Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/198

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is developed the altruistic sentiment of justice. On the one hand, the implication is that the altruistic sentiment of justice can come into existence only in the course of adaptation to social life. On the other hand the implication is that social life is made possible only by maintenance of those equitable relations which imply the altruistic sentiment of justice. How can these reciprocal requirements be fulfilled?

The answer is that the altruistic sentiment of justice can come into existence only by the aid of a sentiment which temporarily supplies its place and restrains the actions prompted by pure egoism—a pro-altruistic sentiment of justice as we may call it. This has several components which we must successively glance at.

The first deterrent from aggression is one which we see among animals at large—the fear of retaliation. Among creatures of the same species the food obtained by one or place of vantage taken possession of by it, is in some measure insured to it by the dread which most others feel of the vengeance which may follow any attempt to take it away; and among men, especially during primitive stages of social life, it is chiefly such dread which secures for each man free scope for his activities, and exclusive use of whatever they bring him.

A further restraint is the fear of reprobation shown by unconcerned members of the group. Though in the expulsion of a "rogue" elephant from the herd, or the slaying of a sinning member of the flock by rooks or storks, we see that even among animals individuals suffer from an adverse public opinion; yet it is scarcely probable that among animals expectation of general dislike prevents encroachment. But among mankind, "looking before and after" to a greater extent, the thought of social disgrace is usually an additional check on ill-behavior of man to man.

To these feelings, which come into play before there is any social organization, have to be added those which arise after political authority establishes itself. When a successful leader in war acquires permanent headship, and comes to have at heart the maintenance of his power, there arises in him a desire to prevent the trespasses of his people one against another; since the resulting dissensions weaken his tribe. The rights of personal vengeance and, as in feudal times, of private war, are restricted; and, simultaneously, there grow up interdicts on the acts which cause them. Dread of the penalties which follow breaches of these, is an added restraint.

Ancestor-worship in general, developing as the society develops into special propitiation of the dead chiefs ghost, and presently the dead king's ghost, gives to the injunctions he uttered during life increased sanctity; and when, with establishment of