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I30 THE FAMILY

merit in need of effective regulation. In economic
matters, for example, modern civilization is no
longer in need of industries that can thrive only
on underpaid labor, and a nation might better
forego some of its economic profits if these are
gained through the degradation of any part of
its population. Society, therefore, should insist on
the payment of a living wage, sufficient to allow
of decent standards of living, and. that work be
performed under proper conditions of sanitation.
Furthermore, a wage should be determined by
the earnings of an adult, not by the joint wage of
two or more members of a family ; and the amount
of work demanded should be standardized under
efficiency methods and equal pay given for equal
work. The state also should see to it that the
relations between employer and employed be
carefully regulated so as to eliminate as much
as possible disputes in respect to wages, hours,
employers' liability, and the glut or scarcity
of labor, and also that the housing conditions of
workers as well as general civic conditions of
health and sanitation be favorable to a whole-
some life. Especially should suitable regulations
be developed against the exploitation of women
and children, since no race with safety can allow
these to be subjected to conditions that will de-
press their vitality and efficiency. The opposi-
tion of those interested in the maintenance of



CHANGING STANDARDS 131

low standards of life should in no case be allowed
to thwart the demand for racial integrity and
happiness.

Moreover, it is not unlikely that as knowledge
multiplies in regard to matters involving sex
morals and problems of domestic relationships
there will come in certain directions modifica-
tions in social policy. Illegitimacy, for instance,
rightly is condemned by public opinion, for chil-
dren should not be born into the world except
under conditions set by moral standards based
on experience and scientific knowledge. Yet it
is possible that in the future society may look
compassionately on mother and child under such
circumstances, but visit its sternest disapproba-
tion on the father, compelling him to set aside a
proportionate share of his income for the sup-
port of the child, and publicly to acknowledge
it as his ofTspring. Public opinion also in the
case of the prostitute may be inclined to forbear
from condemnation and, on the other hand, to
incarcerate as criminals those who tempt women
to sin and who pander to human lust. Again, in
further illustration, under present conditions a
poor widow having minor children is punished
for her motherhood by privation and excessive
toil through her endeavor to support them in
decency, whereas a proper policy would cheer-
fully support them as a united family, not out of



132 THE FAMILY

charity but as a right due to the mothers of the
next generation. Indeed, it is not unlikely that
the state under a complete insurance system may
supply an annual pension to the mothers of minor
children, as a policy far more socially justifiable
than pensions allotted for services in war.

(3) After all, the real solution of domestic
problems will depend not on eliminations and
regulations so much, since these have only a tem-
porary value, as on the spread of scientific know-
ledge aiming at the betterment of economic con-
ditions and general intelligence on the part of
the whole population. When a nation, conserv-
ing and developing its natural resources, seeks
also through education to stimulate the invent-
ive capacity of its people and to train them
vocationally, it will gradually free itself from the
burden of a mass of illiterate and unskilled
laborers and multiply production so largely as to
free itself from the curse of pauperism and pov-
erty. Other hindrances to civilization also would
disappear through the gradual elimination of
defectives and incompetents, through the guar-
anty of work to every capable adult, and through
the payment of living wages to women as well as
to men. As the standard of living rises with
economic betterment, the excessive families of
the improvident poor will diminish in numbers,
since workers would become ambitious for social



CHANGING STANDARDS 133

advancement and would emphasize quality of
offspring rather than quantity. With advancing
civilization would come a more leisurely and less
strenuous life, placing less stress on economic
wealth and more on intellectual and moral pro-
gress. This would permit of marriage to many
now debarred from marriage, and as the teach-
ings of eugenics become part of morals and reli-
gion, public opinion will frown on a celibate life
and childless marriages. The removal of the tabu
on the discussion of sex morals will result in an
intelligent appreciation on the part of women of
the necessity of a purification of present condi-
tions and a demand for a single standard of chas-
tity. Stimulated also by maternal love, women
will insist on an education that will really pre-
pare the child to become an efficient worker, an
intelligent citizen, and a wise parent. Education
already is losing its artificial character and is
once more seeking to ally itself with the home.
Uniting itself with the library and the museum,
with art, music, and wholesome recreation, the
school is becoming the center of the social life
of its neighborhood. It seeks to bring together,
with a common interest in the child, the parent,
the teacher, and the expert in health. It looks
forward to the maturer life of its students and
seeks to prepare them for civic and economic
usefulness and domestic responsibilities. It trains



134 THE FAMILY

them in personal hygiene, in sex morals, in a
recognition of duty to state and society, and
aims so to refine their personalities as to elimi-
nate unconsciously the bestial elements derived
from a lower civilization. This is the age of the
child, emphasizing its rights and demanding that
every child born into the world have honorable
parentage, right training, a morally stimulating
environment, and full opportunity through edu-
cation to make the most of its latent powers. A
civilization with such aims need have no fears of
racial decadence, but rather may rely on a pure
family Hfe, a permanent monogamous tie, and a
society largely free from its present defilements.



THE END



BIBLIOGRAPHY

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136 BIBLIOGRAPHY

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BIBLIOGRAPHY 137

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Online LibraryJames Quayle DealeyThe family in its sociological aspects → online text (page 8 of 8)