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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 57.djvu/304

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

trate the same laws. One recalls the Woman's Crusade in 1873, the result not of a rational plan but of imitation, and the Granger movement and the Farmers' Alliance and the greenback craze and the silver craze and many others.

Since Aristotle we have been told that man is a social animal and that to study him as he really is we must not isolate him from society. The evident truth of this may lead us to forget that it is but a half truth and the uncritical acceptance of it will lead us wholly astray in our sociological study. The inference which we seem compelled to draw from studies in social psychology is that social man is, in his ethical and intellectual development, many stages behind the individual man. The progress of civilization is a slow, painful, upward climbing, in which individuals are the thinkers, the planners, the promoters and the leaders. The mind of society, on the other hand, using the phrase in the sense defined, is an imitative, unreflective, half-hypnotic, half-barbaric mind, always acting as a drag upon the upward and forward movement, and, in times of crazes, epidemics and social cataclysms, gaining temporary dominance and causing disastrous relapses to a lower plane of civilization.