Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 79.djvu/480

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population within their natural habitats. Roughly speaking, eastern Asia is already peopled almost to the limit under present conditions, while tropical Africa is but sparsely populated in proportion to its capacity. Under favorable conditions of economic efficiency tropical Africa would be the home of nearly a billion blacks. Taken together, and allowing for a normal growth, these two ethnic groups may possibly increase in numbers until they shall cause the whites of Europe and America to dwindle into insignificance by comparison.

This is the thesis of a recent significant book by B. L. Putnam Weale, an authority on far eastern politics.[1] The peril of white supremacy arises, Weale believes, not alone from the growing balance of numbers in favor of the colored, great as that is likely to prove, but from the fact that the colored races are beginning to acquire and will continue to gain a distinct race consciousness and a sense of race solidarity. And just as the narrow interests of the little Greek lands were supplanted by the wider outlook of Alexander's empire, as the peninsular civilization of republican Rome was swallowed up in the world dominion of the imperial period, so the continental system of modern Europe is being swept into the whirl of world-wide interests. In this great historical change the ethnic element, or, more specifically, color, is to be the militant factor. With the increase of intelligence the aggressiveness of the colored races will augment and they will begin to take conscious advantage of their weight of numbers. A readjustment of power must follow as fast as the colored races become efficient in the arts that make for group self-assertion. For, says Weale:

Real frontiers—real barriers to the swaying to and fro of peoples—are no longer rivers or mountains or seas or any of those physical features still referred to in the geography books. These are only the frontiers of savages; the real frontiers of civilization are formed by masses of men distributed in proper density, highly civilized, irrevocably locked to the soil by their history and their culture, and sufficiently warlike to make their physical boundaries respected should wanton aggression menace them. . . . A deep instinct will continue to push men to substitute for the purely political demarcations which have come down from other days a new class which may be called racial demarcations. That such demarcations are necessarily blurred is no matter; this only adds one more difficulty to a question which force may attempt to solve. It is this knowledge—that racial instinct and racial pride ignore political boundaries—which is the nightmare of statesmen.[2]

The colored already outnumber the whites of the world nearly two to one, and this proportion is likely to increase rather than diminish in the immediate future. Weale estimates that by the year 2000 China will have eight hundred million population and Japan one hundred and twenty to one hundred and forty million. As race consciousness grows more pronounced war must constantly occur as the colored races be-

  1. "The Conflict of Color," London, 1910. Weale is the pseudonym of Mr. B. L. Simpson.
  2. 5 Ibid., pp. 90-91.