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tees of poverty, chastity, or obedience. Our attitude toward these medieval ideas is one of humorous superiority, not perhaps fully justified by the relative differences in the two civilizations as measured by such standards as social stability or the development of the fine arts, such as architecture, painting, and poetry.
Still another set of ideas ruled in the best period of Grecian civilization, likewise wholly different from ours. These were temperance in the sense of balance and moderation, measure, limitation, order, form, harmony, symmetry, and beauty. Francis Galton perhaps spoke with some exaggeration when he said that the average intelligence of the Athenian race was at least two grades above our own. But while we may smile at the ideals of the monks, we must take very seriously those of the Greeks as long as we are still using as models so many of their masterpieces of political philosophy, poetry, sculpture, architecture, eloquence, and literature. It is all a matter of historical perspective. Some future period may smile at our child-like devotion to liberty, equality and fraternity, or self-expression, or the full, free and abundant life, to the neglect of many other equally important ideas.
symmetry, proportion, moderation, measure, and limitation of desires. Is it safe to enter so passionately upon the remodeling of our social institutions with our eyes fixed so exclusively upon any one circle of ideas?
In all our discussion now about social reconstruction and a new social order, is it not a little peculiar that the ideas which we are trying so hard to realize in this new social order,-liberty, equality, efficiency, opportunity, self-expression, and self-determination, -are just the ones that already mark this period when compared with other past periods and past civilizations? We may be deficient in these virtues, but we have them in profuse abundance as compared with other times, and we have them in excess as compared with other virtues, such as love of beauty and of
Self-expression is perhaps the best single term defining our present day philosophy of life-or, possibly, selfrealization, or initiative, or energy. The keynote of modern painting, music, and poetry is expression, and that of modern sculpture is energy. In our educational systems our aim is to develop all the latent energies and possibilities of the child. He must express himself, bring out the full richness of his personality, give full scope to his individuality, develop to the utmost his genius and his talent. When manhood. and womanhood are attained, old social conventions must not stand in the way of this inner need of self-realization and self-expression. Our laws must be remade and our social institutions reconstructed so that each individual may enjoy his full rights and come into possession of his full share of the world's goods. It would be a shame if others had superfluous wealth while any lacked the means of self-development and self-culture.
This is the expansive philosophy of the age, the centrifugal motive in soIs the Philosophy of Expansion a Safe ciety, moving from within outward. Philosophy of Life?
But the ancient Greeks thought it better to draw from without inward, to observe limits and measure, to strive for inward poise and harmony. This is the centripetal motive in society, the unifying and integrating tendency.
Germany's Experiment in Self-expres
It would be interesting to attempt an evaluation of these two methods. When Plato was unable to find the definition of justice in the case of the individual, he solved the difficulty by examining the idea as magnified in the state. So just recently we have had an instructive
OUR CENTRIFUGAL SOCIETY
example of the trial of this philosophy of self-expression in the case of a great state. Germany five years ago had a deep longing for self-expression. She felt that she must expand, bring out the full richness of her personality, develop to the utmost her genius and her culture, give full scope to her peculiar individuality. Old international conventions and treaties between states must not stand in the way of her inner need of self-realization and self-expression. Old laws must be reinterpreted so that she might have her full share of the world's goods. It would be a shame if other nations had superfluous colonies while she lacked the sphere of selfdevelopment.
But Germany made the unhappy discovery that there were other peoples who also desired self-expression, who also had a personality to conserve, a "mission" to fulfill. Five years ago self-realization was within Germany's grasp. She had valuable traditions of education and science, of art and philosophy. She had great wealth, vast industries, and a fruitful commerce, and she had the friendship and the respect of the world. Self-realization in the larger sense she could have had through the practice of the Greek virtues and the minding of her own business.
Limitations and Dangers of the Centrifugal Motive
It is important to understand the meaning and value of this new idea of the full and exuberant life. Its value we all recognize. Its limitations perhaps we do not realize. To many in the present day it seems like the very word of promise. It emancipates usso we think-from all the narrow and cramping and dwarfing and galling restrictions of the past and sets us free to enjoy, to live, to breathe deeply, to develop as we please. It emancipated our slaves. It is emancipating our women. It will emancipate our laborers. If this new gospel of energy, of affirmation, of
spontaneity, of self-expression, does not work well in the case of nations, there must be so we imagine-some error in the analogy, for as regards the individual it is the very evangel of our modern era. If there is any one idea prevalent now it is that there is something intrinsically sound and helpful in this renouncing of old authorities and traditions in favor of our primal instincts. Instinct, impulse, nature, the spiritual life-to dampen these, to dampen this inner need of self-expression, this demand for joy, is the only sin.
This modern gospel of self-expression takes innumerable forms. With Nietzsche it is the will to power, gained through tragic suffering and pain. In Christianity it is the triumphant realization of an essentially divine and spiritual individual life revealing itself in the typical modern expansive virtues-faith, hope, and charity. In Bergson it appears as the exaltation of instinct and primal creative impulse. In Goethe it is pictured as salvation through successive forms of objective experience. In Browning it is seen in the wild joy of living, in buoyant faith, optimism, and love. Even in the modern mystic it is no longer passive resting in God's encompassing arms, but, as in Jean Christophe, an intoxication with the madness and fury of living. In the modern psychological novel it is the coming into some mysterious larger and fuller life through the conflict of motives and through rich subjective experience. In the modern drama, sometimes nothing but the experience of sin itself will bring it to complete fruition.
In all these forms of self-expression, the common motive is the centrifugal motive, marked by a craving for excitement, impatience with restraint, a longing for freedom and expansion, for the enhancement of life, for the intensification of consciousness.
With this note dominant in our modern life and literature, it is foolish to
speak of social or racial or national decadence. Clearly, the world is not suffering from age and decadence. It has the virile enthusiasm of youth, but with it also the defects of youth, an almost childish impetuosity and imprudence, a tendency toward no remoter end than the mere intensification of the momentary mood of joy and strength.
Need of the "Inner Check"
What is lacking in all these forms of self-expression is the "inner check," the motive of restraint and reserve, the discipline of the wise man who looks beyond the present.1 In Platonic phrase, it is "justice," the justice which the young man owes to his coming years, the justice which each generation. owes to the next, the justice which each individual owes to society. Every young man is free to live the full and abundant life up to the point of not infringing upon the strength and integrity of his coming manhood. Every generation is free to live the full and abundant life up to the point of not infringing upon the health and happiness of the next generation. Every individual is free to live the full and abundant life up to the point of not infringing upon the full and abundant life of all the others in the group.
But the limitations come quickly and fast. Therefore, restraint is necessary; and will be increasingly necessary. There is no error here in the analogy between the nation and the individual. Germany complained before the war that she was fettered by a surrounding iron ring. To be fettered by an iron ring is painful. She longed for expansion. But the world has had a wholesome lesson from the war Hereafter expansive nations will understand that they must do their expanding within their own borders. The days of territorial expansion are gone by. And it is to be feared that there
1 Compare Paul Elmer More, Platonism, Chapter V.
will soon be a limit to economic and commercial expansion. In fact perhaps the virtues of the future will be not expansion, not self-expression, but self-control and limitation. And can we be sure that these latter may not be the surer road to peace and happiness? Possibly there is a higher kind of selfrealization than that found through self-expression. Self-realization may indeed be the highest goal of human endeavor, but the self to be realized may be the larger self of our collective being, including succeeding generations.
This is nothing, of course, save the age-old antagonism between liberty and justice. It is merely the habit of our modern thought that we have become so enraptured with the first of these that we have overlooked the vital importance of the second. Of course, we hear a great deal now about justice, but it is social justice that we have in mind, that glorious social state in which each class shall enjoy all the fullness and richness of life that any other class enjoys. It is not at all that kind of justice which Plato taught us, consisting not in having, but in doing one's full share. Plato understood, as all the older teachers did, that the centripetal forces in society must balance the centrifugal forces, if we expect stability in our social life. With Plato justice was the centripetal integrating principle. It was realized when every class, and every individual, performed its function in the state-in plain terms, did its duty. It was a socialistic state, but evidently the fundamental purpose was different from that of our modern socialistic state, in which the attention is focused more upon our rights than upon our duties.
Socialism as it exists in theory today involves, unfortunately, no radical change in our current spiritual ideals. It accepts without much question the philosophy of the full and abundant life, and proposes usually a series of administrative and industrial changes,
OUR CENTRIFUGAL SOCIETY
which it is hoped will do away with certain evils of the time, such as inequality of wealth and opportunity, and the selfish exploitation of the laboring classes. The emphasis in all these modern movements is put upon getting one's full share of the good things of the world-food, clothing, wealth, leisure, and opportunity-to the end always of comfort, happiness, self-expression, self-realization, self-development.
The ancient socialistic state, on the other hand, was one in which the attention was focused, not on the individual benefits to be enjoyed, but on the loyal part in the whole undertaking which each was to play to the end of having a healthy and permanent society. And they well understood that in the long run the individual found his greatest happiness, his highest good, when he fixed his attention on the permanence, stability and health of the social group. A social group in which the human units focus their attention upon getting each his full share will not bring to its members as full and abundant a life as a group in which the attention is fixed upon doing each his full part.
Our modern conception of the perfect state is one in which certain "evils," such as poverty, inequality, intemperance, clashes between classes, and wars between states, are to be absent. Poverty is to be abolished, not by self-denial and a limitation of desires, but by the increase of wealth through efficiency, scientific management and new mechanical inventions, and by new laws regulating the production and distribution of wealth. War between nations is to be abolished, not by curbing our instincts. of pugnacity, not by education in restraining our expansive desires, but by some new political contrivance such as a League of Nations. Intemperance is to be done away with, not by making men strong to resist temptation, but by an act of legislation removing the occasion of temptation. Disease is to be
abolished, not by assisting nature in providing powers of resistance to disease, but by devices to protect men from the causes of disease. Inequality between the sexes is to be removed, not by fostering respect for womanhood and motherhood, but by votes for women and political privileges.
I would not be understood as belittling the absolute value of democracy, and socialism, and feminism, and prohibition, and a League of Nations; but we over-emphasize their total relative value for social welfare, even if we consider only the welfare of the present generation. No society will survive without the integrating motive-the presence of justice in the Platonic sense. The world is stirred today by powerful centrifugal forces. Like a wheel, it will fly into pieces unless it is held together by equally powerful centripetal forces. These integrating forces are measure, self-control, obedience, respect for law and authority, restraint, limitation of desires, the feeling of obligation. As one writer has said, we have a superabundance of vital energy; what we need is vital control.
The finishing touch has finally been given to our philosophy of expansion by Freud, who has shown us that the repression of our instincts and desires is dangerous. Why, yes,-dangerous now and then for the individual, but singularly wholesome for society! It is really very naïve, this discussion about the danger of inhibiting our natural impulses. Freud might have read in a certain ancient writing of a certain wise teacher who said, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."
The great cry now is for equality of opportunity. But opportunity for what? If pressed for an answer, we say opportunity for self-development. Really it is opportunity for advancement, for wealth, for power. We seem to be blind to the existence of other
higher and more enduring values. The society which we picture for the future is always built on the Chautauqua plan. What we think we want is physical comfort, leisure for self-improvement, peace and quiet in which we may work, freedom from interference and escape from fear; but actually life is something very different. Our socialistic society of the future pictures man as surrounded by comforts, working six hours a day and "enjoying" ten hours of leisure which he is supposed to spend in self-development; and when all this happens it is assumed that he will be happy and contented and peaceful.
A very little knowledge of human psychology ought to dispel this dream. Life is anything but a Chautauqua gathering. Life is a struggle and must have the zest of struggle. There are values higher than comfort and leisure and material goods, and other virtues which we need to emphasize more than faith, hope, and charity. In an age of despair and depression for the masses of people such as the beginning of the Christian era, the expansive, outward and upward-looking Christian virtues were like a great light from Heaven. In a vital, expansive, centrifugal period like the present it may be necessary for us to return to the integrating and harmonizing virtues of the Greeks,-wisdom, temperance, moderation, and restraint; and it may be necessary for us to revise our list of highest values and in place of wealth, leisure, liberty, equality, and opportunity, write for a while conservation, limitation, integration. The great things of life, wisdom and art and literature and heroes, have sprung from periods of storm and stress. It is such periods that have given birth to opportunity; but it was not opportunity for self-development, but opportunity for self-control, yes, even for heroism and for love.
To be sure, we hear much about love, but it has come to take the forms of sympathy and charity. Of both of
these we have a great and abundant measure. What we are trying to do in all these modern forms of social reconstruction is to hit upon some social or political device by which we may live the full and exuberant life and allow our neighbor to do the same. There never was so much world-wide sympathy for the neighbor who does not live the full and exuberant life as there is now. We love and sympathize with every oppressed class and every down-trodden man. We are taught to love our neighbor, and we have learned to love him with such intensity that we allow no one to exploit him but ourselves. As Professor Babbitt says, "Our twentieth century civilization is a singular mixture of altruism and high explosives." We love our neighbor and we wish him every joy. In his need we shower him with charitable gifts. If others abuse him, we are ready to fight for him; but our conception of love does not quite extend to the notion of limiting our own desires for our neighbor's good. It does not quite suffice to check the megalomania of our capitalistic classes, nor persuade them voluntarily to bear their just proportion of public taxes, nor teach them willingly to share their profits with their workers. It does not quite suffice to lead our laboring classes, when once they find power in their hands, to use this power in accordance with reason and moderation.
It is owing to accidental reasons that the necessity for restraint and limitation has not been laid upon us in recent times. The discovery of America, the industrial revolution, the Pacific frontier-all these have opened to us a new world which has allowed the human spirit an indefinite expansion foreign to its long history. There has been for a short period in human history little need of the "inner check," and it has been almost forgotten.
To be sure, this wild display of centrifugal forces has brought no essentially valuable human product, no great