D. S. (David Samuel) Margoliouth.

The Popular science monthly (Volume 19) online

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persons " ; and under Charlemagne plunder by officials was chronic :
the moment his back was turned " the provosts of the king appro-
priated the funds intended to furnish food and clothing for the

Where warfare is habitual, and the required qualities most needful
and therefore most honored, those whose lives do not display them are
treated with contempt, and their occupations regarded as dishonorable.
In early stages labor is the business of women and of slaves — con-
quered men and the descendants of conquered men ; and trade of
every kind, carried on by subject classes, long continues to be identi-
fied with lowness of origin and nature. In Dahomey, "agriculture is
despised because slaves are employed in it." " The Japanese nobles
and placemen, even of secondary rank, entertain a sovereign contempt
for traffic." Of the ancient Egyptians Wilkinson says, "Their preju-
dices against mechanical employments, as far as regarded the soldier,
were equally strong as in the rigid Sparta." " For trade and com-
merce the (ancient) Persians were wont to express extreme contempt,"
writes Rawlinson. The progress of class differentiation which accom-
panied the conquering wars of the Romans, was furthered by estab-
lishment of the rule that it was disgraceful to take money for work,
and also by the law forbidding senators and senators' sons from en-
gaging in speculation. And how great has been the scorn expressed
by the militant classes for the trading classes throughout Europe down
r > quite recent times, needs no showing.

That there may be willingness to risk life for the benefit of the so-
ciety, there must be much of the feeling called patriotism. Though
the belief that it is glorious to die for one's country can not be
regarded as essential, since mercenaries fight without it, yet it is ob-
vious that such a belief must conduce greatly to success in war ; and
that entire absence of it must be so unfavorable to offensive and de-
voL. XIX. — 49


fensive action that failure and subjugation, will, other things equal, be
likely to result. Hence the sentiment of patriotism will be established
by the survival of societies the members of which are most character-
ized by it.

With this there needs to be united the instinct of obedience. The
jDOSsibility of that united action by which, other things equal, war is
made successful, depends on the readiness of individuals to subordinate
their wills to the will of a commander or ruler. Loyalty is essential.
In early stages the manifestation of it is but temporary, as among the
Araucanians, who, ordinarily showing themselves "repugnant to all
subordination, are then (when war is impending) prompt to obey, and
submissive to the will of their military sovereign " appointed for the
occasion. And with development of the militant type this sentiment
becomes permanent. Thus, Erskine tells us that the Feejeeans are in-
tensely loyal : men buried alive in the foundations of a king's house
considered themseves honored by being so sacrificed ; and the people
of a slave district "said it was their duty to become food and sacrifice
for the chiefs." So in Dahomey there is felt for the king "a mixture
of love and fear, little short of adoration." In ancient Egypt, again,
where " blind obedience was the oil which caused the harmonious work-
ing of the machinery " of social life, the monuments on every side show
with wearisome iteration the daily acts of subordination — of slaves and
others to the dead man, of captives to the king, of the king to the
gods. Though, for reasons already pointed out, chronic war did not
generate in Sparta a supreme political head, to whom there could be
shown implicit obedience, yet the obedience shown to the political
agency which grew up was profound : individual wills were in all
things subordinate to the public will expressed by the established au-
thorities. In primitive Rome, too, in the absence of a divinely-de-
scended king to whom submission could be shown, there was submis-
sion to an appointed king, qualified only by expressions of opinion on
special occasions ; and the principle of absolute obedience, slightly
mitigated in the relations of the community as a whole to its ruling
agency, was unmitigated within its component groups. And that
throughout European history, alike on small and on large scales, we
see the sentiment of loyalty dominant where the militant tyj^e of
structure is pronounced, is a truth that will be admitted without de-
tailed proof.

From these conspicuous traits of nature let us turn to certain con-
sequent traits which are less conspicuous, and which have results of
less manifest kinds. Along with loyalty naturally goes faith — the
two being, indeed, scarcely separable. Readiness to obey the com-
mander in war implies belief in his military abilities ; and readiness
to obey him during peace implies belief that his abilities extend to
civil affairs also. Imposing on men's imaginations, each new conquest
augments his authority. There come more frequent and more decided


evidences of his regulative action over men's lives ; and these gener-
ate the idea that his power is boundless. Unlimited faith in govern-
mental agency is fostered. Generations brought up under a system
which controls all affairs, private and public, tacitly assume that af-
fairs can only thus be controlled. Those who have experience of no
other regime become unable to imagine any other regime. In such
societies as that of ancient Peru, for example, where, as we have seen,
regimental rule was universal, there were no materials for framing
the thought of an industrial life spontaneously carried on and spon-
taneously regulated.

By implication, there result repression of individual initiative and
a consequent lack of private enterprise. In propox'tion as an army
becomes organized it is reduced to a state in which the independent
action of its members is forbidden. And, in proportion as regimenta-
tion pervades the society at large, each member of it, directed or re-
strained at every turn, has little or no power of conducting his busi-
ness otherwise than by established routine. Slaves can do only what
they are told by their masters ; their masters can not do anything that
is unusual without official permission ; and no permission is to be
obtained from the local authority until superior authorities through
their ascending grades have been consulted. Hence the mental state
generated is that of passive acceptance and expectancy. Where the
militant type is fully developed, eveiything must be done by public
agencies ; not only for the reason that these occupy all spheres, but
for the further reason that, did they not occupy them, there would
arise no other agencies — the prompting ideas and sentiments having
been obliterated.

There must be added a concomitant influence on the intellectual
nature which cooperates with the moral influences just named. Per-
sonal causation is alone recognized, and the conception of impersonal
causation is prevented from developing. The primitive man has no
idea of cause in the modern sense. The only agents included in his
theory of things are living persons and the ghosts of dead persons.
All unusual occurrences, together with those usual ones liable to vari-
ation, he ascribes to supernatural beings. And this system of inter-
jiretration survives through early stages of civilization ; as we see, for
example, among the Homeric Greeks, by whom wounds, deaths, and
escapes in battle, were ascribed to the enmity or the aid of the gods,
and by whom good and bad acts were held to be divinely prompted.
Continuance and development of militant forms and activities main-
tain this way of thinking. In the first place it indirectly hinders the
discovery of causal relations. The sciences grow out of the arts —
begin as generalizations of truths which practice of the arts makes
manifest. In proportion as processes of production multiply in their
kinds and increase in their complexities, more numerous uniformities
come to be recognized ; and the ideas of necessary relation and physi-



cal cause arise and develop. Consequently, by discouraging industrial
progress, militancy checks the replacing of ideas of personal agency
by ideas of impersonal agency. In the second place, it does the like
by direct repression of intellectual culture. Naturally a life occupied
in acquiring knowledge, like a life occupied in industry, is regarded
with contempt by a people devoted to war. The Spartans clearly
exemplified this relation in ancient times ; and it was again exempli-
fied during feudal ages in Europe, when learning was scorned as proper
only 'for clerks and the children of mean people. And obviously, in
proportion as warlike activities are antagonistic to the advance of
science, they further retard that emancipation from primitive ideas
which ends in recognition of natural uniformities. In the third place,
and chiefly, the effect in question is produced by the conspicuous and
perpetual experience of personal agency which the militant regime
yields. In the army, from the commander-in-chief down to the pri-
vate undergoing drill, every movement is directed by a superior ; and,
throughout the society, in proportion as its regimentation is elaborate,
things are hourly seen to go thus or thus, according to the regulating
wills of the ruler and his subordinates. In the interpretation of social
affairs, personal causation is consequently alone recognized. History
comes to be made up of the doings of remarkable men ; and it is
tacitly assumed that societies have been formed by them. Wholly
foreign to the habit of mind as is the thought of impersonal causation,
the course of social evolution is unperceived. The natural genesis of
social structures and functions is an utterly alien conception, and
appears absurd when alleged. The notion of a self -regulating social
process is unintelligible. So that militancy molds the citizen into a
form not only morally adapted, but intellectually adapted — a form
which can not think away from the entailed system.

In three ways, then, we are shown the character of the militant
type of political organization. Observe the congruities which com-
parison of results discloses.

Certain conditions, manifest a priori., have to be fulfilled by a
society fitted for preserving itself in presence of antagonist societies.
To be in the highest degree efficient, the corporate action needed for
preserving the corporate life must be joined in by every one. Other
things equal, the fighting power will be greatest where those who can
not fight labor exclusively to support and help those who can : an
evident implication being that the working part shall be no larger
than is required for these ends. The efforts of all being utilized di-
rectly or indirectly for war, will be most effectual when they are most
combined ; and, besides union among the combatants, there must be
such union of the non-combatants with them as renders the aid of
these fully and promptly available. To satisfy these requirements,
the life, the actions, and the possessions of each individual must be

r:«;*'r-^^'->^ -f'*.


held at the service of the society. This universal service, this combi-
nation, and this merging of individual claims, presuppose a despotic
controlling agency. That the will of the soldier-chief may be opera-
tive when the aggregate is large, there must be sub-centers and sub-
sub-centers in descending grades, through whom orders may be con-
veyed and enforced, both throughout the combatant part and the non-
combatant part. As the commander tells the soldier both what he
shall not do and what he shall do, so, throughout the militant com-
munity at large, the rule is both negatively regulative and positively
regulative : it not only restrains, but it directs : the citizen as well as
the soldier lives under a system of compulsory cooperation. Devel-
opment of the militant type involves increasing rigidity, since the
cohesion, the combination, the subordination, and the regulation, to
which the units of a society are subjected by it, inevitably decrease
their ability to change their social positions, their occupations, their

On inspecting sundry societies, past and present, large and small,
which are, or have been, characterized in high degrees by militancy,
we are shown, a posteriori, that amid the differences due to race, to
circumstances, and to degrees of development, there are fundamental
similarities of the kinds above inferred a j^riori. Modern Dahomey
and Russia, as well as ancient Peru, Egypt, and Sparta, exemplify
that owning of the individual by the state in life, liberty, and goods,
which is proper to a social system adapted for war. And, that, with
changes further fitting a society for warlike activities, there spread
throughout it an officialism, a dictation, and a superintendence, akin
to those under which the soldiery lives, we are shown by imperial
Rome, by imperial Germany, and by England since its late aggressive

Lastly comes the evidence furnished by the adapted characters of
the men who compose militant societies. Making success in war the
highest glory, they are led to identify goodness with bravery and
strength. Revenge becomes a sacred duty with them ; and, acting at
home on the law of retaliation which they act on abroad, they similarly
at home as abroad are ready to sacrifice others to self : their sympa-
thies, continually deadened in war, can not be active during peace.
They must have a patriotism which regards the triumph of their so-
ciety as the supreme end of the action ; they must possess the loyalty
whence flows obedience to authority ; and that they may be obedient
they must have abundant faith. With faith in authority and conse-
qiient readiness to be directed, naturally goes relatively little power
of initiation. The habit of seeing everything officially controlled
fosters the belief that official control is everywhere needful ; and a
course of life which makes personal causation familiar and negatives
experience of impersonal causation produces an inability to conceive
of any social processes as carried on under self-regulating arrange-



ments. And these traits of individual nature, needful concomitants
as we see of the militant type, are those which we observe in the
members of actual militant societies.


By the President, Sik JAMES PAGET.

AS I look around this hall my admiration is moved not only by the
number and total power of the minds which are here, but by
their diversity, a diversity in which I believe they fairly represent the
whole of those who are engaged in the cultivation of our science. For
here are minds representing the distinctive characters of all the most
gifted and most educated nations : characters still distinctly national,
in spite of the constantly increasing intercourse of the nations. And
from many of these nations we have both elder and younger men ;
thoughtful men and practical ; men of fact and men of imagination ;
some confident, some skeptic ; various, also, in education, in purpose
and mode of study, in disposition, and in power. And scarcely less
various are the places and all the circumstances in which those who
are here have collected and have been using their knowledge. For I
think that our calling is preeminent in its range of opportunities for
scientific study. It is not only that the pure science of human life
may match with the largest of the natural sciences in the complexity
of its subject-matter ; not only that the living human body is, in both
its material and its indwelling forces, the most complex thing yet
known, but that in our practical duties this most complex thing is pre-
sented to us in an almost infinite multiformity. For in practice we
ai-e occupied, not with a type and pattern of the human nature, but
with all its varieties in all classes of men, of every age and every occu-
pation, and all climates and all social states ; we have to study men
singly and in multitudes, in poverty and in wealth, in wise and unwise
living, in health and all the varieties of disease ; and we have to learn,
or at least try to learn, the results of all these conditions of life, while
in successive generations and in the mingling of families they are
heaped together, confused, and always changing. In every one of all
these conditions, man, in mind and body, must be studied by us ; and
every one of them offers some different problems for inquiry and solu-
tion. "Wherever our duty or our scientific curiosity, or, in happy com-
bination, both, may lead us, there are the materials and there the oppor-
tunities for separate original research.

Now, from these various opportunities of study, men are here in


Congress. Surely, whatever a multitude and diversity of minds can
in a few days do for the promotion of knowledge, may be done here.

But it is not proposed to leave the work of the Congress to what
would seem like chances and disorder, good as the result might be ;
nor yet to the personal influences by which we may all be made titter
for work, though these may be very potent. In the stir and contro-
versy of meetings such as we shall have, there can not fail to be useful
emulation ; by the examples that will appear of success in research,
many will be moved to more enthusiasm, many to more keen study of
the truth ; our range of work will be made wider, and we shall gain
that greater interest in each other's views and that clearer apprehen-
sion of them which are always attained by personal acquaintance and
by memories of association in pleasure as well as in work. But as it
will not be left to chance, so neither will sentiment have to fulfill the
chief duties of the Congress.

Following the good example of our predecessors, certain subjects
have been selected which will be chiefly though not exclusively dis-
cussed, and the discussions are to be in the sections into which we shall
soon divide.

Of these subjects it would not be for me to speak even if I were
competent to do so ; unless I may say that they are so numerous and
complete that — together with the opening addresses of the presidents
of sections — they leave me nothing but such generalities as may seem
commonplace. They have been selected, after the custom of former
meetings, from the most stirring and practical questions of the day ;
they are those which must occupy men's minds, and on which there is
at this time most reason to expect progress, or even a just decision,
from very wide discussion. They will be discussed by those most
learned in them, and in many instances by those who have spent
months or years in studying them, and who now offer their work for
criticism and judgment.

I will only observe that the subjects selected in every section in-
volve questions in the solution of which all the varieties of mind and
knowledge of which I have spoken may find their use. For there are
questions, not only on many subjects, but in all stages of progress
toward settlement. In some the chief need seems to be the collection
of facts well observed by many persons. I say by many, not only
because many facts are wanted, but because in all diflScult research it
is well that each apparent fact should be observed by many ; for things
are not what they appear to each one mind. In that which each man
believes that he observes, there is something of himself ; and for cer-
tainty, even on matters of fact, we often need the agreement of many
minds, that the personal element of each may be counteracted. And
much more is this necessary in the consideration of the many questions
which are to be decided by discussing the several values of admitted
facts and of probabilities, and of the conclusions di*awn from them.


For, on questions such as these, minds of all kinds may be well em-
ployed. Here there will be occasion even for those which are not un-
conditionally praiseworthy, such as those that habitually doubt, and
those to whom the invention of arguments is more pleasing than the
mere search for truth. Nay, we may be able to observe the utility
even of error. We may not, indeed, wish for a prevalence of errors ;
tliey are not more desirable than are the crime and misery which evoke
charity. And yet in a congress we may palliate them, for we may see
how, as we may often read in history, errors, like doubts and contrary
pleadings, serve to bring out the truth, to make it express itself in
clearest terms and show its whole strength and value. Adversity is an
excellent school for truth as well as for virtue.

But that which I would chiefly note, in relation to the great variety
of minds which are here, is that it is characteristic of that mental
pliancy and readiness for variation which is essential to all scientific
progress, and which a great international congress may illustrate and
promote. In all the subjects for discussion we look for the attainment
of some novelty and change in knowledge or belief ; and after every
such change there must ensue a change in some of the conditions of
thinking and of working. Now, for all these changes minds need to
be pliant and quick to adjust themselves. For all progressive science
there must be minds that are young, whatever may be their age.

Just as the discovery of auscultation brought to us the necessity
for a refined cultivation of the sense of hearing, which was before of
only the same use in medicine as in the common business of life ; or,
as the employment of the numerical method in estimating the value of
facts required that minds should be able to record and think in ways
previously unused ; or, as the acceptance of the doctrine of evolution
has changed the course of thinking in whole departments of science —
so is it, in less measure, in every less advance of knowledge. All such
advances change the circumstances of the mental life, and minds that
can not or w411 not adjust themselves become less useful, or must at
least modify their manner of utility. They may continue to be the
best defenders of what is true ; they may strengthen and expand the
truth, and may apply it in practice with all the advantages of expe-
rience ; they may thus secure the possessions of science and use them
well ; but they will not increase them.

It is with minds as with living bodies. One of their chief powers
is in their self -adjustment to the varying conditions in which they have
to live. Generally those species are the strongest and most abiding
that can thrive in the widest range of climate and of food. And of all
the races of men they are the mightiest and most noble who are, or by
self-adjustment can become, most fit for all the new conditions of ex-
istence in which by various changes they may be placed. These are
they who prosper in great changes of their social state ; who, in suc-
cessive generations, grow stronger by the production of a population


so various that some are fitted to each of all the conditions of material
and mode of life which they can discover or invent. These are most
prosperous in the highest civilization ; these Avhom nature adapts to
the products of their own arts.

Or, among other groups, the mightiest are those who are strong
alike on land and sea ; who can explore and colonize, and in every
climate can replenish the earth and subdue it ; and this not by tenacity
or mere robustness, but rather by pliancy and the production of varie-
ties fit to abide and increase in all the various conditions of the world

Now, it is by no distant analogy that we trace the likeness between
these in their successful contests with the material conditions of life
and those who are to succeed in the intellectual strife with the diffi-
culties of* science and of art. There must be minds which in variety
may match with all the varieties of the subject-matters and minds
which, at once or in swift succession, can be adjusted to all the increas-
ing and changing modes of thought and work.

Such are the minds we need ; or, rather, such are the minds we
have ; and these in great meetings prove and augment their worth.
Happily the natural increase in the variety of minds in all cultivated

Online LibraryD. S. (David Samuel) MargoliouthThe Popular science monthly (Volume 19) → online text (page 97 of 110)