Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/52

This page has been validated.

dustries, making the life of the whole possible, all those specialized classes which have established and maintained the inter-dependence of the producing structures, by facilitating and regulating the exchange of their products, have arisen from the play of aggregate forces, constituted of men's desires directed by their respective sets of circumstances. Mr. Mallock alleges that the great fact of human inequality—the fact that there is a minority "more gifted and efficient than the majority"—is the fundamental fact from which "the main structural characteristics of all civilized societies spring."[1] That he should assert this in presence of all the evidence which the Principles of Sociology puts before him, is, to use the weakest word, surprising. If his assertion be true, however, the way of demonstrating its truth lies open before him. In volumes II. and III. of the Principles of Sociology, several groups of institutions, presented by every developed society, are dealt with under the heads, Political, Ecclesiastical, Professional, Industrial: seventy-one chapters being included in them. Each chapter treats of some aspect, some division or subdivision, of the phenomena grouped under the general head. Instead of the Industrial Institutions discussed above, suppose that Mr. Mallock takes a group not touched upon—Professional Institutions. The thesis worked out in the part so entitled is that all the professions are differentiated from the priesthood; and the differentiation is tacitly represented as due to the slow operation of those natural causes which lead to specializations of function throughout the whole social aggregate. If Mr. Mallock is right, then of the chapters dealing with the ten professions enumerated, each is wrong by omitting to say anything about the great man, political, industrial, or other, who set up the differentiation or from time to time consciously gave it a more pronounced character—who thought that it would be well that there should be a separate medical class, or a separate teaching class, or a separate artist class, and then carried his thought into effect. Mr. Mallock's course is simply to take each of these chapters and show how, by the recognition of the supplementary factor on which he insists, the conclusions of the chapter are transformed. If he does this he will do more than by merely asserting that my views of social evolution are wrong because the "great fact of human inequality" "is systematically and ostentatiously ignored."

If in his title Mr. Mallock had, instead of "Evolution," written Social Sustentation, the general argument of his book would have been valid. If, further, he had alleged that social sustentation is

  1. Nineteenth Century, pp. 314, 315.