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POLITICS



AND



DISEASE.



A. GOFF,
J. H. LEVY.





THE LIBRARY
OF

THE UNIVERSITY

OF CALIFORNIA

LOS ANGELES



THE PERSONAL RIQHTS SERIES.

Edited by J. H. LEVY.



No. III.



POLITICS

AND



politics ana Disease



BY



A. QOFF



AND



J. H. LEVY.



Condon :

P. S. KING SON,
Orchard House, Great Smith Street, Westminster, S.W.

THE PERSONAL RIGHTS ASSOCIATION,
32, Charing Cross, S.W.




PRINTED BY THE
t PERSONAL EIGHTS ASSOCIATION,
32, CHARING CROSS,
LONDON. S.W.



PREFACE



MY colleague and I have worked indepen-
dently of one another in the production of
this little book. Neither is accountable for
the part written by the other, except such
responsibility as attaches to myself as editor
of the Series. We have long laboured to-
gether in the cause of emancipation from the
J errors and sins of State medicine. It would,
however, be a mistake to suppose that either
2= of us has any animus against the medical
en profession. Neither the legitimate interests
of that profession nor those of medical
o science are arrayed against us in the polemics
V we have raised. The practice of treating
" every assailant of superstition as an enemy
of religion ought not to be taken over into
science, the votaries of which are not exempt
jj| from ordinary human weaknesses and ought
<| not to be exempt from ordinary judgment.
The medical faculty, and especially the
bureaucratic part of it, is very much in
want of competent external criticism.

Ten days ago, Dr. William Osier, Regius
Professor of Medicine in the University of



VI.

Oxford, in his Harveian Oration, made the
following excellent remarks: "Sooner or
later insensibly, unconsciously the iron yoke
of conformity is upon our necks ; and in our
minds, as in our bodies, the force of habit
becomes irresistible. From our teachers and
associates, from our reading", from the social
atmosphere about us we catch the beliefs of
the day, and they become ingrained part of
our nature. For most of us this happens in
the haphazard process we call education, and
it goes on just as long as we retain any mental
receptivity. It was never better expressed
than in the famous lines that occurred to
Henry Sidgwick in his sleep :

We think so because all other people think so ;

Or because or because after all, we do think so ;

Or because we were told so, and think we must think so ;

Or because we once thoug-ht so, and think we still think so ;

Or because, having- thought so, we think we will think so.

In departing from any settled opinion or belief,
the variation, the change, the break with cus-
tom may come gradually ; and the way is
usually prepared ; but the final break is made,
as a rule, by some one individual, the master-
less man of Kipling's splendid allegory, who
sees with his own eyes ; and with an instinct
or genius for truth, escapes from the routine in
which his fellows live. But he often pays
dearly for his boldness."- When to all this we



Vll.

add the enormous pressure of " professional
etiquette " and, not only the establishment
and endowment, but also the enforcement of
particular medical prescriptions by the State,
is it to be wondered at that thought in
matters medical is almost paralysed ? Still it
is hopeful that Professor Osier said as much
as he did ; and he does not stand alone.

In the Times of loth August, 1906, Pro-
fessor H. E. Armstrong wrote : " Physicists
are strangely innocent workers ; formulae and
fashion appear to exercise an all-potent in-
fluence over them." In an address delivered
at the Edinburgh Philosophical Institution on
3ist October, 1905, Sir Frederick Treves
said : " The conception of disease which is
the basis of medicine a la mode is not in
accord with facts." It is against the prevail-
ing medical fashion, against the calling in the
arm of the State to stereotype that fashion
and carry out its dictates vi et armis, or the
discrimination of the law in its favour, that
we appeal to the reason and conscience of our
fellow-citizens.



J. H. LEVY.



32, Charing Cross, London, SAY.,
28th October, 1906.



Vlll.



CONTENTS



PART I. BY J. H. LEVY.

PAGE

THE ETHICS OF VIVISECTION i

VIVISECTION AND MORAL EVOLUTION 37

THE PASSOVER AND VIVISECTION 53

THE BIRD THAT LAID THE VACCINATION EGG ... 71

LICENSED LIBERTY : A DREAM OF THE VACCINA-
TION ACT, 1898 90

STATE VACCINATION AND ANCIENT JUDAISM ... 105
A PETITION AGAINST STATE VACCINATION ... 135

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PASTEURISM 138

COMPULSORY " ISOLATION " 160

THE LUNACY LAWS 172

THE CONTAGIOUS DISEASES ACTS j8o

FREEDOM THE FUNDAMENTAL CONDITION OF

MORALITY ,.. 199

EPILOGUE . 208



PART II. BY A. GOFF.

STRAY THOUGHTS ON HOSPITALS



ERRATA.

Page 77, lines 4 and 12 from bottom, for pustle read
pustule.

Page 88, line g from top, for immoral read immortal.

Page 131, line 19 from bottom, for vaccinatad read
vaccinated.



THE ETHICS OF
VIVISECTION.



" Jus naturale est . . . . non humani generis
proprium sed omnium animalium." ULPIAN.



I.

THOSE sentient beings who share with man the
pleasures and pains of conscious life have ever
been made the victims of his efforts to evade
responsibility for his errors and misdeeds. And
they have also been ruthlessly sacrificed to the
terrors of his imagination. The superior animal,
like a true aristocrat, has endeavoured to propitiate
gods and demons by the merciless immolation of
his poor relations. The goat offered to Jehovah
and the goat sent into the wilderness to Azazel*
may be regarded as types of the whole animal
world in its relation to man. That this mean and
cowardly spirit, when once established, did not
respect the boundary line which separates man
and monkey, is known to all students of the history

'Leviticus, Ch. XVI., v. 8-10, English Revised Version.



2 THE ETHICS OF VIVISECTION.

of religion. The blood of human victims mingled
with the continuous stream which flowed from the
slaughtered animals. But what is unknown, or at
least is not realized, save by a few, is that the
manifestation of this spirit is as brutally rampant
to-day, in that section of European society which
esteems itself especially enlightened and scientific,
as it was in Asia Minor when Molech and Dagon
and Baal and Ashtoreth were familiar objects of
worship.

It seems a curious and grotesque inversion of
parts that the science of the later ages should take
up the methods of the superstition of the earlier
ones ; but it is nevertheless a fact. Search the
ancient records for the worst instances you can
find of the attempt to purchase immunity for our-
selves by the torture of others of others animal
and human and I will undertake to parallel these
instances, or to surpass them in horror, from the
published confessions of scientific men of our
generation. Did the disordered fancy which first
pictured to itself an eternal hell ever imagine
anything worse than Professor Mantegazza's
description of the " great delight and very great
patience for the space of a year " with which he
experimented on animals in order to ascertain the
influence of pain on the breath and breathing ?
In order to prevent the animal from moving,
without interfering with the mechanism of
respiration, while submitting it to the greatest



THE ETHICS OF VIVISECTION. 3

pain that could be contrived, the gentle Professor
drove many sharp nails through the animal's
feet and limbs ; and he aggravated the pain to
such a degree that the muscles became paralyzed
by its action. He had a " tormentor " constructed,
with which he could " take an ear, a paw, or a
piece of the animal's skin, and by turning a handle,
crush it between the teeth of the pincers." " I
can," he triumphantly says, " lift the animal by the
suffering part. I can tear it or pinch it in all sorts
of ways." He gives as the result of twenty-eight
of these experiments, a table of the amount of
water and carbonic acid exhaled under various
degrees of the torture inflicted.

I shall not repeat instances of this kind. My
object is not to move you to horror, but to appeal
to your reason and conscience against a practice
which I believe to be as irrational as it is cruel.
What is the nature of the support with which this
practice meets ? Let me illustrate this by a very
significant circumstance, referring to myself
personally. In London we have t\vo Jewish
papers ; and the editors of these have formed an
estimate of my abilities and character with which
assuredly I have no reason to find fault. But when
these gentlemen refer to me in terms of high
laudation, they accompany this with a deprecatory
shake of the head on the vivisection question.

* Fisiolofria del Dolote, by Paolo Mantegaz/.a, pp. 95-101.



4 THE ETHICS OF VIVISECTION^

Why ? Both would allow that I am logically
well equipped, and that I am not likely to mistake
ignorance for knowledge. Both, I think, would
admit that they have made no study of the
question. They rely on what they regard as
authority. But what authority ? They bow to
the opinion on this question of the majority of the
medical profession of our day. The question,,
however, whether vivisection is right or wrong is
not a medical question but an ethical one. The
authority on it is not the physician or the physicist
but the moral philosopher ; and, as the Medical
Times said more than two decades ago, "medical
training is not necessarily in itself a liberal
education, or one which brings with it a broad
and philosophic tone of thought."

People get very " mixed " on this question of
authority. Some years ago I met an acquaintance
who was engaged in the manufacture of boots.
To his lament that the country was being ruined
by the importation of ready-made, " uppers," I
replied by endeavouring to show that the nation
benefits by freedom of trade. His rejoinder was
that I knew nothing about bootmaking which
was quite true, but irrelevant. The question was
one, not of bootmaking, but of economics, though
the trade spoken of happened to be that in boots.
Bootmakers are not necessarily the best judges of

*8th March, 1884.



THE ETHICS OF VIVISECTION. 5

whether the commerce in which they take part
should be restricted or not ; farmers are not to be
taken as authorities on corn laws, parsons on the
question of the union of Church and State, lawyers
on the reform of legal procedure which may
possibly interfere with fees ; and scientists are not
the best persons to call in to lay down the law as
to what it is right or wrong for them to do. The
expert on this question is the ethicist, not the
physicist. The vivisector cannot be allowed to
beg the question by constituting himself both
advocate and judge in his own case.

Pray do not misunderstand me. I have not the
slightest wish to take the crown of dogmatism from
the head of the scientist and place it on the brow
of the moral philosopher. No man has less belief
than I in salvation by blind submission to any
external authority. The only moral elevation
which commends itself to me is that of free choice
of the right based on individual judgment and
sympathy. I do not mean that you should never
consult an expert ; but the better you are able to
judge your expert, the more you insist on his
justifying to you his decisions, the more free will
those decisions tend to be from error and
charlatanism, and the more will your acceptance
of them if you do accept them be that of a
rational and responsible human being.

Scientific men seem to me very much in need of
efficient external criticism. The concepts which



6 THE ETHICS OF VIVISECTION.

are supposed by them to lie at the basis of modern
physics are in great need of what I may call
logical vivisection. And they are beginning to get
it. The criticisms of Stallo, Le Roy, Poincare,
and others, are such that Professor Larmor is
obliged to confess that " there has been of late a
growing trend of opinion, prompted in part by
general philosophical views, in the direction that
the theoretical constructions of physical science are
largely factitious, that instead of presenting a
valid image of the relations of things on which
further progress can be based, they are still little
better than a mirage." This is the natural
reaction against overstrained methods. Physicists
are not often good philosophers, and are, therefore,
apt to draw the line of their inferences and
assertions with a much freer hand than would
be conceded to them by a sound logic and
epistemology. .

If this is true of physics, what shall we say of
medicine ? " Sociology," says Professor Levy-
Bruhl, " has established that, in the beginning, the
physician and the sorcerer were one with the
magician and the priest."! Even now, he thinks,
" there are very few persons among the so-called
educated classes who do not complacently listen to

*See the Introduction to the very badly translated English
edition of M. Henri Poincare"'s " La Science et DHypothe'se. "

t" Ethics and Moral Science" p. 3. See also Sir Alfred C.
Lyall's " Asiatic Studies," First Series, Chap. IV.



THE ETHICS OF VIVISECTION. 7

stories of marvellous and inexplicable cures."
There are indeed, and perhaps fewer than even the
learned professor imagines. Moreover, this mental
condition of those from whom comes the demand
for medical treatment has, inter alia, consequences
on the supply which are hardly recognized.
Medicine has not only arisen out of sorcery, but
has a constant tendency to revert to it. The
present medical period with its witches' cauldron
of vaccines and serums and anti-toxins, and its
morbific prophylaxis of healthy persons seems to
me essentially one of reversion. I believe the
recognition of this reversionary tendency would do
more than anything else to lift medicine to a
scientific plane, and free its practice from the
reproach of inhumanity. The more philosophic
students of medicine would thus be put on their
guard ; and they are the natural leaders of the
rank and file of medical men.

I might carry this still farther. Magic, as Mr.
Frazer has said, is " next of kin to science," which
is only another way of saying that science is next
of kin to magic. And the one does not pass into
the other by a sudden transformation. " From the
earliest times," says Mr. Frazer, " man has been
engaged in the search for general rules whereby to
turn the order of natural phenomena to his own
advantage, and in the long search he has scraped

" The Golden Bough," Vol. I., p. 62.



8 THE ETHICS OF VIVISECTION.

together a great hoard of such maxims, some of
them golden and some of them mere dross. The
true or golden rules constitute the body of applied
science which we call the arts ; the false are
magic."

According to this definition, the line of division
between magic and the scientific arts is that
between success and failure in the ascertainment
of the order of phenomena. We cannot, then,
draw a line transversely across the centuries, and
say : " From this time magic ceases and applied
science begins." We must draw it obliquely it
may be but without doubt longitudinally, down
the stream of time, allowing somewhat more for
science and less for magic in our day, yet
recognizing that, if " the false are magic," then it
it will probably be many a long day before magic
will be practically banished from human affairs,
and science pure in itself, and applied with full
and enlightened ethical purpose, will reign
supreme.

II.

Having thus cleared the ground, let me next
endeavour to remove another misconception which
blocks the way ; for we shall find that the problem
is not difficult in itself, but is beset with pitfalls
and stumbling-blocks, like most philosophical
problems. Unfortunately, those who have taken
up the cudgels against vivisection or at least the



THE ETHICS OF VIVISECTION. 9

most prominent of them have been intuitionists
in ethics, while the champions of vivisection have
been men who are known to be scientific hedonists.
The impression has arisen from this that the
question of the rights of animals is one which rests
on the respective merits of these rival schools of
ethics. This impression has been a most potent
factor in creating a prejudice in favour of vivi-
section, among those who are opposed to the
metempirical philosophy. Many years ago, I left
a discussion at the London Dialetical Society in
company with my friend the late Dr. W. A.
Hunter, M.P. for Aberdeen one of the keenest
intellects produced by Scotland in our generation ;
and he said to me : " You see, Levy, this is a
question between experiential and transcendental
ethics." So it was, in the debate ; but this did not
convince me. It has not infrequently been my fate
to attend debates in which both sides were wrong.
I shall endeavour to prove that the notion that
the question at issue is, fundamentally, one
between the rival schools of hedonistic and
intuitionist ethics, is an error. Indeed, I am myself
a hedonist that is, I hold that actions are good in
so far as they tend to the production of happiness,
and bad in so far as they tend to the production of
misery and if there is any quarrel between
scientific vivisectionists and myself, it is not on the
hedonistic or utilitarian basis of morals, but on the
mode of its application.



io THE ETHICS OF VIVISECTION.

Let me first draw your attention to the fact that,
in the eighteenth century, more than a hundred
and twenty years ago, Jeremy Bentham, the
founder of the modern school of utilitarian ethics,
declared that " the day may come when the rest
of the animal creation may acquire those rights
which never could have been withholden from
them but by the hand of tyranny. It may come
one day to be recognized that the number of the
legs, the villosity of the skin, or the termination
of the os sacrum are reasons insufficient for aban-
doning a sensitive being to the caprice of a
tormentor. What else is it that should trace the
insuperable line ? Is it the faculty of reason, or
perhaps the faculty of discourse ? But a full-
grown horse or dog is beyond comparison a more
rational, as well as a more conversable animal,
than an infant of a day, a week, or even a month
old. But suppose the case were otherwise, what
would it avail ? The question is not, can they
reason, nor can they speak, but can they suffer."

Against this, Dr. Whewell, the great champion
of intuitionist ethics, argued : " We are bound to
endeavour to augment the pleasures of men, not
only because they are pleasures, but because they
are human pleasures. We are bound to men by
the universal tie of humanity, of human brother-
hood. We have no such tie to animals.'' This
was not the first time or the last on which an
appeal has been made to brotherhood to narrow



THE ETHICS OF VIVISECTION. n

the scope of sympathy. That we are not bound
to the non-human by the tie of human brother-
hood is scarcely more than a verbal proposition ;
and when it is put forward to justify a limitation
of rights to human beings, it is simply an
audacious begging of the question. And the term
"brotherhood" is easily adaptable to still narrower
application. Just as the cry of human brotherhood
has been used to sanctify the torture of some of
the most highly endowed animals, so the cry of
Christian brotherhood has been made to cover the
torture of at least one of the most highly endowed
races of mankind.

According to Dr. Whewell : " It is not only not
an obvious, but to most persons not a tolerable
doctrine, that we may sacrifice the happiness of
men provided we can in that way produce an
overplus of pleasure to cats, dogs, and hogs." To
this John Stuart Mill replied : " It is ' to most
persons' in the Slave States of America not a
tolerable doctrine that we may sacrifice any
portion of the happiness of white men for the sake
of a greater amount of happiness to black men.
It would have been intolerable five centuries ago
' to most persons ' among the feudal nobility, to
hear it asserted that the greatest pleasure or pain
of a hundred serfs ought not to give way to the
smallest of a nobleman. According to the standard
of Dr. Whewell, the slavemasters and the nobles
were right. They too felt themselves ' bound ' by



12 THE ETHICS OF VIVISECTION.

a ' tie of brotherhood ' to the white men and to
the nobility, and felt no such tie to the negroes
and serfs. And if a feeling on moral subjects is
right because it is natural, their feeling was
justifiable. Nothing is more natural to human
beings, nor, up to a certain point in cultivation,
more universal, than to estimate the pleasures and
pains of others as deserving of regard exactly in
proportion to their likeness to ourselves. These
superstitions of selfishness had the characteristics
by which Dr. Whewell recognizes his moral rules;
and his opinion on the rights of animals shows
that in this case at least he is consistent. We are
perfectly willing to stake the whole question on
this one issue. Granted that any practice causes
more pain to animals than it gives pleasure to
man ; is that practice moral or immoral ? And if,
exactly in proportion as human beings raise their
heads out of the slough of selfishness, they do not
with one voice answer ' immoral,' let the morality
of the principle of utility be for ever condemned."*
It will be seen by this that Mill was not arguing
that even the tortures inflicted by a Mantegazza
might not be justified by more than compensating
happiness for human beings. He was disputing
the doctrine of the intuitionist philosopher that
animals have no rights that can be measured
against the pleasures of men. Half a century after

* Dissertations and Discussions, Vol. II., pp. 483-5.



THE ETHICS OF VIVISECTION. 13

Bentham wrote, the laws for the prevention of
cruelty to animals recognized the principle for
which he contended. As I know no vivisectionist
who would repeal those laws, and as it is as-
certain as anything in politics can be that any
attempt to repeal them would rouse indignation
from one end of the country to the other, we may
take as a settled principle the acknowledgment
that animals have rights respect for which the
State is bound in duly to enforce. And the fact
that this principle has been fought for and won
by two such champions of modern hedonism as
Bentham and Mill is proof that at all events as
regards the main thesis, that animals have rights
which it is our duty to defend as we defend those
of our fellow-men the question which we have
met to consider is not one on which the hedonistic
school is ranged against "our poor relations"
while the intuitionist school is their champion. I
gratefully acknowledge the very great sen-ice
which has been done to our cause in these later
days by intuitionist moralists notably by Miss
Frances Power Cobbe. Still I think that the
argument against vivisection has been, and is,
most lamentably obscured by the introduction of

* By a " right " or, more fully, a " natural " or " moral " right
I mean a moral claim which cannot be denied without a
violation of justice. It is something dependent on the conduct or
abstention of others which is ethically due to a sentient being
of which he cannot justly be deprived, and which may properly
be enforced, if necessary. A legal right is a claim which cannot
be denied without a violation of law.



14 THE ETHICS OF VIVISECTION.

the odium theologicum and by its being pitted
against hedonists as an intuitionist doctrine.

The fact is that the position we take up on this
and other questions of morals depends far less on
our ethical theory or theological beliefs than on
the range and depth of our sympathies, the extent
of our knowledge, and our ability to reason. As I
have said elsewhere : " In ethical entreaty the
appeal is to sympathy, and that appeal can
possibly be effective only in so far as this feeling
exists in the person to whom the appeal is made.
And the feeling may exist in him to so slight a
degree as to be practically non-existent. There
are moral idiots just as there are intellectual ones;
and the latter do not all wear strait-waistcoats.
The Earlswood and other asylums only contain
the worst specimens of intellectual idiocy. There
is no sharp line of division between these poor
creatures and the people outside. Earlswood is
simply the last term of a series of which the
gradations are infinitesimal. Man is an animal
who tends to be rational : but the tendency, in the
vast majority of cases, is very imperfectly realized.
And, in the same way, man tends to be sym-
pathetic to feel with the feeling which is ex-


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