Franklin Henry Giddings.

Democracy and empire; with studies of their psychological, economic, and moral foundations online

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those modes of conduct are right which increase the total
physiological power of the race and differentiate its forms,
or which differentiate its forms without diminishing its

Among the forms in which might is distributed as it be-
comes differentiated, must be included sympathy and all its
products. "We need not stop to argue that sympathy in its
origin is a physiological phenomenon, a mode of motor im-
pulse, quite as much a form of energy as the contraction of
muscle which seizes and masticates prey. It would be a
ludicrous ignorance of all scientific facts which should leave
sympathy out of the inventory of manifestations of power.

Not less are all the higher virtues — philanthropy, com-
passion, and forgiveness — manifestations of power. They
have their origin in sympathy, and are simply differentia-
tions of motor impulses and modes of expending energy.
Moreover, it is only the men that have energy to spare who
are normally altruistic. On the physiological side, altruism
is a mode of expenditure of any surplus energy that has been
left over from successful individual struggle. The meek
shall inherit the earth, not because they are meek, but be-
cause, taking one generation with another, it is only the
mighty that are or can be meek, and because the mighty — if
normally evolved — are also by differentiation meek.

This, then, is the conception that we gain by comparing
those facts which in the concrete are collectively lumped as
" right," with facts that must be accepted as right if Dar-
winism is true. Darwinism affirms that total right equals
might. The greater might overcomes the lesser ; the greater
survives, and must be accepted as right on the whole.
Humanity, on the other hand, says that differentiated might
equals right. According to our traditional notions, it is
only when might has taken the varied forms of justice.


sympathy, compassion, and helpfulness, that it becomes,

Now, a complete conception of evolution reveals to us the
fact that might can be differentiated into numberless special-
ized forms, without diminishing its total amount. Indeed, as
far any particular organism or group of organisms is con-
cerned, there may be a continuing increase of the total amount
of power that it expends, and a continuing differentiation of
its forms. Integration and differentiation may, and nor-
mally do, proceed together. The history of the race shows,
that there are organized nations, also, which have continually
differentiated their might while increasing its total amount.
Thus, from aU these facts, we arrive at the conclusion that
right is the differentiation of might without diminution of
its amount.

In this limitation, — in this proof that the total amount of
human power must not be diminished while its forms are un-
dergoing change and specialization, we have the one invalu-
able contribution of Darwinism to moral philosophy, and the
one vital truth in the otherwise exaggerated and often per-
verse teachings of Nietzsche. In two distinct ways the indi-
vidual may disregard the moral law. He may rest satisfied in
the enjoyment and display of power in its crudest expression^
making no effort to differentiate it into those varied and beau-
tiful forms which the traditions of humanity have described
as modes of right or goodness. Such a man is properly re-
garded as brutal ; for such, literally, he is. He remains in
the animal stage of evolution. Or the individual may pui-sue
the higher modes of activity, centring his attention upon the
possibilities of variation until he has lost his grip upon the
sources of power, and begins to lose some measure of that
total energy which is available for any purpose of life. The
nation, in like manner, may rest satisfied in a merely brutal
career of power, manifesting itself in the crude forms of con-
quest and material splendour, caring nothing for those higher
modes of effort that are traditionally called right, including
justice and charity. Or, on the other hand, it may so exclu-
sively give attention to these varied and higher modes of


activity that it neglects the fundamental duty of maintaining
its vigour and total power. It may even attempt to suppress
the competitions that are an essential part of the struggle for
existence, and coddle the worthless until deterioration begins.
There can be no doubt that indiscriminate benevolence may
increase panmixia, as it certainly does when paupers and
criminals are permitted to breed like rabbits, while men of
sturdier power add but few descendants to the race. Fur-
thermore, there can be no doubt that some nations in a higher
degree than others suffer from neurotic ills and a diminishing

Thus, according to our moral rule, nations and individuals
alike should try not only to direct their energies into chan-
nels of beneficence and forgiveness, but also to discover what
limits are set to their altruism by their staying power. In
short, it is an obvious conclusion from our conception of the
double aspect of the moral problem, that men ought to culti-
vate both the gentle virtues and the qualities that go with
sturdy contest. Their lives should exhibit both of the fun-
damental phenomena of evolution, namely, the integration of
power and its differentiation.

It is here that we discover the true origin of a curious
moral fact which has baffled, not only the uninstructed man
in his philosophizing, but also the philosopher in his attempts
to account for the vagaries of the uninstructed man: the
fact, namely, that humanity in the aggregate, attempting to
adjust itself by groping and experiment to the fundamental
conditions of life, has solved its problem in a rough experi-
mental way by establishing two different and seemingly contra-
dictory moral standards. Readers of Mr. Spencer's book on
"The Study of Sociology" will remember the sarcasm with
which he describes our ingenuous devotion to these two
conflicting standards. Six days in the week we diligently
follow the precepts of the religion of competition ; on the
seventh we as diligently contemplate the beauties of the
religion of compassion. Mr. Spencer accurately traces this
contradiction in conduct back to its origins in social experi-
ences of the past ; but he might have gone yet farther, and



have shown that, in reality, it is as fundamental as the distinc-
tion between the integrational and the differentiational aspects
of universal evolution itself. While evolution continues, two
standards are inevitable, and we must try as best we can to
reconcile or coordinate them. As long as coordination is still
imperfect, we must at one time be hostile, at another time
benevolent; at one time remorseless, at another time com-
passionate, unless we are prepared to see all moral activity
disappear in brutality on the one hand, or in degeneration on
the other.

This is exactly what the practical world has always avowed,
and what the theorists, dogmatists, and uncompromising ideal-
ists have always tried to get away from. The Nietzsches
would go to one extreme, the Tolstois to another. Mean-
while, men in general try to find the reciprocal limitations of
their conflicting standards.

The attempt has not been guided to any great extent by
philosophy. The adjustment has been made tentatively, ex-
perimentally, more by groping than by thinking, and it has
been continued through a long historical process. Only by
glancing back over this history in rapid review can we dis-
cover whether, on the whole, we are still the primitive egoists
that Nietzsche would approve, or sympathetic, if not always
close and believing, followers of Count Tolstoi.

We must go back to that little group of blood kindred
which was the earliest human community. A few brothers
and sisters, recognizing their maternal kinship, maintained a
common lair or camp, struggled together against beast and
nature, and together obtained food supplies. Within that
little band the competition of the Darwinian struggle had,
in a measure, ceased. Toward all life that lay beyond the
circle the rule was unrelenting war. Here, then, at the out-
set of human life, the two standards were already established.
Helpfulness, compassion, forgiveness even, were right and
expedient within the group. Remorseless enmity, cruelty,
treachery, any expedient was right toward those men or
creatures against which the band must struggle for its own


By the combination of such small hordes, in relatively
large aggregates, tribes were formed. By the federation of
tribes, leagues or confederacies were formed. By the con-
solidation of leagues, nations and states were formed. By
the consolidation of petty states, the vast territorial nations
of modern times were formed. And practically all of this
integration was accomplished by war.

At every stage in this progress, the double standard of
conduct has been assumed and maintained. Those within a
society organized by confederation or consolidation have re-
garded themselves as allies, and as having more to gain from
a suppression of the harsher features of the struggle for exist-
ence among themselves than by permitting them to continue.
This conclusion they have derived from their experience of
what Professor Karl Pearson has called the "extra-group
struggle." That is to say, a nation has always obtained a.
larger sum total of benefits from a struggle en masse with
other nations en masse than it has obtained from the lesser
struggles of its component groups against one another, or from
the still more minute struggles of its individual units against
one another. This has happened because the extra-group
struggle of nation against nation has afforded abundant
opportunities for individuals to distinguish themselves and
to develop their distinctive qualities, even when conflicts
with tribal brethren or fellow-citizens have ceased; and be-
cause, also, the hardships of the extra-group struggle — the
poverty, pestilence, and taxation resulting from war — have
exterminated great numbers of the unfit within each nation.
In short, intertribal and international struggles have thus
far continued the processes of natural selection; and, not-
withstanding the growth of sympathy and benevolence
within the nation, panmixia has not yet in more than one
or two important instances prevented a gradual accumula-
tion of power, while its differentiation has continued.

A closer examination of the internal phenomena of human
societies shows us, furthermore, that the extension of sym-
pathy and the gentler virtues from horde to tribe, from tribe
to nation, has proceeded only as fast as a conception of like-


ness among tlie incorporated elements of the enlarged com-
munity has grown up in the minds of the people. The notion
of the stranger and the notion of the enemy were identical
in the early days of human struggle, and the identity has
never wholly disappeared. In reality, it is only among those
who regard themselves as in some sense brethren, as being
-either of one blood or spiritually akin, with agreeing ideas
and common purposes, that non-resistance is a strictly natu-
ral, spontaneous phenomenon. Divergence of view and
•conflicting purposes normally provoke antagonism. Conse-
quently, the growth of pacific forms of conduct, the gradual
<;easing of strife, and the growth of habits of non-resistance
have been made possible only by the spread of knowledge ;
by the better comprehension of one another by men who
once misunderstood one another ; by the perfecting of com-
munication and of social intercourse; and by a gradual
assimilation, through imitation and reciprocal instruction, of
-different men to a common type. In a word, non-aggression
and non-resistance are an outcome of homogeneity.

A further inspection of the detail of the process shows us
also that when men are in agreement upon fundamental
matters of great importance for the purposes of everyday
life, they may live in outward harmony, actually maintaining
habits of non-aggression and non-resistance as far as physical
-combat is concerned, while differing radically in minor mat-
ters, and maintaining the fiercest kind of industrial, com-
mercial, and intellectual struggles. As everybody knows,
this is the state of things that exists at the present day in
nations like the United States, where actual warfare of sec-
tion against section, or of class against class, is practically
unknown ; where riot and insurrection are rare ; and where,
as compared with the internal disorder of ancient times, indi-
vidual assaults are infrequent. There is fundamental agree-
ment in such a population upon certain great principles of civil
organization, of individual liberty, of standards of conduct, and
of loyalty to a common destiny. In all lesser matters there is
the widest difference ; and in its commercial and intellectual
modes the struggle for existence is fiercely continued.


We are now in sight of our conclusion upon the main ques-
tion, whether habits of non-aggression and non-resistance in
respect of the grosser modes of conflict are likely to be f stab-
lished in the further course of human progress, and whether
they can be established without entailing race deterioration.

At the present time nearly the whole population of the world
is distributed among great nations and their colonial depen-
dencies. Within the more enlightened nations, habits of non-
aggression and non-resistance largely dominate the affairs of
private life. To predict when like habits will govern inter-
national relations would be rash in the highest degree.

Because, unless the course of history is to be reversed,
further progress in this direction will be made only through
a further absorption of small states and dependencies in
larger political aggregates. Unless the whole course of his-
tory is meaningless for the future, there is to be no cessation
of war — of extra-group competition — until vast empires em-
brace all nations. Whether in such empires compassion will
co-exist with overpowering might, or whether the suppression
of conflict among component parts will be followed by a
hopeless race deterioration, will depend on the character of
prevailing political systems. If they are highly centralized,
if they stamp out local liberty, suppress individual initiative,
and establish socialism, they will end in degeneration. But
if, in all matters except that general loyalty to a common
destiny, to a common standard of conduct, and to liberty,
which is the one thing necessary for imperial unity, they
tolerate local and ethnic differences, and protect individual
freedom — if, in short, they are democratic empires — there
will still be struggle and competition enough to ensure the
continuation of natural selection.

Only when the democratic empire has compassed ■ the
uttermost parts of the world will there be that perfect un-
derstanding among men which is necessary for the growth
of moral kinship. Only in the spiritual brotherhood of that
secular republic, created by blood and iron not less than by
thought and love, will the kingdom of heaven be established
on the earth.


The folio-wing papers and addresses, in whole or in part, have been in-
corporated in this volume :

" The Ethical Motive," International Journal of Ethics, Volume VIII.
Number 3, April, 1898.

" The Psychology of Society,'' Science, New Series Volume IX., Num-
ber 210, January 6, 1899.

" The Practical Value of Sociology " (" The Mind of the Many ")• An
Address before the Gteneral Session of the First Annual Meeting of The
American Academy of Political and Social Science, at Philadelphia, on
the evening of April 11, 1898. Not hitherto published.

"The Ethics of Social Progress" ("The Costs of Progress"), Inter-
national Journal of Ethics, Volume III., Number 2, January, 1893.
(Included also in "Philanthropy and Social Progress," edited by Pro-
fessor Henry C. Adams, Boston, T. Y. CroweU & Co., 1893).

Editorial and special articles in Work and Wages ("Industrial De-
mocracy"), Springfield, Mass., 1886-1887.

" The Ethics of Socialism " (" Industrial Democracy "), International
Journal of Ethics, Volume I., Number 2, January, 1891.

" Combinations of Capital in Relation to National Prosperity " (" The
Trusts and the Public"). A paper read at the Annual Meeting of The
American Paper and Pulp Association, in New York City, February 17,
1898. Printed in Proceedings of the Association, 1898.

" The Railroads and the State,'' The Chatauquan, Volume X., Number
4, January, 1890.

" Malthusianism and "Working Women" (" Some Results of the Free-
dom of Women"), The Ethical Record, Volume HE., Number 2, July,

"The Nature and Conduct of Political Majorities," Political Science
Quarterly, Volume VII., Number 1, March, 1892.

"The Destinies of Democracy," Political Science Quarterly, Volume
XL, Number 4, December, 1896.

" The Relation of Social Democracy to the Higher Education." A
Commencement Address delivered at Bryn Mawr College, June 7, 1894.
Privately printed, but not hitherto published.

" The Popular Instruction most Necessary in a Democracy." A lecture
of the Cambridge (Mass.) "Conferences" Series, November 4, 1898.
Not hitherto published.


360 NOTE

"The Shadow and the Substance of Republican Government," The
Independent, Volume XLIX., Number 2,560, December 23, 1897.

" Imperialism." A paper read before the New York Academy of Polit-
ical Science on the evening of November 29, 1899. Published in the
Political Science Quarterly, Volume XIII., Number 4, December, 1898.

" The Survival of Civil Liberty." A Commencement Address delivered
at Oberlin College, June 21, 1899. Not hitherto published.

" The Ideals of Nations." A lecture of the Carew Foundation, deliv-
ered at the Hartford Theological Seminary on the evening of March 1,
1899. Not hitherto published.


Aristotle, the "middle way," 25 ; man's
need of society, 70; on slavery, 82;
rigtits of majorities, 119 ; education of
the citizen, 231; on the state as a
means to the good life, 148, 330.

Arnold, Matthew, on equality, 64, 304 ;
on salvation by the " remnant," 220.

Anrelius, Marcus, intelligence of the
universe social, 96.

Austerity, ideal of, 319, 334.

Authority vs. Season, 21.

Baldwin, J. Mark, " dialectic of personal
growth, 30 et seq.

Bellamy, Edward, on communistic equal-
ity, 120.

"Boss " rule, 213, 253 et seq.

Butcher, S. H., individual and state in
Greece, 69.

Calhoun, J. C, concurrent majority, 180.

Christianity, Tolstoi's literal interpre-
tation of, 343 et seq.

Civil liberty, survival of, 293 et seq.

Civil service, effect of expansion on,

Clifford, W. K., conception and defini-
tion of " eject," 31 n.

Commissions, State Bailroad, 155.

Competition, 141, 147.

Conduct, motives of, 16.

Consciousness of kind, 36, 38, 41.

Consent of the governed, 259 et seq.

Conviviality, ideal of, 318.

Crime, 92, 171.

Crusades, 55.

Degeneration, 90, 357.

Democracy, 1 et seq. ; industrial, 99 et
seq.; destinies of, 199 eJseg.,- relation
of, to education, 217 et seq., 231 et seq.

Democratic Empire, 1, 357.

Dialectic of personal growth, 30 et seq.

Diplomatic relations, effect of expansion
on, 282, 283.

Economic motives, 17-19.

Economic slavery, 82.

Education in a democracy, 217, 231, 307.

Emotionalism, 239, 240.

Empire, the democratic, 1, 344, 357.

Equality, 61, 120, 301, 337.

Ethical motive, 15 et seq.

Expansion, causes of, 270 et seq. ; effect
of, on monetary policy, 280; on tariff
and trade policy, 281 et seq. ; on civil
service, 286, 287 ; on international re-
lations, 287 et seq.

Falkner, R. P., on native and foreign-
born criminals in the United States, 92.

Fraternity, 61, 338.

Free Coinage of Silver, effect of expan-
sion on, 278, 280.

Free trade, effect of expansion on, 280-

George, Henry, confiscation of land, 117,
161, 207.

Hu3dey, T. H., on combating the cosmic
process, 344, 345.

Hyndman, economic history of Eng-
land, 79.

Ideals of nations, 315, 344.
Immigration, 296.
Imperialism, xvii., 269-293.
Impulsive action, 64, 272.

Kidd, Benjamin, trade with the tropics,

Labour, control of conditions of, 9&-122.

Lassalle, Ferdinand, "The Working-
man's Programme," 99, 109.

Lecky, W. E. H., on democracy, 200 et

Le Play, F., on patriarchal society, 133.

Liberty, 7, 61, 200, 293.

Like-Mindedness, 5, 50, 61, 63, 246.




Local self-government, 8, 62, 299.
Lowell, James RuBsell, refusal aa elector
to vote for Tilden, 252.

McCook, J. J., on tramps, 92.

Mach, Dr. Ernst, on the nature of sci-
ence, 45.

Maine, Sir Henry Sumner, on democ-
racy, 179.

Majority rule, 201, 261.

Malthus, T. H., on population, 170.

Many, mind of the, 45 et seq.

" Might makes Eight," true and false,
348 et seq.

Militarism, 7.

Mill, John Stuart, on relation of woman's
economic independence to increase of
population, 173; on minority repre-
sentation, 180.

Mind of the many, 45 et seq.

Minority representation, 180.

Mob action, 54.

Monetary system, effect of expansion
on, 279, 280.

Monopolies, 150.

Nations, ideals of, 315 et seq.
Natural selection, 345, 355.
Naturalization, 5.
New England morality and preaching,

far-reaching beneficent influence of,

242 et seq.
Nietzsche, Friedrich, on morality and

natural selection, 346.
Non-resistance of evil, gospel of, 343 et


Oberlin, J. F., transformation of the
Ban de la Boche, 310.

Fanmixiaj 345, 355.

Parkman, Francis, the nineteenth cen-
tury the riddle of history, 219; edu-
cational duty of woman, 227.

Pauperism, 171.

Pearson, Karl, on socialism and the
struggle for existence, 114.

Personality, 72.

Plato, doctrine of subordination and pro-
portion, 26 ; rights of majorities, 119 ;
of the state as the perfect expression
of man's rational and moral nature,

Poor relief, 93.

Population, laws of growth of, 78, 80,

Poverty, persistence of, 81.

Power, ideal of, 317, 322.

Progress, 69 et seq. ; costs of, 69 et

Protectionism, 160; effect of expansion

on, 280-282.
Public ownership, 148, 254.
Public policy, 6, 41, 60, 182, 195.

Bailroads and the state, 147 et seq.
Rationalism, 21, 56, 212, 233, 235, 240,

243, 245, 309.
Rationally conscientioos man, 307, 320,

328, 336.
Republican government, shadow and

substance of, 251 et seq. ; stability of,

288, 293 et seq.
Responsibility, of workingmen, 130, 131 ;

as a moralizing influence, 286.
Revenue, public, 159 et seq.
Revivals, as schools of impulsive social

action, 57.
Revolutions, as forms of impulsive so-
cial action, 54.

Single tax, 116, 207.

Smith, Adam, on combinations of em-
ployers, 106.

Social values, 59.

Society, psychology of, 29 et seq., 45 et
seq.; description of, 45 et seq,'

Socialism, 84, 103, 113, 118, 119, 220, 255,

Sociology, 29, 48.

Specialization in education, good and
evil, 25.

Spencer, Herbert, imperfection of wages
system, 107; piece payment in coop-
eration, 128; on conflicting moral
standards, 353.

State ownership of railroads, etc., 148,

Suffrage, 103, 203, 209, 211, 214.

Sumner, W. G., objections to multiply-
ing functions of the state, unequal
distribution of social burdens. 111;
answer to objections of, 115.

Tariff, protective, effect of expansion
on, 280-282.

Taxation, 116, 159.

Taylor, H. O., " Ancient Ideals," 316.

Tolstoi, Count Leo, " The Gospel of Non-
Resistance," 343.

Trade, development of, through expan-
sion, 280-285.

Trade Unions, 106, 132.

Tropics, relation of, to civilization, 283-

Trusts, 109, 137, 150, 304.



"Universal suffrage, 103, 203, 211.
Unskilled labour, increasing worthless-
ness of, 83.

Variation, social, 53.
Village community, 181.

Walpole, Horace, political corruption in

time of, 287.
War with Spain, causes of, 270 et seq. ;

consequences of, 279 et seq.
Weismann, August, panmixia, 346.
Woman suffrage, 209, 214. •
Women, freedom of, 167 et seq.


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Professor of Sociology in Columbia Universify

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Online LibraryFranklin Henry GiddingsDemocracy and empire; with studies of their psychological, economic, and moral foundations → online text (page 28 of 29)