Billeder på siden
[ocr errors]

in a


dians of the An



so that we have no assurance that the social order will comport with ordinary human nature. Individuals with the skewest notions as to the chief ends of man — religious devotees, aged jurists, property owners, fox-hunting gentry — may shut up a people for generations in a frustrating régime. The Chinese have idealized toil to the point of eliminating provision for play. Until they came into contact with the West, sport made no appeal to them and their ideal of a delectable life was bodily ease and passive enjoyment. This was why they took to opium smoking but not to strong drink.

Communal ownership denied the Russian peasant a satisfying scope for his instinct of acquisition or possession. Rural Russia knows little of that “magic of property which turns sand into gold.” For this reason, perhaps, the peasants rarely develop that unremitting industry, thrift and hopefulness which are common

when each farmer has, or can look forward to, a farm of his own. The In

The moroseness and surrender to alcoholic excess of the In

dians of the Andean uplands from Ecuador to Bolivia probably dean Up

result from the bafflement of the instincts of self-assertion and Broken by liberty. Even to-day Cuzco Indians, women as well as men, doff pression hat to every white man they pass. In the remoter districts the

Indian who sees a white man coming along the trail will make a long detour to avoid him. If you approach an Indian abruptly he will fall on his knees, put up his arm to shield his face, and

“Don't hurt me, master!” The old brutalities are gone but fear continues to inhibit self-assertion, so that this broken-hearted race has little of the virtue and happiness it enjoyed before the Spaniards set their heel on its neck.

Through most of the Orient and particularly under Islam pression of women are so pent and obstructed in the gratification of ordinary Once Well

human instincts that their faces are stamped with sadness and

resignation. On the other hand, nowhere do women's counteversal

nances bear less evidence of balked disposition than in the United States and among the educated class in Russia. Thirty years ago when I began to addres groups of American women the faces marked with bafflement were far more numerous than they are

College girls to-day laugh and chatter more than did those of the eighties. Japanese and Chinese girls educated in American schools show in the countenance a light and a nobility of expression strange to the Oriental women. Under the conditions of

Past Op

cry, “

The Needless Re


security, freedom and male appreciation women here are entering CHAP. IV ca an unwonted fullness of life.


Lately the

Dealt Un


It must not be supposed, however, that our own civilization Until does not sin against human nature. A generation ago the school- School master dealt repressively with child nature, dismissing the child's feelingly propensities to play, rove, hunt, collect or fight as a heritage from with Child the Old Adam." He acknowledged no obligation to make learning interesting and complacently forced the child by fear of the ferule to "get" his lessons. Such repression worked no great harm when those who abominated school could generally escape it. Now, however, that society insists on keeping the child in hool for eight or ten years, it behooves educators to make education palatable by tying it to his native interests. Less task work and more play, less memorizing and more doing, less study of books and more of things, is the order of the day. By the best teachers, the rhythmic, dramatic, expressive, animistic, constructive and emulative instincts are recognized and appealed to.

In dealing with offenders the infliction of physical pain has been given up as well as the martyrizing of the social self by eans of stocks, pillory, ear-cropping, branding, and whipping at the cart's tail. We only confine offenders and, since they are w-warmed and fed and not overworked, we imagine our prison system humane. The fact is, shutting a man up in a tiny cell in a great steel cage may torture the mind as the thumb screw tortures the body. It so violates the instinct for liberty that aliensts have had to recognize a new disease, "confinement insanity." More enlightened than we, posterity will condemn our ignorant cruelty in breaking men who in a convict logging or road-building Camp would have kept sane.

Gravest of all is the trend of industry in obedience to the moLe of cheapening production. Incidentally and quite without zace, industrialism holds apart the sexes. One industry will have men workers while another located elsewhere will hire only women, the result being an excess of men in some localities and of

men in others. In a certain collar-and-cuff manufacturing center only 46 per cent. of the population are males while in a oring electrical manufacturing center 54 per cent. are males. Here a few miles apart are two groups of involuntary celibates

our Prison


More Hu

Looks mane than

ally Is

Dissocia tion of the


Sexes by

CHAP. IV whose sex instincts are needlessly thwarted or perverted. Con

sider, too, the massing of unmarried immigrant men into tenement rooms and the condemning of some millions of migratory workers to a wifeless existence.

To Many the Machine Technique Denies


tion of the

Instinct of Workmanship

Less and less is the instinct of workmanship stimulated as the minute subdivision of tasks makes labor a monotonous repetition. Handicraft gives way to machine-tending, which is so little absorbing that, it is said, mental deficients make the best machine tenders! Small zest can workers feel who do not understand the relation of their own product to the finished article. Finally comes scientific management which takes all planning away from the ordinary worker, leaving him a meaningless mechanical job at which no craftsmanship can be exercised and from which, therefore, no joy can be derived.



Exclusive capitalist control of industry thwarts the workers' Bames the impulse to self-assertion stirred as it is by the democratic ideas of our time. This autocratic determination of conditions which vitally affect the lives of the workers, as well as the experience of being spied upon and dismissed for any endeavor to organize, makes for an unrest which no concessions as to wages and hours can allay. Behind the movement for a more democratic control of industry lies something more than agitation, viz., a suppressed demand of human nature. This is why the President's Mediation Commission urges the captains of industry to "aim for the release of normal feelings by enabling labor to take its place as a cooperator in industrial enterprise."




THERE are certain great complexes which contribute to CHAP. V


satisfy a number of our innate cravings. Among them are The Wealth, Government, Religion, and Knowledge. Each of them arpeals to so many sides of human nature that for most men it bec mes an object of abiding concern and desire. These derived

cal forces may be called interests. They so mightily determine the attitudes and exertions of men that the interests of a people or an age give it its distinctive stamp. The forces which alter from time to time the comparative strength of interests are ang the veritable makers of history.


The wealth (or economic) interest has its tap root in the pangs hunger and cold, which incite man to acquire material goods. In time, however, all sorts of cravings, native and acquired, put mrequisitions for such goods and thus whet greed to a keener When personal emulation takes the form of "conspicus waste," the instinct of rivalry prompts to acquisition. When maidens' eyes gold "gilds the straitened forehead of the fool," i will be prized as a means of winning the coveted mate. en entertainment is expensive, money is sought in order to atify one's sociable needs. When it is believed that the gods. vet rich presents, men will seek the wherewithal for costly es and sanctuaries. When wealth gives lordship over , the ambitious will rowel hard in the pursuit of fortune. When the artist works for the highest bidder, the lover of beauty


turn his hand to money-making. When Dives is more honi, stands better with God, is a more formidable suitor and Als bigger meshes in the law than the better man with the lighter se, many streams of desire pour into the wealth-wanting chanel and avarice will swell to monstrous proportions.


up of the




We can Measure the Value of Wealth in Terms of the Things Against Which It Is Bal. anced

In general, the itch for wealth varies directly with its capacity to promote the satisfaction of one's desires. Since this capacity varies from place to place and from age to age, it follows that the value of wealth is subject to rise and fall, not, of course, in terms of any kind of material good, but in terms of the things against which wealth may be balanced.

For there are markets in which such balancing occurs. There are streets where woman's virtue is sold for money, communities where there is a ruling price for votes. From the pay scale of occupations which differ in respect to independence, safety, and good repute, one can compute the amount of money which will overcome the love of independence, of safety, and of good repute. We see individuals sacrificing health or leisure, or mating, or offspring, or friends, or liberty, or truth, for gain. The relative volume of such spiritual goods Mammon can lure into his market at a given time and place, measures the power of money. By the choices men make in such cases and by the judgment others pass upon such choices, we can arrive at the current social estimate of wealth. When gold cannot shake the nobleman's pride of caste, the statesman's patriotism, the soldier's honor, the wife's fidelity, the servant's loyalty, the scholar's veracity, the official's sense of duty, the artist's devotion to his ideal, wealth is cheap. But when maidens wed senile money bags, youths swarm about the homely heiress, judges take bribes, experts sell their opinions to the highest bidder and genius champions the course it does not believe in, wealth is held dear.

Such fluctuations in the market where wealth is balanced against other kinds of goods might originate on either side. Some insist that it is the latter which vary, arguing that wealth derives its primary esteem from its relation to our bodily wants, which are as stable as the organism itself. Probably, however, it is wealth that changes in value rather than the satisfaction of the sex instinct, the parental instinct, the instinct for liberty or self-assertion, or workmanship; rather than built-up values such as honor, caste pride, and moral standards. The reason is that, since wealth is means not end, its importance is bound to fluctuate owing to changes in the power of material goods to gratify desire.

Wealth Fluctuates in Value Rather than what It Is Compared with

« ForrigeFortsæt »