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Governments and nations fear, and not without reason, that what is at first harmless pride in race and language on the part of some minority may easily take the form of political sedition dangerous to the existence. of the state. If the American republic is ever threatened with the formation of distinct national communities within its borders, its unity for the future will cease to be secure.

One difficulty in dealing with all such topics as this is the looseness in meaning of the terms we have to use. When we speak of a nation, we usually have in mind an independent people with a common language; but the Swiss, the Belgians, the Austrians, are nations and each composed of several nationalities with equally acknowledged rights. Nor need a nation be all of the same race, - according to the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution, the people of the United States are not. Nor is it always politically independent: the Poles are a nation, though they are under several governments; and the term is sometimes applied to the Jews, who have neither a common speech nor a common dwelling place. Nevertheless, as the history of the last century has shown, the tendency nowadays is for nations and nationalities to correspond as nearly as may be, and for the idea of nationality to be based on language alone, regardless of descent or of the preferences of those concerned, a tendency which the French have experienced to their cost in the case of Alsace, which was taken away from them on the ground that its inhabitants were Germans, whether they wanted to be or not, and hence properly belonged to Germany. The movement known as Pan-Germanism is a logical outcome of the same theory. The earlier nationalistic movements proclaimed the right of peoples to determine their own destinies; the later extensions have tended to look on nationality as a sort of higher law which is as much justified in overriding the opposition of minorities as were the Northern States of the Union in putting down the rebellion of the Southern. Such a doctrine may easily be pushed to great lengths: sweet reasonableness, not to say common fairness, is seldom a characteristic of ardent champions of nationality, who, as a rule, calmly overlook the most obvious inconsistencies, and while warmly advocating a policy for the assimilation of all alien elements at home, cry out oppression if the same treatment is given to those of their ilk in foreign lands. The German who favors severe measures in order to denationalize the Poles in Posen is sure to be full of indignation at the way in which the German language is discriminated against in Hungary and in the Baltic provinces; and many an American who has condemned the iniquity of trying to Russianize the Finns or the Armenians believes as a matter of course that the English language should be imposed as soon as possible on the inhabitants of Porto Rico.

37. Nationalism in recent politics. Reinsch points out the importance of nationalism and the dangers of its exaggeration : 1

When we view the historical development of the world since the Renaissance, we find that the one principle about which the wealth of facts can be harmoniously grouped is that of nationalism. Ever since the world-state ideals of the Middle Ages were left behind, this principle has been the touchstone of true statesmanship. The reputation of a statesman, as well as his permanent influence on human affairs, depends on his power to understand and aid the historical evolution, from out the medieval chaos, of strong national states. . . .

Especially during the nineteenth century has nationalism been a conscious influence in political life. The nations that, at its beginning, had partly achieved their independent political existence, have since been striving for the attainment of completely self-sufficing life; while those races that regard themselves as unjustly held in bondage by others have been engaged in a stern struggle to obtain national independence.

It has thus come about that the successful nations have developed a clearly marked individuality. The cosmopolitanism of the Middle Ages and of the Renaissance, the dreams of world unity, have been replaced by a set of narrower national ideals concerning customs, laws, literature, and art, — by a community of independent states, each striving to realize to the fullest its individual aptitudes and characteristics.

It will, however, be difficult to preserve a balance of this kind, as the nationalistic principle bears within it the possible source of its own destruction, and unless carefully guarded against exaggeration, will of itself lead to a disturbance of the equilibrium upon which the diversity of our civilization depends. Within the latter half of the nineteenth century, nationalism has been thus exaggerated; going beyond a healthy desire to express the true native characteristics of a people, it has come, in some quarters, to mean the decrying, as barbarous or decadent, of everything originating outside of the national boundary. Within the state itself, there is a growing tendency to enforce, by custom and law, absolute uniformity of characteristics. Languages and literatures peculiar to smaller communities are not encouraged, the effort being rather made to replace them by the national language. In international politics the motives of foreign nations are being constantly misunderstood. Each nation looks upon itself as the bearer of the only true civilization. . . . Even in art and science, perhaps the most cosmopolitan of all pursuits, this nationalizing tendency has left its mark.

1 Copyright, 1900, by The Macmillan Company.


38. Influences that affect the natural ability of nations. Galton points out certain conditions that affect national ability:

I shall have occasion to show that certain influences retard the average age of marriage, while others hasten it; and the general character of my argument will be to prove, that an enormous effect upon the average natural ability of a race may be produced by means of those influences. I shall argue that the wisest policy is that which results in retarding the average age of marriage among the weak, and in hastening it among the vigorous classes; whereas, most unhappily for us, the influence of numerous social agencies has been strongly and banefully exerted in the precisely opposite direction. . .

The average age of marriage affects population in a threefold manner. Firstly, those who marry when young have the larger families; secondly, they produce more generations within a given period, and therefore the growth of a prolific race, progressing as it does, "geometrically," would be vastly increased at the end of a long period by a habit of early marriages; and, thirdly, more generations are alive at the same time among those races who marry when they are young.

The time may hereafter arrive, in far distant years, when the population of the earth shall be kept as strictly within the bounds of number and suitability of race as the sheep on a well-ordered moor, or the plants in an orchard house; in the meantime, let us do what we can to encourage the multiplication of the races best fitted to invent and conform to a high and generous civilization, and not, out of a mistaken instinct of giving support to the weak, prevent the incoming of strong and hearty individuals.

The long period of the dark ages under which Europe has lain is due, I believe in a very considerable degree, to the celibacy enjoined by religious orders on their votaries. Whenever a man or woman was possessed of a gentle nature that fitted him or her to deeds of charity, to meditation, to literature, or to art, the social condition of the time was such that they had no refuge elsewhere than in the bosom of the Church. But the Church chose to preach and exact celibacy. The consequence was that these gentle natures had no continuance, and thus, by a policy so singularly unwise and suicidal that I am hardly able to speak of it without impatience, the Church brutalized the breed of our forefathers. She acted precisely as if she had aimed at selecting the rudest portion of the community to be, alone, the parents of future generations. She practiced the arts which breeders would use who aimed at creating ferocious,

currish and stupid natures. No wonder that club law prevailed for centuries over Europe; the wonder rather is that enough good remained in the veins of Europeans to enable their race to rise to its present, very moderate level of natural morality.

The policy of the religious world in Europe was exerted in another direction, with hardly less cruel effect on the nature of future generations, by means of persecutions which brought thousands of the foremost thinkers and men of political aptitudes to the scaffold, or imprisoned them during a large part of their manhood, or drove them as emigrants into other lands. In every one of these cases, the check upon their leaving issue was very considerable. Hence the Church, having first captured all the gentle natures and condemned them to celibacy, made another sweep of her huge nets, this time fishing in stirring waters, to catch those who were the most fearless, truth-seeking, and intelligent in their modes of thought, and therefore the most suitable parents of a high civilization, and put a strong check, if not a direct stop, to their progeny. Those she reserved on these occasions to breed the generations of the future were the servile, the indifferent, and, again, the stupid. Thus, as she- to repeat my expression — brutalized human nature by her system of celibacy applied to the gentle, she demoralized it by her system of persecution of the intelligent, the sincere, and the free. .

It is very remarkable how large a proportion of the eminent men of all countries bear foreign names, and are the children of political refugees, men well qualified to introduce a valuable strain of blood. We cannot fail to reflect on the glorious destiny of a country that should maintain, during many generations, the policy of attracting eminently desirable refugees, but no others, and of encouraging their settlement and the naturalization of their children.

No nation has parted with more emigrants than England, but whether she has hitherto been on the whole a gainer or a loser by the practice, I am not sure. No doubt she has lost a very large number of families of sterling worth, especially of laborers and artisans; but, as a rule, the very ablest men are strongly disinclined to emigrate; they feel that their fortune is assured at home, and unless their spirit of adventure is overwhelmingly strong, they prefer to live in the high intellectual and moral, atmosphere of the more intelligent circles of English society, to a selfbanishment among people of altogether lower grades of mind and interests. England has certainly got rid of a great deal of refuse through means of emigration. She has found an outlet for men of adventurous and Bohemian natures, who are excellently adapted for colonizing a new country, but are not wanted in old civilizations; and she has also been disembarrassed of a vast number of turbulent radicals and the like,

men who are decidedly able but by no means eminent, and whose zeal, self-confidence, and irreverence far outbalance their other qualities.

The rapid rise of new colonies and the decay of old civilizations is, I believe, mainly due to their respective social agencies, which in the one case promote, and in the other case retard, the marriages of the most suitable breeds. In a young colony, a strong arm and an enterprising brain are the most appropriate fortune for a marrying man, and again, as the women are few, the inferior males are seldom likely to marry. . . .

The best form of civilization in respect to the improvement of the race, would be one in which society was not costly; where incomes were chiefly derived from professional sources, and not much through inheritance; where every lad had a chance of showing his abilities, and, if highly gifted, was enabled to achieve a first-class education and entrance into professional life, by the liberal help of the exhibitions and scholarships which he had gained in his early youth; where marriage was held in as high honor as in ancient Jewish times; where the pride of race was encouraged (of course I do not refer to the nonsensical sentiment of the present day, that goes under that name); where the weak could find a welcome and a refuge in celibate monasteries or sisterhoods, and lastly, where the better sort of emigrants and refugees from other lands were invited and welcomed, and their descendants naturalized.

39. National psychology. Some fundamental contrasts between Anglo-Saxon and Latin political psychology are stated by Coolidge as follows: 1

Nations, like individuals, are often inconsistent, thereby laying themselves open to the charge of dishonesty on the part of uncharitable neighbors. This is particularly true of the Anglo-Saxon peoples, whose minds are not so uncompromisingly logical as those of the French or the Russians; it explains, for instance, why the English have so often been accused of hypocrisy. When the Englishman or the American finds that his premises lead him to conclusions that he dislikes, he is pretty sure to kick over the traces and, regardless of the premises, to accept other conclusions that suit him better. He never allows previous logical subtleties to tempt him into a position which his common sense condemns; but guided by a sound instinct, he acts as he thinks best in each instance, careless of the fact that, by any course of general reasoning, he will appear inconsistent. For a striking example of the difference between Latin and Anglo-Saxon political conceptions, we have but to compare two well-known sayings, the "Périssent les colonies plutôt qu'un Copyright, 1908, by The Macmillan Company.


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