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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/204

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194
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

greater consequence in a high civilization than in a low; is, indeed, or ought to be, considered one of the principal signs of the existence of the former. While it was essential in even the lowset form of social organization, it was for a long period of less apparent importance. The earlier struggles for existence were chiefly intertribal or international, and in these the qualities emphasized by Prof. Huxley as necessary for success were undoubtedly predominant. While the struggle still goes on in this form, it no longer occupies the time and attention of mankind to the same extent as formerly. Among civilized societies at least the struggle for existence has also taken on another form, and the conditions of success have greatly changed. Industrial competition has taken the place of war, and notwithstanding that the theories and the methods of international conflict are still somewhat potent in this field, they are so mostly because our ethical, and, for that matter, even our intellectual, training has not gone far enough. It can not be denied that the reign of industrialism, or at least the absence of war, has softened the manners if it has not changed the character of men. Prof. Huxley himself bears witness to this, for he says, "The cosmic nature born with us and, to a large extent, necessary for our maintenance, is the outcome of millions of years of severe training, and it would be folly to imagine that a few centuries will suffice to subdue its masterfulness to purely ethical ends" [p. 190].

It can, however, be shown, I think, that those societies will become the victors in the struggle for industrial supremacy, who are mentally and morally the most highly developed, or, in other words, socially the fittest. In an article on Ethics and Economics, published in The Popular Science Monthly for October, 1888, I have discussed this proposition at some length, but the following quotation will, I think, answer my present purpose:

"For the purpose in hand, we desire to call attention to the necessity of basing our political economy on moral rather than on selfish instincts. Powerful though the latter be, they are more or less anti-social in their nature, and therefore would not of themselves favor economic growth. That depends for its development on social growth, and it is only when the selfish instincts are held in due check and subordination to the higher impulses that the latter is possible. Strength, keenness, and shrewdness are important factors in determining the survival of the individual, and, in so far as they do this, they favor also the survival of the race. But of more importance still are those traits which, by enabling men to live together in peace, render possible the organization of labor in such manner as to secure the greatest economic return. In a word, our political economy, which has been unmoral, must be made moral, if it is to be the science