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THE ORIGINAL SOCIAL FORCES
HE immediate causes of social phenomena are to be sought CHAP. IV in human minds. After such phenomena have been accounted for in terms of motive, nothing is gained by viewing Psychical, them as manifestations of cosmic energy. Why account for a current of migration on the principle motion follows the lines of least resistance when it is so explicable on the principle men go where they can most easily satisfy their wants? No doubt there are rhythms in every field of human interest from dress to worship, but, if they occur because "attention demands change in its object," why class them with rhythms in Nature, which are due to "conflict of forces not in equilibrium"?
External Social ens Are
In view of the great role of the geographic environment in social destiny, thinkers often explain social phenomena by the troduction of two sets of factors—one internal, the other external. Under such terms as "race and locality," "man and environment," "folk and land," this dualism is always cropping up. The fact is, however, migrations and colonizations, the territorial Factors ribution of population, its occupational choices, the location of cities, the routes of communication and the lines of investment have human volitions as their proximate causes, not geographic features. It is only when, pressing further back, we seek the causes of these volitions that we come upon considerations relating to climate, contour, topography and soil. For example, all the causes of the location of a settlement are in the minds of the settlers. Geography enters into the case only as affecting the motives which determine their decisions.
Another error consists in identifying social forces with human needs rather than human wants. Usually need means what we think people ought to want; but human nature, including its folbes, vanities and lusts, is in the members of society, and must be reckoned with. Nothing is more foolish than to imagine that all the defects in people flow from defects in society and will vanish
CHAP. IV if only we organize society on right lines. Some of the traits developed in man a hundred centuries ago make trouble now and will have to be allowed for æons hence.
Errors of the Organ
The Instincts Are the
No sooner have we arrived at the truth first emphasized by Ward that the social forces are human desires than we come upon new forms of error. The "organic" conception of society pictures the desires of individuals as running together into a collective desire for the social welfare. This generalized desire for certain results would be the cause of the "social organs" functioning. Thus Spencer is apt to attribute an institution either to the individual's sense of a common interest or to the common sense of an individual interest and to overlook the rôle of special desires behind a particular institution. In accounting for monogamy, he stresses too much its good results and ignores the rôle of male sexual jealousy. He thinks the force which calls customary rules into being is "the consensus of individual interests.” 1
As a matter of fact, there worked along with the general desire to safeguard individual interests such special motives as the love of fair play and sympathy with the resentment of the wronged man. He states that "governing agencies, during their early stages, are at once the products of aggregate feeling, derive their powers from it, and are restrained by it." But in fact along with the aggregate feeling works the instinct to dominate once known as "the love of power" and rebaptized "the will to power" — which, although animating only a few, may push government beyond what the aggregate feeling approves. On the other hand, another instinct - the impatience with restraintmay keep government below what the aggregate feeling demands. HUMAN INSTINCTS THE ORIGINAL SOCIAL FORCES $
To contemporary psychology, man comes into the world with a rich endowment of dispositions or instincts which, in the words of MacDougall," are the mental forces which maintain and shape all the life of individuals and societies." Without them the human organism would lie inert " like a wonderful clockwork whose
1 Principles of Sociology, V. II, p. 533.
2 Ibid., p. 469.
3 It would be rash for the sociologist to list or classify these social forces when the psychologists have not yet made up their minds about them.
mains ring had been removed or a steam engine whose fires had CHAP. IV been drawn." Thorndike declares, "The behavior of man in the family, in business, in the state, in religion, and in every other affair of life, is rooted in his unlearned, original equipment of nstincts and capacities." In Veblen's judgment the instincts are "the prime movers in human behavior." "Nothing falls within the human scheme of things desirable to be done except what answers to these native proclivities of man. These native proclivities alone make anything worth while and out of their workings emerge not only the purpose and efficiency of life but its substantal pleasures and pains as well."
Like his features or his brain structure, man's instincts have evolved slowly under the operation of natural selection thru an mense period and there is no reason to suppose that they have changed much in historic time. Each instinct promoted the individual's survival during its period of development, but since then the conditions of life have so changed that it may now be a are to its possessor or a menace to his fellows or to the social eler. The existence of an instinct is no reason for giving it free course.
THE REPRESSION OF INSTINCTS
Not All stincts Are Beneficial
to Him un
but not to
The yielding to native tendencies when and as they present It Is Well Gemselves results so often in ruin and confusion that thinkers ere quite justified in arraigning the "natural" man and recom-ding the conduct of life according to rules or ideals or a sysm. They erred, however, in supposing that, if you "mortify - bring under " a troublesome natural disposition, it will pres
die and drop off. Indeed, it is not so simple a matter to e and force human nature. Sometimes the baulked disposipersists and we suffer an inner bleeding, a loss of nervous ergy accompanied by a vague distress or unrest.
INNOCENT GRATIFICATION OF INSTINCTS
The solution of the dilemma lies in the fact that almost every rative urge may find vent thru any one of a number of channels and by closing certain channels and opening others a mischievous of Substinct may be drained harmlessly away or even made useful. imation ether the acquisitive instinct shall lead to commercial crime or
ent collecting, whether innate pugnacity shall find satis
CHAP. IV faction in fighting or in antagonistic sports, whether the impulse to self-assertion shall seek fulfilment in self-display and boasting or in solid achievement, whether curiosity shall instigate to prying or to study, depend on training, leadership and dominant ideas.
SUBLIMATION OF INSTINCTS
There is, furthermore, the fact that man is fanciful and his cravings may be stilled by imaginative or symbolic gratification. The sex urge, the teasing and tormenting proclivities, the destructive bent, the passion for domination, wanderlust, the hunting and fighting instincts, need not be pinched off provided that they be sublimated. It is the mission of literature and art to create means of satisfying our repressed desires wholly within the mind, thereby giving them a fuller or less costly scope than we dare to give them in real life. The relief of the soul by art or sport so resembles that of the body by a cathartic that the Greek thinkers called it katharsis or purgation.
SOCIAL MANIFESTATIONS OF THE FIGHTING INSTINCT There is no end to the illustrations of instinct in the life of tion of the societies. In the earlier stages the pugnacious instinct impels man to wreck everything he holds dear, almost as if he were possessed by a demon. On the basis of his observations in Central Borneo, MacDougall remarks, "The people are very intelligent and sociable and kindly to one another within each village community; but... the neighboring villages and tribes live in a state of chronic warfare; all are kept in constant fear of attack, whole villages are often exterminated, and the population is in this way. kept down very far below the limit at which any pressure on the means of subsistence could arise. This perpetual warfare, like the squabbles of a roomful. of quarrelsome children, seems to be almost wholly and directly due to the uncomplicated operation of the instinct of pugnacity. No material benefits are sought; a few heads and sometimes a slave or two are the only trophies gained; and if one asks of an intelligent chief why he keeps up this senseless practice of going on the war path, the best reason he can give is that unless he does so his neighbors will not respect him and his people, and will fall upon them and exterminate them."
4 Social Psychology, p. 280.