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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/48

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

as lately by boilermakers and fitters; and is again shown by the ways in which the professions—medical, legal, and other—form themselves into bodies which shut out from practice, if they can, all who do not bear their stamp. And throughout the governmental organization, from its first stage in which the same man played various parts—legislative, executive, judicial, militant, ecclesiastic—to late stages when the powers and functions of the multitudinous classes of officials are clearly prescribed, may be traced this increasing sharpness of division among the component parts of a society. That is to say, there has been a change from the indefinite to the definite. While the social organization has advanced in coherence and heterogeneity, it has also advanced in definiteness.

If, now, Mr. Mallock will turn to First Principles, he will there see that under its chief aspect Evolution is said to be a change from a state of indefinite, incoherent homogeneity to a state of definite, coherent heterogeneity. If he reads further on he will find that these several traits of evolution are successively exemplified throughout astronomic changes, geologic changes, the changes displayed by each organism, by the aggregate of all organisms, by the development of the mental powers, by the genesis of societies, and by the various products of social life—language, science, art, etc. If he pursues the inquiry he will see that in the series of treatises (from which astronomy and geology were for brevity's sake omitted) dealing with biology, psychology, and sociology, the purpose has been to elaborate the interpretations sketched out in First Principles; and that I have not been concerned in any of them to do more than delineate those changes of structure and function which, according to the definition, constitute Evolution. He will see that in treating of social evolution I have dealt only with the transformation through which the primitive small social germ has passed into the vast highly developed nation. And perhaps he will then see that those which he regards as all-important factors are but incidentally referred to by me because they are but unimportant factors in this process of transformation. The agencies which he emphasizes, and in one sense rightly emphasizes, are not agencies by which the development of structures and functions has been effected; they are only agencies by which social life has been facilitated and exalted, and aids furnished for further social evolution.

 

Respecting the essential causes of this social transformation, it must suffice to say that it results from certain general traits in human beings, joined with the influences of their varying circumstances.

Every man aims to pass from desire to satisfaction with the least possible hindrance—follows the line of least resistance. Either the