Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 87.djvu/162

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enough, such an outcome, happy as it might be, is made probable neither by the study of history, psychology nor present political tendencies. To the psychologist, indeed, it appears that the whole trend of social movements is in a direction favorable to the perpetuation of war.

One hundred years ago there were bright visions of universal peace. War, it was believed, was an iniquitous invention of evil and mischievous men, interfering with the peace and prosperity of the world. Free trade between nations and free competition between men were to inaugurate a reign of universal peace and prosperity. The function of government was to be limited to a minimum. A sort of universal fraternity, pan-humanism or internationalism was to take the place of fratricidal strife.

This dream has been poorly realized. Free competition has not worked in practise, and the emphasis is being put more and more upon the functions of the state. To be sure many would substitute "society" for the state and, indeed, socialists and Utopianists still look forward to a "new basis of civilization" in which a pleasure economy is to replace the old pain economy, when surplus energy, equality of opportunity, increase of food, short working hours, good sanitation, good housing, etc., will release starving human faculties, resulting in human culture, morality, economic equilibrium and finally in a "denationalized fraternal humanity." Thus with the disappearance of poverty the last obstacle will be removed to upward human progress and universal peace.

It is the purpose of this paper to point out some of the psychological obstacles to the realization of this ideal. Meanwhile it is obvious that the political obstacles are equally great.

At the present time the trend of political events is precisely in the opposite direction. With the unification of Italy in 1859, there awoke the new spirit of nationalism and the revival of patriotism. In 1861, the American Union, fired by the same spirit, resisted disunion. Then followed the unification of Germany, the awakening of the Slavs, the expansion of Great Britain.

Instead of the anticipated free trade between nations, each country by means of protective tariffs drew the mantle of self-sufficiency more closely around itself. In place of the expected pan-humanism a new patriotism has everywhere sprung up. Add to this another fact, perhaps correlated with it, that in the last hundred years a new impulse of cosmic energy, or something of the kind, seems to have flowed into the motor nerves of human beings. There is tremendous activity in the form of striving. The gospel of striving which dates from Lessing and Fichte, and which found its poetic expression in Goethe, is the gospel of modern life. It exhibits itself in intense desire for expansion, for self-expression. It has produced stupendous results in scientific invention, discovery, industrial and commercial expansion. Then fol-