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mainst 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 substantial 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 mmense 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.


to Control

but not to

The yielding to native tendencies when and as they present It Is Well themselves results so often in ruin and confusion that thinkers Instincts sere quite justified in arraigning the “natural” man and recom- Repress ng the conduct of life according to rules or ideals or a sysThey erred, however, in supposing that, if you "mortify ” bring under " a troublesome natural disposition, it will pres


de 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 mergy accompanied by a vague distress or unrest.

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The solution of the dilemma lies in the fact that almost every native urge may find vent thru any one of a number of channels and by closing certain channels and opening others a mischievous instinct may be drained harmlessly away or even made useful. Whether the acquisitive instinct shall lead to commercial crime or rent collecting, whether innate pugnacity shall find satis

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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.

Devastating Opera

Fighting Instinct


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

4 Social Psychology, p. 280.


Wars not


The instinct of pugnacity, however, is not at the root of most modern wars. The World War sprang from the conflict of rival imperialisms. Behind these imperialisms was the greed of certain influential financial or business groups secretly molding the tions of the foreign policy of government. The instinct of pugnacity came Fighting into the situation only at the stage when it was necessary to win. wide support for aggressions which could bring the common people nothing but peril. Then came politicians, orators, song writers and newspapers playing artfully upon the popular mind to evoke well-timed outbursts of Jingoism.

Politics has been a male affair and male pugnacity cropped out in American politics as soon as the Jacksonian movement brought to self-consciousness masses of unthinking instinctive voters. The citizens divided into two hostile camps, filled political discussion with fighting words like "campaign," "battle," "enemy," "chiefs,"" slogan " and "banner," and imported military features such as uniforms, marching companies and torchlight processions. The one dread of politicians was the judicial attitude, and their one hope was "spirit," i.e., a groundless hatred of opponents. The winning party celebrated a "victory," declared "To the victors belong the spoils," and with the general approval of the voters of both parties proceeded to convert the salaried offices to private or party advantage. It is to be hoped that women voters. w: rid politics of these childish manifestations of male pugnacity.

A skillful teacher controls unruly children by various means argument, appeal, example, sarcasm, humor, etc. The rod will at be his chief reliance. Can any one doubt that society would be equally resourceful in dealing with offenders were it not that the easily aroused emotions of anger and vengeance have stood constantly at the elbow of Justice, suggesting pain and ever more an in dealing with the recalcitrant? If the agents of justice used as much ingenuity as the skillful teacher, there would be more management in our dealings with trouble-givers and less Punishment. Here again, where male instinct has botched the job, is an opportunity for the managing sex to try its hand.


The gregarious instinct is one of the chief architects of modern society. The sensational growth of cities is not due solely to


The Miliof Politics

The Tradi tional

of the Of

Treatment fender Reects Male


CHAP. IV economic causes.


Growth of
Cities not

The multitude attracts men as the candle attracts moths. Many who grew up in the country and never found it dull, become restless in it after they have learned to vibrate Wholly an with the crowd. Slum dwellers develop a morbid passion for



huddling and no "garden city" apostle can persuade them to exchange the slum with its high rents, congestion, ugliness, dirt and disease for the roomy and wholesome suburb.

may Feel

upon to
Check the
Growth of

Formerly custom bound the country-born to the place and calling of his forefathers. But universal newspapers and cheap travel have extended to the remotest hamlet the solar pull of the herd. herd. Even in thinly settled Australia and South America the country-born pile into the city as if the furrow had no need of them. Until near the close of the nineteenth century this drift was balanced by the flooding of settlers into virgin lands in the temperate zone. Now that we are at the bottom of this sack, the rising cost of living warns that too many have abandoned food production. To restore the balance it may be necessary to teach the children of the farm the risks and drawbacks of urban life and even to require cities to contribute to the expense of making country life more attractive.

Why Domestic



The swarming of young women out from the home into places of congregate work owes something to the gregarious impulse. The factory, which pays only three-fifths as much as domestic service, never lacks hands while the kitchens stand empty because tory Work they are lonely. Mr. Wallas induced a lady who possessed the


Women from Fac

young women's confidence to ask of the girls employed in the laundries and poorer factories of Boston, "Are you happy?" They took the question as meaning, "Are you happier than if you had stayed at home instead of going to work?" And almost every one of them answered, "Yes." Their reasons were that "the work takes up your mind," " You are of some use," "It's awful lonesome at home," or "There's an awful emptiness at home."



Is at Work Outside the Home


It is probable that philanthropy, anti-vice crusades, the prevention of cruelty to animals, and the protection of children are largely manifestations of the parental instinct. It is significant that many of the prime movers are childless or have lost their children, so that, finding no object at home, their tenderness occu

5 The Great Society, pp. 341-2.

es itself with the helpless outside. Moreover, the support of CHAP. IV such movements is chiefly among those who in their own homes eve evidence of possessing strong parental feelings. The zeal of men for protecting child life and their indignation toward ofenders against children spring, no doubt, from their maternal



The original driving force behind the scientific movement was The instinct of curiosity. It was also behind the religious speculaes which, when they had crystallized into a regulative dogmatic stem, obstructed further inquiry. The passion to probe deeper so imperious in the stronger minds that every persecution of search and sceptical speculation has produced its martyrs. The ling of this passion, whether by violence or by the prestige of be ancients, as in the Silver Age of Greece, in China and under clesiasticism, leaves the intellectual elite restless and unhappy, hereas the stimulation it meets with in an age like ours, which alizes the money worth of scientific progress, inspires men of genius with self-confidence and optimism.


The strength of the instinct of self-expression may be gauged what happens when it is released after being long pent up. er the Revolution of 1917 the Russians interested in political as went on a “spree." There was no end of public meetings nd speakers. People went about from one meeting to another Sunday and never tired of listening to utterances which forely would have cost the utterer a jail sentence. There was a table passion for "demonstrating." Every political group hted to parade the street carrying banners or transparencies ing its sentiments. Besides the motive of spreading one's as there was sheer pleasure in self-expression, like the whoopof children let out of school.


customs and institutions grew right out of the impulses and eriences of the people, they would offer little check to harmless an ten-dencies. But various crude products of thinking, halfheologies and philosophies, have had part in their shaping,

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