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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 25.djvu/687

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THE PROBLEM OF POPULATION.

distinguish the selfishness of exaggerated patriotism from personal or family selfishness.

That patriotic selfishness is mischievous in its effects would scarcely need showing if men were not so ready as they are to be deaf to the teachings of experience. The well-being of other nations is in the same sense essential to the well-being of our own nation as the well-being of other members of the body social is essential to our own personal well-being. The misfortunes of any nation with which our own has relations are misfortunes to our own nation, however they may be brought about, whether by internal misgovernment, by the attacks of other nations, or by our own warlike measures. There can be no doubt, for example, that the loss incurred by Germany, the victor, was only less than the loss incurred by France, the conquered, in the disastrous Franco-German War. Other nations suffered greatly, but Germany more, and France most of all. In the war with Russia, in 1854-'55, all Europe suffered. In the American civil war not only all the United States but the whole world incurred loss. It is easy for nations to blind themselves, nay, most nations are naturally blind, to the losses suffered by each through the misfortunes of others. But there can be no doubt about the actual facts. The British race would have been taught the lesson long since, if the lesson could reach the average national mind through experience—for we are suffering, have long been suffering, and long must suffer, from the energetic efforts of our "imperial" race to get the better of other races. Directly and indirectly, in loss of blood and material, in the paralysis of trade as well as in increased expenditure, our people has to pay for its imperial instincts, just as the man of over-bearing, hard, and selfish nature has to pay in many ways for the gratification of his instincts imperious. There are the same reasons, based on material profit, for inculcating just and considerate dealings between peoples as there are for encouraging just and considerate dealings between man and man. But at present nations delight in proclaiming themselves selfish and overbearing; the more brutal instincts which remain dominant in nations after they have begun to die out in individuals are upheld as virtues, much as in old times many races regarded the more brutal qualities of humanity as chief among the virtues.—Knowledge.

 

THE PROBLEM OF POPULATION.
By CHARLES MORRIS.

IN passing through the open galleries of that busy ant-hill called a city, with its endless ebb and flow of human beings, intent on their various pursuits of business or pleasure, and succeeding each other in a seemingly endless procession of busy life, there is apt to rise forcibly