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even so much as began to exercise the influence upon the warfare of his generation that Frederick the Great exercised on his.
It is not true that character of necessity decays with the growth of civilization. It may, of course, be true in some cases. Civilization may tend to develop upon the lines of Byzantine, Hindoo, and Inca; and there are sections of Europe and sections of the United States where we now tend to pay heed exclusively to the peaceful virtues and to develop only a race of merchants, lawyers, and professors, who will lack the virile qualities that have made our race great and splendid. This development may come, but it need not come necessarily, and, on the whole, the probabilities are against its coming at all.
Mr. Pearson is essentially a man of strength and courage. Looking into the future the future seems to him gray and unattractive; but he does not preach any unmanly gospel of despair. He thinks that in time to come, though life will be freer than in the past from dangers and vicissitudes, yet it will contain fewer of the strong pleasures and of the opportunities for doing great deeds that are so dear to mighty souls. Nevertheless, he advises us all to front it bravely whether our hope be great or little; and he ends his book with these fine sentences : “Even so, there will still remain to us ourselves. Simply to do our work in life, and to abide the issue, if we stand erect before the eternal calm as cheerfully as our fathers faced the eternal unrest, may be mobier training for our souls than the faith in progress."
ile do not agree with him that there will be only thus eternal calm to face; we do not agree with him that the future hoidis 10 Is a time when we shall ask nothing from the day but to live, nor from the future but that we may not deteriorate. We do not agree with him that there is a day approaching when the lower races will predominate in the world and the higher races will have lost their poblest elements. But after all, it matters little what view we take of the future is, in our practice, we but do as he preaches, and face resolutely whatever iate may have in store. We, ourselves, are not certain that progress is assured; we only assert that it may be assured if we but live wise, brave, and upright lives. We do not know whether the future has in store for us calm or unrest. We can not know beyond peradventure whether we can prevent the higher races from losing their nobler traits and from being overwhelmed by the lower races. On the whole, we think that the greatest victories are yet to be won, the greatest deeds yet to be done, and that there are yet in store for our peoples and for the causes that we uphold grander triumphs than have ever yet been scored. But be this as it may, we gladly agree that the one plain duty of every man is to face the fulure as he faces the present, regardless of what it may have in store for him, and, turning toward the light as he sees the light, to play his part manfully, as a man among men.
"SOCIAL EVOLUTION" *
R. KIDD'S "Social Evolution" is a suggestive, but a very crude, book; for the writer is
, burdened by a certain mixture of dogmatism and superficiality, which makes him content to accept half truths and insist that they are whole truths. Nevertheless, though the book appeals chiefly to minds of the kind which are uncharitably described as "half-baked," Mr. Kidd does suggest certain lines of thought which are worth following — though rarely to his conclusions.
He deserves credit for appreciating what he calls “the outlook.” He sketches graphically, and with power, the problems which now loom up for settlement before all of us who dwell in Western lands: and he portrays the varying attitudes of interest, alarm, and hope with which the thinkers and workers of the day regard these problems. He points out that the problems which now face us are by no means parallel to those that were solved by our forefathers one, two, or three centuries ago. The great political revolutions seem to be about complete and the time of the great social revolutions has arrived. We are all peering eagerly into the future to try to * North American Review, July, 1895.
forecast the action of the great dumb forces set in operation by the stupendous industrial revolution which has taken place during the present century. We do not know what to make of the vast displacements of population, the expansion of the towns, the unrest and discontent of the masses, and the uneasiness of those who are devoted to the present order of things.
Mr. Kidd sees these problems, but he gropes blindly when he tries to forecast their solution. He sees that the progress of mankind in past ages can only have been made under and in accordance with certain biological laws, and that these laws continue to work in human society at the present day. He realizes the all-importance of the laws which govern the reproduction of mankind from generation to generation, precisely as they govern the reproduction of the lower animals, and which, therefore, largely govern his progress.
But he makes a cardinal mistake in treating of this kind of progress. He states with the utmost positiveness that, left to himself, man has not the slightest innate tendency to make any onward progress whatever, and that if the conditions of life allowed each man to follow his own inclinations the average of one generation would always tend to sink below the average of the preceding. This is one of the sweeping generalizations of which Mr. Kidd is fond, and which mar so much of his work. He evidently finds great difficulty in stating a general law with the proper reservations and with the proper moderation of phrase; and so he enunciates as truths statements which contain a truth, but which also contain a falsehood. What he here says is undoubtedly true of the world, taken as a whole. It is in all probability entirely false of the highest sections of society. At any rate, there are numerous instances where the law he states does not work; and of course a single instance oversets a sweeping declaration of such a kind.
There can be but little quarrel with what Mr. Kidd says as to the record of the world being a record of ceaseless progress on the one hand, and ceaseless stress and competition on the other; although even here his statement is too broad, and his terms are used carelessly. When he speaks of progress being ceaseless, he evidently means by progress simply change, so that as he uses the word it must be understood to mean progress backward as well as forward. As a matter of fact, in many forms of life and for long ages there is absolutely no progress whatever, and no change, the forms remaining practically stationary.
Mr. Kidd further points out that the first necessity for every successful form engaged in this struggle is the capacity for reproduction beyond the limits for which the conditions of life comfortably provide, so that competition and selection must not only always accompany progress, but must prevail in every form of life which is not actually retrograding. As already said, he accepts without reservation the proposition that if all the individuals of every generation in any species were allowed to