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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/51

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WHAT IS SOCIAL EVOLUTION?

king's private action, but under its general aspect it is seen to be determined by the conditions of his existence. And it is so with governmental institutions at large. Without tracing these further it will suffice to quote the saying of Macintosh—"Constitutions are not made but grow."


Of course inequalities of nature and consequent inequalities of relative position are factors in social changes. Of course, as implied above, any assertion of the approximate equality of human beings, save in the sense that they are beings having sets of faculties common to them all, is absurd; and it is equally absurd to suppose that the unlikenesses which exist are without effects on social life. I have pointed out that in the earliest stages of social evolution, when war is the business of life, the supremacy of a leader or chief, or primitive king, is a fact of cardinal importance; and also that the initiator of ecclesiastical control is necessarily distinguished from others "by knowledge and intellectual capacity." The beginnings of industrial evolution are also ascribed by me to differences of individual capacity; as instance the following quotations from that part of the Principles of Sociology which deals with Industrial Institutions.

The natural selection of occupations has for its primary cause certain original differences between individuals, partly physical, partly psychical. Let us for brevity's sake call this the physio-psychological cause (§ 730).

That among the fully civilized there are in like manner specializations of function caused by natural aptitudes, needs no showing: professions and crafts are often thus determined … occupations of relatively skilled kinds having fallen into the hands of the most intelligent (§ 731).

Speaking generally, the man who, among primitive peoples, becomes ruler, is at once a man of power and a man of sagacity: his sagacity being in large measure the cause of his supremacy. We may therefore infer that as his political rule, though chiefly guided by his own interests, is in part guided by the interests of his people, so his industrial rule, though having for its first end to enrich himself, has for its second end the prosperity of industry at large. It is a fair inference that on the average his greater knowledge expresses itself in orders which seem, and sometimes are, beneficial (§ 770).

In its beginnings slavery commonly implies some kind of inferiority (§ 795).

Considered as a form of industrial regulation, slavery has been natural to early stages of conflicts and consolidations (§ 800).

The rise of slavery exhibits in its primary form the differentiation of the regulative part of a society from the operative part (§ 798).

The recognition of these effects of individual differences, especially in early stages, may rightly go along with the assertion that all the large traits of social structure are otherwise determined—that all those great components of a society which carry on the various in-