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more quickly and can go farther if they are strong. But woe to CHAP. X them if the crust breaks !
Durkheim' accounts for this law as follows:
Man is double. To the physical man is added a social man. The latter presupposes a society that he expresses and serves. If it decays so that we no longer feel it living and acting about and above Es the social in us hangs in the air, has nothing to rest on, no objective basis. The social in us becomes a phantasmagory that a little reflection dissipates, it no longer can give purpose or meaning to our acts. And yet this social man is the whole of the civilized man; it alone gives worth to existence. So losing it, we lose most of our reasons for living. For the only life we value no longer responds to a reality and the (animal) life which is still based on Teality no longer responds to our needs. There is nothing to which the strivings of the higher, the civilized man in us relate. Our efforts seem to lose themselves in the void. In such a state of mind the minor causes of discouragement may easily give birth to the desperate resolution of the suicide.
In the suicide clinics which have been maintained in certain The
Relief of American cities, it appears that persons contemplating suicide are Confession musse in need of sympathy than of succor. The mere confessing their troubles to a sympathetic stranger instead of brooding over them alone gives them relief and renewed courage to battle on.
Sympathetic association has, indeed, an almost magical value. Sympathy After the San Francisco fire it was remarked that families that Heart had lost all and were camped in the parks were by no means down- Under the hearted. The secret was that the universal sympathy and help- ing Experi fuisess were meat and drink to the starved social self.
The sud- ences den fellowship that springs up in hours of disaster — like the enking of the Titanic – is found so sweet that the survivors form an aivociation and meet annually in order to revive it. Just as the kveliest flowers grow nearest the toe of the glacier, so the sweetest irtimacies spring up among those sharing the most terrible experiences. In war "comrade" becomes a sacred word, and the bonds uniting trenchmates and messmates often last throuch life. So comforting is this perfect fellowship that soldiers will joke and whistle amid horrors that would drive a soli"Le Suicide," p. 228.
tary man out of his wits. The journals of Polar expeditions bear witness to the cheerfulness of the men during the long Arctic night. With companionship but without sunshine they were far happier than the mountain shepherds who have sunshine but lack companionship. In the Ludlow tent colony of Colorado “ the striking miners of a dozen different nationalities suffered destitution together in midwinter, half-starved and exposed, with their wives and children, to all the adversities of cold and want and armed inhumanity; yet through all their stories of their misery there is the evidence of an extraordinary good fellowship that gave a gala air to their encampment, the happiness of a society united in sympathy, a delightful concord between alien races that were glad to find their old prejudices unfounded."
The we-feeling is not the outcome of mere juxtaposition, but depends on certain favoring circumstances. One is crisis, which sweeps away conventional barriers and gives free play to the social instincts of deeply moved persons. Another is harmony of interests. In the trenches, the exploring party, the strikers' colony, one loses that habit of eyeing the fellow-man as an actual or
potential competitor which grows up in a society like ours characHow the
terized by pecuniary emulation. Conversation brings to light We-feeling Is Evoked mental differences as well as resemblances, but, on the whole, no or Intensi. fled
doubt, it gives birth to more sympathies than antipathies. “It is a trait of civilized man," says Tarde, "to love to talk in everything that he does, to talk eating, working, loving. It is as far from the mute love-making of the Arabs and Hebrews to our vivacious wooing as from silent meals to hilarious feasts. Conversation is the circulation of general sympathy through even our most private joys.” Pleasuring together favors the spread of the we-feeling. Eating, drinking, acting, playing together, the enjoying in common of music, drama, or spectacles are time-honored means of fostering general fellowship. Owing to its relaxing effect on inhibitions, the consuming together of alcoholic drinks has been greatly relied on for thawing egos and setting up warm currents of good feeling. Concerted rhythmic response is especially powerful in creating social sympathy. Cheering, singing, and stamping together are used to evoke " college spirit and the choral singing of patriotic hymns is encouraged among soldiers to fan their esprit de corps. From early tribal days the dance has been used to unlock social emotion, and those attempt- CHAP. X ing to create a community spirit in our polyglot American cities rely on getting people to sing in immense choruses and take part in great public dances in the streets and parks. Touch, although narrow in range of operation, is a great quickener of sympathy. Shaler says: " It has been my chance to help many wounded men. In all such cases when I first look upon the sufferer I am filed with a disquiet which impels me to seek protection in flight. There is, of course, sorrow for the afflicted, but this is overmas- The
8 " La Logique Sociale,” p. 323.
Efficacy tered by the intense desire to spare myself the pain due, so far of Touch as I can see, to the shock to my ideal of what a man should be. The moment I touch the sufferer all that horror immediately vaniches and he becomes that dear thing, the actual neighbor. The fact seems to be that the impressions of sight have little awakening effect upon the sympathies as compared with those of touch." This is recognized in the “grip” of friends, the handclasp of circling merrymakers, the interlacing figures of dancers, and perhaps the ceremonial laying on of hands.
THE TARDY RECOGNITION OF OUR SOCIABLE NATURE Our dependence on others has been so overlooked that most of The Dos marvel that any one should go mad in solitude or kill himself of tho sell from lack of sympathy, or that an unmarried mother should selves Has smother her infant rather than meet shame. Poets and romanc- Been Overe have made much of such things, but the current theory of buman nature is quite too narrow to take account of them. Psychogy early gained an individualistic slant from its probing of the senses and the intellect and only lately has it plumbed the *3*incts and emotions — man's social side. Meanwhile the phikothers, being jealous for the "dignity" of human nature, have gured our social needs as if they disclosed a shameful weakness. :: human relations were scrutinized with the appraising eye the scientist there was none to gainsay the orator and the moralist in eloquently presenting absolute independence and selfTecen as goals of personal development.
Einre-5 to the social demands of human nature showed itself individo. I a great variety of ways. Prison reformers clung to the delu- ortes of
that solitary confinement regenerates. Quite unconscious of Nature ar cruelty, the benevolent tolerated the almshouse with its sep- Inanito
Harm "The Neighbor," p. 293.
CHAP. X aration of aged couples and its walling off paupers from the
common life. Respectable people looked upon the saloon as nothing but a “ dramshop" and not more than twenty years have elapsed since they perceived it to be “ the poor man's club.” That what the poor most need is “ not alms but a friend” gave thirty years ago the shock of a great discovery. The social settlement, founded in the conviction that nothing will help the slum like sympathy, good fellowship, and inspiring personal influence, has been in existence but a little over thirty years, yet has succeeded so well that it is being generalized the country over as the “social center." Still nearer is the beginning of the scientific study of the social relations of boys, resulting in the discovery of the “gang" and of the “boys' club " as a means of building character. The transformation of the Young Men's Christian Association from a devotional organization into a social-recreative institution with a religious background was a response to the new view of human nature.
Individualistic assumptions so governed early Americans that, giving up the compact settlement of the New England town, they practiced "homestead " settlement, which few European peoples have found to be congenial. One result of this and of the neglect to provide for social and recreative life in the open country is a loneliness which so tortures young people on the farms that they rush to the cities with a recklessness hardly to be matched in any other part of the world.
LATER BARRIERS TO FELLOWSHIP
While much light has been thrown on the true nature of human beings, there are still various false notions which stand in the way of our doing justice to our social cravings. Common yet is the idea that religion is something altogether between man and his Maker and does not relate man to man. Another pitfall is the notion that the chief end of sport is physical development rather than the enjoyment of fellowship in play. “Scientific management” extremists see the workman as a mere machine, while some devotees of the efficiency cult drop every human relation and reject every claim that does not contribute to " success." There is abroad, too, a caricature of Darwinism, invented to justify the ruthless practices of business men, which insists that struggle is the law of life, that every other human being is a possible rival, and that one's only option is to devour the fellow-man or be eaten CHAP. X by him. Xor may we overlook certain untoward social tendencies. The Blind
Social growth of tenancy under a form of lease which allows the tenant Evolution no compensation for disturbance or for the unexhausted fertility tyrize the he has added to the soil results in a shifting rural population un
Social Sell willing to invest in the roads, schools, churches, playgrounds, and community halls which facilitate social enjoyment. The commercial spirit, which prompts people to associate on the basis of reciprocal entertainment and service, taints fellowship with calcuLarion and inhibits that generous self-abandon which is the finest flower of friendship. Again, the wealthy have to guard their circles against the intrusion of touts, leg-pullers, notoriety-seekers, ar.d exploiters of social connections for financial, professional, or Balitical advantage. But the raising of the money barrier is respainsible for the hollowness and dulness that lies like a pall upon plu:ocratic society. No wonder that in the second generation the con-picuous tend to restrict their intimacies to playmates and schoolmates in order that within this closed circle they may taste the sweets of mutual confidence, geniality, ease, and the intimacy of first names !
THE STRUGGLE OF PERSONALITIES IN ASSOCIATION
Struggle anther? By no means. To the shrewd eye much social life is for
Existence à veiled struggle to expand one's personality at another's expense. Among (ne eats another like the beasts of the jungle. Children, whose Egos atures lie near the surface, plainly strive to convert their playfelows into an admiring circle, to use them to intensify their icerings of self. They keenly compete for notice from companos or superiors. Boys swell up and swagger about, talk in uncarural tones, “ play big,” and “ show off.” They do " stunts eagerly shouting “ Looky" as they stand on their heads or hang bobrir toes. They thrill with superiority as they stalk about py stilts or on tin cans tied to their feet. They vie in boasting, - danng." playing the “smart Aleck," and making up tall stories of their wonderful feats or hairbreadth escapes. It is significant obat the bragging lies of boys usually relate to what they can do, de girls are more apt to lie about their possessions.
Dr. Bolton says: