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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/166

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

direct interests in maintaining it. For the ideas and sentiments of a community as a whole progressively adapt themselves to the régime familiar from childhood, in such wise that it comes to be looked upon as natural, and as the only thing possible. In proportion as public agencies occupy a larger space in daily experience, leaving but a smaller space for other agencies, there comes a greater tendency to think of public control as everywhere needful, and a less ability to conceive of activities as otherwise controlled. At the same time the sentiments, adjusted by habit to the regulative machinery, become enlisted on its behalf, and adverse to the thought of a vacancy to be made by its absence. In brief, the general law, that the social organism and its units act and react in such ways as to become congruous, implies that every further extension of political organization increases the obstacle to reorganization, not only by increasing the strength of the regulative part and decreasing the strength of the part regulated, but also by producing in citizens thoughts and feelings in harmony with the resulting structure, and out of harmony with anything substantially different. Both France and Germany furnish examples of this truth. M. Comte, while looking forward to an industrial state, was so swayed by the ideas and sentiments appropriate to the French form of society, that his scheme of organization for the industrial state prescribes its arrangements with a definiteness and detail characteristic of the militant type, and utterly at variance with the industrial type. Indeed, he had a profound aversion to that individualism which is a product of industrial life and gives the character to industrial institutions. So, too, in Germany, we see that the Socialist party, who are regarded and who regard themselves as wishing to entirely reorganize society, are so incapable of really thinking away from the social type under which they have been born and nurtured, that their proposed social system is in essence nothing else than a new form of the system they would destroy. It is a system under which life and labor are to be arranged and superintended by public instrumentalities, omnipresent like those which already exist and no less coercive, the individual having his life even more regulated for him than now.

While, then, on the one hand, in the absence of settled arrangements, there can not be coöperation, yet coöperation of a higher kind is hindered by the arrangements which facilitate coöperation of a lower kind. Though, without some established relations among parts, there can be no combined actions, yet, the more extensive and elaborate such relations grow, the more difficult does it become to make an improved combination of actions. There is an increase of the forces which tend to fix, and a decrease of the forces which tend to unfix; until the fully-structured social organism, like fully-structured individual organism, becomes no longer adaptable.

 

In a living animal, formed as it is of aggregated units originally