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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 7.djvu/346

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

continuous, and it is therefore necessary that all nations should in turn relieve each other, according to their resources, in this attentive sentinelship of the outposts of the arctic world.

 

SAVAGISM AND CIVILIZATION.[1]
By HUBERT H. B NCROFT.

THE obvious necessity of association as a primary condition of development leaves little to be said on that subject. To the manifestation of this soul of progress a body social is requisite, as, without an individual body, there can be no manifestation of an individual soul. This body social, like the body individual, is composed of numberless organs, each having its special functions to perform, each acting on the others, and all under the general government of the progressional idea. Civilization is not an individual attribute, and, though the atom, man, may be charged with stored energy, yet progress constitutes no part of individual nature; it is something that lies between men and not within them; it belongs to society and not to the individual; man, the molecule of society, isolate, is inert and forceless. The isolated man, as I have said, never can become cultivated, never can form a language, does not possess in its fullness the faculty of abstraction, nor can his mind enter the realm of higher thought. All those characteristics which distinguish mankind from animal-kind become almost inoperative. Without association, there is no speech, for speech is but the conductor of thought between two or more individuals; without words abstract thought cannot flow, for words, or some other form of expression, are the channels of thought, and with the absence of words the fountain of thought is, in a measure, sealed.

At the very threshold of progress social crystallization sets in; something there is in every man that draws him to other men. In the relationship of the sexes, this principle of human attraction reaches its height, where the husband and wife, as it were, coalesce, like the union of one drop of water with another, forming one globule. As unconsciously and as positively are men constrained to band together into societies as are particles forced to unite and form crystals. And herein is a law as palpable and as fixed as any law in Nature; a law which, if unfulfilled, would result in the extermination of the race. But the law of human attraction is not perfect, does not fulfill its purpose apart from the law of human repulsion, for, as we have seen, until war, and despotism, and superstition, and other dire evils come, there is no progress. Solitude is insupportable—even beasts will not live alone; and men are more dependent on each other than beasts. Solitude

  1. From vol. ii., "Native Races of the Pacific States.