
investigated. Mr. Mill’s opinion regarding socialism was that in some
future time communistic production might prove well-adapted to the wants
and the nature of man, but a high standard of moral and intellectual
education would first be necessary, and the passage to that state could
only be slow.

Meanwhile the sufferings of the proletariat are as intense as in the
days of Robert Owen. The problem which absorbed his energies and wrecked
his fortunes remains as yet unsolved, and we, who live when a twentieth
century has been entered upon, are daily surrounded by a mass of workers
tied hand and foot by poverty and often weighed down by despair. And
this is the case, notwithstanding the lapse of a long intermediate
period of national prosperity; in spite, also, of the powers of science
to enlighten manual labour, the intellectual efforts to advance
education, and a boundless benevolence and sympathy ready to embrace all
mankind, and give happiness to all, were only the right means devised
wherewith to accomplish that end.[1]

Footnote 1:

  In the _Scotsman_ of March 16, 1897, this paragraph occurs: “At the
  meeting of Edinburgh Parish Council yesterday, it was stated that
  pauperism is increasing, and pointed out that for the month ending
  15th ult. there was an increase of 114 applications for individuals
  for relief, compared with the corresponding period last year!”

  It was stated by Mr. Rowntree (whose investigations of this subject
  are widely known and respected) that one-fourth of the population of
  Great Britain lives in poverty, either primary or secondary; while 52
  per cent. of the cases of primary poverty are due to the principal
  wage-earner receiving too low a wage to maintain his family in
  physical efficiency. (_Evening News_ Report, March 22, 1903.)

Individual benevolence has failed, and that as completely as Robert
Owen’s socialism, to cope with general poverty, and the method of Poor
Laws has accomplished almost nothing.

In Robert Owen’s day the evils described in factory life belonged
specially to Great Britain. That is not the limit, however, now. I need
only refer my reader to Henry George’s picture of poverty dogging the
footsteps of progress in America and to Professor Goldwin Smith’s
corroborative words: “It is a melancholy fact, that everywhere in
America we are looking forward to the necessity of a public provision
for the poor.” And again: “There will in time be an educated proletariat
of a very miserable and perhaps dangerous kind, for nothing can be more
wretched and explosive than destitution with the social humiliation
which attends it, in men whose sensibilities have been quickened and
whose ambition has been aroused.”

The problem respecting appalling poverty in the midst of wealth (it is a
poverty marring the happiness of the rich as well as the poor) cries out
for solution. It forces itself upon public attention in the old world as
in the new. There is no escape from it. The problem must be grappled
with by educated reason, and solved by means of the patient exercise of
a cold calculation of natural forces. Happily it is recognized in its
evolutional aspects by many thinkers all over the world. Twenty years
ago Charles Letourneau in his _Sociology_ wrote: “In every country which
enjoys the European system of civilization, the right of property has
ever been in a state of evolution, always tending to give a greater
degree of independence to the individual owner; in other words, the
evolution is always worked in favour of individual egotism. Who can say
that the evolution is now complete, or that we have yet realized the
highest ideal system in the disposition of our property? A progressive
evolution is, for every society, one of the conditions of existence. The
right of proprietorship cannot, therefore, remain stationary.” The
period that has elapsed since that passage was written has witnessed a
widespread and strong growth of opinion upon these lines.

In the _Contemporary Review_ of February, 1902, Mr. J. A. Hobson thus
writes: “... The idea of natural individual rights as the basis of
democracy disappears. A clear grasp of society as an economic organism
completely explodes the notion of property as an inherent individual
right, for it shows that no individual can make or appropriate anything
of value without the direct continuous assistance of society.”

The right of proprietorship in land is the first principle to examine.
The relation between land and life in its simpler aspects is clear and
definite. All classes of land animals—man included—are immediately
dependent for subsistence upon the produce of land, and when man emerges
from slavery, another element, namely, labour, enters into the
conditions of his life and becomes, with land, essential to his
existence. Of food, fitted for the nourishment of man, uncultivated land
produces little save some wild fruits and edible roots, and many wild
animals, which he may eat if in hunting them down they do not eat him.
But land placed under the additional forces of man’s physical and
intellectual energies produces an immense variety of objects—a perfect
wealth of raw material, vegetable, animal, mineral—which, yielding to
further elaboration through his efforts and genius, all help to create
for him a civilized life. This raw material, in short, supplied man with
food, shelter, clothing, with the comforts and luxuries his developing
nature demands, and with all necessaries to the existence of literature,
science, and art.

Passing over the primitive forms of associated life—the nomad and
pastoral—we come to the agricultural stage, when labourers on the land
are manifestly the all-important social units. They sow, till, and reap
the fields. They tend domestic animals, whose skins and wool are made
into garments by other members of the group. But the latter depend for
food and the raw materials of their industry on the cultivators, who
are, if I may so express it, the foundation stones of the simple social
structure. To whom does the land belong? To the whole group, and an
annual division amongst the families for purposes of cultivation takes
place, whilst weapons, fishing-boats, tools and other movables are the
property of individuals.

Now observe, a change gradually occurs, a change from the communal
possession of land to a system of the individual possession of land, and
force is the sole cause of this change. External aggression has
initiated militant activity, while, in the process of frequent
resistance to invasion, and frequent aggression upon others, there is
produced the class inequalities which distinguish a militant type of
society and a system allowing of individual land-ownership. Land becomes
private property in the hands of the bold and crafty, who compel the
cultivation of the soil by the landless men of the group, and by
prisoners of war spared on condition that they perform hard labour. The
institution of slavery thus becomes established, and it is a leading
factor in the promotion of civilization. Lords of the soil spend their
energies in warlike activities, whilst protecting their slaves and serfs
at labour. The produce of that labour is appropriated by the dominant
class, and used for its own particular benefit. Its requirements extend
much beyond the mere necessaries of existence that it yields to the
workers, and slowly there uprises a new form of labour and a large class
of labourers, producing a variety of commodities to gratify the desires
of pomp-loving, barbaric chiefs.

Now this class, the labour of which is wholly absorbed by the chiefs,
must be fed from the produce of the land. How is this accomplished? The
chiefs, while exacting hard labour from the slaves and serfs, yield them
only a bare living. But the proceeds of their labour, over and above the
bare living of the producers, is very considerable. There is therefore a
large surplus, which, appropriated by the chiefs as rent, is the source
of their power. With it they support a large class of landless men
engaged in ministering to their own specific wants. Moreover, this class
groups itself around the castle of the chiefs, which are filled with
military retainers, and here we have the beginnings of towns.

The town population increases steadily with the increase of the surplus
produce from land under better conditions of cultivation. Markets and
stores are instituted, and a commercial system is introduced. Barter
gives way to the use of money, and the entire social organism expands
and becomes more complex.

Anon, slavery disappears. But workers on the land—always the most
necessary social units—remain poor as before. Competitors for work, in
danger of starving, drive no hard bargain with masters who are in full
possession of the soil, and able to forbid their growing even the simple
fruits and grain required for a meagre living. For food enough to live,
they readily pledge the labour of their whole lives, and since nature’s
recompense for labour is liberal, there is an abundant surplus produce
for landowners to grasp and employ as they choose. Into the towns it is
sent, and there it stimulates progress—mental and material—and creates
new departures in social life.

Class inequalities among town workers increase, and labour becomes
organized. The mentally stronger dominate the weaker in the new fields
of industry. They direct and control the production of commodities for
the use of the dominant class, and succeed in acquiring a greater reward
for their work than a meagre living. Out of the surplus produce of the
land they become able to secure from their lords a portion which forms
the foundation of wealth in a new social class—a class of landless
capitalists who, possessing brain power and later money-power, become
the supreme factors in altering social conditions. These men promote
manufacture and commerce by action similar to the landholders’ methods
of promoting agriculture. They press down their workers to a bare
living, and take as profits all that competition permits of the results
of the joint labour. These profits they apply to the satisfaction of
their personal desires and the carrying out of their schemes of
manufacturing and commercial enterprise. Finally, they indulge in
luxurious living and emulate landholders in the purchase of valuable
commodities, thus stimulating certain trades.

Meanwhile, through the intercourse of urban life, mental activity
rapidly augments. Education is initiated, aptitude and skill are more
and more prized and rewarded. Invention profoundly modifies the
primitive modes of production, and genius aspires to understand and
govern the forces of nature. One direction taken by mental activity
eventuates in an important social force, viz., the Church, or religious
organization. Many of the best minds in early ages were allied with the
priesthood, and the Church’s desire for stately temples, gorgeous
shrines, and decorative worship have enormously aided the outward
development of architecture, sculpture, painting, and music, and the
inward growth of aesthetic capacity. But priests and all whose labour is
absorbed by the requirements of religious worship and the constructing
of temples, must be fed on the produce of the land. The priesthood is
maintained in leisure by rents, tithes, or the voluntary offerings of
the people. It is freed from the necessity of industrial labour and
military activity, and members within this large class have devoted
their leisure to literature, history, philosophy, and art, thereby
greatly advancing civilization.

Under increased stability of governments the organization becomes of a
mainly industrial type. Nations now possess enormous wealth in the form
of material commodities, wealth in the form of intellectual literature
and the educational institutions that promote knowledge; wealth in the
form of ornament—all that embellishes and makes beautiful the
surroundings of human life; and all this wealth has come into existence
through the natural action of evolutionary forces—an action creative,
step by step, of a system of social interdependence and regulation. The
prominent features of the system are: First, private property in land;
second, great social inequality; third, poverty of manual labourers;
fourth, a large town population, and a small or minimum peasant
population. Its less prominent but no less decisive feature is the
complete social subjugation of the poor by the rich.

The supports of the system through the whole process of its growth have
been labourers on the land, and these labourers have scarcely at all
partaken of the national wealth. The food they reaped formed the motor
force vitalizing and energizing the evolving social organism. Food was
the ruling power deciding the growth and extent of economic life, as
well as the form of its development. But food-producers have never
determined the destination of the surplus food, and in this fact lies
the key to a great social problem which students of social science are
bound to comprehend. The landholders—and these as a rule have not been
workers on the land—have decided the destination of the surplus produce.
Up to the present-day landlords—including the proprietors of coal, iron
and other mines, capitalist employers of labour, the churches of the
nation, and hereditary rulers—are at the fountainhead of modern
civilization. It is through their action—caused mainly by selfishness,
tyranny, pride, greed—that cultivators and operatives have been kept at
maximum toil and been limited in number, while at the same time the
land’s resources have developed and improved until land and labour
united serve to support an enormous mass of population—individuals of
entirely distinctive character, activities, social position and social
worth, all alike in this one particular—they are daily and hourly
consumers of the produce of the land.

A good harvest that is general over the world sends activity like an
electric current through the economic system. A bad harvest, if
universal, would cause universal depression; not agriculture alone must
suffer, but manufacture, commerce, science, art, literature, education,
recreation—for on the production of food depends the buying power of the
whole trading world. It is true that modern countries are not maintained
from their own food resources alone. Also, it is true that the machinery
of exchange—money and our vast credit system—enter into the phenomena
and confuse the student’s mind. Nevertheless, an all-important fact
discloses itself on close investigation, viz., this—the relation of
landlordism to modern civilization is not accidental, it is essential
and causal.

As already shown, the general drift of the produce of the land has been
into the towns; and thither also have migrated the labourers. Machinery
and science applied to land cultivation lowered the amount of peasant
labour required, but it did not lower the birth-rate. Surplus peasants
have been driven by necessity from their homes to the centres of
manufacturing industry, and, competing for work there with the operative
class, have kept wages low and facilitated the enriching of capitalist
employers. These men, actuated by personal desires, selfish ambition,
and a tendency to mercantile speculation, use their wealth in extending
the production of objects that minister to a life of luxury and

The older political economists mistakenly taught that “all capital, with
a trifling exception, was originally the result of saving.” (J. S.
Mill’s _Political Economy_, book 1, chap. 5.) Attention to the history
of social evolution, however, proves the fact to be otherwise. Not
individual saving, but social seizure, created capital. Its origin, as
we have shown, was the surplus produce taken from producers and disposed
of by a dominant class. It originated through the selfish quality of
rapacity and not through the respectable virtue of prudence, as some
capitalists would have us believe. The growth of capital has been
enormous since the beginning of the industrial revolution; and at the
present moment the riches of a comparatively small number of the owners
of our land and capital are colossal and increasing. At the same time,
there is no diminution of poverty among workers. Thirty per cent. of the
five million inhabitants of London are inadequately supplied with the
bare necessaries of life, and about a fourth of the entire community
become paupers at sixty-five. I refer my reader to Sidney Webb’s
pamphlet, _The Difficulties of Individualism_.

The supersession of the small by the great industry has given the main
fruits of invention and the new power over nature to a small proprietary
class, upon whom the mass of the people are dependent for leave to earn
their living. The rent and interest claimed by that class absorbs, on an
average, one-third of the product of labour. The remaining 8_d._ of the
1_s._ is then shared between the various classes co-operating in the
production, but in such a way that at least 4_d._ goes to a set of
educated workers numbering less than one-fifth of the whole, leaving
four-fifths to divide less than 4_d._ out of the 1_s._ between them.
“The consequence is the social condition we see around us.” (Ibid.)

Thus four out of five of the whole population—the weekly
wage-earners—toil perpetually for less than a third of the aggregate
product of labour, at an annual wage averaging at most £40 per adult,
and are hurried into early graves by the severity of their lives, dying,
as regards at least one-third of them, destitute, or actually in receipt
of poor law relief.

In town and country, the operatives and peasants, who, united, form one
large class engaged in manual labour, resemble Sinbad the Sailor, on
whose shoulders rides the Old Man of the Sea. It is they who maintain
our leisured classes. The proletariat carries on its back all the rich
and their innumerable dependents, more than 300,000 soldiers, an immense
navy, a million of paupers, a number of State pensioners, a multitude of
criminals, His Majesty and the Royal Family, all Government officials
and ecclesiastics—a vast host of unproductive consumers throughout

Slavery of the many for the comfort and enjoyment of the few! That is
all man has attained to, so far, in the evolution of society. And no one
who studies the facts of life can deny this impeachment of civilization:
“All over the world the beauty, glory, and grace of civilization rests
on human lives crushed into misery and distortion.” (Henry George.)

The extremity of contrast between rich and poor has no ethical
justification. Under purely ethical conditions, every child born into a
nation should have equal chances of life, comforts, and luxuries, with
every other child. But, as we know, one British babe may be born to an
income of £100,000 a year, and another to no income, but to a constant
struggle for bare subsistence and a pauper’s grave at last. The system
permitting this is _ethically odious_. Nevertheless, we have to
recognize that, under non-ethical conditions, development has taken
place, and we must accept the process as the natural, inevitable result
of all prior conditions.

Man’s ethical nature itself is the product of a slow evolution, not yet
so advanced as to require and create purely ethical social conditions.
Changes in the future will proceed on lines of natural growth, as in the
past, but with this supreme difference—the issues will be favourable to
general happiness, the advance infinitely more rapid, because aided by
conscious human effort.

All schemes of social reform that are revolutionary are widely
chimerical to the thoughtful evolutionist, for were we suddenly to
deprive our richer classes of property, privilege, and power, we should
simply create a general abasement of our national civilization. Our
upper classes, rendered effeminate by ill-spent leisure and all the
artificial pleasures of a voluptuous and inane life, are incapable of
directing civilization to the highest and noblest ends. Yet it is out of
their midst that springs the demand for commodities ministering to all
the amenities and refinements of a civilized life. It is refinement
alone that demands refinement, culture that demands culture; and were
the control of human labour to pass _suddenly_ from the hands of the
upper into those of the lower classes, which are still, in the mass,
degraded and unenlightened, there would be no effective demand for these
commodities, and the science and art implicated in their production
would inevitably, though gradually, disappear.

Progressive evolution culminates in social justice, and the principle of
private property in land, which implies an injurious monopoly in what is
essential to human life (and is therefore socially unjust), is certain
to be consciously relinquished at a given stage of the nation’s
intellectual and moral advance.

Having traced the evolution of the individualistic system of industry,
and seen that the inherent evils of the system have their source in the
private ownership of land and capital, which “necessarily involves the
complete exclusion of the mere worker, as such, from most of the
economic advantages of the soil on which he is born, and the buildings,
machinery, and railways he finds around him” (Sidney Webb), let me now
sum up and state the paramount evils that have to be overcome. For the
workers these are—low wages, long hours of toil, difficulty of obtaining
work, and, when it is obtained, uncertainty of being permitted to retain
it. For the community generally there are further evils, viz., first,
the mal-production of commodities made manifest in food adulteration and
in a perpetual output of objects that, instead of promoting and
conserving civilization, debase and corrupt public taste and morals;
and, second, the mal-production of human life, for poverty is a social
force that directly tends to racial degeneration. A population born and
bred in our city slums becomes physically, mentally, and morally unfit.

The facts of poverty and the unemployed are impossible to deny.
Frederick Harrison’s picture is accurate; ninety per cent. of the actual
producers of wealth have no home they can call their own beyond the end
of the week, have no bit of soil or so much as a room that belongs to
them, have nothing of any kind except so much of old furniture as will
go in a cart; have the precarious chance of weekly wages, which barely
suffice to keep them in health; are separated by so narrow a margin from
destitution that a month of bad trade, sickness or unexpected loss
brings them face to face with hunger and pauperism. This is the normal
state of the average workman in town or country. (_Report of Ind. Ref.
Congress_, 1886.)

As regards the children of these workmen, fifty per cent. die before
they reach five years of age, while eighteen per cent. only of upper
class children die at the same age. The industrial evolution of the last
150 years, with its labour-saving machinery and highly organized masses
of wage-workers, has done nothing at all to lessen poverty. Poverty has
steadily kept pace with the increase of population.

But observe in the present day there is one significant feature that
forces itself upon public attention—a feature revealing to the social
student our approach to that stage of evolution spoken of by William
Clarke in the passage I quote as motto to this chapter: “Each
institution tends to cancel itself.... Its special function and progress
produce effects tending to negate the original function.”

If we look minutely into the latest developments of large businesses, we
find that the diminution in the number of competitors does not as a rule
lead to an easing of the competitive struggle. As Mr. J. A. Hobson
observes and demonstrates: “It is precisely in those trades which are
most highly organized, provided with the most advanced machinery, and
composed of the largest units of capital, that the fiercest and most
unscrupulous competition has shown itself.” (_Evolution of Capital_, p.
120.) There is an increase, in short, of the elements destined to
destroy competition. The anxiety, arduousness, and wastefulness of
strife among the rival competitors, becomes so intolerable that a mutual
truce and amalgamation is sought after as a release. When fully
realized, the amalgamation becomes a monopoly, and competition, that
much vaunted check to counteract the natural rapacity of private
capitalists, ceases altogether. Let industrial monopoly be fairly
established, and behold! competition, with all its merits, real or
assumed, is abrogated.

But industrial monopoly _in private hands_ becomes intolerable to the
public, so that invariably, in the long run, the community either puts a
forcible stop to the monopoly, or assumes it, and administers it as a
State function.

We may confidently assert that as large industries approach to the stage
of absorption into monopolies of federated groups of wealthy
capitalists, the more general and widespread grows dissatisfaction and
resentment on the part of the dispossessed smaller capitalists who have
been beaten out of the field.

Now, the trend of movement to-day, through the whole fields of
production and distribution, is from business on a small scale to
business on a large scale, and the formation of limited companies,
rings, trusts, etc. By purchasing raw material in greater quantities an
immense saving is effected, and the same occurs in the advertising of
goods and in organizing numerous workers instead of a few. These savings
make it possible to lower the price of the finished commodity to the
public. Hence the change from smaller to larger commercial enterprises
is favourable to public interests up to a certain point. But the moment
monopoly point is reached, the position straightway becomes reversed.
Henceforward the public have no protection from a sudden raising of
prices, for, the competitive check having been withdrawn, monopolists
dominate their respective fields of production and distribution, and the
individually selfish forces alone hold sway.

This tendency, then, to larger and larger industrial organization, with
its wasteful warfare and other attendant evils, implies a certain
advance. It indicates competition working out to its last expression and
final breakdown. It points to the supersession of the individualistic
industrial system by a collectivist industrial system requiring
democratic state-ownership of land and the means of production and
distribution of all commodities.

In process of civilizing man has made himself acquainted with many laws
of nature, and has learnt so to handle matter as to direct its forces
into channels carrying benefit to himself. He has thus become the
controller of natural forces in as far as they lie within reach of his
mental comprehension and physical activities. It is by this method, and
no other, that our advance along the line of material civilization has
been accomplished, and all further extension of the comforts and
amenities of economic and social life is certain to be obtained through
persistence in this available and satisfactory course.

Now, throughout the domain of non-material civilization, man has never
constituted himself controller of natural forces, although, in orders of
life inferior to his own, he has guided many vital forces. For instance,
there are vegetable and animal forces—all subject to natural law—that he
has enlisted in his service and made submissive to his dominion. The
forms of vegetable life around us to-day—cereals, fruit-trees, plants,
and flowers of infinitely varied tint—bear witness to the art and skill
of man; and the animal kingdom, ruled by mysterious biological laws, has
provided him with faithful servants obedient to his will, in a life
which to dogs and horses is largely artificial.

In the order of his own social life man’s position is wholly different.
What we behold, if we take an objective view of a so-called civilized
society, is a marvellous variety of complicated movements. These are the
outcome of forces pursuing an unbridled course; and that course is
always the path of least resistance. As yet there is no intervening
force of a collective, mental nature to adapt that course to an ultimate
definite aim and purpose, or to harmonize broadly those lines of least
resistance with the line of permanent and universal advantage to
mankind. As Professor Lester F. Ward expresses it, “Man has made the
winds, the waters, fire, steam and electricity do his bidding. All
nature, both animate and inanimate, has been reduced to his service....
One class of natural forces still remains the play of chance, and from
it, instead of aid, he is constantly receiving the most serious checks.
This field is that of society itself, these unreclaimed forces are the
social forces of whose nature man seems to possess no knowledge, whose
very existence he persistently ignores, and which he consequently is
powerless to control.” (_Dynamic Sociology_, vol. I. p. 35.) These
unreclaimed social forces—selfishness, rapacity, pride—give activity to
the competitive system, and run riot on the basis of private property in
land and the means of production. But the present condition of things
cannot much longer persist, and a new industrial system, the outcome of
far more elevated social forces, is shaping itself rapidly in many minds
throughout Europe, America, and the whole civilized world; that system
of co-operative industry we have now to consider.

                               CHAPTER II
                           ORGANIZED INDUSTRY

The true organic formula of political as of economic justice is—

               “From each according to his powers,
               To each according to his needs.”
                                           J. A. HOBSON.

Whilst bearing in mind that the present economic system—a system
unconsciously produced through the play of selfish forces—was a
necessary stage of evolution, and tended to progress so long as savage
proclivities in the mass of the people made a closer social union
impossible, we have also to recognize the changes, outward and inward,
occurring under that system. First, a rise of co-operation, both
voluntary and involuntary—in factories and throughout business
generally—has taken place, causing evolution to proceed on wider lines.
Second, a slow, silent, unstudied, half-unconscious movement has
advanced, and in these days eventuated in the conception of a new system
which purports to be the form that industrial evolution must assume in
the near future. And inasmuch as this new system is less egoistic and
more social than any system of competition, it will move on ethical
lines of progress.

The present system, as we have seen, is based on private property in
land and the instruments of production and distribution. In opposition
to this, socialism implies that the State or people collectively should
own the land and instruments of production and distribution. Further,
that the State should organize routine labour and direct the
distribution of produce upon this basis, and that throughout society
social equality should be established and maintained.

The sentiment of justice and the feelings of sympathy and solidarity,
without which no socialized society could exist, are prominent
everywhere to-day. They manifest in philanthropic action all over the
country, in constant efforts to adjust political and economic forces to
lines of social equality and in the revolt of wage-workers, throughout
the civilized world, from conditions they are finding intolerable and
will not much longer endure.

A wholly unselfish order of life is impossible still, but under any
intelligent collectivist system, individual selfishness becomes modified
and controlled. Hence we may confidently expect that the strong
anti-social feelings fostered by the private property and competitive
system of industry will largely subside in the greater fraternity of an
organized socialism.

It is significant that ignorant opponents, in their wildly erroneous
interpretation of the theory of socialism as an equal division of money
to all, recognize the gross injustice of the present distribution of
wealth. The wrong and misery accruing from the individualistic system of
industry are widely felt and freely admitted, while the underlying
causes of the evil and the true remedies are not yet understood.

As regards the connexion of socialism with the theories of political
economy, I must shortly explain: Political economy is the science of
wealth—its production and distribution. But as the science relates
exclusively to the present competitive system, the socialist finds in it
a full exposure of the evils involved in that system, and ample grounds
for striving to bring about its supersession by a system of co-operation
on a socialized property basis. There is not and there cannot be any
conflict between a true political economy and a scientific socialism.
The one describes what is, the other what may be and ought to be. Both
recognize that wealth is produced (and it is the only possible way) by
the application of labour to land, and its products. In the present
system, the individual possession of land and the instruments of
production forms the ruling factor, producing inequality in the
distribution of wealth and gives the basis on which commercial
competition rests. In referring to laws of political economy, it is not
unusual to speak as if they were laws of nature, no more to be banished
than the law of gravitation. On this assumption there is raised the
argument that society is forever bound to the present system, with its
payments of rent, interest and profits out of the surplus proceeds of
labour. Nevertheless, it is easy to see that the so-called laws of
economics are only rules of social living springing from motives of
human self-seeking exercised within the generally accepted conditions of
private property in the essentials of life. It is not necessary for the
socialist to contend against any single generalization of political
economy; each may be true on its own basis, but, _with that basis_
socialism is at war. Let society relinquish the property basis, and
political economy remains applicable only to the past, while in the
future the motives of human self-seeking enter upon a fresh career in a
more altruistic system.

We must grasp the true nature of the various tributes imposed upon
labour—rent, interest, profits and rent of ability—to comprehend their
economic bearing. A farm is the private property of a landlord, while it
is cultivated by a farmer and his labourers. The proceeds of the
industry of the two latter is divided into three portions—the labourers’
wages, the landlord’s rent and the farmer’s profits. The first,
dependent on demand and supply in the labour market, is kept down to
what will cover the expense of a bare subsistence; and the second is
always the highest amount the landlord can extract above the portion the
farmer consents to live upon after paying the subsistence wage to his
labourers. A landlord’s rapacity, however, is no longer the only factor
in determining rent, since State interference has been found necessary
for protection of farmers in the public interests. The economic bearing
of rent is this: it gives effect to the demands of the landlord class
for the results of an immense amount of labour applied to the production
of varied commodities. As already explained, the produce sold in towns
by farmers to pay rent goes, in large measure, to the support of workers
who are manufacturing luxuries, _objets de luxe_, and many meretricious
wares that minister to the depraved taste of men and women whose
happiness is destroyed by a life of idleness and ennui.

It is not land only, but capital in the shape of railways, factories,
workshops, machinery, etc., that are held as private property. For the
use of these, therefore, workers pay a tribute called interest on
capital. This interest gives effective demand to the wants of a large
class of comparatively idle shareholders, who further absorb the
services and produce of another great army of workers. The next tribute,
namely profits, is a claim connected with the organizing of labour. It
represents a prodigious tax levied upon workers, a tax that enables
employers and managers—more or less wealthy—to enjoy comforts and
luxuries their employés can never command. The fourth tribute has been
called the rent of ability. It rests on the non-ethical principle that
some people deserve from society a great reward for work they have
pleasure in doing, while the toilers engaged in irksome, dangerous,
dirty, distasteful work—however necessary to the whole community—are
only entitled to a pittance wage.

Let us look at the proportional value of rent, interest, profits and
rent of ability in their relation to the reward of manual labour. Out of
the yearly income of the nation, recently computed at £1,450,000,000,
£510,000,000 goes in rent and interest and £410,000,000 in profits and
salaries to the ruling classes, while £530,000,000 only is available for
payment of wages to manual workers. But when we consider that the latter
compose the great mass of the population, and the former a small section
or fraction of it only, the enormities involved in the working of our
property institutions exhibit their true colours, and the growing sense
of justice within civilized humanity revolts wholly from the system. The
facts, roughly speaking, are that one-third of the total income of the
nation goes to four-fifths of the population, while the remaining
one-fifth pockets two-thirds of the income. (See Sidney Webb in _Fabian
Tract No. 69_.)

In the Census of 1891 there were 543,038 adult men who entered
themselves as not working for a living. We may assume these belonged
chiefly to the wealthy classes, and if we reckon their average incomes
at £500 per annum, there emerges a sum of £271,519,000 as approximately
the value of the labour they exact each year from workers to whom they
render no services in return. Again, if we add to the number of these
idle men the women and children now living on rent and interest, the
above computation falls far short of the reality. And, need it be said,
the more there is taken from workers by non-workers, the less must
remain for the workers themselves.

To people ignorant of economic principles, the man who spends a good
income on personal gratifications appears—in his relations to
society—either passive, or active beneficially, inasmuch as he “gives
employment,” and his “giving” on these lines is lavish. Moreover, it is
considered that the difference between rich and poor is one of _natural_
inequality, of which, if workers complain, they are considered as
unreasonable as the invalid who complains that other people are healthy.
But the facts admit of no such analogy. The rich owe everything to the
poor. They are simply a parasitic class, and the money they spend
represents a power (socially permitted) to command and absorb the labour
of their fellows. They exact life-long services, for which they bestow
no personal service in return. Were we to place a rich man with all his
money on an uninhabited island, however fertile, he would at once be
reduced to his natural stature. No money would cause his daily comforts
to spring up around him, and still less the many luxuries without which
he feels his existence has no charm. In order to live he himself must
work, for he is the sole representative of the scores of fellow-men on
whose labour he has hitherto wholly depended for necessaries and all the
amenities of a civilized life. The absorption by one of the labour of
many is a social arrangement of genetic origin, and is immoral or
non-ethical in character.

Socialism is the philosophy of a pure, wholesome, progressive industrial
life, to be initiated and maintained by human effort—nay more, it is a
veritable Gospel of Peace. And I use the word Gospel advisedly, for the
finest religious quality of human nature is not in those beings who
calmly pursue a course of spiritual development for themselves,
unmindful that the physical part of their fellows craves the food and
rest without which the latent soul within cannot manifest itself.

We have seen that in the domain of feeling the stirrings of socialism
have for years been agitating the bosom of society, and although the
outcome in philanthropic action issues usually in failure, none the less
does it spring from the highest and holiest motives of man. But while
philanthropy chiefly represents love’s labour lost, there are other and
more virile forces in action that are indicative of a coming organic
democracy. Observe, for instance, the constant efforts of the people to
alter the political and economic strain by State interference. This
agitation is a very significant fact. It betrays a hunger for social
justice which will certainly increase with the growth of knowledge,
public spirit and sensitiveness to personal rights. This hunger can
never be fully appeased under any system that permits wealth to flow to
the lucky, the clever, the cunning, the greedy, and be handed down by
inheritance and bequest from generation to generation. No modification
of individualism and not even socialism will banish all popular
agitation. Communism is the far-distant goal to which it points, for
communism alone sets forth as attainable a satisfying equality in all
the comforts of life, and since evolution must eventuate in social
justice, whatever falls short of this will inevitably contain some
conditions of discontent.

But whilst a craving for justice among the masses cries out for State
interference, from whence comes the modern view of what justice means?
Among the classes it has been considered that the man who is clever,
i.e. mentally strong, has a right to a greater reward for labour than
the man who is stupid. The origin of this notion is simply the fact that
in a competitive system he is able to obtain that superior reward.
Power, and not any ethical idea, is the foundation of the notion. The
notions of justice prevailing throughout society have all arisen
naturally in the past amid the strong and privileged few, and readily
have they been accepted by the docile and oppressed many. The clever,
not the stupid, have formed public opinion, and that under a purely
egoistic impulse. Nevertheless, as evolution passes from the unconscious
to the self-conscious stage, reason unites with altruistic feeling to
give birth to new conceptions that are moulding public opinion to a
higher and truer form, and working out on the plane of practical action.
The conception of justice involved in socialism is naturally unpalatable
to the privileged few, but it goes far to prove the truth of socialism,
that the conception is the fruit of the most advanced study of our
social organism _as a whole_, while it coincides precisely with the
blindly instinctive pulsations of the central mass of the people.

Turning now from the moral and emotional to the economic and practical
side of the question, we are bound to inquire by what methods transition
from the present competitive commercial system of industry to the
socialism of the future will take effect. For, be it observed,
supporters of the latter system not only assert its ethical superiority,
but further assert that it is both practicable and economically

There are two, and only two, general directions of popular reform:
first, the revolutionary—the driving straight at established
institutions with the intention of overthrowing them; second, the
legislative—the aiming to improve the existing system by co-operative
methods and the modification and gradual destruction of its worst
features, i.e. its extremes of injustice and inequality. I have to point
out how retrograde and futile for the promotion of happiness is sudden
revolution. It is the spontaneous method of human passion where
intellect is unenlightened on natural evolution and causation. It seeks
to overturn what, for the time being, is the highest product of
evolution, and it would blindly substitute that, which although
ethically superior, the society of the time is unable to support. The
method of legislative reform, national and municipal, is the rational
one; and no other, we may confidently hope, will be tried in the
civilized countries of Europe so long as socialists are not harassed and
persecuted for their opinion beyond the point of endurance.

Already, as regards legislation in this country, the power of the
Demos—the mass of the people—is acutely felt. Step by step our rulers
have been compelled to lower the political franchise in order to quell
revolutionary tendency and maintain their position. Fear-forces within
the social organism have changed direction unnoted at the surface. The
classes are secretly more afraid of the people than the people are of
the classes; yet the actual burdens borne by the people are in no way
lightened. And why is this so? Because the people generally are ignorant
of their political power, and still more ignorant of how to wield it
favourably to their own interests. As has truly been said: “The
difficulty in England is not to secure more political power for the
people, but to persuade them to make any sensible use of the power they
already have.”

But social forces of persuasion and enlightenment are ready prepared for
their guidance. In the upper and lower sections of the middle class, men
and women whose culture is scientific and whose moral sentiment is
advanced, are ranging themselves in the van of the world’s progress, and
chiefly through their efforts there is pouring into and penetrating the
darkness of the masses a flood of intellectual enlightenment. This
process begun has its definite bearings. A growing intelligence in the
people will cause the displacement of all authority that is
irresponsible. A better selection of legislators will be made, and
these, constrained by judicious criticism, will study the principles of
social science and learn how best to attain the clear ends of

As our masses rise to the full exercise of their political power and the
democratic trend of the nation goes forward, no higher motive force than
that of self-seeking is required to secure better social conditions. Not
only does the ignorant self-seeking of the masses carry weight
commanding attention, but the intelligent self-seeking of rulers is a
force set in similar direction. To please the majority of constituents
is their highest policy; and since food and leisure and education are
the essential needs of that majority, such available intellect as the
legislative body possesses will be honestly applied to promoting the
increase and better distribution of these various necessaries of a
civilized life; in short, to promoting the general well-being in so far
as the exigencies of the times permit.

I do not deny that self-seeking in rulers has hitherto mainly led to the
clever hoodwinking of ignorant constituents. I merely assert that we
have rounded the point of Cape Danger in that regard. Every step we take
on democratic lines, every advance we make in educating the people,
removes us further from that danger point. Moreover, I assert that
extending the Parliamentary franchise to women of every social class
will equally work for good. The new altruistic or philanthropic spirit
of the age has laid firm hold of the so-called educated women of to-day.
When public responsibility presses these women to self-education in
politics, the myriad injustices revealed will cause them to turn from
futile individualist charities and concentrate their energies on works
of real and lasting social reform. We may confidently anticipate that
the British Parliament will become an excellent instrument of Democratic
Government when certain reforms—that are already widely agitated—have
been carried out. These reforms are that: “The House of Commons should
be freed from the veto of the House of Lords, and should be thrown open
to candidates from all classes by a system of payment of representatives
and a more rational method of election.” (See _Fabian Tract No. 70_.)

There are two lines of action certain to be pursued by a Parliament
growing yearly more democratic. One is the line of protection of labour,
the other is that of an active service of the people. Now State
interference with trade—in the interests of workers—is condemned by the
_laissez-faire_ school of economists. Such action is scoffingly termed
“grandmotherly legislation.” It is deprecated as injurious to society as
a whole, as an outrage on the liberty of the British subject, and an
impious desecration of the capitalistic fetish, “Freedom of Contract.”
But when the knowledge of facts proves that on one side this so-called
freedom signifies freedom of choice between dire starvation and the
distasteful terms of an absolute master, surprise is not felt that
intelligent men prefer what the ignorant may regard as a species of
State bondage. This preference is a feature of the times clearly
visible. No doubt, where social equality reigns, individual liberty is a
noble attainment; but with inequality in the means of life and the
fundamental conditions of social happiness, a State that is honestly
striving to restore the balance is a very _fount of justice_. The quest
of the workers is not that of individual liberty, but of a collective
liberty, embracing every man, woman and child within the ranks of their
own order.

There is no moral principle that condemns State interference, although
we may admit that occasionally it has wrought evil instead of good.
Failures have been caused by ignorance alike in the rulers and the
ruled. But as knowledge of the real problem advances, errors in
governing will become less frequent, and the action of the State be
marked by a wise adaptation to human needs in view of the greatest
happiness possible.

State regulation is simply a matter of power and expediency. At the
present low stage of civilization, for just so long as the ruling power
is exercised by a propertied minority, it will prove injurious to the
majority; but when the power passes over to the people the evils from
which the majority suffer—in so far as they are remediable by
society—will be slowly and surely redressed. Our County, District and
Parish Councils are important instalments of democracy. These elected
bodies, with their increasing powers, are potent to make of the
community an ever larger and larger employer of labour, until, at the
will of the people, all industries become absorbed, and the collectivist
system of labour organization is gradually established. It is evident
that the instruments of a thoroughly democratic administration are
rapidly perfecting in Great Britain; and when the ideal of socialism
dominates the national mind, these will present a ready means of
realizing the ideal in practice. Ignorance of the ideal leads many minds
into the false assumption that the raising of wages, and to do this the
impoverishing of capitalists, is the socialistic _sine quâ non_ in State
action. But as Mrs. Bosanquet explains: “In our nineteenth century cry
for higher wages we are apt to lose sight of the fact that many things
are more important to the working-man than a few shillings added to his
weekly income. A good supply of water, well-paved and lighted streets, a
market in which he can always obtain wholesome food, and properly
guarded sanitary conditions, will do more to raise his standard of
living above that of his ancestors than any increase of mere money
income. With those he can lead a healthy, orderly life on comparatively
small wages; without them no rise in wages, however desirable in itself,
will enable him to escape danger and disease.” (_Rich and Poor_, by Mrs.
Bernard Bosanquet.)

This puts the case for municipal socialism in a nutshell. No amount of
philanthropy, no amount of individual action is likely to provide a
parish with a good water supply, properly paved and lighted streets,
sanitary dwellings and a well-managed market. (_Fabian News._) Yet these
are fundamental requisites of general well-being, and another requisite
for well-being and progress, dependent upon State action, is education
of the people. If the power of the masses and their independence of
arbitrary authority grow out of accord with their real knowledge of
things, disastrous and bloody revolutions become possible. That in some
sort the State must educate the masses is a principle already
acknowledged and acted upon. We know, too, with how little success! But
as Government loses its evil characteristics and grows enlightened, our
State education will be directed to new ends. Its aim will be to impress
such knowledge on the rising generations as will prepare them for social
life, and instruct them in the means of averting misery and increasing
happiness. It will educate them in the science of society and true
meliorism, in the best methods for repressing anti-social feelings, in
the formation of noble ideals of conduct, and in that religion which
unites mankind in the region of the heart and makes of their union a
living and growing social organism.

But while this is the aim of State education, the exact means adopted
may vary. Where parents are superior much may be left in their hands,
but inferior parents can never be permitted to train up children in
inferior ways at the risk of lowering social purity and health.

I believe the time will arrive when Government, acting on its right of
force and expediency, will take up and sequestrate the small class of
social units who, defective by nature and evil conditions, are unable to
control the injurious tendency to propagate their kind. This degraded
minority will be kindly dealt with and allowed all liberty not
inconsistent with the careful guarding of public safety. The object to
attain would be simply the putting an end to their evil stock.

In the matter of State education, as well as in that of State
interference with trade, objections are made on the ground of injustice.
“Why,” it is asked, “should a man without children be taxed to educate
the children of others? Is it not unjust that the earnings of the
prudent should be taken to save the imprudent from the consequences of
their own folly?” My answer is that besides being expedient, it is not
socially unjust and the argument rests on the fact that the rewards of
life depend upon the economic conditions of society much more than upon
individual effort or merit. The amount of a man’s income is determined
by forces not created by justice, and over which he has no personal
control. A clever physician may command the fee of a guinea a visit. Let
another competent man appear in the neighbourhood and charge half a
guinea, the first has to lower his fee or lose his patients, and if he
lowers his fee, the sum of the incomes of the two physicians sharing the
patients between them will be less than the amount of the single income
originally derived from that source. A man’s gains are what the
competitive system ordained by society permits him to seize, whether he
be working hard or not at all. Within these non-moral conditions an
appeal to justice is irrelevant. Outside the non-moral conditions, what
justice requires is that all men should be socially equal in respect of
two things, viz. liberty and the ordinary comforts of life.

If employers do not deem it unjust to lower wages, neither should they
deem it unjust were the State to lower their incomes to the precise
amount their employés receive. Society has in the past arbitrarily
arranged conditions that favour the few; why should it not now
arbitrarily rearrange these conditions favourably to the many? If we
take the average amount of all incomes to represent the sum each worker
might justly receive, we find that a number of people have far more than
this sum. The surplus represents then an “unearned increment” obtained
by force of circumstance. A still larger number of people, on the other
hand, are wholly unable to win, by any effort they may make, the above
average amount, even if they work hard and well all their lives. Is it
not just and reasonable that the more fortunate are required to give up
a portion of their “unearned increment” in order that in the interests
of society the children of the less fortunate should be educated? And,
again, the improvident and immoral are nature’s defective children. Does
not the highest religion demand that they should be tenderly dealt with
and spared—if that be possible—all the tortures that nature unaided
would bring upon them.

I believe that, under conscious evolution, the State will become in its
action more and more philanthropic, simply for this reason—its members
will become more and more humane and public-spirited.

Voluntary and State agency, however, will continue to co-exist. Each has
its peculiar merits and demerits, and each individual case to be dealt
with has its peculiar conditions. Science and experience must in each
case therefore decide which agency applies best. There is no foregone
conclusion that under State Socialism all private industries will
collapse. The principle of the system is that no method of industry,
hurtful to society as a whole, may exist, and the power of the State
shall be rigorously used to protect the interests of the whole, as
against conflicting individual interests. Even now it is felt, through
the growing democratic spirit, that for our public bodies to take
advantage of the struggle for employment of starving, hard-pressed men
and women, is a national disgrace. It will soon be a point of honour
with the nation to fix a minimum wage for public employés much above the
competitive rate. Some County Councils have already been moved to direct
that workers employed by them, or under their contracts, should be paid
trade-union wages. Parliament has in some cases acted similarly, and
when we remember that Government at this moment is the largest employer
of labour in the kingdom, we realize that its example in giving wages
determined more by equity than by competition will have a raising effect
upon wages in private employment.

There is not any danger, however, that the movement of taking over the
industries of the country by the State will stop short of the most
favourable point. As I write this chapter, the following paragraph has
appeared in a socialist journal of to-day: “It is proposed to establish
a gigantic trust to control the entire iron-producing interests of the
United States. This, of course, is eminently proper from an economic
view, as it is a clearly demonstrated fact that production on a large
scale is cheaper than production on a small scale. Carnegie, Rockefeller
and Morgan, proposers of the iron trust, are, from a certain standpoint,
benefactors of the race, inasmuch as they will demonstrate the
practicability of the co-operative idea on a national scale in
production. In due time the people will recognize the folly of allowing
these men to reap the whole profits, and the system will be readjusted.”

Another important public event was the introduction into the British
Parliament of an Employer’s Liability Bill. “This Bill proceeds,” said
its introducer, “on the principle that when a person for his own profit
sets in motion agencies which create risks for others, he ought to be
civilly responsible.” (_The Scotsman_ Report, May 4, 1897.) Now it goes
without saying that the iron trust, and all trusts and commercial rings
and monopolies, create the risk of a disastrous rise of prices to the
general public, and a consequent greater inequality of wealth possession
than even that from which we are suffering acutely to-day. A logical
executive, holding the above principle, will inevitably annex to the
State these huge outgrowths of the competitive system, will keep down
prices to the level required by the general interests, and apply profits
to the good of all.

That the time is not far distant when nationalization of the land will
take place, appears from the fact that many others besides socialists
advocate the measure. But we must not suppose that rent will be
abrogated. The State will impose a charge on the fertile and well
situated lands to create conditions that are fair not only to consumers
but to cultivators, whose labour in view of a given result must vary
according to the superiority or inferiority of soils and situations.
District Councils will in all probability organize agricultural labour,
the State only drawing a rent; while to present owners of the land
compensation will be made, and, if accustomed to work on the land,
salaried positions in the new order offered.

The rent exacted by the State may become the single form of taxation
necessary for purposes of administration and for organized labour
engaged on such service of the people as does not bring in any profit.
But when routine industries bearing on universal needs belong to the
State, profits will flow into the national exchequer. It will be
possible to gradually increase the State’s payment for labour as the
workers become more capable of elevating their standard of life and
consuming wisely; while the surplus profits will be available for the
organizing of new services to be rendered free.

The carriage and distribution of letters is a comparatively long
established State industry. The carriage of human beings should equally
become so. The State’s taking over of railways and the municipalities’
taking over of tramways cannot be much longer delayed.

Bread baking and distributing by Government employés is pre-eminently
desirable, to put an end to adulteration in a primary necessary of life
and to prevent the waste of energy which takes place in the present
disorganized system. Already there is such a general complaint of the
quality of bakers’ bread, that an approved method of baking from pure
flour under State control would be welcomed by all who perceive how the
racial blood is more or less poisoned and its vitality lowered by what
is called “the staff of life.” (A prolonged process of baking breaks up
the starch granules, and renders bread more digestible. The extra
expense and trouble precludes the adoption of this method by private

Again, the health of the nation suffers cruelly from poison germs
carried in the medium of milk. But when district councils have organized
agricultural labour, dairy produce will be distributed under strict
Government control. Emulation will spring up among local authorities all
over the country to excel one another in the arts of rapidly acquiring
and skilfully managing all industries that affect general health, and
thus raising the tide of life within the bounds of their jurisdiction.
With this aim broadly accomplished, the minor industries might safely be
left for some time in private hands and under a competition modified in
a greater degree than now by State inspection for the benefit of workers
and consumers.

Among services to be made free to the public, those of transit bulk
largely and should probably come first—free railway and steamship
service, free tramway and cable-car service, to be followed in time by a
more or less complete service of free entertainments calculated to
develop art and promote a happy, joyous life.

If we cast our thoughts forward and try to realize the action and
interaction of these altered social conditions upon society, we can
hardly mistake the nature of the changes humanity itself will undergo.
With the destruction of the frightful incubus of poverty, human hearts
will no longer be wrung by anguish, bitterness, despair. With
opportunity freely afforded for regular employment and its ample reward,
for decent and wholesome living, and a civic life brightened by many
pure pleasures, the degrading and false excitements will cease to
allure. Drunkenness, vice, crime will greatly diminish. Instead of the
desperate struggle for bread and all that appertains to an animal life
pure and simple, a new struggle will arise—a benign, inspiring emulation
to attain to and acquire the noble qualities of humanity, the
distinctive characteristics of, not the lower animal, but the higher
spiritual man.

Respecting the form of government in a Socialistic State, I cannot do
better than quote Mr. J. A. Hobson: “A developed organic democracy will
have evolved a specialized ‘head,’ an expert official class, which shall
draft laws upon information that comes to them from innumerable sources
through class and local representation, and shall administer the
government, subject to protests similarly conveyed.” “The conditions of
a really effective expert officialism are two: such real equality of
educational opportunities as shall draw competent officials from the
whole people; and such a growth of public intelligence and conscience as
shall establish the real final control of government for society in its
full organic structure.” (_Contemporary Review_, February, 1902.)

                               _PART II_

The laws of heredity constitute the most important agency whereby the
vital forces, the vigour and soundness of the physical system, are
changed for better or worse.—NATHAN ALLEN, M.D., LL.D.

                               CHAPTER I
                         THE LAW OF POPULATION

  The population question is the real riddle of the Sphinx, to which no
  political Oedipus has as yet found the answer. In view of the ravages
  of the terrible monster over-multiplication all other riddles sink
  into insignificance.—HUXLEY.

No human life can be maintained without food, and no healthy individual
life can be maintained without good food in sufficient quantity;
therefore, the relation of numbers to the actual food supply—in other
words, the Population Question—stands at the threshold of our social
inquiries and at the base of all social reform.

At the beginning of last century, Malthus, who knew nothing of
evolution, expounded the doctrine that man tends to increase more
rapidly than the means of subsistence; that population and food, like
two runners of unequal swiftness chained together, advance side by side,
but the pace or natural rate of increase of the former is so immensely
superior to that of the latter that it is necessarily greatly checked.
And the checks are of two kinds. They are either positive—that is,
deaths occur from famine, accident, war or disease, and keep down the
population so that the means of subsistence are just sufficient to
enable the poorer classes barely to exist; or they are preventive—that
is, fewer births take place than man is capable of causing.

This doctrine was a fertile germ of thought in the mind of Charles
Darwin. He, while conscious to some extent of the process of evolution,
was grappling with the great problems of differentiation and genesis of
species. How came it that the life which is assumed to develop from low
and simple to the highest and most complex forms everywhere exhibited
breaks, or sudden changes, in the apparently natural order? Darwin
perceived that a key to the enigma lay in the marvellous fecundity of
organisms. Each group reproduced its kind in overflowing numbers, and
accidental conditions destroyed individuals and groups that failed to
secure sufficient food or to protect themselves from enemies. Here were
factors of progress, but factors by no means admirable—a murderous
slaughter of the weak, a frantic struggle for existence, culminating in
violent death or slow starvation, ultimately in extinction.
Nevertheless, the medal had two sides, for the race is to the swift, the
battle to the strong; bread is the portion of the wise, favour the
reward of skill. Should we feel surprise that in a semi-theological and
metaphysical era, rather than a scientific one, Darwin formulated his
great discovery in terms suggesting not a cruel, but a beneficent
Nature? His law of natural selection, or survival of the fittest,
established itself in many minds as a sacred principle that man could
neither deny nor seek to counteract.

Now this conception, carried into the field of economics, confused the
minds of men engaged in the study of facts and problems of human life
and progress. Political economists had to contemplate a social strife
and struggle for existence among men as fierce and relentless as that
holding sway in the brute kingdom. And in this struggle society as a
whole stood on the side of external nature as opposed to the mass of
striving individuals. A genetic, spontaneously developed system of
industry favoured a high birth-rate that kept wages low, an unscrupulous
exploitation of labour in the interests of capital, a wholesale
slaughter of infants, a crushing out or trampling down of the weak, and
a perpetual grinding of the face of the poor, while, simultaneously,
wealth was multiplying and capital becoming concentrated and easy of
control by the so-called princes of industry. Conditions of life to the
great mass of the people were fraught with constant misery; yet, since
Darwin had demonstrated—in his _Origin of Species_, published in
1858—that a struggle for existence eventuates in the survival of the
fittest, enlightened thinkers, with a few rare exceptions, accepted the
cruel facts of industrial life without any conscious moral revolt from
the system.

“_Laissez-faire_” was the logical outcome of Darwinian law applied to
human affairs, and Darwin’s authority dominated the public mind of the
period. Christianity was teaching the principle that the poor would be
with us always; a poet cheerfully sang “God’s in His Heaven; All’s right
with the world; All’s love and all’s law,” and political economists
expounded the laws of demand and supply, of rent, of wages, of profits,
of interest, etc., without one hint or surmise that man himself was
bound to interfere with the action of derivative laws, to modify or even
annul them.

Meanwhile an instinct of sympathy, rudimentary in primitive man, was
steadily growing and strengthening during all the transitions of tribal,
village-communal, feudal and national life, in the stormy militant
epoch, till the moment arrived when it compelled man’s interference.
Spontaneously, impulsively, individual philanthropy interposed between a
suffering humanity on the one hand, and on the other external nature and
a social system that were alike relentless. It supported the weak and
helped the unfit to survive. It deliberately selected the half-starved,
the diseased, the criminals, and enabled them to exist and propagate.
Finally it forced society to make laws subversive of the policy of
“_laissez-faire_,” thereby introducing a new order of things,
irrespective of all doctrinaire principles or authoritative teaching.
That new order of things is socialism, and the genesis of socialism is
distinctly to be traced to the vital element in human nature—unselfish

The rise and progress of philanthropic action carries momentous issues
in various directions, both unfavourable and favourable to human
welfare. It has made the law of natural selection and survival of the
fittest obsolete for us as applied to man. It tends to a lowering of the
level of average health and a gradual _degenerating of the race_ through
selection of the unfit, and through the power of hereditary
transmission. It counteracts the positive or destructive checks to the
increase of population, and thereby extends the area of general misery.
Nevertheless, at the same time, it increases the strength and the
solidarity of human society, and becomes a new law of life. That law may
be called “Sympathetic Selection” and “Survival of the Gentle.” Darwin
in 1878 acknowledged its existence. He recognized it as a law in human
society superseding that of Natural Selection and Survival of the

In 1801 the population of England and Wales was 8,892,536, or let us say
about nine millions. Eighty years later it had risen to about twenty-six
millions! The increase showed an accelerated rate according to the
census returns. Whereas in the ten years between 1841 and 1851 the
percentage of increase was 12·65, in those from 1861 to 1871 it was
13·19, and between 1871 and 1881 it was 14·34. In the United Kingdom in
1900 there has been an increase of 18 per cent. since 1880.

Now Malthus had pointed out that with conditions of life comparatively
favourable, and an increase of food supply comparatively easy,
population was found to double itself in twenty-five years or less. Our
numbers during these eighty years had been, roughly speaking, trebled!
and the increase took place under conditions not favourable but
unfavourable to the bulk of the nation. Manufacturing industries had
enabled us to purchase food from abroad, and consequently a larger
number of children survived. Food, however, cannot always be forthcoming
in greater and greater abundance from countries that need more and more
of their own food supply, and which, by manufacturing for themselves,
are gradually reducing their demand for our manufactured commodities.

Notwithstanding this patent fact, there are social reformers to-day who
persist in ignoring the population difficulty, and there are thinkers
who, basing their views on Herbert Spencer’s dictum that “man’s
fertility will be checked by his individuation,” pass it over lightly.
Generally speaking, however, the public conscience is now aroused, and
enlightened men and women are tolerably well alive to the fundamental
nature and the grave importance of the population question.

“In some parts of the United States of America,” says an able writer,
“population has actually doubled itself, apart from immigration, in
twenty-five years; and this in the face of the ordinary retarding
influences. If such a rate of increase upon the present population of
the whole globe were to prevail for only 250 years, there would be left
but one square yard of standing room for each individual.”

Again: “If we grant that a scientific treatment of crops would enable
food supplies to keep pace with population, and for this purpose
supposing that all the land in the planet Jupiter were available for a
market garden, it would not ultimately be want of food but want of room
that would put a stop to the increase of the multitude.” But further,
the above author—a mathematician—examines what the potentiality of
increase represents on the supposition that each individual merely died
the natural death of old age. “Under such favourable conditions as the
absence of war, famine and disease, the race might treble its numbers in
thirty years. To show the significance of the numerical law, let us
imagine it to operate undisturbed 3,000 years upon the progeny of a
single pair. The number of human beings finally existing would be
expressed by twice the 100th power of 3. An easy computation will show
that if these people were packed together, allowing six cubic feet of
space for each person, they would fill up the whole solar system in
every direction, and extend beyond it to a distance 430 times that of
the planet Neptune. In fact, a solid sphere of human beings would be
formed having a diameter of 2,400,000,000,000 miles. Such considerations
lead us to realize the absolute inevitableness of Nature’s checks upon
reproduction.” (_Social Evolution and the Evolution of Socialism_, by
George Shoobridge Carr, M.A., Cantab.)

Turning now from scientific speculation to recognized authority in
practical politics, let me quote from a paper read at the
Registrar-General’s office on March 18, 1890, by Dr. William Ogle,
Superintendent of Statistics: “The population of England and Wales is,
as we all know, growing in a most formidable manner, and though persons
may differ in their estimates of the time when that growth will have
reached its permissible limits, no one can doubt that, if the present
rate of increase be maintained, the date of that event cannot possibly
be very remote.”

Premising that the rate of increase is not due to the birth-rate only,
but also to a fall in the death-rate, and that voluntary philanthropy
and State interference influence the latter, we pass to the
consideration of conditions that affect the marriage-rate—consequently
the birth-rate—in the artisan and labouring classes, composing the bulk
of the nation. The Registrar-General, in his report for the year 1876,
wrote as follows: “The state of trade and national industry is
strikingly exhibited in the fluctuations of the marriage-rate of the
last nine years.... The period of commercial distress, which began about
the middle of 1866 and continued during five years ... influenced the
marriage-rates of these years, which were 17·5, 16·5, 16·1, 15·9, 16·1
and 16·7 (in the 1,000) respectively. In 1872 and 1873 the working
classes became excited under the rapid advance of wages and the
diminution of the hours of labour, and the marriage-rates rose to 17·5
and 17·6 respectively.” In his report for 1881 the Registrar-General
again accentuated this important point: “The marriage-rate reflects with
much accuracy the condition of public welfare.” And further on: “The
birth-rate was at its maximum in 1876, and fell uninterruptedly from
that date year by year in natural accordance with the corresponding
decline in the marriage-rate.” These years represented another period of
commercial depression. We have here then incontrovertible proof of the
national tendency. The mass of our people increase their numbers so soon
as they are more comfortable, and the marriage-rate for each year may be
called the pulse or indicator of the nation’s economic well-being. Its
fluctuations coincide with the upward and downward movements of
commercial activity.

In this connexion we have also to note that the most rapid growth of our
population is taking place in the great industrial centres, the mining,
manufacturing and trading districts; and the type that there prevails is
necessarily affecting the British race.

By the Parliamentary return of marriages, births and deaths registered
in England and Wales in the year 1881, it appeared that in different
districts the percentages of marriages varied considerably. It was
greater in the mining, manufacturing and trading districts than in the
farming districts, and much higher in London than in the provinces. In
the district comprising Hertford, Buckingham, Oxford, Bedford,
Cambridge, the rate equalled twelve persons per annum for each thousand
of the population. In London it was eighteen persons for each thousand,
and in the divisions which comprise Yorkshire and Lancashire the rate
was sixteen and seventeen persons to each thousand. As regards births,
the proportions stated were somewhat similar. In London there were
thirty-five births to one thousand of the population, whilst in the
southeastern division there were only thirty-one; but the rate rose
again to thirty-five and thirty-six in the great manufacturing districts
of the Midlands and the North.

Dr. Ogle’s examination of statistics on the subject shows that this
state of things has continued, in its main features, up to the present
day. “Men marry,” he says, “in greater numbers when trade is brisk. The
fluctuations in the marriage-rate follow the fluctuations in the amount
of industrial employment.” “The rates vary very greatly in the different
registration counties.” “In London the rate is invariably high. Almost
all the counties in which the marriage-rate is high are counties in
which the population is also high of women engaged in industrial
occupations, and therefore presumably in receipt of independent wages,
while all the counties in which the marriage-rate is very low are also
counties in which but a very small population of the women are
industrially occupied.” The general drift of the figures leads to the
conclusion that early marriage is most common where there is the largest
amount of employment for women.

The age at which marriage takes place is examined by Dr. Ogle as “a
subject of scarcely less importance than the rate in its bearing upon
the growth of the population.” And the point is of special interest in
view of the fact that delayed marriage was valued by Malthus as a
desirable preventive check. Dr. Ogle finds that the lowest average age
at marriage for both bachelors and spinsters, viz., 25·6 and 24·2
respectively, was in 1873, the year in which the marriage-rate was
highest; and from that date to the present time the ages have gone up
gradually but progressively in harmony with the general decline in the
marriage-rate. In 1888 the average age of bachelors at marriage was 26·3
years, and of spinsters was 24·7.

Observe of late years there has been a slight decline of the
marriage-rate and a certain retardation of marriage, consequently the
birth-rate has fallen, but says Dr. Ogle, “so also has the death-rate,
and almost in equal amount; so that the balance between the two, or
natural increment of the population, has practically scarcely changed.
We may,” he observes, “dismiss altogether the notion that any adequate
check to the increase of population is hereafter to be found in
retardation of marriage. Such retardation may defer the day when a
stationary population will be necessary, but, when that day has come,
will be insufficient to prevent further growth. If a stationary
population is to be obtained by simple diminution of the marriage-rate,
that rate would have to be reduced 45 per cent. below the lowest point
it has ever yet reached. In short, almost one-half of those who marry
would have to remain permanently celibate. This seems as hopeless a
remedy as the retardation.” He makes clearer still this important
matter: “If one-quarter of the women who now marry were to remain
permanently celibate, and the remaining three-quarters were to retard
their marriages for five years, the birth-rate would be reduced to the
level of the present death-rate. It is manifest that if the growth of
population is hereafter to be arrested ... by increase of permanent
celibacy, or by retardation of marriage, these remedies will have to be
applied on a scale so enormously in excess of any experience as to
amount to a social revolution.”

What, then, is the present position?

Population tends to increase faster than actual subsistence. Obviously
it cannot outrun the supply of food because people cannot live upon
nothing. There ensues therefore a state of chronic starvation among the
most helpless, and premature deaths keep population reduced to the means
of subsistence.

Let us glance at facts concerning London alone. London now contains over
4,300,000 persons. Three hundred thousand of these earn less than 18s.
per week per family, and live in a chronic state of want. One person in
every five will die in the workhouse, hospital, or lunatic asylum.
Moreover, the percentage is increasing. Considering that comparatively
few of the deaths are those of children, it is probable that one of
every four London adults will be driven into these refuges to die.

One in every eleven of the whole population is a pauper. One in every
five of persons over 65 is a pauper. The appalling statistics of the
pauperism of the aged are carefully concealed in all official returns.
In 1885 Canon Blackley found that 42·7 per cent. of deaths of persons
over 60 in twenty-five rural parishes were those of paupers. Very many
children in the Board Schools go to school without sufficient food
unless supplied gratuitously. Over 30,000 persons in London have no home
but the fourpenny “doss-house” or the causal ward. (_Fabian Tracts_,
Nos. 10 and 17.)

The death-rate of children in the poorest districts of the East End of
London is three times as great as among the rich at the West End. In
barbarous ages the death-rate was, as far as we can learn, far higher
than now, and even now the death-rate of children in Russia is extremely

We have little cause to rejoice in the absence of famine, pestilence and
war so long as the lowering of the death-rate—by sanitation, the
hospital system and the outcome generally of sympathetic
feeling—increases the proportion of human beings in a state of chronic
want, and produces a gradual enfeeblement and deterioration of the human
race. Yet it is inconceivable that rationalized man could withhold his
efforts to reduce the death-rate in the future because of the fatal
effects of his philanthropic action in the past.

Darwin acknowledged this dilemma. In the year 1878 he somewhat sadly
wrote: “The evils that would follow by checking benevolence and sympathy
in not fostering the weak and diseased would be greater than by allowing
them to survive and procreate.” Ten years later Professor Huxley wrote:
“So long as unlimited multiplication goes on, no social organization
which has ever been devised, no fiddle-faddling with the distribution of
wealth, will deliver society from the tendency to be destroyed by the
reproduction within itself in its intensest form of that struggle for
existence, the limitation of which is the object of society.”
(_Nineteenth Century_, February, 1888.)

Further than this he did not go; Huxley, like Darwin, brings us up to
the dilemma and leaves us there. Not such, however, is the position of
all scientific men in the present day. “We stand on the threshold of a
new departure in social evolution,” says the author already quoted, “a
new and potent factor in the process is about to make itself felt. This
factor is man’s intellect.... The intelligence of man will act
intelligently; population will not be subjected to mere haphazard
restriction; it will be regulated with a wise adaptation of means to an
end.” (_Social Evolution and the Evolution of Socialism_, G. S. Carr,
pp. 65, 66.) Man’s intelligence already perceives the right policy to
pursue. It is to lower the birth-rate, to limit births to a proportion
conformable with the food supply; in other words, to create a painless,
instead of a painful, equalization of births and deaths.

Is there any other means of escape from the existent dilemma? I answer,
there is none. Emigration has sometimes been regarded as an efficient
check to over-population, and Dr. Ogle allows that “hitherto some of the
excess of births over deaths has been met by emigration, or rather by
excess of emigration over immigration; but never on such a scale as to
free the country from more than one-twentieth part of its redundant
growth.” Moreover, this minimum of good is counterbalanced by evil, for
emigration “carries off the more vigorous and enterprising of our
working men to the necessary deterioration of the residue left at home.”
And further: “The facilities for successful emigration are yearly
diminishing; the time must inevitably come—sooner or later—when this
means of reducing our population will altogether fail us.”

In view of the obvious tendency of better conditions—when brought
about—to create a reduction of the death-rate and an acceleration of the
birth-rate, eventuating in an increase of general misery, neither
Malthus, Darwin, Huxley, nor any other great teacher of the past, has
given us applicable and available counsel. There only remains for us now
to consider Herbert Spencer’s opinion regarding this all-important
matter. He is credited with the demonstration of a law of population
wider than the laws discerned by Malthus and Darwin. The law is this:
“Other things equal, multiplication and individuation vary inversely,
i.e. the rate of reproduction of all living things becomes lowered as
the development is raised, and conversely.” (Lecture on “Claims of
Labour,” Edin., 1886, Patrick Geddes.)

We have to do with this so-called law in respect only of its bearing on
practical action. The corollary deduced from it is: Individuate, educate
and refine your masses, for the rate of increase will fall as organisms
rise in the scale of culture.

Now what are our prospects of any rapid advance in individuation
(development and culture) among the seething masses of a people who are
helpless and frightfully overcrowded by the action of the very law which
individuation is to counteract? In how long a period will the process be
likely to take effect? It is on the answer to these questions that the
worth of the principle as a law of practical guidance for humanity must

Accepting it as a fact that in the families of our higher classes the
average number is distinctly smaller than in the families of our lower
classes, let us look for a moment at some of the causes creating this
difference. First, in the higher classes men may have mistresses whose
children are unacknowledged; and frequently they form the marriage tie
with heiresses whose hereditary tendency is necessarily—as expounded by
Francis Galton—towards sterility. Second, women of the higher classes
are often delicate. They cannot support the strain of frequent
maternity. Is this a condition that, in an advancing civilization, will
persist? By no means. The ideal of womanhood, as of manhood, points to
strength, not weakness—“a combination of brain power and skill with
bodily health and vigour. Many intellectual men are physically robust
and capable in a polygamous state of patriarchal propagation.”
(_Over-population_, John M. Robertson.) And it is impossible to doubt
that a rational education, embracing free play to activities hitherto
denied to the sex, and promoting physical development, will lift women
to a superior level of health and of physiological capacity. Third, the
higher classes avail themselves to some extent of neo-Malthusian
preventive checks, whereas the mass of the people are either ignorant of
them or opposed to their use. Fourth, enforced celibacy in the case of a
large proportion of women of the cultured classes is a cause of
relatively fewer numbers. Obviously it is from the “warrens of the poor”
that prolific life persistently springs. There we have the highest rate
of genesis; and as the refined restrain propagation and limit their
numbers, the poor enter the breach and fill up the ranks from their own
inferior stock. Now, mark the result. The individuating process is
checked, and ultimately fails, through the crowding out of the
individuated. What occurs, naturally, inevitably, by the action of the
process is a gradual subsidence, finally a limiting of the individuating
factor, the very social force to which Herbert Spencer directs
attention! Surely it suffices to point out “that no theory of the
ultimate effects of mere refinement on rate of increase can give us help
while nine-tenths of the human race are not refined, and not visibly in
the way of becoming so.” (_Over-population_, John M. Robertson.)

We are compelled to dismiss Herbert Spencer’s “law of population” as
irrelevant to the situation, and to declare that he has no more solved
the riddle of the Sphinx than have Malthus, Darwin and Huxley.

The population problem, as it faces us to-day, is serious beyond all
comparison. It is impossible to over-estimate the importance of finding
its true solution. But while thousands of men and women are ready now to
admit the seriousness, nowhere as yet has a movement appeared of united
action applicable and adequate to the exigency.

                               CHAPTER II
                           THE PROBLEM OF SEX

  How glorious will be the awakening when man’s desires will be
  honoured, his passions utilized, his labour exalted, whilst life is
  loved, and ever and ever creates love afresh.—ZOLA.

The Law of Population derives its force from an innate, powerful
instinct or passion in man, the unguarded exercise of which brings about
reproduction of the species. The thing therefore of greatest importance
to general well-being is the discovery of means whereby to prevent this
imperious instinct dominating and controlling the reproductive
conditions—which imperatively need to be governed by reason and moral

The sexual instinct, irresponsibly exercised, keeps population up to the
margin of the means of subsistence—whatever that may be at the
time—perpetuates disease, constitutional weakness and inherited taint,
and frustrates the community’s best efforts to make life easier and
happier to all.

My immediate purpose is to show that the prevention of all this evil is
possible, for rational man may slowly and surely guide the above vital
instinct into a new course—a course that will lead to the redemption of
his physical nature, the purifying and elevating of his intellectual and
emotional nature, and the direct creation of social virtue and

I must first point out the obstacles standing in the way of this
fundamental far-reaching readjustment. There is a fatal ignorance of the
true nature of the instinct in question, there is an obstinate prejudice
that prevents frank discussion of the subject, there is Puritan or
ascetic feeling that shuns pleasure as evil, and there is an optimistic
fatalism which, basing itself on Darwinian law—already superseded by
man’s interference—persists in the _laissez-faire_ policy, however

Sexual relations form the background of human life and are the primary
sources of our finest emotions. Therefore the instinct that prompts to
sex-union ought to hold a supremely honourable place in public
estimation, and be carefully guarded from reproach and every hurtful or
degrading condition. This great factor in physical and emotional life
stands, at present, in disgrace. It is ignominiously repressed, it
produces heart-rending misery and unmitigated evil. Publicly and in
current literature, either it is ignored (hypocritically) or misjudged
and condemned; and all the time privately it is intensely felt; and in
every direction throughout society its licentious, furtive indulgence
swirls into the vicious circles of destruction, the broken hearts and
lives of women, the fallen dignity and besmirched consciences of men.

If we look at the matter of sexual intercourse calmly and in the light
of pure reason alone, we must perceive that its intrinsic qualities are
good, not evil. It creates happiness in the giving and receiving of
pleasure, and the physiological exaltation connected with pleasure
promotes individual health and buoyancy. To quote Herbert Spencer:
“Pleasure increases vitality and raises the tide of life.” If man “eats
and drinks immoderately,” said W. R. Greg, “nature punishes him with
dyspepsia and disease; but nature never forbids him to eat when he is
hungry and to drink when he is thirsty, provided he does so with
discretion. Indeed, she punishes him equally if he abstains, as if he
exceeds.” Mr. Greg further showed that the action of nature is precisely
similar in respect of the sexual function. If man indulges to excess, he
is punished by premature exhaustion, with appropriate maladies, not
otherwise however. On the contrary, enforced and total abstinence is
punished often, if not habitually, by “nervous disturbance and suffering
and by functional disorder.” (_Enigmas of Life_, Chapter II.) Observe
also the sexual desire “is the especial one of all our animal wants
which is redeemed from animalism by being blended with our strongest and
least selfish affections; which is ennobled by its associations in a way
in which the appetites of eating and drinking and sleeping can never be
ennobled in a degree to which the pleasures of the eye and ear can be
ennobled only by assiduous and lofty culture.” (_Enigmas of Life._ W. R.
Greg, p. 71.) We have no fastidious recoil from eating and drinking
because these are merely animal functions. We take pains to improve our
methods of preparing food, and we embellish our repasts with
super-sensual surroundings in order to elevate the nutritive functions
and free them from grossness or brutality. The fundamentally animal
nature of sexual passion does not imply brutality, it is sociable to a
far greater degree than eating or drinking, and this element of
sociality purifies and ennobles, causing the function to become the
basis of tender unselfish love. In its physiological aspect we may rest
assured that the average normal human being has as little inherent
tendency to sexual excess as to gluttony or drunkenness.

But apart from the question of excess, an attitude of mind towards the
whole subject is common which must be condemned. This attitude consists
of an element of shame, misnamed delicacy, and a sense of moral
superiority. Women chiefly cherish the feeling, but men pay homage to
it, with the result that in no friendly communion of men and women does
it seem compatible with good taste to discuss questions of sex.

All vulgar allusions to love, all flippant talk on the subject of sex
are distinctly contrary to good taste, they dishonour human nature, but
I submit that it is an outrage on common sense, and an immoral action,
when students of the Population—or any other grave social question—allow
this spurious delicacy to interfere with their facing the whole facts of
life, or to bias judgment in reasoning from the facts.

On the publication of my previous volume, _Scientific Meliorism and the
Evolution of Happiness_, in 1885, a woman of superior intellect and
attainments reviewed the book. One passage in her criticism stands thus:
“A certain instinct that in such matters the instinct of reprobation is
as healthy as it is superficially unreasonable, may make one sicken at
the suggestions of neo-Malthusianism.” (_The Academy_ of May 15th,
1886.) Such squeamishness is no indication of health or good taste. Its
unreasonableness condemns it, and the source from which it springs is
prejudice induced through specific conditions. The reviewer appears to
suspect as much, for, later she remarks: “One cannot put down the book
without a greatly increased sense of the supreme necessity of
criticizing all established theories and institutions and of the supreme
duty of refraining from precipitate action.” This is a sentiment one can
endorse, and I appeal to all my readers, especially to women, to refrain
from forming any judgment on any part of this difficult, all-important
problem, until they have mastered the subject in all its aspects. To
pursue the opposite course is to act irrationally and immorally. It
causes to spring up in other minds the prejudice which distorts and
disguises truth.

In nutritive functions, all repulsive animalism becomes overborne, as
human nature refines and civilizes, and in a profounder sense the
brutality of sex-passion vanishes through the growth of a higher love,
which has for its dominant quality—not eagerness for possession—but
unselfish tenderness. This tenderness, permeating the individual and
extending its benign influence into society, issues in the gentle
manners and virtuous actions that seem to spring directly from a
universal principle of sympathy and love.

The scientific exposition of the phenomena has long been before the
public. G. H. Lewes, in his _Problems of Life and Mind_, demonstrated
that whilst the individual functions of man (alimentation being one of
these) arise in relation to the cosmos, his general functions, including
sex-appetite, arise in relation to the social medium, and “animal
impulses become blended with human emotions,” until “in process of
evolution, starting from the merely animal appetite of sexuality, we
arrive at the purest and most far-reaching tenderness.” The social
instincts, which he calls analogues of the individual instincts, tend
more and more to make “sociality dominate animality and thus subordinate
personality to humanity.” (_Problems of Life and Mind_, vol. 1, p. 159.)

It is only recently that the full significance of these facts has begun
to influence general thought and to create a revolt against the
unscientific attitude of mind that covers the sexual instinct with
contumely and hypocritical disdain. There dawns in consequence a new
light upon the afflicting problem of our social impurity. It is seen
that the horrible struggle for existence which makes grief and pain,
exhausting mental effort and physical restraint, enter so largely into
the lot of unhappy man, is the paramount evil to cast out. “The
wonderful cycles of normal life are for ever clean and pure.” (_The New
Spirit_, Havelock Ellis.) And with far more of sex-union—especially for
the young—and all the tender social joys that emanate from that union,
and far more of ease and happiness in life, there becomes possible a
great increase of goodness.[2]

Footnote 2:

  It is well to know moments of material happiness, since they teach us
  where to look for loftier joys.—_Wisdom and Destiny_, by Maurice

The late James Hinton spoke truly of the matter when he said: “Sensuous
pleasure will be to the moral life of the future as sense-impressions
are to the knowledge of the present, and with the same history. It will
not be a thing put aside as evil or degrading or misleading, but
recognized as the very basis and means of the life, and used with
enhancements and multiplied powers undreamt of by us.” And again, “This
is what sets the soul on fire—the union of goodness and pleasure. It is
a new possibility, a hope we never saw before, a means whereby all may
be brought into goodness.” (_The Law Breaker_, pp. 275, 236.) The key to
the position, he points out, is the taking of pleasure unselfishly and
with complete regard to the happiness of others.

The region of sex is indeed to this day unreclaimed, but, as Mr. Ellis
asks: “Why should the sweetening breath of science be guarded from this
spot? Our attitude towards this part of life affects profoundly our
attitude towards life altogether.” (_The New Spirit_, pp. 127, 125).
Which of us has not felt the truth of that deep saying of Thoreau’s that
“for him to whom sex is impure there are no flowers in nature.”

It is precisely here that development in the sense of purity gives a
sure hope of moral regeneration. And very remarkable is it that as in
the old days when prophetic poetry took the lead in all religious
reforms so now we have art in the van of social reform boldly
confronting the great enemies of progress—ignorance, pride, prejudice
and malicious insinuation. When Ibsen’s “Ghosts” was first put upon the
stage of a London theatre, a dramatic critic delivered himself thus: “It
is a dream of revolt—the revolt of the ‘joy of life’ against the gloom
of hidebound, conventional morality, the revolt of the natural man and
woman, the revolt of the individual against the oppression of social
prejudice. The joy of life, the joy of life—it rings like a clarion
through the play.” (_Star_ of March 14th, 1891.) The fine women of
Ibsen’s creation speak out upon questions of sex with a pure, earnest
candour that breathes a new morality, and this moral element is one of
the central features in Whitman’s attitude towards sex. For the lover,
there is nothing in the loved one impure or unclean; a breath of passion
has passed over, and all things are sweet. For most of us this influence
spreads no farther, for the man of strong moral instinct it covers all
human things in infinitely widening circles; his heart goes out to every
creature that shares the loved one’s delicious humanity, henceforth
there is nothing human that he cannot touch with reverence and love.
_Leaves of Grass_ is penetrated by this moral element. (_The New
Spirit_, Havelock Ellis, p. 123.)

Walt Whitman himself says: “Difficult as it will be, it has become, in
my opinion, imperative to achieve a shifted attitude from superior men
and women towards the thought and fact of sexuality as an element in
character, personality, the emotions, and a theme in literature.” (_How
I made a Book._ An Essay by Walt Whitman.)

The principles underlying the new morality may be thus stated: Goodness
does not consist in starving or denying any normal animal appetite,
therefore chastity in the sense of total abstinence is essentially
immoral. Life is not so prodigal of joys that man can wisely forego any
source of innocent happiness, hence asceticism has no place in a
rational theory and code of morals. The course for rational man to adopt
in reference to sexual appetite is duly to satisfy and regulate it; and
by removing every loathsome condition that superinduces degradation, to
compel it to raise the tide of life in promoting individual comfort and
general virtue.

To the reader who grasps the population problem it may seem that this
moral code would place society on the horns of a painful dilemma, for
while morality is said to require a closer union between the sexes than
has hitherto prevailed, propagation—which is the actual result of that
union—must be limited to an extent hitherto unknown, and by many people
deemed impossible of attainment. By its patient investigations of
nature, however, science here comes to the rescue of those whose
standpoint in viewing the sexual problem is one of ardent sympathy with
the essential needs and the moral aspirations of man in a social
position truly pathetic.

Physiology has revealed that sexual organs are naturally divided into
amative and reproductive organs, each class functionally distinct from
the other. Amative organs relate primarily to sexual union, while
reproductive organs relate primarily to impregnation and gestation. The
process of reproduction may take place without use of the amative organs
by simply bringing spermatozoa to ova (this has been done), and on the
other hand the amative organs can be exercised without effecting
reproduction. Sexual intercourse and procreation are not vitally
related, as they are ordinarily assumed to be.

Moreover, the instincts connected with sexual union and with offspring
are separate and distinct. In popular, confused thought, a reproductive
instinct is attributed to animals and man. In reality, no direct
instinct to reproduce the species exists. Animals unite sexually from an
instinct directed to a pleasurable exercise of function; and although,
in man, the relation has been made complex by his knowledge of the facts
of reproduction and of social life, the sexual instinct is connected
solely with pleasure and social feeling—not with reproduction. On the
other hand, instincts associated with the presence and nurture of the
young are not sexual or related to sexual passion. Therefore any
doctrine requiring man’s exercise of the sexual function to be
restricted to the end of reproduction is without justification in nature
and directly conflicts with the facts of life.

The sexual act, in the natural order of things, is only occasionally in
accidental relation to the reproductive process, for with married people
in a thousand acts only a dozen may be reproductive. If social morality
then requires the satisfaction of normal sexual feeling—and I think I
have shown this to be the case—the desideratum is to prevent at will
instead of leaving to accident the above occasional relation, and make
the separation between amative and reproductive conditions as complete
as their functional separation.

An American writer has well said: “If there is one social phenomenon
which human ingenuity ought to bring completely under the control of the
will, it is the phenomenon of procreation.” “Just as everyone is his own
judge of how much he shall eat and drink, of what commodities he wants
to render life enjoyable, so everyone should be his own judge of how
large a family he desires, and should have power in the same degree to
leave off when the requisite number is reached.” (Lester F. Ward.
_Dynamic Sociology_, vol. 2, p. 465.) The Bible Communists of Oneida
Creek practised voluntary control over the propagative function during
thirty years with marked success. The number of births was regulated in
accordance with the wishes of the community, and such careful attention
was paid to the laws of heredity that no children of defective organisms
or unsound constitutions were born. Were man universally intelligent and
morally self-controlled, the knowledge of physiological facts and of
invention applied to those facts would suffice to create general
spontaneous limitation of the birth-rate and hygienic propagation of
species. But one has only to think of the battered humanity in the back
slums of every great city—the physical, mental and moral weaklings of
our degraded populace—to realize that it is fantastic folly to expect
individual intelligence under vicious and utterly depressing conditions,
to counteract habit and save society from a rising tide of overwhelming
numbers, the product of random pregnancy and sportive chance.

It cannot be a solution nor even a relief to the population difficulty
that the intelligent—comparatively few—should limit their families so
long as the masses refuse or fail to limit theirs. When society,
becoming fully alive to the imminent danger of a too rapid birth-rate
solves the population and social problems combined—in the only way
possible—it will facilitate and promote the use of scientific checks to
conception, and, if necessary, exact their adoption by some legislative
device. (See _Social Control of the Birth-rate_, by G. A. Gaskell.)

By the aid of these personal means of avoiding or preventing conception
the desired complete separation of amative and reproductive conditions
is effected. Love is set free to rule in its own domain, and reason
controls procreation to the infinite benefit of all future generations.
In an article by Mr. J. Holt Schooling in the _Contemporary Review_ for
February, 1902, entitled “The Natural Increase of Three Populations,” it
is shown how widely in the United Kingdom the use of preventive checks
has spread within the last twenty years. The writer says in comparing
the birth-rates of Germany, England and France since 1880: “There has
been a fall in the birth-rate during each period in each country. But
England’s fall has been larger than all; larger than the fall in the
French birth-rate. During 1880–1884 there were 323 births per year per
10,000 of our population; during 1895–1899 there were only 291 births
per year per 10,000 of population—a yearly fall of 32 births per 10,000
of population. France’s fall was 28 births and Germany’s fall was only
10 births, although Germany’s birth-rate was higher throughout than that
of England or of France.” This is very satisfactory, and in regard to
the strength of a nation that depends upon the adults, and there are
more adults in a population where the children are fewer. The death-rate
in England during the last twenty years has been always the lowest of
the three countries.

At the present moment, society has no scientific sex-philosophy
whatever. It affects to be governed by Puritanism—a vague doctrine
belonging to the past history of the race and not in connexion with any
ethical code directed to the development of goodness through a careful
regard to the happiness of man and the satisfaction of his normal human
nature. Puritanism, whether affected or real, spreads abroad hypocrisy,
deceit, lying; it tends to licentiousness in men and the utter
defilement of women, to social disorder and decay. Above all, it
frustrates the development of that higher love, which, having animalism
allied, but subordinate, fills the mind with exquisite emotion and
creates unselfish delights.

Many years ago Miss Martineau wrote: “A thing to be carefully remembered
is that asceticism and licentiousness universally co-exist. All
experience proves this, and every principle of human nature might
prophesy the proof. Passions and emotions cannot be extinguished by
general rules.” (_How to observe Morals and Manners_, p. 169.)
Puritanism ignores the sexual needs of the young. In a scientific age
man is bound to recognize physiological reasons for early satisfaction
of the sexual appetite and physiological reasons for delayed parentage.

Of the former, I have here to say that an early moderate stimulation of
the female sexual organs (after puberty is reached) tends, by the law of
exercise promoting development of structure, to make parturition in
mature life easy and safe; and that the healthy functional and emotional
life of love and gratified passion is the best preventive of hysteria,
chlorosis, love melancholy, and other unhappy ailments to which our
young women are cruelly and barbarously exposed, and which, I do not
hesitate to say, make them in many cases feel their youth to be an
almost insufferable martyrdom.

There are no less serious sexual evils which overtake masculine youth,
if continent, namely, persistent and miserable cravings, abnormally
directed instinct, spermatorrhoea, self-abuse; and these are usually
hidden from sight and knowledge in consequence of a feeling that, in
sexual matters, adults have no sympathy with the young.

In _Lecky’s History of European Morals_, vol. 2, p. 301, prostitution is
thus referred to:—“However persistently society may ignore this form of
vice, it exists, nevertheless, and on the most gigantic scale, and an
evil rarely assumes such inveterate and perverting forms as when it is
shrouded in obscurity and veiled by a hypocritical appearance of
unconsciousness. The existence in England of unhappy women, sunk in the
very lowest depths of vice and misery ... shows what an appalling amount
of moral evil is festering uncontrolled, undiscussed and unalleviated
under the fair surface of decorous society.” The number of London
prostitutes was estimated at 80,000 in the year 1870. Since then, it has
probably increased. In Paris, according to Von Dettingen, the actual
number at that period was upwards of 60,000; in Berlin, 25,000 to
30,000. In Hamburg, in 1860, every ninth woman above the age of 15 was a
prostitute, and in Leipzig the women depending principally or
exclusively on prostitution was estimated at 2,000. This field of
prostitution encloses whole armies of women finding there their only
means of earning a miserable livelihood and a corresponding number of
victims claimed by death and disease. (_Woman in the Past, Present and
Future._ August Bebel, pp. 100–101.)

The prostitute, in her thousands; the married drudge, weary of
child-bearing; the desolate old maid; these are all alike victims to
social oppression. They are compelled to abstain from, or compelled to
engage in, a specific function which is only natural, pleasurable,
healthful and virtuous in the absence of all tyranny. Love to be real
must be prompted by personal desire, and free to express itself in
unhurtful conditions: I mean conditions that involve individual liberty,
social respect and human dignity. The facts of prostitution alone would
amply suffice to put Puritanism out of court in social reform. As a
result of conduct, it has no control over vicious propensities, whilst
it restrains tormentingly impulses that are normal and virtuous, that
need only fitting conditions of healthful freedom.

Discarding asceticism and conventional purism as alike immoral, the
social reforms that are based on a knowledge of human nature and a
knowledge of the possibilities allied with conscious evolution, will
bring all the institutions of our social life into accordance with the
needs of the individual; and one essential condition of happy life is
sexual love, with such union of the sexes as conforms to the general or
collective interests.

In view of the law of population, and the fact that science has made
plain how practically to separate the amative from the reproductive
conditions of physical union, the love of the sexes can harmonize with
the highest interests of our collective social life, and eugenics, _not
sexual love_, may become paramount in generation.

What social morality requires is that the forces of philoprogenitiveness
and a public conscience combined should dominate the function of
reproduction, while love is left free from coercive control in the
sphere of individual life.

                              CHAPTER III
                       EUGENICS OR STIRPICULTURE

  The first step towards the reduction of disease is beginning at the
  beginning to provide for the health of the unborn.—Dr. RICHARDSON.

The whole theory concerning heredity and its marvellous influence for
good or evil is a nauseous draught for mankind to swallow. No wonder we
revolt instinctively from a doctrine that charges tender parents with
transmitting an evil heritage to the offspring they passionately love.
“Although many important books draw attention to the facts, as far as
they are ascertained, these momentous facts have as yet made no
impression on the general mind.” (_Scientific Meliorism and the
Evolution of Happiness_, p. 329.) This statement is no longer true. It
was written in 1884, and since then immense strides have been made in
the realization of the action of heredity. The subject is frequently and
persistently brought forward now, and urged upon the attention of the
public. Zola’s _mère idée_ is not found only in French fiction, the new
Russian school of fiction is permeated by it; and even in England some
novelists, following in the footsteps of George Eliot, are assuming a
scientific attitude towards life, and the facts of heredity are not

Moreover, in science and in all high-class criticism of life the
doctrine of heredity is directly taught.

Apart from purely literary work, the examination of criminal statistics
as a whole, and the practical observations of physicians, doctors,
dentists, schoolmasters, poor-guardians, systematized and made public at
congresses and stored in scientific handbooks so inexpensive as to be
well within reach of all students—these, I say, combine to impress upon
the general mind the conviction that racial degeneracy is a palpable
fact; and that inheritance is prime factor in the degenerating process.
And recently indeed a suspicion of danger in over-estimating this factor
has been publicly expressed. Whereas formerly, it is said, a child was
supposed to be born with a mind like a clean sheet of paper, on whose
fair surface we might write what we chose, opinion points in the present
day to an opposite extreme, viz., this, that the hereditary tendencies
born with the child determine its future career, and that education
cannot modify this destiny in any essential respect. Now, to disallow
the importance of education as also a prime factor in progress is an
error of judgment; but so long as the human race continues scourged by
sickness, martyred by pain, demoralized by disease and innate debility,
and decimated by premature death, it is not possible for thinkers to
over-estimate the profound significance for weal or woe of this question
of heredity.

Where individual life is not menaced by poverty or destitution, disease
is the bane of existence, the barrier to physical comfort and to both
mental and moral advance. Alas! how few of us have any permanent
possession of sound health. In spite of medical science, sanitary
protection, progress made during the last hundred years in knowledge of
pathological conditions, and vast resources now at our command for
subduing and mitigating every form of physical evil, disease dogs our
footsteps from infancy to maturity and onwards to the grave. We have the
young attacked by consumption, the middle-aged suffering from failing
health, the aged struck by paralysis or bowed down by rheumatism; and
everywhere we meet husbands and wives permanently saddened by the loss
of the chosen companion of their life, and mothers whose light-hearted
buoyancy died out for ever when the babe, prized beyond all treasure,
was snatched from their arms to be laid in our appallingly numerous
children’s graves.

In order to form an approximately correct conception of disease, we must
glance for a moment at the conditions of health. Life in all its forms,
physical or mental, morbid or healthy, is in close relation to the
individual organism and external forces. Health, as the consequence and
evidence of a successful adaptation to the conditions of existence,
implies the preservation, well-being and development of the organism;
while disease marks a failure in organic adaptation to external
conditions, and leads to disorder, decay and death.

If we could perceive all the conditions, outward and inward, and take
them into account, a distinct line of causation would become apparent.
We should find disease no more an accident than the storm that breaks
upon the seaboard or the volcanic flames that burst from the mountain
top. The extreme complexity and delicacy of biological phenomena
precludes a wide grasp of conditions in individual cases, but scientific
investigation has established the point that of the antecedents to
disease the largest proportion is some heritage of weakness transmitted
from parents—some disabilities for healthy life resulting from a bad

When, for instance, mental anxiety produced by adverse circumstances is
said to have made a man mad, there is implied some inherent infirmity of
nervous element which has co-operated. “Were the nervous system in a
state of perfect soundness and in possession of that reserve power which
it then has of adapting itself, within certain limits, to the varying
external conditions, it is probable,” says Maudsley, “that the most
unfavourable circumstances would not disturb permanently the relation
and initiate mental disease. But when unfavourable action from without
conspires with an infirmity of nature within, then the conditions of
disorder are established and a discord or madness is produced.” (_The
Physiology and Pathology of the Mind_, p. 199.)

Thus although outward circumstances often decide the character of a
disease, inherited infirmity is its primary cause. A being liable to
madness, if subjected to anxiety, may, under different conditions,
acquire not madness but consumption. A child may fall a victim to the
special ailment from which one or both parents suffered; but equally it
is possible that disease in him may assume a totally different form. All
that can be affirmed with certainty is this: of diseased parents the
offspring invariably inherit a constitution liable to “some kind of
morbid degeneration, or a constitution destitute of that reserve power
necessary to meet the trying occasions of life!”

The trying occasions of life have multiplied with every new complexity
in social structure; and there has been no corresponding increase of
constitutional strength; but, on the contrary, a growing feebleness of
physique and instability of nerve-function. “Our children in these
times,” remarks Dr. Richardson, “are our reproach. Where is there a
healthy child? You may put before me a child showing to the unskilled
mind no trace of disease.... It is sure to have some inherited failure.
We are as yet unacquainted with all the phenomena of disease that pass
in the hereditary line.... We admit, as proved, scrofula or struma,
cancer, consumption, epilepsy, rheumatism, gout. It would be wrong to
limit the hereditary proclivities of disease to this list. The further
my own observations extend, the stronger is the impression made on my
mind that the majority of the phenomena of disease have hereditariness
of character.” (_Diseases of Modern Life_, p. 38.) Sir James Paget and
Sir William Jenner gave evidence of a similar kind before a Committee of
the House of Lords in 1882. From the former eminent physician’s speech I
may quote one passage: “We now know that certain diseases of the lungs,
liver and spleen are all of syphilitic origin, and the mortality from
syphilis in its later forms is every year found to be larger and larger,
by its being found to be the source of a number of diseases which
previously were referred to other origins.” (_The Times_ Report, August
11th, 1882.)

In August Bebel’s work on _Woman, her Position in the Past, Present and
Future_, this passage occurs: “With regard to the decimating effects of
venereal disease, we will only mention that in England between 1857 and
1865 the authenticated cases which ended fatally amounted to over
12,000, among which no fewer than 69 per cent. were children under
twelve months, the victims of parental infection.” (p. 101.)

Of the original source from which syphilis sprang, of its implication in
the sex problem, and of the ultimate eradication of its virus—to be
attained only by the true solution of the sex problem—we cannot here
speak; the point under immediate consideration is the fact that the
civilized races of mankind persist in propagating and perpetuating
disease. They unscrupulously bring into the world individual organisms
that are pre-destined to failure because not endowed with the potential
qualities indispensable to complete and successful life.

In America the same conditions are noted and publicly referred to. Mr.
Nathan Allen, M.D., before a medical society at Massachusetts, reported:
“A gradual change is taking place in the organization of our New England
people—a change which has occurred principally within the last two or
three generations. The nervous temperament with all its advantages and
disadvantages is becoming too predominant for other parts of the body.
The frame-work of the body generally is not so large ... the countenance
is paler, the features are more pointed and not so expressive of health.
We have a larger class of diseases arising from general debility ... we
have more disease of the brain and nervous system, more sudden deaths
from apoplexy, paralysis, and also diseases of the heart. In sound
healthy stock we have in a far higher degree the recuperative powers of
nature; while the original constitution is feeble, diseases of almost
every kind become complicated, and their treatment more difficult as
well as doubtful in result.”

Laws of inheritance affect the moral as well as the physical and mental
health of the nation. Their action is fatally legible in the public
records of crime. Not that many criminals inherit the actual attributes
of crime—brutality, cruelty, malignity, propensity to abnormal sexual
practices—these develop through the interaction of external with
internal forces—but the ordinary criminal is born deficient in the
elemental qualities necessary to the establishment of the average moral

From observations carried on in English prisons, it appears that in
these days of careful school-board education 25 per cent. of prisoners
can neither read nor write, and a certain number are quite incapable of
receiving and benefiting by school instruction. “The memory and
reasoning powers are so utterly feeble that attempts to school them is a
waste of time.” (_Crime and its Causes_, William Douglas Morrison, of
H.M. Prison, Wandsworth, p. 195.) Intellectually, criminals are
“unquestionably less gifted than the rest of the community”; emotionally
they “have the family sentiment only feebly developed,” and morally the
will is “morbidly variable.” A prisoner may be animated by good
resolutions, anxious to do what is right, often possessing a sense of
moral responsibility, yet may plunge again and again into crime from the
absence of a sustained power of volition. “Persons afflicted in this way
are generally convicted for crimes of violence, such as assault,
manslaughter, murder. They experience real sentiments of remorse, but
neither remorse nor penitence enables them to grapple with their evil
star. The will is stricken with disease, and the man is dashed hither
and thither a helpless wreck on the sea of life.”

The harmony of the social organism depends upon congruity of thought and
feeling in its members and upon action made promptly conformable through
exercise of the power of control centred in the inner part or spiritual
nature of man.

A criminal is an unsocial man, an undeveloped being, one, generally
speaking, whose pregenital stock was below par, and failed in the
conservation, development and transmission of a physical, mental and
moral capacity equalling that of the average of his race. The physical
debility or inherited tendency to nerve weakness—so universal in the
present day—has clearly a causal relation with the increase of crime
deplored by the principal authorities on the subject in Europe and

In the United States we are told by Mr. D. A. Wells and by Mr. Howard
Wines, an eminent specialist in criminal matters, that crime is steadily
increasing at a faster rate than in due proportion to the increase of
population. Nearly all the chief statisticians abroad tell the same
tale. Dr. Mischler, of Vienna, and Professor Von Liszt, of Marburg, draw
a deplorable picture of the increase of crime in Germany. In France, the
criminal problem is as formidable and perplexing as in Germany. M. Henri
Joli estimates that crime has increased 133 per cent. within the last
half century, and is steadily rising. Taking Victoria as a typical
Australasian colony, we find that even in the antipodes, which are not
vexed to the same extent as Europe with social and economic
difficulties, crime is persistently raising its head ... it is a more
menacing danger among the Victorian Colonists than it is at home.
(_Crime and its Causes_, W. D. Morrison. Published in 1891, pp. 12 and

While physical degeneracy creates crime, a non-moral life on the other
hand causes further physical deterioration. The pursuit of wealth for
purely personal ends is pre-eminently anti-social. Breadth of thought
and social feeling grow impossible to the man whose life is devoted to
the business of amassing riches; and Dr. Henry Maudsley gives it as his
conviction, based upon wide observation of family life, that such men
are extremely unlikely to beget healthy children. In cases where the
father has toiled upwards from poverty to vast wealth, “I have witnessed
the results,” he says, “in a degeneracy mental and physical of his
offspring which has sometimes gone as far as extinction of the family in
the third or fourth generation. I cannot but think after what I have
seen that the extreme passion for getting rich does predispose to mental
degeneration in the offspring, either to moral defect or to moral and
intellectual deficiency, or to outbreaks of positive insanity under the
conditions of life.” (_The Physiology and Pathology of the Mind_, p.

This fact alone is amply sufficient to condemn an industrial system that
creates monopolies, concentrates wealth, stimulates greed, degrades the
upper classes by superfluous luxury, the lower by envy, poverty,
despair, and tends generally to physical, mental and moral decay. But
were the entire economic system judiciously reconstructed, fatal
elements would remain so long as man fails to grapple with the
biological problem and fails to bring the great life forces of
reproduction under conscientious direction and control.

Gravitation and all well studied mechanical and chemical forces have
been adapted by man to special purposes in relation with his civilized
life; even so must the sexual forces that belong to his basic existence
be in their turn dominated and made conformable with his higher moral
and spiritual needs. In this regard his primary need is that there shall
be no transmission of disease or constitutional debility from one
generation to another; but that the entire strength of the laws of
heredity shall create an improvement of stock and thereby lift humanity
to a higher level of physical health and efficiency.

In seeking the true method of attaining this end, it is our duty to look
first to the teaching of the great founders of social philosophy.
Without their invaluable services in discovering and setting forth the
one unbroken process of law which “connects all phenomena from the
motion of molecules and the courses of the suns to the phenomena of
human thought and the destinies of nations” (J. M. Robertson), no
intellects could to-day grasp the causes of misery and, conceiving the
possibility of circumventing these causes, devise a scheme of scientific
action to reverse the trend of general movement and evolve conditions of
genuine and universal happiness.

In _this_ sphere, however—the sphere of _eugenics_, or improvement of
the human stock, as also in regard to the population and sex
problems—Darwin and Herbert Spencer have failed us. The mind of the
former, habituated to dwell on the favourable aspects of the struggle
for existence during the early epochs of man’s history, was blind to the
consequences of the genesis and growth of the broadly social element in
man. Barbarous man could let cosmic forces prevail to exterminate the
weak. Sympathetic man is compelled by virtue of his enlarged subjective
nature to institute a new struggle, viz., a struggle against the
struggle for existence (a phrase used by Lange), and already his triumph
is everywhere visible in the survival of the unfit to struggle.

Darwin opposed the proposal to restrain population on the score that
this would minimize the struggle which had created civilization in the
past and which must needs, he thought, carry it on in the future, and
both Darwin and Herbert Spencer “assumed that a generalization which
sums up the progressive forces of a collectively unconscious society,
i.e. a society without the conception of evolution and of a universal
sociology, must equally sum up the progressive principles of a
collectively _conscious_ society, a society which has realized evolution
and is constructing a universal sociology. Though they themselves are
our greatest helpers towards such consciousness, they failed to realize
that our attainment of it must revolutionize human history.” (_Modern
Humanists_, J. M. Robertson, p. 234).

Turning then to less illustrious men, Mr. Francis Galton is our most
advanced teacher in the field of eugenics. He faces the problem of race
regeneration and has put forth a scheme or policy of action, resting on
Dr. Matthews Duncan’s alleged facts regarding the relative fertility in
early and late marriages. He shows that a group of a hundred mothers
whose marriages and those of their daughters should take place at the
age of twenty, would, in the course of a few generations, breed down a
group of a hundred mothers whose marriages and those of their daughters
were delayed until the age of twenty-nine. Let us then, he reasons,
promote by every means in our power the early marriage of human beings
of superior quality, whilst we discountenance early marriage in those
social members who are less favourably endowed. And “few,” he says,
“would deserve better of their country than those who determine to live
celibate lives through a reasonable conviction that their issue would
probably be less fitted than the generality to play their part as
citizens.” (_Inquiries into Human Faculty_, p. 336.)

In examination for official appointments he would have attention paid to
a candidate’s ancestral qualifications as well as his personal ability.
The man of inherited sound constitution and average ability should be
preferred to the man of superior ability who belongs to a delicate and
short-lived family. The former will in all probability become the more
valuable servant of the two. Some scheme should be devised by which to
bestow marks for family merit, to put, as it were, a guinea stamp to the
sterling guinea’s worth of natural nobility; and this, he conceives,
might set a great social avalanche in motion. It would open the eyes of
every family, and of society at large, to the importance of marriage
alliance with a good stock; it would introduce the subject of race as a
permanent topic of consideration, and lead to a careful collecting of
family histories and noting of those facts which are absolutely
necessary for guidance in right conduct. Late marriage, as advised by
Malthus, Mr. Galton utterly condemns. The prudent alone are influenced
by that doctrine, and it is, he says, a most pernicious rule of conduct
in its bearing upon race. His policy, then, is early and fruitful
marriage for the best specimens of our race, and widespread celibacy in
the case of those less highly favoured, whilst everywhere the sentiment
should prevail that _eugenics_, or the improvement of the human stock,
is the primary consideration in marriage and the guiding principle in
sex relations.

This theory I hold to be one-sided, and the policy misleading and to
some extent false. Mr. Galton ignores the fundamental principle of
social life, viz., that the happiness of all, at all times, should be
the aim and object of rational man, and he mistakes the quality of human
nature in highly civilized man. To demand celibacy of men and women
whose defective organisms it is not desirable to perpetuate, would be in
hundreds and thousands of instances to sacrifice unnecessarily present
happiness to future gain—to build up the comfort and enjoyment of coming
generations at the expense of the comfort and enjoyment of our own
generation. The sentiment of justice repudiates this action as well as
condemns the reverse position of a reckless self-indulgent procreating
to the deterioration of the human stock, whilst reason distinctly shows
that individual liberty, in respect of marriage, is a social necessity
perfectly compatible with the well-being of all. Physical regeneration
of race will not be achieved by an overstrained morality that does
violence to the emotional human nature of the normal and average man.

Mr. Galton’s system of social reform accords in some respects with that
which it is the purpose of this work to set forth. Both systems premise
teaching that it is man’s duty and within his power to improve the
physical, intellectual and moral structure of his race. He may, in part,
achieve this by intelligent forethought and careful action in exercising
the function of propagating his kind. Population must not be kept up by
consumptives or persons whose pedigree is tainted by any disease known
to be hereditary, and public opinion must enforce the necessary
restraints. (Temporary illness ought also to be considered. It is when
parents are in their best state of health only that they are morally
justified in bringing children into the world.)

Of these, celibacy is a restraint commended and advised by Mr. Galton,
whilst scientific meliorism deliberately rejects it, for celibacy is a
vital evil, destroying individual happiness and tending obviously to
social disorder. Wherever love in its highest form exists between two
individuals, union is eminently desirable; but if either or both be
afflicted by disease or hereditary taint, the sacrifice demanded of them
is to carefully abstain from giving birth to children. Whether the means
adopted be those of natural self-control or of artificial aids to
self-control will depend on the views of the individuals immediately
concerned, and in this matter society has no right of interference.

It is the business, however, of society to sweep away ignorance and make
it possible for the poor as well as the rich to enter on the right path
voluntarily, and where, from physical or moral degeneracy,
self-regulation is impossible, society must exercise authority and
coercively restrain the vital social force of propagation. It will not
be by means of the lonely lives celibacy entails that civilized men and
women will refrain from having children disqualified for useful
citizenship. We shall, to quote the late poet laureate’s words, “move
upward, working out the beast, and let the ape and tiger die,” by other
means more worthy of humanity, i.e. by socialized freedom and sex
equality; by intelligent self-control voluntarily practised (with or
without artificial appliance), and by control, enforced wherever
necessary by the State in fulfilment of its responsible duty—the careful
guardianship of the congenital blood of future generations.

In the savage epoch of our history, the force of natural selection
produced survival of the fittest. From that epoch we have long since
passed into a semi-civilized epoch in which the force of sympathetic
selection produces a miserable state of indiscriminate survival; we have
now to pass forward to the epoch in which the rational force of a wise,
intelligent selection will systematically secure the birth of the
physically fit.

                               CHAPTER IV

  Marriage is that union of the sexes which is most in accordance with
  the moral and physical necessities of human beings and which
  harmonizes best with their other relations of life.—RICHARD HARTE.

It is of vast importance to bear clearly in mind that all the great
social institutions that confront us to-day are of genetic origin and
evolution. They have not been devised by man to bring about the true end
of all intelligent effort—namely, happiness. They are simply the
undesigned, unforeseen results of various natural and social forces of
the past. They survive through their tendency to maintain the existence
of the race. They subserve life, not happiness. It is not my intention
to treat marriage historically and trace back the various forms of it to
their social origins. It is sufficient to bear in mind the fact of the
natural, undevised origin of every form, including that form of monogamy
which prevails in the most civilized countries of to-day. _A priori_, we
should have expected that monogamy, being the ideal sex-union of the
civilized races of Western Europe, would have been everywhere the last
form to appear; that, in short, its fitness to survive all other forms
would be shown by lateness of development as well as by superior
qualifications for satisfying the needs of a highly developed humanity.
This is not so, however. Mr. Herbert Spencer gives reasons for believing
that monogamy dates as far back as any other marital relation. “Indeed,
certain modes of life necessitating wide dispersion such as are pursued
by the lowest forest tribes in Brazil and the interior of Borneo—modes
of life which in earlier stages of human evolution must have been
commoner than now—hinder other relations of the sexes.” (_Sociology_,
vol. i. p. 698.) Two of the lowest tribes of savages existing, the
Wood-Veddahs of Ceylon and the Bushmen of South Africa, are customarily
monogamous. It is plain, therefore, that if monogamy is to be reckoned
the final form of sexual relations, no argument can be based on any
theory of its recent date in evolution. The opinion must seek to rest
upon different ground—upon the quality of the institution, its fitness
and adequateness, not only to human needs in the present system of
society, but in the reformed system of the future.

While a number of primitive tribes are monogamous, as also are certain
monkeys and birds, many civilized peoples have adopted polygamy,
sometimes openly, at other times in a masked form. Polyandry is also a
form of marriage not uncommon among semi-civilized peoples, as the Nairs
of Malabar, the Kandyans of Ceylon and the Tibetans.

The Nairs are especially interesting because there is among them a
regulated system of complex marriage which will compare in its results
very favourably with the monogamous marriage of Western nations. The
rule of the Matriarchate prevails, “inheritance is from mother to
daughter and from the uncle to the children of the eldest sister; the
household is directed by the mother or the eldest girl; polyandry and
polygamy exist side by side or are inextricably mixed. Thus each woman
is the wife of several men, each of whom has in turn several wives.”
(Elisee Reclus, _Primitive Folk_, p. 162.) The men are under
well-understood obligations to assist in the support of the domestic
establishments, while the children look up to their mothers and uncles
as their special protectors. The result of these customs on the status
of women is most remarkable. It is said that “in no country are women
more influential and respected than in Malabar.” (Ibid. p. 156.) The
Nair lady may possess property, choose her own husbands and rule her own
children. Marriage is not, as elsewhere, the taking possession of a
woman by the man, but is really her emancipation from male thraldom. It
puts her as nearly on a footing of social equality with the man as is
possible in a semi-militant community. What is it that has decided the
selection or unconscious choice—if we may call it so—of matrimonial
usage among the various races of mankind, since no special form is
necessarily connected with the degree of general civilization? The
conditions and exigencies of social life; and as those conditions and
exigencies change in the future, matrimonial usages will also change. As
a matter of fact, every possible method, speaking generally, has been
adopted. Sometimes a regulated promiscuity—for each man claimed his
rights—sometimes the mixed polyandric and polygamic household;
occasionally simple polyandry or polygamy; at other times monogamy;
marriage experimental also, as with the Redskins of Canada, who pair and
unite for a few days, then quit each other if the trial has not proved
satisfactory to both parties; or temporary marriage as in the case of
the Jews in Morocco, who unite for three or six months according to
agreement; or free marriages as those of the Hottentots and Abyssinians,
who marry, part, and remarry at will; or partial, as the marriages of
the Assanyeh Arabs, which only bind the parties for certain days of the
week. Every possible general method, I repeat, has been tried, and when
the practice hit upon has served human needs and also promoted the
solidarity and increase of the group, it has tended to persist.

In tracing the evolution of the modern European form of monogamous
marriage, we become aware that at a very early period, and for a long
time subsequently, the wife was regarded as the absolute property of the
husband. The wife was a bought or a captured article, and like other
articles of property was at the entire disposal of the owner to use,
sell, lend or abuse as he thought fit. The Roman law makes no essential
difference between the marital law and the law of property, and modern
marriage laws in the different States of Europe and America treat the
wife as if she were in a very large degree a personal possession of her

The history of modern marriage, in short, is the history of man’s
domination of woman and the measures he has taken to assume, assert and
establish his rights of possession. Amid changing outward conditions of
life, he has made good his claim to control her destiny in accordance
with his own varying desires.

In appraising the value of our much-vaunted monogamy, we must clearly
understand that its legal basis is not, and never was, a strong personal
adhesion of sympathy and affection, but a compact respecting personal
property, involving in the cases where the “contracting parties are
possessed of wealth, both property in person and in things.” It is quite
legal, and indeed quite respectable, for marriages to be formed on a
pecuniary and social foundation, into which love does not enter. The
woman who sells herself in marriage to a man for the sake of money and
position is not regarded as a prostitute, but as a respectable, “honest”
woman who has made a “fortunate” marriage.

To understand how thoroughly marriage is based upon property and not
upon love, it should suffice to contemplate the grounds on which legal
divorce is granted. Divorce is not granted, in this country at least, on
proofs of incompatibility of nature and absence of affection, but on
proof of adultery, in which co-respondents may be compelled to
pecuniarily compensate the husband on account of having made use of his
wife without his permission as her owner. Connivance by the husband
precludes the granting of a divorce. Man’s supremacy and woman’s
subjection become evident in the fact that no amount of simple adultery
in a husband can be made the ground of a divorce, nor is a wife able to
claim any pecuniary compensation from the paramours of a husband.
Matrimony, at this epoch, is for the most part a “commercial
transaction,” but in the words of Herbert Spencer, “already increased
facilities for obtaining divorce point to the probability that whereas
in those early stages during which permanent monogamy was being evolved,
the union by law (originally the act of purchase) was regarded as the
essential part of marriage and the union by affection non-essential; and
whereas at present the union by law is thought the more important and
the union by affection the less important, there will come a time when
the union by affection will be held of primary moment, and the union by
law as of secondary moment; and hence reprobation of marital relations
in which the union by affection has dissolved. That this conclusion will
seem unacceptable to most is probable, I may say certain.” (_Principles
of Sociology_, vol. i. p. 788.)

Herbert Spencer strikes here at the very foundation of modern marriage.
Moreover, in making affection rule sexual relations, he opens up all the
possibilities of other forms of marriage than the monogamous, for
affection may not only be transitory, but unrestricted to one. In face
of the barbarous origin of marriage, there exists no reason why people
of liberal thought should make a dogged, pious stand at monogamy while
lightly dismissing promiscuity, polygamy, polyandry as disreputable
forms of sex-union. Mr. Spencer holds that “the monogamic form of the
sexual relation is manifestly the ultimate form,” but he gives no
reasons to prove his case that are not sufficiently disproved by the
form of marriage existing among the Nairs. Again, the fact of the
numerical equality of the sexes does not make monogamy the only suitable
form, although it supplies a reasonable objection to pure polygamy and
pure polyandry. Mr. Spencer says that “monogamy is a pre-requisite to a
high position of women.” Here he plainly overlooks the facts of the
respected and comparatively independent position of women among peoples
practising mixed polygamy and polyandry under fixed rules and

With the actual facts of life before us, we are forced to admit that
under the régime of man’s dominancy and woman’s subjection, monogamy has
been gross throughout all history, while with polyandry it has not been
so. Note, in this regard, one fact alone—jealousy, that mean, selfish
emotion which destroys the happiness of so many lives, is not in
evidence among the simple polyandric Nairs. The associated husbands live
on a good understanding with one another, there is a complete absence of
jealousy. Which of us can say, in view of the monogamy that surrounds
us: Tolstoi’s graphic picture, “the wild beast of jealousy began to roar
in its den,” applies only to a marriage in fiction? It is to monogamy
that we owe the typical domestic tyrant and many tyrannous attributes
that survive in modern masculine human nature. Monogamy, too, has always
been accompanied by other sexual relations in which both sexes are
degraded and one sex is socially and physically ruined. As Mr. W. E. H.
Lecky has pointed out, monogamy on one side of the shield implies
prostitution on the other.

In its normal form, monogamy signifies the attachment of one man to one
woman, involving—first, permanent and exclusive sexual union; second,
conjoint domestic life; third, the generating and rearing of a family;
fourth, social intercourse in the class of society to which the parties
belong. Beyond these features of marriage, the economic and social
forces of the age bring about in the vast majority of marriages a
constant subjection of the wife to the husband, by reason of her being
dependent on him for her living, and a general freedom to the husband
but not to the wife to commit adultery. There is usually compelled also
lateness of marriage, which implies unhealthful, painful conditions of
life in the celibate youth of both sexes. I will ask here: Ought we to
look upon permanency and exclusiveness as essential elements in the form
of sex-union best suited to humanity at the present stage of its
evolving civilization? Permanency is necessarily essential to our ideal
of the final form of marriage, for the strongest, most valuable bond of
affection implies it, and loss of love from whatever cause is a real
calamity. But where that calamity has already befallen, for society to
enforce a mere outward permanency of the matrimonial bond is
irrational—the counterfeit union is productive only of private misery
and public disorder. And further, under our present wretched economic
conditions, the struggle for bread and absence of leisure and freedom in
the case of the workers, and, amid the upper classes, frequent financial
difficulties, false notions and customs of propriety and etiquette—all
these combine to make it rare indeed that a man or woman chances to meet
and unite with his or her counterpart or true life companion.

Commercialism is no safe guide in the quest for a vital, permanent
sex-union, and until commercialism wholly disappears, the exigencies of
life demand freedom of divorce to rectify unavoidable errors of judgment
in matrimony, and make more possible the forming of ties that are truly
and naturally permanent.

As human beings become more moral inwardly and create the outward
conditions in which they can live a truly moral existence, Mr. Emerson’s
principle that the great essentials in human conduct are to escape from
all false ties and to reveal ourselves as we are, will be more and more
acknowledged and acted upon. Great thinkers like Milton in the past and
Herbert Spencer in the present, condemn as contrary to religion and
reason a permanency that involves falsity or absence of love. “It is a
less breach of wedlock,” says Milton, “to part with wise and quiet
consent betimes, than still to foil and profane that mystery of joy and
union with a polluting sadness and perpetual distemper; for it is not
the outward continuing of marriage that keeps whole that covenant, but
whatsoever does most according to peace and love, whether in marriage or
in divorce, he it is that breaks marriage least, it being so often
written that ‘Love only is the fulfilment of every commandment.’” (John
Milton, _The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce_, chap. v.) Divorce made
attainable to all men and women, rich and poor, without any disgraceful
accompaniment, is a necessary condition of progress. And in effect, each
nation of Western Europe accepts and facilitates divorce concurrently
with its advance in civilization.

Not long ago, in my hearing, a Roman Catholic barrister, whose practice
makes him familiar with all that occurs in the Divorce Court, delivered
himself to this effect: “My church anathematises divorce, and to my mind
she is right. But I am not the fool to think that the divorce law passed
in our Statute Books in the year 1858 will ever be annulled or departed
from. In the interests of morality, the pressing desideratum is that the
basis of divorce be made the same for man and woman. It is a crying
iniquity that whereas a husband by avoiding physical force, may legally
be as unfaithful to his marriage vows as he chooses, and may tyrannize
over and trample under his feet the feelings of his wife, one single
slip in an unguarded moment on her part, one act of adultery committed,
it may be in a fit of despair, entitles him by law to repudiate her
summarily as barbarian husbands dismissed their wives.”

While permanency is eminently valuable in sexual relations, can we
venture to say the same as regards exclusiveness? This distinctive
quality of exclusiveness is not an extension of love, but a narrowing of
it down—a restraint upon personal feeling. When woman wins her freedom
and is no longer under any circumstances man’s dependent and slave, but
his friend and comrade in the battle of life, will she restrain the
physical expression of sex-love, yet fearlessly respond to all the
tender ties certain to unite her with the opposite sex? To give at
present a dogmatic reply is impossible. Personally, my instincts—so far
as I know them—accord with Herbert Spencer’s dictum: the ultimate form
of sexual relation will be monogamic; but I recognize my own
limitations. Since the women of my generation are children of
bond-slaves, hampered within and without by survivals from an epoch of
sex subjection wherein man’s dominancy superimposed upon woman a
chastity he repudiated for himself, the standpoint from which the freed
being of the future will decide her sex-morality is not in the grasp of
my apprehension.

Nevertheless, the immediate path of progress is distinctly marked out. I
agree with the author who holds the opinion that: “Better indeed were a
Saturnalia of _free_ men and women than the spectacle which, as it is,
our great cities present at night.” (Edward Carpenter.) But set women
free “from the mere cash-nexus to a husband, from the money slavery of
the streets, from the nameless terrors of social opinion, and from the
threats of the choice of perpetual virginity or perpetual bondage,” and
we need not fear for sex-morality. “Sex in man is an organized passion,
an individual need or impetus; but in woman it may more properly be
termed a constructive instinct, with the larger signification that that
involves.... Nor does she often experience that divorce between the
sentiment of love and the physical passion which is so common with men.
Sex with her is a deep and sacred instinct, carrying with it a sense of
natural purity.” (_Woman_, Edward Carpenter, p. 9.) And from woman
herself let me quote a passage occurring in a women’s journal: “Love is
an emotion separate from sex-impulse, it may or may not exist in
co-relation to it. The testimony easily taken from the lives of many
women is to the effect that love enters not into the impulse which,
active and unrestrained on the part of those to whom they are yoked for
life, has created for them a life which can be called by no name save
slavery.” (_Shafts_, October, 1895.) Again, turning to the opposite sex,
Havelock Ellis states (in his study of _Man and Woman_, Contemporary
Science Series) that: “In women men find beings who have not wandered so
far as men from the typical life of earth’s creatures; women are for men
the human embodiments of the restful responsiveness of Nature.”

I am convinced that however polygamous the male-sex—under a system of
industrial commercialism may appear—the great mass of our women are not
licentious and not polyandrous in tendency. While a Saturnalia of free
men and women would, as compared with present sexual conditions, be a
preferable evil, we need not in our forecast of the future dread such a
Saturnalia, or face its possibility. It is a libel on humanity to assume
that no self-restraints are inherent to withhold mankind from sexual
excesses when freed from control by Church and State. And although it
might be said that “the growing complexity of man’s nature would be
likely to lead him into more rather than fewer sex relations, on the
other hand it is obvious that as the depth and subtlety of any
attachment that really holds him increases, so does such attachment
become more permanent and durable and less likely to be realized in a
number of persons.... In man and woman we find a distinct tendency
towards the formation of this double unit of wedded life ... and while
we do not want to stamp such natural unions with any false
irrevocability or dogmatic exclusiveness, what we do want is a
recognition to-day of the tendency to their formation as a natural fact
independent of any artificial laws.” (_Marriage_, Edward Carpenter, p.

The natural restraints or checks upon undue indulgence in
sex-intercourse extend from the physical or material plane to the
spiritual plane. These are—considerations of health; feelings of
unselfishness and social duty; and a spiritual, i.e. an ideal,
conception of humanity and of all the manifold relations of life.

Unselfishness is pre-eminently the natural check and regulator of sex
relations, and not until love is emancipated from selfishness will it
reach an ideal form. If we love unselfishly we desire the happiness and
freedom of the being loved even to the extent of self-abnegation;
tyranny and jealousy become impossible. All natural checks will
necessarily strengthen and grow as humanity rises higher in the scale of
being; moreover, education is bound—under racial progress—to become to
each succeeding generation a much more adequate guide than hitherto.
Even in the present day, it would not be difficult to get youths and
girls at the age of romance to understand that “though they may have to
contend with some superfluity of passion in early years, the most
permanent and deeply-rooted desire within them will, in all probability,
lead them at last to find their complete happiness and self-fulfilment
only in a close union with a life-mate”; to understand also that
“towards this end they must be prepared to use self-control, to prevent
the aimless straying of their passions, and patience and tenderness
towards the realization of the union when its time comes.” (Edward
Carpenter.) This teaching would bring to the young a far truer
conception of the sacredness of marriage than our marriage laws and
customs give.

It must never be forgotten, however, that this question of marriage and
every other social question must be viewed in relation to kindred
topics. A sectional treatment of society will surely mislead if we fail
to recall the changes going forward in every department of life, and the
close connexion that exists between the forces of social and individual
evolution. Scientific meliorism implies a reconstruction of domestic
life; and, within the new environment, the instructing of youth and its
guidance in sex-conduct will become comparatively easy. Nor is it only
by the training and guidance of youth that marriage will be favourably
affected in a new domestic system. The tendency to tyranny within the
home—an abhorrent feature of past monogamy—will have no opportunity to
appear; and two undesirable female types—the idle fine lady and the
household drudge—will become as extinct as the dodo.

Outside the precincts of home, large social and industrial changes will
promote the disappearance of the prostitute, and finally there will
emerge the truly emancipated woman, fearless and enlightened—a capable
guide to man in the task of consciously subordinating passions that are
selfish and transitory to those deeper attachments and higher emotions
that give birth to spiritual love. “Is marriage a failure?” has been
boldly asked and widely discussed in comparatively recent years; and
that the audible answer—sadly re-echoed in thousands of hearts—was in
the affirmative, shows a wholesome awakening to facts—an awakening that
inevitably precedes all real reforms in an epoch of conscious evolution.

So permeated with selfishness is the mental atmosphere surrounding all
questions of sex that the rule of life I here indicate will be utterly
distasteful to those who accept the régime of custom. Yet as regards
morality or an ethical code, there are two, and two only, logical
attitudes of mind. Either we must think of the stamping out of all
sexual feeling on the ground of its purely animal nature, and limiting
physical union to the utmost that is compatible with perpetuation of
species; or we must think of a gradual elevating of sexual instinct and
action to a dignified position in human life with due consideration for
the desires and needs of every one after puberty is reached. The first
is practically impossible to the vast majority of the race at its
present stage of development. They would simply refuse submission to the
intolerable restraints necessitated. In effect, the ascetic answer to
problems of sex is no actual solution, but a shelving of the fundamental
question, with a tacit acceptance of the prodigious evils around us in
respect both of sex-union and the advent of children. The only rational
course is that of elevating and regulating these relations in view of
human happiness. This implies a steady repression of anti-social
emotions and persistent cultivation of unselfishness. Our marital habits
of selfish appropriation and jealous control are in direct opposition to
the moral elevation of sexual instinct. Selfishness degrades where it
penetrates, and the problem is to rescue our sexual forces from
selfishness, and utilize these forces, i.e. make them subserve the
interests of social virtue. Hitherto, they have been ignored and
neglected—a result of false thinking and ascetic teaching, while in
actual life they have run riot, creating incalculable evils.

The British race publicly professes monogamy and preaches to the young a
Puritan doctrine. Privately the drama enacted would disgrace a
civilization of the Middle Ages. In the lower classes wife-beating and
murder, in the upper classes the hideous revelations of the Divorce
Court, witness to the impurity and the misery of our boasted monogamy.
We tolerate licence, we condemn and conceal vicious propensities; we
harbour a social evil of gigantic magnitude, we permit hypocrisy to
prevail, we instigate the young to form self-interested mercantile
marriages. We are corrupt in our social life and mentally debased, for
we refuse to think out a rational code of sex morals, and without that
we shall never attain to a lofty conception, a true ideal of what life
ought to be. Our modern monogamy in its inwardness is not falsely
pictured in this indictment: “The commercialism which buys and sells all
human things; the narrow physical passion of jealousy; the petty sense
of private property in another person; social opinions and legal
enactments, have all converged to choke and suffocate wedded love in
egoism, lust and meanness.” (Edward Carpenter’s _Marriage_, p. 38.)

In view of general happiness and virtue, we must seek the abrogation of
all laws based on or involving sex-inequality. And, further, that
marriage may become transformed into a sacred, sympathetic and permanent
bond—a deeper and truer relation of life—we must seek facilities for
divorce or the abrogation of the specific law that binds beings together
for life in ill-assorted or artificial unions.

                               CHAPTER V

  The simple fact that the birth of a human being, the image of God, as
  religious people say, is in so many cases regarded as of very much
  less importance than that of a domestic animal, proves the degraded
  condition in which we live.—AUGUST BEBEL.

The reproduction of species yields to no other special function of life
in respect of importance and the wide scope of its vital issues.
Notwithstanding that vast numbers of illegitimate children are born in
every civilized country where monogamy reigns, this function of
reproduction is popularly regarded as allied with marriage in the order
of a natural and necessary consequence—a result irrespective of human
will. Now scientific meliorism makes a clear distinction between
marriage and parentage on the ground that, while the former
comparatively is of insignificant importance to the interests of
humanity in general, parentage is of vital moment to these interests;
moreover, between the two there exists no integral or essential
relation. On the one hand, progeny spring from unions not legalized by
marriage; on the other, many married people, swayed by motives chiefly
egoistic, but sometimes altruistic, are consciously exercising a
voluntary restraint over propagation.

The late Matthew Arnold tells us that when gazing on one occasion in
company with a benevolent man upon a multitude of slum children eaten up
with disease, half-sized, half-fed, half-clothed, neglected by their
parents, without health, without home, without hope, the good man said:
“The one thing really needful is to teach these little ones to succour
one another, if only with a cup of cold water.” Mr. Arnold promptly
rejected that theory. “So long as the multitude of these poor children
is perpetually swelling,” said he, “they must be charged with misery to
themselves and us, whether they help one another with a cup of cold
water or no, and the knowledge how to prevent them accumulating is what
we want.” That knowledge is no longer inaccessible to man. There are
known rational methods by which to keep the populating tendency within
due limits, and at the same time to promote individual prudence,
foresight and self-dependence.

Neo-Malthusianism, with its power of subjugating the law of population
and deferring parentage, is a new key to the social position, and
neo-Malthusian practice has already taken root in British society. The
discovery is of vast significance, so great are its latent possibilities
of promoting universal happiness. But as long as reproduction of human
physical life is left to haphazard, and the rule of private, personal
interests alone, without any honourable recognition, intelligent
guidance, or moral and economic support, the immediate effect on
national life is, and will continue to be, the very reverse of

Matthew Arnold’s exhortation in respect of the slum children was: “We
must let conscience play freely and simply upon the facts of the case;
we must listen to what it tells us of the intelligible law of things as
concerns these children, and what it tells us is that a man’s children
are not really sent any more than the pictures upon his walls or the
horses in his stable are sent, and that to bring people into the world
when one cannot afford to keep them and oneself decently, or to bring
more of them into the world than one can afford to keep thus, is by no
means an accomplishment of the Divine Will or a fulfilment of nature’s
simplest laws, but is contrary to reason and the will of God.” (_Culture
and Anarchy_, p. 246.)

This remonstrance addressed to the rich (these alone have pictures on
their walls and horses in their stables) may have had some effect, for
certain it is that in the upper classes artificial checks to conception
are now widely used, while slum children show no tendency to
proportionately diminish in number. Individuals whose standard of living
is high, and whose pecuniary means are small, or who are thoughtful,
intelligent, prudent, either refrain from marriage, or, marrying, check
propagation. The natural result is that children of the comparatively
superior types are becoming numerically weaker than children of the
thoughtless, reckless members of society who exercise their reproductive
powers to the utmost. It is supremely important that we should recognize
how parentage bears upon human life and happiness in far wider relations
than either sexual union alone or marriage alone.

Maintenance of species has hitherto been accomplished at an enormous
sacrifice of individual life. The requirement that there shall arise a
full number of adults in successive generations is fulfilled by means
which subordinate the existing and next succeeding members of the
species in various degrees. (See Herbert Spencer’s _Principles of
Sociology_, vol. i. p. 621.)

Among low forms—inferior to the human organism—the germs of new
individuals are produced in immense numbers, the larger part of the
parental substance being sometimes transformed into these germs. Birth
here may be immediately followed by the death of the parent organism,
and an immense mortality of the young may take place—consequent on
defenceless exposure, insufficient food and other untoward conditions.
“Of a million minute ova left uncared for, the majority are destroyed
before they are hatched, so that very few have considerable amounts of
individual life.” (Ibid. p. 622.)

Throughout the course of evolution the natural order in moving from
higher to higher types is a gradual decrease of this condition, viz. the
sacrifice of individual life to the life of the species, and at the same
time an increase of compensating pleasures allied with the reproductive
function. When illustrating this natural order, Herbert Spencer points
to the methods among fishes and amphibians contrasted with those among
birds and mammals. The spawn of the former when safely deposited is
generally left to its fate.[3] There is physical cost to adults with
apparently no accompanying gratifications. Birds and mammals, however,
carefully rear and tend their offspring. “The activities of parenthood
are sources of agreeable emotions, just as are the activities which
achieve self-sustentation.”

Footnote 3:

  There are exceptions to the rule, as in the case of the male

Passing from the less intelligent vertebrates which produce many young
at short intervals and abandon them at an early age, to the more
intelligent higher vertebrates which produce few young at longer
intervals and aid them for longer periods, this principle clearly
emerges—“While the rate of juvenile mortality is diminished, there
results both a lessened physical cost of maintaining the species and an
augmented satisfaction of the affections.” (_Principles of Sociology_,
vol. i. p. 628.)

There is no reversal of this genetic order of nature in the epoch of
conscious evolution. The processes are different, because man possesses
developed intellect, aided by scientific knowledge and invention as a
new and skilled ally in the struggle to maintain his species at less and
less cost of individual life and happiness; but the general forward
movement takes precisely the same course. With the highest evolved type
of man this sacrifice of individual life to the species is reduced to a
minimum, while the interests of species are conserved in a painless, a
wholly superior manner. And, further, the entire range of domestic
feelings—parental, filial, fraternal and intimately social, become
extended and increasingly capable of bestowing enduring pleasure. The
ultimate goal is easy maintenance of species, without—to any
unpleasurable extent—subordinating single members of species to that

Love of offspring, as already explained, has no reproductive instinct at
its base. It is a feeling—superimposed on organic nature—dependent on
family life or arrangements that involve parental care and more or less
of adult activity directed to the well-being of the young. This
sentiment of love of offspring or philoprogenitiveness, is well
established in the British race; but with rampant poverty in our midst,
can we wonder that in hundreds of thousands of individual cases the
paternal relation—so capable of filling the heart with tender emotions
and joy—creates an actual disgust, or a feeling of despair, malignancy,
even injustice, as is shown in the touching little satire, _Ginx’s
Baby_. Ginx frankly gave his wife notice that, as his utmost efforts
could scarcely maintain their existing family, if she ventured to
present him with any more, either single or twins ... “he would most
assuredly drown him.” Later, when the arrival of number thirteen is
imminent—the wife being unable longer to hide the impending event—Ginx
fixed his determination by much thought and a little extra drinking. He
argued thus: “He wouldn’t go on the parish. He couldn’t keep another
youngster to save his life. He had never taken charity and never would.
There was nothink to do with it but drown it.”

Nor is even the maternal relation proof against bitterness in untoward
conditions, although the feelings will be differently expressed, and may
possibly assume a pious garb. “I’ve ’ad my fifteen or my twenty on ’em,
but, thank ’eaven, the churchyard ’as stood my friend.” These or similar
words have often been heard in an English factory town. The women
speaking thus were not otherwise callous or incapable of mother-love.
They were gentle, patient, toiling drudges, who had had the
philoprogenitiveness of average human nature and the tender joys of
maternity perverted into secret care and open hypocritical cant by the
physical strain of a too-frequent child-bearing, combined with the
miseries of ceaseless labour, pinched means, and comfortless, crowded

The frequent advent of children who are unwelcome to their own parents
in a society no longer ignorant of the scientific means by which its
weakest members may avoid parentage, without any destruction of life or
any injury to sexual function, is marvellously irrational, and it
indicates divergence from the well-marked path of evolutional progress.

Opposition to neo-Malthusian practice arises from primitive conceptions
of life (conceptions antecedent to evolutional theory), while all the
various undefined scruples painfully experienced by individuals are
survivals of the sentiment allied with these false conceptions.
Prejudice dies slowly, as ignorance is dispelled by the growing light of
new knowledge.

I have shown that asceticism is an immoral principle, the action of
which tends to fill individual life with gloom and depression, and to
thwart or counteract general happiness. I have also shown the absolute
necessity for retarding the multiplication of human beings to suit the
limits of available subsistence. And now, after pointing out that
philoprogenitiveness—which is the groundwork of domestic and social
virtue, and ought to be the mainspring of reproduction of species—is
continually liable to be strained, depressed or perverted into
anti-social bitterness in parental bosoms among the lower classes, I
must ask the question: How otherwise than by the easiest method known to
science could the difficulties of the position be met and overcome?

Messrs. Patrick Geddes and J. A. Thomson, in their treatise on the
_Evolution of Sex_, urge the necessity of what they call “an ethical
rather than a mechanical prudence after marriage, of a temperance
recognized to be as binding on husband and wife as chastity on the
unmarried.” (_The Evolution of Sex_, p. 297.) But what do these
gentlemen mean by the temperance here recommended? It is surely well
known that the birth of a large family is perfectly consistent with a
sparing, most temperate exercise of the procreative function; and surely
also it would be folly on our part to look for parental conduct
controlled by ethical motive in the warrens of the poor of our large
cities, from whence springs an important section of the national life.
(_Social Control of the Birth Rate_, Pamphlet by G. A. Gaskell.)

In the homes of the upper classes, adorned with all the amenities and
refinements of civilization, parental prudence results mainly from
egoistic motive. Practical reformers will hesitate to assume that
those—the less favoured social units—are likely to surpass these in
moral elevation, and demean themselves generally in a superior manner!
But further, a parental prudence, dispensing with mechanical methods of
checking propagation, may even prove the converse of ethical conduct.
Advanced sexual morality requires a free and healthful exercise of
sexual function. That such freedom is not possible under present social
conditions is irrelevant to the question at issue; the point is that
conduct unnecessarily traversing this advanced sexual morality is not in
accordance with rationalized social ethics; it has no scientific basis.

Parental morals must conform to the principle indicated by Herbert
Spencer—reduce to a minimum the sacrifice of individual life and
happiness to the life of the species; augment to the maximum the joys of
affection involved in parental relations. This is possible to a race
among which are beings of low intelligence and unrestrained passion only
by bringing into play the laws of heredity through rational breeding.
But rational breeding depends on an appeal to ordinary egoistic motive
and practical resort to the painless mechanical means of checking

There is no general unwillingness to limit their families among the
poor; what is lacking consists simply in power of control over the
physical conditions of fertility. To see children half-starved and wives
sickly and miserable is no more pleasant to parents of the Ginx order
than to those of us who view it from a safe distance; and there is ample
intelligence to perceive the connexion between, on the one hand,
discomfort and poverty attendant on a family of ten or twelve, on the
other, comparative comfort allied with a family of only three or four.

A code of ethics covering the interests of the entire nation commands
strenuous effort on the part of all thoughtful, intelligent people to
make the artificial checks known to the thoughtless and unintelligent.
It is not by proudly rejecting scientific invention in this matter that
we shall attain to development of higher and higher types of man, but by
skilfully using it as a powerful ally in our struggle to maintain and
regenerate species at less and less cost to individual happiness.

Apart altogether from man’s partial practice of neo-Malthusian art,
under egoistic motives, civilization has created an interference with
the original order of race preservation under generous or altruistic
motive. Social feeling slowly developing revolts—in detail—from the
cruel method of the law of natural selection. It spontaneously
supersedes that law by one of sympathetic selection. But whereas the
former law issued in survival of the fittest, the latter issues day by
day in indiscriminate survival, and consequent race deterioration. A
controlled rate of increase is not therefore the only position to which
reason and science must guide us; we have further to escape from the
disastrous consequences of the above law and pass to conditions of life
evolved under the benign influence of a rational and moral law—a law of
social selection, resulting in appropriate birth, or the birth of the
socially fit.

There are thousands of our present day population with whom family life
is no whit superior to that of birds, whose pairing is immediately
followed by rapid breeding and a complete scattering of the brood when
the young are barely fledged. A wise philanthropy in line with the march
of progressive evolution may lift these thousands to the level of the
higher vertebrates, “which produce few young at longer intervals and
give them aid for longer periods.” The recalcitrant minority refusing to
practice parental prudence must be treated by society as abnormal
individuals, incapable of rising to the standard of average civilized
human nature, and these must be subjected to social restraint.

                               _PART III_
                           ABNORMAL HUMANITY

             Men may rise on stepping-stones
             Of their dead selves to higher things.
                                       —From _In Memoriam_.

                        THE ELIMINATION OF CRIME

  Many a man thinks that it is his goodness which keeps him from crime,
  when it is only his full stomach. On half allowance, he would be as
  ugly and knavish as anybody. Don’t mistake potatoes for

A normal child of five years once asked the meaning of this
expression—“hanging a murderer,” and after explanation said eagerly,
“But will hanging the man make that other man alive again?” On receiving
a negative reply, the remonstrance burst forth, “Then why kill him,
since when he is dead we can never make him good again?”

This is a true picture of the thinking and feeling about crime which is
natural to the best types of our present-day humanity. These demand that
our punishments shall either reform the criminal or protect society
effectively from his malfeasance. As a matter of fact, our criminal code
and whole machinery and procedure relative to crime accomplish neither,
and this is freely admitted by men whose position enables them to judge
accurately and entitles them to express an opinion.

Mr. Justice Matthew has said at the Birmingham Assizes that the present
state of the criminal law is a hundred years behind the times. Sir
Edmund Du Cane, Chairman of the Directors of Convict Prisons, says of
the solitary system practised in our penal prisons: “It is an artificial
state of existence, absolutely opposed to that which nature points out
as the condition of mental, moral and physical health.... The minds of
the prisoners become enfeebled by long-continued isolation.” In the
Official Report of the Departmental Committee on Prisons, 1895, these
words occur: “The prisoners have been treated too much as a hopeless or
worthless part of the community. The moral condition in which a large
number of prisoners leave the prison, and the serious number of
recommittals, have led us to think there is ample cause for a searching
inquiry into the main features of prison life.” The late Judge
Fitz-Stephen published his _History of the Criminal Law_ in 1883, and
pointed there to “notorious evils of which it is difficult,” said he,
“to find a satisfactory remedy.” Nevertheless, he put down his finger on
the crucial spot when he wrote “the law proceeds upon the principle that
it is morally right to hate criminals. It confirms and justifies that
sentiment by inflicting upon criminals punishment which expresses it.”

But it is not right to hate criminals. It is morally wrong, i.e. it is
contrary to these laws of nature, by which alone an elevated and happy
social life may be attained. The emotion of hatred creates vibrations
producing evil on the moral plane, as certainly as discordant sounds,
acting on sensitive ears, produce discomfort; and, if persisted in,
produce organic disorganization on the physical plane. Hence, all
punishment or legal procedure directed against crime, having hatred at
its foundation, or historic base, must fail. On the negative side,
hatred has proved ineffectual in protecting society from crime. On the
positive side, it increases the anti-social feelings, whose natural
outcome is crime, and frustrates, or annuls, the human forces of love,
which already widely existent, and swaying humanity’s best types, are
the true evolutional factors by which to annihilate crime.

Mr. Justice Matthew was simply asserting a fact of social science when
he stated that the criminal law is out of date. It consists with a
primitive stage of social life; but it is totally inconsistent with even
the semi-civilization of to-day. The fundamental discord between our
action and feeling relative to crime declares itself in the uncertainty
of a criminal’s fate and the steady survival of his type. But, my
reader, while accepting Justice Matthew’s premise, may doubt the
conclusion at which Judge Fitz-Stephen arrived—that vindictiveness or
hate lies at the root of our criminal code, and that our punishments
express it. Moreover, he may condemn by anticipation a supposed tendency
on my part to censure all punishments, and rely solely on a
_laissez-faire_ system of dealing with crime. Scientific meliorism,
however, does not imply anarchy or the absence of governing law. Its
methods repudiate the _laissez-faire_ principle in every department of
life, for this reason: Our developed faculties and accumulated knowledge
make untenable the negative or inert position. We are impelled in an
epoch of conscious evolution to take positive action favourable to

My contention is this: love of all men, not hatred of any man or class
of men ought to be the basis of our criminal code. Modern science,
experience and skill are competent to redeem the criminal class,
speaking generally, and in exceptional cases, where redemption is
impossible, can render the criminal innocuous to society, while giving
him throughout life such innocent happiness as a being organically
defective may enjoy.

This thesis embraces a very wide range of action. It means the
systematic rational treatment of evil-doers, from the refractory infant
and juvenile pickpocket to the burglar, the fraudulent bankrupt, the
felon, the traitor, the murderer, and if any exist, the born criminal.
It signifies, in short, a complete science complementary to that of true
education. For whereas the latter comprises all manner of attractive
stimuli to noble living, this is the science of necessary social
restraints to be applied in nursery, school and prison with the
universal gentleness which springs from universal love. The purpose to
be aimed at is, first, improving character by restraining obnoxious
tendencies; second, reforming character already become anti-social;
third, protecting society from all corrupt infusion that might proceed
from morally diseased character.

A leading principle of the criminal law of Great Britain is that
punishment be adjusted in proportion to the supposed magnitude of each
individual offence. If we study this principle, we must perceive the
truth of Judge Fitz-Stephen’s allegation, for what connexion has it with
the reformation of the criminal? A judge or a jury makes no attempt to
compute the amount of prison restraint and discipline necessary to
reformation, nor are they possessed of facts for forming a judgment.
Their whole attention has been focussed on the crime, not on the
character of the criminal, or the antecedent and future conditions
affecting the character. Neither does the judicial sentence connect
itself proportionately with the mischief done to society. A fraudulent
banker or commercial speculator, whose downfall involves the ruin of
thousands, is not dealt with, as compared with a petty thief, on a scale
of severity expressive of the magnitude of suffering entailed. And the
petty thief, who steals the rich man’s goods, as compared with the
criminal who beats and abuses his wife, is adjudged a severer penalty—a
measure of punishment indicating the superior value of goods over wives,
which is a sentiment appropriate only to barbarous times.

These anomalies, however, are explainable. Our laws have descended to us
from a barbarous age, when might was right, irrespective of justice; and
from a race whose punishments sprang from revenge, and were roughly
proportioned to the feeling of revenge. They are little else than
reactionary forces, of which some are always present in an inchoate
society. Their inapplicability to the task of reforming criminals is
easily proved.

In Scotland in a single year not fewer than “six hundred and ninety
persons were committed to prison who had been in confinement at least
ten times before. Of these, three hundred and ninety-three had been in
prison at least twenty times before, and twenty-three at least fifty
times!” (_Hill on Crime_, p. 28.) These figures speak for themselves.
Our whole system is glaringly unscientific. We do not remove the
conditions that act as causes of crime. We punish, and sometimes
severely, yet we let loose again offenders not one whit more prepared
than before to withstand the temptations of freedom. We calmly support
and approve an enormous expenditure of public funds upon criminals and
crime; we carefully select good men to be prison managers, officers and
chaplains; we secure cleanliness and sanitation within the prisons, and
so forth; but these efforts are utterly futile because the system is
wrong—the criminal law of Great Britain is based upon a false, an
irrational principle.

The causes of crime within our province to deal with are of a two-fold
nature—objective and subjective. Poverty, i.e. hunger and want, a slum
environment, rough handling in infancy and childhood, a mischievous
training and the absence of all conditions favourable to gentle,
virtuous life—these are some of the objective causes creating crime
which society is bound to remove. Among causes deciding the innate
character of every newly-born babe, the forces of heredity stand out
conspicuously. I have demonstrated that aggregate humanity, in a
scientific age, has the means of controlling these forces and directing
them to the production of physical, mental and moral health in the
individual, and consequently in the community. The born criminal type
may become gradually improved by careful and wise treatment under
life-long restraints. Meanwhile, to seek reformation of this type, by
prison discipline alone, and treat it by methods adapted to corrigible
culprits, is a folly dishonouring to the developed reason of man. We
have abundant evidence that the type exists. Mr. Frederick Hill, late
Inspector of Prisons, says: “Nothing has been more clearly shown in the
course of my inquiries than that crime is hereditary to a considerable
extent ... it proceeds from father to son in a long line of succession.”
(_Hill on Crime_, p. 55.) Mr. J. B. Thomson, Resident Surgeon of the
Perth Prison, states of the facts of prison life: “They press on my mind
the conviction that crime in general is a moral disease of a chronic and
congenital nature, intractable when transmitted from generation to
generation.” And Mr. George Combe, speaking of prisons in the United
States of America, wrote: “I have put the question to many keepers of
prisons whether they believed in the possibility of reforming all
offenders. From those whose minds were humane and penetrating, I have
received the answer—they did not, for experience had convinced them that
some criminals are incorrigible by any human means hitherto discovered.
These incorrigibles,” says George Combe—and this is the point to
observe, “were always found to have defective organizations; ... they
are morally idiotic; and justice, as well as humanity, dictates our
treating them as patients. They labour under great natural defects; ...
to punish them for actions proceeding from these natural defects is no
more just or beneficial to society than it would be to punish men for
having crooked spines or club feet.” (George Combe’s _Moral Philosophy_,
p. 306.) And I could refer to many more authorities on the subject were
it necessary.

Accepting the theory that our born-criminals are victims of moral
disease, the question arises—how should we treat them? Fifty years ago
we sorely maltreated our victims to mental disease. We bound them hand
and foot, we punished them sternly for their congenital defects, we
shunned and hated them, and because they were martyrs to a pitiful
disease we made them also the victims of unnecessary and cruel
sufferings. Few men to-day could glance without a shudder at the record
of our treatment of lunatics. We consign the history gladly to oblivion,
and point to changes betokening the better feeling of to-day. “No one
thinks of sending a madman to a lunatic asylum for a certain number of
days, weeks or months. We carefully ascertain that he is unfit to be at
large, and that those in whose hands we are about to place him act under
due inspection and have the knowledge and skill which afford the best
hope for his cure; that they will be kind to him, and inflict no more
pain than is necessary for his secure custody ... we leave it to them to
determine if, or when, he can be safely liberated.” (_Hill on Crime_, p.

These are the lines on which also should run our treatment of moral
disease. If a man is unfit morally to be at large, we must narrow the
conditions of his life, but make it as enjoyable within the coercive
restraints as is compatible with improvement. And on no account must we
restore his liberty until those who professionally and officially watch
his daily conduct are convinced that he will not again be likely to
abuse that liberty.

But apart altogether from individual delinquents, the subjective racial
tendency to crime demands special treatment, and in this regard I
maintain that the enlightened action of an advanced society will be
analogous to the ignorant action of an earnest church in the Middle Ages
with precisely opposite results. “The long period of the Dark Ages,
under which Europe lay, was due, I believe, in a very considerable
degree,” says Francis Galton, “to the celibacy enjoined by religious
orders on their votaries. Whenever a man or woman was possessed of a
gentle nature that fitted him or her to deeds of charity, to meditation,
to literature or to art, the social condition of the time was such that
they had no refuge elsewhere than in the bosom of the church. But the
church preached and exacted celibacy. The consequence was that these
gentle natures had no continuance, and by a policy so singularly unwise
and suicidal that I am hardly able to speak of it without impatience,
the church brutalized the breed of our forefathers. She acted as if she
aimed at selecting the rudest portion of the community to be alone the
parents of future generations. She practised the arts which breeders
would use who aimed at creating ferocious, currish and stupid natures.
No wonder that club law prevailed for centuries over Europe; the wonder
is, that enough good remained in the veins of Europeans to enable their
race to rise to its present very moderate level of natural morality.”
(_Hereditary Genius_, F. Galton, p. 356.)

A humane society, guided by rational forces in the epoch of conscious
evolution, will practise the policy of the church of the Middle Ages on
a different class of subjects. It will gather poor criminals into its
bosom, and secure for them a safe and happy refuge while exacting
celibacy. The racial blood shall not be poisoned by moral disease. The
guardians of the present-day social life dare not be careless of future
social life and the happiness of generations unborn; therefore the
criminal breed must be forcibly restrained from perpetuating its kind.
Now mark the result. Not gentle natures—as in the case of the church—but
the innately vicious natures will have no continuance. The criminal type
slowly but surely disappears.

To promote the contentment and comfort of congenital criminals within
their asylum or prison home an alternative to celibacy might be offered,
viz. surgical treatment, to render the male incapable of reproduction.
(The treatment indicated is not the operation ordinarily performed upon
some domestic animals; this, applied to human beings, would be morally
and physically injurious. Particulars of the appropriate method were
published in the _British Medical Journal_ as early as May 2, 1874, at
p. 586.) Were this course voluntarily chosen, the sexes might
intermingle without danger to posterity; and since fuller social life
tends to make all human beings happier, these convicts would become more
manageable, and coercive restraints cease to be indispensable.

But the criminal stock is not great when compared with the actual crimes
of to-day. Crime in a vast measure is simply produced by the outward
accidental conditions of life—an evil environment and a grossly
inadequate training. If we alter the environment of our masses—by
establishing a new industrial system that banishes poverty from the
land, by initiating a Malthusian and neo-Malthusian practice that puts
the physical life on a healthy basis, by creating a family life suitable
to man’s emotional nature, and supplying a true education that embraces
scientific restraints on all anti-social tendencies—then, but not till
then, will crime and the criminal type alike become things of the past.

We are surrounded to-day in our reformatories and board schools, in our
homes and on our streets, by children of naïvely-disobedient or
rebellious tendency. These are the embryo criminals of a few years
hence. When a clever romanticist makes one his hero, and describes the
development of trickiness in the child, and how he uses it as a weapon
of defence against the “polissman” whom he defies, trips up and
otherwise evades (_Cleg Kelly_, by Crockett), we read the account
without compunction, nay, we relish the humour of the situation, and
half approve the issue! Yet this assuredly is no legitimate outcome of
childish bravery and sportiveness. Our levity arises from the underlying
conviction, or the universal feeling begotten of genetic evolution, that
the policeman’s jurisdiction here is flagrantly inappropriate.

Infantile disobedience and full-fledged crime seem far apart, but they
are united by an inward deteriorating process, an outward chain of
trespasses more or less petty. The links are all there, connecting the
tender babe and fascinating street-arab with the thief and murderer.
Similarly, on the moral plane, flow the sequences of cause and effect
that bring retribution—that inalienable feature of the law of evolution.
The crime that society deplores is the natural penalty for society’s
neglect of children; and there is no escape from the penalty as long as
the cause continues. Nor can society plead ignorance here. Herbert
Spencer and Ruskin have spoken out plainly on this subject. “What we
need is cessation from all these antagonisms which keep alive the brutal
elements of human nature, and persistence in a peaceful life, giving
unchequered play to the sympathies.” (_Herbert Spencer on Arbitration._)
“It is,” says Ruskin, “the lightest way of killing to stop a man’s
breath. But if you bind up his thoughts by lack of true education, if
you blind his eyes, if you blunt his hopes, if you steal his joys, if
you stunt his body and blast his soul ... this you think no sin!”
Verily, there _is sin_, acknowledged by the noblest, wisest of men, and
brought home to us on the lips of babes—“Why kill the man, since when he
is dead we can never make him good again!”

Society has to compass the task of making men good from the beginning;
and in exceptional cases, where the task is impossible, the victims are
simply society’s patients, to be impounded without hurt. We are as able
to protect our social life from moral as from mental lunatics. The
initial step, however (hardly yet taken), is to pass from the mental
attitude of a barbarous race, whose habits of defence are those of
arbitrary punishment, to that of a civilized nation bent on reforming
its criminals, and treating its morally diseased members with uniform
humanity and brotherly love. As yet the resources of man’s reason and
scientific knowledge and aptitude have never been called into play to
devise a system of consecutive restraints on the “brutal elements,” a
system to make men good from the beginning by “working out the beast.”

The crux of the problem is how to imbue children painlessly with the
truth that social life has responsibilities and limitations, obedience
to which is indispensable. And I submit that this may be done in the
homes and nurseries of the future, under a scientifically adapted system
of training. Hard blows and even chiding tones of the human voice must
have no place in childhood’s environment, but authority may be exercised
through the use of a simple appliance for limiting infant freedom. When
baby trespasses against some natural law of health or social life, of
which he knows nothing, he is gently but promptly and firmly placed in a
baby-prison standing within reach, viz. a goodly-sized basket, high at
the sides, softly cushioned all round and weighted, so that it cannot be
overturned by the infant culprit, who, if refractory, may kick or scream
in safety there till the paroxysm passes, and he falls asleep. On waking
he recalls vaguely, when older, more clearly the occurrence, and he
becomes lightly possessed by a subtle sense of authority quite distinct
from individual kindness or unkindness. His human relations are unhurt
by the necessary training in infancy. He has been checked in wrong-doing
without any wrong association of ideas, and without an awakening of
anti-social feeling.

I have seen an ignorant nurse teach a child to seek solace for pain in
an anti-social emotion! “Beat the naughty chair that has hurt poor
baby’s head,” was the evil counsel, and the child held out to the chair
struck his tiny revengeful blows, and was kissed and caressed in
consequence. This happened in a rich man’s nursery. Could one blame the
ignorant nurse? Her infancy was passed in a city slum, and in every such
locality children swarm who freely strike out both in self-protection
and brutal aggressiveness. From birth these little ones live more or
less in an atmosphere of savage assault. Tyranny and force are the
ruling conditions of their childhood, and the natural result—under the
unalterable law of cause and effect—is this: vindictive, barbaric
feeling is carried hither and thither throughout society at large, and
degrades every social class.

When home-life in the middle classes has been reorganized, and nursery
training is the outcome of scientific thought, children there at least
will escape this taint. They will pass from nursery to schoolroom with
nerves that have never been unnecessarily jarred. They will be
physically stronger, and in temperament more serene. Reared without
harshness, they will know no craven fear; and since the native attitude
of childhood towards elders never seen angry or cross is that of
confiding love, teachers will have no difficulty in bringing into play
the tender emotions that are natural checks upon evil doing, and natural
incentives to effort in action that is right. If playfulness intrudes,
and the serious work of a class is hindered by some little urchin’s fun,
the master or mistress needs neither to scold nor to cane the offender,
for unspoken satisfaction and dissatisfaction are quickly perceived and
responded to by children unused to punishment or an elder’s frown.

But even in the schoolroom an appeal to mechanism may sometimes prove
useful. An instrument called “a characterograph” was described by its
inventor to an Edinburgh audience half a century ago. This instrument
for registering had been in use in Lady Byron’s Agricultural School at
Ealing Grove, with moral effects markedly beneficial. There were many
comments in the press of that period. It supersedes all necessity for
prizes, place-taking, or any kind of reward or punishment, and renders
unnecessary the master’s expressing anger or irritation—“the worst
example a teacher can set to his pupils.” (Mr. E. T. Craig was inventor
of the characterograph.)

If we bear in mind that the supreme object of training is _social
solidarity_, and that social solidarity rests fundamentally on tender
relations between the old, the young, and the middle-aged, we shall
recognize the wisdom of elders resigning at the earliest possible moment
all manifestations of personal authority. The average boy and girl, if
well trained, has at fifteen, or about that age, moral powers
sufficiently developed to control innate propensities. At that epoch to
the young themselves should be relegated the ruling of youthful conduct
in the interests of society. Not to the young singly, however, but in
their corporate capacity. The organizing of juvenile committees and
conduct clubs will ensue. I need not, however, treat of these here. They
belong to the subject of general education, and I am merely touching on
training in its relations to specific crime.

The point in social science to emphasize is this: At every stage of the
nation’s history its moral health or disease is the actual resultant of
previous conditions of its child-life throughout the length and breadth
of the land. At the present moment the public mind is astray on this
subject. There is no understanding of the restraints necessary on
infantile wrong-doing, the wholesome because painless checks to apply to
juvenile delinquents. Science must guide us to the right path of action,
society must enlist parental authority, or, if need be, coerce the child
to take the indicated course. By the absence of wholesome checks and the
presence of brutal conditions in childhood we suffer a vast amount of
preventible crime. We evolve the criminal by sins of omission outside
the prison; we brutalize him further inside the prison by undue,
ill-adapted restraints.

Very significant was the experience of Mr. Obermair, of the State Prison
in Munich. When appointed governor there, he found from six to seven
hundred prisoners in the worst state of insubordination, and whose
excesses he was told defied the harshest, most stringent discipline. The
prisoners were chained together. The guard consisted of about 100
soldiers, who did duty not only at the gates and round the walls, but in
the passages, and even in the workshops and dormitories; and, strangest
of all, from twenty to thirty large dogs of the bloodhound breed were
let loose at night in the passages and courts to keep watch and ward.
The place was a perfect pandemonium, comprising the worst passions, the
most slavish vices, and the most heartless tyranny within the limits of
a few acres.

Mr. Obermair quickly dispensed with dogs, and nearly all the guards. He
gradually relaxed the harsh system, and treated the prisoners with a
consideration that gained their confidence. In the year 1852 Mr. Baillie
Cochrane visited the prison, and his account is as follows: “The gates
were wide open, without any sentinel at the door, and a guard of only
twenty men idling away their time in a room off the entrance hall....
None of the doors were provided with bolts and bars; the only security
was an ordinary lock, and as in most of the rooms the key was not
turned, there was no obstacle to the men walking into the passage....
Over each workshop some of the prisoners with the best characters were
appointed overseers, and Mr. Obermair assured me that when a prisoner
transgressed a regulation, his companions told him ‘_es ist verboten_,’
and it rarely happened that he did not yield to the will of his
fellow-prisoners. Within the prison walls every description of work is
carried on ... each prisoner by occupation and industry maintains
himself. The surplus of his earnings is given him on release, which
avoids his being parted with in a state of destitution.” (This account
is taken from Herbert Spencer’s _Essay on Prison Ethics_.) It is then
clearly proved by actual experience that rough handling and brutal
words—bolts and bars and bloodhounds—are alike unnecessary in the case
of first offenders and in the case of the “desperate gang.”

But, turning once more from the criminal to the ultimate causes of
crime, these are—destitution, or more or less grinding poverty,
inherited disease, ignorance and all the degraded nurture that crushes
the humanities and develops the brutalities of man. A scientific
treatment of crime will eradicate these various causes of crime. No
summary methods are applicable. There is no short cut to the end in
view; but by patient perseverance in the scientific meliorism indicated
in my chapters on Industrial Life, Sex Relations and Parentage, and to
be further explained in those on Education and Home Life, the forces
brought into play will prove effective in social redemption. They are
essentially radical and all-embracing. Within reformatories and prisons
there may be partially supplied the training for forming and reforming
character that is nowhere present in the homes and schools of the lower
classes to-day. Those criminals who are not structurally defective may
recover moral health, and become virtuous or at least harmless social
units. In all such cases liberty should be restored; but the State can
never be justified in discharging its rescued criminals without
resources and without protection. They must be supplied with work, i.e.
some means of self-support, and guarded from dangers besetting the
critical period of liberation. The educating of ignorant criminals, the
reforming of corrigible criminals, the restraining from further crime of
incurable criminals—these are duties of the State.

The time, however distant, will finally arrive when science, applied for
generations to the task of skilfully removing all the causes of crime,
will accomplish that glorious aim. By attention to the laws of heredity,
by checking the too rapid increase of population, by the moral training
of every member of the community, and by well-ordered, happy, domestic,
industrial and social life, the criminal nature will die out, and crime
itself be simply historical—a thing to study with interest, an
extirpated social disease.

                               _PART IV_
                       EVOLUTION OF THE EMOTIONS

We must never forget that human aspirations, human ideals, are as much a
part of the phenomena which makes up this causally-connected Universe as
the instincts and appetites that are common to man and the other
animals.—DAVID G. RITCHIE.

                               CHAPTER I

  The dawning century will have to undertake a new education of mankind
  if we are not to relapse.... New inventions are less needed than new
  ethics.—Dr. MAX NORDAU.

Herbert Spencer tells us that: “Free institutions can only be properly
worked by men, each of whom is jealous of his own rights and
sympathetically jealous of the rights of others—who will neither himself
aggress on his neighbour in small things or great, nor tolerate
aggression on them by others.”

The state of mind or sentiment to which Mr. Spencer here points is
complex. It comprises an egoism that is not anti-social, and an altruism
that is broadly social. The genesis of this sentiment is intellectual,
implying a recognition in some sort of the laws of nature, by virtue of
which individual rights do not conflict with nature’s harmonies or its
fundamental organic unity. It is possible, therefore, only to a race
comparatively advanced, i.e. intellectually endowed; but the children
and children’s children of that race may possess the sentiment of
individual rights as an instinct with no apprehension whatever of its
source or its justification. Its alliance with, and perfect conformity
to, natural law are certainly not understood, and confusion is increased
in the public mind by the unscientific teaching of the daily press.
Here, for instance, is a paragraph from a middle-class journal. “Law is
command, control. Nature is instinctive force, and can neither give nor
receive laws. There are no laws of nature, and there are no rights of
man. We are using meaningless phrases when we speak of either. Man has
no natural rights any more than the wolf and the bear. All rights are

Now, before man had made a direct study of nature, and, marking the
invariability of sequence in the precision of its phenomena, had
attached to that invariability the term “laws of nature,” the word “law”
denoted a lawgiver issuing arbitrary commands. It is in this primitive
sense that our journalist uses the word “law.” He entirely ignores its
appropriation by science and the modern acceptation of the term “laws of
nature.” Nature has no arbitrary commands, he says, and therefore infers
no laws. We admit the premise while denying the inference. The laws of
health are invariable, although they do not necessarily dominate, since
other and opposing laws of disorganization may at any moment get the
upper hand. Man is competent to disregard the laws of life; but if he so
acts, another course of natural order is initiated, and he becomes
subject to pathological laws which conduct him steadily to the grave.
Necessity without arbitrary command rules in the cosmos; and if
happiness, which all humanity desires, is attained, it will be by
conforming to all the laws of nature that favour that end. Within, there
are the laws of human organization, without, the laws of circumstance or
environment. The humanity that has intellect and scientific knowledge
may, by union and co-operation, take a firm advantage of these laws or
uniformities of nature and march steadily forward, controlling the
forces of nature by a willing obedience to natural law.

No sooner, observe, does this control become possible than natural
rights come into existence. Man rises in the scale of being to a sphere
of self-direction and comparative liberty. The wolf and bear and all
wild animals are on the lower level, and have no natural rights. They
are controlled by forces external to themselves, and the struggle for
existence and survival of the fittest is the law of destiny to them. It
is not so, however, with the horse, dog, cat, etc., for man has lifted
all domesticated animals from under the rule of genetic forces, and
placed them under the rule of reasoned forces. He controls their
breeding, limits their numbers, and gives them a happy life consistent
with his own. Further, he claims for them and concedes to them natural
rights; and note this point, the last phrase of our journalist’s
misleading paragraph is strictly true: “All rights are conventional.”
Convention means by tacit agreement, and it is by tacit agreement on the
part of civilized men that rights of men and rights of animals exist and
are respected. An impulse of the higher life, viz., a law of sympathy,
impels civilized man to seek happiness for other beings as well as
himself, and intelligence shows him that individual happiness promotes
general happiness, and further that no individual happiness is possible
without a certain amount of personal liberty.

Individual rights, then, are a claim for a certain amount of personal
liberty, and the sentiment of individual rights is an unconscious inward
preparedness to defend that claim. It lies at the very foundation of
modern ethics, since from it there springs the outward equipoise of
egoistic and altruistic forces, the inward, subtle, delicate sense of
equitable relations, in other words, _justice_—the moral backbone of the
modern conscience.

Let us see how we treat, in our nurseries, this foundation of ethics,
this sentiment of individual rights. We enter a middle-class nursery
where a baby and his sister Jessie, a child of three years of age, are
side by side on the floor. An impulse seizes baby to clutch the doll,
which Jessie holds firmly. Baby screams and nurse turns round and lifts
him in her arms. “See, Jessie,” she says, “he wants your doll, surely
you will be kind to baby brother?” She takes the doll from Jessie and
gives it to the infant. Jessie throws herself on the ground and kicks
and screams. A paroxysm of emotion sweeps over her, and until the wave
has spent itself tranquillity in nerve or muscle is simply impossible.
But the nurse, ignorant of the fact that the child is for the moment
bereft of any power of self-control, commands her to be still, and when
not obeyed, she scolds her severely. Finally she puts her in a corner,
and there poor Jessie sobs and weeps till pure exhaustion brings her to
passivity and an abject state of mind which nurse calls “being good
again.” She signifies her approval of it by a kiss of forgiveness as
unmerited as the previous anger.

Now here we have an emotion supremely important to the welfare of
humanity rudely desecrated in infancy. There was nothing base, sordid,
exclusive or even selfish in the tempest of feeling that swept away the
placidity of Jessie’s little soul. Mingled together there was an impulse
to defend her personal rights and a hot indignation that any
infringement of these rights should occur. And the whole was a wave of
the complex forces destined to weld society into an organic whole,
capable of maintaining free institutions. When the nurse through
ignorance punished the child for the involuntary expression of a
virtuous social-emotion, she was opposing the very order of nature that
genetic evolution is striving to attain; she was checking the progress
of modern civilization.

Later in the day Jessie with her doll restored to her arms is happy
again. Baby plays with his rattle on nurse’s knee; but Jessie thinks,
“My dolly is a baby too and wants a rattle.” She takes the rattle out of
baby’s hands to give to dolly. Baby shouts and kicks, and nurse is
furious. She slaps Jessie and calls her a “naughty child.” There is no
ebullition of anger this time, although the tender little fingers ache
from the rude blow. Jessie shrinks aside with a subdued air. Had her
former rebellion been an impulse of pure vindictiveness it would have
repeated itself now. It had no such feature. It revealed the fact that
Jessie was the offspring of a self-dependent, self-protective race
preparing for a new stage of social evolution, and her aspect at the
present crisis reveals the same. She did not know she was in the wrong;
but vaguely she felt it. She had trespassed on baby’s rights, and
conscience dumbly stirred in her infant bosom. If intelligence is strong
the child questions silently, “Why may baby take my doll when I may not
take his rattle?” The nurse will give no answer. Her province is to feed
and cleanse and clothe her charges, and, if need be, punish action. But
the motive springs of action lie quite beyond her range, and what is the
consequence? If Jessie’s intellect predominates over her emotional
quality, her conscience may develop, although under adverse conditions;
but if the balance tends the other way the position is fatal. The child
gathers her ideas of right and wrong from the frowns and smiles, the
slaps or kisses of an ignorant woman who is ruling the nursery with an
authority purely barbaric, and the budding conscience of a modern
civilization adapts itself to the archaic environment and reverts or
lapses backward.

Further, observe, the nurse strove to create—in this case, at
least—sympathy towards a baby brother. Was this wise? It was not wise,
although well-intentioned. Sympathy never develops under command, and to
order a child to be kind at the moment when an aggression has been made
on his or her rights is like commanding a steam-engine to move forward
without turning on the steam! Moreover, baby, young as he was, suffered
mentally and morally by the event. He learned an evil lesson, viz., that
if he cried he would probably get what he wanted. Vigorously, though
unconsciously, he will pursue that vicious course and act up to the

Does my reader inquire “What should the nurse have done?” She should
have instantly removed the baby, saying gently to Jessie, “Children must
never take things from one another. Not even a baby can be permitted to
do that, and we must teach him better. But see he is so young, he does
not know the doll is yours, not his. Would you like to lend it to him
for a little? No? Ah, well he cannot have it then, but come and help me
to amuse him that he may forget the doll.” The older child puts down her
treasure to fondle her baby brother, and there are ten chances to one
that by-and-bye her sympathy—called out naturally and not by
command—carries her a step further, and she says: “Nurse, baby may hold
my doll for a little now.” Later, when the brilliant idea occurs that
dolly would enjoy the rattle, Jessie understands—she does not blindly,
vaguely feel, she knows—that she must not trespass on baby’s rights. She
restrains her impulse therefore to snatch the rattle, and in this
self-control she is exercising the noblest faculty of her nature under
the dominion of a moral conscience—a sense of justice or equivalence of

And now we pass from an upper middle-class nursery to any British boys’
school or playground. We find that quarrels there arise not so much from
the simple barbarous impulses of cruelty, hatred, revenge, fear, as from
a different source—an effective sense of personal rights unbalanced by
an equally effective sense of sympathy with the rights of others. The
phenomenon here is justice in embryo, self-conscious, but lacking
development on the altruistic side. “It isn’t” or “it wasn’t fair” is a
phrase frequently upon a schoolboy’s lips, and it is remarkable with
what courage and dignity an urchin of ten or twelve will criticize a
master’s treatment of him, and perhaps tell the man of fifty to his face
that this or that “wasn’t fair.”

Were every boy as eager that all human beings—schoolmasters
included—should be as fairly treated as he himself, the only further
regulation of conduct necessary would be a clear intelligence to discern
truth from falsehood in every case of misdemeanour. Instructed
intelligence is however a minus quantity, and the sympathetic jealousy
for the rights of others that exists here and there amongst boys in
minor quantity, gets deflected from its true course. It links boys of
one age together in a mutual fellowship that excludes masters and all
others. Nor is this difficult to understand. Mutual interests is the
soil in which sympathy grows; but with arbitrary authority in the field,
also conflicting desires, and no distinct teaching on the subject, the
deeper relations of life, I mean the mutual interests of teacher and
taught and of the whole school as a social unity, are often ignored. To
shield a companion from punishment, at all hazards, becomes virtue in a
schoolboy’s eyes, and antagonisms spring up with confused notions of
right and wrong, and a general impulse to falsehood and deceit in
special directions. These are menacing features of character for the
social life of the future. Men of introspection have recognized in
themselves the baneful after-effects of the clannishness engendered at
school. Robert Louis Stevenson bewailed the extreme difficulty he had in
forcing himself to perform a distinct public duty. It involved some
exposure dishonourable to a former schoolmate! “I felt,” he said, “like
a cad!”

From middle-class nurseries where authority is chiefly barbaric and the
budding conscience is hurt, children destined to become the élite of a
future society and its rulers, pass into schools where there is no clear
and definite training for the emotional nature, no scientific
development of the social, and repression of the anti-social impulses.
From school the student passes to college or university, and is
emancipated more or less from outward control. When he enters upon the
duties and pleasures of adult life he presents, in many ways, an element
of social danger, for this simple reason, his native bumptiousness, his
sense of individual rights is not held in check by an intelligent
understanding of, and feeling of sympathy with, the equal rights of
others. The groundwork of the modern conscience has been tampered with
while authority—propelled by genetic forces of evolution—has gradually
relaxed and fallen back before the free-born British schoolboy. By our
present system of education we destroy infant virtue in the nursery and
in the school. We dwarf that sympathy which should grow and expand till
it bursts forth in manhood into deeds of rectitude, justice, love,
manifesting the threefold quality of human nature which alone is
competent to lift the whole area of man’s existence into line with
cosmic order. Our schools are yearly pouring into the busy world a rich
harvest of human aptitudes that are quickly absorbed in activities
mercantile, professional, legislative, but the outcome of these
activities is not tuning life into social harmony, it is merely
increasing national wealth, and that without any marked increase of
plenty and pleasure to the nation at large. The picture presented is one
of perpetual warfare—an outward struggle in money-making for oneself and
family, an inward contentious spirit that reveals itself abroad in our
blatant imperialism, at home in class antagonisms—the whole re-acting
fatally on individual character and lowering the general standard of
civilized life. Generous enthusiasms die down, the emotional nature
hardens, till intelligence itself is dimmed and becomes incapable of any
wide outlook that entails unselfish effort.

As a rule—though with honourable exceptions—our compatriots advanced in
life do not fulfil the promise of their youth; and with forces of nature
amenable to man’s will, if wisely directed, real progress in this
scientific age is wofully sluggish. We focus attention on environments
that press on adults only, and in seeking reform overlook the
environments that vitally effect our infant population, therefore the
adult life of the future.

How different is our action in other directions. In horticultural
nurseries, for instance, progress is not sluggish. Scientific discovery
and methods of practice are applied and promptly produce definite
results. The composite plants are distinguished from simple plants, and
while all are secured in necessary conditions of healthy life—good soil,
air, light, etc.—those receive from the gardener a special fostering
care. He studies the laws of differentiation, the peculiarities of each
organism with its hidden possibilities of varied efflorescence, and by
fitting environment to wider issues, watching them day by day,
nourishing every tendency favourable, checking every tendency
unfavourable, he induces an outburst of blossom as varied in colour and
form as it is marvellous in beauty or grace, and that in spite of the
fact that unaided by natural forces he is utterly powerless to make a
blade of grass grow.

That human plants give promise of blossoming into a _moral_ beauty as
yet undreamed of by the British public is patent to any wise observer of
the confused social life of to-day. Our greatest realists in fiction
note the point. We have George Meredith putting into the mouth of his
hero, Matthew Weyburn, these significant words: “Eminent station among
men doesn’t give a larger outlook ... I have come now and then across
people we call common, slow-minded, but hard in their grasp of facts and
ready to learn and logical. They were at the bottom of wisdom, for they
had in their heads the delicate sense of justice upon which wisdom is
founded ... that is what their rulers lack. Unless we have the sense of
justice abroad like a common air there’s no peace and no steady advance.
But these humble people had it. I felt them to be my superiors. On the
other hand, I have not felt the same with our senators, rulers and
lawgivers. They are for the most part deficient in the liberal mind.”
(_Lord Ormont and his Aminta._)

As regards physical health, I have shown the necessity for stirpiculture
and the birth of the fit; as regards mental and moral health, i.e.
Humanity’s efflorescence on higher planes—the need of the times is less
eugenics than education and training. Germs of truth, justice, love, lie
latent in the basic structure of our half-civilized race, and so long as
we neglect or destroy these germs it were folly to desire material of
finer quality. “Our raw material is of the very best,” said the
headmistress of a London Board School, “our children are full of
generous impulses and fearless spontaneity. I sometimes think the
no-rule in the homes of the masses a better preparation for life than
the factitious training given in homes of the classes. But our teachers
are so few and so seldom scientifically enlightened that we spoil very
much of the good material.” On behalf of the classes my reader might
argue that susceptibility to beauty or the aesthetic sentiment with its
creative expression in art belongs almost exclusively to the upper
section of society, and is deemed by some social reformers the very
foundation of moral life, the basis of the ethical temper.

It is not my purpose to provoke comparison between the classes and the
masses, and I fully recognize the value of the fine arts as factors in
the general elevation of life and character, but I submit that evolution
does not pursue the same line of development in the various races of
mankind, and in the British race an advanced ethical temper is in
process of formation quite irrespective of the fine arts and the
aesthetic sentiment.

Dr. Le Bon laid before the French Geographical Society an account of a
primitive group of people, numbering several hundred thousand, who
inhabit a remote region high up among the Carpathian mountains. Of this
people, the Podhalians, he says, “they are born improvisatori, poets and
musicians, singing their own songs, set to music of their own
composition. Their poetry is tender and artless in sentiment, generous
and elevated in style.” He attributes these qualities to the wealth of
spontaneous resources possessed by natures which neither know violent
passions nor unnatural excitements. The British race, moulded by
different conditions—geographical and historical—has developed
differently. Great masses of our population are wholly insensitive to
the influences of art. The picture drawn by Wordsworth of his Peter Bell
comes nearer to our native uncultured type—

                   A primrose by the river’s brim
                   A yellow primrose was to him,
                   And it was nothing more.
                   The soft blue sky did never melt
                   Into his heart, he never felt
                   The witchery of the soft blue sky.

Nevertheless, through another channel he was touched to the quick.
Thrilled into sudden sweetness and pathos by the sight of a widow’s

                 In agony of silent grief
                 From his own thoughts did Peter start;
                 He longs to press her to his heart
                 From love that cannot find relief.

The hard life of our workers has undoubtedly deprived them, as yet, of
any widespread aesthetic development, but the chords of their vital
part, if played upon, produce a sentient state far removed from the
rudimentary stage. It is a product of centuries of evolution.

This humanity will move forward to higher planes of existence, and a
spiritual plenitude—of which aestheticism is by no means the crown and
glory, but only an imperfect foretaste—by two convergent paths trodden
concurrently. These are a steady growth in social qualities and the
happiness that flows from these qualities, the creation, in short, of
organic socialism; and the opening up outwardly of channels of sympathy
and community of interests throughout the whole nation, causing the
banishment of class distinctions, the establishment of an organized
socialism. Perfection in art is not the appropriate ideal for this age,
but perfection in social life, and it is not from a love of art to a
love of mankind and the practices of moral rectitude that our masses
will advance. It is by the practice of all the humanities on ever
broader, deeper lines, until the nation, vibrating with harmonized life,
frames new visions of art, and strengthens all the well-springs of art’s

The aestheticism that belongs exclusively to one social class neither
elevates general morals nor produces the noblest art. Its narrowing
influences are exemplified in Lord Chesterfield’s advice to his son: “If
you love music, go to operas, concerts, and pay fiddlers to play to you;
but I insist on your neither piping nor fiddling yourself. It puts a
gentleman in a contemptible light; ... few things would mortify me more
than to see you bearing a part in a concert with a fiddle under your
chin.” Lord Chesterfield belonged to a past century, but the spirit of
his thought is not dead; it manifests prominently to-day. In my own
experience a lady novelist was invited to a London At Home, and accepted
conditionally. If evening costume were necessary she must decline, but
if less ceremonious dress were permissible she would gladly appear, and
the hostess consenting, she did so. Now I heard a large group of
middle-class ladies passionately condemning this action, on the ground
that aestheticism had been outraged and the rules of society set at
nought by a blot in rooms otherwise beautiful. Yet the novelist had been
tastefully attired, that was freely admitted. She had sinned merely in
nonconformity to fashion and in covering her neck and arms. Can we
seriously believe that the type of humanity to which these ladies belong
is developing the liberal mind which alone may create and support the
highest morality, the noblest art? Are we not compelled to recognize the
truth of Mr. J. H. Levy’s profound remark: “In the present stage of
human progress the aesthetic and the moral are conterminate at neither
end. Aesthetic emotion may be roused in us by that which is ethically
odious, and moral feeling may be called up by that which is artistically
ugly.” (_The National Reformer._)

The true ethical temper is engendered by a complexity of social
attractions issuing in an inward sense of justice and the delicate
equipoise of natural rights between _meum_ and _tuum_. The task before
us is to unite the half-conscious, instinctive justice already existent
with an intellectual apprehension and clear understanding of right and
wrong, in other words, to complete the modern conscience; and in view of
this task we must distinctly realize that the sentiment of what is
proper and improper in conventional society has no ethical value, and is
a false guide to conduct.

                               CHAPTER II

  The facts which it is at once most important and most difficult to
  appreciate are what may be called the facts of feeling.—LECKY.

The area of man’s emotional life is one of vast magnitude. It lies
behind the scenes of his outward existence, yet it interpenetrates the
social structure throughout, and stretches beyond it to distances we
know not whence or whither. Mysterious as this region is, no sooner does
man aspire to control the social forces of collective life, as he
already largely controls the natural forces of physical life, than he is
compelled to apply his reason scientifically to the phenomena of human
emotions, and to contemplate, trace out and master there the general
features of the process of evolution.

In the case of personal development the task is comparatively easy. A
child’s feelings are simple, not compound. For the most part they seem
vague and indefinite, always fleeting and evanescent; but as the child
grows his powers of feeling grow likewise and alter in character. Their
childish simplicity passes away; they augment in mass, they become
complex, more permanent and coherent in their nature, and far more
delicate in susceptibility. Consequently the breadth of range, the depth
and richness of emotion possible in an adult, as compared with the
emotions of a child, are as the music of an organ to the sweet notes
that lie within the compass of a penny whistle.

In racial development evolution of feeling has not pursued one
invariable course. Distinctive sentiments and modes of feeling
characterize the different races of mankind as well as distinctive
outward features, and the impressing on a plastic race of these
divergent states of feeling is mainly, though not entirely, due to
external conditions—not climatic and geographical conditions only, but
also the form of civilization that had taken root and moulded the habits
and customs of the race. Greek civilization, for instance, tended to
develop largely the aesthetic group of feelings, while in Scotland these
feelings, through outward influences I must not pause to consider, have
been stunted in growth, and moral sentiments have had a deeper and
firmer development.

Amongst barbarous tribes of men the violent emotions—anger, fear,
jealousy, revenge—generally speaking, hold sway; but there are also in
various parts of the world uncivilized communities where these fierce
passions are little known, and where, in consequence of the absence of
warlike surroundings, the gentle, tender sentiments that have for their
foundation family ties and peaceful social life, prevail, and are
considerably developed.

The conditions of emotional evolution in a given race, then, are
complex. We have to bear in mind a threefold environment—cosmic,
planetary, social—pressing upon individual life and powerfully swaying
the emotional part of it. Social environment is pre-eminently potent in
modifying emotional characteristics; yet the prime factor of change in
social environment springs from this region of feeling, and this factor
may, under rational guidance, take a path of direct and rapid

British civilization is the product of a turbulent, militant stage of
evolution, an epoch of military glory, followed by a long period of
industrial development and commercial activity. We inherit a survival of
virtues and vices from each of these evolutional stages. To the first we
attribute our courage, independence and proper pride, both national and
individual; and we are apt to suppose that without the experience of
military glory our manly John Bull would have been a milk-sop. That may
or may not be true; but when we infer that the above characteristics
depend fundamentally and absolutely upon a military environment we are
vastly mistaken. Observe what is said by travellers and missionaries of
certain unwarlike tribes found in India and the Malay Peninsula. The
Jakuns are inclined, we are told, to gratitude and beneficence, their
tendency being not to ask favours, but to confer them. The Arifuras have
a very excusable ambition to gain the name of rich men by paying the
debts of their poorer fellow-villagers! One gentle Arifura, who had
hoped to be chosen chief of his village and was not, met his
disappointment with the spirit of a philosopher and philanthropist,
saying: “What reason have I to grieve? I still have it in my power to
assist my fellow-villagers.” When brought into contact with men of an
opposite type—hardy, fierce and turbulent, they have no tendency to show
the white feather. The amiable Dhimal is independent and courageous, and
resists “with dogged obstinacy” injunctions that are urged
injudiciously. The Jakun is extremely proud—his pride showing itself in
refusals to be domesticated and made useful to men of a different race
and therefore alien to himself. The simple-minded Santal has a “strong
natural sense of justice, and should any attempt be made to coerce him,
he flies the country. The Santal is courteous and hospitable, whilst at
the same time he is free from cringing.” Dalton writes of the Hos—a
tribe belonging to the same group as the Santals—“a reflection on a
man’s honesty or veracity may be sufficient to send him to
self-destruction”; and of the Lepchas, Hooker says, “In all my dealings
with them they have proved scrupulously honest.... They cheer on the
traveller by their unostentatious zeal in his service, and when a
present is given to them, it is divided equally among many without a
syllable of discontent or a grudging look or word.”[4]

Footnote 4:

  Herbert Spencer, _Principles of Sociology_, vol. 2, pp. 628, 630, 631.

From these facts we gather that a number of virtues associated in our
minds with Western civilization are present amid barbarous tribes, and
that the vices associated by us with barbarism—cruelty, dishonesty,
treachery, selfishness—are in some cases glaringly absent. Human nature
is not dependent on culture or Christianity to humanize and make it
lovable. There is that in the very groundwork of its nature which
renders it capable of developing, under favourable conditions, into what
is admirable, pure and gracious. The traits given us of these peoples
show virtue, truth, generosity, moral courage and justice, and what
nobler, more elevated sentiments have as yet been found in civilized

The favourable conditions are an entire absence of warlike surroundings
and warlike training, hence an absence also of any inheritance of
warlike proclivities. These tribes “have remained unmolested for
generation after generation; they have inflicted no injuries on others.”
Their social or unselfish feelings have been fostered and nourished by
the sympathetic intercourse of a peaceful life.

In a purely military state unselfish feelings are necessarily repressed,
whilst the bold, keen, hard and cruel side of human nature is liberally
developed. To hate an enemy and avenge an injury are manly virtues. The
predatory instincts are useful and approved. Treachery is not
discredited, and the man clever enough to take advantage of an enemy and
successfully intrigue against him may be ranked among the gods! The
plunderer who falters not in keen pursuit of prey and in the hour of
victory shows relentless cruelty is deemed heroic. No thought of
happiness or misery to others gives him pause; military glory is his
absorbing aim, and in the intervals of peace his callous nature
manifests in ruling with tyrannic power slavish subordinates, who bend
and cringe before him.

Now let us glance at two of these militant characteristics, viz.
rapacity and personal pride, with a view to observe how their survival
into our industrial epoch has vitiated the national life.

The purely militant stage of British development has passed, and the
outward form of our collective life is industrial, not military. A
sanguinary path of glory has no intrinsic fascination for our people,
and there is no national desire to conquer and rule over races
established on other parts of the earth’s surface, however superior to
ours may be their climate and quarters. Nevertheless, within the last
half century we have fought battles and shed blood copiously in China,
Persia, Afghanistan, Abyssinia, Egypt, South Africa and elsewhere.
Seldom, however, has the nation itself clamoured for war. In the year
1854 a relapse into militant mood occurred, and, in spite of
unwillingness on the part of individual rulers, the Government yielded
to a sinister wave of barbaric feeling in the nation—a martial frenzy
that impelled to the Crimean War. Since that period wars have originated
from other causes than the will of the nation. Our people, immersed in a
painful struggle for livelihood at home, are indifferent to the rights
and wrongs of the many squabbles into which we flounder abroad. General
malevolence has no part in this matter; our real collective attitude
towards foreigners is one of friendliness, combined with an impulse to
the peaceful exchange of commodities, kind words and gentle arts—the
whole provocative of love, not hatred.

The fundamental causes of war, then, have been: first, the commercial
interests of a capitalist class, or, if expressed in terms of feeling,
the desire in that class for increased wealth—a desire partly the
product of inherited rapacity, a sentiment descended to us from our
militant epoch; second, national pride—a pride which has kindled
animosities, embroiled us in disputes and dragged us into wars, the
pettiness of whose small beginnings is only matched by the pettiness of
British conduct throughout their whole extent. But both this rapacity
and this national pride belong almost exclusively to our ruling classes.
Their existence is explained by the action of outward conditions on
special sections of the community. The British passed suddenly out of a
period of constant fighting and feud into a period of frantic industrial
activity. Feudal chiefs and their descendants became grasping landlords.
There also sprang up a class of sharp-witted, keen-sighted men, whose
native rapacity strengthened in the genial hot-bed of our brilliant
commercial success. A tremendous start in the international race after
wealth was secured to Great Britain by her possession of iron, coal,
etc. She absorbed riches from every quarter of the globe, and mercantile
triumph swelled the pride already deeply implanted in our industrial
organizers, our politicians and plenipotentiaries. The great mass of the
people were differently affected by industrial conditions. Workers of
every description, packed together in towns and factories, rapidly
developed the qualities of intimate social life, and out-grew, in the
main, the savage instincts of militancy. Our commercial wars and
Imperialistic policy are fruits—not of the nation’s brutality, its
greed, or its pride, but of its simple ignorance and its blind trust in
individuals peculiarly unfitted by inheritance and personal bias to
guide it aright in relations with other, and especially with weaker,
nations. All the wars of recent times—a record of cruel bloodshed
causing needless sorrow and suffering to the innocent—have been
instigated by the ruling classes under the dominion of rapacity and
pride. When these ruling classes are dispossessed of supreme power, and
civilized democracies assume public responsibility with political
supremacy, the day of disarming of nations will dawn. The world’s
workers who, apart from their rulers, have no tendency to undue
accumulation or national pride, but whose bias, on the contrary, is
towards sympathetic co-operation in industry, will strenuously seek the
joys and blessings of universal peace.

But although the war-spirit of the ancient Briton dies out and general
brutality declines, individual brutality, practised privately, is common
enough. Class tyranny, sex tyranny, and much of domestic tyranny are
rampant; and the co-relative feelings, viz. abject fear giving rise to
hatred, anger, malice, cunning and despicable meanness of soul, are all
strongly in evidence.

The industrial system that succeeded our military system is of no
genuinely social type. It is distinctly contentious, and when we
consider how it has pressed for about a century upon a plastic race
inwardly prone to every vice engendered by militancy, the matter for
surprise perhaps is that we are as good as we are.

In classifying emotional states there is a sentiment which, if not
begotten, has at least been bred, nourished and widely diffused during
our industrial epoch—I mean the sentiment, love of property. On no
subject are opposite opinions more strongly and disputatiously held than
on the question of the nature and value of this sentiment. It is claimed
by some as not only the chief support of present-day society, but the
prime evolutional factor of our entire civilization. A savage only cares
to secure the things he is in immediate need of. He lacks imagination to
picture what he may want to-morrow, also intelligence to provide for
future contingencies and sympathetic desire to provide for the wants of

No sooner, however, does an established government give safe protection
to individual property than prudence and forethought appear. The man who
acquires property soon surrounds himself with comforts, and inspires in
others the desire to follow his example. Social wealth accumulates, and
energies are set free for further development. Some social units become
complex, intellectual tastes and love of travel arise, and works of
art—the treasure-trove of earlier civilizations—are impounded to lay the
foundation of artistic life in the later civilization. Aesthetic culture
now grows rapidly. Painting, poetry, music abound, and men may be lifted
above the meaner cares of existence to an inward freedom, where sympathy
expands through the exercise of elevated thought and feeling. Is not
love of property, then, a sentiment to honour and conserve? Its genesis
and history certainly command respect; but the already quoted case of
the Podhalians proves that by no means is it an essential in human
evolution. To that primitive people, as Dr. Le Bon has shown, riches
have no charms; they are poor, living principally upon oats made into
cakes and goat’s milk. They enjoy perfect health and live long. They are
quick in apprehension, fond of dancing, singing, music and poetry. There
is clearly no development here of the property-sense, yet the Podhalians
have a very considerable development of that group of emotions we term
aesthetic and regard as an evidence of high refinement and culture. We
are not therefore logically entitled to claim that were British love of
property and British cupidity greatly diminished, art as a consequence
must needs decay and the race revert into barbarism.

Herbert Spencer tells us “that in some established societies there has
been a constant exercise of the feeling which is satisfied by a
provision for the future, and a growth of this feeling so great that it
now prompts accumulation to an extent beyond what is needful.” (1st vol.
of _Essays_, 2nd series, p. 132.)

That point has been overpassed by the British. What we have now to
struggle against are varied evils arising from a glut of national wealth
(but I do not mean by this term commodities of intrinsic value, only
wealth representing an acknowledged claim on the labour of others) and a
frightful inflation of the sentiments allied with wealth, which at one
time were useful, but for generations have been producing outward vice
and inward misery and corruption.

The British merchant goes on accumulating long after he has amply
provided for himself and family, and many a poor man feels towards that
other’s wealth precisely as a savage feels towards his fetish. He is
filled with reverence, admiration, desire and a sense of distance from
the golden calf that makes him hopeless, abject, despairing.

The American millionaire, as depicted by Mr. Howells, will, “on a hot
day, when the mortal glare of the sun blazes in upon heart and brain,
plot and plan in his New York office till he swoons at the desk.” Such a
man is as much a victim to over-development of acquisitiveness as the
drunkard is victim to an undue development of the love of stimulants,
and in each case the depraved taste carries ruin to the individual and
havoc into society. Social unity is rent in twain. A life of exuberant
wealth and extravagant expenditure runs parallel with one of constant,
inescapable poverty, and so long as the nation continues to heap up
riches in private possession, just so long must we reap an emotional
harvest of envy, malice, private animosities, class hatreds and a subtle
estrangement of heart throughout the length and breadth of the land. Yet
even the great poet Tennyson in his writings exalts into a worthy motive
for holy wedlock this sentiment—love of property. An affectionate
father, in the poem, “The Sisters,” exhorts his daughters thus: “One
should marry, or ... all the broad lands will pass collaterally”!

The small accumulator whose petty hoard of gold was gloated over piece
by piece has long been labelled miser. He is publicly condemned, and in
literature derided. But the merchant-prince who, already wealthy,
devotes days and years and his whole mind and heart to business; the
proprietor of broad lands who adds acre to acre, and anxiously meditates
on their passing collaterally; the rich capitalist who craftily seeks to
lower wages in the interests of employers; the gambler on the Stock
Exchange; the market manipulator whose predatory instincts are so
pleasurably excited by risks and gains that he will hazard in the game
all that nobler men hold precious—these beings, I say, are as worthy of
scorn and infinitely more baneful than the miser. They must take their
true place by his side in public estimation. They are social
deformities, morally diseased. In other words, these men are incapable
of moral duty, which consists in “the observance of those rules of
conduct that contribute to the welfare of society—the end of society
being peace and mutual protection, so that the individual may reach the
fullest and highest life attainable by man.” (_Huxley’s Life_, vol. ii.
p. 305.)

In the preceding chapter I have shown that the self-regarding
sentiment exercised with due consideration for the welfare of others
is a social virtue. It promotes national prosperity and personal
improvement. But self-regarding actions, induced by this
master-passion over-acquisitiveness, invariably issue in automatic
selfishness and general deterioration.

In regard to aesthetic emotions also the cleavage between rich and poor
has a fatal significance. A luxurious, idle, for the most part, inane,
life led by the rich, profoundly influences the poor; not by creating
anti-social feeling only, but by checking aesthetic development. In the
city of many slums there is also a west-end of gay shops filled with
objects _de luxe_, of showily dressed women, profligate men, theatre,
music-hall and ball-room entrances, at which to stand gazing as into a
fairy peep-show. Suggestion here plays a mischievous part. Poverty
hinders the purchase of all commodities that possess any real artistic
value, but commercial enterprise has flooded the markets with
meretricious imitations. East-end shops reflect the glitter and glow of
west-end attractions, and the ignorant, spell-bound by suggestion,
become possessors of that which degrades and vulgarizes taste or the
sense of the beautiful. Now that science partially dominates thought,
our eyes have been opened to the fact of essential unity in human
groups. We may trace the cause of a social evil to a special section or
class, but the effects of that cause radiate forth till they touch
_every_ section or class. Dwellers in the west-end cannot escape disease
propagated by the vilely unwholesome conditions of life at the east-end.
Micro-organisms of disease are wafted from hither to thither, and on the
physical plane social unity is recognized. A like continuity exists on
the non-physical side. Minds are as closely united by psychical law as
bodies by physical law. The experienced facts of hypnotism make this
clear, and the logical inference is that in Western civilization the
vices of wealthy classes infect and corrupt the masses.

That the imagination of the great mass of our people should be snared
and their evolutional progress thwarted by mental suggestion from a
banal, vicious life led by a comparatively small portion of the nation,
is an outrage on civilization. It renders it imperative that the cause
of this evil, viz., our contentious, i.e. our competitive system of
industry, should be fundamentally changed.

For every group of human beings the steady growth of those social
qualities which create happiness and the steady advance in intellectual,
aesthetic and spiritual life, depend on a close community of interests
and the constant opening up of fresh channels of sympathy throughout the
group. But the British racial group has lost this community of
interests—this primary condition of steady growth. It is split up into,
first, a class of property possessors made effeminate by ill-spent
leisure, often inflated by pride, and at all times demanding the
artificial pleasures of a luxurious life; second, a class striving to
amass property, a class whose thoughts and desires circle round and
centre in property, and who to acquire it often sacrifice serenity of
mind, health of body, and even life itself; and third, the mass of the
people who, having no property, are yet enslaved by it, and who on the
emotional side of their human nature are debased and corrupted by the
mental state of the classes.

As evolution approaches the era of manhood of human reason it becomes
conscious, and demands a national effort to improve. That effort first
appears in the strenuous, scientific study of life as it is, in attempts
at social reconstruction, and at improvement in public and private
education. It is seen to be necessary to stamp out all the militant and
predatory instincts of mankind by ethical nurture and training, while
all the gentle, gracious qualities of mankind must be carefully guarded
and nourished, until, in every social unit the effort to improve is
habitual, i.e. has become “the essential mode of its being.” (J. McGavin

                              CHAPTER III

                    “Jealousy is cruel as the grave.”

  We shall progress faster by diligent striving to fashion the feeling
  of the time and stir it from the intellectual apathy which is the
  chiefest curse of the State.—ALEX. M. THOMSON.

  The danger that confronts the new century is the recrudescence of
  racial antipathies and national animosities.—HERMANN ADLER.

The passion of jealousy has a long and significant history, and a
pedigree more ancient than the allied sentiment, love of property, which
has just been considered. The passion was useful to the welfare of the
tribe at an early period, but it survives as purely a vice in the midst
of consolidated nations, for it is essentially anti-social, not
necessary to general welfare, and impossible to be exercised
sympathetically or for the good of others. If I am jealous it means that
I have a source of personal delight that I would guard from others and
monopolise if I could. The happiness may be self-produced or rest on a
being whom I love. In both cases it causes within me fears of
interference, suspicion of my fellows, and a general tendency to
dislike, nay, even to hate them if they dare to meddle with my secret
joy. The emotion is fundamentally selfish, and when an individual is
sympathetic all round he becomes incapable of it. He has risen above the
egoistic passion of jealousy.

Mr. Darwin tells us that amongst savages addicted to “intemperance,
utter licentiousness and unnatural crimes, no sooner does marriage,
whether polygamous or monogamous, become common than jealousy leads to
the inculcation of female virtue.” This gives the clue to the problem of
jealousy’s evolutional value. It has played a part in the destiny of
woman, and tended to shape her emotional nature. Its history is
inextricably intertwined with hers, in all the varying degrees of
servitude that mark her slow advance from a condition of absolute
chattelism to one of rational equality with man.

By virtue of superior strength man has acted on the theory that he was
made for God, and woman for him! and in the process of establishing his
dominancy jealousy appeared and aided powerfully the gradual development
of a new emotion—constancy, a social grace and virtue as certain to wax
and grow as jealousy is to wane and slowly disappear.

In literature one finds a reflection of the entire history of jealousy
and all its consecutive changes from barbarous times through the ages,
when frequent duels witnessed to the honourable place it held in public
estimation down to the present day, when it is somewhat discredited, and
duelling—in Great Britain at least—has ceased altogether. To track this
history were impossible here; I can only point to one or two significant

The play of “Othello” depicts the barbarous social conditions in which
jealousy flourishes. Shakespeare reveals both the anti-social nature of
the passion and the intellectual weakness of the mind that harbours it.
“Trifles light as air,” says Iago, “are to the jealous confirmation
strong as proofs of holy writ.” And in effect Othello is incapable of
sifting evidence. The poor device of the stolen handkerchief seals the
fate of Desdemona! Woman’s subject position is plainly set forth, and
the foundations of the passion in masculine master-hood and pride of
power are fully exposed. Othello’s wife must be his slave and puppet.
“Out of my sight,” he cries, and patiently she goes. “Mistress,” he
calls, and she returns. “You did wish,” he says to Lodovico, “that I
would make her turn.” Desdemona is the very type of patient, gentle,
enslaved womanhood, the ideal woman of a rough, brutal age. Her father
describes her as—

             A maiden never bold;
             Of spirit so still and quiet, that her motion
             Blush’d at herself.

Observe, however, inwardly she is more advanced than the men. She
perceives the low nature of jealousy, and to Emilia says touchingly, “My
noble Moor is true of mind, and made of no such baseness as jealous
creatures are.” Alas, for her generous confidence! And when the base
passion transforms her “noble Moor” into a monster of cruelty, she, true
to the type of her sex at the period, resembles a pet dog that fawns
upon and licks the hand that strikes him. This patient moan is all her

              ’Tis meet I should be used so, very meet,
              How have I been behaved that he might stick
              The small’st opinion on my least misuse.

The only dignity she shows is in her refusal to display her sorrow
before Emilia:

                     Do not talk to me, Emilia;
                 I cannot weep, nor answer I have none.

Jealousy and duelling flourished long after the Shakesperian period.
Prose fiction in the eighteenth century is full of the subject of
masculine rivalry in the appropriation of the female sex. The woman
passionately desired is the prize or reward of a victory in which the
hero has manifested adroitness in arts of bloodshed. Feminine will plays
no part in the decision to which man the heroine shall belong, and the
rivals for her possession make no pretence of superior character as a
claim on her favour. The gentle spiritual qualities that alone create
union of heart and mind seem unknown. Master-hood, an apotheosis of
force, is the key to the drama; and the rapid rise of the novel in
public esteem shows that pleasurable sensations were closely allied with
the barbarous actions and feelings that belong to a militant age.

Early in the nineteenth century George Eliot draws the hero of her first
great novel (_Adam Bede_) in the act of picking a quarrel with a rival
for a woman’s love. She shows jealousy in him springing chiefly from a
sense of property in Hetty. The wounded pride and self-importance of a
too despotic nature finds relief in fighting Arthur Donnithorne. In
_Middlemarch_ the transition to a higher stage of evolution is marked.
She gives us there a graphic picture of a woman wrestling with jealousy
in the secrecy of her own chamber, and correctly places in the tenderly
emotional nature of that sex the primary impulse to subdue the vile
passion. Female jealousy made no appeal to arms, but in a thousand
subtle ways it was sending forth currents of anti-social force, and
without a widespread feminine repudiation of jealousy no clear advance
to higher social life was possible. Dorothea is a true type of
progressing womanhood. She gains a victory in the noble warfare we see
her waging inwardly, and, rising far above the vile passion, she goes
forth to her rival in a glow of generous emotion that not only compels
the confidence of the latter, but for the time draws that selfish,
narrow nature up to the level of her own.

There is no false note in this picture, and if we glance at the
transcript of real life at the period we may easily find its
counterpart. The well-known writer, Mrs. Jamieson (in her _Commonplace
Book_) relates: “I was not more than six years old when I suffered, from
the fear of not being loved, and from the idea that another was
preferred before me, such anguish as had nearly killed me! Whether those
around me regarded it as a fit of ill-temper or a fit of illness I do
not know. I could not then have given a name to the pang that fevered
me, but I never forgot that suffering. It left a deep impression, and
the recollection was so far salutary that in after life I guarded myself
against the approaches of that hateful, deformed, agonizing thing which
men call jealousy, as I would from an attack of cramp or cholera. If
such self-knowledge has not saved me from the pain, at least it has
saved me from the demoralizing effects of the passion, by a wholesome
terror and even a sort of disgust.”

The knell of a departing phase of inner life was sounding when womanhood
acquired the power to sift evidence from childish recollections, to
detect the utter uselessness of the suffering jealousy creates and the
ignominy of allowing it to become a cause of suffering at all.

Mrs. Jamieson stands on the threshold of a new era, for critical
intellect here enters the sphere of the emotions, and these, yielding to
guidance and control, human reason is henceforth a prime factor in
emotional evolution.

But further, sympathy when developed to a certain point inevitably leads
men astray if not guided by reason. Let me here relate a sequence of
events that occurred in my own experience.

Two girls became deeply attached; they worked and studied together, and
their friendship was a source of constant joy. In course of time,
however, one married, and the other girl felt forsaken. She suffered
from jealousy, and imagined that the husband would suffer similarly if
she kept her place in her friend’s affections. A husband’s right
amounted, in her view, to a monopoly of a wife’s tenderness. She strove,
therefore, to loosen the bond of friendship; to cool her own ardent
affection and make no claims, lest it should disturb conjugal bliss. The
action was brave and prompted by sympathy, but it did not make for
happiness. In a few short years the wife on her deathbed spoke thus to
her former friend: “Why did you separate yourself from me? How could you
think my love would change? I have been happy in my husband and child,
but love never narrowed, it widened me. There was plenty of room for
friendship, too. I sorely missed you, and felt your loss threw a shadow
over my married life.”

Sympathy alone, then, is no unerring guide to conduct. Nevertheless, in
a society permeated by true knowledge of the nature of the emotions and
their significance in evolution primitive good-feeling may evolve,
passing through each stage from the basic or simple to the complex, and
every generous emotion prove accordant with the truth of things, and
therefore productive of inward joy and outward right action, i.e. action
tending to general welfare even in all the labyrinthine complexities of
a high civilization. _Emotion accordant with the truth of things_—that
is the crux of the position; and again I can best illustrate the point
by reference to events that occurred within my own knowledge—events,
too, by no means uncommon. During eight years a girl was engaged to
marry a man we shall call Roger. He was in India and she in England.
They corresponded, but meanwhile an intimacy sprang up between the girl
and another man—we may call him Mark—to whom unwittingly her heart went
out more warmly than it had ever done to Roger. She thought the relation
to Mark was one of pure friendship, and he knew nothing of her
engagement to Roger. The latter’s approaching return to England,
however, opened the girl’s eyes to her true position, and on Mark it
fell as a cruel blow. He had courted affection and responded to it in
all sincerity, and was merely withheld from an open avowal by the
consciousness of, as yet, insufficient means to justify his suit in the
eyes of her parents. When concealment was at an end the problem to him
seemed simple enough. “Which do you love best?” he asked, and added
dominantly, “he is the man you should marry.” The girl was not
convinced. The knowledge that she could not love Roger best filled her
with tenderness towards him. Her emotional nature—wide enough to embrace
both rivals with sympathy—could give no decision, and intellect was
confused by false teaching in childhood. “Duty,” she thought, “is always
difficult; ought I not then to choose the hardest path of the two before
me, and give up Mark?” In this grave dilemma she turned for advice to an
elderly man on whose judgment she felt reliance. Bravely and truthfully
she stated her case, innocently betraying that ignorance and the wish to
do right were dangerously near carrying her into action that was wrong.
“Let us reverse the position,” said her mentor. “Roger, we shall
suppose, has written to you to come out to India and marry him, the fact
being he has fallen in love with another girl. He did not mean to do
that. His heart slipped away from you to her unconsciously, and he is
shocked, and blames himself, not wholly without cause. But being an
honourable man, he reasons with himself thus: ‘I am bound to keep my
engagement to Mary; I will do so, and strive to make her happy.’ He
meets you then with a lie in his heart, not on his tongue, for he will
say nothing of your rival and of his sacrifice and pain. Would you be
happy, think you? Would you miss nothing? And if later you discovered
the truth, would you feel that the generous action was a just one to
you?” “No, no,” she cried, “I never could wish him to sacrifice his
happiness to mine; I would infinitely rather he told me the truth, and
married the other girl.” “Precisely so,” said her friend, “the truth is
always best; but I see you think Roger is less unselfish than you are!
Is that just to him?” “I hardly know,” she murmured, “men are jealous,
are they not?” “Jealous, ah, well, we men are frail, no doubt! But were
I Roger, I tell you frankly, it would not mend matters to me that I had
won my wife without the priceless jewel of her love. Be true to
yourself, my young friend, that means also justice to him, and fling to
the winds all fears that make you swerve from the path of open
rectitude.” The girl fulfilled her difficult task. She relinquished the
heroic mood, met her first lover with perfect candour, and a short time
later became Mark’s wife. “Roger freed me at once,” she said to her wise
mentor; “he’d rather have my friendship, which is perfectly sincere,
than love with a strain of falseness. Oh, I am glad, and yet I know he
grieves; I would give much to be able to console him!” “Ah,” said her
friend, “beware of sentimentality and self-importance there. Roger’s
consolation will come through his own true heart. In time he will love
again. See to it that you ‘let the dead past bury its dead.’”

Loyalty to truth is not firmly rooted in humanity, while without truth
as its guiding principle social feeling, constantly rising, overflows
old channels and floods with new dangers the semi-civilization of the
present. There is no escape at this juncture from the absolute necessity
of developing the critical faculty and applying it to the social
questions of the day; in other words, using reason, intelligence,
knowledge, as the guides and controllers of feeling.

We turn now from personal emotions to an emotion that sways mankind
collectively, and manifests itself in still more direful results than
those of individual jealousy. Patriotism, like jealousy, is of ancient
origin, and at one time possessed social utility. Without it there could
hardly have occurred the transformation of vagrant tribes into massive
communities solidly established on one portion of the earth’s surface
and sectionally swarming to other portions as occasion requires.

The original element holding a tribe together has been termed by a
recent sociologist “consciousness of kind,” i.e. a feeling not dependent
on intellectual congeniality or emotional sympathy, but simply on
nearness in place, time and blood. With tribal growth cohesion proves
necessary to self-protection from adverse environments, whether of
natural forces, wild animals or human foes. Experience reveals that
union is strength, and hostility to other tribes fosters union in
opposition. The inward attitude becomes complex; it embraces cohesion
and repulsion; it is essentially a _union in enmity_. Now we have seen
how in boyhood an innocent camaraderie or _esprit de corps_ begets
injustice to schoolmasters, and balks the development of the modern
conscience; similarly here there are ethical dangers inseparable from a
sentiment that beginning in “consciousness of kind” expands into
sociality, yet has a converse side of hostility and hate. At the present
day patriotism and international warfare are closely combined. The
student of life who knows that the general trend of evolution is towards
a reign of universal peace, recognizes that although nations have been
consolidated by outward warfare and inward patriotism, this sentiment,
so limited in range and so largely anti-social, can be no virtue for all
time. Patriotism belongs to the militant stage of national history, and
as regards Great Britain it is plainly out of date. Its action is not
good, but evil.

The war in South Africa begun in 1899 was not caused by racial enmity,
but by mercantile enterprise. Economic forces involved in Great
Britain’s competitive commercial system were the prime factors in its
creation, but without the existence of a vague unintelligent patriotic
sentiment in the country generally the Government would not have been
supported by the people in the prosecution of that war. Our enfranchised
masses, fired by a sudden enthusiasm and racked by sympathy in the brave
deeds and cruel sufferings of our soldiers and sailors, saw the
phantasmagoria of modern warfare in false colours. Imagination was
grasped and controlled by a press working—though half-unconsciously—in
the interests of a special mercantile class; and while tender emotions
overflowed in generous help to one’s own kind, a sympathy stimulated by
public laudation, the reverse side of the picture was ignored. But in
this, as in all wars, sympathy had its counterpoise in antagonism and
rancorous enmity. All the brutal instincts latent in a race that had
fought its way to supremacy among European Powers were roused afresh and
stirred into fatal activity, and the evolving modern conscience and
sentiments of justice, honour, truth towards all men, were checked and
overborne by a loyalty that condones the fierce primitive passions.
Hatred and uncharitableness were even voiced from some pulpits, and the
term Pro-Boer was opprobriously launched at those lovers of peace who
tried to defend their country’s foes from exaggerated blame. It was
skilfully handled to promote militant enthusiasm, and discountenance all
criticism of militant action and feeling.

On the emotional side of human nature inimical effects of warfare were
wholly disregarded, and opinions on the subject of war given forth by a
so-called educated class of men and eagerly imbibed by an ignorant
public were confused, often false and shamefully misleading. One of
these pseudo-teachers alleged that the wars of past times indicated
chronic disease, but militarism in the present was useful, because in
the home-life of the nation the restraints of authority are becoming
weak (Capt. Mahan). And an eminent statesman announced his impression
that the South African war was “designed to build up those moral
qualities which are after all the only solid and the only permanent
foundation on which any empire can be built”! (Mr. Balfour’s speech at
Manchester; _Scotsman’s_ Report, January 9, 1900.)

But the true method of judging an event is to exercise comparison,
taking into account a far greater mass of social phenomena than that of
the immediate present. Now the careful study of past history has proved
that an outbreak of militant fraternity, combined with indulgence in the
principle of enmity, leaves a society less fraternal than before in
regard to the labours of peace and of building up; and against the claim
that military training is a good preparation for civic life there lies
the whole testimony of civilization. Further, the survival of militancy
frustrates the solving of our great social problems, and the recent
relapse to the militarist ideal is a grave hindrance to that social
science which would provide the true ways of humanizing defective types.
(I refer my reader for a fuller statement on these lines to Mr. J. M.
Robertson’s _Patriotism and Empire_.) “After Waterloo,” says Mr.
Robertson, “it seems to have been realized by the intelligence of Europe
that militarism and imperialism had alike pierced the hands that leant
on them.” Nevertheless, they reappeared, as we know, galvanized into
fatal activity in human affairs, at the close of the nineteenth century.

Again, the action of international capitalism and the ideal of
imperialism have been analysed from the standpoint of social philosophy
by Mr. J. A. Hobson, an advanced and logical thinker on economic
questions. His conclusion is that the driving forces of aggressive
imperialism are the organized influences of certain professional and
commercial classes which have definite economic advantages to gain by
assuming a spurious patriotism, and the most potent of all these
influences emanates from the financier. The power of financiers, exerted
directly upon politicians and indirectly through the press upon public
opinion, is, perhaps, so says Mr. Hobson, the most serious problem in
public life to-day.[5]

Footnote 5:

  The _Contemporary Review_ of January, 1900.

It is not by sanguinary conflicts in which victory turns on superior
numbers, superior arms, and superior cunning in military tactics, that a
nation’s greatness is built up at this period of the world’s history.
What progress demands is not more of national wealth and international
power; it is a better system of industrial life and a finer type of
humanity—men and women of clear intellectual insight, high moral
courage, unselfish instincts and humane sentiments guiltless of narrow
exclusiveness. These men and women, discerning ideally the best methods
of building up a nation’s greatness _on the happiness of its people_,
will aid our half-civilized races to embody that ideal on the physical
plane, and to educate their children to live up to it and show forth all
its beauty.

In the mental basis of a high spiritual life even now our children are a
reproach, for here and there they emit sparks indicative of embryonic
sentiment in advance of practice around them. At the height of the Boer
War a child in his nursery on being told that his nurse was opening a
tin of boar’s head for breakfast, exclaimed, every feature quivering
with sudden disgust, “Catch me eat my enemy’s head.”

When a nation repudiates with similar disgust that wholesale destruction
of life, which is no whit less evil than the cannibalism of an earlier
date, then will war and patriotism cease to be—their place taken by a
civilization standing firm on the foundation of human happiness and

Given such outward conditions of life as are favourable to a freer
exercise of the noblest social attributes and impulses of man, and the
ethical temper will prevail. By ethical temper I mean not only the
absence of all animosities that engender conflict, but the presence of a
strong sense of personal rights and an equally strong protectiveness
over the rights of others—a national impulse, in short, to an
equivalence of liberty and social comfort for all mankind. But this
justice is a supremely complex emotion—the one of all others that
demands most of human capacity. It rests upon mental development, i.e. a
universal enlargement of mind.

Industrial changes there must be, but these alone will not secure
progress; we need _true education_, for in the deeper strata of
existence—the region of feeling, the movements of change must be guided
from the old order to the new. Hence the vital importance of moral
education—an education that will create an intelligent appreciation of
truth wherever presented, and bind all men together in loyalty to truth.

                                _PART V_

            We acquire the virtues by doing the acts.
            We become builders by building.


  Next in importance to the inborn nature is the acquired nature which a
  person owes to his education and training; not alone to the education
  which is called learning, but to that development of character which
  has been evoked by the conditions of life.—Dr. H. MAUDSLEY.

We are beginning to realize the responsibilities that rest on each
generation of adults in respect of the life evolving around us. It is
not merely the structure and texture of civilization that is affected by
every passing generation, it is the intrinsic quality of the human life
to follow.

We have seen how the laws of heredity largely decide the physical
embodiment of the coming lives as a resultant of the reproductive action
of parents whether motived by ethical principle or by unrestrained
animal passion. We have now to consider the second great human factor in
man’s evolution, viz. nurture or education, which depends in its highest
terms upon sound knowledge and the application of that knowledge by men
and women of the period. In an advanced scientific age, the reproductive
forces of man will be socially controlled and guided to the creation of
normal, i.e. healthy, physical life; while the whole apparatus of
nurture, or the entire range of influence, playing upon childhood, will
manifest a rational adaptation of means to a special end, namely, the
elevation of humanity.

Adaptation necessarily becomes more difficult with the growing
complexities of evolving humanity, but never has man’s intellect been
stronger than to-day to grapple with difficult problems, or so furnished
with the facts required in dealing with this problem of education.

The marvellous scientific discoveries of the nineteenth century and the
practical uses to which these discoveries are put, have created in man a
new attitude towards external nature. All Western nations partake of the
scientific bent. They are interpenetrated by reverence for science, and
are conscious that its method of close observation and study of nature
is the direct road to material progress. This bent is influencing school
education. There are few thoughtful teachers to-day who do not recognize
that some hours spent at intervals in country lanes and fields, on the
sea-shore, or in a farm-yard, with children free to observe according to
native impulse, when followed by careful instruction concerning the
objects observed, are of far more value than weeks of book-learning

In many parts of America “nature-studies” on this plan are worked into
the public school curriculum.[6] But adaptation implies also a fuller
knowledge of the rudimentary faculties which are to be scientifically
nurtured, and here again America has taken the lead. In its
“child-study” movement, now spreading in this country, an effort is made
to apprehend nature’s processes in unfolding mental powers; and the
inference is that teachers may thwart progress by traversing the true
order of mental development. This clearly indicates the entrance of a
scientific spirit into the field of education. It shows regard for the
order of nature, willingness to be guided by knowledge of that order,
and a conviction that the laws of a child’s inner being must be
respected and no arbitrary compulsion exercised in bringing him into
harmony with the laws of the environment.

Footnote 6:

  The schools of to-day are made more and more into miniature worlds
  where children are taught how to live. The actual industries of the
  world as well as its art galleries, museums and parks are being
  utilized as part of public school equipment. The children are taken to
  the shops, the markets, the gardens, etc. _The New Spirit of
  Education_, by Arthur Henry, _Munsey’s Magazine_, 1902.

A child’s capacities, however, are not centred in his intellect. On the
passional side of his being, his spontaneous impulses of desire, fear,
joy, grief, love, hatred, jealousy, etc., have to be studied, and
educative forces found for their guidance and control. Moreover, the
ultimate aim is not his subjection to fixed rules of life, but the
establishment within the heart of the child of a supreme rule over all
his passions. And again, every child has characteristics indicative of
the course of development undergone by the special race to which he
belongs. The geographical position and primitive industry of that race,
its conquests and failures in struggling upwards from savagery to a
measure of civilization—all have left an impress in specific effects.

In respect of our formal methods of giving instruction there is much
that is open to discussion; but the points usually raised are the best
means of teaching grammar, history, geography, arithmetic, and so forth,
not the far more important question of how best to achieve an all-round
development in face of the organic unity and marvellous multiplicity of
qualities in the child of a civilized race. Great improvement has taken
place in every branch of school teaching both as regards the knowledge
of teachers and the methods they adopt in imparting the knowledge;
nevertheless, these improvements are minor matters as compared with the
general question before us.

During the rise and progress of our industrial system based on
individualism, the constant fluctuations of trade, the competing of
machinery against human labour, the perpetual danger of getting thrown
out of work, the utter failure of thrift as any protection from
intermittent poverty—have been factors eminently calculated to produce a
highly nervous type of humanity. Children of that type may happily prove
bright and eager amid wretched surroundings, but it were folly to expect
them to show any impulse towards a high standard of living, any outlook
beyond the immediate present, or any inherent check upon action socially

On the other hand, our city workers have sprung mainly from an
agricultural class whose scattered families presented the defects of a
low order of life reared in isolation. Many of these defects have been
counteracted by segregation within towns, however unfavourable in other
directions that may have proved. The close proximity of beings affected
by the same fateful conditions, the actual sorrowing and rejoicing
together have expanded the emotional nature and engendered true
sympathy. Professor Huxley once said, “It is futile to expect a hungry
and squalid population to be anything but violent and gross.” Yet we
have an immense population of workers, often hungry, and at all times
environed more or less by squalor, whose average character is not
violent and gross, but distinctly humane.

Turning from the masses to the classes we find some points of difference
between the rich and the poor, viz. differences following from the
diverse industrial conditions. Leisure, as commanded by the rich, has
made mental development possible wherever desire prompted intellectual
effort, and the magnificent record of last century’s achievements in
discovery of truth, acquisition of knowledge, and promotion of artistic
skill, is a gain to the world at large—a gain made possible by
accumulation of wealth unequally distributed. But intellectual faculty
has frequently been depraved through its devotion to wealth production.
The true aims of life are lost sight of by chiefs of industry whose
emotional nature has hardened under the daily spectacle of struggling
fellow-beings, on whose labour their fortunes are built up. The dignity
of useful labour has had no vogue in general education. An opposite
principle—that the highest dignity consists in being served by others
and in possessing the means of constraining and exploiting the labour of
others, is impressed on the children of our classes by the whole play of
circumstance around them. The property-sense has become unduly
developed, and a selfish mammon-worship holds the place which an
altruistic public spirit ought to hold in the inner life of a civilized
people. It is true that a showy charity—a patronage by the rich of the
poor—is everywhere present throughout society, but that which creates
and supports it is a sentiment wholly different from the simple kindness
of the poor to the poor. It is without the essential features of that
charity that “vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, seeketh not her
own ... thinketh no evil.”

Now the scientific spirit of to-day, in observing the uncontrolled play
of middle-class children, has discovered how great is their interest and
joy in the spontaneous exercise of the faculty of make-believe. Costly
toys will readily be thrown aside to take part in a game of “pretended”
housekeeping or shopkeeping, or acting the part of father, mother,
nursemaid, or cook. And herein there lies, says one of our advanced
teachers, “a powerful hint how to keep children’s attention alive while
cultivating to the utmost their imaginative, observing, constructive and
correlating faculties. We must dramatize our school education and
connect school ideally with real life.” (Mr. Howard Swan; his
introductory lecture at the opening of Bedford Park School.)

But the “powerful hint” goes deeper. It points to an instinct or a
deeply implanted desire and capacity for actual work on the part of
children of a practical race. To play at work is pleasurable, to do work
more pleasurable still. Yet in blindness to the fact that in drawing out
into action every rudimentary faculty favourable to happy life lies the
true path of education or an all-round development, society has shut off
middle and upper-class children from the sight and hearing of household
labour. In nurseries, amid artificial toys, their daily routine is to
seek amusement self-centred; and as in these days of small rather than
large families, nursery children are often solitary, there is a
systematic repression both of natural activities and infolded natural
emotions. The same repressions are carried forward into school life.
Dramatized teaching may connect school ideally with real life, but it
cannot satisfy a child’s cravings for the real, and the companionship of
children of similar age will never call out the complex forces of a
many-sided emotional nature. It is not playing at life that is required
for education, it is the sharing of life’s duties of service, and
constant opportunity given for the practice of varied humanities.

The children of our superior workers may perchance fare better if the
mother is a capable woman, and the home not overcrowded. The lighter
parts of her work are shared by the little ones, and to help mother in
sweeping and dusting, washing cups and saucers, and placing them neatly
in the cupboard, etc., are not only interesting and useful occupations,
they are educative, for they imply a simultaneous training of the eye,
the fingers, the mental faculties and the heart. But overcrowding, the
miserable housing of the poor, and the early age at which infant
school-life begins, makes such home-training difficult even to the best
of mothers, while to the upper classes—frost-bound in artificial
domestic customs, all home-training seems impossible.

Nothing, however, should deter a student of evolution from proclaiming
that the home-life of our people will largely decide the nation’s
future. Unless the great problem of the housing of the poor is rightly
solved, and unless educated women become roused to the necessity of a
changed home-life in the interests of their children, and set themselves
voluntarily to the task of domestic reform within their own circle, the
social state can never be greatly improved.

All children born in a civilized nation have a right to education. That
this principle has been fully acknowledged is evidenced by our
Educational Acts and the innumerable Board Schools that stud the
country. But as long as population among the masses rises without check,
the highest aim of education, viz. the development and elevation of
individual character must, as regards their children, remain in
abeyance. The only practicable line of action is to gather them together
into large schools, and while bestowing general instruction in reading,
writing, arithmetic, etc., to subject them to some hours of systematic
guidance and control. This signifies obedience to rule and order—a
useful discipline to juveniles of Bohemian nature, and it is the only
method of restraining tendencies to licence, without rousing a spirit of
revolt. Fresh air, wholesome food, ample bathing, and the play of
sunlight and colour upon nerves of sensation—these stimulate bodily
health, while music, and the personal influence of high-minded teachers,
throw into vibration finer nerves of sensibility, and elevate the mental
and moral tone. But beyond this point, large schools are incapable of
scientific adaptation to the needs of a modern education in a rapidly
socializing community.

It was in the year 1837 that there issued from the press a work on
education written by Isaac Taylor, who there lays down this proposition:
“If large schools were granted to be generally better adapted to the
practical ends of education than private instruction, the welfare of
society on the whole demands also the other method. The school-bred man
is of one sort, the home-bred man of another—the community has need of
both. Hence no tyranny of fashion is more to be resisted than such as
would render a public education compulsory and universal.”[7]
Notwithstanding this warning, the tyranny of fashion is carrying us
yearly more and more into the production of school-bred women, as well
as school-bred men. Our girls’ high schools are replicas of our boys’
public schools, and society suffers still more from the loss of the
home-bred woman than the home-bred man.

Footnote 7:

  _Home Education_, p. 22.

Again, the late Professor D’Arcy W. Thompson, in his charmingly-written
_Day-dreams of a Schoolmaster_, gives us the fruits of a ripe experience
gained during twelve years of boyhood in a large public school, and many
years of manhood as teacher of classics in schools and university. His
boyhood, he tells us, was dreary because of the monotonous routine. He
was “fed on dull books, and the manuals were in many cases mere tramways
to pedantry. His mental training was a continuous sensation of
obstruction and pain. His spiritual parts were furrowed.” (Observe,
there were no nature-studies at that period.) The incitement to effort
was the cane or the tawse, and flogging, he believes, never instils
courage, it has transformed many a boy into a sneak. “Let us discard
punishment,” says the Professor, “and endeavour to make our pupils
_love_ work.” The whole educational system in his day was mechanical and
artificial, yet when he strove to initiate new methods the boys were
withdrawn from his charge. Parents understood little of true education.
They were slaves to custom. “How is it,” he asks, “that fathers with a
personal experience like my own send their boys to school?” He answers:
“They say to themselves, ‘Depend upon it if there were no virtue in
birching and caning, in Latin verses and Greek what-you-may-call-’ems,
they would not have held their ground so long amongst a practical people
like ourselves!’ So Johnnie is sent to the town grammar school and the
great time-honoured gerund-stone turns as before, and will turn to the
last syllable of recorded time.” For the gerund-stone he would
substitute an easy _vivâ voce_ conversational method of instruction in
all elementary classes, and throughout the school; for coercion, the
more than hydraulic pressure of a persistent, continuous gentleness.

Thirty years before the _Day-dreams_ was published, one writer at least
was open-eyed to the defects of school education. He charged parents
with adopting the new boarding-school system because it spared them some
responsibility, and children were apt to be teasing and importunate.
“Boys advance at school quickly,” he said, “in knowledge of the
auxiliary verbs, the mysteries of syntax and the stories of gods and
goddesses; but I am confident that the reason why women generally are so
much better disposed than men is this: they live domestically and
familiarly. They are penetrated with the home-spirit, they are imbued
with all its influences, their memory is not fed to plethora while the
heart is left to waste and perish. No daughter of mine shall ever be
sent to school; at home the heart, wherein are the issues of all good,
develops itself from day to day. There children ripen in their
affections. There they learn their humanities, not in the academic
sense, but in the natural and true one.”[8]

Footnote 8:

  _Self-Formation_, by Capel Lofft, vol. 1, p. 42.

Where, alas! do we find to-day the daughters of the classes who are not
sent to school? Our girls’ high schools overflow; and that, not by the
action of State control, but by the voluntarily assumed yoke and tyranny
of fashion. Girls emerging from these schools are not “so much better
disposed than men.” They are certainly not domesticated and imbued with
a home-spirit. They may have gained in refinement—even to
fastidiousness! and in the knowledge of Latin and Greek, or what is
called the higher culture, but they are characterized generally by a
spirit of pleasure-seeking. They become, in many cases, what has aptly
been called “nonsense women, prepared only to lead butterfly lives.”

Now, parents who shirk the responsibility and effort entailed in shaping
their children’s characters to the best of their ability can only expect
their own self-indulgence to become intensified in the lives of their
children. Let me not, however, be here misunderstood. The movement for
the higher education of women is a step forward in civilization. Many
women are born with great mental capacity, and without the specific
intellectual culture now obtainable the world would lose much, while the
nonexercise of such native powers creates inward misery. But culture,
according to Matthew Arnold, implies the study of perfection, and the
late Professor Huxley’s ideal is expressed as follows:—“That man has had
a liberal education who has been so trained in youth that his body is
the ready servant of his will, and does with ease and pleasure all the
work that as a mechanism it is capable of; whose intellect is clear,
with all its parts of equal strength and in smooth working order; whose
mind is stored with a knowledge of the great and fundamental truths of
Nature and of the laws of her operations; one who—no stunted ascetic—is
full of life and fire, but whose passions are trained to come to heel by
a vigorous will, the servant of a tender conscience; who has learnt to
love all beauty, to hate all vileness, and to respect others as himself.
Such an one and no other has had a liberal education, for he is as
completely as man can be in harmony with nature.” (An Address at South
London Working Men’s College, January, 1869.)

Childhood is characterized by sensational activity. The reflective and
reasoning powers lie comparatively dormant. Mobile sensibility is the
distinguishing feature of childhood, and parents and teachers taking
advantage of the law of nature whereby pleasurable sensation stimulates
growth should train children step by step to the enjoyment of _useful_
activities, to physical and manual dexterity; to simple efforts in
pursuit of knowledge; to infantile firmness in discharge of duty; to
unconstrained dignity in defence of the right, and sympathetic jealousy
over the rights of others; to gentleness towards all mankind; to
admiration of all that is noble in character, to veneration of age,
experience and virtue; and to the love of truth and justice and personal
devotion to both. These are the qualities of human nature that make for
real civilization; and further progress requires their steady
development in the race.

Now, these qualities cannot be evoked by school methods nor even by the
easy _vivâ voce_ conversational instruction proposed by Professor
Thompson. An indispensable factor in the process is a rich, full,
domestic environment, an atmosphere suffused with affection and
vibrating with varied activities—_a home-life_, in short, where the
delicate qualities of noble character will not be commanded to come
forth, but will come of themselves through the play of circumstance,
i.e. by the action of example and gentle sympathetic co-operation.

In upper-class houses, even where wealth and luxury abound, there are
none of the diverse and liberal domestic surroundings conducive to early
training. The first essential is that the nurseries be freed from all
physical, mental and moral forces that belong to a comparatively
primitive stage of evolution. Nurses drawn from the masses—however
carefully selected—are incompetent by nurture for training infants in
the best way. The authority they have known has been archaic, and
elements of barbarism have been near them from babyhood, while education
as yet has done little to raise their intelligence to the plane of
civilized thought. Hence an ordinary nurse, of kindly and affectionate
disposition, may seriously misdirect the budding conscience of a babe,
as I have shown in my chapters on Emotional Life.

To women of great attainments and culture the training of infancy
properly belongs, and that training in the homes of the classes will be
of the highest value to the State. The problem of how to create in
childhood a ready obedience to authority without jarring the nerves, or
checking freedom unnecessarily, is a very difficult one. It requires a
cultured intelligence to grasp the problem and carry out the true method
of its solution. The aim in the training of infancy is to develop
superior types of men and women by evoking the higher qualities of human
nature _in a sphere of comparative liberty_. A babe in the nursery, let
us say, has had his attention caught by the flames leaping up in the
well-guarded grate. He creeps towards them and pushes his fingers
through the wires of the guard. The educated nurse gently lifts him to a
safe distance, but he starts creeping again to the fire. Now there are
in the nursery some baskets of different size and depth, all softly
lined and weighted. Baby is put into one of these to amuse himself with
a toy until the fascinating flames are forgotten.

An older child flings her ball in another child’s face. Nurse tells her
the ball might hurt, but on persistence in the selfish amusement she,
too, is firmly placed in a larger basket or nursery prison, and must
stay there till the impulse to be disobedient has passed off; for the
principle which guides nurse in the training of these infants is this:
liberty abused must be abridged.

After a few such experiences the little ones feel that a network is
around them—a network of authority never physically painful and that has
no connection with anger.

As the reasoning powers develop they feel that liberty is theirs in the
straight course of obedience to authority, and later they find that this
authority represents a knowledge of the laws of nature, for when in
garden and field they join in the nature-study lessons, they discover
that if plants creep into unfavourable conditions, they languish; if
animals run counter to laws of health, they suffer and die.

From nursery to home-training the infants pass forward. Their nerves
have never been irritated by harshness, nor their affections repressed,
and their impulses to unhurtful activities are of normal strength. In
the more advanced training now given, the aim is no longer to impress
automatically, but rationally to guide the growing intelligence. Blind
obedience is not required, but every command is explained and related to
the facts of happy and healthful life. At this point a discriminating
judgment is profoundly necessary, and the child should be studied
individually, for to each there comes the right moment when self-rule is
possible, and unless outward restraints are wisely withdrawn that power
of self-rule may be injured.

The human types to be desired are not slavish, but independent beings,
capable of noble service to God and man; and choosing to do right
because they know true happiness lies that way.

At sixteen or upwards the young thus trained may safely leave home for
high school or university, in pursuit of the special instruction
required for their future career. An education that has laid the
foundation of noble character, comes to no abrupt conclusion. The love
of truth when firmly implanted prompts to the acquisition of new
knowledge, and knowledge is boundless as the universe. Fields of science
become the happy hunting-ground of minds that are markedly intellectual,
and although self-culture supersedes formal instruction, and original
research supersedes the following of authority, education moves
continuously and steadily forward.

“The environment,” says Clifford Harrison, “that lies open to men
rationally developed is as vast as the ideal that lies before them. This
environment is not a spiritual matter merely; not of the soul alone, but
of body, mind, soul and spirit; not of heaven only, but of earth as
well; not of eternity and a beyond, but of time and here.”

                               _PART VI_

                               CHAPTER I
                        THE NEEDS OF ADOLESCENCE

             The woman’s cause is man’s: they rise or sink
             Together, dwarf’d, or godlike, bond or free:

                    ·       ·       ·       ·       ·

             If she be small, slight-natured, miserable,
             How shall men grow?

Adolescence is a critical period in the life of an individual. At that
period, character, speaking generally, fully manifests, and the life is
decided for good or evil. What advanced ethics requires is that each
adult generation should deliberately examine its inheritance from the
previous, less conscious, less informed epoch, in order to detect and
destroy every social snare that entangles unwary feet in adolescence;
and to devise the best methods of bringing to the young the wisdom and
sympathy of their seniors.

In the autobiography of the late Anthony Trollope (vol. 1, p. 69), some
facts of his own adolescence are stated in a spirit as generous as it is
candid. His fate, like that of thousands of young men in his day, and in
the present day, was to live at that critical time in a town, surrounded
by all the attractions that a keen competitive commercialism has created
to supplement profits—though at the expense of young men’s money and
morals—and with no private retreat save a solitary lodging, a shelter,
but in no sense a home. “No allurement to decent respectability,” he
says, “came in my way.” For the spending of his evenings, the choice lay
between what he calls “questionable resorts” and sitting alone reading
or drinking tea. “There was no house in which I could habitually see a
lady’s face and hear a lady’s voice, and in these circumstances the
temptations of loose life will almost certainly prevail with a young
man; at any rate they prevailed with me.”[9] Similar evidence may be
found in a realistic, powerful novel, _Jude the Obscure_. Mr. Thomas
Hardy there depicts the tragedy of unfulfilled aims, the shipwreck of
what might have been a noble life; and the cause of shipwreck is pointed
out in the words of the dying Jude: “My impulses and affections were too
strong ... a man without advantages should be as cold-blooded as a fish
and as selfish as a pig to have a really good chance of being one of his
country’s worthies.” Now, affection and the impulse to love purely can
never be too strong for the interests of general evolution, therefore we
are entitled to assume that the environment is at fault. The fact that
thousands of young men deprived of healthy home-life succumb to the
temptations of city-life, condemns our industrial competition. Public
consciousness has not grasped the needs and dangers of adolescence, and
the slowly evolving community-conscience disregards the terrible penalty
paid in general degradation for retaining a system of industry that
produces among other evils “questionable resorts where young men see
life in false, delusive colours.” These and all other injurious outcomes
of our tragic struggle for the necessaries and amenities of life, will
persist until the individualistic system of industry disappears, i.e. is
superseded by a rational collectivist system. Standing as we do on the
verge of conscious evolution, that time is not yet, but something may be
done by parents and guardians of youth to counteract the evils of a
transitional epoch.

Footnote 9:

  More recently still the world has been afforded a glance into the
  inner history of a life destined to noble uses and high achievements.
  In the meridian of his fame Professor Huxley wrote thus to Charles
  Kingsley: “Kicked into the world a boy without guide or training, or
  with worse than none, I confess to my shame that few men have drunk
  deeper of all kinds of sin than I. Happily my course was arrested in
  time—before I had earned absolute destruction—and for long years I
  have been slowly and painfully climbing, with many a fall, towards
  better things.”—_Life of Professor Huxley_, vol. 1, p. 220.

Progress in an evolving society largely depends upon true union, i.e.
mental, emotional and spiritual union of the sexes. But a careful
examination of the prominent movements in society, and especially the
various divisions of the woman’s emancipation movement, reveals that all
are defective through inattention to this fundamental need. They do not
aim at social conditions in which solidarity of heart and soul will
naturally ensue.

The woman movement is the issue in great measure of pent-up forces of
youth in the female sex of the upper classes. It is less the revolt of
labour against poverty, injustice, and overtaxed strength, than a revolt
from enforced idleness on the part of the victims of wealth. The
position is graphically put before us by the late Charles Reade in his
amusing tale _The Woman Hater_.

Fanny Dover, a common enough type of upper-class femininity, appears to
the woman-hater a mere shallow-minded, selfish coquette, till suddenly
at an unexpected emergency she assumes new and very different colours.
“How is this?” he exclaims. “You were always a bright girl and no fool,
but not exactly what humdrum people call good ... you are not offended?”
“The idea,” says Fanny, “why I have publicly denounced goodness again
and again.” “Yes, and yet you turn out as good as gold!... I have
watched you; you are all over the house to serve two suffering women.
You are cook, housemaid, nurse and friend to both of them. In an
interval of your time so creditably employed you cheer me up with your
bright little face and give me wise advice! Explain the phenomenon.” “My
dear Harrington, if you cannot read so shallow a character as I am, how
will you get on with those ladies upstairs ... but there, I will have
pity on you. You shall understand one woman before you die ... give me a
cigarette.... What women love and can’t do without if they are young and
spirited, is excitement. I am one who pines for it. Society is so
constructed that to get excitement you must be naughty. Waltzing ...
flirting, etc., are excitement, ... dining _en famille_, going to bed at
ten, etc., are stagnation; good girls mean stagnant girls; I hate and
despise these tame little wretches; I never was one and never will be.
But look here, we have two ladies in love with one villain—that is
exciting. One gets nearly killed in the house—that is gloriously
exciting; the other is broken-hearted. If I were to be a bad girl and
say: ‘It is not my business; I will leave them to themselves and go my
little mill-round of selfishness as before, why what a fool I must be! I
should lose excitement. Instead of that I run and get things for the
Klosking—excitement. I cook for her and nurse her and sit up half the
night—excitement. Then I run to Zoe and do my best for her or get
snubbed—excitement. Then I sit at the head of your table and order
you—excitement. Oh! it is lovely.’ ‘Shall you be sorry when they both
get well and routine re-commences?’ Of course I shall; that is the sort
of good girl I am.”

This youthful exuberance or restlessness is favourable to social
advance, and the woman movement has accomplished good service in
claiming and turning it to useful account. But here, as in all partial
reforms, new evils dog the footsteps of the new good effected. To-day we
have numerous city workers of the female as well as the male sex,
compelled by the exigencies of their labour to live far apart from their
nearest and dearest, in solitary lodgings like Anthony Trollope, or at
best in the make-believe homes limited to inmates of one sex. I do not
infer that these girls fall under any special temptations to licence,
but, deprived as they are of the immediate influences of early
associations and the subtle tendernesses of home-life, I hold it
impossible that their emotional human nature should not suffer loss.
Their need for the happy and useful exercise of activities which were
running into mischievous courses, is satisfactorily met, but at the
expense of domestic traits, and these are precisely what lie at the root
of human fellowship—that union of heart and soul which is indispensable
to true progress.

Some social reformers regard the higher education of women movement as a
potent factor in uniting men and women through the mutual interests of
cultured thought. A knowledge, however, of Greek, Latin, the classics,
etc., accomplishes little so long as the sexes are not educated
together, and this form of culture has no _direct_ bearing on elevation
of character and development of the emotional side of human nature.
Cricket, golf, and all our fashionable out-door sports have done more,
in creating mutual interests and furthering progress by securing for
girls greater social freedom than was previously theirs, and Mr. H. W.
Massingham spoke truly when he said: “No special complications have
followed in any marked degree the vast extension that has taken place in
the field of girls’ free companionship with men. Yet what would our
fathers have thought of it?”[10] But sports are for the hours of
leisure, and ample leisure belongs only to the idle or to a minor
section of female workers. Meanwhile we have thousands of young women,
of different calibre to Fanny Dover, whose noblest attribute, viz. their
innate capacity for all the finer vibrations of social feeling, is never
called into play.

Footnote 10:

  _Ethical World_, June, 1900.

Amid all the kaleidoscopic scenes of our transition period, a new figure
of womanhood has undoubtedly appeared—a type not characterized by
frivolity or love of excitement, but by strenuousness, sincerity,
refinement, moral courage, a will-force in short, that breaking through
selfish limitations seeks nobler spheres of action. This will-force is
subject to constant recoil. It is thrown back on itself by adverse
conditions of society, of industry, of private individual life.

In _Jude the Obscure_ this new type of woman is skilfully sketched.
Susan Bridehead is a creature of high aspiration, rich inward resources
and manifold imperfections. She has foibles and feminine vanities, but
the human nature is essentially large-minded, generous, truthful. “I did
not flirt,” she says to Jude, “but a craving to attract and captivate,
regardless of the injury it might do, was in me ... my liking for you is
not as some women’s perhaps, but it is a delight in being with you of a
supremely delicate kind ... I did want and long to ennoble some man to
high aims.” Here we have love transferred from the lower reaches of pure
sensation to a higher level of tender sentiment, and energized from the
intellectual plane. This denotes a slow evolution of ages during which
all the grossness, i.e. the coarser vibrations of primitive love, are
transmuted into the finer vibrations of sympathetic, altruistic feeling.

It is important to see clearly the distinction between primitive and
modern love, in order that no confusion may arise in contemplating the
ideal social life that scientific meliorism forecasts. The intrinsic
quality of primitive love is illustrated in Mrs. Bishop’s description of
her favourite horse’s attachment. “I am to him an embodiment of melons,
cucumbers, grapes, pears, peaches, biscuits and sugar, with a good deal
of petting and ear-rubbing thrown in!” Human attachments based on these
pleasurable sensations or simple animal appetites and passions, form the
main soldering ingredients in humanity’s mass; but love’s development
has marched concurrently with true civilization, and to men and women in
the van of civilization one chief cause of misery to-day is repression
of the normal, healthy impulse to pure and unselfish love.

_Unselfishness_ is the distinguishing feature of higher forms of love,
and an unselfishness that had its origin not in conjugal union but in
motherhood. Mr. Finck, in his study of love’s evolution, puts it thus:
“The helpless infant could not survive without a mother’s
self-sacrificing care, hence there was an important use for womanly
sympathy which caused it to survive and grow while man immersed in wars
and struggles remained hard of heart and knew not tenderness....
Selfishness in a man is perhaps less offensive because competition and
the struggle for existence necessarily foster it.” (Henry Finck’s
_Primitive Love_, pp. 160–161.) The social need for a specialized
unselfishness has tended to differentiate the sexes emotionally, and in
process of building up the entire structure of social life the pressure
of outward forces has carried this differentiation further. I am not
then traversing the natural laws of evolution when I assume that all
questions relating to women are at this date pre-eminently important.

The population problem, as I have shown, can only be solved through a
diminution of the birth-rate, and throughout the British nation the
family group is breaking up. It is disintegrating especially in the
upper and middle classes.

The movement towards industrial socialism is the outcome of masculine
thought and energy. Man is its mainspring, although many thoughtful
women take part in it. Conversely, the house-ruler, woman, must be the
mainspring of a movement towards domestic socialism, although no success
will accrue without the steadfast aid and co-operation of man. That some
women are already fitted to begin this great work is evident from much
of our female public service. Let me quote some words recently spoken of
lady-workers by a male critic, Mr. H. W. Massingham: “They have moral
courage and refinement. They do not tire more easily than men; they do
not shirk the detail work; they take to drudgery.” Pioneers of the new
movement must be religious in the best sense, i.e. their philosophy must
bring into touch the worlds seen and unseen, inspiring action conducive
to personal and universal happiness.

The task before them is of double intent, viz. of immediate utility and
of far-reaching benefit. It will attract inferior natures as well as the
superior, for a well-organized modern home will present more
convenience, comforts and embellishments than the family homes of the
past or present, and at smaller expense. Herein a certain danger lurks.
Pioneers will have to guard against dropping out of the enterprise its
supreme purpose and main evolutional value, viz. the raising humanity on
to higher levels of happiness. There is no other policy to this end than
that of domestically uniting the sexes from infancy, in order that in
the idealistic period of adolescence soul may meet soul with fearless
unreserve and young men and women realize by experience that in the pure
realms of thought and feeling the closest union is possible. It is this
union manifesting in dual sympathy that will become the liberating force
of the world, and in it and through it woman’s emancipation will be

                Woman is not undevelopt man
            But diverse ...
            Yet in the long years liker must they grow;
            The man be more of woman, she of man;
            He gain in sweetness and in moral height,
            She mental breadth, nor fail in child-ward care
            Till at the last she set herself to man,
            Like perfect music unto noble words;
            And so these twain upon the skirts of time,
            Sit side by side ...
            Dispensing harvest, sowing the To-be,
            Self-reverent each and reverencing each
            Distinct in individualities,
            But like each other ev’n as those who love.
            Then comes the statelier Eden back to men;

                   ·       ·       ·       ·       ·

            Then springs the crowning race of humankind,
            May these things be!
                                  _The Princess._—TENNYSON.

                               CHAPTER II
                            DOMESTIC REFORM

  The animating spring of all improvement in individuals and in
  societies is not the knowledge of the actual but the conception of the
  possible.—H. MARTINEAU.

  How shall the new era be inaugurated? By ceasing to strive for self
  and family; by thinking of both only as instruments of the common
  weal.—PROF. A. W. BICKERTON.

The model family home of the British middle class half a century ago
comprised a father and mother of sound constitution and domestic habits
with a group of children of both sexes—a group large enough to supply
companionship to one another, and a family income sufficient for
comfortable maintenance and recreation, occasional travel and the free
exercise of hospitality. If homes of this type were widely and firmly
established throughout the land they might be competent to breed,
nurture and send forth into the world a good average material of human
life for repairing waste and building up the British nation. But in the
present epoch such homes are exceedingly rare, and the trend of social
forces and modern ideas alike make for their becoming still rarer.

To speak only of the more obvious factors of change, State action in
reference to the education of the young lifts children of the masses at
almost an infantile age out of the effective control of family life, and
in our centres of national industry economic forces bring about a hasty
pairing and breeding, with an abrupt scattering of the brood that
resembles the nesting of birds rather than the home-making of rational
beings; while so immature are the heads of these evanescent family homes
that the break-up is by no means an unmitigated evil.

Among the classes, forces of a higher, more penetrative order are
working similarly. Prudence is acting towards the restraint of
population in a manner that narrows the basis of family groups and
shortens the natural term of their existence; and under a new impulse of
right reason and high resolve the educated section of the female sex is
deliberately forsaking the domestic hearth to share the world’s labour
with man. These concurrent movements in society are destroying family
life on the old lines, and by the homes of the present, individual needs
are met only temporarily and provisionally.

One conspicuous result is an ever-increasing discomfort to the aged.
They are stranded in homes become empty, or wander abroad seeking touch
with their kind. Distinctly are they shunted off the rails of busy life
before a lowered vitality prompts to inertia. The British “Philistine”
lacks sentiment. Old age makes no special appeal to him, and he is
content to bestow on relatives no longer young a brief moment of his
precious time, a fragment of his tenderness. At an earlier stage of our
social evolution the mature in years were centres of a rich, full,
domestic life, and pivots on which turned the wider social life
encircling it. At the present stage of that evolution the young and the
comparatively young focus and absorb the whole sunshine of life, while
the guardians of their infancy pass into declining years enveloped in

This premature effacement entails on society a double loss—first, the
loss interiorly of that individual happiness which intensifies and
raises the tide of life; second, the loss of activities guided by and
based upon _mellow experience_.

Society is too materialistic to recognize that human beings physically
on the down-grade may be psychically on the up-grade, and pre-eminently
fitted to inspire and promote progress. But in thinking of latent
possibilities realizable in a better environment we are bound not to
judge by average humanity, but by the superior types of the preceding
generation. The old age of W. E. Gladstone, Harriet Martineau, Mary
Somerville, and others was neither gloomy nor unproductive. The
last-mentioned at the age of eighty-one turned her attention to writing
a book on microscopic science. “I seemed,” she says, “to resume the
perseverance and energy of my youth. I began it with courage, though I
did not think I could live to finish it.” She did, however, finish it,
and lived to the age of ninety-two, maintaining at all times her habits
of study and a full social intercourse with many friends. (From
_Personal Recollections_, by her Daughter.)

It is not intellectual powers only that are running to waste. Under the
double pressure of competition in trade and competition in the labour
market, good manual workers are found ineffective and dismissed at an
earlier age than formerly.

An immense mass of our industrial population is forced by circumstance
into the workhouse when still comparatively active, and life there is
but a gloomy vacant existence—a complete suppression of the best
faculties of body and mind.

Comparing the past with the present in respect of the old age of
workers, we are told by Professor Thorold Rodgers that village homes
were centres of multifarious occupations, in which naturally the aged,
if able, would take part. And in towns, although streets were narrow, at
the rear of the houses there were gardens where old and young together
spent the long summer evenings. “Not long ago,” says the American Social
Science Committee Report of 1878, “the farm found constant employment
for the men of the family—the women had abundant employment in the home,
there was carding, spinning, weaving.” “And the neverending labour of
our grandmothers must not be forgotten, who with nimble needle knit our
stockings and mittens. The knitting-needle was in as constant play as
their tongues, whose music only ceased under the power of sleep.... Now
no more does the knitting-needle keep time to the music of their
tongues, for the knitting-machine in the hands of one little girl will
do more work than fifty grandmothers. Labour-saving machinery has broken
up and destroyed our whole system of household and family manufacture,
when all took part in the labour and shared in the product to the
comfort of all.”

The system that has superseded that of “household and family
manufacture” has been adverse to the aged from the first, and neglect of
old age has become a wrong-doing that eats like a canker into our social

As Professor Bickerton well remarks: “Unhappiness is the disease of
social life, and misery is an indication that there is something wrong
with our social system. Just as it is unreasonable to expect bodily
health under insanitary conditions, so we cannot look for social concord
and joy unless mankind be placed in circumstances that suit his social
nature. Man has been considered too exclusively as a producing machine
with subsidiary mental capacity, whereas he is essentially a moral being
with deep emotions and universal sympathies. The cure for the
uncleanliness of society is not difficult. The plans for the edifice of
human life are obtainable. What are the plans? Those laws of nature
which are concerned in the development of mankind. What is the cure?
Such understanding of the principles of evolution and such consonant
action as shall restore to the race an environment befitting its
humanity.” (_The Romance of the Earth._)

Nevertheless, we cannot return to a system of household and family
manufacture. To relinquish mechanical aids to production would be
contrary to, not consonant with, evolution. A civilized race outgrows
its primitive conditions of life and industry—new wine must be put into
new bottles.

The immediate step of advance as regards manual labour is this—in our
centres of local administration there should be organized municipal
employment with shortened hours for elderly people, the wage to be
supplemented by pensions ample enough to secure for these workers an
honourable social standing instead of a pauper’s dole. But a closer
adaptation to humanity’s needs may be quickly achieved by the classes
where poverty plays a less part in the social phenomena. Of present
conditions Mr. Escott, in his _England, its People, Polity and
Pursuits_, thus speaks: “The nation is only an aggregate of households.
Modern society is possessed by a nomadic spirit which is the sure
destroyer of home ties. The English aristocracy flit from mansion to
mansion during the country-house season; they know no peace during the
London season. Existence for the wealthy is one unending whirl of
excitement, admitting small opportunity for the cultivation of the
domestic affections. The claims of society have continually acquired
precedence of the duties of home.”

In the middle class, however, wedged in between the rich and the poor,
the greatest factor of change is the servant difficulty, and this
difficulty we must glance at in its causal relations.

Civilized communities divide broadly into two parts—productive units
whose labour supplies what is needful for existence, and unproductive
units whose existence depends on the labour of others. The latter have
been correctly termed “parasites.” M. Jean Massart explains in his
scientific scrutiny of social phenomena,[11] that during the period of
our industrial development a force of integration has gradually
strengthened the main body of the social organism, giving it power to
resist in some degree the burden of parasitism. Consequently arbitrary
authority and slavish subserviency have abated, and two movements
affecting family life in the middle class are discernible—first, there
is an increasing revolt from domestic service as a form of labour
directly opposed to the spirit of independence that is growing in
workers and to the force of integration which by ranging them shoulder
to shoulder is preparing them for a new form of industrial life; second,
sons of the aristocracy and daughters of the middle class are joining
the ranks of producers with some sense of the dignity of labour and the
degradation of a purely parasitic existence. Social parasitism is not
organic. It is an extraneous condition induced in a society developing
its civilization. No man is necessarily a parasite; he acquires the
character in the course of his life history, and happily the young are
refusing to acquire it.

Footnote 11:

  _Parasitism, Organic and Social_, p. 121.

Observe, then, it is not in one or two sections of our community life,
but in all sections that diverse causes are producing one uniform
result—the break-up of the family home; and behind all the more
superficial causes there is working a profound factor of change in the
centripetal or constructive and the centrifugal or destructive forces of
nature. Whilst the latter destroys old forms, the former prepares for
the new form—prepares, not only by an integration of workers, but by a
fresh inspiration of love and desire for work. Hence women and men
endowed with reason, knowledge and practical skill may bring the life of
their own immediate circle into express and positive line with this
constructive, profoundly evolutional, movement.

Domestic reform implies the relinquishment of that whole system of
household labour that requires the combination of a subject with a
parasitic class. Co-operation among equals takes the place of masterful
authority and slavish subjection, and heavy labour will be relieved by
scientific appliance. Labour-saving contrivances in family homes hardly
exist. There has been little spur to invention on these lines. But, as
in industrial fields, a saving of money, material and labour by the use
of machinery has followed the introduction of organized co-operation,
so, doubtlessly, a similar process will follow the gradual adoption of
organized co-operation within the home. This is not the solution of the
servant problem merely. It has a far wider significance. Many educated
women who are now seeking useful work and economic independence outside
of home-life will find these within the domestic circle, and further
will find that it is possible to combine such necessary conditions of
dignified life with fulfilment of duty alike to the aged and to the

Pioneers who aim at social solidarity must in practice recognize labour
as the indispensable basis of social life and social institutions. All
methods of wage-payment dependent on industrial competition will be
repudiated for a system that acknowledges every form of useful work as
entitling the worker to financial independence; and in the emotional
sphere, with its possibilities of inner union and solidarity, who can
measure the impetus towards the desired goal that will be given by the
setting of the solitary in families and the re-gathering of the old into
the bosom of a rich, full, domestic life.

Let us suppose that from fifteen to twenty groups—they may be families
or groups of friends—combine and pass out from their numerous separate
houses into one large commodious dwelling built for them or bought and
adapted to their purpose. The bedrooms are furnished on the continental
plan with accommodation for writing, reading, solitary study, or rest by
day, and all the latest improvements in lighting, heating and
ventilating, etc. By the rules of the house—except for cleaning—no one
enters these rooms uninvited by the inmate, who has there at all times,
if wished, perfect privacy and the most thorough personal comfort. Two
eating apartments are placed contiguous to the kitchens, and by taking
advantage of every invention to facilitate cooking and serving, the
lady-cooks and attendants may place prepared food on the table and sit
down to partake of it with their friends. One wing of the house is set
apart for nurseries and nursery training, another for school teaching,
inclusive of indoor kindergarten; a music-room well-deafened enables the
musical to practise many instruments without jarring the nerves of
others; a playroom for the young and a recreation-room set apart for
whist and chess, etc., a billiard room, and if desired, a smoking room;
a large drawing-room where social enjoyment is carefully promoted every
evening, a library or silent room where no interruption to reading is
permitted, these, and a few small boudoirs for intercourse with special
friends form the chief outer requirements of the ideal collectivist

All the details of household management may safely be left to pioneers
of the new woman movement; it belongs only to scientific meliorism to
point out the general features and structure of the reformed domestic
system and to show its vitally important position in relation to any
rational scheme of wide-reaching social reform.

Humanity as a whole has to climb upward in the scale of being and to
leave behind it the individual or family selfishness allied with animal
passions that are purely anti-social; it has further to develop that
self-respect that allied with heart-fellowship brings in its train all
the social virtues that distinguish the man from the brute. Germs of
that self-respecting life are with us even now, but the soil in which
they will spring up to vigorous growth must be created, i.e. brought
together by man himself. The fitting of character to a new domestic
system should not be difficult in the case of children under wise
training, for it is as easy to acquire good habits in childhood as bad
habits, and the wholesome atmosphere of a well-regulated superior home
will powerfully and painlessly aid in shaping the young. But for the
grown-up to alter personal habits, and adapt thought and feeling to a
new order of every-day life, the task is not easy. It may press heavily
on the ordinary adult at the initial stage of the movement. Happily that
task may be rendered easier by mutual criticism kindly and gravely
exercised. The method was practised for upwards of thirty years in the
Oneida Creek Community with a marked success. Criticism, says one of the
members, is a boon to those who seek to live a higher life and only a
bugbear to those who lack ambition to improve. It was to the community a
bond of love and an appeal to all that is noblest, most refined and
elevated in human nature; it helped a man out of his selfishness in the
easiest, most kindly way possible. Whereas in ordinary life the
interference of the busybody, the tongue of the tale-bearer, the shaft
of ridicule, the venom of malice, are unavoidable—in the Community such
criticizing was almost unknown. It was bad form for anybody to speak
complainingly of anyone else, because criticism was the prerogative of
the Community, and was instituted to supersede all evil-speaking or
back-biting. Nor was it an occasion for direct fault-finding merely.
Those criticizing were always glad to dilate on the good qualities of
their subject, and to express their love and appreciation of what they
saw to commend. (Abel Easton, Member of the Oneida Community.)

Another member, Allan Estlake, thus speaks: “Criticism was a barrier to
the approach of unworthy people from without, and equally a bar to the
development of evil influences within.” The practice was not original.
Mr. Noyes found it established in a select society of missionaries he
had joined previous to his forming the Oneida Community.

One of the weekly exercises of this society, he tells us, was a frank
criticism of each other’s character for the purpose of improvement. The
mode of proceeding was this: At each meeting the member whose turn it
was, according to alphabetic order, to submit to criticism, held his
peace while the others one by one told him his faults. This exercise
sometimes crucified self-complacency, but it was contrary to the rules
of society for any one to complain. I found much benefit in submitting
to this ordeal both while I was at Andover and afterward.[12] If a
number of young men adopted criticism as a means of improvement it
should not be more difficult to pioneers of the new domestic life, young
and old, provided they have the same desire to improve. It might be
irksome to the young, until they had learned to profit by it, as all
discipline is at first, but when “our young people,” says Mr. Estlake,
“had formed habits in harmony with their means of improvement they
learned to love the means by which they had progressed and to rejoice in
the results of sufferings that were incident only to their

Footnote 12:

  _The Oneida Community_, Allan Estlake, p. 65.

Footnote 13:

  _The Oneida Community_, Allan Estlake, p. 66.

Personal habits in the new domestic life will be judged in their
relation to the general interests of the household, and regulations made
to safeguard these interests. Cleanliness, orderliness, punctuality are
essential to home comfort, but conventional etiquette destroys the
geniality of domestic freedom. While simple rules of a positive kind are
strictly observed, the negative rule of non-interference with personal
habits that are unhurtful to others will be the most stringent of all,
and for this reason—happiness is the great object to attain, and a
supreme condition of happiness is the free interaction of social units
without intrusive interference.

Committees will be necessary—for organizing labour on a method that will
ensure variety to workers and frequent leisure—for consultation on the
best means to adopt in training children individually—for management of
the finances—for recreative arrangements—and for purposes of general
direction and control.

Authority will of course devolve on these committees chosen by members
of the household from among themselves. Every relic of primitive
despotism must be banished from the home: it is a self-acting republic.
Since children reared in the home will be one day responsible citizens
of a republican state, it were well to enlist them early in the work of
committees. They will learn thereby to subordinate personal desire to
the will of the majority, and to co-operate in action for the common
weal. The amusements and conduct of children are well within range of
their own understanding, and although supervision by adults is
necessary, great freedom should be allowed them in the management of
their conduct clubs and amusement committees.

The relinquishment of personal property is not desirable at the present
stage of social evolution; for individuals—and there may be some—who,
however willing, are unable to adapt themselves to the new system,
should possess the power to return to the old system without let or

Nevertheless, be it sooner or later, the ideal collectivist home of the
future will realize, though at first imperfectly, the beautiful
conception held by Isaac Taylor of the ideal family home of the past.
Here is the picture: “Home is a garden, high-walled towards the
blighting northeast of selfish care. In the home we possess a main means
of raising the happiest feelings to a high pitch and keeping them there.
No disparagement, no privation is to be endured by some for the
aggrandizement or ease of others. Along with great inequalities of
dignity, power and merit, there is yet a perfect and unconscious
equality in regard to comforts, enjoyments and personal consideration.
There is no room for grudges or individual solicitude. Whatever may be
the measure of good for the whole the sum is distributed without a
thought of distinction between one and another. Refined and generous
emotions may thus have room to expand, and may become the fixed habits
of the mind. Within the circle of home each is known to all, and all
respect the same principles of justice and love. There is therefore no
need for that caution, reserve or suspicion that in the open world are
safeguards against the guile, lawlessness and ferocity of a few.”[14]
There, too, may be wholly discarded that reticence with which, as with a
cloak, the modern, civilized man, says Lucas Mallet, strives to hide the
noblest and purest of his thought.

Footnote 14:

  _Home Education_, Isaac Taylor, pp. 33 and 34.

The new system fully worked out will make homes permanent instead of
transitory. It will check the premature sending of girls out into the
world and the tendency of young life generally to drift. It will develop
industrial activities and give effective household labour. It will
lessen the sordid cares of humanity and increase its social joys. It
will create an environment calculated to restrain tempestuous youth and
cause every selfish passion to subside in the presence of mutual love.
It will perfect education by co-ordinating the life of the young and
securing that the entire juvenile orbit is governed by forces of fixed
congruity. It will provide every comfort for old age and garner its
dearly-bought experience. It will promote healthy propagation causing
the birth of the fit; it will facilitate marriage of the affections and
make early marriage possible. It will tend infancy in a wholly superior
manner, and by scientific breeding, rearing, training, produce future
citizens of the State of a higher intellectual, moral and spiritual

                               _PART VII_


                               SECTION 1

  Is this material universe self-sufficient and self-contained, or is
  not the “other conception,” the true one, viz. “that of a universe
  lying open to all manner of spiritual influences, permeated through
  and through with a divine spirit, guided and watched by living minds
  acting through the medium of law indeed, but with intelligence and
  love behind the law; a universe by no means self-sufficient or
  self-contained, but with feelers at every pore groping into another
  supersensuous order of existence where reigns laws hitherto unimagined
  by science, but laws as real and as mighty as those by which the
  material universe is governed?”—SIR OLIVER LODGE, “The Outstanding
  Controversy between Science and Faith,” _Hibbert Journal_ for October,

To the man of Western civilization, whose environment in youth was a
domestic atmosphere of Sabbath-day Christian orthodoxy and week-day
religious indifference along with a social atmosphere of commercial
individualism and the steady pursuit of sense pleasures, it is no easy
task to form a correct judgment regarding the true position of religion
and its relative worth in evolution.

A study of the subject reveals that not only the more and less civilized
races of mankind have each some specialized form of religion, but the
non-civilized savage tribes of the earth are similarly endowed. Their
worship may be degraded to the last degree, but it holds them in its
grasp, and in studying these facts we are compelled to believe that
humanity is so constituted that its deepest needs are only to be
expressed through and by religion.

The various religions of the world must have been essential to
evolution, since evolution, as applied to man, signifies the ample,
thorough development of every integral part of human nature in each
individual. But while recognizing religion as a necessary expression of
human nature and a supreme characteristic of man, we have also to
realize that its forms are as various as the distinctive differences
amongst men, and that changes from time to time inevitably occur for
good or evil in every religion. None are stationary, none are perfect.
And the spiritual verities which lie at the base of all are constantly
overlaid by superstitions, while the external forms harden and grow
inoperative for good.

Now, on the theory that religion is in effect necessary to evolution,
and further, that it represents fundamentally an emanation from the
plane of spirit, i.e. from a region transcending our phenomenal
existence, what would nineteenth century intelligence _a priori_ expect
of the various divergent religious systems? That amid variations, some
striking similarities would exist to indicate the identity of their
original source. It would expect also to find some statement of facts in
nature not otherwise known to man, some recognition of the stupendous
movement of evolution—the elucidation of which in its physical aspect is
the grand achievement of modern science—and some hint of the laws
governing that movement. Further, it would expect to find guidance to
right conduct and some indications of the paramount purpose and end of
universal life.

Hitherto, as it happens, the investigating spirit of modern science has
concerned itself little with theological matters; and the recognized
exponents of our own racial theology are incompetent judges here. Their
training has made of them religious specialists so interpenetrated by
sectarian dogma that they are incapable of assuming the mental attitude
of a genuine criticism claiming no superiority for Christianity over
other great religions, save such value of position as lies in its later
birth and development. Outside the churches, however, comparative
theology is not neglected, and it is freely admitted now by many earnest
students of the subject that all the great religions of the world
possess spiritual, ethical and philosophical ideas in common.

Hinduism deals with startling facts of the invisible world. In the
Vedas[15] it teaches that consciousness is the foundation or groundwork
of all nature, that matter and force are instinct with conscious life.
Behind these is the great unmanifested Deity—the “Unknowable” of our own
Spencerian philosophy—the Illimitable, Eternal, Absolute, Unconditioned
Source of the Universe, incognizable and inconceivable to the finite
faculties of man. With manifestation there appears the threefold aspect
of Deity—the supreme Logos of the Universe—a Unity in Trinity and a
Trinity in Unity, the reflection of which as Consciousness, Substance,
Force, runs throughout nature, and is also shown in the Christian and
other creeds and the Pauline description of man’s triune
constitution—body, soul and spirit. The doctrine of evolution is taught
in Hinduism on far wider lines than the modern intellectual conception
lays down. The latter, dealing with outward appearance, bases itself on
physical phenomena. The former transcends phenomenal existence and human
experience. It embraces the superlatively great, the infinitely small
and complex, and presents a cosmogony evolutional throughout, while it
points to a spiritual development for the individual so extensive and
sublime that the Western mind, unused to metaphysical thought, is unable
to grasp and clothe it in words. In this philosophy there is no
stultifying of human endeavour by the view of the soul’s opportunities
as confined to three score years and ten. That span of life makes but a
single page in the soul’s vast evolutional history, for at the centre of
Hinduism lies a rock-bed of belief in re-incarnation—that process of
nature which accomplishes the gradual growth and spiritual elevation of
humanity by means of the individual soul’s successive returns to
physical life, with intervening periods of spiritual rest or latency.
The threefold nature of man gives him touch with three levels of
existence, and Hindu religion represents him bound to a wheel
unceasingly turning in three worlds, viz. a world of waking
consciousness or the physical body, and of two other worlds to which he
passes successively at and after death, and in which he works out his
latest earthly experience and assimilates all its fruit, then returns
through the gateway of birth to begin a fresh course of discipline and

Footnote 15:

  It is from the study of the Vedas that the educated Hindu seeks to
  derive his creed. I refer my reader to Mr. J. E. Slater’s _Higher
  Hinduism in relation to Christianity_.

Turning from the transcendental to the scientific and practical sides of
Hinduism, we find an external worship and broad polity calculated to
regulate human conduct in every relation of life, religious, national,
social, family and personal—the entire system founded on the law of
causation on all planes of being. By our own scientists, that law is
recognized on the physical plane as the invariable sequence of cause and
effect. Hinduism regards it as working also on higher planes, and terms
it the law of action or Karma—the moral retribution which brings out
inexorably in one life the results following from causes arising in
previous lives. Responsibility therefore rests with every
self-conscious, reflective being, and divine justice is shown
reconcilable with the free-will of man through the union of Karma and
re-incarnation. “God is not mocked; whatsoever a man soweth that shall
he also reap.”

The religion of the Parsis, i.e. the modern form of Zoroastrianism, has
equally with Hinduism a metaphysical philosophy, and an outward worship,
while mingled with all there is an astronomical teaching based on the
same conception of nature as is found in Hinduism, viz. that it is the
manifestation, in infinitely varied forms, of the one universal
consciousness or mind. The constitution of humanity is two-fold. Spirit
and matter are two distinct and different principles, both are in man;
and he is capable of siding definitely with either. The ethic of
Zoroastrian faith is based on the belief that he will throw himself on
the side of the pure, that he will battle for it and maintain it. To be
at all times actively on the side of purity is a clear personal duty.
The devout Zoroastrian must keep the earth pure and till it religiously.
He must perform the functions of agriculture as a service to the gods,
for the earth is the pure creature of Ahura Mazdao—the Supreme Spirit to
be guarded from all pollution. And passing from the outer to the inner
life of the individual, the constantly-repeated maxim is this: I
withdraw from all sins by pure thoughts, pure deeds, pure words.

In Taoism, a religion of China of earlier date than Hinduism or
Zoroastrianism, there exists a fragment of ancient scripture called the
Classic of Purity, wherein man is regarded as a trinity, viz. spirit,
mind, body. To quote from Mr. Legge’s translation: “Now the spirit of
man loves purity, but his mind disturbs it. The mind of man loves
stillness, but his desires draw it away. If he could always send his
desires away, his mind would of itself become still. Let his mind be
made clean, and his spirit will of itself become pure.” (Here we have
the idea, expressed in all religions, of the conflict between the higher
and lower nature in man and the necessity for spirit to dominate mind
and body. Refer to St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, vii. 15, 21, 22 and

Again, Buddhism has absorbed the attention of modern Oriental scholars
through the fascination of the Buddha’s purity and elevation of thought.
There are two divisions of this faith, viz., the Mahayana, that of the
Northern Church, found in Tibet, Nepaul, China, Corea, and Japan, and
the Hinayana, that of the Southern Church, found in Ceylon, Burmah,
Siam, etc. The Mahayana (Greater Vehicle) is closely allied to Hinduism
in its teachings regarding the spiritual world, the continuing ego of
individual man, the life after death, the rites and ceremonies of
worship, and the mystic side of personal religion. In the Hinayana
(Lesser Vehicle) of the Southern Church, much of this mystic teaching
has been dropped, nevertheless it retains a wonderful system of ethics,
with appeals made to human reason, and a constant attempt to justify and
render intelligible the foundations on which the morals are built.
Buddhism is clearly the daughter of the more ancient Hinduism. Its
scriptures are the echo of the Hindu scriptures, and the general
teachings, while thrown into a less metaphysical form, are penetrated
with the Hindu spirit. Causation is in both an unbroken law. In the
Dhammapada, for instance, it is written: “If a man speaks or acts with a
pure thought, happiness follows him like a shadow that never leaves him.
If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him as the
wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the carriage. He who has
done what is evil cannot free himself of it, he may have done it long
ago or afar off, he may have done it in solitude, but he cannot cast it

Buddha taught that evil is overcome only by its opposite, i.e. good:
“Let every man overcome anger by love, let him overcome the greedy by
liberality, the liar by truth,” etc., etc. And here the religion is
closely in touch with Christian ethics: “Love your enemies, bless them
that curse you, do good to them that hate you,” etc. “Love is the
fulfilling of the Law.” With regard to man’s destiny, Buddha’s teachings
build on his hearers’ acceptance of the Hindu doctrine of

(In the Pali Canon occur these words: “The Bhikshee [the disciple] sees,
with eye divine, beings dropping away and reappearing, he knows them
reaping according to their several karma, degraded and ennobled,
beautiful and ugly, well-placed and ill-placed.” From this and many
other passages of the Pali Canon “it is clear and evident and beyond a
shadow of doubt,” says J. C. Chatterji, “that the Buddha taught the
identity of the re-incarnating ego, though he did not give it that name.
He called it Consciousness or Vignana.”—_Theosophical Review_, Jan.,
1898, p. 415.) Without that his system falls to the ground. The path of
salvation he points to implies a persistent course of personal effort,
and he who would tread that path must open his mind to discriminate
between things that are transitory and those that are real and
permanent. To the former belong all the pleasures of sense, every
earthly desire and ambition, and every selfish thought.

Deep within man’s nature, however, there lies hid a germ or seed of the
permanent. This will persist throughout all the ages amid the fleeting
phantasmagoria of many lives, and this he must cherish, nourish,
develop. He must resist and renounce the corrupting influences of the
flesh. He must master his passions, steady his mind, and control,
enlighten and elevate his thoughts. Further, he must purify his emotions
and actions, pervading the world with a “heart of love, far-reaching,
grown great and beyond measure.” (The Tevijja Sutta.) Finally, the
individual consciousness will expand, until, able to function in subtler
vehicles than those of physical matter, the man passes out of the
chrysalis state of formal existence to emerge upon higher levels of life
and reach at length the Buddhist Nirvana—that supreme crown of
immortality and acme of conscious bliss.

This pilgrimage of the soul through many births and deaths, with its
steadfast struggles and gradual liberation from all earthly debasing
entanglements, forms a striking contrast to certain teachings of the
modern Christian Churches. Dogma there presents to us an undeveloped
helpless soul, as playing—within a circumscribed area of earth’s
surface—its one little game of experimental life. The fate of the soul
for all eternity hangs in the balance, all its chances for weal or woe
depending on a single throw of the dice. And what are the terms of the
game? Conditions of life so adverse, in millions of cases, that defeat
is a foregone conclusion. No wonder civilized men with a seedling of
justice in the soul, reject the whole scheme of nature allied with this
dogma, and frankly disavow religious faith.

But the question arises, how does it happen that Christianity, with an
ethic fundamentally the same as that of every other great religion of
the world, diverges so completely here? Is it conceivable that
Christianity, while of Divine origin, has become in process of time
dwarfed and deformed to the extent even of losing some _essential_
features? It holds, as sectarian pulpits represent it, no doctrine of
re-incarnation, and appears to have no clear basis of metaphysical or
philosophic thought. Moreover, it has elements impossible to reconcile
with the mental and emotional developments of a scientific and
intellectual age. The anthropomorphic conception of Deity, the almost
literal interpretation of the Jewish allegory of creation, the
personalization of the metaphysical and mystic Trinity; the approval of
the barbarous sacrifices and vengeful Deity of the Old Testament; the
anti-evolutional doctrine of the vicarious Atonement in the New
Testament; the crude ideas concerning the soul, heaven and hell; and the
absence of any evolutional theory applied to human destiny—all these,
and above all the ignorance and pride that claim for this particular
form of religion a unique position in the world’s history, and assume
that it alone and no other religion is the revelation of God to man,
show an ample justification for the fact that the most intelligent men
and women of Western civilization stand outside the Christian Churches
to-day, or are in them from motives that have nothing to do with devout
religious feeling.

If, however, we turn to the history of the Church and search its ancient
records, or if unable ourselves to grapple with the problem, we place
confidence in the evidence of students who have done so, we find that an
entirely new light is thrown on Christianity and its real position. In
the writings of the Christian Fathers, there is a constant reference
made to grades of members and teaching within the early Church. First,
the general members, and from those the pure in life went into a second
grade. The latter formed the “few chosen” from the many called. But
beyond these were the “chosen of the chosen,” who, “with perfect
knowledge lived in perfection of righteousness according to the law.”
Clement of Alexandria, one of the greatest of the Fathers of the Church,
wrote: “It is not to be wished that all things should be exposed
indiscriminately to all and sundry, or the benefits of wisdom
communicated to those who have not, even in a dream, been purified in
soul ... nor are the mysteries of the word to be expounded to the
profane.” Origen tells us that Jesus conversed with His disciples in
private, and especially in their most secret retreats, concerning the
Gospel of God; but the words He uttered have not been preserved. And
when Celsus assailed Christianity as a secret system, Origen replied
such a notion was absurd, “but that there should be certain doctrines
not made known to the multitude and which are revealed after the
exoteric doctrines have been taught, is not a peculiarity of
Christianity alone, but also of philosophic systems, in which certain
truths are exoteric and others esoteric.” Elsewhere he explains that
Scripture is threefold in meaning, that it is the “flesh” for simple
men, the “soul” for the more instructed, the “spirit” for the “perfect,”
and in corroboration he quotes from Scripture the words of St. Paul, “We
speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom,” and “we
speak wisdom amongst them that are perfect.”

We have here, then, more than a trace of some deeper teaching than
appears on the surface of Christianity, some mine of hidden truth too
sacred and profound for open display to the undiscerning multitude. Is
it not evident that Christianity contains at its centre, known only to
the few, the same transcendental and spiritual conceptions, the same
supra-physical and mystical philosophy as the ancient religions contain?
But if this be so, how came the most precious truths of religion to be
apparently lost?

They were lost through the uncomprehending ignorance of the early
followers of the Master, Christ, and the sectarian bigotry of
ecclesiastics who cut themselves apart from the holders of the inner
teaching and, becoming a majority, overcame the learned few, stamping as
heretics the last remnants known as Christian Gnostics, Manicheans,
Pelasgians, and Arians, all of whom, counted schismatics, were
eventually crushed out through cruel persecution by the victorious
orthodox Latin and Greek Churches. Nevertheless, some fragments of the
hidden wisdom of the early teaching have survived in the uncomprehended
symbols of the creeds and ceremonies of the Churches. (I refer my reader
to Mr. C. W. Leadbeater’s work, _The Christian Creed_.)

That re-incarnation and Karma formed part of the original teaching is, I
think, abundantly evident. In Gnosticism and Manicheism they were
apparent. The Christian Fathers speak plainly of these doctrines, and
Origen refers to Pythagoras, Plato and Empedocles as holding them.
Moreover, Jesus Christ is made to utter a clear statement concerning
John the Baptist, that implies the doctrine of re-incarnation, and his
answer to the question about a blind man, “who did sin, this man or his
parents, that he was born blind?” shows the acceptance in the early
Church of both doctrines. The whole incident reveals that the subject of
re-incarnation was familiar to the followers of Christ, and Josephus
expressly states that the Pharisees held the doctrine of re-birth. There
is then little doubt that in the _early_ Church the belief was widely
spread, but later at a General Council—a Council held after darkness had
begun its reign—it was formally condemned and stamped as a heresy.

Bearing in mind the view that all the great religions come from the same
spiritual source, it is significant to find the following in the
writings of a rigid Roman Catholic historian, viz. A. F. Ozanam: “Having
burst over the borders of the country to which it had once been
confined, Buddhism at the year 61 B.C. made a new appearance on the
scene, and invaded all Northern Asia.... This great movement could not
but influence the West. It effected its entrance (into Christendom)
through the Gnostic sects. The Gnosis was the designation of a higher
science or initiation reserved for a handful of chosen spirits.” Again,
speaking of the Manicheans, he says: “It is difficult to decide whether
Manes drew his system originally from these Buddhist sources or found
the teaching which he handed down to his disciples held by former
Gnostic sects, themselves impregnated with the Oriental doctrine.”
(Ozanam’s _History of Civilization in the Fifth Century_, vol. i. pp.
247 and 254.) It is easy to see that this Oriental doctrine was none
other than the hidden wisdom of Jesus and Paul as well as of Buddha.

The special doctrine of re-incarnation is said to be absent in the
fragments of the Avesta and in the Zend commentaries, and absent also in
the latter Pahlavi doctrines. It is not held by the modern Parsis. “On
the other hand,” says G. R. S. Mead, B.A., M.R.A.S., “Greek writers
emphatically assert that the doctrine of re-incarnation was one of the
main tenets of the Magian tradition.” The same author elsewhere remarks:
“Since Bardaisan, like all the great Gnostics, believed in
re-incarnation, such a conception as the resurrection of the physical
body was nothing but a gross superstition of the ignorant.” (The
_Theosophical Review_ for March, 1898, p. 17.)

To judge Christianity fairly, it was necessary to know something of its
origin, its antecedents and the early phases of its life. We had to
follow the history of its early sects and observe the changes effected
in the Church by forces playing upon it from without. The Church
gradually rose into a position of social influence and authority, from
which it again declined, and it was during the latter condition that in
its struggles to maintain power and supremacy amid adverse forces it
dropped out the mystic beliefs difficult of apprehension by Western
minds; it ceased to order and classify its adherents, and it ultimately
adapted its doctrines to the materialistic spirit of the dawning era of
modern science.[16] Nevertheless, the Church retained its pure _ethical_
teaching. It has held up to view the noble unselfish life of its founder
Jesus of Nazareth. No one could deny that during the period even of its
degradation, this religion has proved to millions of human beings a
source of vital comfort and joy, and to some extent of spiritual light.

Footnote 16:

  Tertullian complains: “They have all access alike; they hear alike,
  they pray alike, even heathens if any such happen to come among them.”

The tendency of Protestantism was to assert the claims of all men—the
weak and childish as well as the thoughtful and intellectually strong—to
a clear understanding of the Church’s whole teaching. In pursuance of a
policy to meet this demand, the Church gave forth a simplified
presentation of God and Nature that contradicts the plainest facts of
science, and creates within minds of deeper, more expanded faculty, a
conscientious revolt from the Christian faith to an attitude of honest
scepticism. Outside the Church, however, other forces of evolution have
prevailed to carry man forward, and to-day there exists an earnest and
devout spirit of inquiry, and a strong dissatisfaction with the purely
materialistic theory of Nature.

Conspicuous among the forces of change are, first, the study of physical
phenomena on scientific methods, a study which, by convincing the
Western mind of a profound mystery behind all phenomena, gives fresh
impulse to speculative thought, and rouses effort to reach and apprehend
the law of evolution. Second, the study of psychic phenomena revealing
modes of consciousness hitherto ignored, and impelling science to
penetrate the hidden recesses of our psychic activities and investigate
some of the heights and depths of man’s inner constitution. Third, the
historical studies that throw new light on the marvellous civilizations
of the past and those religions that are more ancient than Christianity.

Whatever the ultimate outcome of these studies may prove, it is clear
that the perspective of early faiths—their range and reach—was vaster
than that of current Christianity, and this perception is creeping into
our popular literature and laying hold of public thought. For instance,
a recent writer remarks: “The modern scientific revelation of stellar
evolution and dissolution seems a prodigious confirmation of Buddhist
theories of cosmical law.” And again, “With the acceptance of the
doctrine of evolution old forms of thought crumbled, new ideas arose to
take the place of worn-out dogmas, and we have a general intellectual
movement in directions strangely parallel with Oriental philosophy.”
(Lafcadio Hearn’s _Hints and Echoes of Japanese Inner Life_.)

This movement necessarily will advance only by carrying with it, i.e.
convincing step by step, the reason of man, and seeing that Oriental
philosophy has the doctrines of re-incarnation and Karma at its
foundation, these must be tested and the fact ascertained whether or not
they are consistent with the laws of phenomenal existence already
discovered and believed in by the Occidental mind. “To-day,” says
Lafcadio Hearn, “for the student of scientific psychology, the idea of
pre-existence passes out of the realm of theory into the realm of fact,”
and he quotes in corroboration of this statement Professor Huxley’s
opinion of the theory—“None but very hasty thinkers will reject it on
the ground of inherent absurdity. Like the doctrine of evolution itself,
that of transmigration has its roots in the world of reality, and it may
claim such support as the great argument from analogy is capable of
supplying.” (_Evolution and Ethics_, p. 61, Ed. 1894.)

At this epoch of the world’s history, the humanity that exists is of an
infinitely varied character. At one end of the scale, we have in savages
the simplest forms of racial types, at the other the most complex forms,
and between these every conceivable variant. The distinctions go deeper
as we ascend the scale, and there are no two beings alike in their
powers of abstract thinking, the nature of their intellectual, emotional
and moral qualities, and the groupings of these qualities—in a word,
their individualities. Now one thing demanded by the developed
intellects of this age is a generalization that will cover and explain
these perplexing differences. The law of heredity does this to a very
limited extent only. So far as the physical structure is concerned it
explains much; but when we come to the mental and moral developments,
its insufficiency is apparent. Genius and idiocy may be found springing
up from the same parent stock and under identical conditions of training
in childhood. Variety of character will appear in children of the same
family from almost the moment of birth. One infant comes into the world
handicapped by a sullen temper and vicious disposition, another with the
most lovable traits. It is inconceivable that these incongruous effects
flow from congruous causes on the physical plane. And were we able to
logically accept these physical causes as adequate, no civilized being
could morally respect the ordering of a universe wherein innocent souls
newly created enter life handicapped by vicious propensities. Either the
Power behind all phenomena is a malevolent Power, or the universe is a
chaos—the inconsequent outcome of random chance.

These painful alternatives cease their troubling, however, and all
perplexities gradually disappear as the mind of man grows into a clear
apprehension of evolution in its full significance. The basic law of
evolution is that all existence proceeds in cycles, each having its
objective and subjective arc. In other words, there is a constant flow
of motion and consciousness from without within and from within without.
On the lowlier levels of life, this law is observed and science based
upon it. In the vegetable kingdom, the leaves, stalk and flower of a
specific plant perish as completely as though they had never existed;
but the subjective entity remains, and in due course it reappears,
clothed in a different vestment of cells, the same in all the details of
its intricate form.

In the insect kingdom, all the wonderful changes that transform a
crawling slimy caterpillar into a glorious vision of beauty and grace
takes place in silence and darkness—from within without. Here the law of
evolution takes a wider range than in the vegetable kingdom. Form,
function, habit, all are changed, yet we know by actual observation that
the soaring butterfly and crawling caterpillar are intrinsically one and
the same. Moreover, the whole process of change is accomplished in the
pupa stage independently of that food supply which—to the scientific
conception—seems indispensable in the generation and continuation of
vital force. (I must here refer my reader to the full discussion of this
subject in chapters v. and vi. of Dr. Jerome A. Anderson’s
_Re-incarnation—A Study of the Human Soul_.)

Now in our habit of regarding humanity in its higher aspect as the acme
or crown of terrestrial life, we are apt to forget the potent connexions
that link it with life in general. But re-incarnation, if we would judge
it philosophically, must not be wrenched from its place in the order of
nature and studied as an isolated fragment.

“All evolution consists,” says Mrs. Besant, “of an evolving life passing
from form to form as it evolves, and storing up the experience gained
through the forms; the re-incarnation of the human soul is not the
introduction of a new principle into evolution, but the adaptation of
the universal principle to meet conditions rendered necessary by the
individualization of the continually evolving life.” (_The Ancient
Wisdom_, p. 234.) The doctrine of human evolution summed up in the term
re-incarnation cannot be proved in the same sense as a new discovery in
physics can be proved—that goes without saying. But we may claim that it
can be so nearly proved by reasoning that no intelligent being who
correctly apprehends the idea and applies it with patience to the
experience of existence, whether in or out of the body, can fail to
believe it as fully, for example, as the modern scientific world
believes in the electro-magnetic theory of light. That theory is no
longer argued about. It is the only theory that will explain all the
facts. And of re-incarnation in a higher domain we may equally affirm it
is the only theory that explains the facts and is consonant with all the
known laws of nature. It is luminous with a truly scientific aspect. It
satisfactorily accounts for the inherent differences in character that
heredity leaves unexplained, and it renews our faith in love and wisdom
as underlying the phenomena of earthly existence, notwithstanding
present appearances.

But add to this the fact that every great religion of the world, except
modern Christianity, holds it more or less completely, whilst
Christianity also originally held it; and if a spiritual and ethical
theory of the universe be tenable, then cultured minds rejecting
re-incarnation must either have failed to study the subject in its
antecedents and bearings, or they must be by constitution profoundly
unphilosophical. (I refer my reader here to chap. iii. of Mr. A. P.
Sinnett’s _Growth of the Soul_.)

After all, it is a comparatively few men and women who seek intellectual
clearness of vision, and are restless of soul till they grasp a theory
of the universe and an interpretation of life that alike may satisfy
head and heart—the mass of mankind is unthinking. And as we contemplate
the stupendous task of evolution in developing each individual soul out
of the embryonic condition of the savage to a conscious control and
exercise of all the divine potencies of a perfected spiritual man, we
feel no surprise that the major part of humanity stands yet in its
childhood. Unequal development is the natural corollary of general
evolution. The heart of modern man, however, is for the most part in
advance of his head, and it is here, viz. on the emotional side of human
nature, that religion—no matter what the specific form may have been—has
ministered to man’s needs and proved an all-important factor of

Revelation, as Lessing (who believed in re-incarnation) declares, has
been the education of the human race. “It did not,” he says, “give
anything that human reason left to itself would not arrive at, but it
gave the most important of these things earlier”—that is, before the
reasoning faculties were fully developed in man. (Lessing’s Treatise:
_The Education of the Human Race_, translated by the Rev. F. W.

The founders of every religion—the great and wise ones of the earth—have
guided the race in its slow and gradual ascent from infancy to manhood,
and even through the degeneration to which every religion has been
subjected from human ignorance and selfishness.

                               SECTION 2

We have now to turn from racial religions to personal religion, and as
the springs of individual conduct lie earlier in the heart than in the
head, spiritual developments begin there. It is in accordance with
natural order that the right conduct and simple devotion of millions of
human beings, intellectually blind, should yet aid the steady advance of
evolution towards its highest goal.

The pilgrim soul pressing forward through a long series of births and
deaths has a chequered career of conquest and defeat, until, experience
guiding effort and overcoming waywardness, the animal stage of existence
has been distanced and left behind. But each of these pilgrim souls
pursues a path specifically its own, that is, differing from that of
every other pilgrim soul. The paths pursued are divided by Eastern
thought into three distinct classes. First, that of action; second, that
of devotion; third, that of wisdom. In the first class are to be found
men and women of infinitely varied powers taking part in all the
activities of the world, and striving with keenness to attain certain
desired results. Commencing, it may be, with low, selfish, narrow
motives of action, these gradually alter and improve, till motive and
action alike have become pure, unselfish and directed to the widest
beneficence. Such types of humanity tread the first path, that of
action, and in it are harvesting precious experience. They are
developing interiorly the powers that make for righteousness.

To the second class belong all the world’s sincere religionists, those
beings whose regard—whether of fear or love—goes out to an ideal person.
The person, observe, may be of low or of high grade in accordance with
the subjective development of the individual worshipper. As the object
of devotion becomes purified, love casts out fear, and advance on this
path proceeds. Men and women adoring their conception of Krishna, or
Buddha, of Ahura Mazdao, or of Jesus Christ, are treading the path of
devotion, and may rise to the highest emotions of altruism, the most
selfless service of the Supreme, thus harmonizing ever more and more the
human will and the Divine will.

Pilgrims of the third and smallest class are men and women whose
constant desire and endeavour is to search out the truth of things. In
the earlier grades of this path will be found scientific investigators
of physical phenomena; more advanced on the path are materialist
philosophers and all individuals directing their efforts to an
examination of man in the regions of emotion and mind. Above these again
are the men and women whose search is into the innermost nature of
things, and who, in the intensity of that search, lose more and more
their feeling of self, and merge themselves in Divine knowledge.

To summarise the three paths: The first is a progress through human
activities from motives of self to motives of highest altruism. The
second is a progress through religious emotions, from fear of an
invisible demon, to the most selfless love of an ideal person and
unswerving devotion to true ideals. The third is a progress from the
simplest efforts to discover truth to the acquisition of Divine wisdom
by means of the immensely increased faculties of the perfected man.

These three paths, like different ways up a mountain, meet at the top,
where pilgrims attain to the qualities of all, and not only of the one
path mainly traversed by each. All attain in the end to the fullest
development of human power and faculty, and to complete liberation from
the chain of births and deaths. That personal goodness and religious
zeal are the measure of spiritual development is only the Church’s view,
and it ignores a large part of human efforts and activities. Without
personal goodness certainly no spiritual life is possible, but beyond
the acme of personal goodness to lofty heights of knowledge, of wisdom,
of transcendent love and benevolence, rises the pilgrim human soul under
Divine tuition.

We have now to inquire wherein the pilgrims resemble one another? The
feature common to all is the inner attitude of self-surrender. It may
spring from impulse or a half-unconscious sense of duty. Or, it may
result from the reasoning faculty, from reason controlling and directing
conduct with a full consciousness of responsibility. Again, it may be
allied with all the sacred aspirations and inspirations that follow upon
a long course of development, but whatever the cause and degree, this
attitude of mind makes it possible for the spiritual forces working in
and through humanity as a whole to manifest there, expanding the heart
and mind, and creating a further soul-evolution.

There is a law in nature which has been well called the pulse of our
planetary system, a law of giving out. It involves no absolute and
ultimate sacrifice; and it is the only law by which progress and
exaltation in nature can be actually achieved. Now this law is a central
part of the teaching of every great religion. The Logos, we are told, in
bringing into existence an infinitude of centres of consciousness, made
the voluntary sacrifice of limiting His own boundless life. This thought
is expressed in the Christian Scriptures thus: “The Lamb slain from the
foundation of the world.” This first great outbreathing of the life of
the Logos is the earliest presentation of the law of sacrifice—that law
which prescribes that at every stage of evolution life and energy shall
be given out for the benefit of some consciousness on a lower grade than
the giver. This great principle of evolution is manifest in the
unselfish benevolence of all good men and women; even when they are
working as yet in blind obedience to the scarcely articulate impulses of
their awakening spiritual natures. (I refer my reader to p. 452 of Mr.
A. P. Sinnett’s _The Growth of the Soul_.)

To our minds pain seems necessarily connected with sacrifice, but pain
proceeds wholly from discord within the sacrificer, i.e. from antagonism
between the higher part of his nature which is willing to give, and the
lower part whose satisfaction lies in grasping and keeping. The process
required in each case is a turning from the selfish, individualistic
attitude to that of a social, altruistic giving—a giving joyfully for
love’s sake. The transition naturally involves some pain, for the
conscious will has to gradually master the animal part of the nature,
and subordinate it to the higher self.

Man is, in the order of evolution, primarily subject to animal desires.
His consciousness moves on the sensuous plane of existence, and he
clings to the physical elements in nature. By-and-bye he learns to
relinquish an immediate material good for a future good equally
material—it may be a greater worldly prosperity for himself or his
family. This sacrifice is not essentially noble, but it prepares the way
for a harder lesson, and one that calls out a deeper faculty within him.
Here again the process is one of exchange, but not of one form of
sensuous good for another. It is the exchange of material possessions or
sense pleasures for something of an entirely different order in nature—a
reward not visible, nay, possibly far off beyond the tomb.

When humanity was in its childhood, religion inculcated and pressed upon
it this form of sacrifice; and as we ponder the martyr lives that stud
the pages of history we recognize the fact that thousands of human
beings practised the precept, and learned to endure, as seeing the
invisible, to stand morally upright without earthly prop, to value
spiritual companionship and joy in an inner life of purity and peace
when outward conditions were adverse and dark.

A later, far higher phase of the law of sacrifice, is that wherein no
reward is thought of, or desired. Reaching manhood, humanity grapples
with the duties and accepts all the grave responsibilities of an
advanced evolutional stage. Duty becomes the motor of action,
self-mastery and love of one’s fellows the very keynotes of man’s music.
The animal part of his nature becomes subordinate to the higher self.
The third great lesson of sacrifice works within, the lesson, viz. to do
right simply because it is right, to give because giving is owed by each
to all, and not because giving will in any shape be pleasing to or
rewarded by God.

During the various stages of progress, the pain aspect of sacrifice is
clearly seen. Nevertheless, a soul’s passionate grip upon things
physical and sensuous relaxes, and a day arrives when to give
spontaneously, freely, lavishly, is purest joy. Then is man’s life
merging into Divine life, and sacrifice is no more pain. Vital
dissonances cease to rend man’s heart, for his inner consciousness has
soared above the selfish separateness of phenomenal existence into
realms of nature where unity and love are the all-prevailing principles
of life. We know these principles in action through the beautiful,
selfless earthly pilgrimage of Him we call the Saviour of Mankind, whose
whole career was an At-one-ment with the Divine.

The “Vicarious Atonement” doctrine of Western faiths to-day is both an
ecclesiastical device for increasing priestly power and a
misapprehension of the law we have been considering—the law of
sacrifice, by which the worlds are made, by which the worlds are living
now, and by which alone the union of man with God is brought about. That
noble doctrine of antiquity was changed by Mediæval Christianity into a
picture of the Godhead—Father and Son, in opposition to one another—a
picture that “shocks all reverence, and outrages reason by bringing all
manner of legal quibbles into the relationship between the Spirit of God
and man.” (_Four Ancient Religions_, Annie Besant, p. 166.) Again, a
race whose reasoning faculties are developed must needs repudiate the
Church’s dogma of “Imputed Righteousness”—a righteousness not inwrought
or attained to, but applied externally—a covering to what is corrupt and
base, yet deemed sufficient to secure a perfunctory pardon of sin, a
non-merited Divine favour.

The real At-one-ment with the Divine, whereof Jesus the Christ is our
Archetype, admits of no substitutions, no subterfuges, makes no
fictitious claims. It signifies an actual transformation or process of
change, the inner consciousness passing from the lower to function on
higher levels of being.

It is easy, however, to apprehend how the necessity of thinking of all
supra-physical things, i.e. the finer phenomena of existence, by means
of analogies and figures of speech that are purely physical, led to much
of error in the earlier stages of human development; and there is a
sense in which the “robe of righteousness” is a not inapt analogy or
figure. When speaking of the pilgrimage of the soul, the picture
presented is that of a concrete toiler, ascending slowly, breathing
heavily, sighing and evidencing effort to all our outer senses, yet we
know that the soul’s best efforts are mostly hidden from sight and
hearing and touch. But no confusion arises. The mental conception to
which the figure points is that of efforts as great though directed to
evils that are chiefly mental, emotional, moral, not physical.
Similarly, the “robe of righteousness” figure must not be overstrained.
Man’s soul is clothed upon by, or clothes itself in (it matters not
which, we say) robes or garments of flesh, and of finer physical
elements than flesh, elements intangible to his five senses. The flesh
garment or body is constantly changing, and so are the bodies of desire
and of thought. The changes occur through the action and interplay of
diverse subtle forces. Fresh elemental matter is borne in from without
to replace the atoms of structures tending to decompose, while a process
of selection, determination and assimilation proceeds through the action
of forces within.

But the same laws of growth apply to realms of nature less open to
observation, and a careful selection and choice of material is as potent
and necessary in building the bodies of desire and thought as in
building the body of solid flesh. And what are the available materials
here? In the hidden life of our own thought and feeling we are conscious
of an unceasing flow of transient states, or we may express it, currents
of emotional and mental vibrations reaching us from we know not whence,
waves breaking upon us from without. If we deliberately choose the
elevated moods, the purest, swiftest vibrations, and seek habitually to
retain these and make them our own, sweetness and light must inevitably
characterize the habitation we are slowly building for our inner
consciousness. In other words, the vehicles of our feeling and thought
will become as “robes of righteousness.”

Desires, passions, emotions form what has been called the astral
body;[17] aspiration and thought or the action of reason, imagination
and the artistic faculties, create a still subtler, or mind-body, while
the blend of the two is what we are accustomed to observe as ruling
character. And when the physical is cast off at death, man’s
consciousness passes into his subtle bodies and into regions of bliss
whither we may not follow, but of which St. Paul gives us a glimpse when
he says “we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, Eternal
in the Heavens.”

Footnote 17:

  A real body of subtle matter interpenetrating the flesh body and
  visible to some clairvoyants.

Now, to minds permeated by cruder ideas of man’s body and soul the above
will seem mystical and unreal. Nevertheless, there are many minds,
scientifically trained to a close observation of the manifold phenomena
of life with all the finer forces and elements in nature, that are ready
to accept a truer conception of the complex constitution of man. To all
such, the proof of the actual existence of these transcendental vehicles
of consciousness lies in hypnotic and other psychic phenomena, and in
the evidence of experience. For, given a certain amount of intimate
intercourse, and the man within the man shows himself to the eye of his
friend through expression, attitude, gesture. But what the mental eye
sees behind the veil of flesh must exist in some form. Hence the eye
discerns not the consciousness, but its phenomenal garment or vehicle,
and the texture organized is coarse, brutal, degraded or animal,
sensuous, selfish, or of a finer and purer nature, divinely human,
indicating the grade and quality of the animating principle or soul


Passing back once more from personal religion, or the rise and
purification of the inner nature of the individual man, to the great
subject of religion in general, we must again have recourse to physical
analogies or figures of speech. A mighty stream or current of spiritual
vibrations has flowed from the beginning behind the circumstances of
history; and each branch of the human family has caught up, retained,
and manifested a portion thereof. But the manifestations have at all
times been governed by the receptive capacity of the particular race and
its inherent distinctions. Every formulated religion is of dual
complexion: first, the initial motive, which is spiritual; second, the
expression, which is due to ideas, and these are furnished by the mind.
The creeds, dogmas, rituals, are outgrowths of the age, civilization and

Christianity has ostensibly been the religion of Western Europe during a
long period of development in all the material appliances of a civilized
life when mental and physical forces, engaged in accumulating wealth,
have dominated this development and tended to depress and destroy the
higher impulses and aspirations of man. Christianity, already weakened
by errors that had crept in, was unable to withstand the corrupting
influences of a money-making age. It adapted itself to the sternly
practical business-like son of the West, and dropped out much of the
imaginative and reflective side of its teaching. But the “old order
changeth,” and, as has been shown in previous chapters, one great
department of civilized life, viz. the prevailing system of industry, is
hastening to its dissolution. That system has been tried in the furnace
of a longsuffering, patient experience, and found to create national
wealth in abundance, while utterly failing to subserve general
well-being, and bring about a just arrangement of social conditions.

Through all the channels of the nation’s best thinking there has sounded
low, but clear as a clarion note, a call to social reform, and now, in
the depths of industrial confusion, amid dumb despair and loud-voiced
public discontent, the still small voice of conscience speaks audibly,
and a stirring of dry bones over the whole field of action, betokens the
awakening to a new era of existence. Spiritual vibrations have loosened
the foundations of our materialized, selfish life, and pierced through
the crust of callous indifference to the heart of the nation. A new
tenderness lurks there. It prompts to the entire overthrow of our
hideous industrial warfare and the substitution of a well-ordered system
based, reared and maintained through the action of wide-reaching love.
But love was the distinguishing feature of early Christianity, and the
genius of its teaching. Through the figure of family life, with its
tender ties, unselfish actions and unity of interests and feeling, did
Christianity strive to allure to the broader, higher, deeper love that
embraces all mankind and manifests throughout all human relations.

Pioneers of the social revolution may abjure the churches, creeds and
rituals, and boast themselves agnostic, but none the less are they
aiding the reembodiment, on this material plane, of the true religious
spirit, or the birth of a religion fitted for the nation’s age and

Footnote 18:

  Mr. Lester F. Ward (in his new work published in 1903) formulates a
  distinction between human and animal societies by saying that the
  environment transforms the animal while man transforms the
  environment. This transformation constitutes what he calls
  “achievement,” and is the characteristic feature in human progress.
  The products of “achievement” are not material things. They are
  methods, ways, principles, devices, arts, systems, institutions.

The Church, it is true, gives no formal countenance to the industrial
revolution, but that does not disprove my contention that it is the
_distinctive religious movement of this age_, and that it is in line and
harmony with the religious movements of former ages. These may seem to
have been less secular than this, but they always embraced a reformation
of social and individual life. The actual distinction arises from the
Church’s own deficiencies, and from the greater elaboration of modern
society, causing an almost undue prominence to be given to the outward
changes necessary at the beginning of a modern reformation. The Church
must inevitably conform itself to the industrial revolution. It must
reform itself from within; and this is clearly perceived by many of its

Whilst I write a conference of the Young Men’s Christian Association is
taking place. A question discussed was: “What is the cause of young
men’s drifting away from the Church?” One speaker remarked that to his
mind the cause was the want of fixity of opinion on the great
fundamentals of their common Christianity. Young men found that
ministers were not agreed upon what they preached, and until the Church
made up its mind as to what was really the truth, there could be no
remedy for this drifting. Another speaker said he knew young men who
hated the Church, and said it was not consistent. They pointed to the
slum dwellings in their great cities, and asked what the Church was
doing to remedy the state of affairs there disclosed. In fact, they
said: “Salvation is hardly worth the taking, it’s so mixed up with
money-making. If the Church was to reach young men, it must take up a
more consistent attitude with regard to all social questions.” (From the

But religion is not of the Church alone, religion appertains to the
_totality_ of life; and the right ordering of all the conditions of the
nation’s material existence is the first step in the attainment of a
national religious life. For, observe, the broad current of spiritual
vibrations encompassing the race can have no free course and ingress to
thrill the nerves and quicken the pulse of the nation so long as there
endures a fierce, brutal struggle for the means of potential life—a
struggle that hardens the heart and coarsens the fibre of rich and poor
alike. The movement we call Economic Socialism is a veritable recurrence
of the cry of the Prophet Esaias: “Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make
His paths straight.”[19]

Footnote 19:

  What profits it to the human Prometheus that he has stolen the fire of
  heaven to be his servant, and that the spirits of the earth and of the
  air obey him, if the vulture of pauperism is eternally to tear his
  very vitals and keep him on the brink of destruction?—HUXLEY.

The Church militant must adjust itself without and within to the social
industrial revolution, to a wider development than hitherto in man’s
reasoning powers, and to a profound impulse in man—an impulse born of
experience—that is carrying him towards the vast region of philosophic
mysticism which lies behind the common Christian creeds and doctrines.
The poet caught the shadow of coming events when he wrote—

           So all intolerable wrong shall fade,
           No brother shall a brother’s rights invade,
           But all shall champion all:
           Then shall men bear with an unconquered will
           And iron heart the inevitable ill;
           O’er pain, wrong, passion, death, victorious still
           And calm, though suns should fall.

           Oh priests who mourn that reverence is dead,
           Man quits a fading faith, and asks instead
           A worship great and true.
           I know that there was once a church where men
           Caught glimpses of the gods believed in then:
           I dream that there shall be such church again—
           O dream, come true, come true.
                                           —W. M. W. CALL.


  The world has a purpose.... That purpose aims not at man as an end,
  but works through him to greater issues.—H. G. WELLS.

  Man has already furthered evolution very considerably, half
  unconsciously and for his own personal advantage, but he has not yet
  risen to the conviction that it is his religious duty to do so
  deliberately and systematically.—FRANCIS GALTON.

More than a century has elapsed since Pope’s line was written: “The
proper study of mankind is man,” yet it is only of recent years that
physiology has entered upon the proper method of that study. Discoveries
made in the last century have thrown fresh light on individual human
nature. The marvellous potency of thought has been demonstrated, and the
momentous fact of diverse states of basic consciousness made
apparent—the fact, namely, that the mind of individual man is not
functionally limited to his physical consciousness.

Again, that every human being should have freedom to be happy was
realized by many at an earlier epoch; but what the essential nature
might be of a happiness that could satisfy the conflicting desires of
humanity differentiated in all its units—seemed an insoluble problem.
Psychology, however, indicates the solution of that problem, for it
shows that individual happiness is intimately bound up with, and
dependent upon, _general happiness_. The “subliminal or unconscious
mind,” otherwise termed the super-physical consciousness that is common
to all mankind knows no settled peace and comfort while the areas of
physically conscious life are scenes of perpetual conflict. Man to be
truly happy must be so collectively and not merely individually or

Now the scheme of social reform I advocate points the way to a
unification of thought that working itself out through the diverse
channels of visible life will eject the causes of evil, bring order
where chaos has reigned, and slowly but surely establish the foundations
of universal peace. As Richard Harte has well said: “Human beings at
present are like a number of little magnets thrown promiscuously into a
heap, with their poles pointing in every direction, and wasting their
strength in opposing each other. These little magnets have to point in
the same direction that they may become bound together into one great
magnet, all powerful to attract good, all powerful to repel evil.”

The new system of action bases its thought on the complexity of human
nature. It recognizes that the component cells of the physical body are
lives which must suffer if the laws of their well-being are not
subserved, and the suffering translates itself into pain or into
sub-conscious distressful melancholy. It perceives that the social
instincts of man hitherto thrust back and crushed are: “the various
needs of universal attraction all tending towards unity, striving to
meet and mingle in final harmony” (Zola). And further it apprehends that
a lofty aspiration—a divine impulse—hovers on the threshold of
consciousness waiting to enter as brutal passions and vicious
propensities are conquered and dispossessed.

The evils that infest and corrupt our social life and that man must
deliberately uproot and eliminate before general happiness becomes
possible are—poverty, i.e. a life-long struggle to obtain food, shelter,
clothing; the birth of individuals weak and unfit; disease, premature
death; enforced celibacy; late marriage; drunkenness; disorganization of
family life; prostitution; war; and industrial competition; social
injustice and inequality; individual tyranny; crime; barbarous treatment
of criminals; disrespect of natural function and consequent injury to
health; conventional folly; social repression of innocent enjoyment;
religious bigotry; the feebleness of religious guidance and confusion of
religious thought.

Partial views of society as well as of individual human nature have
hitherto prevailed and given birth to specifics of all kinds for the
cure of the diseases of society, and these in the growing tenderness of
humanity, have been eagerly adopted and applied, to prove disappointing
in the main. The new system deals with society as a whole and throughout
all its parts. It requires a full comprehension of each and all the
groups or classes of social phenomena and their inter-relations.

Viewing society as a whole, we realize that there are no remedial
specifics in the case, that general happiness will be obtained only by a
process of evolution, and that the process is one of continual
readjustment of multitudinous relations, or unceasing adaptation of
individual human life to a social environment, and of social environment
to individual human life. The evolution of social environment proceeds
towards the highest ethical state which implies a system of society
based upon justice and equality. But the realization of this state
requires a perfected humanity, hence the path of progress is also in the
gradual improvement of individuals—the creation of a superior race whose
spontaneous impulses will construct and support a perfected social

Unconscious evolution has carried us forward from savagery through many
transitions to a state of civilization which, though grossly imperfect,
contains within it a new element of advance. Here and there throughout
society the power of love and reason combined has become strong, and
aided by a scientific knowledge of man and the conditions of his life,
it is capable of design, and of intensifying the action of evolutionary
forces and immensely increasing their momentum. Reason, however, must
invent an effective policy of meliorism which so unites the practical
methods of reform as that each will add strength to all, and the result
prove a powerful factor of change in the society on which it is brought
to bear.

The strife of competition throughout the whole sphere of industrial life
gives free play to selfishness and the passion of militancy, and
permeates society with the warlike spirit.

Advance in morals is the sure step to a better and happier future; but
man’s moral nature is largely conditioned by heredity, training and
environment, while these, at present, are all unfavourable to a high
moral state. A progressive system of general reform therefore has to
embrace and combine rational breeding, rational training and a rational
order of life in which sympathy and co-operation will take the place of
individual competition, and general happiness—not wealth—be the clear
aim of man.

The conscious element in evolution is as yet too weak to alter society
much or rapidly, but in all civilized countries—Germany, France,
Belgium, etc., as well as Great Britain,—changes towards the collective
control of land and capital and the reorganization of industry on
collectivist principles, have begun, and it is of supreme importance
that other changes, equally necessary, should be initiated to advance
_pari-passu_ with those.

A central source of corruption is to be found in the disintegration of
the ancient family group—the unfitness of an archaic domestic system to
achieve the ends of rational training and the acquiring of habits of
rational breeding. At the same time there is a growth in social feeling
and a spread of public opinion in favour of industrial socialism with
some legislative and local action to carry it out, that together,
present conditions propitious to change in domestic living and sexual
custom. Consequently a reconstruction of domestic life on modern
principles among educated people fitted to adapt life to moral ends is
pre-eminently a feature of the new order.

At present excessive labour on the part of the proletariat, and enforced
idleness on the part of many men and women within the classes, are fatal
to progress. Vital forces are exhausted on the one hand, repressed on
the other, while the sub-conscious feeling that craves unity and
solidarity is outraged and restrained. To restore _work_ to its
legitimate place in human life is a primary aim of the new domestic
system. That system must be built up on the principle that work for the
benefit of all is the duty and privilege of each, and without a due
share of social labour no normal man or woman in health can attain to
inward peace.

As regards religion, man’s abstract thought must purge itself from
materialized ideals, his concrete thought from selfish aims, for he is
essentially a religious being and psychical studies affirm that within
him there lie latent faculties that relate him to worlds unseen—worlds
as yet unrealizable in human consciousness.

In the visible world religious forces must be directed to the great work
of social reform. To unselfishly promote the welfare of generations
unborn is a profoundly religious course of action. The purest, noblest
feelings of man may be enlisted in the cause of progress through
union—for social reconstruction, scientific education, gentle training
of the young, associated domestic life, facilitation of happy
marriage—and for the comfort of all mankind, whether good or bad, clever
or dull, fortunate or unfortunate.

Co-operation in work to the banishment of idleness and its accompanying
misery _ennui_ is the primary object of the new domestic system, but
other ends to attain are—economy, by means of joint labour and joint
expense to the relief of monetary anxieties and domestic worries;
stability of social position, i.e. no member needing to fear that his
home will break up independently of his wishes; social intercourse and
enjoyment relieved of conventional etiquette or tyranny; freedom for
friendship between the sexes and such conditions of family union as will
promote mental capacity and altruistic sentiment in each individual;
early marriage without disregard of social responsibility and based upon
mutual knowledge of character, habits and tastes; a fitting refuge for
old age, rendering impossible the premature destruction of valuable
social forces which age alone can supply, and securing the material,
intellectual and emotional surroundings necessary for comfort up to the
last moment of life.

In the lower social strata where any reconstruction of family life is
not yet possible, what is immediately required is a gradual rise of
wages with steady improvement in all the conditions of industrial
labour. Society also must relinquish such patronage of the poor as
fosters their too rapid increase, undermines their self-dependence and
tends generally to deterioration of race. Parental responsibility must
be strongly inculcated and strictly upheld. Public teaching should be
given in all natural laws affecting society, especially the laws of
health, increase, and heredity; and, under conditions respectful to
human dignity, Malthusian doctrine should be taught, and a knowledge of
neo-Malthusian method very carefully imparted.

In the higher social strata within the newly constructed modern homes
sexual conduct and parentage with its far-reaching results for good or
evil must be controlled or guided into the path of racial regeneration.
The scientific study of man’s nature gives sexual passion an honourable
position relatively to human life. It rests on the conscience of each
adult generation as an imperative social duty to influence the young
generation in such wise as that this great passion shall subserve
physical and social health and cease to create degradation.

A due activity in growing organs strengthens organic function;
therefore, with early marriages and freedom to young love, checked only
by scientific knowledge of the laws of health, propagation at the age of
maturity is bound to put forth vitality of good quality. In conscious
evolution sexual functions are no longer regarded as essentially allied
with propagation. They are regarded, however, as properly subject in
youth to parental and social control; and that control acts as a
perpetual restraint upon licentious, dissolute tendencies and a shield
to the young love that seeks personal happiness consistent with domestic

No less potent is the action of control in another direction. Physiology
of sex and the laws of inheritance are carefully studied by guardians of
domestic peace who, rejecting the ordinary and vulgar conception accept
the teaching of science, and science points to philoprogenitiveness, or
love of offspring, as the proper motor force in reproduction. Were this
force the antecedent cause of parentage throughout the nation, disease
and premature death would be undermined and gradually subside.
“Indiscriminate survival” gives way before that “rational selection and
birth of the fit” which is a fundamental condition of social
well-being—the master-spring to a rapid evolution of general happiness.

The transition, however, from our present state of confused sentiment,
illogical thought, and disastrous action in the field of _eugenics_ or
stirpiculture, to clearness of purpose and consistency of life, must
necessarily be a work of extreme delicacy and patient endeavour. Its
achievement requires the nuclei of collectivist homes. Its nurture must
take place in the bosom of a superior domestic life. The process, in
short, implies an alteration in humanity itself, to be brought about by
such preparatory alteration in outward conditions as will set up and
bring into play the constant interaction of new social forces.

Individualism in domestic life vitiates the movement towards socialism
outside domestic life, for it gives us misshapen units unfit for a
better social system—a system that seeks to banish tyranny, despotism,
pride, self-will and every anti-social emotion in order to establish the
perfect justice and equality that are essential to the highest ethical
state. It is a necessity of socialism to lay hold of the family and
fashion it anew so that it may produce a superior material of human
life, i.e. individual men and women whose enjoyments lie chiefly in
sympathy and whose spontaneous impulses are towards an essentially
social life.

And further, not only is our present domestic system wholly incapable of
dealing with sex relations so as to adapt them to stirpiculture, not
only is it so feeble as to be absolutely impotent in the regulation of
the conduct of masculine youth outside its boundaries, but it is
destitute also of elements required in the organizing of a progressive
educational system.

Home education has almost disappeared in the disintegration of family
life, while in society the strong forces of aggregation which under
diverse conditions of industry and convention group mankind in sections
have moulded schools to massive proportions. The youth of the nation is
in a great measure cut off from the home influences which are calculated
to teach mankind “humanities, not in the academic but in the real
sense.” It is congregated in universities and large schools for superior
culture and day schools for culture of a less exalted order. In the
former, young men and maidens are separated. Domesticity—the quality in
human nature on which depends the consolidation of society, is
disregarded, whilst to the development of mutual interests, affinity of
tastes, harmony of habits and unanimity of social aims between the sexes
no attention is paid during the plastic period of life when individual
character is in process of determination. In day schools boys and girls
are often associated, but under such conditions of mechanical routine,
cramming, conflicting and alternating authorities, irregular and erratic
forces of moral control, as to make these schools provocative of evil,
fostering every anti-social instinct of man.

Co-ordination in the life of the young is the demand of the new system
of general reform. The nursery, school and playground must be
harmonized, and the entire juvenile orbit, within and without the home,
governed by intellectual and moral forces of fixed congruity. The object
and aim of true education is the fullest development of an individual’s
best powers of thought, feeling, action, by means of their happy
exercise at every stage of growth from childhood to maturity. Now
book-learning or culture in schools accomplishes very little, but a
direct study of nature is an incomparable aid to this end. Each object
and process in nature from that of the infinitely great to the
infinitely small—if fittingly dealt with by teachers—is instinct with
charm for the young of an intelligent race. It excites imagination,
awakens thought, kindles enthusiasm, stimulates every latent mental
faculty, while the endless variation of beauty in nature—under training
to close observation—makes aesthetic appeal to the sense perceptions,
and in calling forth wonder, admiration, delight adds richness
immeasurably to the quality of human life. Nevertheless the springs and
checks of a true education lie deep in a world of feeling. For their
exercise home-life is indispensable. Family love is the primary motor
force in the education of the feelings, and without the presence of a
wide domestic circle habitually fostering the sympathetic and repressing
the selfish emotions no high water-mark of civilization will be reached.

There is in man a group of emotions of comparatively recent origin
requiring scientific treatment of the utmost delicacy and precision. On
the further development of that group depends in a very special manner
the rapid evolution of an ethical social system. The group is
threefold—egoistic, altruistic, moral. It comprises a sense of personal
rights, a sympathetic jealousy for the rights of others, an intellectual
and moral sentiment of justice, or equivalence of liberty and social
comfort for all mankind. The first element is already very perceptible
throughout society. The second is more rare; it must be strengthened or
assiduously created in the nursery, schoolroom and domestic circle by a
system of training whose characteristic is extreme gentleness. The
tender shoots of sympathetic jealousy are incapable of growth in an
environment of harsh sound or brutal force. Hence the authority that
begets antagonism has no place in the perfected education of the future.

As the young emerge from childhood the responsibilities of life become
aids in education, and immensely develop the above emotions. Discipline
of conduct within their own order appertains to the young; whilst
society, within and without the domestic circle, demands the thorough
regulation of young life. Conduct clubs and combinations for a variety
of social ends, both sexes taking part, arise among the young; and these
promote in the highest degree the healthy growth of such virtuous
emotion and habits in the individual as are indispensable to ethical
socialism. The method adopted is a just and intelligent criticism to
which the youthful mind has previously been trained.

Since pride of birth, pride of wealth and habits of domination and
luxury are all unfavourable to the growth of a moral sentiment of social
justice, it is not in the upper ranks of society we need look for the
public spirit that will devise methods of gradually equalizing the
labour of life and its rewards and undermining present class
distinctions. As little likely is the sentiment of social justice to
spring spontaneously in a fortunate capitalist class where pride of
acquisition strongly opposes the principle that reward should not be
proportioned to personal capacity—that mental labour has no title to
inordinate distinction, but that other useful exertion ethically
requires fullness of reward. Reconstruction is necessarily a growth from
below. From the proletariat comes the impulse towards industrial
reconstruction, and it is in the middle class—and the less wealthy
section of that class—that the beings exist who by segregation may form
collectivist homes capable of by-and-bye aggregating into the solid
foundation of a pure and elevated republican society.

Education in these homes where mixture of ages, from the white-haired
centenarian to the infant in arms, creates all manner of tender ties,
where gentleness and love are the main stimuli in training, where
authority is exercised consistently and reasonably, and replaced at
maturity by reason and self-control—must eventuate in the production of
a superior moral and intellectual type.

The order of social evolution, computed roughly, is as follows: In the
first stage, social equality exists; it is an epoch of savagery. In the
second stage, differentiation issuing in class distinctions takes place;
the birth of social inequality and injustice arising naturally through
exercise of superior brute force and cunning. Civilization has here its
genesis; and coercion, tyranny, robbery, injustice, avarice, love of
power, inequality, are stimuli of civilization and prime elements in the
formation of strong nations. Individuals who are inferior, then whole
classes socially weak, are compelled by forces, individual and social,
to minister to the wants of the strong and superior. Civilization
nurtured by inequality and injustice develops in the superior classes of
society and slowly spreads downwards. In the third stage, reaction
occurs, prompted by civilization itself! Justice and liberty develop in
the lower or inferior social classes and spread very slowly upwards
without destroying a civilization, become inherent in the superior type
of man. The fourth stage is one of readjustment in which civilization
becomes general and there is a gradual return to social equality.
Ultimately society will have no class distinctions of the present order,
no idlers or parasites, no poor and no coercive government. Voluntary
co-operation or concerted action for social ends is a self-regulating,
self-controlling force which, when fully developed in the new domestic
and industrial systems is able to dominate society throughout its length
and breadth.

The path of social reform I advocate has now, in its main features, been
placed before my readers.

Outside the general policy that will cause the direct action of the
system to become a great factor of social change, however, there are
sundry courses of less direct action, it is bound to pursue. These bear
relation to, first, pauperism and patronage of the poor; second, the
proletariat; third, the criminal classes; fourth, the position of woman;
fifth, the young; sixth, conventionalism; seventh, political action.

In the first relation the specific policy is to carefully discriminate
between benevolence that is beneficial and benevolence that is
mischievous in its results on social well-being. Whilst exercising the
former, it gives no support to charities that hurt the independence of
the poor, or relieve them of parental responsibility. In reproduction it
discountenances and opposes the social force of _indiscriminate
selection_ which results in survival of the unfit. It seeks to initiate
and press forward the counteracting social force of _intelligent
selection_, which brings about the birth of the fit.

In the second relation, the specific policy strenuously supports
combinations of workers for the raising of wages, mutual help and
democratic political aims preparatory to general socialism.

In the third relation, the specific policy strives to enlighten public
opinion upon the nature of crime and the philosophic principles of its
treatment. It elaborates a new method in which vindictiveness, the
essence of punishment, has no existence; but gentleness towards all
evil-doers issues in, first, the effectual protection of society;
second, the reform of corrigible criminals; third, the gradual
extinction of crime. It urges upon government a cautious deliberate
adoption of this method.

In the fourth relation, the action of the policy is to promote the
enfranchisement of women, and at every point aid the movement of advance
to the position of social equality of sex.

In the fifth and sixth relations, it inculcates by admonition and
example, and especially among the young, a return to simplicity of
manners, habits and dress. It repudiates conventional etiquette, and
opposes the tyranny of fashion. It promotes the association of the sexes
in youth under condition of adult control, whether the union be that of
marriage, of friendship or of simple intercourse and companionship. It
discountenances and takes no part in the excitements of an artificial,
frivolous society, but it creates and fosters the vigorating excitements
of useful labour, alternating with unconstrained and “tranquil

In the seventh relation, the specific policy agitates for alteration of
the marriage laws, the laws of inheritance of property and the land
laws. Equality of sex is required as the basis of the marriage law,
accompanied by the condition of easy divorce in order to facilitate the
dissolution of false ties in favour of the true. The laws affecting
children require adaptation to the ethics of social justice and sex
equality. Laxity must give way to strictness in respect of parentage;
and child-birth be recognized as an event bearing directly upon the
interests of the general public. Hence modification here entails the
recognition of illegitimate children and the counteracting of the
vicious tendency to shirk parental duty and social responsibility. The
land and property laws must be adjusted to a levelling process—the
action of paring down large estates and diminishing the massive
proportions of private property so slowly as to create no individual
suffering or social confusion, such legislative measures being directed,
however, to land nationalization and nationalization of capital as their
final aim.

In conclusion, let me add, I claim to have shown that “science in the
economic field gives certain facts from which a line of social evolution
may be foreshadowed,” and that religion and science give, in wider
fields, facts and principles that point to lines of illimitable
progression for man. “Whether these lines will be followed depends not
upon immutable laws beyond our control, but upon the _human will_.” The
general policy I advocate is distinctly reliable so long as it rests on
scientific methods and knowledge, but no question is finally exhausted.
In the sphere of rational reform free-thought must ever be considered
and respected.

                   New occasions teach new duties;
                   Time makes ancient good uncouth;
                   They must upward still and onward,
                   Who would keep abreast of truth.



 Abyssinians, The, 134

 Acquisitiveness, 213

 Adler, Hermann, 218

 Adolescence, 257–266, 335, 341

 Adulteration, 45

 Aesthetic sentiment, 197–200, 203, 211, 215

 Aged, The, 269–272, 331, 338

 Allen, Dr. Nathan, 120

 Amiel, 10

 Anderson, Dr. J. A., 306

 Anxiety, 117

 Arabs, The, 134

 Arians, 299

 Arifura, The, 205

 Aristotle, 235

 Arkwright, 26

 Arnold, Matthew, 150, 249

 Asceticism, 15, 98, 105, 110, 113, 146, 156

 Associated Homes, 276–283

 Association, Young Men’s Christian, 322

 Astral body, 317

 Atonement doctrine, 315


 Balfour, A. J., 231

 Bardaisan, 301

 Bebel, August, 112, 119, 149

 Besant, Annie, 306, 315

 Bickerton, A. W., 268, 272

 Birth-rate, 80–93, 109, 265

 Bishop, Mrs., 264

 Blackley, Canon, 91

 Bon, Dr. Le, 197, 211

 Bosanquet, Mrs. B., 65

 Bread-baking, 72

 Buddhism, 293–295, 300, 303

 Bushmen, The, 132


 Capital, 25, 41, 55, 329

 Capitalists, 26, 41, 208, 338

 Carlyle, Thomas, 5, 163

 Carpenter, Edward, 16, 19, 142–144, 148

 Carr, G. Shoobridge, 85, 92

 Celibacy, 90, 95, 111, 126–129, 138, 172

 Celsus, 298

 Chatterji, J. C., 1, 295

 Chesterfield, Lord, 199

 Children, 3, 233, 238–253, 281

 Children, Training of, 176–179, 188–194, 197, 237–253, 264, 281, 282,
    331, 335–338

 Church, The, 321–323

 Civilization, 38–40, 44, 204, 206, 216, 233, 248, 250, 297, 319, 328,

 Clairvoyance, 9

 Clarke, William, 23, 46

 Clement of Alexandria, 298

 Cochrane, Baillie, 180

 Combe, George, 170

 Communism, 59

 Consciousness, 290–295, 303, 313–318, 325

 Co-operation, 51, 331, 339

 Craig, E. T., 178

 Criticism, Personal, 278

 Crime, 121, 163–182, 340

 Criminals, 67, 82, 121, 122, 164–182, 340

 Crockett, S. R., 174

 Culture, 7, 13, 95


 Dairy produce, 70

 Dalton, 205

 Darwin, Charles, 80, 83, 91, 93, 96, 125

 Death-rate, 89–93, 110

 Degeneration of race, 83, 91, 115, 123, 159, 332

 Dhimal, The, 205

 Disease, 91, 99, 115–120, 124, 150, 170, 215

 Divorce, 135, 136, 341

 Domestic reform, 244, 265, 268–283, 330, 334, 338

 Du Cane, Sir E., 164

 Duncan, Mathews, 126


 Easton, Abel, 279

 Economics, 21–75

 Education, 115, 166, 174, 177–179, 182, 234–253, 331, 335–338

 Education, State, 66–69, 244, 269

 Ellis, Havelock, 103–105, 142

 Eliot, George, 5, 6, 12, 115, 222

 Emerson, R. W., 139

 Emigration, 93

 Empedocles, 299

 Environment, 204, 239, 250, 253, 321, 328

 Escott, T. H. S., 273

 Estlake, Allan, 279, 280

 Eugenics, 114–130, 196, 283, 330, 333, 334, 340


 Fabian Essays, 25

 Factories, 25, 27–30, 55, 209

 Fashion, 200, 245, 331, 341

 Finck, Henry, 264, 265

 Fitz-Stephen, Judge, 164, 167

 Food, 23, 34, 39, 79, 84, 92

 Freedom, 16

 Free-will, 292


 Galton, Francis, 94, 126–129, 172, 325

 Gaskell, G. A., 109, 157

 Geddes, Patrick, 94, 157

 George, Henry, 32, 43

 _Ginx’s Baby_, 155

 Gnostics, The, 299–301

 Goodness, 4, 18, 105, 206

 Government, 211

 Greg, W. Rathbone, 99, 100


 Happiness, 1–19, 98, 146, 188, 218, 232, 266, 270, 272, 325–329

 Hardy, Thomas, 258, 263

 Harmony, New, 30

 Harrison, Clifford, 253

 Harrison, Frederic, 45

 Harte, Richard, 131, 326

 Health, 116, 129, 196, 333

 Hearn, Lafcadio, 303, 304

 Henry, Arthur, 239

 Heredity, 108, 114, 120–124,158, 169, 237, 304, 305, 307, 329

 Hill, Frederick, 168, 169, 171

 Hinduism, 289, 291, 292

 Hinton, James, 103

 Hobson, John A., 21, 33, 46, 51, 74, 232

 Hooker, Sir W., 205

 Horticulture, 195

 Hos, The, 205

 Hottentots, The, 134

 Howells, W. D., 213

 Huxley, T. H., 9, 12, 79, 92, 96, 214, 241, 249, 258, 304, 323


 Ibsen, H., 104

 Individual Rights, 185–200, 233, 250, 339

 Industry, Organized, 48, 51–75, 210

 Industrial Revolution, 23–50

 Industries, Routine, 72

 Interest, 54, 57


 Jakuns, The, 205

 Jamieson, Mrs., 223

 Jealousy, 137, 138, 203, 218–228, 239

 Jews, The, 134

 Joli, Henri, 122

 Josephus, 300

 Justice, 188–196, 230, 233, 250, 282, 291, 296, 305, 328, 338


 Kandyans, The, 132

 Karma, 291, 294, 299, 303


 Labourers, 25, 31, 34, 36, 40–43, 72

 “Laissez-faire,” 81, 82, 98, 166

 Lange, 125

 Landlords, 24, 33–44, 54, 209

 Land Problem, 33–44, 329, 342

 Laveleye, Emil de, 11

 Law of Causation, 291

 Leadbeater, C. W., 299

 Lecky, W. E. H., 111, 138, 202

 Legge, 293

 Legislation, 61–65, 339

 Lepchas, The, 205

 Lessing, 308

 Letourneau, Charles, 33

 Levy, J. H., 200

 Lewes, G. H., 102

 Liszt, Von, 122

 Lodge, Sir Oliver, 9, 287

 Lofft, Capel, 248

 Logos, The, 290, 312

 Luxury, 7


 Machinery, 26, 55, 240, 272, 275

 Maeterlinck, M., 103

 Mahan, Captain, 230

 Mallet, Lucas, 282

 Malthus, 79, 83, 93, 96, 127

 Manicheans, 299, 300

 Marriage, 126–128, 131–148, 219, 283, 331, 341

 Marriage-rate, 86–90, 126

 Martineau, Harriet, 110, 268, 270

 Massart, Jean, 274

 Massingham, H. W., 262, 265

 Mathews, Justice, 164, 165

 Maudsley, Dr. Henry, 117, 123, 237

 Mead, G. R. S., 301

 Meredith, George, 196

 Militancy, 206–210, 222, 229, 231, 329

 Mill, John Stuart, 30, 41

 Milton, John, 140

 Mischler, Dr., 122

 Morrison, W. D., 121, 123

 Municipalism, 66, 72, 273

 Mysticism, 298–303, 318, 323


 Nairs, The, 132, 137

 Natural Selection, 81, 83, 130, 159

 Nirvana, 295

 Nordau, Max, 185

 Noyes, J. H., 279


 Obermair, 180

 Ogle, Dr. Wm., 86, 88

 Oneida Community, 108, 278–280

 Origen, 298, 299

 Owen, Robert, 28–32

 Owen, R. Dale, 26–29

 Ozanam, A. F., 300


 Paget, Sir James, 119

 Parasitism, 274

 Parentage, 149–160, 237, 269, 333, 341

 Parsis, The, 292, 301

 Paths of the Soul, 309–311

 Patriotism, 228–233

 Patronage, 7, 242, 332, 340

 Pauperism, 42, 90, 271

 Peace, 210, 230, 326

 Pelasgians, 299

 Pharisees, 300

 Philanthropy, 58, 82, 160

 Plato, 299

 Pleasure, 2, 14

 Podhalians, The, 197, 211

 Political Economy, 53, 54, 82

 Population, 56, 83–96, 109, 128, 265, 269

 Positivism, 9–12

 Poverty, 24–32, 41, 81, 90, 95, 108, 116, 150, 158, 169, 213, 240

 Priesthood, 38

 Profits, 24, 37, 54–56

 Property, Private, 24, 39, 55, 210–217, 242, 342

 Prostitution, 111, 112, 135, 136, 142, 145

 Protestantism, 302

 Psychic phenomena, 303, 318, 326

 Punishment, 163–168, 176–178, 246

 Puritanism, 110

 Pythagoras, 299


 Rapacity, 207–210

 Reade, Chas., 260

 Reclus, Elisee, 133

 Redskins, The, 134

 Re-incarnation, 291, 294, 296, 299, 301–308

 Religion, 10, 285–323, 330

 Rent, 54–57

 Responsibility, 291

 Richardson, Dr. W. B., 114, 118

 Rights, Individual, 185–194

 Ritchie, David G., 183

 Robertson, John M., 17, 124, 126, 231

 Robertson, F. W., 309

 Robe of Righteousness, 316

 Rogers, Thorold, 271

 Rowntree, 31

 Ruskin, John, 8, 12, 175


 Sacrifice, 312–315

 Santals, The, 205

 Schooling, J. Holt, 109

 Science, 9

 “Scientific Meliorism”—Preface, 101, 114

 Servant problem, 274–277

 Sexual instinct, 95, 97–113, 144, 332, 333

 Shakespeare, 221

 Shareholders, 24, 55

 Sinnett, A. P., 308, 313

 Slater, J. E., 289

 Slavery, 36, 219

 Sloan, J. McGavin, 217

 Smith, Goldwin, 32

 Socialism, 30, 52–60, 82, 199, 259, 265, 320, 323, 329, 330, 340

 Social justice, 44, 52, 59, 185–200, 334

 Somerville, Mary, 270

 Spencer, Herbert, 14, 84, 93, 95, 96, 99, 125, 132, 136, 140–1, 152,
    158, 175, 181, 185, 206, 211, 290

 Stephenson, R. L., 193

 Stirpiculture, 114–130, 196, 283, 330–334, 340

 Swan, Howard, 243

 Sympathetic Selection, 83, 125, 159, 283, 333

 Sympathy, 82, 102, 125, 188, 191, 194, 199, 205, 224, 264, 266, 313,
    322, 329, 334

 Syphilis, 119


 Taoism, 292

 Taylor, Isaac, 281, 282

 Telepathy, 9

 Tennyson, Alfred, 161, 213, 257, 267

 Tertullian, 302

 Thompson, D’Arcy W., 246

 Thompson, A. M., 218

 Thomson, J. B., 169

 Thoreau, 104

 Tibetans, The, 132

 Tolstoi, Leo, 138

 Trinity, The, 290, 297

 Trollope, Anthony, 257, 262

 Trusts, 47, 70

 Tyranny, 207, 210, 334


 Unitary Homes, 276–283

 Unknowable, The, 290


 Vedas, The, 289

 Vedas, The, 132

 Venereal disease, 119


 Wade, 26

 Wages, 24, 26, 42, 45, 56, 68, 70

 Ward, Lester F., 49, 108, 321

 Watt, James, 26

 Wealth, 7, 41, 44, 57, 81, 123, 208, 212–216, 242, 273, 274, 319, 337

 Webb, Sidney, 41, 45, 56

 Wells, D. A., 122

 Wells, H. G., 325

 Whitman, Walt, 105

 Wines, Howard, 122

 Woman, 219–227, 248, 259, 265, 269, 340

 Wordsworth, William, 198

 Worship, 288, 293


 Zola, Emile, 97, 114, 327

 Zoroastrianism, 292, 301

    Butler & Tanner, The Selwood Printing Works, Frome, and London.


                          TRANSCRIBER’S NOTES

 1. Silently corrected obvious typographical errors and variations in
 2. Retained archaic, non-standard, and uncertain spellings as printed.
 3. Enclosed italics font in _underscores_.

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