Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 11.djvu/540

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pure industrialism, it would injure a society in which state-regulation has the wider range characterizing a more or less militant type. Several influences would conduce to retrogression. The greater respect for authority and weaker sentiment of individual freedom characterizing the feminine nature would tend toward the maintenance and multiplication of restraints. Ability to appreciate special and immediate results, joined with inability to appreciate general and remote results, characterizing the majority of men, and still more characterizing women, would, if women had power, entail increase of coercive measures for achieving present good, at the cost of future evil caused by excess of control. But there is a more direct reason for anticipating mischief from the exercise of political power by women, while the industrial form of political regulation is incomplete. We have seen that the welfare of a society requires that the ethics of the family and the ethics of the state shall be kept distinct. Under the one the greatest benefits must be given where the merits are the smallest; under the other the benefits must be proportioned to the merits: for the infant, unqualified generosity; for the adult citizen, absolute justice. The ethics of the family have for their correlatives the parental instincts and sentiments, which, in the female, are qualified in a smaller degree by other feelings than in the male. Already these emotions proper to parenthood, as they exist in men, lead them to carry the ethics of the family into the policy of the state; and the mischief resulting would be increased were these emotions, as existing in women, directly to influence that policy. The progress toward justice in social arrangements would be retarded, and demerit would be fostered at the expense of merit still more than now.

But, in proportion as the conceptions of pure equity become clearer; as fast as the régime of voluntary coöperation develops to the full the sentiment of personal freedom, with a correlative regard for the like freedom of others; as fast as there is approached a state under which no restrictions upon individual liberty will be tolerated, save those which the equal liberties of fellow-citizens entail; as fast as industrialism evolves its appropriate political agency, which, while commissioned to maintain equitable relations among citizens, is shorn of all those powers of further regulation proper to the militant type; so fast may the extension of political power to women go on without evil. The moral evolution which leads to concession of it will be the same moral evolution which renders it harmless and probably beneficial.

No very specific conclusions are to be drawn respecting future changes in the status of children. Parental and filial relations, less regulated in detail by law and custom than all others, have more readily changed under the influence of changed sentiments and ideas, and, while becoming generally liberalized, have become so far varied that it is difficult to characterize them.