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Full text of "Man In The Modern World"

MAN IN THE  MODERN  WORLD
between the societies of insects and those of man. This, however
obvious and however often applied, must be rejected out of hand.
The two rest on different bases—those of ants, bees and termites on
the fixity of instinct, those of man on the plasticity of intelligence.
For this reason man cannot and will not ever develop specialised
castes, with functions predetermined by heredity, nor will human
society ever work with the machine-like smoothness of an ant-hill of
a termitary. Furthermore, we must not expect that in man the altru-
istic instincts will ever become predominant: as Ilaklane has demon-
strated, this can only occur when neuter castes of workers or soldiers
exist. Altruism in man must be fostered by education and given
fuller play by appropriate social machinery; it cannot be implanted
once and for all by heredity.
The next analogy to be considered is that between the body of a
higher animal and human society. This has taken two main forms.
In the one, the analogy is drawn between the main classes of society
and the main organ-systems of the body, or, going a little further into
detail, between the specialized functions of various agencies of social
existence—trade, government, war, education and so forth—and
those of particular bodily organs. In the. other, which has been
attempted only since the discovery of the cell and the rise of the cell-
theory, the cell within the body is compared to the individual within
society. An extension of this second analogy bridges the gap between
it and the first: instead of the individual cell, attention is concen-
trated on the different types of cells and the diJTrrent resultant tissues
of the body; and these, rather than the still more complex organs,
each composed of numerous tissues, are compared with the various
specialised trades and professions in human society.
In assessing the value and limitations of those analyses, we must
begin by recalling the basic difference between the animal body and
human society, namely, the far greater subordination of the parts to
the whole in the former. This is especially important for the com-
parison between cells and human individuals. The difference here is
the same basic one as that between the castes of a social insect society
and the specialized aptitudes of human beings, but pushed to a much
greater length. The cells of the body are irrevocably specialised
during early development, and their divergent specialization is far
greater than that between even a queen and a soldier termite. With-
out embryological study, no one could guess that a nerve-cell, with
its long nerve-fibre and its branching dendrites, a spenn, with con-
densed head and motile tail, and a fat-cell, an inert lump crowded
with globules of reserve fat-stores, were all modifications of a single
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