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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/472

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

served for future study. Very full notes and drawings of the animals in their living and normal condition were made. These notes and drawings, together with the alcoholic specimens, are stowed away awaiting further investigation, to be carried on chiefly at the Johns Hopkins University.

 

THE RELATION OF EVOLUTION TO POLITICAL ECONOMY.
By CHARLES S. ASHLEY.

IF the reader will call to mind the great work of John Stuart Mill, which still contains the best exposition extant of the whole subject of political economy, he will remember that Mill considers it by an analysis of production, distribution, and exchange, to which he adds a book on the influence of the progress of society on production and distribution, and another on the influence of government.

The first three books are devoted, as Mill himself says, to an examination of the "statics" of the subject. They are an analysis of the phenomena mentioned as exhibited at a given time; or, more accurately speaking. Mill's work is really an analysis of the manner in which products are distributed throughout society under a single set of social conditions.

To an evolutionist accustomed to seeing in industrial society an organism which grows and changes like all others. Mill's omissions, including those of his fourth book, are more striking than his inclusions. There is, indeed, a bare mention of the fact that the progress of society is accompanied by increased security and co-operation. But the evolutionary conception that industrial society, like all other organisms, begins with a simple germlike state and by constant changes increases its structures and its functions, nowhere occurs. Political economy is considered without material reference to time or environment. And it is treated as if industrial society were only to be considered with reference to the way in which social sustenance, however obtained, is distributed along the social alimentary canal. Processes of production, changes in methods caused by inventions, and changes of conditions are ignored, and the formation of industrial organizations of men engaged in common works, corresponding to organic structures, is passed by. Included in this is the all-important subject of the division of labor, the examination of the conditions under which it takes place, and the like. Strange as it may seem to one who looks on industrial society from a standpoint of facts rather than books, the functions performed by railroads, by banks, by