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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 57.djvu/302

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

epidemic in many instances. We may notice curiously enough a trace of these qualities here, where the fact that our enemy was a greatly inferior power does not detract in our eyes from the brilliancy of our victories, though in the ethics of the individual such a circumstance would put us to shame. In all this we proceed strictly in accordance with international law, but international law itself is only international custom and is the mere expression of the wonted behavior of the aggregate personality, particularly in times of war. As such it does not represent the highest ethical development of man, but that lower stage of development to which he reverts in times of social excitement. From this point of view it is possible to understand why international ethics is so far behind individual ethics. Personal disputes were once settled by brute force as international disputes are now settled. There is no reason to doubt that the latter will, somewhat later in the history of civilization, be settled by courts of arbitration and enforced by a system of police as the former now are.

The considerations now before us show the futility of peace congresses in that part of their work which contemplates the enforced substitution of arbitration for war. Peace congresses are not social movements. They spring from the efforts of individual men, leaders in social reform. They belong to the upward ethical movements led by individuals, the slow, painful climbing towards higher moral and intellectual standards. These congresses may meet and discuss arbitration and perfect an international program, but they labor in vain, for they forget that social man has a double personality and that the personality that meets and deliberates in the peace congress is not the personality that, under the influence of the war craze, thrills with emotion and acts from ancient and deep rooted impulses and motives. When the war spirit sweeps over a country the social personality passes into a condition not unlike that of hypnosis and is ruled by a different set of moral principles. It should not be understood from this that peace congresses are useless. They are a part of an educative system whose influence in the end will be strong enough to react upon the secondary social personality and determine its behavior.

Among crazes of a different kind, we may notice financial crazes as an interesting type, falling under the same laws as those mentioned. Both in panics and in speculative manias we observe again a species of hypnotization. In the case of the latter the ordinary business shrewdness which characterizes the dealings of the individual in a normal state and which depends upon the activity of late developed association tracts in the brain, is to a large extent lost. The memory is impaired and what in general we may call prudence is lacking.

The psychology of the speculative mania is very simple. There is first, greed, furnishing the necessary emotional excitement; then imita-