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appear as though the colored military danger, in its isolated, purely
aggressive aspect, had been exaggerated. Visions of a united Asia, rising
suddenly in fanatic frenzy and hurling brown and yellow myriads upon the
white West _seem_ to be the products of superheated imaginations. I say
"seem," because there are unquestionably mysterious emotional depths in
the Asiatic soul which may yet justify the prophets of cataclysmic war. As
Hyndman says: "With all the facts before us, and with prejudice thrown
aside, we are still unable to lay bare the causes of the gigantic Asian
movements of the past. They were certainly not all economic in their
origin, unless we stretch the boundaries of theory so far as to include
the massacre of whole populations and the destruction of their wealth
within the limits of the invaders' desire for material gain. And, whether
these movements arose from material or emotional causes, they have been
before, and they may occur again. Forecast here is impossible. A new
Mohammed is quite as likely to make his appearance as a new Buddha, a
reborn Confucius, or a modern Christ.... Asia raided and scourged Europe
for more than a thousand years. Now, for five hundred years, the
counter-attack of Europe upon Asia has been steadily going on, and it may
be that the land of long memories will cherish some desire to avenge this
period of wrong and rapine in turn. The seed of hatred has already been
but too well sown."[137]

Of course, on this particular point, forecast is, indeed, impossible.
Nevertheless, the point should be noted, for Asiatic war-fever may appear,
if not in isolation, then in conjunction with other stimuli to warlike
action, like population-pressure or imperialistic ambition, which to-day
exist and whose amplitude can be approximately gauged. We have already
analyzed the military potencies of Pan-Islamism and Japan, and China also
should not be forgotten. Pacifist though China has long been, she has had
her bellicose moments in the past and may have them in the future. Should
this occur, China, as the world's greatest reservoir of intelligent
man-power, would be immensely formidable. Pearson visualizes a China
"become an aggressive military power, sending out her armies in millions
to cross the Himalayas and traverse the Steppes, or occupying the islands
and the northern parts of Australia, by pouring in immigrants protected by
fleets. Luther's old name for the Turks, that they were 'the people of the
wrath of God,' may receive a new and terrible application."[138]

Granted that the Chinese will never become the fighting equals of the
world's warrior races, their incredible numbers combined with their
tenacious vitality might overcome opponents individually their superiors.
Says Professor Ross: "To the West the toughness of the Chinese physique
may have a sinister military significance. Nobody fears lest in a stand-up
fight Chinese troops could whip an equal number of well-conditioned white
troops. But few battles are fought by men fresh from tent and mess. In the
course of a prolonged campaign involving irregular provisioning, bad
drinking-water, lying out, loss of sleep, exhausting marches, exposure,
excitement, and anxiety, it may be that the white soldiers would be worn
down worse than the yellow soldiers. In that case the hardier men with
less of the martial spirit might in the closing grapple beat the better
fighters with the less endurance."[139]

The potentialities of the Chinese soldier would acquire vastly greater
significance if China should be thoroughly subjugated by, or solidly
leagued to, ambitious and militaristic Japan. The combined military
energies of the Far East, welded into an aggressive unity, would be a
weapon of tremendous striking-power.

The colored peril of arms may thus be summarized: The brown and yellow
races possess great military potentialities. These (barring the action of
certain ill-understood emotional stimuli) are unlikely to flame out in
spontaneous fanaticism; but, on the other hand, they are very likely to
be mobilized for political reasons like revolt against white dominion or
for social reasons like over-population. The black race offers no real
danger except as the tool of Pan-Islamism. As for the red men of the
Americas, they are of merely local significance.

We are now ready to examine the economic facet of the colored peril: the
industrial-mercantile phase. In the second part of this volume I showed
the profound effect of the "industrial revolution" in furthering white
world-supremacy, and I pointed out the tremendous advantages accruing to
the white world from exploitation of undeveloped colored lands and from
exports of manufactured goods to colored markets. The prodigious wealth
thereby amassed has been a prime cause of white prosperity, has buttressed
the maintenance of white world-hegemony, and has made possible much of the
prodigious increase of white population.

We little realize what the loss of these advantages would mean. As a
matter of fact, it would mean throughout the white world diminished
prosperity, lessened political and military strength, and such relative
economic and social stagnation as would depress national vigor and check
population. It is even possible to visualize a white world reverting to
the condition of Europe in the fifteenth century - thrown back upon itself,
on the defensive, and with a static rather than a progressive
civilization. Such conditions could of course occur only as the result of
colored military and industrial triumphs of the most sweeping character.
But the possibility exists, nevertheless, as I shall endeavor to show.

Down to the close of the nineteenth century white supremacy was as
absolute in industry as it was in politics and war. Even the civilized
brown and yellow peoples were negligible from the industrial point of
view. Asia was economically on an agricultural basis. Such industries as
she possessed were still in the "house-industry" stage, and her products,
while often exquisite in quality, were produced by such slow, antiquated
methods that their quantity was limited and their market-price relatively
high. Despite very low wages, Asiatic products not only could not compete
in the world-market with European and American machine-made, mass-produced
articles, but were hard hit in their home-markets as well. The way in
which an ancient Asiatic handicraft like the Indian textiles was literally
annihilated by the destructive competition of Lancashire cottons is only
one of many similar instances.

With the beginning of the twentieth century, however, Asia began to show
signs of an economic activity as striking in its way as the activity which
Asia was displaying in idealistic and political fields. Japan had already
laid the foundations of her flourishing industrial life based on the most
up-to-date Western models, while in other Asiatic lands, notably in China
and India, the whir of machinery and the smoke of tall factory chimneys
proclaimed that the East was fathoming the industrial secrets of the

What Asiatics were seeking in their industrial revival was well expressed
a decade ago by a Hindu, who wrote in a leading Indian periodical: "In one
respect the Orient is really menacing the West, and so earnest and
open-minded is Asia that no pretense or apology whatever is made about it.
The Easterner has thrown down the industrial gantlet, and from now on Asia
is destined to witness a progressively intense trade warfare, the
Occidental scrambling to retain his hold on the markets of the East, and
the Oriental endeavoring to beat him in a battle in which heretofore he
has been an easy victor.... In competing with the Occidental
commercialists, the Oriental has awakened to a dynamic realization of the
futility of pitting unimproved machinery and methods against modern
methods and appliances. Casting aside his former sense of
self-complacency, he is studying the sciences and arts that have given the
West its material prosperity. He is putting the results of his
investigations to practical use, as a rule, recasting the Occidental
methods and tools to suit his peculiar needs, and in some instances
improving upon them."[140]

The accuracy of this Hindu statement of Asia's industrial awakening is
indorsed by the statements of white observers. At the very moment when the
above article was penned, an American economic writer, Clarence Poe, was
making a study tour of the Orient, from which he brought back the
following report: "The real cause of Asia's poverty lies in just two
things: the failure of Asiatic governments to educate their people, and
the failure of the people to increase their productive capacity by the use
of machinery. Ignorance and lack of machinery are responsible for Asia's
poverty; knowledge and modern tools are responsible for America's
prosperity." But, continues Mr. Poe, we must watch out. Asia now realizes
these things and is doing much to remedy the situation. Hence, "we must
face in ever-increasing degree the rivalry of awakening peoples who are
strong with the strength that comes from struggle with poverty and
hardship, and who have set themselves to master and apply all our secrets
in the coming world-struggle for industrial supremacy and for racial
readjustment."[141] And more recently another American observer of Asiatic
economic conditions reports: "All Asia is being permeated with modern
industry and present-day mechanical progress."[142]

Take, for example, the momentous possibilities involved in the industrial
awakening of China. China is not merely the most populous of lands,
containing as it does nearly one-fourth of all the human beings on earth,
but it is also dowered with immense natural resources, notably coal and
iron - the prime requisites of modern industrial life. Hitherto China has
been on an agricultural basis, with virtually no exploitation of her
mineral wealth and with no industry in the modern sense. But the day when
any considerable fraction of China's laborious millions turn from the
plough and handicrafts to the factory must see a portentous reaction in
the most distant markets.

Thirty years ago, Professor Pearson forecast China's imminent industrial
transformation. "Does any one doubt," he asks, "that the day is at hand
when China will have cheap fuel from her coal-mines, cheap transport by
railways and steamers, and will have founded technical schools to develop
her industries? Whenever that day comes, she may wrest the control of the
world's markets, especially throughout Asia, from England and

Much of what Professor Pearson prophesied has already come to pass, for
China to-day has the beginnings of a promising industrial life. Even a
decade ago Professor Ross wrote of industrial conditions there:

"Assuredly the cheapness of Chinese labor is something to make a factory
owner's mouth water. The women reelers in the silk filatures of Shanghai
get from eight to eleven cents for eleven hours of work. But Shanghai is
dear; and, besides, everybody there complains that the laborers are
knowing and spoiled. In the steel works at Hanyang common labor gets three
dollars a month, just a tenth of what raw Slavs command in the South
Chicago iron-works. Skilled mechanics get from eight to twelve dollars. In
a coal-mine near Ichang a thousand miles up the Yangtse the coolie
receives one cent for carrying a 400-pound load of coal on his back down
to the river a mile and a half away. He averages ten loads a day but must
rest every other week. The miners get seven cents a day and found; that
is, a cent's worth of rice and meal. They work eleven hours a day up to
their knees in water, and all have swollen legs. After a week of it they
have to lie off a couple of days. No wonder the cost of this coal
(semi-bituminous) at the pit's mouth is only thirty-five cents a ton. At
Chengtu servants get a dollar and a half a month and find themselves.
Across Szechuan lusty coolies were glad to carry our chairs half a day for
four cents each. In Sianfu the common coolie gets three cents a day and
feeds himself, or eighty cents a month. Through Shansi roving harvesters
were earning from four to twelve cents a day, and farm-hands got five or
six dollars a year and their keep. Speaking broadly, in any part of the
empire, willing laborers of fair intelligence may be had in any number at
from eight to fifteen cents a day.

"With an ocean of such labor power to draw on, China would appear to be on
the eve of a manufacturing development that will act like a continental
upheaval in changing the trade map of the world. The impression is
deepened by the tale of industries that have already sprung up."[144]

Of course there is another side to the story. Low wages alone do not
insure cheap production. As Professor Ross remarks: "For all his native
capacity, the coolie will need a long course of schooling, industrial
training, and factory atmosphere before he inches up abreast of the German
or American working man."[145] In the technical and directing staffs there
is the same absence of the modern industrial spirit, resulting in chronic
mismanagement, while Chinese industry is further handicapped by
traditional evils like "squeeze," nepotism, lust for quick profits, and
incapacity for sustained business team-play. These failings are not
peculiar to China; they hamper the industrial development of other Asiatic
countries, notably India. Still, the way in which Japanese industry, with
all its faults, is perfecting both its technic and its methods shows that
these failings will be gradually overcome and indicates that within a
generation Asiatic industry will probably be sufficiently advanced to
supply at least the Asiatic home-markets with most of the staple

Thus it looks as though white manufactures will tend to be progressively
eliminated from Asiatic markets, even under conditions of absolutely free
competition. But it is a very moot point whether competition will remain
free - whether, on the contrary, white wares will not be increasingly
penalized. The Asiatic takes a keen interest in his industrial development
and consciously favors it even where whites are in political control. The
"swadeshi" movement in India is a good example, while the Chinese and
Egyptian boycotts of foreign as against native goods are further
instances in point. The Japanese have supplemented these spontaneous
popular movements by systematic governmental discrimination in favor of
Japanese products and the elimination of white competition from Japan and
its dependencies. This Japanese policy has been markedly successful, and
should Japan's present hegemony over China be perpetuated the white man
may soon find himself economically as well as politically expelled from
the whole Far East.

A decade ago Putnam Weale wrote warningly: "If China is forced, owing to
the short-sighted diplomacy of those for whom the question has really
supreme importance, to make common cause with Japan as a _pis aller_, then
it may be accepted as inevitable that in the course of time there will be
created a _mare clausum_, which will extend from the island of Saghalien
down to Cochin-China and Siam, including all the island-groups, and the
shores of which will be openly hostile to the white man....

"And since there will be no danger from the competition of white workmen,
but rather from the white man's ships, the white man's merchants, his
inventions, his produce - it will be these which will be subjected to
humiliating conditions.... It is not a very far cry from tariffs on goods
to tariffs and restrictions on foreign shipping, on foreign merchants, on
everything foreign - restrictions which by imposing vast and unequal
burdens on the activities of aliens will soon totally destroy such
activities.... What can very easily happen is that the federation of
eastern Asia and the yellow races will be finally arranged in such a
manner as to exclude the white man and his commerce more completely than
any one yet dreams of."[146]

This latter misfortune may be averted by concerted white action, but it is
difficult to see how the gradual elimination of white goods from Asiatic
markets as the result of successful Asiatic competition can be averted.
Certainly the stubborn maintenance of white political domination over a
rebellious Asia would be no remedy. That would merely intensify swadeshi
boycotts in the subject regions, while in the lands freed from white
political control it would further Japan's policy of excluding everything
white. If Asiatics resolve to buy their own products instead of ours we
may as well reconcile ourselves to the loss. Here again frank recognition
of the inevitable will enable us to take a much stronger and more
justifiable position on the larger world-aspects of the problem.

For Asia's industrial transformation is destined to cause momentous
reactions in other parts of the globe. If Asiatic industry really does get
on an efficient basis, its potentialities are so tremendous that it must
presently not only monopolize the home-markets but also seek to invade
white markets as well, thus presenting the white world with commercial and
economic problems as unwelcome as they will be novel.

Again, industrialization will in some respects aggravate Asiatic longings
for migration and dominion. In my opening pages I mentioned
industrialization as a probable reliever of population-pressure in Asiatic
countries by affording new livelihoods to the congested masses. This is
true. But, looking a trifle farther, we can also see that
industrialization would stimulate a further prodigious increase of
population. Consider the growth of Europe's population during the
nineteenth century under the stimulus of the industrial revolution, making
possible the existence in our industrialized Europe of three times as many
people as existed in the agricultural Europe of a hundred years ago. Why
should not a similar development occur in Asia? To-day Asia, though still
upon a basis as agricultural as eighteenth-century Europe, contains fully
900,000,000 people. That even a partially industrialized Asia might
support twice that number would (judging by the European precedent) be far
from improbable.

But this would mean vastly increased incentives to expansion - commercial,
political, racial - beyond the bounds of Asia. It would mean intensified
encroachments, not only upon areas of white settlement, but perhaps even
more upon non-Asiatic colored regions of white political control like
Africa and tropical America. Here again we see why the white man, however
conciliatory in Asia, must stand like flint in Africa and Latin America.
To allow the whole tropic belt clear round the world to pass into Asiatic
hands would practically spell white race-suicide.

Professor Pearson paints a truly terrible picture of the stagnation and
hopelessness which would ensue. "Let us conceive," he writes, "the leading
European nations to be stationary, while the black and yellow belt,
including China, Malaysia, India, central Africa, and tropical America, is
all teeming with life, developed by industrial enterprise, fairly well
administered by native governments, and owning the better part of the
carrying trade of the world. Can any one suppose that, in such a condition
of political society, the habitual temper of mind in Europe would not be
profoundly changed? Depression, hopelessness, a disregard of invention and
improvement, would replace the sanguine confidence of races that at
present are always panting for new worlds to conquer. Here and there, it
may be, the more adventurous would profit by the traditions of old
supremacy to get their services accepted in the new nations, but as a rule
there would be no outlet for energy, no future for statesmanship. The
despondency of the English people, when their dream of conquest in France
was dissipated, was attended with a complete decay of thought, with civil
war, and with a standing still, or perhaps a decline of population, and to
a less degree of wealth.... It is conceivable that our later world may
find itself deprived of all that is valued on earth, of the pageantry of
subject provinces and the reality of commerce, while it has neither a
disinterred literature to amuse it nor a vitalized religion to give it
spiritual strength."[147]

To sum up: The economic phase of the colored peril, though not yet a
major factor, must still be seriously reckoned with by forward-looking
statesmanship as something which will increasingly complicate the
relations of the white and non-white worlds. In fact, even to-day it tends
to intensify Asiatic desires for expansion, and thus exacerbates the
third, or migratory, phase of the colored peril, which is already upon us.

The question of Asiatic immigration is incomparably the greatest external
problem which faces the white world. Supreme phase of the colored peril,
it already presses, and is destined to press harder in the near future. It
infinitely transcends the peril of arms or markets, since it threatens not
merely our supremacy or prosperity but our very race-existence, the
wellsprings of being, the sacred heritage of our children.

That this is no overstatement of the issue, a bare recital of a few
biological axioms will show. We have already seen that nothing is more
_unstable_ than the racial make-up of a people, while, conversely, nothing
is more _unchanging_ than the racial divisions of mankind. We have seen
that true amalgamation is possible only between members of the same
race-stock, while in crossings between stocks even as relatively near
together as the main divisions of the white species, the race-characters
do not really fuse but remain distinct in the mixed offspring and tend
constantly to resort themselves as pure types by Mendelian inheritance.
Thus a country inhabited by a mixed population is really inhabited by
different races, one of which always tends to dominate and breed the
other out - the outbred strains being lost to the world forever.

Now, since the various human stocks differ widely in genetic worth,
nothing should be more carefully studied than the relative values of the
different strains in a population, and nothing should be more rigidly
scrutinized than new strains seeking to add themselves to a population,
because such new strains may hold simply incalculable potentialities for
good or for evil. The potential reproductive powers of any stock are
almost unlimited. Therefore the introduction of even a small group of
prolific and adaptable but racially undesirable aliens may result in their
subsequent prodigious multiplication, thereby either replacing better
native stocks or degrading these by the injection of inferior blood.

The admission of aliens should, indeed, be regarded just as solemnly as
the begetting of children, for the racial effect is essentially the same.
There is no more damning indictment of our lopsided, materialistic
civilization than the way in which, throughout the nineteenth century,
immigration was almost universally regarded, not from the racial, but from
the material point of view, the immigrant being viewed not as a creator of
race-values but as a mere vocal tool for the production of material

Immigration is thus, from the racial standpoint, a form of procreation,
and like the more immediate form of procreation it may be either the
greatest blessing or the greatest curse. Human history is largely the
story of migrations, making now for good and now for ill. Migration
peopled Europe with superior white stocks displacing ape-like aborigines,
and settled North America with Nordics instead of nomad redskins. But
migration also bastardized the Roman world with Levantine mongrels,
drowned the West Indies under a black tide, and is filling our own land
with the sweepings of the European east and south.

Migration, like other natural movements, is of itself a blind force. It is
man's divine privilege as well as duty, having been vouchsafed knowledge
of the laws of life, to direct these blind forces, rejecting the bad and
selecting the good for the evolution of higher and nobler destinies.

Colored immigration is merely the most extreme phase of a phenomenon which
has already moulded prodigiously the development of the white world. In
fact, before discussing the specific problems of colored immigration, it
would be well to survey the effects of the immigration of various white
stocks. When we have grasped the momentous changes wrought by the
introduction of even relatively near-related and hence relatively
assimilable strains, we will be better able to realize the far more

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Online LibraryLothrop StoddardThe Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy → online text (page 16 of 22)