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Full text of "Man In The Modern World"

MAN IN THE MODERN WORLD
it leads to over-population and war, it is essentially dysgenic, and in
matter of evolution we must, I think, take the long view.
Further, if the social environment is such as to give satisfaction to
the possessors of social traits such as altruism, readiness to co-operate,
sensitiveness, sympathetic enthusiasm, and so forth, instead of, as now,
putting a premium on many antisocial traits such as egoism, low
cunning, insensitiveness, and ruthless concentration, we could begin
to frame eugenic measures for encouraging the spread of genes for
such social virtues. At the moment this is hardly possible, for the
expression of such genes is so often inhibited or masked by the effects
of the environment. This is a human illustration of Hammond's
general principle, that breeding and selection for a given type can
only be efficiently carried out in an environment favouring the fullest
development of the type.
There is no doubt that genetic differences of temperament, includ-
ing tendencies to social or antisocial action, to co-operation or indi-
vidualism, do exist, nor that they could be bred for in man as man has
bred for tameness and other temperamental traits in many domestic
animals; and it is extremely important to do so. If we do not, society
will be continuously in danger from the antisocial tendencies of its
members.
Just as the basic structure of our present social system, is essentially
dysgenic, so we may say that the genetic composition of our present
population is largely and perhaps essentially antisocial. Thus both
environmentally and genetically the present state of mankind is
unstable, at war with itself.
Another important point to remember, especially in these days
when the worship of the State is imposing a mass-production ideal of
human nature, is the fact and the significance of human variability.
The variability of man, due to recombination between divergent types
that have failed to become separated as species, is greater than that
of any wild animal. And the extreme variants thrown up by the
constant operation of this genetic kaleidoscope have proved to be of
the utmost importance for the material and spiritual progress of
civilization. Whatever bias or prejudice may beset the individual
eugenist., eugenics as a whole must certainly make the encouragement
of diversity one of its main principles. But here again the environ-
ment comes in. If extreme types are to be produced, especially gifted
for art, science, contemplation, exploration^ they must not be wasted.
The social system must provide niches for them.
As a special and important special case of providing for variability,
there are the needs of the educational profession. At the moment,
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