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Full text of "Man In The Modern World"

"National Types'9
It may5 perhaps, be claimed that, even admitting the incorporation
into the nation of many individuals of "alien blood,55 it is nevertheless
possible to recognize and differentiate the true "stock" of a nation
from the foreign. It is sometimes urged that the original stock repre-
sents the true national type, British, French, Italian, German, and
the like, and that the members of that stock may readily be dis-
tinguished from the others. The use of the word or the idea of
"stock" in this connection introduces a biological fallacy which we
must briefly discuss.
Certainly, well-marked differences of "national type" are recog-
nized in popular judgment—we all know the comic-paper caricature
of the Frenchman, the German, etc.—but it is very remarkable how
personal and variable are such judgments. Thus our German neigh-
bours have ascribed to themselves a Teutonic type that is fair, long-
headed, tall, slender, unemotional, brave, straightforward, gentle, and
virile. Let us make a composite picture of a typical Teuton from the
most prominent of the exponents of this view. Let him be physically
as blond and mentally as unemotional as Hitler, physically as long-
headed and mentally as direct as Rosenberg, as tall and truthful as
Goebbels, as slender and gentle as Goering, and as manly and straight-
forward as Streicher. How much would he resemble the German
As for those so-called "national types55 that travellers and others
claim to distinguish, we may say at once that individuals vary enor-
mously in the results of their observations. To some resemblances,
to others differences, make the stronger appeal. Between two ob-
servers attention will tend to be directed to entirely different char-
acters in the same population. Furthermore, a general conclusion as
to the character of any given population will depend on how far the
material examined is what statisticians call a "true random sample."
A traveller who lands at Liverpool and carefully explores the neigh-
bourhood of the great industrial area by which that port is sur-
rounded, would form a very different view of the bearing, the habits,
the interests, the speech, in fine, of the general appearance of the
population of England, from one who landed at Southampton and
investigated agricultural Hampshire. Both would obtain different
results from one who landed in London, and all three from the pains-
taking investigator who undertook a tour of observation from Land's
End to John o9 Groats. Observations in Normandy or in Bayonne
will give a very different impression of the French from those made