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and all the employed are black men, then one antagonism helps the other and the rift in society is deeper than ever.
These various oppositions in society are like different wave series set up on opposite sides of a lake, which neutralize each other if the crests of one meet the troughs of the other, but which re-enforce each other if crest meets crest while trough meets trough A society, therefore, which is riven by a dozen oppositions along A Group
Full of lines running in every direction, may actually be in less danger of Opposi
tions Is being torn with violence or falling to pieces than one split along Not Necjust one line. For each new cleavage contributes to narrow the essarily
Fragilo cross clefts, so that one might say that society is sewn together by its inner conflicts. It is not such a paradox after all if one remembers that every species of collective strife tends to knit together with a sense of fellowship the contenders on either side.
The principle that, as a rule, the various social oppositions interiere one with the other does not imply that the total opposition within society is constant, nor that it is a matter of indifference what its volume is.
The fact is, all oppositions, save only the healthy rivalries, are not only wasteful of energy, but they prevent cooperation between opponents. The wise have therefore always deplored opposition and have discovered various means of forestalling it.
1. No individious discriminations. In all save private and Means of domestic relations let a man's color, race, ancestry, religion and the Total
Opposition politics be ignored.
Society 2. Contrariety of belief and opinion, instead of being taken as proof of depravity or perversity, may be looked upon as the natural consequence of individual differences, or of difference in education, occupation, experience or associations. Goodhumoredly the differing may “ agree to disagree."
3. The fondness of the young for strife on account of its richness in thrills may be lessened by providing them with harmless and amicable forms of contest.
4. Concord may be promoted by the dropping of acrimonious controversy and the adoption by group spokesmen of the objective scientific attitude toward matters of dispute.
3. So far as society equalizes opportunities for the young, striie is less bitter because opponents contend, not for their children's chances, but only for their own.
6. Interests may contend in good humor provided there is not on one side an assumption of superiority and an air of disdain. In Europe social conflicts have been needlessly envenomed by the arrogance of the intrenched. The one-time hauteur of American railroad officials greatly exasperated their complaining patrons, while the nothing-to-arbitrate attitude of employers has helped inflame the working class.
7. In so far as government speaks for all, it enjoys greater moral authority, and it can do more to mollify infra-social struggles.
8. Organized society may prevent a struggle between conflicting interests by prescribing in an impartial spirit their relations. In case their relations do not admit of being thus prescribed from outside, it may equilibrate the contenders by throwing its weight into the scales on the weaker side.
9. Free access of an aggrieved element to some forum - court of law, administrative commission, legislature, electorate — where
it may have a fair hearing, is likely to avert bitterness and violence.
10. By preserving freedom of communication society invites the aggrieved to bring their cause before the court of public opinion.
11. Whether discord or harmony is to prevail depends not only upon economic and social conditions, but, in part, upon mental attitudes — whether men accept or reject a religion of brotherhood, regard contention or fellowship as the natural state of man. Therefore, disproof of that toxic pseudo-Darwinism which presents strife as universal law contributes to social peace.
If strife is anti-social, is the stirring up of a spirit of opposition in a social element always to be condemned? Certainly not if there is no other way of removing some oppression or handicap from which that element suffers and which keeps it in a state of backwardness or degradation. The emancipation of American women since the memorable Seneca Falls convention in 1847 was not brought about without inspiring a certain sex antagonism now happily on the wane. It is very unlikely that the emancipation of Oriental women will occur without a transient hostility between the sexes. The position of labor in the social order could not be improved without promoting class consciousness among the wage earners and marshalling them against their employers.
Opposition Is Sometimes a sine qua non of Social Progress
HE good side of opposition is that it stimulates. Even in CHAP.
strife the extra energy thus evoked may exceed the energy expended. The gain is clearest, however, when the object of enLeavor is not to overcome resistance but simply to excel. The agerness to get ahead is so universal that students of human naare count it among the instincts. Thus Thorndike declares:
"Original emulation or rivalry is, in the first place, a group of Opposition terdencies to respond more vigorously in trying to get some one's Because attention upon perceiving a fellow creature's attempts to get it, Inborn a cha-ing some animal upon perceiving a fellow creature chasing
Desire it, in pulling toward one's self a thing when a fellow creature is Ahead of
Another eing it toward himself, in running toward an object toward which he runs, and the like.” 1
VacDougall regards emulation as evolved "by a process of d.fierentiation from the instinct of pugnacity.” “ The emulative mul-e has acquired in the course of the evolution of the human 1:an increasing importance.” “Our educational system is! Ended upon it; it is the social force underlying an immense amount of strenuous exertion; to it we owe in a great measure esen our science, our literature and our art; for it is a strong, perhaps an essential, element of ambition. ... * The emulative impulse tends to assert itself in an ever-widen- In Social
Lire the ng sphere of social life, encroaching more and more upon the Emulative phere of the combative impulse, and supplanting it more and is Gaining me as the prime mover of both individuals and societies. While on the e cimbative impulse leads to the destruction of the individuals Impaise ar 1 societies that are least capable of self-defence," " the natural en lency of the emulative impulse is to preserve, rather than to e nervy, defeated comptitors; for their regards bring a fuller sat: action to the impulse." ?
1 " The Original Nature of Man," p. 99. 3* Social Psychology," pp. 293, 294.
Many persons achieve their best only when vying, just as a spirited horse makes its best speed when “paced” by another horse. Says Cooley: “Human rivalry appears to have much of this instinctive element in it; to become aware of life and striving going on about us seems to act immediately upon the nerves, quickening an impulse to live and strive in like manner. ..
“The motive of rivalry, then, is a strong sense that there is a race going on, and an impulsive eagerness to be in it. It is rather imitative than inventive; the idea being not so much to achieve an object for its own sake, because it is reflectively judged to be worthy, as to get what the rest are after...."
"... Rivalry supplies a stimulus wholesome and needful to the great majority of men, and ... is, on the whole, a chief progressive force, utilizing the tremendous power of ambition, and controlling it to the furtherance of ends socially approved. ...
MEASUREMENT OF THE STIMULUS FROM COMPETITION Effect of This stimulus admits of laboratory measurement. Triplett Rivalry Upon noted that the records for bicycle riding made in competition Mental Work averaged 472 per cent. faster than the records made against time.
A German schoolmaster, Moede, tested seventeen pupils in a class, working individually and working in competition. The eight poorer students did better in competition than alone. The seven better students sometimes did not so well as when alone, altho, as a whole, the speed of the class increased. In other kinds of effort the better students were helped by competition, but not so much as poorer students were benefited. In learning by heart the latter were helped eleven times as much as the former. The cause of the difference seems to be that the better pupils work so hard when alone that they are little quickened by rivalry when associated, while the group in some degree disturbs them. The poorer pupils, on the other hand, work with nothing like maximum attention and concentration until association keys
them up to do their best. No Stimo
These experiments were made upon competitors very different lation Unless the in power. In experiments upon two competitors of nearly equal Competitors Aro powers, competition always heightened speed, the gain being about Nearly Equal in
10 per cent. when the two are in keen competition, uncertain as Powers
3 “Human Nature and the Social Order," pp. 275-277.
to which will win. On the other hand, both show a decrease, when the difference is so great that the conclusion is foregone. The better pupil is enervated by the weakness of the poorer, while the poorer, discouraged at the prospect of sure defeat, is incapable of his best. These experiments seem to justify the old practice of ranging the pupils in a class in a row according to their performance. The dull pupil might not aspire to attain the head of the class but he was stimulated to get by the one next above him and to keep above the one next below him.
MEANS OF GENERALIZING RIVALRY They also prove the futility of competition between the very fion of
Classicaunequal. For example, when an athletic contest is open to all stu- Handicap.
ping Nec dents, many feel there is no chance for them and stand by idly essary u watching a few stars compete. Unless they can be drawn in by bob geiting up a number of different contests involving a great va- stirred to
Compete Tiety of aptitudes, they should be formed into a number of groups according to strength or skill, so that all within the same group are enough alike to be stimulated by competing among themselves.
In the American army camps games were adapted to large numbers. New games were built incorporating movements used in the major sports. The competitive spirit was roused by pitting group against group and awarding points. There is no end to the number of men or groups which can be directed simultane0-2!y. On the same principle business men, in stimulating their selling force, do not award prizes or honors to those men making the biggest sales, because this narrows the contest to the salesmen in "ea-y" territory. But every man is brought into the contest when careful estimates are made of the coming year's sales in each district and the winners of the competition are the salesmen sto most surpass these estimates. Often the athletic rivalry between high schools breeds nothing Broaden
ing the but contests between small teams of picked men. The great body Scope of
Contest of pupils derive from such matches no stimulus to self-improvemeat. The remedy is a system which spurs each lad to score what points he can in the various athletic events. The sum of these individual scores is the total for the school and this divided by the sumber of boys enrolled gives the average athletic excellence for that school. In this way school can compete with school, even