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THE FATE OF EMPIRES



BY THE SAME AUTHOR

IN COLLABORATION WITH

GEORGE HUBBARD, F.S.A.

VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE ROYAL INSTITUTE
OF BRITISH ARCHITECTS

NEOLITHIC DEW-PONDS AND
CATTLE-WAYS

With 29 Illustrations

First Edition, 1905

Second Edition, 1907

Royal 4I0, 4s. 6d. net.



LONGMANS, GREEN AND CO.

LONDON, NEW YORK, BOMBAY, AND CALCUTTA



THE

FATE OF EMPIRES

BEING AN INQUIRY INTO THE
STABILITY OF CIVILISATION



BY



ARTHUR JOHN HUBBARD

M.D. (DUNELM.)



LONGMANS, GREEN AND CO.

39 PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON

NEW YORK, BOMBAY, AND CALCUTTA

1913

AH rights reserved



^



L/



"^^4






DEDICATED

TO

MY WIFE

FOR

A THOUSAND GOOD REASONS

A. J. H.



PllEFACE

The turning-point in past civilisations has been
marked, again and again, by the appearance of
Socialism coincidently with a failure of the birth-
rate. During the lifetime of the present genera-
tion these two phenomena have assumed a more
and more prominent position among the races of
white men, and it has been my object to show how
critical the position of any civilisation is when it
reaches the point at which they are simultaneously
manifested. I have tried to demonstrate that
they are caused by the same force acting upon
different materials, and that the supersession of
that force by another and more powerful is
indispensable to the stability of civilisation. My
theme is not one that has permitted me to
write with a running pen.

My most sincere thanks are due to Mrs. Renney
AUinson for an immensity of kind and efficient
help. She has not only prepared my manuscript
for the press and compiled the index, but has
rendered me valuable assistance by criticism and
reference to authors.

I heartily thank, too, Mr. Clement John
Wilkinson, M.R.C.S.Eng., alike for the welcome



viii THE FATE OF EMPIRES

encouragement that he has given me during
the progress of my task, and for the valuable
time and work that he devoted to it.

The reader will see that this essay could not
have been written had it not been preceded by Mr.
Benjamin Kidd's great work, Social Evolution.

A. J. H.



Little Dean, Newnham-on-Severn,
Gloucestershire,
October 1912.



SYNOPSIS OF CONTENTS
PART I

THE BASIS OF A PERMANENT CIVILISATION

CHAPTER I
THE ANTECEDENTS OF CIVILISATION

PAGE

Is a permanent civilisation a possibility ? 4

Necessary to discover the forces that make for growth, and those

that make for decay of civilisation 4

These forces are constants 5

History only gives the resultant of these forces ; therefore the

forces themselves are not discoverable in history. Analogy

of the parallelogram of forces in mechanics . . . . o
These forces can be identified when the whole history of organic

advance is reviewed 6

Organic advance is intermittent: a new '' method" is adopted

at each stage 8

List of these "methods" 9

Definition of word '^ Instinct " when used in succeeding pages . 10
Definition of word "Reason" when used in succeeding pages . 10

CHAPTER II
THE METHOD OF INSTINCT

The standing problem in any method is that of reconciling the

Individual (who dies) with the Race (which persists) . . 13

The method of Instinct solves the problem by means of inborn

impulse 13

Inborn impulse is an appurtenance of the Race, and merely sacri-
fices the Individual 14

Tlierefore it involves unlimited waste of individual lives . . 17

This wastefulness is necessarily inherent in the method . . 18



THE FATE OF EMPIRES



Therefore the method itself is imperfect 18

Fauna of previous geologic epochs probably purely instinctive . 21
Modern animals not descended from types most prominent in

past geological epochs 21

Modern animals possess a modicum of Reason .... 22
M^hich lessened the wastefulness of pure Instinct and enabled

their progenitors to displace a purely instinctive fauna. 24

Thus Instinct is superseded by Reason 24

But Reason, in its turn, will be under the necessity of solving the
same standing problem, viz. the problem of reconciling the
transitory Individual with the long life of the Race . . 25

CHAPTER III
THE METHOD OF REASON

In man Reason has become the overlord of Instinct, and effects
an immense saving of waste. Man owes his position at the
head of the organic world to the energy thus set free, but
his dependence on the method of Reason is absolute . 27 and 28

Reason is an appurtenance of the Individual, not of the Race . 29

Under Reason, interest takes the place that was occupied by im-
pulse under Instinct. An attenuation of the stress of life
results 29

The general stress of life is resolvable into two :

A. The rivalry among contemporaries : the stress of

competition 31

B. The effort involved in the nurture and care of children :

the stress of reproduction 31

Necessary to examine the manner in which Reason deals with

each of these stresses separately .32

Definition of the words " Society " and " Race " as used in

succeeding pages 33

Conception indicated by word ''^ Society " is purely the creation

of Reason 33

Examination of interaction of interest of individual with that of
Society resolves itself into an examination of the stress of
competition 34

While examination of interaction of the interest of the Individual
with that of the Race resolves itself into an examination of the
stress of reproduction 34

Reason being an appurtenance of the Individual, we have to ask
whither his interest leads him in dealing with each of these
stresses 34



SYNOPSIS OF CONTENTS xi



CHAPTER IV

REASON IN RELATION TO COMPETITION: THE IN-
TEREST OF THE INDIVIDUAL IN RELATION TO
SOCIETY

PAGE

No disparity in point of duration in time between Individual and
Society : therefore not antecedently impossible that their
interests may be reconciled ....... 86

" Is it to the interest of the Individual to abolish competition ? " 38

The proposal to abolish competition excites a sense of revulsion,
and the arguments against it are inspired by that sentiment
rather than purely rational 38

Thus it has been urged that slavery to a bureaucracy would result.
But that slavery would be less than the slavery to competi-
tive conditions of life ........ 40

Again, it has been urged that degeneration of " character " would

ensue. But all that is required is a rational character . . 41

The revulsion of feeling, and the arguments founded upon it, are

not rational 42

Relief from the incubus of competition is to the interest of

Society 42

" Is it in the power of the Individual to abolish competition ? " . 42

It has been urged that the instinctive impulse leading to indivi-
dual ownership renders its abolition impossible ... 43

But that argument ignores the ever-increasing ascendancy of

Reason over Instinct 45

Office of Reason is to prevent the wastefulness of the competitive
method of Instinct : Socialism the inevitable outcome of
the working of pure Reason. Pure Reason can reconcile the
interest of the Individual with that of Society ... 46



CHAPTER V

REASON IN RELATION TO REPRODUCTION: THE
INTEREST OF THE INDIVIDUAL IN RELATION
TO THE RACE

Reason takes no account of the interest of the Race : only of the

interest of the Individual 48

"Is it to the interest of the Individual to decline the provision of

future generations }" 49



xii THE FATE OF EMPIRES

PAGE

It may be said that the question is unfair because Instinct inter-
venes, and Reason does not stand alone .... 49
But, again, that argument ignores the ever-increasing ascend-
ancy of Reason over Instinct 49

Life an entailed estate. That the owner should be constrained
to leave it undiminished is of the essence of the entail.
Reason supplies no constraint, and it is to the interest of

the life-tenant to break the entail 51

'' Is it in his power to break the entail ? " 52

Ask the Registrar-General 53

Pure Reason cannot reconcile the interests of the Individual with

that of the Race 54

CHAPTER VI

RELATIVE INTERESTS OF SOCIETY AND THE RACE

The triangle of interests 55

As reproductive activity is lessened, the stress of competition

becomes less severe. Converse also true . ... 56
But Reason does not ask that the stresses should be lessened, but

abolished 57

The interest of Society is as hostile to the Race as is that of the

Individual 59

CHAPTER VII
CONDEMNATION OF THE METHOD OF REASON

The revolt against the social stress occurs synchronously with the
revolt against the racial stress, and marks a definite point of
growth of Reason relatively to Instinct .... 61

The power of controlling the birthrate is a new evolutionary en-
vironment, purely the creation of Reason .... 62

This environment is deadly to the Race : example of France . 64

Permanence of a civilisation that is founded on pure Reason is a

flat impossibility 64

CHAPTER VIII

THE METHOD OF RELIGIOUS MOTIVE

Therefore a supra-rational method requires investigation . . 67
To take precedence of Reason such a method must be free from
the cause of disability that is common to its predecessors,



SYNOPSIS OF CONTENTS xiii



and more particularly from the form of disability that is
special to Reason 68

AVhat is the cause of the disability that is common to its pre-
decessors ? 68

Not one has failed to make good the deficiency in its predecessor ;
but each extension of environment being still geocentric,
has raised fresh difficulties .70

Therefore the method of Religious Motive can only be suc-
cessful if it provides an environment that does not admit
of extension 70

Taking cognisance of the infinite it fulfils this requirement . 71

The form of disability that is special to Reason is failure to pro-
vide a basis for disinterested conduct 71

But, when in relation with the infinite, the significance of life is

in service, and duty takes the place of interest . . . 72

Definition of the word '' Religion " as used in succeeding pages 72



CHAPTER IX

THE RELATION OF THE METHOD OF RELIGIOUS
MOTIVE TO THE SOCIAL STRESS: THE DUTY OF
THE INDIVIDUAL WITH REGARD TO SOCIETY

The lifelong self-sacrifice of a rational being cannot be justified
on geocentric grounds. But the supra-rational method is
another fresh departure, dependent on the reality of the
cosmocentric significance of conduct 74

That significance in its turn dependent on freedom of the will.
If that freedom is in our possession, then conduct is invested
with the dignity of cosmocentric significance ... 76

" Is it the duty of the Individual to accept a competitive

life?" 77

No : as in the method of Instinct, unlimited competition is soci-
ally immoral 77

'^ Is it his duty to accept a non-competitive life ? " . . .78

No : for the non-competitive life of the method of Reason is

socially a-moral 80

Thus a deadlock occurs, and the question arises : " Is it in any
way in the power of the Individual so to frame his life that
his social conduct shall be of cosmocentric significance .'' " . 81

Two elements are necessary to significance of conduct : liberty

and law 81



xiv THE FATE OF EMPIRES

PAGE

Competitive method furnishes liberty and a non-competitive
method furnishes law. If each were taken as the complement
of the other the deadlock would be removed .... 82

But each method excludes the other 83

Therefore the question arises: "Does the Individual possess a
solvent of each that enables them to enter into com-
bination?" ... 83

Yes : Religious Motive has claims to allegiance that are superior

to either 84

In the absence of this solvent the purely rational being is bound

to his method, but in its presence he is not .... 84

He has power of selection from each of the lower methods : he

can retain the liberty of the one and the law of the other . 85

The cosmocentric method thus provides a machinery that is perfect

for significant social conduct . . . , , . 86



CHAPTER X

RELATION OF THE METHOD OF RELIGIOUS MOTIVE
TO THE RACIAL STRESS: THE DUTY OF THE
INDIVIDUAL WITH REGARD TO THE RACE

" Is it the duty of the Individual to carry the multiplication of the
Race to its utmost limits, as in the method of Instinct, or to
act in a contrary manner, as in the method of Reason ? " . 87

The method of Instinct is racially a-moral 88

The method of Reason is racially immoral 89

Thus a deadlock occurs analogous to that reached in the last
chapter, and the question arises : " Is it in the power of
the Individual to avoid, at the same time, the racial a-morality
of the one and the racial immorality of the other ? " . . 89

Diagram of geocentric systems as they appear from the point of

view of Religious Motive 90

With the method of Reason comes racial liberty, and with the
method of Instinct racial law. Significance in racial conduct
only attained by their amalgamation. This cannot occur
spontaneously 91

But can occur in the presence of the external authority of Re-
ligious Motive, which thus provides a machinery that is
perfect for significant racial conduct 92



SYNOPSIS OF CONTENTS xv



CHAPTER XI

MUTUAL RELATIONS OF SOCIETY AND THE RACE
UNDER THE METHOD OF RELIGIOUS MOTIVE

PAGE

The future of tlie Race is far removed from the outlook of the

Individual on account of their disparity in leng^th of life . 95
Thus it becomes the office of Society, acting under the method
of Religious Motive, to provide the means whereby racial
duty, already recognised, can be carried out to provide,
that is, a nexus that shall join together the Individual and

the Race 96

This link provided in the social institution of the family . . 96
Hence the semi-religious veneration for the family ... 97
The family as an institution cannot be justified in pure Reason . 98
Legislative attacks on the family react on the Race . . .98
The honour in which the family is held as an institution gives

the measure of the vitality of a given civilisation ... 99



CHAPTER XII

JUSTIFICATION OF THE METHOD OF RELIGIOUS
MOTIVE

This method not yet the dominating influence in the civilisation

of the white man 100

Its failure not to be attributed to the method, but to the fact

that the method has not been adopted ..... 101

Under the method of Religious Motive, social conduct is that of
a trustee and racial conduct that of the life-tenant of an
entailed estate . . . . . , . . .101

Quotation from Gospel according to the Egyptians . . . 102

The co-ordination of law and liberty is the very note of the
method of Religious Motive, but many have sought and
none found it within the confines of Reason . . . . 102

Reason seeks but cannot attain a permanent civilisation. Its
attainment is only possible as an entirely unessential pro-
perty of the method of Religious Motive .... lOS



xvi THE FATE OF EMPIRES



PART II

HISTORICAL ILLUSTRATION OF THE PRIN-
CIPLES INDICATED IN THE PRECEDING
CHAPTERS

CHAPTER I
ROME AND CHINA

PAGE

As already pointed out in Part I^ Chap. I, the forces that make
for the growth or the decay of a civilisation cannot be
divined from history. But when these forces liave been
identified already, it is quite possible to trace their working
in history, and, moreover, it is necessary to do so in order to
test the truth of the general principles laid down in Part I . 107

For this purpose we shall choose two great civilisations that were
in existence about the beginning of the Christian Era : the
Roman and the Chinese. The one disappeared, but the
other remains, and is still the most tremendous factor in
the world of to-duv 109



CHAPTER II

RELIGION UNDER THE ROMAN ExMPIRE

Do we find ourselves in the presence of religious systems that
formed part of the polity of the State, or of systems that

were cosmocentric .'^ 114

Evidence that they were geocentric 115

With two exceptions, viz. Judaism and Christianity. These two

were intolerable to the geocentric Roman Empire . . 117

Treatment accorded to Judaism and Christianity . . . . 118
The Roman Empire shows the triumph of Reason. Therefore
we must expect to see the exaltation of Society and the decay

of the Race 122



SYNOPSIS OF CONTENTS xvii

CHAPTER III
SOCIETY UNDER THE ROxMAN EiMPIRE

PAGE

The emperors. To the modern mind many of them seem

pathological . . .124

But they were not unpopular 125

They were merely typical of their age 125

The Municipalities. They were highly organised, and largely

supplanted the family 126

Literature. Rudimentary character of the ideals of goodness set
up by the moralists. Descriptions of Roman Society given
by the satirists are not preposterous 127

Trade Unions and Socialism. Efforts to avoid stress of com-
petition 128

These efforts culminate in the vast socialistic decree of

Diocletian 132

The splendour of Society under the Roman Empire . . . 133

CHAPTER IV

THE FAMILY AND THE RACE UNDER THE
ROMAN EMPIRE

Forms of the monogamous family : Cognation and agnation.
The family in early Roman history and throughout Chinese

history is agnatic 134

Cognation shows us the family in its contact with Society ;

agnation shows it in contact with the Race .... 136
Marriage in Rome : confarreation, coemption, usus. Divorce :

general aversion from matrimony in any form . . .137
Infanticide: abortion. Advantages of childlessness. "A man

who married was regarded as hardly in his senses " . . 140
Augustus sets himself to save the Race : methods adopted by him :
the Lex Julia : its three parts : it attempts to make marriage
and the possession of a family fashionable . . . .1-41
The Lex Pappia Poppaea, an extension of the Lex Julia . . 142

Is not allowed to become a dead letter ] 43

These laws do not have even a temporary success . . . 143

Augustus and the Equites 144

The numbers of the State are therefore kept up by manumission
of persons of servile birth. But the success of this measure
is only temporary . . . . . . . , 14o



xviii THE FATE OF EMPIRES



PAQK



Constantiae removes the seat of imperial power from Rome to
Constantinople, and a contemporary writer, Lactantius,
refers to the ominous depopulation of Italy .... 147



CHAPTER V

GREECE

Eminence of Reason in ancient Greece 148

Brevity of the duration of this eminence 148

Rapidity of the extermination of this Greek Race is in direct ratio

to its pre-eminence in Reason 149

Suggestion that eugenic measures led to this sudden appearance
of pre-eminence in Reason. Quotation from Dr. Bateson's

work on Mendelism 150

The basis of a stable civilisation is not to be found in eugenics . 151



CHAPTER VI
RELIGION IN CHINA

Chinese religious conditions are the opposite of those obtaining

in Western civilisations 152

Tao-ism. The meaning that it has for the Chinese people. The

writer's experience in a temple in China .... 153

Tao-ism is not geocentric. It does not inculcate obedience to

the State. It ignores the interest of Society . . . 15G

Therefore, in the ordering of social conduct, the Chinese have
had to fall back upon the teachings of Confucius, an ethical
philosopher 156

We may look for results exactly opposite to those seen in the

Roman Empire 157



CHAPTER VII
SOCIETY IN CHINA

Chinese associations of labourers are not formed to restrict

competition 158

The severity of the social stress is unmitigated, and social

conditions are squalid 160

Nevertheless there is high development of Reason . . . 166



SYNOPSIS OF CONTENTS xix

CHAPTER VIII
THE FAMILY AND THE RACE IN CHINA

PAGE

The agnatic family is the supreme institutiou, and all other

institutions are contributory to it 169

Thus the Race is maintained, but, owing to neglect of social duty,

only in spite of immense difficulties 169

Tliese difficulties are :

1. Impotence and maladministration of the State. This

leads to recurrent civil wars and disturbances, accom-
panied by enormous loss of life 170

Also to loss of life from famine 171

2. Neglect of science. This leads to an appalling rate of

infant mortality 172

Exposure of female infants is not to be confounded with the

infanticide that prevailed in the Roman Empire . . . 173
^Neglect of science also leads to loss of life from preventable

disease 174

Malaria not less present in China than in ancient Greece and

Rome 174

Nevertheless all these drawbacks count for little when opposed

to the power of an unrestricted birthrate .... 174
That power has continuously preserved the Chinese Race and

civilisation from the most remote antiquity, and their future

is incalculable 175

Note on the Jewish Race, and on ancient Egypt . . . . 175



CHAPTER IX

THE INDISPENSABLE BASIS OF A STABLE
CIVILISATION

China furnishes an incomplete example of the method of Religious
Motive, because it shows only the transformation of the
service of the Race into the means of performing cosmocentric
duty, and fails to show any similar transformation of the
complementary service of Society. The method of Religious
Motive, in its entirety, would show us the reconciliation of
the service of the one with the service of the other by the



XX THE FATE OF EMPIRES

PAGE

transformation of the service of both into the means of per-
forming cosmocentric duty 177

Whether or no a true and stable civilisation can be realised
depends upon whether or no Reason provides a valid
ground for this transformation. Position of the theologian . 178

The paradox of the method of Religious Motive . . . 179

INDEX 181



PART I

THE BASIS OF A PERMANENT
CIVILISATION



THE FATE OF EMPIRES

CHAPTER I

THE ANTECEDENTS OF CIVILISATION

The question of the fate of the existing civiHsa-
tion of Europe and America gives rise to one of
the most interesting speculations that can occupy
the mind, and the white man of to-day possesses
the records of so many civihsations that have
proved unstable, that the past spreads before him,
for his learning, the vision of which Keble wrote,
and he sees :

" The giant forms of empires on their way
To ruin : one by one,
They tower and they are gone."

If he is oppressed by the repetitions of history,
he may exclaim, with the melancholy emperor,
Marcus Aurelius, that ''AH things move in a
circle." Or, perhaps in a braver mood, he may
say that progress is intermittent, alternately fall-
ing back and anon coming forward at a higher
level. He may believe that our present civilisa-
tion is indeed better than those that have collapsed,
but he fears that its glory also will pass away, to
be followed, in its turn in some remote extension



4 THE FATE OF EMPIRES

of the future by a higher order. Or, again, he may
hope that, in spite of many analogies with those
that have preceded it, our civihsation will not be
lost, will not become merely a few ruins and a
legend, but that its indefinite growth will prove it
to be a permanent possession of the human race.

The question, by its very nature, does not
allow of mathematical statement, nor will the
scientific methods applicable to chemistry or
physics avail. For we shall deal with the works
of the human mind, and with human affairs, in a
region wherein we shall see that the immediate
decay or the endless growth of our civilisation is
not subject to a fixed law, but depends, from
generation to generation, upon the course of action
that is taken.

All that can be ascertained, even by the most
successful investigation, is a distinction between
the constructive and the destructive forces ; the
discovery of the underlying principle that has
promoted the growth of the civilisations and
empires of the past, and the determination of the
cause of their decay. If we can do this success-
fully, we shall possess nothing less than the know-
ledge of good and evil in the State, and we shall
be provided with an understanding of the con-
ditions that decide between the future loss of the
civilisation that is our heritage, and its unlimited
expansion.

Such a knowledge is not to be superficially
acquired. When, for instance, we are told that
the decline of Rome was caused by the luxury and
effeminacy of the Romans, we are told exactly



ANTECEDENTS OF CIVILISATION 5

nothing. We require to know how and why such
"" a change came over the noble spirit of the Romans
of an earher day. ^Furthermore, we require to
know the cause of the strange spectacle of a similar
occurrence in all the great Western civilisations of
the past in Babylon, Thebes, and Athens, as well
as in Rome.

The cause of such a change can only be found
in the fact that, in the decaying State, the force
^ that had previously made for growth was over-
matched by that which made for dissolution. It
is important to observe that the phenomena which
attend this change are invariable, although they


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