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Full text of "Man In The Modern World"

MAN  IN  THK  MODKRN  WORLD

no! always lead to results which an* useless to ihc speeies. The com-
petition between individuals may concern qualities winch are also
useful in the single of the species against its enemies, as in deer or
xebra or antelope the same extra turn of speed which gives one in-
dividual an advantage over another in escaping from wolf or lion or
cheetah will also stand the whole species in good siead. Or it may
concern qualities which help the species in surviving in a difficult
environment; an extra capacity for resisting drought in an individual
cactus or yucca will help the species in eoloni/ing new and more arid
regions. It will not be useless or harmful to the species unless the
competition is directed solely or mainly against other individuals like
itself.

Furthermore, the results will differ according to conditions. When
there is competition formates among male birds, it will become really
intense only when polygamy prevails and the advantage: of success is
therefore multiplied. Monogamous birds also stimulate their mates
with a display of bright plumage,, but in this cast: tin: display plumage
is never developed to a pitch at which it is actually harmful in the
general struggle for existence: the balance is struck at a different level.

All these considerations apply to war. In tin* first place it is obvious
that war is an example of mtra.-spce.ifie, competition it is a physical
conflict between groups within the same species. As such, it might
be not merely useless but harmful to the species as a whole —a drag
on the evolutionary progress of humanity. But, further, it might turn
out to be harmful in some conditions and not in others. Tins indeed
seems to be the truth. Those who say that war is always and in-
evitably harmful to humanity are indulging' in an unjustified general-
isation (though not nearly so unjustified as the opposite generali/ation
of the militarists who say that war is both necessary and beneficial
to humanity). Warfare between peoples living on the tribal level of
early barbarism may quite possibly have been on balance a good
thing for the species —by encouraging the manly virtues, by mixing
the heritage of otherwise closed communities through the capture of
women, by keeping down excessive population-pressure, and in other
ways. War waged by small professional armies according to a pro-
fessional code, was at least not a serious handicap to general progress.
But long-continued war in which the civilian population is starved,
oppressed, and murdered and whole countries are laid waste, as in
the Thirty Years War—that Ls harmful to the speeies; and so is total
war in the modern German sense in which entire populations may
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