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steel. The white man could think, could create, could fight superlatively
well. No wonder that redskins and negroes feared and adored him as a god,
while the somnolent races of the Farther East, stunned by this strange
apparition rising from the pathless ocean, offered no effective

Thus began the swarming of the whites, like bees from the hive, to the
uttermost ends of the earth. And, in return, Europe was quickened to
intenser vitality. Goods, tools, ideas, men: all were produced at an
unprecedented rate. So, by action and reaction, white progress grew by
leaps and bounds. The Spanish and Portuguese pioneers presently showed
signs of lassitude, but the northern nations - even more vigorous and
audacious - instantly sprang to the front and carried forward the proud
oriflamme of white expansion and world-dominion. For four hundred years
the pace never slackened, and at the close of the nineteenth century the
white man stood the indubitable master of the world.

Now four hundred years of unbroken triumph naturally bred in the white
race an instinctive belief that its expansion would continue indefinitely,
leading automatically to ever higher and more splendid destinies. Before
the Russo-Japanese War of 1904 the thought that white expansion could be
stayed, much less reversed, never entered the head of one white man in a
thousand. Why should it, since centuries of experience had taught the
exact contrary? The settlement of America, Australasia, and Siberia, where
the few colored aborigines vanished like smoke before the white advance;
the conquest of brown Asia and the partition of Africa, where colored
millions bowed with only sporadic resistance to mere handfuls of whites;
both sets of phenomena combined to persuade the white man that he was
invincible, and that the colored types would everywhere give way before
him and his civilization. The continued existence of dense colored
populations in the tropics was ascribed to climate; and even in the
tropics it was assumed that whites would universally form a governing
caste, directing by virtue of higher intelligence and more resolute will,
and exploiting natural resources to the incalculable profit of the whole
white race. Indeed, some persons believed that the tropics would become
available for white settlement as soon as science had mastered tropical
diseases and had prescribed an adequate hygiene.

This uncritical optimism, suggested by experience, was fortified by
ill-assimilated knowledge. During the closing decades of the past century,
not only were biology and economics less advanced than to-day, but they
were also infinitely less widely understood, exact knowledge being
confined to academic circles. The general public had only a vulgarized
smattering, mostly crystallizing about catchwords into which men read
their prepossessions and their prejudices. For instance: biologists had
recently formulated the law of the "Survival of the Fittest." This sounded
very well. Accordingly, the public, in conformity with the prevailing
optimism, promptly interpreted "fittest" as synonymous with "best," in
utter disregard of the grim truth that by "fittest" nature denotes only
the type best adapted to existing conditions of environment, and that if
the environment favors a low type, this low type (unless humanly
prevented) will win, regardless of all other considerations. So again with
economics. A generation ago relatively few persons realized that
low-standard men would drive out high-standard men as inevitably as bad
money drives out good, no matter what the results to society and the
future of mankind. These are but two instances of that shallow, cock-sure
nineteenth-century optimism, based upon ignorance and destined to be so
swiftly and tragically disillusioned.

However, for the moment, ignorance was bliss. Accordingly, the _fin de
siècle_ white world, having partitioned Africa and fairly well dominated
brown Asia, prepared to extend its sway over the one portion of the
colored world which had hitherto escaped subjection - the yellow Far East.
Men began speaking glibly of "manifest destiny" or piously of "the white
man's burden." European publicists wrote didactically on "the break-up of
China," while Russia, bestriding Siberia, dipped behemoth paws in Pacific
waters and eyed Japan.


Such was the white world's confident, aggressive temper at the close of
the last century. To be sure, voices were occasionally raised warning that
all was not well. Such were the writings of Professor Pearson and Meredith
Townsend. But the white world gave these Cassandras the reception always
accorded prophets of evil in joyous times - it ignored them or laughed them
to scorn. In fact, few of the prophets displayed Pearson's immediate
certainty. Most of them qualified their prophecies with the comforting
assurance that the ills predicted were relatively remote.

Meredith Townsend is a good case in point. The reader may recall his
prophecy of white expulsion from Asia, quoted in my second chapter.[95]
That prophecy occurs in the preface to the fourth edition, published in
1911, and written in the light of the Russo-Japanese War. Now, of course,
Mr. Townsend's main thesis - Europe's inability permanently to master and
assimilate Asia - had been elaborated by him long before the close of the
nineteenth century. Nevertheless, the preface to the fourth edition speaks
of Europe's failure to conquer Asia as absolute and eviction from present
holdings as probable within a relatively short time; whereas, in his
original introduction, written in 1899, he foresaw a great European
assault upon Asia, which would probably succeed and from which Asia would
shake itself free only after the lapse of more than a century.

In fact, Mr. Townsend's words of 1899 so exactly portray white confidence
at that moment that I cannot do better than quote him. His object in
publishing his book is, he says, "to make Asia stand out clearer in
English eyes, because it is evident to me that the white races under the
pressure of an entirely new impulse are about to renew their periodic
attempt to conquer or at least to dominate that vast continent.... So
grand is the prize that failures will not daunt the Europeans, still less
alter their conviction. If these movements follow historic lines they will
recur for a time upon a constantly ascending scale, each repulse eliciting
a greater effort, until at last Asia like Africa is 'partitioned,' that
is, each section is left at the disposal of some white people. If Europe
can avoid internal war, or war with a much-aggrandized America, she will
by A. D. 2000 be mistress in Asia, and at liberty, as her people think, to
enjoy."[96] If the reader will compare these lines with Mr. Townsend's
1911 judgment, he will get a good idea of the momentous change wrought in
white minds by Asia's awakening during the first decade of the twentieth
century as typified by the Russo-Japanese War.

1900 was, indeed, the high-water mark of the white tide which had been
flooding for four hundred years. At that moment the white man stood on the
pinnacle of his prestige and power. Pass four short years, and the flash
of the Japanese guns across the murky waters of Port Arthur harbor
revealed to a startled world - the beginning of the ebb.



The Russo-Japanese War is one of those landmarks in human history whose
significance increases with the lapse of time. That war was momentous, not
only for what it did, but even more for what it revealed. The legend of
white invincibility was shattered, the veil of prestige that draped white
civilization was torn aside, and the white world's manifold ills were laid
bare for candid examination.

Of course previous blindness to the trend of things had not been
universal. The white world had had its Cassandras, while keen-sighted
Asiatics had discerned symptoms of white weakness. Nevertheless, so
imposing was the white world's aspect and so unbroken its triumphant
progress that these seers had been a small and discredited minority. The
mass of mankind, white and non-white alike, remained oblivious to signs of

This, after all, was but natural. Not only had the white advance been
continuous, but its tempo had been ever increasing. The nineteenth
century, in particular, witnessed an unprecedented outburst of white
activity. We have already surveyed white territorial gains, both as to
area of settlement and sphere of political control. But along many other
lines white expansion was equally remarkable. White race-increase - the
basis of all else - was truly phenomenal. In the year 1500 the white race
(then confined to Europe) could not have numbered more than 70,000,000. In
1800 the population of Europe was 150,000,000, while the whites living
outside Europe numbered over 10,000,000. The white race had thus a trifle
more than doubled its numbers in three centuries. But in the year 1900 the
population of Europe was nearly 450,000,000, while the extra-European
whites numbered fully 100,000,000. Thus the whites had increased threefold
in the European homeland, while in the new areas of settlement outside
Europe they had increased tenfold. The total number of whites at the end
of the nineteenth century was thus nearly 550,000,000 - a gain in numbers
of almost 400,000,000, or over 400 per cent. This spelled an increase six
times as great as that of the preceding three centuries.

White race-growth is most strikingly exemplified by the increase of its
most expansive and successful branch - the Anglo-Saxons. In 1480, as
already seen, the population of England proper was not much over
2,000,000. Of course this figure was abnormally low even for mediæval
times, it being due to the terrible vital losses of the Wars of the Roses,
then drawing to a close. A century later, under Elizabeth, the population
of England had risen to 4,000,000. In 1900 the population of England was
31,000,000, and in 1910 it was 35,000,000, the population of the British
Isles at the latter date being 45,500,000. But in the intervening
centuries British blood had migrated to the ends of the earth, so that the
total number of Anglo-Saxons in the world to-day cannot be much less than
100,000,000. This figure includes Scotch and Scotch-Irish strains (which
are of course identical with English in the Anglo-Saxon sense), and adopts
the current estimate that some 50,000,000 of people in the United States
are predominantly of Anglo-Saxon origin. Thus, in four centuries, the
Anglo-Saxons multiplied between forty and fifty fold.

The prodigious increase of the white race during the nineteenth century
was due not only to territorial expansion but even more to those
astounding triumphs of science and invention which gave the race
unprecedented mastery over the resources of nature. This material advance
is usually known as the "industrial revolution." The industrial revolution
began in the later decades of the eighteenth century, but it matured
during the first half of the nineteenth century, when it swiftly and
utterly transformed the face of things.

This transformation was, indeed, absolutely unprecedented in the world's
history. Hitherto man's material progress had been a gradual evolution.
With the exception of gunpowder, he had tapped no new sources of material
energy since very ancient times. The horse-drawn mail-coach of our
great-grandfathers was merely a logical elaboration of the horse-drawn
Egyptian chariot; the wind-driven clipper-ship traced its line unbroken to
Ulysses's lateen bark before Troy; while industry still relied on the
brawn of man and beast or upon the simple action of wind and waterfall.
Suddenly all was changed. Steam, electricity, petrol, the Hertzian wave,
harnessed nature's hidden powers, conquered distance, and shrunk the
terrestrial globe to the measure of human hands. Man entered a new
material world, differing not merely in degree but in kind from that of
previous generations.

When I say "Man," I mean, so far as the nineteenth century was concerned,
the white man. It was the white man's brain which had conceived all this,
and it was the white man alone who at first reaped the benefits. The two
outstanding features of the new order were the rise of machine industry
with its incalculable acceleration of mass-production, and the correlative
development of cheap and rapid transportation. Both these factors favored
a prodigious increase in population, particularly in Europe, since Europe
became the workshop of the world. In fact, during the nineteenth century,
Europe was transformed from a semi-rural continent into a swarming hive of
industry, gorged with goods, capital, and men, pouring forth its wares to
the remotest corners of the earth, and drawing thence fresh stores of raw
material for new fabrication and exchange. The amount of wealth amassed by
the white world in general and by Europe in particular since the beginning
of the nineteenth century is simply incalculable. Some faint conception of
it can be gathered from the growth of world-trade. In the year 1818 the
entire volume of international commerce was valued at only $2,000,000,000.
In other words, after countless millenniums of human life upon our globe,
man had been able to produce only that relatively modest volume of
world-exchange. In 1850 the volume of world-trade had grown to
$4,000,000,000. In 1900 it had increased to $20,000,000,000, and in 1913
it swelled to the inconceivable total of $40,000,000,000 - a twentyfold
increase in a short hundred years.

Such were the splendid achievements of nineteenth-century civilization.
But there was a seamy side to this cloth of gold. The vices of our age
have been portrayed by a thousand censorious pens, and there is no need
here to recapitulate them. They can mostly be summed up by the word
"Materialism." That absorption in material questions and neglect of
idealistic values which characterized the nineteenth century has been
variously accounted for. But, after all, was it not primarily due to the
profound disturbance caused by drastic environmental change? Civilized man
had just entered a new material world, differing not merely in degree but
in kind from that of his ancestors. It is a scientific truism that every
living organism, in order to survive, must adapt itself to its
environment. Therefore any change of environment must evoke an immediate
readjustment on the part of the organism, and the more pronounced the
environmental change, the more rapid and thoroughgoing the organic
readjustment must be. Above all, speed is essential. Nature brooks no
delay, and the disharmonic organism must attune itself or perish.

Now, is not readaptation precisely the problem with which civilized man
has been increasingly confronted for the past hundred years? No one surely
can deny that our present environment differs vastly from that of our
ancestors. But if this be so, the necessity for profound and rapid
adaptation becomes equally true. In fact, the race has instinctively
sensed this necessity, and has bent its best energies to the task,
particularly on the materialistic side. That was only natural. The
pioneer's preoccupation with material matters in opening up new country is
self-evident, but what is not so generally recognized is the fact that
nineteenth-century Europe and the eastern United States are in many
respects environmentally "newer" than remote backwoods settlements.

Of course the changed character of our civilization called for idealistic
adaptations no less sweeping. These were neglected, because their
necessity was not so compellingly patent. Indeed, man was distinctly
attached to his existing idealistic outfit, to the elaboration of which he
had so assiduously devoted himself in former days, and which had fairly
served the requirements of his simpler past. Therefore nineteenth-century
man concentrated intensively, exclusively upon materialistic problems,
feeling that he could thus concentrate because he believed that the
idealistic conquests of preceding epochs had given him sound moral bases
upon which to build the new material edifice.

Unfortunately, that which had at first been merely a means to an end
presently became an end in itself. Losing sight of his idealisms,
nineteenth-century man evolved a thoroughly materialistic philosophy. The
upshot was a warped, one-sided development which quickly revealed its
unsoundness. The fact that man was much less culpable for his errors than
many moralists aver is quite beside the point, so far as consequences are
concerned. Nature takes no excuses. She demands results, and when these
are not forthcoming she inexorably inflicts her penalties.

As the nineteenth century drew toward its close the symptoms of a profound
_malaise_ appeared on every side. Even those most fundamental of all
factors, the vitality and quality of the race, were not immune. Vital
statistics began to display features highly disquieting to thoughtful
minds. The most striking of these phenomena was the declining birth-rate
which affected nearly all the white nations toward the close of the
nineteenth century and which in France resulted in a virtually stationary

Of course the mere fact of a lessened birth-rate, taken by itself, is not
the unmixed evil which many persons assume. Man's potential reproductive
capacity, like that of all other species, is very great. In fact, the
whole course of biological progress has been marked by a steady checking
of that reproductive exuberance which ran riot at the beginning of life on
earth. As Havelock Ellis well says: "Of one minute organism it is
estimated that, if its reproduction were not checked by death or
destruction, in thirty days it would form a mass a million times larger
than the sun. The conger-eel lays 15,000,000 eggs, and if they all grew
up, and reproduced themselves on the same scale, in two years the whole
sea would become a wriggling mass of fish. As we approach the higher forms
of life reproduction gradually dies down. The animals nearest to man
produce few offspring, but they surround them with parental care, until
they are able to lead independent lives with a fair chance of surviving.
The whole process may be regarded as a mechanism for slowly subordinating
quantity to quality, and so promoting the evolution of life to ever higher

While man's reproductive power is slight from the standpoint of bacteria
and conger-eels, it is yet far from negligible, as is shown by the
birth-rate of the less-advanced human types at all times, and by the
birth-rate of the higher types under exceptionally favorable
circumstances. The nineteenth century was one of these favorable
occasions. In the new areas of settlement outside Europe, vast regions
practically untenanted by colored competitors invited the white colonists
to increase and multiply; while Europe itself, though historically "old
country," was so transformed environmentally by the industrial revolution
that it suddenly became capable of supporting a much larger population
than heretofore. By the close of the century, however, the most pressing
economic stimuli to rapid multiplication had waned in Europe and in many
of the race dependencies. Therefore the rate of increase, even under the
most favorable biological circumstances, should have shown a decline.

The trouble was that this diminishing human output was of less and less
biological value. Wherever one looked in the white world, it was precisely
those peoples of highest genetic worth whose birth-rate fell off most
sharply, while within the ranks of the several peoples it was those social
classes containing the highest proportion of able strains which were
contributing the smallest quotas to the population. Everywhere the better
types (on which the future of the race depends) were numerically
stationary or dwindling, while conversely, the lower types were gaining
ground, their birth-rate showing relatively slight diminution.

This "disgenic" trend, so ominous for the future of the race, is a
melancholy commonplace of our time, and many efforts have been made to
measure its progress in economic or social terms. One of the most striking
and easily measured examples, however, is furnished by the category of
race. As explained in the Introduction, the white race divides into three
main sub-species - the Nordics, the Alpines, and the Mediterraneans. All
three are good stocks, ranking in genetic worth well above the various
colored races. However, there seems to be no question that the Nordic is
far and away the most valuable type; standing, indeed, at the head of the
whole human genus. As Madison Grant well expresses it, the Nordic is "The
Great Race."

Now it is the Nordics who are most affected by the disgenic aspects of our
civilization. In the newer areas of white settlement like our Pacific
coast or the Canadian Northwest, to be sure, the Nordics even now thrive
and multiply. But in all those regions which typify the transformation of
the industrial revolution, the Nordics do not fit into the altered
environment as well as either Alpines or Mediterraneans, and hence tend to
disappear. Before the industrial revolution the Nordic's chief eliminator
was war. His pre-eminent fighting ability, together with the position of
leadership which he had generally acquired, threw on his shoulders the
brunt of battle and exposed him to the greatest losses, whereas the more
stolid Alpine and the less robust Mediterranean stayed at home and
reproduced their kind. The chronic turmoil of both the mediæval and modern
periods imposed a perpetual drain on the Nordic stock, while the era of
discovery and colonization which began with the sixteenth century further
depleted the Nordic ranks in Europe, since it was adventurous Nordics who
formed the overwhelming majority of explorers and pioneers to new lands.
Thus, even at the end of the eighteenth century, Europe was much less
Nordic than it had been a thousand years before.

Nevertheless, down to the close of the eighteenth century, the Nordics
suffered from no other notable handicaps than war and migration, and even
enjoyed some marked advantages. Being a high type, the Nordic is naturally
a "high standard" man. He requires healthful living conditions, and
quickly pines when deprived of good food, fresh air, and exercise. Down to
the close of the eighteenth century, Europe was predominantly
agricultural. In cool northern and central Europe, therefore, environment
actually favored the big, blond Nordics, especially as against the
slighter, less muscular Mediterranean; while in the hotter south the
Nordic upper class, being the rulers, were protected from field labor, and
thus survived as an aristocracy. In peaceful times, therefore, the Nordics
multiplied and repaired the gaps wrought by proscription and war.

The industrial revolution, however, profoundly modified this state of
things. Europe was transformed from an agricultural to an urbanized,
industrial area. Numberless cities and manufacturing centres grew up,
where men were close packed and were subjected to all the evils of
congested living. Of course such conditions are not ideal for any stock.
Nevertheless, the Nordic suffered more than any one else. The cramped
factory and the crowded city weeded out the big, blond Nordic with
portentous rapidity, whereas the little brunet Mediterranean, in
particular, adapted himself to the operative's bench or the clerk's stool,
prospered - and reproduced his kind.

The result of these new handicaps, combined with the continuance of the
traditional handicaps (war and migration), has been a startling decrease
of Nordics all over Europe throughout the nineteenth century, with a
corresponding resurgence of the Alpine, and still more of the
Mediterranean, elements. In the United States it has been the same story.
Our country, originally settled almost exclusively by Nordics, was toward
the close of the nineteenth century invaded by hordes of immigrant Alpines
and Mediterraneans, not to mention Asiatic elements like Levantines and
Jews. As a result, the Nordic native American has been crowded out with
amazing rapidity by these swarming, prolific aliens, and after two short
generations he has in many of our urban areas become almost extinct.

The racial displacements induced by a changed economic or social
environment are, indeed, almost incalculable. Contrary to the popular
belief, nothing is more _unstable_ than the ethnic make-up of a people.
Above all, there is no more absurd fallacy than the shibboleth of the

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