Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 27.djvu/338

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
322
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

exhibition in state constitutions, but is penetrating the whole social life. In its wider sense it signifies the mergence of class-differences, the abolition of transmitted privileges and inherited exclusiveness, and the assertion of individuality. It is true that this tendency is older than the railroads and telegraphs, and its origin can not be ascribed to them; but it is also true that they have given it a great impulse, to which compulsory education, universal military obligation, and universal suffrage, have equally contributed. Railroads treat all their passengers alike. All must adapt themselves to the same order and regulations. No one can interfere with the time of arrival or departure, or the speed, or the length of stoppages. Even special trains must not interfere with the time-table. In the case of cars of different classes, the only criterion of distinction is that of price; whoever pays the charge can travel in the corresponding class, whether it pleases his fellow-passengers or not, and he receives the same treatment as they. The ideas suggested by such commingling are very apt to be carried into other fields of intercourse.

With the democratizing of society is flowing a parallel current of a practical materialism, which is manifested in a predominance of material interests over ideal ones, in the recognition of egoism as a leading principle in trade, in the estimation of men's deeds, only according to their visible consequences, and in the rejection of all that transcends realism. This drift is not new in human civilization; but it is a new fact that the masses have been drawn into it, and that they aim to make it potent after they have destroyed or reformed the old civil and social order. Its causes are complicated, and are perhaps only indirectly referable to the expansion of means of communication; but they are connected with the results of increased traffic and intercourse, and their operation is re-enforced by them.

It is too soon to speculate as to what will be the end or the ultimate result of these two parallel movements.—Translated for the Popular Science Monthly from the Deutsche Rundschau.

 

DIET IN RELATION TO AGE AND ACTIVITY.
By Sir HENRY THOMPSON.

ENOUGH, and more than enough, perhaps, has been uttered concerning the prejudicial effects on the body of habitually using alcoholic beverages. It is rare now to find any one, well acquainted with human physiology, and capable of observing and appreciating the ordinary wants and usages of life around him, who does not believe that, with few exceptions, men and women are healthier and stronger, physically, intellectually, and morally, without such drinks