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cialism, was written as if the doctrine of evolution had never been mooted. Mr. Henry George contemplated the world and saw, or imagined he saw, that only in the great and crowded centres of life did the problem of poverty in its most appalling form present itself. In the backwoods and in unappropriated territory there might be a terrible struggle, but there was no poverty. Having satisfied himself that this was an exhaustive record of social phenomena, he proceeded to ask himself what factor present in the one case and absent in the other accounts for the prevalence of poverty in the crowded city and its comparative rarity in the backwoods. The answer revealed itself to him in the magic monosyllable "rent." Private ownership of land was responsible for all the social evils to which mankind is heir, and by nullifying private ownership by taxing rent out of existence, the great problem of modern humanity would be solved. It is strange that a doctrine which misstated all the principal phenomena it attempted to explain, and which begged all the questions it was supposed to answer, should have commanded, even for a moment, the wide influence it enjoyed in its day, and which in an attenuated form it still exercises. To invest its phantasy with an artificial plausibility, the author of Progress and Poverty was constrained to assume the equality of mankind, to ignore the existence of the struggle for life, and to strip capital of all the functions attributed to it by every school of economy. So simple and so devoid of history did he consider the human problem, that he thought by transporting a handful of the heirs of all the ages to a desert island, hitherto undisturbed by the presence of man, he could reconstitute society on its primitive and innocent basis and in an Eden unpolluted by the serpent "rent," could find a Ciritas

Dei which would represent the supreme and final achievement of triumphant democracy. It is not strange that a man of imagination should have devoted himself to such a task, for Mr. George only walked in a welltrodden path, but what is astounding is that a generation which professed to have accepted the main principles of the doctrine of evolution should have treated Mr. George's fancies as a serious scientific contribution to a stiff work-a-day problem. Very different from this is the real problem, as revealed to us in the light of the theory of evolution. That doctrine teaches us that change in all cosmic phenomena, organic and inorganic alike, is from the homogeneous to the heterogeneous, from the relatively simple to the absolutely complex or, to put it in everyday phraseology, from equality to inequality. Oken, the German naturalist, allegorically and picturesquely enunciated the problem thus: "Chaos was represented by =; the creative act consisted in the introduction of and—.”


It would be interesting to know whether the seeds of Darwin's famous theory were already germinating in his mind when he started, at the age of twenty-three, on his memorable voyage in the Beagle, or whether the human phenomena he observed during his travels suggested the theory. There is to be found in his log-book, written up in the course of his travels, a passage which has a striking bearing upon a feature of the doctrines of evolution, that he never subsequently developed—I mean, the social and political feature. He was describing the character of the inhabitants of Tierra del Fuego visited by the Beagle in 1834. His belief that the Fuegians represented the most backward stages of humanity was perhaps inaccurate, but the existence of a still less developed type does not militate against the

importance of his observations. "The perfect equality among the individuals composing the Fuegian tribes must for a long time retard their civilization. As we see those animals whose instinct compels them to live in society and obey a chief are most capable of improvement, so it is with the races of mankind. Whether we look at it as a cause or a consequence, the more civilized always have the most artificial government. For instance, the inhabitants of Otaheite, who, when first discovered, were governed by hereditary kings, had arrived at a far higher grade than another branch of the same people, the New Zealanders, who, although benefited by being compelled to turn their attention to agriculture, were Republicans in the most absolute sense. In Tierra del Fuego, until some chief shall arise with power sufficient to secure any acquired advantage, such as the domesticated animals, it seems scarcely possible that the political state of the country can be improved. At present even a piece of cloth given to one is torn into shreds and distributed, and no one individual becomes richer than another. On the other hand it is difficult to understand how a chief can arise till there is property of some sort by which he might manifest his superiority and increase his power." This obiter dictum of a man of rare powers of observation, seeking knowledge as a naturalist, and not as a politician or a philosopher, is worth all the carefully-selected examples of interested theorists anxious to find facts to square with their creed. Darwin recorded the phenomenon, commented on it and passed it by, never, so far as I know, to refer to it again. Yet it would be difficult to find a more illuminating confirmation of the doctrine of political and social evolution, or one more fatal to the gratuitous assumptions of Mr. Henry George and his school.

The two fundamental laws which govern-using the word conventionally -the organic world are those of heredity and adaptation, to which correspond two primordial instincts, philoprogenetiveness and self-preservation. In the physical world their equivalent is the centrifugal and centripetal forces. The resultant of the co-operation and antagonism of these laws is the process which we know as evolution. Heredity may be called the Tory and adaptation the Radical principles of Nature and it may be observed in passing that the simpler and more immature the condition of organisms the more easy and rapid is the process of evolution, and, on the other hand, the more complicated and developed the stage reached the slower and more difficult is the process of adaptation. What we mean by environment is the aggregate of all the phenomena of every description affecting, but external to the organism itself. Adaptation to the environment would imply the possibility of ultimate perfection if the environment were constant. But as the environment itself is always changing, and is modified by the very process of adaptation, the prospect of perfection-that is, of complete adaptation--can be only described by the figure of an asymptote, a line that continually approaches nearer and nearer to some curve, but only meets it in infinity. Of the two forces heredity may be said to be the more powerful in this respect, that any arrest in the process of adaptation is followed by a reaction, or what is known as recur rence to type.' What follows, then, is the phenomenon known as the struggle for life or the survival of the fittest. The struggle is between the organism and its environment, including in the latter all external elements antagonistic to the existence of the or

1 On this point, however, see Huxley's "Darwiniana." Vol. II. of "Collected Essays," pp. 425 and seq.

ganism. amongst them not only alien enemies, but the rivalry of cognate species. Under purely natural conditions that is, conditions not artificially modified by man, the consequence or penalty of failure is extinction either of the species or of the individual. The prize of successful adaptation is survival, and to use a sporting phrase, the reduction of the handicap in the next contest. If, then, the great problems involved in fitness and unfitness could be left, as it is popularly said, to Nature they would settle themselves. Such organisms as could no longer adapt themselves to their environment would disappear, as the wolf and the bear have disappeared from England, as the buffalo is rapidly vanishing from the prairies, and as the fox would be extinct at home if it did not suit the interests or caprices of sportsmen to preserve him. The unfit would go, just as, in spite of Mr. Henry George, the weakling and the incapable perishes in the backwoods and starves in the shadows of the great cities. And by unfit it must always be understood that inability to cope with the special environment of the moment is meant. "Dirt" said the great Lord Derby, "is matter out of place." In like manner, poverty is or may be skill and labor out of place. An Aristotle or a Newton, an Eschylus or a Shakespeare would pay the penalty of unfitness if isolated in the backwoods, where the the sturdy man of muscle would triumph, just as the latter must hopelessly fail if he had to make a livelihood by his brains in the atmosphere of a great intellectual centre. Man is not exempt from the operation of the laws which govern organic life, but to man alone it is given so to modify his environment as to alter for good or evil the operation of these natural laws. And, indeed, in the early stages of the history of man the heir of all the ages differed from

his humbler animal brethren only in degree of powerlessness to triumph over the laws of his environment. To many it will come as an appalling shock to learn that disease, physical unfitness in its most aggravated form, is, so far as it is not a simple instrument of destruction but a perpetuation of weakness and inferiority, mainly the result of man's interference with the operations of natural laws. This truth, for it is now hardly disputed, has nowhere been more forcibly insisted upon than in the remarkable Romanes Lecture delivered at Oxford in 1905 by Sir E. Ray Lankester, which has since been republished under the title of Nature's Insurgent Son. "In the extra-human system of Nature," he says, "there is no disease, and there is no conjunction of incompatible forms of life such as man has brought about on the surface of the globe. In extra-human Nature the selection of the fittest necessarily eliminates those diseased or liable to disease. Disease, both of parasitic and congenital origin, occurs as a minor phenomenon. The congenitally diseased are destroyed before they can reproduce; the attacks of parasites great and small either serve only to carry off the congenitally weak, and thus strengthen the race, or become harmless by the survival of those individuals which, owing to peculiar qualities in their tissues, can tolerate such attacks without injury, resulting in the establishment of immune races. It is a remarkable thing-which possibly may be less generally true than our present knowledge seems to suggest that the adjustment of organisms to their surroundings is so severely complete in Nature apart from man, that diseases are unknown as constant and normal phenomena under those conditions. It is no doubt difficult to investigate this matter, "The Kingdom of Man," p. 32.

since the presence of man as an observer itself implies human intervention. But it seems to be a legitimate view that every disease to which animals (and probably plants also) are liable, excepting as a transient and very exceptional occurrence, is due to man's interference. The diseases of cattle, sheep, pigs, and horses are not known except in domesticated herds, and those wild creatures to which man's domesticated productions have communicated them. The trypanosome lives in the blood of wild game and of rats without producing mischief. The hosts have become tolerant of the parasites. It is only when man brings his unselected, humanlynurtured races of cattle and horses into contact with the parasite that it is found to have deadly properties. The various cattle diseases which in Africa have done so much harm to native cattle, and have in some regions exterminated big game, have per contra been introduced by man through his importation of diseased animals of his own breeding from Europe." Sir E. Ray Lankester adds in a footnote "a similar kind of difficulty, of which many might be cited, is brought about by man's importations and exportations of useful plants. He thus brought the phylloxera to Europe, not realizing beforehand that this little parasitic bug, though harmless to the American vine, which puts out new shoots on its roots when the insect injures the old ones, is absolutely deadly to the European vine, which has not acquired the simple but all-important mode of growth by which the American vine is rendered safe. Thus, too, he took the coffee plant to Ceylon, and found his plantation suddenly devastated by a minute mould (the Himalaya vastatrix), which had lived very innocently before that in the Cingalese forest, but was ready to burst into rapacious and destructive activity when

the new unadjusted coffee trees were imported by man and presented in carefully-crowded plantations to its unrestrained infection." I might cite as instances on the other side the too-successful introduction of the rabbit into Australia and of the English sparrow into the United States.

Nature, however, has her compensations. Beside the nettle grows the dock. If man in the progress of his ascent has evolved for himself and for the poor relations enlisted in his service, many forms of disease, he has also evolved doctors and veterinary surgeons. He does not, however, employ these two classes in the same way. A veterinary surgeon who would allow the humblest animal committed to his charge to drag out an agonized existence, tormented by anguish, to an inevitable end would be liable to punishment for cruelty to animals. The doctor who would terminate torture by precipitating an equally inevitable end would be indicted for manslaughter. In the breeding of his horses and dogs, of his flocks and herds, man improves upon Nature and carries the principle of the extirpation of the unfit to its extreme conclusion. When, however, the future of his own race is in question man ignores the teaching of Nature and leaves the fitness of future generations to Providence or to chance. As with the physical body, so with the body politic. In the one case, as in the other, it is our habit to talk of our "constitution." In the interest of the physical body subject to diseases of his own handiwork man has evolved doctors. For the maladies of the body politic, also to a large extent the result of his own actions, man has evolved politicians. The development of the doctor and of the politician is subject to the same conditions. But there is a marked difference in the rate of progress. Both pass, or should

pass, through the different stages of empiricism, metaphysics, and science. The primitive herbalist was aware that the bark of the cinchona, of whose properties he knew nothing, would cure diseases, of the causes and nature of which he knew as little, though experience taught him that suffering and death would result if the malady were unchecked. He was folfowed by what may be called the metaphysician, who, imagining causes which were non-existent and attributing to the bark of the cinchona properties which it did not possess, worked out a conclusion which experience had taught him to be true from premises, which for all he had learned from experience might be, and generally were, quite false. Last of all comes the scientific analyst, who, by patient observation and research, discovers that the disease known as malaria is due to the presence in the blood of an infinitesimal organism generically described as a microbe. He finds, further, that for reasons in which he is not immediately interested, the microbe will not live in a solution of quinine too weak to affect the blood injuriously. The microbe dies, the malaria vanishes, and the problem is solved. With the doctors of the body politic the case is different. We are emerging from the purely empirical stage and are just entering the metaphysical, the land of the mirage, the home of the ideologue. The political empiric applied his remedies after the fashion of the primitive herbalist. He administered to his patient what experience had taught him "would do him good." Sometimes, of course, the potion did not do good, and the patient died. That was a new experience and conveyed a warning which repetition confirmed. In his track came the ideologue, with his unproved, untried, and often imaginary scheme of causes and effects, re

lated in his mind by a nexus which no amount of experience would ever break. Talleyrand tells us that during the Consulate he was astonished to see some of the most violent of the Jacobins leaving the study of Napoleon. Napoleon said, “Ah, you do not know the Jacobin. There are two classes of them-les sucrés et les salés. The one you just saw come out was a salé; with these I do what I wish: no one better fit to defend all the daring acts of a new Power. Sometimes it is necessary to stop them, but with a little management it is soon done; but the sucrés Jacobins -they are ungovernable. With their metaphysics they would ruin any government." To-day is the day of the sucré Jacobin. He is particularly interested in the problem of poverty and the inequality of wealth. His fellow, the salé Jacobin, would solve the problem of inequality by rushing at his neighbor with a bludgeon in his hand and shouting, "Sois, mon frère. ou je te tue," and he would settle the unequal distribution of wealth on the same simple and effective principle. The other, however, being cursed with a political conscience, seeks to justify the same ends by metaphysical reasons. The mental process is not very recondite. The problem which presents itself may be stated thus: Porerty and its attendant miseries are due to the struggle for life. If there were no struggle there would be no resultant evil. Inequality in like manner is due to competition, a phase incident to the struggle: if there were no competition there would be no inferiority. The conclusions are obvious. I once heard, many years ago, with my own ears the problem thus nakedly propounded by a fluent demagogue addressing a meeting of badlypaid agricultural laborers. "We are told," he said, "that wages are regulated by the laws of supply and de

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