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IT is proposed in this book to present in as orderly 
an arrangement as the necessarily diffused nature of 
the subject admits, certain speculations about the 
trend of present forces, speculations which, taken 
all together, will build up an imperfect and very 
hypothetical, but sincerely intended forecast of the 
way things will probably go in this new century. 1 
Necessarily diffidence will be one of the graces of 
the performance. Hitherto such forecasts have been 
presented almost invariably in the form of fiction, 
and commonly the provocation of the satirical 
opportunity has been too much for the writer; 2 

1 In the earlier papers, of which this is the first, attention will be given 
to the probable development of the civilized community in general. 
Afterwards these generalizations will be modified in accordance with 
certain broad differences of race, custom, and religion. 

2 Of quite serious forecasts and inductions of things to come, the 
j number is very small indeed ; a suggestion or so of Mr. Herbert 
\ Spencer's, Mr. Kidd's Social Evolution, some hints from Mr. Archdall 
I Reid, some political forecasts, German for the most part (Hartmann's 


2 Anticipations 

the narrative form becomes more and more of 
a nuisance as the speculative inductions become 
sincerer, and here it will be abandoned altogether 
in favour of a texture of frank inquiries and arranged 
considerations. Our utmost aim is a rough sketch of 
the coming time, a prospectus, as it were, of the joint 
undertaking of mankind in facing these impending 
years. The reader is a prospective shareholder he 
and his heirs though whether he will find this 
anticipatory balance-sheet to his belief or liking is 
another matter. 

For reasons that will develop themselves more 
clearly as these papers unfold, it is extremely con- 
venient to begin with a speculation upon the probable 
developments and changes of the means of land 

Earth in the Twentieth Century, e.g.), some incidental forecasts by 
Professor Langley {Century Magazine, December, 1884, e.g.), and such 
isolated computations as Professor Crookes' wheat warning, and the 
various estimates of our coal supply, make almost a complete biblio- 
graphy. Of fiction, of course, there is abundance : Stories of the Year 
2000, and Battles of Dorking, and the like I learn from Mr. Peddie, 
the bibliographer, over one hundred pamphlets and books of that 
description. But from its very nature, and I am writing with the 
intimacy of one who has tried, fiction can never be satisfactory in this 
application. Fiction is necessarily concrete and definite ; it permits of 
no open alternatives j its aim of illusion prevents a proper amplitude of 
demonstration, and modern prophecy should be, one submits, a branch 
of speculation, and should follow with all decorum the scientific 
method. The very form of fiction carries with it something of disa- 
vowal ; indeed, very much of the Fiction of the Future pretty frankly 
abandons the prophetic altogether, and becomes polemical, cautionary, 
or idealistic, and a mere footnote and commentary to our present dis- ( 

Locomotion in the Twentieth Century 3 

locomotion during the coming decades. No one who 
has studied the civil history of the nineteenth century 
will deny how far-reaching the consequences of 
changes in transit may be, and no one who has 
studied the military performances of General Buller 
and General De Wet but will see that upon transport, 
upon locomotion, may also hang the most momentous 
issues of politics and war. The growth of our great 
cities, the rapid populating of America, the entry of 
China into the field of European politics are, for 
example, quite obviously and directly consequences 
of new methods of locomotion. And while so much 
hangs upon the development of these methods, that 
development is, on the other hand, a process com- 
paratively independent, now at any rate, of most of 
the other great movements affected by it. It depends 
upon a sequence of ideas arising, and of experiments 
made, and upon laws of political economy, almost 
as inevitable as natural laws. Such great issues, 
supposing them to be possible, as the return of 
Western Europe to the Roman communion, the over- 
throw of the British Empire by Germany, or the 
inundation of Europe by the "Yellow Peril," might 
conceivably affect such details, let us say, as door- 
handles and ventilators or mileage of line, but 
would probably leave the essential features of the 
evolution of locomotion untouched. The evolution 
of locomotion has a purely historical relation to 
the Western European peoples. It is no longer 

4 Anticipations 

dependent upon them, or exclusively in their hands. 
The Malay nowadays sets out upon his pilgrimage 
to Mecca in an excursion steamship of iron, and the 
immemorial Hindoo goes a-shopping in a train, and 
in Japan and Australasia and America, there are 
plentiful hands and minds to take up the process 
now, even should the European let it fall. 

The beginning of this twentieth century happens 
to coincide with a very interesting phase in that great 
development of means of land transit that has been 
the distinctive feature (speaking materially) of the 
nineteenth century. The nineteenth century, when it 
takes its place with the other centuries in the chrono- 
logical charts of the future, will, if it needs a symbol, 
almost inevitably have as that symbol a steam engine 
running upon a railway. This period covers the first 
experiments, the first great developments, and the 
complete elaboration of that mode of transit, and the 
determination of nearly all the broad features of this 
century's history may be traced directly or indirectly to 
that process. And since an interesting light is thrown 
upon the new phases in land locomotion that are now 
beginning, it will be well to begin this forecast with a 
retrospect, and to revise very shortly the history of 
the addition of steam travel to the resources of mankind. 
A curious and profitable question arises at once. 
How is it that the steam locomotive appeared at the 
time it did, and not earlier in the history of the 
world ? 

Locomotion in the Twentieth Century 5 

Because it was not invented. But why was it not 
invented ? Not for want of a crowning intellect, for 
none of the many minds concerned in the develop- 
ment strikes one as the mind of Newton, Shake- 
speare, or Darwin strikes one as being that of an 
unprecedented man. It is not that the need for the 
railway and steam engine had only just arisen, and 
to use one of the most egregiously wrong and 
misleading phrases that ever dropped from the lips 
of man the demand created the supply ; it was quite 
the other way about. There was really no urgent 
demand for such things at the time ; the current needs 
of the European world seem to have been fairly well 
served by coach and diligence in 1800, and, on the 
other hand, every administrator of intelligence in the 
Roman and Chinese empires must have felt an urgent 
need for more rapid methods of transit than those at 
his disposal. Nor was the development of the steam 
locomotive the result of any sudden discovery of 
steam. Steam, and something of the mechanical 
possibilities of steam, had been known for two thou- 
sand years ; it had been used for pumping water, 
opening doors, and working toys, before the Christian 
era. It may be urged that this advance was the out- 
come of that new and more systematic handling of 
knowledge initiated by Lord Bacon and sustained 
by the Royal Society; but this does not appear 
to have been the case, though no doubt the new 
habits of mind that spread outward from that 

6 Anticipations 

centre played their part. The men whose names are 
cardinal in the history of this development invented, 
for the most part, in a quite empirical way, and 
Trevithick's engine was running along its rails and 
Evan's boat was walloping up the Hudson a quarter 
of a century before Carnot expounded his general 
proposition. There were no such deductions from 
principles to application as occur in the story of 
electricity to justify our attribution of the steam 
engine to the scientific impulse. Nor does this 
particular invention seem to have been directly due 
to the new possibilities of reducing, shaping, and 
casting iron, afforded by the substitution of coal for 
wood in iron works ; through the greater temperature 
afforded by a coal fire. In China coal has been used 
in the reduction of iron for many centuries. No 
doubt these new facilities did greatly help the steam 
engine in its invasion of the field of common life, but 
quite certainly they were not sufficient to set it going. 
It was, indeed, not one cause, but a very complex and 
unprecedented series of causes, that set the steam loco- 
motive going. It was indirectly, and in another way, 
that the introduction of coal became the decisive 
factor. One peculiar condition of its production in 
England seems to have supplied just one ingredient 
that had been missing for two thousand years in the 
group of conditions that were necessary before the 
steam locomotive could appear. 

This missing ingredient was a demand for some 

Locomotion in the Twentieth Century 7 

comparatively simple, profitable machine, upon which 
the elementary principles of steam utilization could 
be worked out. If one studies Stephenson's " Rocket " 
in detail, as one realizes its profound complexity, one 
begins to understand how impossible it would have 
been for that structure to have come into existence 
de novo y however urgently the world had need of it. 
But it happened that the coal needed to replace the 
dwindling forests of this small and exceptionally rain- 
saturated country occurs in low hollow basins over- 
lying clay, and not, as in China and the Alleghanies 
for example, on high-lying outcrops, that can be 
worked as chalk is worked in England. From this 
fact it followed that some quite unprecedented pump- 
ing appliances became necessary, and the thoughts 
of practical men were turned thereby to the long- 
neglected possibilities of steam. Wind was extremely 
inconvenient for the purpose of pumping, because in 
these latitudes it is inconstant : it was costly, too, 
because at any time the labourers might be obliged 
to sit at the pit's mouth for weeks together, whistling 
for a gale or waiting for the water to be got under 
again. But steam had already been used for pump- 
ing upon one or two estates in England rather as a 
toy than in earnest before the middle of the seven- 
teenth century, and the attempt to employ it was so 
obvious as to be practically unavoidable. 1 The water 

1 It might have been used in the same way in Italy in the first 
century, had not the grandiose taste for aqueducts prevailed. 

8 Anticipations 

trickling into the coal measures l acted, therefore, like 
water trickling upon chemicals that have long been 
mixed together dry and inert. Immediately the 
latent reactions were set going. Savery, Newcomen, 
a host of other workers, culminating in Watt, working 
always by steps that were at least so nearly obvious 
as to give rise again and again to simultaneous dis- 
coveries, changed this toy of steam into a real, a 
commercial thing, developed a trade in pumping 
engines, created foundries and a new art of engineer- 
ing, and almost unconscious of what they were doing, 
made the steam locomotive a well-nigh unavoidable 
consequence. At last, after a century of improve- 
ment on pumping engines, there remained nothing 
but the very obvious stage of getting the engine that 
had been developed on wheels and out upon the 
ways of the world. 

Ever and again during the eighteenth century an 
engine would be put upon the roads and pronounced 
a failure one monstrous Palaeoferric creature was 
visible on a French high road as early as 1769 but 
by the dawn of the nineteenth century the problem 
had very nearly got itself solved. By 1804 Trevi thick 
had a steam locomotive indisputably in motion and 
almost financially possible, and from his hands it 
puffed its way, slowly at first, and then, under 
Stephenson, faster and faster, to a transitory empire 
over the earth. It was a steam locomotive but for 
1 And also into the Cornwall mines, be it noted. 

Locomotion in the Twentieth Century g 

all that it was primarily a steam engine for pumping 
adapted to a new end ; it was a steam engine whose 
ancestral stage had developed under conditions that 
were by no means exacting in the matter of weight. 
And from that fact followed a consequence that has 
hampered railway travel and transport very greatly, 
and that is tolerated nowadays only through a belief 
in its practical necessity. The steam locomotive was 
all too huge and heavy for the high road it had to 
be put upon rails. And so clearly linked are steam 
engines and railways in our minds that, in common 
language now, the latter implies the former. But 
indeed it is the result of accidental impediments, of 
avoidable difficulties that we travel to-day on rails. 

Railway travelling is at best a compromise. The 
quite conceivable ideal of locomotive convenience, so 
far as travellers are concerned, is surely a highly 
mobile conveyance capable of travelling easily and 
swiftly to any desired point, traversing, at a reasonably 
controlled pace, the ordinary roads and streets, and 
having access for higher rates of speed and long- 
distance travelling to specialized ways restricted to 
swift traffic, and possibly furnished with guide- 
rails. For the collection and delivery of all sorts 
of perishable goods also the same system is ob- 
viously altogether superior to the existing methods. 
Moreover, such a system would admit of that secular 
progress in engines and vehicles that the stereotyped 
conditions of the railway have almost completely 

io Anticipations 

arrested, because it would allow almost any new 
pattern to be put at once upon the ways without 
interference with the established traffic. Had such 
an ideal been kept in view from the first the traveller 
would now be able to get through his long-distance 
journeys at a pace of from seventy miles or more 
an hour without changing, and without any of 
the trouble, waiting, expense, and delay that arises 
between the household or hotel and the actual rail. 
It was an ideal that must have been at least possible 
to an intelligent person fifty years ago, and, had it 
been resolutely pursued, the world, instead of fumbling 
from compromise to compromise as it always has 
done and as it will do very probably for many 
centuries yet, might have been provided to-day, not 
only with an infinitely more practicable method of 
communication, but with one capable of a steady and 
continual evolution from year to year. 

But there was a more obvious path of development 
and one immediately cheaper, and along that path 
went short-sighted Nineteenth Century Progress, 
quite heedless of the possibility of ending in a cul-de- 
sac. The first locomotives, apart from the heavy 
tradition of their ancestry, were, like all experimental 
machinery, needlessly clumsy and heavy, and their 
inventors, being men of insufficient faith, instead of 
working for lightness and smoothness of motion, took 
the easier course of placing them upon the tramways 
that were already in existence chiefly for the transit 

Locomotion in the Twentieth Century 1 1 

of heavy goods over soft roads. And from that 
followed a very interesting and curious result. 

These tram-lines very naturally had exactly the 
width of an ordinary cart, a width prescribed by the 
strength of one horse. Few people saw in the loco- 
motive anything but a cheap substitute for horseflesh, 
or found anything incongruous in letting the dimen- 
sions of a horse determine the dimensions of an 
engine. It mattered nothing that from the first the 
passenger was ridiculously cramped, hampered, and 
crowded in the carriage. He had always been 
cramped in a coach, and it would have seemed 
"Utopian" a very dreadful thing indeed to our 
grandparents to propose travel without cramping. 
By mere inertia the horse-cart gauge, the 4 ft. 8J in. 
gauge, nemine contradicente, established itself in the 
world, and now everywhere the train is dwarfed to 
a scale that limits alike its comfort, power, and speed. 
Before every engine, as it were, trots the ghost of a 
superseded horse, refuses most resolutely to trot 
faster tham fifty miles an hour, and shies and threatens 
catastrophe at every point and curve. That fifty miles 
an hour, most authorities are agreed, is the limit of 
our speed for land travel, so far as existing conditions 
go. 1 Only a revolutionary reconstruction of the 

1 It might be worse. If the biggest horses had been Shetland ponies, 
we should be travelling now in railway carriages to hold two each side 
at a maximum speed of perhaps twenty miles an hour. There is hardly 
any reason, beyond this tradition of the horse, why the railway carriage 
should not be even nine or ten feet wide, the width, that is, of the 

1 2 Anticipations 

railways or the development of some new competing 
method of land travel can carry us beyond that. 

People of to-day take the railways for granted as 
they take sea and sky ; they were born in a railway 
world, and they expect to die in one. But if only 
they will strip from their eyes the most blinding of 
all influences, acquiescence in the familiar, they will 
see clearly enough that this vast and elaborate rail- 
way system of ours, by which the whole world is 
linked together, is really only a vast system of trains 
of horse-waggons and coaches drawn along rails by 
pumping-engines upon wheels. Is that, in spite of 
its present vast extension, likely to remain the pre- 
dominant method of land locomotion even for so 
short a period as the next hundred years ? 

Now, so much capital is represented by the existing 
type of railways, and they have so firm an establish- 
ment in the acquiescence of men, that it is very 
doubtful if the railways will ever attempt any very 
fundamental change in the direction of greater speed 
or facility, unless they are first exposed to the pressure 
of our second alternative, competition, and we may 
very well go on to inquire how long will it be before 
that second alternative comes into operation if ever 
it is to do so. 

Let us consider what other possibilities seem to 

smallest room in which people can live in comfort, hung on such 
springs and wheels as would effectually destroy all vibration, and 
furnished with all the equipment of comfortable chambers. 

Locomotion in the Twentieth Century 13 

offer themselves. Let us revert to the ideal we have 
already laid down, and consider what hopes and 
obstacles to its attainment there seem to be. The 
abounding presence of numerous experimental motors 
to-day is so stimulating to the imagination, there are so 
many stimulated persons at work upon them, that it is 
difficult to believe the obvious impossibility of most of 
them their convulsiveness, clumsiness, and, in many 
cases, exasperating trail of stench will not be rapidly 
fined away. 1 I do not think that it is asking too 

1 Explosives as a motive power were first attempted by Huyghens 
and one or two others in the seventeenth century, and, just as with the 
turbine type of apparatus, it was probably the impetus given to the 
development of steam by the convenient collocation of coal and water 
and the need of an engine, that arrested the advance of this parallel 
inquiry until our own time. Explosive engines, in which gas and 
petroleum are employed, are now abundant, but for all that we can 
regard the explosive engine as still in its experimental stages. So far, 
research in explosives has been directed chiefly to the possibilities of 
higher and still higher explosives for use in war, the neglect of the 
mechanical application of this class of substance being largely due to 
the fact, that chemists are not as a rule engineers, nor engineers 
chemists. But an easily portable substance, the decomposition of 
which would evolve energy, or what is, from the practical point of 
view, much the same thing an easily portable substance, which could 
be decomposed electrically by wind or water power, and which would 
then recombine and supply force, either in intermittent thrusts at a 
piston, or as an electric current, would be infinitely more convenient 
for all locomotive purposes than the cumbersome bunkers and boilers 
required by steam. The presumption is altogether in favour of the 
possibility of such substances. Their advent will be the beginning of 
the end for steam traction on land and of the steam ship at sea : the 
end indeed of the Age of Coal and Steam. And even with regard to 
steam there may be a curious change of method before the end. It is 
beginning to appear that, after all, the piston, and cylinder type of 
engine is, for locomotive purposes on water at least, if not on land 
by no means the most perfect. Another, and fundamentally different 

H Anticipations 

much of the reader's faith in progress to assume that 
so far as a light powerful engine goes, comparatively 
noiseless, smooth-running, not obnoxious to sensitive 
nostrils, and altogether suitable for high road traffic, 
the problem will very speedily be solved. And upon 
that assumption, in what direction are these new 
motor vehicles likely to develop ? how will they react 
upon the railways ? and where finally will they 
take us ? 

At present they seem to promise developments 
upon three distinct and definite lines. 

There will, first of all, be the motor truck for heavy 

type, the turbine type, in which the impulse of the steam spins a wheel 
instead of shoving a piston, would appear to be altogether better than 
the adapted pumping engine, at any rate, for the purposes of steam 
navigation. Hero, of Alexandria, describes an elementary form of 
such an engine, and the early experimenters of the seventeenth century 
tried and abandoned the rotary principle. It was not adapted to 
pumping, and pumping was the only application that then offered 
sufficient immediate encouragement to persistence. The thing marked 
time for quite two centuries and a half, therefore, while the piston 
engines perfected themselves ; and only in the eighties did the require- 
ments of the dynamo-electric machine open a "practicable" way of 
advance. The motors of the dynamo-electric machine in the nine- 
teenth century, in fact, played exactly the rdle of the pumping engine 
in the eighteenth, and by 1894 so many difficulties of detail had been 
settled, that a syndicate of capitalists and scientific men could face the 
construction of an experimental ship. This ship, the Turbinia, after a 
considerable amount of trial and modification, attained the unpre- 
cedented speed of 34 knots an hour, and His Majesty's navy has 
possessed, in the Turbinia's younger and greater sister, the Viper, 
now unhappily lost, a torpedo-destroyer capable of 41 miles an hour. 
There can be little doubt that the sea speeds of 50 and even 60 miles 
an hour will be attained within the next few years. But I do not think 
that these developments will do more than delay the advent of the 
"explosive" or "storage offeree" engine. 

Locomotion in the Twentieth Cent^iry 15 

traffic. Already such trucks are in evidence dis- 
tributing goods and parcels of various sorts. And 
sooner or later, no doubt, the numerous advantages 
of such an arrangement will lead to the organization 
of large carrier companies, using such motor trucks to 
carry goods in bulk or parcels on the high roads. 
Such companies will be in an exceptionally favour- 
able position to organize storage and repair for the 
motors of the general public on profitable terms, and 
possibly to co-operate in various ways with the 
manufactures of special types of motor machines. 

In the next place, and parallel with the motor truck, 
there will develop the hired or privately owned motor 
carriage. This, for all except the longest journeys, 
will add a fine sense of personal independence to all 
the small conveniences of first-class railway travel. 
It will be capable of a day's journey of three hundred 
miles or more, long before the developments to be 
presently foreshadowed arrive. One will change 
nothing unless it is the driver from stage to stage. 
One will be free to dine where one chooses, hurry 
when one chooses, travel asleep or awake, stop and 
pick flowers, turn over in bed of a morning and tell 
the carriage to wait unless, which is highly probable, 
one sleeps aboard. 1 . . . 

1 The historian of the future, writing about the nineteenth century, 
will, I sometimes fancy, find a new meaning in a familiar phrase. It 
is the custom to call this the most " Democratic " age the world has 
ever seen, and most of us are beguiled by the etymological contrast, 
and the memory of certain legislative revolutions, to oppose one form 

1 6 Anticipations 

And thirdly there will be the motor omnibus, 
attacking or developing out of the horse omnibus 
companies and the suburban lines. All this seems 
fairly safe prophesying. 

And these things, which are quite obviously coming 
even now, will be working out their many structural 
problems when the next phase in their development 
begins. The motor omnibus companies competing 
against the suburban railways will find themselves 
hampered in the speed of their longer runs by the 
slower horse traffic on their routes, and they will 
attempt to secure, and, it may be, after tough 
legislative struggles, will secure the power to form 

of stupidity prevailing to another, and to fancy we mean the opposite 
to an " Aristocratic " period. But indeed we do not. So far as that 
political point goes, the Chinaman has always been infinitely more 
democratic than the European. But the world, by a series of gradations 
into error, has come to use " Democratic " as a substitute for" Whole- 
sale," and as an opposite to " Individual," without realizing the shifted 
application at all. Thereby old "Aristocracy," the organization of 
society for the glory and preservation of the Select Dull, gets to a flavour 
even of freedom. When the historian of the future speaks of the past 
century as a Democratic century, he will have in mind, more than 
anything else, the unprecedented fact that we seemed to do everything in 
heaps we read in epidemics j clothed ourselves, all over the world, in 
identical fashions ; built and furnished our houses in stereo designs ; 
and travelled that naturally most individual proceeding in bales. 
To make the railway train a perfect symbol of our times, it should be 
presented as uncomfortably full in the third class a few passengers 
standing and everybody reading the current number either of the 
Daily Mail, Pearson's Weekly, Answers, Tit Bits, or whatever Greatest 
Novel of the Century happened to be going. . . . But, as I hope to make 
clearer in my later papers, this " Democracy," or Wholesale method 
of living, like the railways, is transient a first makeshift development 
of a great and finally (to me at least) quite hopeful social reorganization, 

Locomotion in the Twentieth Century 17 

private roads of a new sort, upon which their vehicles 
will be free to travel up to the limit of their very 
highest possible speed. It is along the line of such 
private tracks and roads that the forces of change 
will certainly tend to travel, and along which I am 
absolutely convinced they will travel. This segrega- 
tion of motor traffic is probably a matter that may 
begin even in the present decade. 

Once this process of segregation from the high 
road of the horse and pedestrian sets in, it will 
probably go on rapidly. It may spread out 
from short omnibus routes, much as the London 
Metropolitan Railway system has spread. The 
motor earner companies, competing in speed of 
delivery with the quickened railways, will conceivably 
co-operate with the long-distance omnibus and the 
hired carriage companies in the formation of trunk 
lines. Almost insensibly, certain highly profitable 
longer routes will be joined up the London to 
Brighton, for example, in England. And the quiet 
English citizen will, no doubt, while these things 
are still quite exceptional and experimental in his 
lagging land, read one day with surprise in the 
violently illustrated popular magazines of 1910, that 
there are now so many thousand miles of these roads 
already established in America and Germany and 
elsewhere. And thereupon, after some patriotic 
meditations, he may pull himself together. 

We may even hazard some details about these 


1 8 Anticipations 

special roads. For example, they will be very 
different from macadamized roads ; they will be used 
only by soft-tired conveyances ; the battering horse- 
shoes, the perpetual filth of horse traffic, and the 
clumsy wheels of laden carts will never wear them. 
It may be that they will have a surface like that of 
some cycle-racing tracks, though since they will be 
open to wind and weather, it is perhaps more probable 
they will be made of very good asphalt sloped to 
drain, and still more probable that they will be of 
some quite new substance altogether whether hard 
or resilient is beyond my foretelling. They will have to 
be very wide they will be just as wide as the courage 
of their promoters goes and if the first made are too 
narrow there will be no question of gauge to limit 
the later ones. Their traffic in opposite directions 
will probably be strictly separated, and it will no 
doubt habitually disregard complicated and fussy 
regulations imposed under the initiative of the 
Railway Interest by such official bodies as the 
Board of Trade. The promoters will doubtless take 
a hint from suburban railway traffic and from the 
current difficulty of the Metropolitan police, and 
where their ways branch the streams of traffic will 
not cross at a level but by bridges. It is easily 
conceivable that once these tracks are in existence, 
cyclists and motors other than those of the construct- 
ing companies will be able to make use of them. 
And, moreover, once they exist it will be possible to 

Locomotion in the Twentieth Century 19 

experiment with vehicles of a size and power quite 
beyond the dimensions prescribed by our ordinary 
roads roads whose width has been entirely deter- 
mined by the size of a cart a horse can pull. 1 

Countless modifying influences will, of course, 
come into operation. For example, it has been 
assumed, perhaps rashly, that the railway influence 
will certainly remain jealous and hostile to these 
growths : that what may be called the " Bicycle 
Ticket Policy " will be pursued throughout. Assuredly 
there will be fights of a very complicated sort at first, 
but once one of these specialized lines is in operation, 
it may be that some at least of the railway companies 
will hasten to replace their flanged rolling stock 
by carriages with rubber tyres, remove their rails, 
broaden their cuttings and embankments, raise their 
bridges, and take to the new ways of traffic. Or 
they may find it answer to cut fares, widen their 
gauges, reduce their gradients, modify their points 
and curves, and woo the passenger back with carriages 
beautifully hung and sumptuously furnished, and all 
the convenience and luxury of a club. Few people 
would mind being an hour or so longer going to 
Paris from London, if the railway travelling was 
neither rackety, cramped, nor tedious. One could 
be patient enough if one was neither being jarred, 
deafened, cut into slices by draughts, and continually 

1 So we begin to see the possibility of laying that phantom horse that 
haunts the railways to this day so disastrously. 

2o Anticipations 

more densely caked in a filthy dust of coal ; if one 
could write smoothly and easily at a steady table, 
read papers, have one's hair cut, and dine in comfort l 
none of which things are possible at present, 
and none of which require any new inventions, any 
revolutionary contrivances, or indeed anything but 
an intelligent application of existing resources and 
known principles. Our rage for fast trains, so far 
as long-distance travel is concerned, is largely a 
passion to end the extreme discomfort involved. It 
is in the daily journey, on the suburban train, that 

1 A correspondent, Mr. Rudolf Cyrian, writes to correct me here, 
and I cannot do better, I think, than thank him and quote what he 
says. " It is hardly right to state that fifty miles an hour ' is the limit 
of our speed for land travel, so far as existing conditions go.' As far 
as English traffic is concerned, the statement is approximately correct. 
In the United States, however, there are several trains running now 
which average over considerable distances more than sixty miles an 
hour, stoppages included, nor is there much reason why this should 
not be considerably increased. What especially hampers the develop- 
ment of railways in England as compared with other countries is 
the fact that the rolling-stock templet is too small. Hence carriages in 
England have to be narrower and lower than carriages in the United 
States, although both run on the same standard gauge (4 feet 8 inches). 
The result is that several things which you describe as not possible at 
present, such as to ' write smoothly and easily at a steady table, read 
papers, have one's hair cut, and dine in comfort,' are not only feasible, 
but actually attained on some of the good American trains. For 
instance, on the present Empire State Express, running between New 
York and Buffalo, or on the present Pennsylvania, Limited, running 
between New York and Chicago, and on others. With the Penn- 
sylvania, Limited, travel stenographers and. type writers, whose services 
are placed at the disposal of passengers free of charge. But the train 
on which there is the least vibration of any is probably the new Empire 
State Express, and on this it is certainly possible to write smoothly 
and easily at a steady table. " 

Locomotion in the Twentieth Century 21 

daily tax of time, that speed is in itself so eminently 
desirable, and it is just here that the conditions of 
railway travel most hopelessly fail. It must always 
be remembered that the railway train, as against 
the motor, has the advantage that its wholesale 
traction reduces the prime cost by demanding 
only one engine for a great number of coaches. 
This will not serve the first-class long-distance 
passenger, but it may the third. Against that 
economy one must balance the necessary delay of 
a relatively infrequent service, which latter item 
becomes relatively greater and greater in proportion 
to the former, the briefer the journey to be made. 

And it may be that many railways, which are 
neither capable of modification into suburban motor 
tracks, nor of development into luxurious through 
routes, will find, in spite of the loss of many elements 
of their old activity, that there is still a profit to be 
made from a certain section of the heavy goods 
traffic, and from cheap excursions. These are forms 
of work for which railways seem to be particularly 
adapted, and which the diversion of a great portion 
of their passenger traffic would enable them to con- 
duct even more efficiently. It is difficult to imagine, 
for example, how any sort of road-car organization 
could beat the railways at the business of distributing 
coal and timber and similar goods, which are taken 
in bulk directly from the pit or wharf to local centres 
of distribution. 

22 Anticipations 

It must always be remembered that at the worst 
the defeat of such a great organization as the railway 
system does not involve its disappearance until a 
long period has elapsed. It means at first no more 
than a period of modification and differentiation. 
Before extinction can happen a certain amount of 
wealth in railway property must absolutely disappear. 
Though under the stress of successful competition 
the capital value of the railways may conceivably 
fall, and continue to fall, towards the marine store 
prices, fares and freights pursue the sweated work- 
ing expenses to the vanishing point, and the land 
occupied sink to the level of not very eligible building 
sites : yet the railways will, nevertheless, continue in 
operation until these downward limits are positively 

An imagination prone to the picturesque insists 
at this stage upon a vision of the latter days of one 
of the less happily situated lines. Along a weedy 
embankment there pants and clangs a patched and 
tarnished engine, its paint blistered, its parts leprously 
dull. It is driven by an aged and sweated driver, 
and the burning garbage of its furnace distils a 
choking reek into the air. A huge train of urban 
dust trucks bangs and clatters behind it, en route 
to that sequestered dumping ground where rubbish 
is burnt to some industrial end. But that is a lapse 
into the merely just possible, and at most a local 
tragedy. Almost certainly the existing lines of 

Locomotion in the Twentieth Century 23 

railway will develop and differentiate, some in one 
direction and some in another, according to the 
nature of the pressure upon them. Almost all 
will probably be still in existence and in divers 
ways busy, spite of the swarming new highways 
I have ventured to foreshadow, a hundred years from 

In fact, we have to contemplate, not so much a 
supersession of the railways as a modification and 
specialization of them in various directions, and the 
enormous development beside them of competing 
and supplementary methods. And step by step with 
these developments will come a very considerable 
acceleration of the ferry traffic of the narrow seas 
through such improvements as the introduction of 
turbine engines. So far as the high road and the 
longer journeys go this is the extent of our prophecy. 1 

But in the discussion of all questions of land 
locomotion one must come at last to the knots of 
the network, to the central portions of the towns, 
the dense, vast towns of our time, with their high 
ground values and their narrow, already almost 
impassable, streets. I hope at a later stage to give 

1 Since this appeared in the Fortnightly Review I have had the 
pleasure of reading * Twentieth Century Inventions,' by Mr. George 
Sutherland, and I find very much else of interest bearing on these 
questions the happy suggestion (for the ferry transits, at any rate) of a 
rail along the sea bottom, which would serve as a guide to swift sub- 
marine vessels, out of reach of all that superficial " motion " that is so 
distressing, and of all possibilities of collision. 

24 Anticipations 

some reasons for anticipating that the centripetal 
pressure of the congested towns of our epoch may 
ultimately be very greatly relieved, but for the next 
few decades at least the usage of existing conditions 
will prevail, and in every town there is a certain 
nucleus of offices, hotels, and shops upon which 
the centrifugal forces I anticipate will certainly not 
operate. At present the streets of many larger 
towns, and especially of such old-established towns 
as London, whose central portions have the narrowest 
arteries, present a quite unprecedented state of con- 
gestion. When the Green of some future History of 
the English People comes to review our times, he will, 
from his standpoint of comfort and convenience, find 
the present streets of London quite or even more 
incredibly unpleasant than are the filthy kennels, the 
mudholes and darkness of the streets of the seven- 
teenth century to our enlightened minds. He will 
echo our question, "Why did people stand it?" He 
will be struck first of all by the omnipresence of mud, 
filthy mud, churned up by hoofs and wheels under 
the inclement skies, and perpetually defiled and 
added to by innumerable horses. Imagine his de- 
scription of a young lady crossing the road at the 
Marble Arch in London, on a wet November after- 
noon, "breathless, foul-footed, splashed by a passing 
hansom from head to foot, happy that she has reached 
the further pavement alive at the mere cost of her 
ruined clothes." . . . "Just where the bicycle might 

Locomotion in the Twentieth Century 25 

have served its most useful purpose," he will write, 
" in affording a healthy daily ride to the innume- 
rable clerks and such-like sedentary toilers of the 
central region, it was rendered impossible by the 
danger of side-slip in this vast ferocious traffic." 
And, indeed, to my mind at least, this last is the 
crowning absurdity of the present state of affairs, that 
the clerk and the shop hand, classes of people posi- 
tively starved of exercise, should be obliged to spend 
yearly the price of a bicycle upon a season-ticket, 
because of the quite unendurable inconvenience and 
danger of urban cycling. 

Now, in what direction will matters move ? 
The first and most obvious thing to do, the 
thing that in many cases is being attempted and 
in a futile, insufficient way getting itself done, the 
thing that I do not for one moment regard as the 
final remedy, is the remedy of the architect and 
builder profitable enough to them, anyhow to 
widen the streets and to cut " new arteries." Now, 
every new artery means a series of new whirlpools of 
traffic, such as the pensive Londoner may study for 
himself at the intersection of Shaftesbury Avenue 
with Oxford Street, and unless colossal or incon- 
veniently steep crossing-bridges are made, the wider 
the affluent arteries the more terrible the battle of 
the traffic. Imagine Regent's Circus on the scale 
of the Place de la Concorde. And there is the value 
of the ground to consider ; with every increment of 

26 Anticipations 

width the value of the dwindling remainder in the 
meshes of the network of roads will rise, until to 
pave the widened streets with gold will be a mere 
trifling addition to the cost of their " improve- 

There is, however, quite another direction in which 
the congestion may find relief, and that is in the 
" regulation " of the traffic. This has already begun 
in London in an attack on the crawling cab and in 
the new bye-laws of the London County Council, 
whereby certain specified forms of heavy traffic are 
prohibited the use of the streets between ten and 
seven. These things may be the first beginning of a 
process of restriction that may go far. Many people 
living at the present time, who have grown up amidst 
the exceptional and possibly very transient cha- 
racteristics of this time, will be disposed to regard 
the traffic in the streets of our great cities as a part 
of the natural order of things, and as unavoidable as 
the throng upon the pavement. But indeed the 
presence of all the chief constituents of this vehicular 
torrent the cabs and hansoms, the vans, the omnibuses 
everything, indeed, except the few private carriages 
are as novel, as distinctively things of the nine- 
teenth century, as the railway train and the needle 
telegraph. The streets of the great towns of anti- 
quity, the streets of the great towns of the East, the 
streets of all the mediaeval towns, were not intended 
for any sort of wheeled traffic at all were designed 

Locomotion in the Twentieth Century 27 

primarily and chiefly for pedestrians. So it would 
be, I suppose, in any one's ideal city. Surely Town, 
in theory at least, is a place one walks about as one 
walks about a house and garden, dressed with a 
certain ceremonious elaboration, safe from mud 
and the hardship and defilement of foul weather, 
buying, meeting, dining, studying, carousing, seeing 
the play. It is the growth in size of the city 
that has necessitated the growth of this coarser 
traffic that has made " Town " at last so utterly 

But if one reflects, it becomes clear that, save for 
the vans of goods, this moving tide of wheeled masses 
is still essentially a stream of urban pedestrians, 
pedestrians who, by reason of the distances they have 
to go, have had to jump on 'buses and take cabs in 
a word, to bring in the high road to their aid. And 
the vehicular traffic of the street is essentially the 
high road traffic very roughly adapted to the new 
needs. The cab is a simple development of the 
carriage, the omnibus of the coach, and the supple- 
mentary traffic of the underground and electric rail- 
ways is a by no means brilliantly imagined adaptation 
of the long-route railway. These are all still new 
things, experimental to the highest degree, changing 
and bound to change much more, in the period of 
specialization that is now beginning. 

Now, the first most probable development is a 
change in the omnibus and the omnibus railway. A 

28 Anticipations 

point quite as important with these means of transit 
as actual speed of movement is frequency : time is 
wasted abundantly and most vexatiously at present 
in waiting and in accommodating one's arrangements 
to infrequent times of call and departure. The more 
frequent a local service, the more it comes to be relied 
upon. Another point and one in which the omnibus 
has a great advantage over the railway is that it 
should be possible to get on and off at any point, or 
at as many points on the route as possible. But this 
means a high proportion of stoppages, and this is 
destructive to speed. There is, however, one con- 
ceivable means of transit that is not simply frequent 
but continuous, that may be joined or left at any 
point without a stoppage, that could be adapted to 
many existing streets at the level or quite easily 
sunken in tunnels, or elevated above the street level, 1 
and that means of transit is the moving platform, 
whose possibilities have been exhibited to all the 
world in a sort of mean caricature at the Paris Ex- 
hibition. Let us imagine the inner circle of the 
district railway adapted to this conception. I will 
presume that the Parisian " rolling platform " is 
familiar to the reader. The district railway tunnel 
is, I imagine, about twenty-four feet wide. If we 
suppose the space given to six platforms of three feet 
wide and one (the most rapid) of six feet, and if we 

1 To the level of such upper story pavements as Sir F. Bramwell 
has proposed for the new Holborn to Strand Street, for example. 

Locomotion in the Twentieth Century 29 

suppose each platform to be going four miles an hour 
faster than its slower fellow (a velocity the Paris 
experiment has shown to be perfectly comfortable 
and safe), we should have the upper platform 
running round the circle at a pace of twenty-eight 
miles an hour. If, further, we adopt an ingenious 
suggestion of Professor Perry's, and imagine the 
descent to the line made down a very slowly rotating 
staircase at the centre of a big rotating wheel-shaped 
platform, against a portion of whose rim the slowest 
platform runs in a curve, one could very easily add a 
speed of six or eight miles an hour more, and to that 
the man in a hurry would be able to add his own 
four miles an hour by walking in the direction of 
motion. If the reader is a traveller, and if he will 
imagine that black and sulphurous tunnel, swept and 
garnished, lit and sweet, with a train much faster than 
the existing underground trains perpetually ready to 
go off with him and never crowded if he will further 
imagine this train a platform set with comfortable 
seats and neat bookstalls and so forth, he will get 
an inkling in just one detail of what he perhaps 
misses by living now instead of thirty or forty years 

I have supposed the replacement to occur in the 
case of the London Inner Circle Railway, because 
there the necessary tunnel already exists to help the 
imagination of the English reader, but that the 
specific replacement will occur is rendered improbable 

30 Anticipations 

by the fact that the circle is for much of its circum- 
ference entangled with other lines of communication 
the North- Western Railway, for example. As a 
matter of fact, as the American reader at least will 
promptly see, the much more practicable thing is 
that upper footpath, with these moving platforms 
beside it, running out over the street after the 
manner of the viaduct of an elevated railroad. But 
in some cases, at any rate, the demonstrated cheap- 
ness and practicability of tunnels at a considerable 
depth will come into play. 

Will this diversion of the vast omnibus traffic of 
to-day into the air and underground, together with 
the segregation of van traffic to specific routes and 
times, be the only change in the streets of the new 
century ? It may be a shock, perhaps, to some 
minds, but I must confess I do not see what is to 
prevent the process of elimination that is beginning 
now with the heavy vans spreading until it covers all 
horse traffic, and with the disappearance of horse 
hoofs and the necessary filth of horses, the road 
surface may be made a very different thing from 
what it is at present, better drained and admirably 
adapted for the soft-tired hackney vehicles and the 
torrent of cyclists. Moreover, there will be little to 
prevent a widening of the existing side walks, and 
the protection of the passengers from rain and hot 
sun by awnings, or such arcades as distinguish Turin, 
or Sir F. Bramwell's upper footpaths on the model of 

Locomotion in the Twentieth Century 31 

the Chester rows. Moreover, there is no reason but 
the existing filth why the roadways should not have 
translucent velaria to pull over in bright sunshine 
and wet weather. It would probably need less labour 
to manipulate such contrivances than is required at 
present for the constant conflict with slush and dust. 
Now, of course, we tolerate the rain, because it 
facilitates a sort of cleaning process. . . . 

Enough of this present speculation. I have 
indicated now the general lines of the roads and 
streets and ways and underways of the Twentieth 
Century. But at present they stand vacant in our 
prophecy, not only awaiting the human interests 
the characters and occupations, and clothing of the 
throng of our children and our children's children 
that flows along them, but also the decorations our 
children's children's taste will dictate, the advertise- 
ments their eyes will tolerate, the shops in which 
they will buy. To all that we shall finally come, 
and even in the next chapter I hope it will be made 
more evident how conveniently these later and more 
intimate matters follow, instead of preceding, these 
present mechanical considerations. And of the 
beliefs and hopes, the thought and language, the 
further prospects of this multitude as yet unborn 
of these things also we shall make at last 
certain hazardous guesses. But at first I would 
submit to those who may find the "machinery in 
motion " excessive in this chapter, we must have 

32 Anticipations 

the background and fittings the scene before the 
play. 1 

1 I have said nothing in this chapter, devoted to locomotion, of 
the coming invention of flying. This is from no disbelief in its final 
practicability, nor from any disregard of the new influences it will bring 
to bear upon mankind. But I do not think it at all probable that 
aeronautics will ever come into play as a serious modification of trans- 
port and communication the main question here under consideration. 
Man is not, for example, an albatross, but a land biped, with a con- 
siderable disposition towards being made sick and giddy by unusual 
motions, and however he soars he must come to earth to live. We 
must build our picture of the future from the ground upward ; of 
flying in its place. 

This chapter has been very ably criticized in many of its details in 
the reviews of the first edition, but I do not think anything has been 
said to undermine the general proposition I have advanced nor to affect 
the conclusions drawn in the following chapter. I have ignored the 
need of guide-rails for specialized high-speed roads such as are described 
on p. 18, and the possibility (which my friend Mr. Joseph Conrad has 
suggested to me) of sliding cars along practically frictionless rails. 



Now, the velocity at which a man and his belongings 
may pass about the earth is in itself a very trivial 
matter indeed, but it involves certain other matters 
not at all trivial, standing, indeed, in an almost funda- 
mental relation to human society. It will be the 
business of this chapter to discuss the relation between 
the social order and the available means of transit, 
and to attempt to deduce from the principles eluci- 
dated the coming phases in that extraordinary ex- 
pansion, shifting and internal redistribution of 
population that has been so conspicuous during the 
last hundred years. 

Let us consider the broad features of the redis- 
tribution of the population that has characterized the 
nineteenth century. It may be summarized as an 
unusual growth of great cities and a slight tendency 
to depopulation in the country. The growth of the 
great cities is the essential phenomenon. These 
aggregates having populations of from eight hundred 
thousand upward to four and five millions, are 
certainly, so far as the world outside the limits of 


34 Anticipations 

the Chinese empire goes, entirely an unprecedented 
thing. Never before, outside the valleys of the three 
great Chinese rivers, has any city with the exception 
of Rome and perhaps (but very doubtfully) of Babylon 
certainly had more than a million inhabitants, and 
it is at least permissible to doubt whether the popula- 
tion of Rome, in spite of its exacting a tribute of 
sea-borne food from the whole of the Mediterranean 
basin, exceeded a million for any great length of 
time. 1 But there are now ten town aggregates 
having a population of over a million, nearly twenty 
that bid fair to reach that limit in the next decade, 

1 It is true that many scholars estimate a high-water mark for the 
Roman population in excess of two millions ; and one daring authority, 
by throwing out suburbs ad libitum into the Campagna, suburbs o 
which no trace remains, has raised the two to ten. The Colosseum 
could, no doubt, seat over 80,000 spectators ; the circuit of the bench 
frontage of the Circus Maximus was very nearly a mile in length, and 
the Romans of Imperial times certainly used ten times as much water 
as the modern Romans. But, on the other hand, habits change, and 
Rome as it is defined by lines drawn at the times of its greatest ascen- 
dancy the city, that is, enclosed by the walls of Aurelian and including 
all the regiones of Augustus, an enclosure from which there could have 
been no reason for excluding half or more of its population could have 
scarcely contained a million. It would have packed very comfortably 
within the circle of the Grands Boulevards of Paris the Paris, that is, 
of Louis XIV., with a population of 560,000 ; and the Rome of to-day, 
were the houses that spread so densely over the once vacant Campus 
Martius distributed in the now deserted spaces in the south and east, 
and the Vatican suburb replaced within the ancient walls, would quite 
fill the ancient limits, in spite of the fact that the population is under 
500,000. But these are incidental doubts on a very authoritative opinion, 
and, whatever their value, they do not greatly affect the significance 
of these new great cities, which have arisen all over the world, as if by 
the operation of a natural law, as the railways have developed. 

The Probable Diffusion of Great Cities 35 

and a great number at or approaching a quarter of a 
million. We call these towns and cities, but, indeed, 
they are of a different order of things to the towns 
and cities of the eighteenth-century world. 

Concurrently with the aggregation of people about 
this new sort of centre, there has been, it is alleged, 
a depletion of the country villages and small town- 
ships. But, so far as the counting of heads goes, 
this depletion is not nearly so marked as the growth 
of the great towns. Relatively, however, it is strik- 
ing enough. 

Now, is this growth of large towns really, as one 
may allege, a result of the development of railways 
in the world, or is it simply a change in human 
circumstances that happens to have arisen at the 
same time ? It needs only a very general review of 
the conditions of the distribution of population to 
realize that the former is probably the true answer. 

It will be convenient to make the issue part of a 
more general proposition, namely, that the general 
distribution of population in a country mttst always be 
directly dependent on transport facilities. To illustrate 
this point roughly we may build up an imaginary 
simple community by considering its needs. Over 
an arable country-side, for example, inhabited by a 
people who had attained to a level of agricultural 
civilization in which war was no longer constantly 
imminent, the population would be diffused primarily 
by families and groups in farmsteads. It might, if it 

36 Anticipations 

were a very simple population, be almost all so dis- 
tributed. But even the simplest agriculturists find a 
certain convenience in trade. Certain definite points 
would be convenient for such local trade and inter- 
course as the people found desirable, and here it is that 
there would arise the germ of a town. At first it might 
be no more than an appointed meeting place, a market 
square, but an inn and a blacksmith would inevitably 
follow, an altar, perhaps, and, if these people had 
writing, even some sort of school. It would have to 
be where water was found, and it would have to be 
generally convenient of access to its attendant farmers. 
Now, if this meeting place was more than a certain 
distance from any particular farm, it would be incon- 
venient for that farmer to get himself and his produce 
there and back, and to do his business in a com- 
fortable daylight. He would not be able to come 
and, instead, he would either have to go to some 
other nearer centre to trade and gossip with his 
neighbours or, failing this, not go at all. Evidently, 
then, there would be a maximum distance between 
such places. This distance in England, where traffic 
has been mainly horse traffic for many centuries, 
seems to have worked out, according to the gradients 
and so forth, at from eight to fifteen miles, and at 
such distances do we find the country towns, while 
the horseless man, the serf, and the labourer and 
labouring wench have marked their narrow limits 
in the distribution of the intervening villages. If 

The Probable Diffusion of Great Cities 37 

by chance these gathering places have arisen at 
points much closer than this maximum, they have 
come into competition, and one has finally got the 
better of the other, so that in England the distribu- 
tion is often singularly uniform. Agricultural districts 
have their towns at about eight miles, and where 
grazing takes the place of the plough, the town 
distances increase to fifteen. 1 And so it is, entirely 
as a multiple of horse and foot strides, that all the 
villages and towns of the world's country-side have 
been plotted out. 2 

A third, and almost final, factor determining town 
distribution in a world without railways, would be 
the seaport and the navigable river. Ports would 
grow into dimensions dependent on the population 
of the conveniently accessible coasts (or river-banks), 
and on the quality and quantity of their products, 
and near these ports, as the conveniences of civiliza- 
tion increased, would appear handicraft towns the 
largest possible towns of a foot-and-horse civilization 
with industries of such a nature as the produce of 
their coasts required. 

1 It will be plain that such towns must have clearly defined limits 
population, dependent finally on the minimum yearly produce of the 
district they control. If ever they rise above that limit the natural 
checks of famine, and of pestilence following enfeeblement, will come 
into operation, and they will always be kept near this limit by the 
natural tendency of humanity to increase. The limit would rise with 
increasing public intelligence, and the organization of the towns would 
become more definite. 

8 I owe the fertilizing suggestion of this general principle to a paper 
by Grant Allen that I read long ago in Longman's Magazine. 

38 Anticipations 

It was always in connection with a port or navi- 
gable river that the greater towns of the pre-railway 
periods arose, a day's journey away from the coast 
when sea attack was probable, and shifting to the 
coast itself when that ceased to threaten. Such sea- 
trading handicraft towns as Bruges, Venice, Corinth, 
or London were the largest towns of the vanishing 
order of things. Very rarely, except in China, did 
they clamber above a quarter of a million inhabitants, 
even though to some of them there was presently 
added court and camp. In China, however, a gigantic 
river and canal system, laced across plains of extra- 
ordinary fertility, has permitted the growth of several 
city aggregates with populations exceeding a million, 
and in the case of the Hankow trinity of cities 
exceeding five million people. 

In all these cases the position and the population 
limit was entirely determined by the accessibility of 
the town and the area it could dominate for the 
purposes of trade. And not only were the com- 
mercial or natural towns so determined, but the 
political centres were also finally chosen for strategic 
considerations, in a word communications. And 
now, perhaps, the real significance of the previous 
paper,' in which sea velocities of fifty miles an hour, 
and land travel at the rate of a hundred, and even 
cab and omnibus journeys of thirty or forty miles, 
were shown to be possible, becomes more apparent. 

At the first sight it might appear as though the 

The Probable Diffusion of Great Cities 39 

result of the new developments was simply to increase 
the number of giant cities in the world by rendering 
them possible in regions where they had hitherto 
been impossible concentrating the trade of vast 
areas in a manner that had hitherto been entirely 
characteristic of navigable waters. It might seem as 
though the state of affairs in China, in which popula- 
tion has been concentrated about densely-congested 
" million-cities," with pauper masses, public charities, 
and a crowded struggle for existence, for many 
hundreds of years, was merely to be extended over 
the whole world. We have heard so much of the 
" problem of our great cities " ; we have the impres- 
sive statistics of their growth ; the belief in the 
inevitableness of yet denser and more multitudinous 
agglomerations in the future is so widely diffused, 
that at first sight it will be thought that no other 
motive than a wish to startle can dictate the 
proposition that not only will many of these railway- 
begotten " giant cities " reach their maximum in the 
commencing century, but that in all probability they, 
and not only they, but their water-born prototypes 
in the East also, are destined to such a process of 
dissection and diffusion as to amount almost to 
obliteration, so far, at least, as the blot on th$ map 
goes, within a measurable further space of years. 

In advancing this proposition, the present writer 
is disagreeably aware that in this matter he has 
expressed views entirely opposed to those he now 

40 Anticipations 

propounds ; and in setting forth the following body 
of considerations he tells the story of his own 
disillusionment. At the outset he took for granted 
and, very naturally, he wishes to imagine that a 
great number of other people do also take for 
granted that the future of London, for example, 
is largely to be got as the answer to a sort of 
rule-of-three sum. If in one hundred years the 
population of London has been multiplied by seven, 

then in two hundred years ! And one proceeds 

to pack the answer in gigantic tenement houses, 
looming upon colossal roofed streets, provide it with 
moving ways (the only available transit appliances 
suited to such dense multitudes), and develop its 
manners and morals in accordance with the laws that 
will always prevail amidst over-crowded humanity 
so long as humanity endures. The picture of this 
swarming concentrated humanity has some effective 
possibilities, but, unhappily, if, instead of that obvious 
rule-of-three sum, one resorts to an analysis of 
operating causes, its plausibility crumbles away, 
and it gives place to an altogether different fore- 
cast a forecast, indeed, that is in almost violent 
contrast to the first anticipation. It is much more 
probable that these coming cities will not be, in the 
old sense, cities at all ; they will present a new and 
entirely different phase of human distribution. 

The determining factor in the appearance of great 
cities in the past, and, indeed, up to the present day, 

The Probable Diffusion of Great Cities 41 

has been the meeting of two or more transit lines, 
the confluence of two or more streams of trade, and 
easy communication. The final limit to the size 
and importance of the great city has been the 
commercial "sphere of influence" commanded by 
that city, the capacity of the alluvial basin of its 
commerce, so to speak, the volume of its river of 
trade. About the meeting point so determined the 
population so determined has grouped itself and 
this is the point I overlooked in those previous 
vaticinations in accordance with laws that are also 
considerations of transit. 

The economic centre of the city is formed, of 
course, by the wharves and landing places and in 
the case of railway-fed cities by the termini 
where passengers land and where goods are 
landed, stored, and distributed. Both the adminis- 
trative and business community, traders, employers, 
clerks, and so forth, must be within a convenient 
access of this centre ; and the families, servants, 
tradesmen, amusement purveyors dependent on 
these again must also come within a maximum 
distance. At a certain stage in town growth the 
pressure on the more central area would become 
too great for habitual family life there, and an office 
region would differentiate from an outer region of 
homes. Beyond these two zones, again, those whose 
connection with the great city was merely inter- 
mittent would constitute a system of suburban 

42 Anticipations 

houses and areas. But the grouping of these, also, 
would be determined finally by the convenience 
of access to the dominant centre. That secondary 
centres, literary, social, political, or military, may 
arise about the initial trade centre, complicates the 
application but does not alter the principle here 
stated. They must all be within striking distance. 
The day of twenty-four hours is an inexorable 
human condition, and up to the present time all 
intercourse and business has been broken into spells 
of definite duration by intervening nights. More- 
over, almost all effective intercourse has involved 
personal presence at the point where intercourse 
occurs. The possibility, therefore, of going and 
coming and doing that day's work has hitherto 
fixed the extreme limits to which a city could grow, 
and has exacted a compactness which has always 
been very undesirable and which is now for the first 
time in the world's history no longer imperative. 

So far as we can judge without a close and uncon- 
genial scrutiny of statistics, that daily journey, that 
has governed and still to a very considerable extent 
governs the growth of cities, has had, and probably 
always will have, a maximum limit of two hours, one 
hour each way from sleeping place to council chamber, 
counter, workroom, or office stool. And taking this 
assumption as sound, we can state precisely the 
maximum area of various types of town. A pedes- 
trian agglomeration such as we find in China, and 

The Probable Diffusion of Great Cities 43 

such as most of the European towns probably were 
before the nineteenth century, would be swept entirely 
by a radius of four miles about the business quarter 
and industrial centre ; and, under these circumstances, 
where the area of the feeding regions has been very 
large the massing of human beings has probably 
reached its extreme limit. 1 Of course, in the case of 
a navigable river, for example, the commercial centre 
might be elongated into a line and the circle of the 
city modified into an ellipse with a long diameter 
considerably exceeding eight miles, as, for example, 
in the case of Hankow. 

If, now, horseflesh is brought into the problem, an 
outer radius of six or eight miles from the centre will 
define a larger area in which the carriage folk, the 
hackney users, the omnibus customers, and their 
domestics and domestic camp followers may live and 
still be members of the city. Towards that limit 
London was already probably moving at the accession 
of Queen Victoria, and it was clearly the absolute 
limit of urban growth until locomotive mechanisms 
capable of more than eight miles an hour could be 

And then there came suddenly the railway and the 
steamship, the former opening with extraordinary 
abruptness a series of vast through-routes for trade, 

1 It is worth remarking that in 1801 the density of population in the 
City of London was half as dense again as that of any district, even of 
the densest " slum " districts, to-day. 

44 Anticipations 

the latter enormously increasing the security and 
economy of the traffic on the old water routes. For 
a time neither of these inventions was applied to the 
needs of intra-urban transit at all. For a time they 
were purely centripetal forces. They worked simply 
to increase the general volume of trade, to increase, 
that is, the pressure of population upon the urban 
centres. As a consequence the social history of the 
middle and later thirds of the nineteenth century, not 
simply in England but all over the civilized world, is 
the history of a gigantic rush of population into the 
magic radius of for most people four miles, to 
suffer there physical and moral disaster less acute 
but, finally, far more appalling to the imagination 
than any famine or pestilence that ever swept the 
world. Well has Mr. George Gissing named nine- 
teenth-century London in one of his great novels the 
" Whirlpool," the very figure for the nineteenth- 
century Great City, attractive, tumultuous, and 
spinning down to death. 

But, indeed, these great cities are no permanent 
maelstroms. These new forces, at present still so 
potently centripetal in their influence, bring with 
them, nevertheless, the distinct promise of a centri- 
fugal application that may be finally equal to the 
complete reduction of all our present congestions. 
The limit of the pre-railway city was the limit of 
man and horse. But already that limit has been 
exceeded, and each day brings us nearer to the time 

The Probable Diffusion of Great Cities 45 

when it will be thrust outward in every direction with 
an effect of enormous relief. 

So far the only additions to the foot and horse of 
the old dispensation that have actually come into 
operation, are the suburban railways, which render 
possible an average door to office hour's journey 
of ten or a dozen miles further only in the case of 
some specially favoured localities. The star-shaped 
contour of the modern great city, thrusting out arms 
along every available railway line, knotted arms of 
which every knot marks a station, testify sufficiently 
to the relief of pressure thus afforded. Great Towns 
before this century presented rounded contours and 
grew as a puff-ball swells ; the modern Great City 
looks like something that has burst an intolerable 
envelope and splashed. But, as our previous paper 
has sought to make clear, these suburban railways are 
the mere first rough expedient of far more convenient 
and rapid developments. 

We are as the Census Returns for 1901 quite 
clearly show in the early phase of a great develop- 
ment of centrifugal possibilities. And since it has 
been shown that a city of pedestrians is inexorably 
limited by a radius of about four miles, and that a 
horse-using city may grow out to seven or eight, it 
follows that the available area of a city which can 
offer a cheap suburban journey of thirty miles an 
hour is a circle with a radius of thirty miles. And is 
it too much, therefore, in view of all that has been 

46 Anticipations 

adduced in this and the previous paper, to expect 
that the available area for even the common daily 
toilers of the great city of the year 2000, or earlier, 
will have a radius very much larger even than that ? 
Now, a circle with a radius of thirty miles gives an 
area of over 2800 square miles, which is almost a 
quarter that of Belgium. But thirty miles is only a 
very moderate estimate of speed, and the reader of 
the former paper will agree, I think, that the available 
area for the social equivalent of the favoured season- 
ticket holders of to-day will have a radius of over one 
hundred miles, and be almost equal to the area of 
Ireland. 1 The radius that will sweep the area avail- 
able for such as now live in the outer suburbs will 
include a still vaster area. Indeed, it is not too much 
to say that the London citizen of the year 2000 A.D. 
may have a choice of nearly all England and Wales 
south of Nottingham and east of Exeter as his suburb, 
and that the vast stretch of country from Washington 
to Albany will be all of it " available " to the active 
citizen of New York and Philadelphia before that 

This does not for a moment imply that cities of 
the density of our existing great cities will spread to 
these limits. Even if we were to suppose the increase 
of the populations of the great cities to go on at its 
present rate, this enormous extension of available 

1 Be it noted that the phrase " available area " is used, and various 
other modifying considerations altogether waived for the present 

The Probable Diffusion of Great Cities 47 

area would still mean a great possibility of diffusion. 
But though most great cities are probably still very 
far from their maxima, though the network of feed- 
ing railways has still to spread over Africa and China, 
and though huge areas are still imperfectly productive 
for want of a cultivating population, yet it is well to 
remember that for each great city, quite irrespective 
of its available spaces, a maximum of population is 
fixed. Each great city is sustained finally by the 
trade and production of a certain proportion of the 
world's surface by the area it commands commer- 
cially. The great city cannot grow, except as a 
result of some quite morbid and transitory process 
to be cured at last by famine and disorder beyond 
the limit the commercial capacity of that commanded 
area prescribes. Long before the population of this 
city, with its inner circle a third of the area of 
Belgium, rose towards the old-fashioned city density, 
this restriction would come in. Even if we allowed 
for considerable increase in the production of food 
stuffs in the future, it still remains inevitable that 
the increase of each city in the world must come at 
last upon arrest. 

Yet, though one may find reasons for anticipating 
that this city will in the end overtake and surpass 
that one and such-like relative prophesying, it is 
difficult to find any data from which to infer the 
absolute numerical limits of these various diffused 
cities. Or perhaps it is more seemly to admit that 

48 Anticipations 

no such data have occurred to the writer. So far as 
London, St. Petersburg, and Berlin go, it seems fairly 
safe to assume that they will go well over twenty 
millions ; and that New York, Philadelphia, and 
Chicago will probably, and Hankow almost certainly, 
reach forty millions. Yet even forty millions over 
thirty-one thousand square miles of territory is, in 
comparison with four millions over fifty square miles, 
a highly diffused population. 

How far will that possible diffusion accomplish 
itself? Let us first of all consider the case of those 
classes that will be free to exercise a choice in the 
matter, and we shall then be in a better position to 
consider those more numerous classes whose general 
circumstances are practically dictated to them. 
What will be the forces acting upon the prosperous 
household, the household with a working head and 
four hundred a year and upwards to live upon, in 
the days to come ? Will the resultant of these forces 
be, as a rule, centripetal or centrifugal? Will such 
householders in the greater London pf 2000 A.D. still 
cluster for the most part, as they do to-day, in a 
group of suburbs as close to London as is compatible 
with a certain fashionable maximum of garden space 
and air ; or will they leave the ripened gardens and 
the no longer brilliant villas of Surbiton and Nor- 
wood, Tooting and Beckenham, to other and less 
independent people ? First, let us weigh the centri- 
fugal attractions. 

The Probable Diffusion of Great Cities 49 

The first of these is what is known as the passion 
for nature, that passion for hillside, wind, and sea 
that is evident in so many people nowadays, either 
frankly expressed or disguising itself as a passion 
for golfing, fishing, hunting, yachting, or cycling ; 
and, secondly, there is the allied charm of cultivation, 
and especially of gardening, a charm that is partly 
also the love of dominion, perhaps, and partly a 
personal love for the beauty of trees and flowers and 
natural things. Through that we come to a third 
factor, that craving strongest, perhaps, in those Low 
German peoples, who are now ascendant throughout 
the world for a little private imperium such as a 
house or cottage "in its own grounds " affords ; and 
from that we pass on to the intense desire so many 
women feel and just the women, too, who will 
mother the future their almost instinctive demand, 
indeed, for a household, a separate sacred and dis- 
tinctive household, built and ordered after their own 
hearts, such as in its fulness only the country-side 
permits. Add to these things the healthfulness of 
the country for young children, and the wholesome 
isolation that is possible from much that irritates, 
stimulates prematurely, and corrupts in crowded 
centres, and the chief positive centrifugal inducements 
are stated, inducements that no progress of inven- 
tions, at any rate, can ever seriously weaken. What 
now are the centripetal forces against which these 
inducements contend ? 


50 Anticipations 

In the first place, there are a group of forces that 
will diminish in strength. There is at present the 
greater convenience of "shopping" within a short 
radius of the centre of the great city, a very important 
consideration indeed to many wives and mothers. 
All the inner and many of the outer suburbs of 
London obtain an enormous proportion of the ordi- 
nary household goods from half a dozen huge furni- 
ture, grocery, and drapery firms, each of which has 
been enabled by the dearness and inefficiency of the 
parcels distribution of the post-office and railways 
to elaborate a now very efficient private system of 
taking orders and delivering goods. Collectively 
these great businesses have been able to establish a 
sort of monopoly of suburban trade, to overwhelm 
the small suburban general tradesman (a fate that 
was inevitable for him in some way or other), and 
which is a positive world- wide misfortune to over- 
whelm also many highly specialized shops and dealers 
of the central district. Suburban people nowadays 
get their wine and their novels, their clothes and their 
amusements, their furniture and their food, from some 
one vast indiscriminate shop or "store" full of respec- 
table mediocre goods, as excellent a thing for house- 
keeping as it is disastrous to taste and individuality. 1 

1 Their temporary suppression of the specialist is indeed carried to 
such an extent that one may see even such things as bronze ornaments 
and personal jewellery listed in Messrs. Omnium's list, and stored in 
list designs and pattern ; and their assistants will inform you that their 
brooch, No. 175, is now " very much worn," without either blush or 

The Probable Diffusion of Great Cities 51 

But it is doubtful if the delivery organization of these 
great stores is any more permanent than the token 
coinage of the tradespeople of the last century. Just 
as it was with that interesting development, so now 
it is with parcels distribution : private enterprise 
supplies in a partial manner a public need, and with 
the organization of a public parcels and goods delivery 
on cheap and sane lines in the place of our present 
complex, stupid, confusing, untrustworthy, and fan- 
tastically costly chaos of post-office, railways, and 
carriers, it is quite conceivable that Messrs. Omnium 
will give place again to specialized shops. 

It must always be remembered how timid, tentative, 
and dear the postal and telephone services of even 
the most civilized countries still are, and how in- 
exorably the needs of revenue, public profit, and 
convenience fight in these departments against the 
tradition of official leisure and dignity. There is no 
reason now, except that the thing is not yet properly 
organized, why a telephone call from any point in such 
a small country as England to any other should cost 
much more than a postcard. There is no reason now, 
save railway rivalries and retail ideas obstacles some 
able and active man is certain to sweep away sooner 
or later why the post-office should not deliver parcels 
anywhere within a radius of a hundred miles in a few 
hours at a penny or less for a pound and a little over, 1 

' l The present system of charging 'parcels by the pound, when goods 
are sold by the pound, and so getting a miserly profit in the packing. 

52 Anticipations 

put our newspapers in our letter-boxes direct from 
the printing-office, and, in fact, hand in nearly every 
constant need of the civilized household, except 
possibly butcher's meat, coals, green-grocery, and 
drink. And since there is no reason, but quite re- 
movable obstacles, to prevent this development of 
the post-office, I imagine it will be doing all these 
things within the next half-century. When it is, this 
particular centripetal pull, at any rate, will have 
altogether ceased to operate. 

A second important centripetal consideration at 
present is the desirability of access to good schools 
and to the doctor. To leave the great centres is 
either to abandon one's children, or to buy air for 
them at the cost of educational disadvantages. But 
access, be it noted, is another word for transit. It is 
doubtful if these two needs will so much keep people 
close to the great city centres as draw them together 
about secondary centres. New centres they may 
be compare Hindhead, for example in many cases ; 
but also, it may be, in many cases the more healthy 
and picturesque of the existing small towns will 
develop a new life. Already, in the case of the 
London area, such once practically autonomous 
places as Guildford, Tunbridge Wells, and Godalming 
have become economically the centres of lax suburbs, 
and the same fate may very probably overtake, for 

is surely one of the absurdest disregards of the obvious it is possible to 

The Probable Diffusion of Great Cities 53 

example, Shrewsbury, Stratford, and Exeter, and 
remoter and yet remoter townships. Indeed, for all 
that this particular centripetal force can do, the con- 
fluent " residential suburbs " of London, of the great 
Lancashire- Yorkshire city, and of the Scotch city, 
may quite conceivably replace the summer lodging- 
house watering-places of to-day, and extend them- 
selves right round the coast of Great Britain, before 
the end of the next century, and every open space of 
mountain and heather be dotted not too thickly 
with clumps of prosperous houses about school, doctor, 
engineers, book and provision shops. 

A third centripetal force will not be set aside so 
easily. The direct antagonist it is to that love of 
nature that drives people out to moor and mountain. 
One may call it the love of the crowd ; and closely 
allied to it is that love of the theatre which holds so 
many people in bondage to the Strand. Charles 
Lamb was the Richard Jefferies of this group of 
tendencies, and the current disposition to exaggerate 
the opposition force, especially among English-speak- 
ing peoples, should not bind us to the reality of their 
strength. Moreover, interweaving with these in- 
fluences that draw people together are other more 
egotistical and intenser motives, ardent in youth and 
by no means to judge by the Folkestone Leas 
extinct in age, the love of dress, the love of the 
crush, the hot passion for the promenade. Here, no 
doubt, what one may speak of loosely as " racial " 

54 Anticipations 

characteristics count for much. The common actor 
and actress of all nationalities, the Neapolitan, the 
modern Roman, the Parisian, the Hindoo, I am told, 
and that new and interesting type, the rich and 
liberated Jew emerging from his Ghetto and free now 
absolutely to show what stuff he is made of, flame out 
most gloriously in this direction. To a certain extent 
this group of tendencies may lead to the formation of 
new secondary centres within the " available " area, 
theatrical and musical centres centres of extreme 
Fashion and Selectness, centres of smartness and 
opulent display but it is probable that for the large 
number of people throughout the world who cannot 
afford to maintain households in duplicate these will 
be for many years yet strictly centripetal forces, and 
will keep them within the radius marked by what- 
ever will be the future equivalent in length of, say, 
the present two-shilling cab ride in London. 

And, after all, for all such "shopping" as one 
cannot do by telephone or postcard, it will still be 
natural for the shops to be gathered together in some 
central place. And "shopping" needs refreshment, 
and may culminate in relaxation. So that Bond 
Street and Regent Street, the Boulevard des Capu- 
chins, the Corso, and Broadway will still be brilliant 
and crowded for many years for all the diffusion that 
is here forecast all the more brilliant and crowded, 
perhaps, for the lack of a thronging horse traffic down 
their central ways. But the very fact that the old 

The Probable Diffusion of Great Cities 55 

nucleus is still to be the best place for all who trade 
in a concourse of people, for novelty shops and art 
shops, and theatres and business buildings, by keep- 
ing up the central ground values will operate against 
residence there and shift the " masses " outwardly. 

And once people have been driven into cab, train, 
or omnibus, the only reason why they should get out 
to a residence here rather than there is the necessity 
of saving time, and such a violent upward gradient of 
fares as will quite outbalance the downward gradient 
of ground values. We have, however, already fore- 
cast a swift, varied, and inevitably competitive sub- 
urban traffic. And so, though the centre will 
probably still remain the centre and " Town," it will 
be essentially a bazaar, a great gallery of shops and 
places of concourse and rendezvous, a pedestrian 
place, its pathways reinforced by lifts and moving 
platforms, and shielded from the weather, and 
altogether a very spacious, brilliant, and entertaining 

Enough now has been said to determine the general 
nature of the expansion of the great cities in the 
future, so far as the more prosperous classes are 
concerned. It will not be a regular diffusion like the 
diffusion of a gas, but a process of throwing out the 
" homes," and of segregating various types of people. 
The omens seem to point pretty unmistakably to a 
wide and quite unprecedented diversity in the various 
suburban townships and suburban districts. Of that 

56 Anticipations 

aspect of the matter a later paper must treat. It is 
evident that from the outset racial and national 
characteristics will tell in this diffusion. We are 
getting near the end of the great Democratic, Whole- 
sale, or Homogeneous phase in the world's history. 
The sport-loving Englishman, the sociable French- 
man, the vehement American will each diffuse his 
own great city in his own way. 

And now, how will the increase in the facilities 
of communication we have assumed affect the con- 
dition of those whose circumstances are more largely 
dictated by economic forces ? The mere diffusion 
of a large proportion of the prosperous and relatively 
free, and the multiplication of various types of road 
and mechanical traction, means, of course, that in 
this way alone a perceptible diffusion of the less 
independent classes will occur. To the subsidiary 
centres will be drawn doctor and schoolmaster, and 
various dealers in fresh provisions, baker, grocer, 
butcher ; or if they are already established there they 
will flourish more and more, and about them the 
convenient home of the future, with its numerous 
electrical and mechanical appliances, and the various 
bicycles, motor-cars, photographic and phonographic 
apparatus that will be included in its equipment 
will gather a population of repairers, " accessory " 
dealers and working engineers, a growing class which 
from its necessary intelligence and numbers will play 
a very conspicuous part in the social development 

The Probable Diffusion of Great Cities 57 

of the twentieth century. The much more elaborate 
post-office and telephone services will also bring 
intelligent ingredients to these suburban nuclei, these 
restorations of the old villages and country towns. 
And the sons of the cottager within the affected area 
will develop into the skilled vegetable or flower 
gardeners, the skilled ostler with some veterinary 
science and so forth, for whom also there will 
evidently be work and a living. And dotted at 
every convenient position along the new roads, 
availing themselves no doubt whenever possible of 
the picturesque inns that the old coaching days 
have left us, will be wayside restaurants and tea 
houses, and motor and cycle stores and repair places. 
So much diffusion is practically inevitable. 

In addition, as we have already intimated, many 
Londoners in the future may abandon the city office 
altogether, preferring to do their business in more 
agreeable surroundings. Such a business as book 
publishing, for example, has no unbreakable bonds 
to keep it in the region of high rent and congested 
streets. The days when the financial fortunes of 
books depended upon the colloquial support of 
influential people in a small Society are past ; 
neither publishers nor authors as a class have any 
relation to Society at all, and actual access to news- 
paper offices is necessary only to the ranker forms 
of literary imposture. That personal intercourse 
between publishers and the miscellaneous race of 

58 Anticipations 

authors which once justified the central position has, 
I am told, long since ceased. And the withdrawing 
publishers may very well take with them the printers 
and binders, and attract about them their illustrators 
and designers. . . , So, as a typical instance, one 
now urban trade may detach itself. 

Publishing is, however, only one of the many 
similar trades equally profitable and equally likely 
to motfe outward to secondary centres, with the 
development and cheapening of transit. It is all 
a question of transit. Limitation of transit contracts 
the city, facilitation expands and disperses it. All 
this case for diffusion so far is built up entirely on 
the hypothesis we attempted to establish in the first 
paper, that transit of persons and goods alike is to 
become easier, swifter, and altogether better organized 
than it is at present. 

The telephone will almost certainly prove a very 
potent auxiliary indeed to the forces making for 
diffusion. At present that convenience is still need- 
lessly expensive in Great Britain, and a scandalously 
stupid business conflict between telephone company 
and post -office delays, complicates, and makes 
costly and exasperating all trunk communications ; 
but even under these disadvantages the thing is 
becoming a factor in the life of ordinary villadom. 
Consider all that lies within its possibilities. Take 
first the domestic and social side ; almost all the 
labour of ordinary shopping can be avoided goods 

The Probable Diffusion of Great Cities 59 

nowadays can be ordered and sent either as sold 
outright, or on approval, to any place within a 
hundred miles of London, and in one day they can 
be examined, discussed, and returned at any rate, 
in theory. The mistress of the house has all her 
local tradesmen, all the great London shops, the 
circulating library, the theatre box-office, the post- 
office and cab-rank, the nurses' institute and the 
doctor, within reach of her hand. The instrument 
we may confidently expect to improve, but even now 
speech is perfectly clear and distinct over several 
hundred miles of wire. Appointments and invitations 
can be made ; and at a cost varying from a penny to 
two shillings any one within two hundred miles of 
home may speak day or night into the ear of his or 
her household. Were it not for that unmitigated 
public nuisance, the practical control of our post- 
office by non-dismissable Civil servants, appointed 
so young as to be entirely ignorant of the un- 
official world, it would be possible now to send 
urgent messages at any hour of the day or night 
to any part of the world ; and even our sacred 
institution of the Civil Service can scarcely prevent 
this desirable consummation for many years more. 
The business man may then sit at home in his library 
and bargain, discuss, promise, hint, threaten, tell such 
lies as he dare not write, and, in fact, do everything 
that once demanded a personal encounter. Already 
for a great number of businesses it is no longer 

6o Anticipations 

necessary that the office should be in London, and 
only habit, tradition, and minor considerations keep 
it there. With the steady cheapening and the 
steady increase in efficiency of postal and telephonic 
facilities, and of goods transit, it seems only reason- 
able to anticipate the need for that expensive office 
and the irksome daily journey will steadily decline. 
In other words, what will still be economically the 
" city," as distinguished from the " agricultural " 
population, will probably be free to extend, in the 
case of all the prosperous classes not tied to large 
establishments in need of personal supervision, far 
beyond the extreme limits of the daily hour journey. 

But the diffusion of the prosperous, independent, 
and managing classes involves in itself a very con- 
siderable diffusion of the purely "working" classes 
also. Their centres of occupation will be distributed, 
and their freedom to live at some little distance from 
their work will be increased. Whether this will mean 
dotting the country with dull, ugly little streets, slum 
villages like Buckfastleigh in Devon, for example, or 
whether it may result in entirely different and novel 
aspects, is a point for which at present we are not 
ready. But it bears upon the question that ugliness 
and squalor upon the main road will appeal to the 
more prosperous for remedy with far more vigour 
than when they are stowed compactly in a slum. 

Enough has been said to demonstrate that old 
" town " and " city " will be, in truth, terms as obsolete 

The Probable Diffusion of GreaJ Cities 61 

as "mail coach." For these new areas that will 
grow out of them we want a term, "and the adminis- 
trative " urban district " presents .itself with a con- 
venient air of suggestion. We m/ay for our present 
purposes call these coming tow)n provinces " urban 
regions." Practically, by a process of confluence, the 
whole of Great Britain south of/ the Highlands seems 
destined to become such an 'urban region, laced all 
together not only by railway and telegraph, but by 
novel roads such as we forecast in the former chapter, 
and by a dense network of t elephones, parcels delivery 
tubes, and the like nervou?; and arterial connections. 

It will certainly be a aarious and varied region, far 
less monotonous than ou r present English world, still 
in its thinner regions, ? k t any rate, wooded, perhaps 
rather more abundantly wooded, breaking continually 
into park and garden, and with everywhere a scatter- 
ing of houses. These will not, as a rule, I should 
fancy, follow the fashion of the vulgar ready-built 
villas of the' existing su/burb, because the freedom 
people will be able: to exercise in the choice of a site 
will rob the "building estate" promoter of his local 
advantage ; in many cases the houses may very 
probably be personal, homes, built for themselves as 
much as, the Tudor manor-houses were, and even, in 
some cases, as aesthetically right. Each district, I 
am inclined to think, will develop its own differences 
of type and style. As one travels through the urban 
region, one will traverse open, breezy, " horsey " 


J^^H \ 

suburbs, smart V white gates and palings everywhere, 
good turf, a Gran\d Stand shining pleasantly ; garden- 
ing districts all .set with gables and roses, holly 
hedges, and emeraVd lawns ; pleasant homes among 
heathery moorlands\ and golf links, and river districts 
with gaily painted ( boat-houses peeping from, the 
osiers. Then presently a gathering of houses closer 
together, and a promenade and a whiff of band and 
dresses, and then, perhaps, a little island of agricul- 
ture, hops, or strawberry gardens, fields of grey- 
plumed artichokes, white-painted orchard, or brightly 
neat poultry farm. Through the varied country the 
new wide roads will run, mire cutting through a crest 
and there running lil^e some, colossal aqueduct across 
a valley, swarming always with a multitudinous 
traffic of bright, swift (and .not', necessarily ugly) 
mechanisms ; and everywhere amidst the fields and 
trees linking wires will stretch from pole to pole. 
Ever and again there will appear a cluster of cottages 
cottages into which we shall presently look more 
closely about some works or workings, works, it may 
be, with the smoky chimney of to-day replaced by a 
gaily painted windwheel or waterwheel to gather and 
store the force for the machinery ; and ever and 
again will come a little town, with its cherished 
ancient church or cathedral, its school buildings and 
museums, its railway-station, perhaps its fire-station, 
its inns and restaurants, and with all the wires of the 
countryside converging to its offices. All that is 

The Probable Diffusion of Great Cities 63 

pleasant and fair of our present countryside may 
conceivably still be there among the other things. 
There is no reason why the essential charm of the 
country should disappear ; the new roads will not 
supersede the present high roads, which will still be 
necessary for horses and subsidiary traffic ; and the 
lanes and hedges, the field paths and wild flowers, 
will still have their ample justification. A certain 
lack of solitude there may be perhaps, and 

Will conspicuous advertisements play any part in 
the landscape ? . . . 

But I find my pen is running ahead, an imagina- 
tion prone to realistic constructions is struggling to 
paint a picture altogether prematurely. There is 
very much to be weighed and decided before we can 
get from our present generalization to the style of 
architecture these houses will show, and to the power 
and nature of the public taste. We have laid down 
now the broad lines of road, railway, and sea transit 
in the coming century, and we have got this general 
prophecy of " urban regions " established, and for the 
present that much must euffice. 

And as for the world beyond our urban regions ? 
The same line of reasoning that leads to the expecta- 
tion that the city will diffuse itself until it has taken 
up considerable areas and many of the characteristics, 
the greenness, the fresh air, of what is now country, 
leads us to suppose also that the country will take to 
itself many of the qualities of the city. The old 

64 Anticipations 

antithesis will indeed cease, the boundary lines will 
altogether disappear ; it will become, indeed, merely 
a question of more or less populous. There will be 
horticulture and agriculture going on within the 
" urban regions," and " urbanity " without them. 
Everywhere, indeed, over the land of the globe 
between the frozen circles, the railway and the new 
roads will spread, the net-work of communication 
wires and safe and convenient ways. To receive the 
daily paper a few hours late, to wait a day or so for 
goods one has ordered, will be the extreme measure 
of rusticity save in a few remote islands and in- 
accessible places. The character of the meshes in 
that wider network of roads that will be the country, 
as distinguished from the urban district, will vary 
with the soil, the climate and the tenure of the land 
will vary, too, with the racial and national differ- 
ences. But throughout all that follows, this mere 
relativity of the new sort of town to the new sort of 
country over which the new sorts of people we are 
immediately to consider will be scattered, must be 
borne in mind. 

[At the risk of insistence, I must repeat that, so far, 
I have been studiously taking no account of the fact 
that there is such a thing as a boundary line or a 
foreigner in the world. It will be far the best thing 
to continue to do this until we can get out all that 
will probably happen universally or generally, and in 

The Probable Diffusion of Great Cities 65 

particular the probable changes in social forces, social 
apparatus and internal political methods. We shall 
then come to the discussion of language, nationality 
and international conflicts, equipped with such an 
array of probabilities and possibilities as will enable 
us to guess at these special issues with an appearance 
of far more precision than would be the case if we 
considered them now.] 



THE mere differences in thickness of population and 
facility of movement that have been discussed thus far, 
will involve consequences remarkable enough, upon 
the fades of the social body ; but there are certain 
still broader features of the social order of the coming 
time, less intimately related to transit, that it will 
be convenient to discuss at this stage. They are 
essentially outcomes of the enormous development 
of mechanism which has been the cardinal feature 
of the nineteenth century ; for this development, by 
altering the method and proportions of almost all 
human undertakings, 1 has altered absolutely the 
grouping and character of the groups of human 
beings engaged upon them. 

Throughout the world for forty centuries the more 
highly developed societies have always presented 
under a considerable variety of superficial differences 
certain features in common. Always at the base of 

1 Even the characteristic conditions of writing books, that least 
mechanical of pursuits, have been profoundly affected by the type- 

Developing Social Elements 67 

the edifice, supporting all, subordinate to all, and the 
most necessary of all, there has been the working 
cultivator, peasant, serf, or slave. Save for a little 
water-power, a little use of windmills, the traction of 
a horse or mule, this class has been the source of all 
the work upon which the community depends. And, 
moreover, whatever labour town developments have 
demanded has been supplied by the muscle of its 
fecund ranks. It has been, in fact and to some 
extent still is the multitudinous living machinery of 
the old social order ; it carried, cropped, tilled, built, 
and made. And, directing and sometimes owning 
this human machinery, there has always been a 
superior class, bound usually by a point of honour 
not to toil, often warlike, often equestrian, and some- 
times cultivated. In England this is the gentility, in 
most European countries it is organized as a nobility . 
it is represented in the history of India by the " twice 
born " castes, and in China the most philosophically 
conceived and the most stably organized social system 
the old order ever developed it finds its equivalent 
in the members of a variously buttoned mandarinate, 
who ride, not on horses, but on a once adequate and 
still respectable erudition. These two primary classes 
may and do become in many cases complicated 
by subdivisions ; the peasant class may split into 
farmers and labourers, the gentlemen admit a series 
of grades and orders, kings, dukes, earls, and the 
like, but the broad distinction remains intact, as 

68 Anticipations 

though it was a distinction residing in the nature 
of things. 1 

From the very dawn of history until the first be- 
ginnings of mechanism in the eighteenth century, 
this simple scheme of orders was the universal 
organization of all but savage humanity, and the 
chief substance of history until these later years 
has been in essence the perpetual endeavour of 
specific social systems of this type to attain in every 
region the locally suitable permanent form, in face of 
those two inveterate enemies of human stability, 
innovation, and that secular increase in population 
that security permits. The imperfection of the means 
of communication rendered political unions of a 
greater area than that swept by a hundred-mile radius 
highly unstable. It was a world of small states. Lax 
empires came and went, at the utmost they were the 
linking of practically autonomous states under a 
common Pax. Wars were usually wars between 
kingdoms, conflicts of this local experiment in social 
organization with that. Through all the historical 
period these two well-defined classes of gentle and 

1 To these two primary classes the more complicated societies have 
added others. There is the priest, almost always in the social order of 
the pre-railway period, an integral part, a functional organ of the social 
body, and there are the lawyer and the physician. And in the towns 
constituting, indeed, the towns there appear, as an outgrowth of 
the toiling class, a little emancipated from the gentleman's direct con- 
trol, the craftsman, the merchant, and the trading sailor, essentially 
accessory classes, producers of, and dealers in, the accessories of life, 
and mitigating and clouding only very slightly that broad duality. 

Developing Social Elements 69 

simple acted and reacted upon each other, every 
individual in each class driven by that same will to 
live and do, that imperative of self-establishment and 
aggression that is the spirit of this world. Until the 
coming of gunpowder, the man on horseback com- 
monly with some sort of armour was invincible in 
battle in the open. Wherever the land lay wide and 
unbroken, and the great lines of trade did not fall, 
there the horseman was master or the clerkly man 
behind the horseman. Such a land was aristocratic 
and tended to form castes. The craftsman sheltered 
under a patron, and in guilds in a walled town, and 
the labourer was a serf. He was ruled over by his 
knight or by his creditor in the end it matters little 
how the gentleman began. But where the land 
became difficult by reason of mountain or forest, or 
where water greatly intersected it, the pikeman or 
closer-fighting swordsman or the bowman could hold 
his own, and a democratic flavour, a touch of re- 
pudiation, was in the air. In such countries as Italy, 
Greece, the Alps, the Netherlands, and Great Britain, 
the two forces of the old order, the aristocrat and the 
common man, were in a state of unstable equilibrium 
through the whole period of history. A slight 
change 1 in the details of the conflict for existence 
could tilt the balance. A weapon a little better 
adapted to one class than the other, or a slight widen- 
ing of the educational gap, worked out into historically 
1 Slight, that is, in comparison with nineteenth-century changes. 

70 Anticipations 

imposing results, to dynastic changes, class revolu- 
tions and the passing of empires. 

Throughout it was essentially one phase of human 
organization. When one comes to examine the final 
result, it is astonishing to remark the small amount 
of essential change, of positively final and irreparable 
alteration, in the conditions of the common life. 
Consider, for example, how entirely in sympathy was 
the close of the eighteenth century with the epoch 
of Horace, and how closely equivalent were the 
various social aspects of the two periods. The 
literature of Rome was living reading in a sense that 
has suddenly passed away, it fitted all occasions, it 
conflicted with no essential facts in life. It was a 
commonplace of the thought of that time that all 
things recurred, all things circled back to their former 
seasons ; there was nothing new under the sun. But 
now almost suddenly the circling has ceased, and 
we find ourselves breaking away. Correlated with 
the sudden development of mechanical forces that 
first began to be socially perceptible in the middle 
eighteenth century, has been the appearance of great 
masses of population, having quite novel functions 
and relations in the social body, and together with 
this appearance such a suppression, curtailment, and 
modification of the older classes, as to point to an 
entire disintegration of that system. The fades of 
the social fabric has changed, and as I hope to 
make clear is still changing in a direction from 

Developing Social Elements 71 

which, without a total destruction and rebirth of that 
fabric, there can never be any return. 

The most striking of the new classes to emerge is 
certainly the shareholding class, the owners of a sort 
of property new in the world's history. 

Before the eighteenth century the only property 
of serious importance consisted of land and buildings. 
These were "real" estate. Beyond these things 
were live-stock, serfs, and the furnishings of real 
estate, the surface aspect of real estate, so to speak, 
personal property, ships, weapons, and the Semitic 
invention of money. All such property had to be 
actually " held " and administered by the owner, he 
was immediately in connection with it and responsible 
for it. He could leave it only precariously to a 
steward and manager, and to convey the revenue of 
it to him at a distance was a difficult and costly 
proceeding. To prevent a constant social disturbance 
by lapsing and dividing property, and in the absence 
of any organized agency to receive lapsed property, 
inheritance and preferably primogeniture were of such 
manifest advantage that the old social organization 
always tended in the direction of these institutions. 
Such usury as was practised relied entirely on the land 
and the anticipated agricultural produce of the land. 

But the usury and the sleeping partnerships of the 
Joint Stock Company system which took shape in 
the eighteenth and the earlier half of the nineteenth 
century opened quite unprecedented uses for money, 

72 Anticipations 

and created a practically new sort of property and a 
new proprietor class. The peculiar novelty of this 
property is easily defined. Given a sufficient senti- 
ment of public honesty, share property is property 
that can be owned at any distance and that yields 
its revenue without thought or care on the part of 
its proprietor ; it is, indeed, absolutely irresponsible 
property, a thing that no old world property ever was. 
But, in spite of its widely different nature, the laws 
of inheritance that the social necessities of the old 
order of things established have been applied to 
this new species of possession without remark. It 
is indestructible, imperishable wealth, subject only 
to the mutations of value that economic changes 
bring about. Related in its character of absolute 
irresponsibility to this shareholding class is a 
kindred class that has grown with the growth of 
the great towns, the people who live upon ground 
rents. There is every indication that this element 
of irresponsible, independent, and wealthy people 
in the social body, people who feel the urgency 
of no exertion, the pressure of no specific positive 
duties, is still on the increase, and may still for 
a long time increasingly preponderate. It over- 
shadows the responsible owner of real property 
or of real businesses altogether. And most of the 
old aristocrats, the old knightly and landholding 
people, have, so to speak, converted themselves 
into members of this new class. 

Developing Social Elements 73 

It is a class with scarcely any specific charac- 
teristics beyond its defining one, of the possession 
of property and all the potentialities property 
entails, with a total lack of function with regard 
to that property. It is not even collected into a 
distinct mass. It graduates insensibly into every 
other class, it permeates society as threads and 
veins of gold permeate quartz. It includes the 
millionaire snob, the political-minded plutocrat, the 
wealthy sensualist, open-handed religious fanatics, 
the " Charitable," the smart, the magnificently dull, 
the great army of timid creatures who tremble 
through life on a safe bare sufficiency, 1 travellers, 
hunters, minor poets, sporting enthusiasts, many 
of the officers in the British Army, and all sorts 
and conditions of amateurs. In a sense it includes 
several modern royalties, for the crown in several 
modern constitutional states is a corporation sole, 
and the monarch the unique, unlimited, and so far 
as necessity goes, quite functionless shareholder. 
He may be a heavy-eyed sensualist, a small-minded 
leader of fashion, a rival to his servants in the gay 
science of etiquette, a frequenter of race-courses and 
music-halls, a literary or scientific quack, a devotee, 
an amateur anything the point is that his income 
and sustenance have no relation whatever to his 
activities. If he fancies it, or is urged to it by 

1 It included, one remembers, Schopenhauer, but, as he remarked 
upon occasion, not Hegel. 

74 Anticipations 

those who have influence over him, he may even 
"be a king!" But that is not compulsory, not 
essential, and there are practically no conditional 
restrictions whatever laid upon him. 

Those who belong to this shareholding class only 
partially, who partially depend upon dividends and 
partially upon activities, occur in every rank and 
order of the whole social body. The waiter one 
tips probably has a hundred or so in some remote 
company, the will of the eminent labour reformer 
reveals an admirably distributed series of invest- 
ments, the bishop sells tea and digs coal, or at 
any rate gets a profit from some unknown persons 
tea-selling or coal-digging, to eke out the direct 
recompense of his own modest corn-treading. Indeed, 
above the labouring class, the number of individuals 
in the social body whose gross income is entirely 
the result of their social activities is very small. 
Previously in the world's history, saving a few 
quite exceptional aspects, the possession and reten- 
tion of property was conditional upon activities 
of some sort, honest or dishonest, work, force, or 
fraud. But the shareholding ingredient of our 
new society, so far as its shareholding goes, has 
no need of strength or wisdom ; the countless 
untraceable Owner of the modern world presents 
in a multitudinous form the image of a Merovingian 
king. The shareholder owns the world de jure, by 
the common recognition of the rights of property ; 

Developing Social Elements 75 

and the incumbency of knowledge, management, 
and toil fall entirely to others. He toils not, neither 
does he spin ; he is mechanically released from the 
penalty of the Fall, he reaps in a still sinful world 
all the practical benefits of a millennium without 
any of its moral limitations. 

It will be well to glance at certain considerations 
which point to the by no means self-evident proposi- 
tion, that this factor of irresponsible property is 
certain to be present in the social body a hundred 
years ahead. It has, no doubt, occurred to the reader 
that all the conditions of the shareholder's being 
unfit him for co-operative action in defence of the 
interests of his class. Since shareholders do nothing 
in common, except receive and hope for dividends, 
since they may be of any class, any culture, any 
disposition, or any level of capacity, since there is 
nothing to make them read the same papers, gather 
in the same places, or feel any sort of sympathy 
with each other beyond the universal sympathy of 
man for man, they will, one may anticipate, be 
incapable of any concerted action to defend the 
income they draw from society against any 
resolute attack. Such crude and obvious denials 
of the essential principles of their existence as the 
various Socialistic bodies have proclaimed have, no 
doubt, encountered a vast, unorganized, negative 
opposition from them, but the subtle and varied 
attack of natural forces they have neither the 

76 Anticipations 

collective intelligence to recognize, nor the natural 
organization to resist. The shareholding body is 
altogether too chaotic and diffused for positive 
defence. And the question of the prolonged exist- 
ence of this comparatively new social phenomenon, 
either in its present or some modified form, turns, 
therefore, entirely on the quasi-natural laws of the 
social body. If they favour it, it will survive ; when 
they do not, it will vanish as the mists of the 
morning before the sun. 

Neglecting a few exceptional older corporations 
which, indeed, in their essence are not usurious, but 
of unlimited liability, the shareholding body appeared 
first, in its present character, in the seventeenth 
century, and came to its full development in the 
mid-nineteenth. Was its appearance then due only 
to the attainment of a certain necessary degree of 
public credit, or was it correlated with any other 
force ? It seems in accordance with facts to relate 
it to another force, the development of mechanism, so 
far as certain representative aspects go. Hitherto 
the only borrower had been the farmer, then the ex- 
ploring trader had found a world too wide for purely 
individual effort, and then suddenly the craftsmen of 
all sorts and the carriers discovered the need of the 
new, great, wholesale, initially expensive appliances 
that invention was offering them. It was the develop- 
ment of mechanism that created the great bulk of 
modern shareholding, it took its present shape 

Developing Social Elements 77 

distinctively only with the appearance of the railways. 
The hitherto necessary but subordinate craftsman and 
merchant classes were to have new weapons, new 
powers, they were to develop to a new importance, 
to a preponderance even in the social body. But 
before they could attain these weapons, before this 
new and novel wealth could be set up, it had to pay 
its footing in an apportioned world, it had to buy its 
right to disturb the established social order. The 
dividend of the shareholder was the tribute the new 
enterprise had to pay the old wealth. The share was 
the manumission money of machinery. And essen- 
tially the shareholder represents and will continue 
to represent the responsible managing owner of a 
former state of affairs in process of supersession. 

If the great material developments of the nineteenth 
century had been final, if they had, indeed, constituted 
merely a revolution and not an absolute release from 
the fixed conditions about which human affairs circled, 
we might even now be settling accounts with our 
Merovingians as the socialists desire. But these 
developments were not final, and one sees no hint as 
yet of any coming finality. Invention runs free and 
our state is under its dominion. The novel is con- 
tinually struggling to establish itself at the relative 
or absolute expense of the old. The statesman's 
conception of social organization is no longer stability 
but growth. And so long as material progress con- 
tinues, this tribute must continue to be paid ; so long 

78 Anticipations 

as the stream of development flows, this necessary 
back eddy will endure. Even if we " municipalize " 
all sorts of undertakings we shall not alter the essential 
facts, we shall only substitute for the shareholder the 
corporation stockholder. The figure of an eddy is 
particularly appropriate. Enterprises will come and 
go, the relative values of kinds of wealth will alter, 
old appliances, old companies, will serve their time 
and fall in value, individuals will waste their sub- 
stance, individual families and groups will die out, 
certain portions of the share property of the world 
may be gathered, by elaborate manipulation, into a 
more or less limited number of hands, conceivably 
even families and groups will be taxed out by 
graduated legacy duties and specially apportioned 
income taxes, but, for all such possible changes and 
modifications, the shareholding element will still en- 
dure, so long as our present progressive and experi- 
mental state of society obtains. And the very 
diversity, laxity, and weakness of the general share- 
holding element, which will work to prevent its 
organizing itself in the interests of its property, or of 
evolving any distinctive traditions or positive cha- 
racters, will obviously prevent its obstructing the 
continual appearance of new enterprises, of new 
shareholders to replace the loss of its older con- 
stituents. . . . 

At the opposite pole of the social scale to that 
about which shareholding is most apparent, is a 

Developing Social Elements 79 

second necessary and quite inevitable consequence 
of the sudden transition that has occurred from a 
very nearly static social organization to a violently 
progressive one. This second consequence of progress 
is the appearance of a great number of people without 
either property or any evident function in the social 
organism. This new ingredient is most apparent in 
the towns, it is frequently spoken of as the Urban 
Poor, but its characteristic traits are to be found also 
in the rural districts. For the most part its in- 
dividuals are either criminal, immoral, parasitic in 
more or less irregular ways upon the more successful 
classes, or labouring, at something less than a regular 
bare subsistence wage, in a finally hopeless competi- 
tion against machinery that is as yet not so cheap as 
their toil. It is, to borrow a popular phrase, the 
" submerged " portion of the social body, a leaderless, 
aimless multitude, a multitude of people drifting 
down towards the abyss. Essentially it consists of 
people who have failed to " catch on " to the altered 
necessities the development of mechanism has brought 
about, they are people thrown out of employment by 
machinery, thrown out of employment by the escape 
of industries along some newly opened line of com- 
munication to some remote part of the world, or born 
under circumstances that give them no opportunity 
of entering the world of active work. Into this welter 
of machine-superseded toil there topples the non- 
adaptable residue of every changing trade ; its 

8o Anticipations 

members marry and are given in marriage, and it 
is recruited by the spendthrifts, weaklings, and failures 
of every superior class. 

Since this class was not apparent in masses in the 
relatively static, relatively less eliminatory, society 
of former times, its appearance has given rise to a 
belief that the least desirable section of the com- 
munity has become unprecedentedly prolific, that 
there is now going on a " Rapid Multiplication of the 
Unfit." But sooner or later, as every East End doctor 
knows, the ways of the social abyss lead to death, 
the premature death of the individual, or death 
through the death or infertility of the individual's 
stunted offspring, or death through that extinction 
which moral perversion involves. It is a recruited 
class, not a breeding multitude. Whatever expedients 
may be resorted to, to mitigate or conceal the essential 
nature of this social element, it remains in its essence 
wherever social progress is being made, the contingent 
of death. Humanity has set out in the direction of 
a more complex and exacting organization, and until, 
by a foresight to me at least inconceivable, it can 
prevent the birth of just all the inadaptable, useless, 
or merely unnecessary creatures in each generation, 
there must needs continue to be, in greater or less 
amount, this individually futile struggle beneath the 
feet of the race ; somewhere and in some form there 
must still persist those essentials that now take shape 
as the slum, the prison, and the asylum. All over 

Developing Social Elements 81 

the world, as the railway network has spread, in 
Chicago and New York as vividly as in London or 
Paris, the commencement of the new movement has 
been marked at once by the appearance of this bulky 
irremovable excretion, the appearance of these gall 
stones of vicious, helpless, and pauper masses. There 
seems every reason to suppose that this phenomenon 
of unemployed citizens, who are, in fact, unemployable, 
will remain present as a class, perishing individually 
and individually renewed, so long as civilization re- 
mains progressive and experimental upon its present 
lines. Their drowning existences may be utilized, the 
crude hardship of their lot may be concealed or miti- 
gated, 1 they may react upon the social fabric that is 
attempting to eliminate them, in very astounding 
ways, but their presence and their individual doom, 
it seems to me, will be unavoidable at any rate, for 
many generations of men. They are an integral part 
of this physiological process of mechanical progress, 
as inevitable in the social body as are waste matters 

1 A very important factor in this mitigation, a factor over which the 
humanely minded cannot too greatly rejoice, will be the philanthropic 
amusements of the irresponsible wealthy. There is a growing class of 
energetic people organizers, secretaries, preachers who cater to the 
philanthropic instinct, and who are, for all practical purposes, employ- 
ing a large and increasing section of suitable helpless people, in sup- 
plying to their customers, by means of religious acquiescence and light 
moral reforms, that sense of well-doing which is one of the least 
objectionable of the functionless pleasures of life. The attempts to 
reinstate these failures by means of subsidized industries will, in the end, 
of course, merely serve to throw out of employment other just subsisting 
strugglers ; it will probably make little or no difference in the nett result 
of the process. 


82 Anticipations 

and disintegrating cells in the body of an active and 
healthy man. 

The appearance of these two strange functionless 
elements, although the most striking symptom of the 
new phase of progressive mechanical civilization now 
beginning, is by no means the most essential change 
in progress. These appearances involve also certair 
disappearances. I have already indicated pretty 
clearly that the vast irregular development of irre- 
sponsible wealthy people is swallowing up and assimi- 
lating more and more the old class of administrative 
land-owning gentlemen in all their grades and degrees. 
The old upper class, as a functional member of the 
State, is being effaced. And I have also suggested 
that the old lower class, the broad necessary base of 
the social pyramid, the uneducated inadaptable 
peasants and labourers, is, with the development of 
toil-saving machinery, dwindling and crumbling down 
bit by bit towards the abyss. But side by side with 
these two processes is a third process of still pro- 
founder significance, and that is the reconstruction 
and the vast proliferation of what constituted the 
middle class of the old order. It is now, indeed, no 
longer a middle class at all. Rather all the definite 
classes in the old scheme of functional precedence 
have melted and mingled, 1 and in the molten mass 
there has appeared a vast intricate confusion of 
different sorts of people, some sailing* about upon 

1 I reserve any consideration of the special case of the " priest." 

Developing Social Elements 83 

floating masses of irresponsible property, some buoyed 
by smaller fragments, some clinging desperately 
enough to insignificant atoms, a great and varied 
multitude swimming successfully without aid, or with 
an amount of aid that is negligible in relation to 
their own efforts, and an equally varied multitude of 
less capable ones clinging to the swimmers, clinging 
to the floating rich, or clutching empty-handed and 
thrust and sinking down. This is the typical aspect 
of the modern community. It will serve as a general 
description of either the United States or any western 
European State, and the day is not far distant when 
the extension of means of communication, and of the 
shareholding method of conducting affairs, will make 
it applicable to the whole world. Save, possibly, in 
a few islands and inaccessible places and regardless 
of colour or creed, this process of deliquescence seems 
destined to spread. In a great diversity of tongues, 
in the phases of a number of conflicting moral and 
theological traditions, in the varying tones of con- 
trasting racial temperaments, the grandchildren of 
black and white, and red and brown, will be seeking 
more or less consciously to express themselves in 
relation to these new and unusual social conditions. 
But the c'hange itself is no longer amenable to their 
interpretations, the world- wide spreading of swift 
communication, the obliteration of town and country, 
the deliquescence of the local social order, have an 
air of being -processes as uncontrollable by such 

84 Anticipations 

collective intelligence as men can at present command, 
and as indifferent to his local peculiarities and pre- 
judices as the movements of winds and tides. . . . 

It will be obvious that the interest of this specula- 
tion, at any rate, centres upon this great intermediate 
mass of people who are neither passively wealthy, the 
sleeping partners of change, nor helplessly thrust out 
of the process. Indeed, from our point of view an 
inquiry into coming things these non-effective masses 
would have but the slightest interest were it not for 
their enormous possibilities of reaction upon the really 
living portion of the social organism. This really 
living portion seems at first sight to be as deliquescent 
in its nature, to be drifting down to as chaotic a 
structure as either the non-functional owners that 
float above it or the unemployed who sink below. 
What were once the definite subdivisions of the 
middle class modify and lose their boundaries. The 
retail tradesman of the towns, for example once a 
fairly homogeneous class throughout Europe ex- 
pands here into vast store companies, and dwindles 
there to be an agent or collector, seeks employment 
or topples outright into the abyss. But under a 
certain scrutiny one can detect here what we do not 
detect in our other two elements, and that is that, 
going on side by side with the processes of dissolution 
and frequently masked by these, there are other pro- 
cesses by which men, often of the most diverse paren- 
tage and antecedent traditions, are being segregated 

Developing Social Elements 85 

into a multitude of specific new groups which may 
presently develop very distinctive characters and 

There are, for example, the unorganized myriads 

that one can cover by the phrase " mechanics and 

engineers," if one uses it in its widest possible sense. 

At present it would be almost impossible to describe 

such a thing as a typical engineer, to predicate any 

universally applicable characteristic of the engineer 

and mechanic. The black-faced, oily man one figures 

emerging from the engine-room serves well enough, 

until one recalls the sanitary engineer with his 

additions of crockery and plumbing, the electrical 

engineer with his little tests and wires, the mining 

engineer, the railway maker, the motor builder, and 

the irrigation expert. Even if we take some specific 

branch of all this huge mass of new employment the 

coming of mechanism has brought with it, we still find 

an undigested miscellany. Consider the rude levy 

that is engaged in supplying and repairing the world's 

new need of bicycles ! Wheelwrights, watchmakers, 

blacksmiths, music-dealers, drapers, sewing-machine 

repairers, smart errand boys, ironmongers, individuals 

from all the older aspects of engineering, have been 

caught up by the new development, are all now, with 

a more or less inadequate knowledge and training, 

working in the new service. But is it likely that this 

will remain a rude levy? From all these varied 

people the world requires certain things, and a failure 

86 Anticipations 

to obtain them involves, sooner or later, in this com- 
petitive creation, an individual replacement and a 
push towards the abyss. The very lowest of them 
must understand the machine they contribute to 
make and repair, and not only is it a fairly complex 
machine in itself, but it is found in several types and 
patterns, and so far it has altered, and promises still 
to alter, steadily, by improvements in this part and 
that. No limited stock-in-trade of knowledge, such 
as suffices for a joiner or an ostler, will serve. They 
must keep on mastering new points, new aspects, 
they must be intelligent and adaptable, they must 
get a grasp of that permanent something that lies 
behind the changing immediate practice. In other 
words, they will have to be educated rather than 
trained after the fashion of the old craftsman. Just 
now this body of irregulars is threatened by the 
coming of the motors. The motors promise new 
difficulties, new rewards, and new competition. It is 
an ill look-out for the cycle mechanic who is not pre- 
pared to tackle the new problems that will arise. 
For all this next century this particular body of 
mechanics will be picking up new recruits and 
eliminating the incompetent and the rule-of-thumb 
sage. Can it fail, as the years pass, to develop certain 
general characters, to become so far homogeneous 
as to be generally conscious of the need of a scientific 
education, at any rate in mechanical and chemical 
matters, and to possess, down to its very lowest 

Developing Social Elements "87 

ranks and orders, a common fund of intellectual 
training ? 

But the makers and repairers of cycles, and that 
larger multitude that /will presently be concerned 
with motors, are, after All, only a small and specialized 
section of the general body of mechanics and engi- 
neers. Every year, with the advance of invention, 
new branches of activity, that change in their nature 
and methods all too rapidly for the establishment of 
rote and routine workers of the old type, call together 
fresh levies of amateurish workers and learners who 
must surely presently develop into, or give place to, 
bodies of qualified and capable men. And the point 
I would particularly insist upon here is, that through- 
out all its ranks and ramifications, from the organizing 
heads of great undertakings down to the assistant in 
the local repair shop, this new, great, and expanding 
body of mechanics and engineers will tend to become 
an educated and adaptable class in a sense that the 
craftsmen of former times were not educated and 
adaptable. Just how high the scientific and practical 
education may rise in the central levels of this 
body is a matter for subsequent speculation, just how 
much initiative will be found in the lowest ranks 
depends upon many very complex considerations. 
But that here we have at least the possibility, the 
primary creative conditions of a new, numerous, in- 
telligent, educated, and capable social element is, I 
think, a proposition with which the reader will agree. 

88 Anticipations 

What are the chief obstacles in the way of the 
emergence, from out the present chaos, of this social 
element equipped, organized, educated, conscious of 
itself and of distinctive aims, in the next hundred 
years? In the first place there is the spirit of trade 
unionism, the conservative contagion of the old 
craftsmanship. Trade Unions arose under the tradi- 
tion of the old order, when in every business, employer 
and employed stood in marked antagonism, stood as 
a special instance of the universal relationship of 
gentle or intelligent, who supplied, no labour, and 
simple, who supplied nothing else. The interest of 
the employer was to get as much labour as possible 
out of his hirelings ; the complementary object in life 
of the hireling, whose sole function was drudgery, 
who had no other prospect until death, was to give 
as little to his employer as possible. In order to 
keep the necessary labourer submissive, it was a 
matter of public policy to keep him uneducated and 
as near the condition of a beast of burden as possible, 
and in order to keep his life tolerable against that 
natural increase which all the moral institutions of 
his state promoted, the labourer stimulated if his 
efforts slackened by the touch of absolute misery 
was forced to devise elaborate rules for restricting 
the hours of toil, making its performance needlessly 
complex, and shirking with extreme ingenuity and 
conscientiousness. In the older trades, of which the 
building trade is foremost, these two traditions, 

Developing Social Elements 89 

reinforced by unimaginative building regulations, have 
practically arrested any advance whatever. 1 There 

1 I find it incredible that there will not be a sweeping revolution in 
the methods of building during the next century. The erection of a 
house-wall, come to think of it, is an astonishingly tedious and complex 
business ; the final result exceedingly unsatisfactory. It has been my 
lot recently to follow in detail the process of building a private dwelling- 
house, and the solemn succession of deliberate, respectable, perfectly 
satisfied men, who have contributed each so many days of his life to 
this accumulation of weak compromises, has enormously intensified my 
constitutional amazement at my fellow-creatures. The chief ingredient 
in this particular house-wall is the common brick, burnt earth, and but 
one step from the handfuls of clay of the ancestral mud hut, small in 
size and permeable to damp. Slowly, day by day, the walls grew 
tediously up, to a melody of tinkling trowels. These bricks are joined 
by mortar, which is mixed in small quantities, and must vary very 
greatly in its quality and properties throughout the house. In order to 
prevent the obvious evils of a wall of porous and irregular baked clay 
and lime mud, a damp course of tarred felt, which cannot possibly last 
more than a few years, was inserted about a foot from the ground. 
Then the wall, being quite insufficient to stand the heavy drift of 
weather to which it is exposed, was dabbled over with two coatings of 
plaster on the outside, the outermost- being given a primitive pic- 
turesqueness by means of a sham surface of rough-cast pebbles and white- 
wash, while within, to conceal the rough discomfort of the surface, 
successive coatings of plaster, and finally, paper, were added, with a 
wood-skirting at the foot thrice painted. Everything in this was hand 
work, the laying of the bricks, the dabbing of the plaster, the smooth- 
ing of the paper ; it is a house built of hands and some I saw were 
bleeding hands just as in the days of the pyramids, when the only 
engines were living men. The whole confection is now undergoing 
incalculable chemical reactions between its several parts. Lime, 
mortar, and microscopical organisms are producing undesigned chro- 
matic effects in the paper and plaster ; the plaster, having methods of 
expansion and contraction of its own, crinkles and cracks ; the skirting, 
having absorbed moisture and now drying again, opens its joints ; the 
rough-cast coquettes with the frost and opens chinks and crannies for 
the humbler creation. I fail to see the necessity of (and, accordingly, 
I resent bitterly) all these coral-reef methods. Better walls than this, 
and better and less life-wasting ways of making them, are surely 

go Anticipations 

can be no doubt that this influence has spread into 
what are practically new branches of work. Even 
where new conveniences have called for new types of 
workmen and have opened the way for the elevation 
of a group of labourers to the higher level of versatile 
educated men, 1 the old traditions have to a very large 
extent prevailed. The average sanitary plumber of 
to-day in England insists upon his position as a mere 
labourer as though it were some precious thing, he 
guards himself from improvement as a virtuous woman 
guards her honour, he works for specifically limited 
hours and by the hour with specific limitations in the 

possible. In the wall in question, concrete would have been cheaper 
and better than bricks if only "the men" had understood it. But I 
can dream at last of much more revolutionary affairs, of a thing running 
to and fro along a temporary rail, that will squeeze out wall as one 
squeezes paint from a tube, and form its surface with a pat or two as it 
sets. Moreover, I do not see at all why the walls of small dwelling- 
houses should be so solid as they are. There still hangs about us the 
monumental traditions of the pyramids. It ought to be possible to 
build sound, portable, and habitable houses of felted wire-netting and 
weather-proofed paper upon a light framework. This sort of thing is, 
no doubt, abominably ugly at present, but that is because architects and 
designers, being for the most part inordinately cultured and quite un- 
educated, are unable to cope with its fundamentally novel problems. A 
few energetic men might at any time set out to alter all this. And with 
the inevitable revolutions that must come about in domestic fittings, 
and which I hope to discuss more fully in the next paper, it is open to 
question whether many ground landlords may not find they have work 
for the house-breakers rather than wealth unlimited falling into their 
hands when the building leases their solicitors so ingeniously draw up 
do at last expire. 

1 The new aspects of building, for example, that have been brought 
about by the entrance of water and gas into the house, and the applica- 
tion of water to sanitation. 

Developing Social Elements 91 

practice of his trade, on the fairly sound assumption 
that but for that restriction any fool might do plumb- 
ing as well as he ; whatever he learns he learns from 
some other plumber during his apprenticeship years 
after which he devotes himself to doing the minimum 
of work in the maximum of time until his brief ex- 
cursion into this mysterious universe is over. So far 
from invention spurring him onward, every improve- 
ment in sanitary work in England, at least, is limited 
by the problem whether " the men " will understand 
it. A person ingenious enough to exceed this sacred 
limit might as well hang himself as trouble about the 
improvement of plumbing. 

If England stood alone, I do not see why each of 
the new mechanical and engineering industries, so 
soon as it develops sufficiently to have gathered 
together a body of workers capable of supporting a 
Trade Union secretary, should not begin to stagnate 
in the same manner. Only England does not stand 
alone, and the building trade is so far not typical, 
inasmuch as it possesses a national monopoly that 
the most elaborate system of protection cannot secure 
any other group of trades. One must have one's 
house built where one has to live, the importation of 
workmen in small bodies is difficult and dear, and if 
one cannot have the house one wishes, one must needs 
have the least offensive substitute ; but bicycle and 
motor, iron-work and furniture, engines, rails, and 
ships one can import. The community, therefore, 

92 Anticipations 

that does least to educate its mechanics and engi- 
neers out of the base and servile tradition of the old 
idea of industry will in the coming years of progress 
simply get a disproportionate share of the rejected 
element, the trade will go elsewhere, and the com- 
munity will be left in possession of an exceptionally 
large contingent for the abyss. 

At present, however, I am dealing not with the 
specific community, but with the generalized civilized 
community of A.D. 2000 we disregard the fate of 
states and empires for a time and, for that emergent 
community, wherever it may be, it seems reasonable 
to anticipate, replacing and enormously larger and 
more important than the classes of common work- 
men and mechanics of to-day, a large fairly homo- 
geneous body big men and little men, indeed, but 
with no dividing lines of more or less expert 
mechanics and engineers, with a certain common 
minimum of education and intelligence, and probably 
a common-class consciousness a new body, a new 
force, in the world's history. 

For this body to exist implies the existence of 
much more than the primary and initiating nucleus 
of engineers and skilled mechanics. If it is an 
educated class, its existence implies a class of educa- 
tors, and just as far as it does get educated the 
schoolmasters will be skilled and educated men. 
The shabby-genteel middle-class schoolmaster of the 
England of to-day, in or a little way out of orders, 

Developing Social Elements 93 

with his smattering of Greek, his Latin that leads 
nowhere, his fatuous mathematics, his gross ignorance 
of pedagogics, and his incomparable snobbishness, 
certainly does not represent the schoolmaster of this 
coming class. Moreover, the new element will 
necessarily embody its collective, necessarily dis- 
tinctive, and unprecedented thoughts in a literature 
of its own, its development means the development 
of a new sort of writer and of new elements in the 
press. And since, if it does emerge, a revolution in 
the common schools of the community will be a 
necessary part of the process, then its emergence will 
involve a revolutionary change in the condition of 
classes that might otherwise remain as they are now 
the older craftsman, for example. 

The process of attraction will not end even there ; 
the development of more and more scientific engineer- 
ing and of really adaptable operatives will render 
possible agricultural contrivances that are now only 
dreams, and the diffusion of this new class over the 
country side assuming the reasoning in my second 
chapter to be sound will bring the lever of the im- 
proved schools under the agriculturist. The practi- 
cally autonomous farm of the old epoch will probably 
be replaced by a great variety of types of cultivation, 
each with its labour-saving equipment. In this, as 
in most things, the future spells variation. The 
practical abolition of impossible distances over the 
world will tend to make every district specialize in 

94 Anticipations 

the production for which it is best fitted, and to 
develop that production with an elaborate precision 
and economy. The chief opposing force to this 
tendency will be found in those countries where the 
tenure of the land is in small holdings. A population 
of small agriculturists that has really got itself well 
established is probably as hopelessly immovable a 
thing as the forces of progressive change will have 
to encounter. The Arcadian healthiness and sim- 
plicity of the small holder, and the usefulness of little 
hands about him, naturally results in his keeping the 
population on his plot up to the limit of bare sub- 
sistence. He avoids over-education, and his beasts 
live with him and his children in a natural kindly 
manner. He will have no idlers, and even grand- 
mamma goes weeding. His nett produce is less than 
the production of the larger methods, but his gross is 
greater, and usually it is mortgaged more or less. 
Along the selvage of many of the new roads we have 
foretold, his hens will peck and his children beg, far 
into the coming decades. This simple, virtuous, 
open-air life is to be found ripening in the north of 
France and Belgium, it culminated in Ireland in the 
famine years, it has held its own in China with a 
use of female infanticide for immemorable ages, and 
a number of excellent persons are endeavouring to 
establish it in England at the present time. At the 
Cape of Good Hope, under British rule, Kaffirs are 
being settled upon little inalienable holdings that 

Developing Social Elements 95 

must inevitably develop in the same direction, and 
over the Southern States the nigger squats and 
multiplies. It is fairly certain that these stagnant 
ponds of population, which will grow until public 
intelligence rises to the pitch of draining them, will 
on a greater scale parallel in the twentieth century 
the soon-to-be-dispersed urban slums of the nine- 
teenth. But I do not see how they can obstruct, 
more than locally, the reorganization of agriculture 
and horticulture upon the ampler and more economical 
lines mechanism permits, or prevent the development 
of a type of agriculturist as adaptable, alert, intelligent, 
unprejudiced, and modest as the coming engineer. 

Another great section of the community, the mili- 
tary element, will also fall within the attraction of this 
possible synthesis, and will inevitably undergo pro- 
found modification. Of the probable development 
of warfare a later chapter shall treat, and here it will 
suffice to point out that at present science stands 
proffering the soldier vague, vast possibilities of 
mechanism, and, so far, he has accepted practically 
nothing but rifles which he cannot sight and guns 
that he does not learn to .move about It is quite 
possible the sailor would be in the like case, but for 
the exceptional conditions that begot ironclads in the 
American Civil War. Science offers the soldier trans- 
port that he does not use, maps he does not use, en- 
trenching devices, road-making devices, balloons and 
flying scouts, portable foods, security from disease, a 

96 Anticipations 

thousand ways of organizing the horrible uncertainties 
of war. But the soldier of to-day I do not mean 
the British soldier only still insists on regarding 
these revolutionary appliances as mere accessories, 
and untrustworthy ones at that, to the time-honoured 
practice of his art. He guards his technical innocence 
like a plumber. 

Every European army is organized on the lines of 
the once fundamental distinction of the horse and 
foot epoch, in deference to the contrast of gentle and 
simple. There is the officer, with all the traditions 
of old nobility, and the men still, by a hundred 
implications, mere sources of mechanical force, and 
fundamentally base. The British Army, for example, 
still cherishes the tradition that its privates are abso- 
lutely illiterate, and such small instruction as is given 
them in the art of war is imparted by bawling and 
enforced by abuse upon public drill grounds. Almost 
all discussion of military matters still turns upon the 
now quite stupid assumption that there are two 
primary military arms and no more, horse and foot. 
" Cyclists are infantry," the War Office manual of 
1900 gallantly declares in the face of this changing 
universe. After fifty years of railways, there still 
does not exist, in a world which is said to be over 
devoted to military affairs, a skilled and organized 
body of men, specially prepared to seize, repair, 
reconstruct, work, and fight such an important 
element in the new social machinery as a railway 

Developing Social Elements 97 

system. Such a business, in the next European war, 
will be hastily entrusted to some haphazard incapables 
drafted from one or other of the two prehistoric 
arms. ... I do not see how this condition of affairs 
can be anything but transitory. There may be 
several wars between European powers, prepared 
and organized to accept the old conventions, bloody, 
vast, distressful encounters that may still leave the 
art of war essentially unmodified, but sooner or later 
it may be in the improvised struggle that follows 
the collapse of some one of these huge, witless, fight- 
ing forces the new sort of soldier will emerge, a 
sober, considerate, engineering man no more of a 
gentleman than the man subordinated to him or any 
other self-respecting person. . . . 

Certain interesting side questions I may glance at 
here, only for the present, at least, to set them aside 
unanswered, the reaction, for example, of this probable 
development of a great mass of educated and intelli- 
gent efficients upon the status and quality of the 
medical profession, and the influence of its novel 
needs in either modifying the existing legal body or 
calling into being a parallel body of more expert and 
versatile guides and assistants in business operations. 
But from the mention of this latter section one comes 
to another possible centre of aggregation in the social 
welter. Opposed in many of their most essential 
conditions to the capable men who are of primary 
importance in the social body, is the great and growing 


98 Anticipations 

variety of non-productive but active men who are 
engaged in more or less necessary operations of 
organization, promotion, advertisement, and trade. 
There are the business managers, public and private, 
the political organizers, brokers, commission agents, 
the varying grades of financier down to the mere 
greedy camp followers of finance, the gamblers pure 
and simple, and the great body of their dependent 
clerks, typewriters, and assistants. All this multitude 
will have this much in common, that it will be deal- 
ing, not with the primary inexorable logic of natural 
laws, but with the shifting, uncertain prejudices and 
emotions of the general mass of people. It will be 
wary and cunning rather than deliberate and intelli- 
gent, smart rather than prompt, considering always 
the appearance and effect before the reality and 
possibilities of things. It will probably tend to form 
a culture about the political and financial operator as 
its ideal and central type, opposed to, and conflict- 
ing with, the forces of attraction that will tend to 
group the new social masses about the scientific 
engineer. 1 . . . 

Here, then (in the vision of the present writer), are 
the main social elements of the coming time : (i.) the 

1 The future of the servant class and the future of the artist are two 
interesting questions that will be most conveniently mentioned at a 
later stage, when we come to discuss the domestic life in greater detail 
than is possible before we have formed any clear notion of the sort of 
people who will lead that life. 

Developing Social Elements 99 

element of irresponsible property ; (ii.) the helpless 
superseded poor, that broad base of mere toilers now 
no longer essential ; (iii.) a great inchoate mass of 
more or less capable people engaged more or less 
consciously in applying the growing body of scientific 
knowledge to the general needs, a great mass that 
will inevitably tend to organize itself in a system of 
interdependent educated classes with a common con- 
sciousness and aim, but which may or may not 
succeed in doing so ; and (iv.) a possibly equally 
great number of non-productive persons living in 
and by the social confusion. 

All these elements will be mingled confusedly 
together, passing into one another by insensible 
gradations, scattered over the great urban regions 
and intervening areas our previous anticipations have 
sketched out. Moreover, they are developing, as it 
were unconsciously, under the stimulus of mechanical 
developments, and with the bandages of old tradition 
hampering their movements. The laws they obey, 
the governments they live under, are for the most 
part laws made and governments planned before the 
coming of steam. The areas of administration are 
still areas marked out by conditions of locomotion as 
obsolete as the quadrupedal method of the pre- 
arboreal ancestor. In Great Britain, for example, 
the political constitution, the balance of estates and 
the balance of parties, preserves the compromise of 
long-vanished antagonisms. The House of Lords is 

ioo Anticipations 

a collection of obsolete territorial dignitaries fitfully 
reinforced by the bishops and a miscellany (in no 
sense representative) of opulent moderns ; the House 
of Commons is the seat of a party conflict, a faction 
fight of initiated persons, that has long ceased to 
bear any real relation to current social processes. 
The members of the lower chamber are selected by 
obscure party machines operating upon constituencies 
almost all of which have long since become too vast 
and heterogeneous to possess any collective intelli- 
gence or purpose at all. In theory the House of 
Commons guards the interests of classes that are, in 
fact, rapidly disintegrating into a number of quite 
antagonistic and conflicting elements. The new 
mass of capable men, of which the engineers are 
typical, these capable men who must necessarily be 
the active principle of the new mechanically equipped 
social body, finds no representation save by accident 
in either assembly. The man who has concerned 
himself with the public health, with army organiza- 
tion, with educational improvement, or with the vital 
matters of transport and communication, if he enter 
the official councils of the kingdom at all, must enter 
ostensibly as the guardian of the interests of the free 
and independent electors of a specific district that 
has long ceased to have any sort of specific interests 
at all. 1 . . . 

1 Even the physical conditions under which the House of Commons 
meets and plays at government, are ridiculously obsolete. Every 

Developing Social Elements 101 

And the same obsolescence that is so conspicuous 
in the general institutions of the official kingdom of 
England, and that even English people can remark 
in the official empire of China, is to be traced in a 
greater or lesser degree in the nominal organization 
and public tradition throughout the whole world. 
The United States, for example the social mass 
which has perhaps advanced furthest along the new 
lines, struggles in the iron bonds of a constitution 
that is based primarily on a conception of a number 
cf comparatively small, internally homogeneous, agri- 
cultural states, a bunch of pre-Johannesburg Trans- 
vaals, communicating little, and each constituting a 
separate autonomous democracy of free farmers 
slaveholding or slaveless. Every country in the 
world, indeed, that is organized at all, has been 

disputable point is settled by a division, a bell rings, there is shouting and 
running, the members come blundering into the chamber and sort 
themselves with much loutish shuffling and shoving into the division 
lobbies. They are counted, as illiterate farmers count sheep ; amidst 
much fuss and confusion they return to their places, and the tellers 
vociferate the result. The waste of time over these antics is enormous, 
and they are often repeated many times in an evening. For the lack 
o f time, the House of Commons is unable to perform the most urgent 
and necessary legislative duties it has this year hung up a cryingly 
necessary Education Bill, a delay that will in the end cost Great 
Britain millions but not a soul in it has had the necessary common 
sense to point out that an electrician and an expert locksmith could in 
a few weeks, and for a few hundred pounds, devise and construct a 
member's desk and key, committee-room tapes and voting-desks, and 
a general recording apparatus, that would enable every member within 
the precincts to vote, and that would count, record, and report the 
votes within the space of a couple of minutes. 

IO2 Anticipations 

organized with a view to stability within territorial 
limits ; no country has been organized with any for - 
sight of development and inevitable change, or with 
the slightest reference to the practical revolution i i 
topography that the new means of transit involve 
And since this is so, and since humanity is most 
assuredly embarked upon a series of changes of 
which we know as yet only the opening phases, a 
large part of the history of the coming years will 
certainly record more or less conscious endeavours 
to adapt these obsolete and obsolescent contrivances 
for the management of public affairs to the new and 
continually expanding and changing requirements of 
the social body, to correct or overcome the traditions 
that were once wisdom and which are now obstruction, 
and to burst the straining boundaries that were 
sufficient for the ancient states. There are here no 
signs of a millennium. Internal reconstruction, while 
men are still limited, egotistical, passionate, ignorant, 
and ignorantly led, means seditions and revolutions , 
and the rectification of frontiers means wars. Pi T t 
before we go on to these conflicts and wars cerf\i> i 
general social reactions must be considered. 

Let me for this new edition add a footnote to this chapter. I speax 
of a class of educated and intelligent efficients (p. 86). By that it ougV.t 
to be obvious that I do not mean trained specialists, though a m mber 
of readers and critics have skipped to that misleading conclusio...-- 
H. G. W. 



V/E are now in a position to point out and consider 
certain general ways in which the various factors and 
elements in the deliquescent society of the present 
time will react one upon another, and to speculate 
what definite statements, if any, it may seem reason- 
able to make about the individual people of the year 
2<3oo or thereabouts from the reaction of these 
classes we have attempted to define. 

To begin with, it may prove convenient to specu- 
late upon the trend of development of that class 
about which we have the most grounds for certainty 
in the coming time. The shareholding class, the 
rout of the Abyss, the speculator, may develop in 
cjountless ways according to the varying development 
of exterior influences upon them, but of the most 
typical portion of the central body, the section con- 
taining the scientific engineering or scientific medical 
sort of people, we can postulate certain tendencies 
with some confidence. Certain ways of thought they 
must develop, certain habits of mind and eye they 
will radiate out into the adjacent portions of the 

IO4 Anticipations 

social mass. We can even, I think, deduce soaie 
conception of the home in which a fairly typiral 
example of this body will be living within a reason- 
able term of years. ii 

The mere fact that a man is an engineer ore a 
doctor, for example, should imply now, and certainly 
will imply in the future, that he has received an 
education of a certain definite type ; he will have a 
general acquaintance with the scientific interpretation 
of the universe, and he will have acquired certain 
positive and practical habits of mind. If the methods 
of thought of any individual in this central body are 
not practical and positive, he will tend to drift out of 
it to some more congenial employment. He will 
almost necessarily have a strong imperative to duty 
quite apart from whatever theological opinions he 
may entertain, because if he has not such an inherent 
imperative, life will have very many more alluring 
prospects than this. His religious conclusions, what- 
ever they may be, will be based upon some orderly 
theological system that must have honestly admittt> d 
and reconciled his scientific beliefs ; the emotfcaiul 
and mystical elements in his religion will be sub- 
ordinate or absent. Essentially he will be a moral 
man, certainly so far as to exercise self-restraint and 
live in an ordered way. Unless this is so, he will 'te 

It *"** 

unable to give his principal energies to thought ^nd 
W0 rk that is, he will not be a good typical engineei. 
If sensuality appear at all largely in this central 

Certain Social Reactions 105 

body, therefore, a point we must leave open here 
it will appear without any trappings of sentiment or 
mysticism, frankly on Pauline lines, wine for the 
stomach's sake, and it is better to marry than to 
burn, a concession to the flesh necessary to secure 
efficiency. Assuming in our typical case that pure 
indulgence does not appear or flares and passes, then 
either he will be single or more or less married. The 
import of that " more or less " will be discussed later, 
for the present we may very conveniently conceive him 
married under the traditional laws of Christendom. 
Having a mind considerably engaged, he will not 
have the leisure for a wife of the distracting, per- 
plexing personality kind, and in our typical case, 
which will be a typically sound and successful one, 
we may picture him wedded to a healthy, intelligent, 
and loyal person, who will be her husband's com- 
panion in their common leisure, and as mother of 
their three or four children and manager of his house- 
hold, as much of a technically capable individual as 
himself. He will be a father of several children, I 
think, because his scientific mental basis will incline 
him to see the whole of life as a struggle to survive ; 
he will recognize that a childless, sterile life, however 
pleasant, is essentially failure and perversion, and he 
will conceive his honour involved in the possession 
of offspring. 

Such a couple will probably dress with a view to 
decent convenience, they will not set the fashions, 

io6 Anticipations 

as I shall presently point out, but they will incline 
to steady and sober them, they will avoid exciting 
colour contrasts and bizarre contours. They will not 
be habitually promenaders, or greatly addicted to 
theatrical performances ; they wi)l probably find their 
secondary interests the cardinal one will of course 
be the work in hand in a not too imaginative prose 
literature, in travel and journeys and in the less 
sensuous aspects of music. They will probably take 
a considerable interest in public affairs. Their manage, 
which will consist of father, mother, and children, 
will, I think, in all probability, be servantless. 

They will probably not keep a servant for two very 
excellent reasons, because in the first place they will 
not want one, and in the second they will not get one 
if they do. A servant is necessary in the small, 
modern house, partly to supplement the deficiencies 
of the wife, but mainly to supplement the deficiencies 
of the house. She comes to cook and perform various 
skilled duties that the wife lacks either knowledge or 
training, or both, to perform regularly and expedi- 
tiously. Usually it must be confessed that the 
servant in the small household fails to perform these 
skilled duties completely. But the great proportion 
of the servant's duties consists merely in drudgery 
that the stupidities of our present-day method of 
house construction entail, and which the more sanely 
constructed house of the future will avoid. Consider, 
for instance, the wanton disregard of avoidable toil 

Certain Social Reactions 107 

displayed in building houses with a service basement 
without lifts ! Then most dusting and sweeping 
would be quite avoidable if houses were wiselier 
done. It is the lack of proper warming appliances 
which necessitates a vast amount of coal carrying 
and dirt distribution, and it is this dirt mainly that 
has so painfully to be removed again. The house 
of the future will probably be warmed in its walls 
from some power-generating station, as, indeed, 
already very many houses are lit at the present day. 
The lack of sane methods of ventilation also enhances 
the general dirtiness and dustiness of the present-day 
home, and gas-lighting and the use of tarnishable 
metals, wherever possible, involve further labour. 
But air will enter the house of the future through 
proper tubes in the walls, which will warm it and 
capture its dust, and it will be spun out again by a 
simple mechanism. And by simple devices such 
sweeping as still remains necessary can be enormously 
lightened. The fact that in existing homes the 
skirting meets the floor at right angles makes sweep- 
ing about twice as troublesome as it will be when 
people have the sense and ability to round off the 
angle between wall and floor. 

So one great lump of the servant's toil will prac- 
tically disappear. Two others are already disappear- 
ing. In many houses there are still the offensive 
duties of filling lamps and blacking boots to be 
done. Our coming house, however, will have no 

io8 Anticipations 

lamps to need filling, and, as for the boots, really 
intelligent people will feel the essential ugliness of 
wearing the evidence of constant manual toil upon 
their persons. They will wear sorts of shoes and 
boots that can be cleaned by wiping in a minute 
or so. Take now the bedroom work. The lack of 
ingenuity in sanitary fittings at present forbids the 
obvious convenience of hot and cold water supply 
to the bedroom, and there is a mighty fetching and 
carrying of water and slops to be got through daily. 
All that will cease. Every bedroom will have its 
own bath-dressing room which any well-bred person 
will be intelligent and considerate enough to use 
and leave without the slightest disarrangement. 
This, so far as " upstairs " goes, really only leaves 
bedmaking to be done, and a bed does not take five 
minutes to make. Downstairs a vast amount of 
needless labour at present arises out of table wear. 
" Washing up " consists of a tedious cleansing and 
wiping of each table utensil in turn, whereas 
it should be possible to immerse all dirty table 
wear in a suitable solvent for a few minutes and 
then run that off for the articles to dry. The appli- 
cation of solvents to window cleaning, also, would 
be a possible thing but for the primitive construc- 
tion of our windows, which prevents anything but a 
painful rub, rub, rub, with the leather. A friend of 
mine in domestic service tells me that this rubbing 
is to get the window dry, and this seems to be 

Certain Social Reactions 109 

the general impression, but I think it incorrect. 
The water is not an adequate solvent, and enough 
cannot be used under existing conditions. Conse- 
quently, if the window is cleaned and left wet, it 
dries in drops, and these drops contain dirt in 
solution which remain as spots. But water con- 
taining a suitable solvent could quite simply be 
made to run down a window for a few minutes 
from pinholes in a pipe above into a groove below, 
and this could be followed by pure rain water for 
an equal time, and in this way the whole window 
cleaning in the house could, I imagine, be reduced 
to the business of turning on a tap. 

There remains the cooking. To-day cooking, 
with its incidentals, is a very serious business ; the 
coaling, the ashes, the horrible moments of heat, 
the hot black things to handle, the silly vague 
recipes, the want of neat apparatus, and the want 
of intelligence to demand or use neat apparatus. 
One always imagines a cook working with a crim- 
soned face and bare blackened arms. But with a 
neat little range, heated by electricity and provided 
with thermometers, with absolutely controllable tem- 
peratures and proper heat screens, cooking might 
very easily be made a pleasant amusement for 
intelligent invalid ladies. Which reminds one, by- 
the-by, as an added detail to our previous sketch 
of the scenery of the days to come, that there will 
be no chimneys at all to the house of the future of 

1 1 o Anticipations 

this type, except the flue for the kitchen smells. 1 
This will not only abolish the chimney stack, but 
make the roof a clean and pleasant addition to the 
garden spaces of the home. 

I do not know how long all these things will take 
to arrive. The erection of a series of experimental 
labour-saving houses by some philanthropic person, 
for exhibition and discussion, would certainly bring 
about a very extraordinary advance in domestic 
comfort even in the immediate future, but the 
fashions in philanthropy do not trend in such 
practical directions ; if they did, the philanthropic 
person would probably be too amenable to flattery 
to escape the pushful patentee and too sensitive to 
avail himself of criticism (which rarely succeeds in 
being both penetrating and polite), and it will pro- 
bably be many years before the cautious enterprise 
of advertising firms approximates to the economies 
that are theoretically possible to-day. But certainly 
the engineering and medical sorts of person will be 
best able to appreciate the possibilities of cutting 
down the irksome labours of the contemporary home, 
and most likely to first demand and secure them. 

The wife of this ideal home may probably have 
a certain distaste for vicarious labour, that so far as 
the immediate minimum of duties goes will probably 
carry her through them. There will be few servants 

1 That interesting book by Mr. George Sutherland, Twentieth Century 
Inventions^ is very suggestive on these as on many other matters. 

Certain Social Reactions 1 1 1 

obtainable for the small homes of the future, and 
that may strengthen her sentiments. Hardly any 
woman seems to object to a system of things which 
provides that another woman should be made rough- 
handed and kept rough-minded for her sake, but 
with the enormous diffusion of levelling information 
that is going on, a perfectly valid objection will 
probably come from the other side in this trans- 
action. The servants of the past and the only good 
servants of to-day are the children of servants or 
the children of the old labour base of the social 
pyramid, until recently a necessary and self-respecting 
element in the State. Machinery has smashed that 
base and scattered its fragments ; the tradition of 
self-respecting inferiority is being utterly destroyed in 
the world. The contingents of the Abyss, even, will 
not supply daughters for this purpose. In the com- 
munity of the United States no native-born race of 
white servants has appeared, and the emancipated 
young negress degenerates towards the impossible 
which is one of the many stimulants to small ingenu- 
ities that may help very powerfully to give that 
nation the industrial leadership of the world. The 
servant of the future, if indeed she should still linger 
in the small household, will be a person alive to a 
social injustice and the unsuccessful rival of the 
wife. Such servants as wealth will retain will be 
about as really loyal and servile as hotel waiters, 
and on the same terms. For the middling sort of 

112 Anticipations 

people in the future maintaining a separate manage 
there is nothing for it but the practically automatic 
house or flat, supplemented, perhaps, by the restau- 
rant or the hotel. 

Almost certainly, for reasons detailed in the second 
chapter of these Anticipations, this household, if it is 
an ideal type, will be situated away from the central 
" Town " nucleus and in pleasant surroundings. And 
I imagine that the sort of woman who would be 
mother and mistress of such a home would not be 
perfectly content unless there were a garden about 
the house. On account of the servant difficulty, 
again, this garden would probably be less laboriously 
neat than many of our gardens to-day no " bedding- 
out," for example, and a certain parsimony of mown 
lawn. . . . 

To such a type of home it seems the active, 
scientifically trained people will tend. But usually 
I think, the prophet is inclined to over estimate the 
number of people who will reach this condition of 
affairs in a generation or so, and to under estimate 
the conflicting tendencies that will make its attain- 
ment difficult to all, and impossible to many, and 
that will for many years tint and blotch the achieve- 
ment of those who succeed with patches of un- 
sympathetic colour. To understand just how modi- 
fications may come in, it is necessary to consider the 
probable line of development of another of the four 
main elements in the social body of the coming time. 

Certain Social Reactions 113 

As a consequence and visible expression of the great 
new growth of share and stock property there will be 
scattered through the whole social body, concentrated 
here perhaps, and diffused there, but everywhere 
perceived, the members of that new class of the 
irresponsible wealthy, a class, as I have already 
pointed out in the preceding chapter, miscellaneous 
and free to a degree quite unprecedented in the 
world's history. Quite inevitably great sections of 
this miscellany will develop characteristics almost 
diametrically opposed to those of the typical working 
expert class, and their gravitational attraction may 
influence the lives of this more efficient, finally more 
powerful, but at present much less wealthy, class to 
a very considerable degree of intimacy. 

The rich shareholder and the skilled expert must 
necessarily be sharply contrasted types, and of the 
two it must be borne in mind that it is the rich share- 
holder who spends the money. While occupation 
and skill incline one towards severity and economy, 
leisure and unlimited means involve relaxation and 
demand the adventitious interest of decoration. The 
shareholder will be the decorative influence in the 
State. So far as there will be a typical shareholder's 
house, we may hazard that it will have rich colours, 
elaborate hangings, stained glass adornments, and 
added interests in great abundance. This "leisure 
class " will certainly employ the greater proportion 
of the artists, decorators, fabric makers, and the like, 


1 1 4 Anticipations 

of the coming time. It will dominate the world of 
art and we may say, with some confidence, that it 
will influence it in certain directions. For example, 
standing apart from the movement of the world, as 
they will do to a very large extent, the archaic, 
opulently done, will appeal irresistibly to very many 
of these irresponsible rich as the very quintessence 
of art. They will come to art with uncritical, cultured 
minds, full of past achievements, ignorant of present 
necessities. Art will be something added to life 
something stuck on and richly reminiscent not a 
manner pervading all real things. We may be pretty 
sure that very few will grasp the fact that an iron 
bridge or a railway engine may be artistically done 
these will not be " art " objects, but hostile novelties. 
And, on the other hand, we can pretty confidently 
foretell a spacious future and much amplification for 
that turgid, costly, and deliberately anti-contemporary 
group of styles of which William Morris and his 
associates have been the fortunate pioneers. And 
the same principles will apply to costume. A non- 
functional class of people cannot have a functional 
costume, the whole scheme of costume, as it will be 
worn by the wealthy classes in the coming years, 
will necessarily be of that character which is called 
fancy dress. Few people will trouble to discover the 
most convenient forms and materials, and endeavour 
to simplify them and reduce them to beautiful forms, 
while endless enterprising tradesmen will be alert for 

Certain Social Reactions 115 

a perpetual succession of striking novelties. The 
women will ransack the ages for becoming and alluring 
anachronisms, the men will appear in the elaborate 
uniforms of "games," in modifications of "court" 
dress, in picturesque revivals of national costumes, 
in epidemic fashions of the most astonishing sort. . . . 
Now, these people, so far as they are spenders of 
money, and so far as he is a spender of money, will 
stand to this ideal engineering sort of person, who is 
the vitally important citizen of a progressive scientific 
State, in a competitive relation. In most cases, 
whenever there is something that both want, one 
against the other, the shareholder will get it ; in most 
cases, where it is a matter of calling the tune, the 
shareholder will call the tune. For example, the 
young architect, conscious of exceptional ability, will 
have more or less clearly before him the alternatives 
of devoting himself to the novel, intricate, and difficult 
business of designing cheap, simple, and mechanically 
convenient homes for people who will certainly not 
be highly remunerative, and will probably be rather 
acutely critical, or of perfecting himself in some period 
of romantic architecture, or striking out some startling 
and attractive novelty of manner or material which 
will be certain, sooner or later, to meet its congenial 
shareholder. Even if he hover for a time between 
these alternatives, he will need to be a person not 
only of exceptional gifts, but what is by no means 
a common accompaniment of exceptional gifts, 

1 1 6 Anticipations 

exceptional strength of character, to take the former 
line. Consequently, for many years yet, most of the 
experimental buildings and novel designs, that initiate 
discussion and develop the general taste, will be done 
primarily to please the more originative shareholders 
and not to satisfy the demands of our engineer or 
doctor ; and the strictly commercial builders, who will 
cater for all but the wealthiest engineers, scientific 
investigators, and business men, being unable to 
afford specific designs, will amidst the disregarded 
curses of these more intelligent customers still simply 
reproduce in a cheaper and mutilated form such ex- 
amples as happen to be set. Practically, that is to 
say, the shareholder will buy up almost all the avail- 
able architectural talent. 

This modifies our conception of the outer appear- 
ance of that little house we imagined. Unless 
it happens to be the house of an exceptionally 
prosperous member of the utilitarian professions, it 
will lack something of the neat directness implicit in 
our description, something of that inevitable beauty 
that arises out of the perfect attainment of ends for 
very many years, at any rate. It will almost certainly 
be tinted, it may even be saturated, with the second- 
hand archaic. The owner may object, but a busy 
man cannot stop his life work to teach architects 
what they ought to know. It may be heated 
electrically, but it will have sham chimneys, in whose 
darkness, unless they are built solid, dust and filth 

Certain Social Reactions 1 1 7 

will gather, and luckless birds and insects pass horrible 
last hours of ineffectual struggle. It may have 
automatic window-cleaning arrangements, but they 
will be hidden by "picturesque " mullions. The sham 
chimneys will, perhaps, be made to smoke genially in 
winter by some ingenious contrivance, there may be 
sham open fireplaces within, with ingle nooks about 
the sham glowing logs. The needlessly steep roofs 
will have a sham sag and sham timbered gables, and 
probably forced lichens will give it a sham appearance 
of age. Just that feeble-minded contemporary 
shirking of the truth of things that has given the 
world such stockbroker in armour affairs as the Tower 
Bridge and historical romance, will, I fear, worry the 
lucid mind in a great multitude of the homes that 
the opening half, at least, of this century will 

In quite a similar way the shareholding body will 
buy up all the clever and more enterprising makers 
and designers of clothing and adornment, he will 
set the fashion of almost all ornament, in book- 
binding and printing and painting, for example, 
furnishing, and indeed of almost all things that are 
not primarily produced "for the million/' as the 
phrase goes. And where that sort of thing comes in, 
then, so far as the trained and intelligent type of man 
goes, for many years yet it will be simply a case of 
the nether instead of the upper millstone. Just how 
far the influence and contagion of the shareholding 

1 1 8 Anticipations 

mass will reach into this imaginary household of non- 
shareholding efficients, and just how far the influence 
of science and mechanism will penetrate the minds 
and methods of the rich, becomes really one of the 
most important questions with which these specula- 
tions will deal. For this argument that he will 
perhaps be able to buy up the architect and the 
tailor and the decorator and so forth is merely 
preliminary to the graver issue. It is just possible 
that the shareholder may, to a very large extent in 
a certain figurative sense, at least buy up much of 
the womankind that would otherwise be available to 
constitute those severe, capable, and probably by no 
means unhappy little establishments to which our 
typical engineers will tend, and so prevent many 
women from becoming mothers of a regenerating 
world. The huge secretion of irresponsible wealth 
by the social organism is certain to affect the tone of 
thought of the entire feminine sex profoundly the 
exact nature of this influence we may now consider. 

The gist of this inquiry lies in the fact that, while a 
man's starting position in this world of to-day is en- 
tirely determined by the conditions of his birth and 
early training, and his final position the slow elaborate 
outcome of his own sustained efforts to live, a woman, 
from the age of sixteen onward as the world goes 
now is essentially adventurous, the creature of cir- 
cumstances largely beyond her control and foresight. 
A virile man, though he, too, is subject to accidents, 

Certain Social Reactions 119 

may, upon most points, still hope to plan and deter- 
mine his life ; the life of a woman is all accident. 
Normally she lives in relation to some specific man, 
and until that man is indicated her preparation for 
life must be of the most tentative sort. She lives, 
going nowhere, like a cabman on the crawl, and at 
any time she may find it open to her to assist some 
pleasure-loving millionaire to spend his millions, or to 
play her .part in one of the many real, original, and 
only derivatives of the former aristocratic " Society " 
that have developed themselves among independent 
people. Even if she is a serious and labour-loving 
type, some shareholder may tempt her with the 
prospect of developing her exceptional personality in 
ease and freedom and in " doing good " with his 
money. With the continued growth of the sharehold- 
ing class, the brighter-looking matrimonial chances, 
not to speak of the glittering opportunities that are 
not matrimonial, will increase. Reading is now the 
privilege of all classes, there are few secrets of etiquette 
that a clever lower-class girl will fail to learn, there 
are few such girls, even now, who are not aware of 
their wide opportunities, or at least their wide possi- 
bilities, of luxury and freedom, there are still fewer 
who, knowing as much, do not let it affect their 
standards and conception of life. The whole mass of 
modern fiction written by women for women, indeed, 
down to the cheapest novelettes, is saturated with the 
romance of mesalliance. And even when the specific 

1 20 Anticipations 

man has appeared, the adventurous is still not shut 
out of a woman's career. A man's affections may 
wander capriciously and leave him but a little poorer 
or a little better placed ; for the women they wander 
from, however, the issue is an infinitely graver one, 
and the serious wandering of a woman's fancy may 
mean the beginning of a new world for her. At any 
moment the chances of death may make the wife a 
widow, may sweep out of existence all that she had 
made fundamental in her life, may enrich her with 
insurance profits or hurl her into poverty, and restore 
all the drifting expectancy of her adolescence. . . . 

Now, it is difficult to say why we should expect 
the growing girl, in whom an unlimited ambition 
and egotism is as natural and proper a thing as 
beauty and high spirits, to deny herself some 
dalliance with the more opulent dreams that form 
the golden lining to these precarious prospects ? 
How can we expect her to prepare herself solely, 
putting all wandering thoughts aside, for the servant- 
less cookery, domestic Kindergarten work, the care 
of hardy perennials, and low-pitched conversation of 
the engineer's home ? Supposing, after all, there is 
no predestinate engineer ! The stories the growing 
girl now prefers, and I imagine will in the future 
still prefer, deal mainly with the rich and free ; the 
theatre she will prefer to visit will present the lives 
and loves of opulent people with great precision and 
detailed correctness ; her favourite periodicals will 

Certain Social Reactions 121 

reflect that life ; her schoolmistress, whatever her 
principles, must have an eye to her " chances." And 
even after Fate or a gust of passion has whirled 
her into the arms of our busy and capable funda- 
mental man, all these things will still be in her 
imagination and memory. Unless he is a person of 
extraordinary mental prepotency, she will almost 
insensibly determine the character of the home in 
a direction quite other than that of our first sketch. 
She will set herself to realize, as far as her 
husband's means and credit permit, the ideas of the 
particular section of the wealthy that have captured 
her. If she is a fool, her ideas of life will presently 
come into complete conflict with her husband's in 
a manner that, as the fumes of the love potion 
leave his brain, may bring the real nature of the 
case home to him. If he is of that resolute strain 
to whom the world must finally come, he may 
rebel and wade through tears and crises to his 
appointed work again. The cleverer she is, and the 
finer and more loyal her character up to a certain 
point, the less likely this is to happen, the more 
subtle and effective will be her hold upon her 
husband, and the more probable his perversion from 
the austere pursuit of some interesting employment, 
towards the adventures of modern money-getting in 
pursuit of her ideals of a befitting life. And mean- 
while, since "one must live," the nursery that was 
implicit in the background of the first picture will 

122 Anticipations 

probably prove unnecessary. She will be, perforce, 
a person not only of pleasant pursuits, but of leisure. 
If she endears herself to her husband, he will feel 
not only the attraction but the duty of her vacant 
hours ; he will not only deflect his working hours 
from the effective to the profitable, but that 
occasional burning of the midnight oil, that no brain- 
worker may forego if he is to retain his efficiency, 
will, in the interests of some attractive theatrical 
performance or some agreeable social occasion, all 
too frequently have to be put off or abandoned. 

This line of speculation, therefore, gives us a 
second picture of a household to put beside our first, 
a household, or rather a couple, rather more likely to 
be typical of the mass of middling sort of people in 
those urban regions of the future than our first pro- 
jection. It will probably not live in a separate home 
at all, but in a flat in " Town," or at one of the sub- 
ordinate centres of the urban region we have fore- 
seen. The apartments will be more or less agreeably 
adorned in some decorative fashion akin to but less 
costly than some of the many fashions that will 
obtain among the wealthy. They will be littered 
with a miscellaneous literature, novels of an enter- 
taining and stimulating sort predominating, and with 
bric-ti-brac ; in a childless household there must 
certainly be quaint dolls, pet images, and so forth, 
and perhaps a canary would find a place. I suspect 
there would be an edition or so of " Omar " about in 

Certain Social Reactions 1 23 

this more typical household of "Moderns," but I 
doubt about the Bible. The man's working books 
would probably be shabby and relegated to a small 
study, and even these overlaid by abundant copies of 
the Financial something or other. It would still be 
a servantless household, and probably not only with- 
out a nursery but without a kitchen, and in its grade 
and degree it would probably have social relations 
directly or intermediately through rich friends with 
some section, some one of the numerous cults of 
the quite independent wealthy. 

Quite similar households to this would be even 
more common among those neither independent nor 
engaged in work of a primarily functional nature, 
but endeavouring quite ostensibly to acquire wealth 
by political or business ingenuity and activity, and 
also among the great multitude of artists, writers, 
and that sort of people, whose works are their 
children. In comparison with the state of affairs 
fifty years ago, the child-infested household is already 
conspicuously rare in these classes. 

These are two highly probably manages among the 
central mass of the people of the coming time. But 
there will be many others. The manage a deux, one 
may remark, though it may be without the presence 
of children, is not necessarily childless. Parentage is 
certainly part of the pride of many men though, 
curiously enough, it does not appear to be felt among 
modern European married women as any part of 

124 Anticipations 

their honour. Many men will probably achieve 
parentage, therefore, who will not succeed in inducing, 
or who may possibly even be very loth to permit, 
their wives to undertake more than the first begin- 
nings of motherhood. From the moment of its 
birth, unless it is kept as a pet, the child of such 
marriages will be nourished, taught, and trained 
almost as though it were an orphan, it will have a 
succession of bottles and foster-mothers for body and 
mind from the very beginning. Side by side with 
this increasing number of childless homes, therefore, 
there may develop a system of Kindergarten board- 
ing schools. Indeed, to a certain extent such schools 
already exist, and it is one of the unperceived con- 
trasts of this and any former time how common such 
a separation of parents and children becomes. Except 
in the case of the illegitimate and orphans, and the 
children of impossible (many public-house children, 
0* or wretched homes, boarding schools until quite 
recently were used only for quite big boys and girls. 
But now, at every seaside town, for example, one 
sees a multitude of preparatory schools, which are 
really not simply educational institutions, but supple- 
mentary homes. In many cases these are conducted 
and very largely staffed by unmarried girls and 
women who are indeed, in effect, assistant mothers. 
This class of capable schoolmistresses is one of the 
most interesting social developments of this period. 
For the most part they are women who from 

Certain Social Reactions 125 

emotional fastidiousness, intellectual egotism, or an 
honest lack of passion, have refused the common lot 
of marriage, women often of exceptional character 
and restraint, and it is well that, at any rate, their 
intelligence and character should not pass fruitlessly 
out of being. Assuredly for this type the future has 
much in store. 

There are, however, still other possibilities to be 
considered in this matter. In these Anticipations it 
is impossible to ignore the forces making for a 
considerable relaxation of the institution of per- 
manent monogamous marriage in the coming years, 
and of a much greater variety of establishments 
than is suggested by these possibilities within the 
pale. I guess, without attempting to refer to 
statistics, that our present society must show a quite 
unprecedented number and increasing number of 
male and female celibates not religious celibates, 
but people, for the most part, whose standard of 
personal comfort has such a relation to their earning 
power that they shirk or cannot enter the matri- 
monial grouping. The institution of permanent 
monogamous marriage except in the ideal Roman 
Catholic community, where it is based on the sanc- 
tion of an authority which in real Roman Catholic 
countries a large proportion of the men decline to 
obey is sustained at present entirely by the inertia 
of custom, and by a number of sentimental and 
practical considerations, considerations that may 

1 26 Anticipations 

very possibly undergo modification in the face of 
the altered relationship of husband and wife that 
the present development of childless manages is 
bringing about. The practical and sustaining reason 
for monogamy is the stability it gives to the family ; 
the value of a stable family lies in the orderly up- 
bringing in an atmosphere of affection that it secures 
in most cases for its more or less numerous children. 
The monogamous family has indisputably been the 
civilizing unit of the pre-mechanical civilized state. 
It must be remembered that both for husband and 
wife in most cases monogamic life marriage involves 
an element of sacrifice, it is an institution of late 
appearance in the history of mankind, and it does 
not completely fit the psychology or physiology of 
any but very exceptional characters in either sex. 
For the man it commonly involves considerable 
restraint ; he must ride his imagination on the curb, 
or exceed the code in an extremely dishonouring, 
furtive, and unsatisfactory manner while publicly 
professing an impossible virtue ; for the woman it 
commonly implies many uncongenial submissions. 
There are probably few married couples who have 
escaped distressful phases of bitterness and tears, 
within the constraint of their, in most cases, practically 
insoluble bond. But, on the other hand, and as a 
reward that in the soberer, mainly agricultural 
civilization of the past, and among the middling 
class of people, at any rate, has sufficed, there comes 

Certain Social Reactions 1 27 

the great development of associations and tender- 
nesses that arises out of intimate co-operation in an 
established home, and particularly out of the link- 
ing love and interest of children's lives. . . . 

But how does this fit into the childless, disunited, 
and probably shifting menage of our second picture ? 

It must be borne in mind that it has been the 
middling and lower mass of people, the tenants and 
agriculturists, the shopkeepers, and so forth, men 
needing before all things the absolutely loyal help of 
wives, that has sustained permanent monogamic 
marriage whenever it has been sustained. Public 
monogamy has existed on its merits that is, on the 
merits of the wife. Merely ostensible reasons have 
never sufficed. No sort of religious conviction, 
without a real practical utility, has ever availed to 
keep classes of men, unhampered by circumstances, 
to its restrictions. In all times, and holding all sorts 
of beliefs, the specimen humanity of courts and 
nobilities is to be found developing the most complex 
qualifications of the code. In some quiet corner of 
Elysium the bishops of the early Georges, the 
ecclesiastical dignitaries of the contemporary French 
and Spanish courts, the patriarchs of vanished 
Byzantium, will find a common topic with the 
spiritual advisers of the kingdoms of the East in this 
difficult theme, the theme of the concessions 
permissible and expedient to earnest believers 
encumbered with leisure and a superfluity of power. 

1 28 Anticipations 

. . . It is not necessary to discuss religious develop- 
ment, therefore, before deciding this issue. We 
are dealing now with things deeper and forces 
infinitely more powerful than the mere convictions 
of men. 

Will a generation to whom marriage will be no 
longer necessarily associated with the birth and 
rearing of children, or with the immediate co-opera- 
tion and sympathy of husband and wife in common 
proceedings, retain its present feeling for the extreme 
sanctity of the permanent bond ? Will the agreeable, 
unemployed, childless woman, with a high conception 
of her personal rights, who is spending her husband's 
earnings or income in some pleasant discrepant 
manner, a type of woman there are excellent reasons 
for anticipating will become more frequent will she 
continue to share the honours and privileges of the 
wife, mother, and helper of the old dispensation ? and 
in particular, will the great gulf that is now fixed by 
custom between her and the agreeable unmarried 
lady who is similarly employed remain so inexorably 
wide? Charity is in the air, and why should not charm- 
ing people meet one another ? And where is either 
of these ladies to find the support that will enable 
her to insist upon the monopoly that conventional 
sentiment, so far as it finds expression, concedes her ? 
The danger to them both of the theory of equal 
liberty is evident enough. On the other hand, in the 
case of the unmarried mother who may be helped to 

Certain Social Reactions 1 29 

hold her own, or who may be holding her own in the 
world, where will the moral censor of the year 1950 
find his congenial following to gather stones ? Much 
as we may regret it, it does very greatly affect the 
realities of this matter, that with the increased 
migration of people from home to home amidst the 
large urban regions that, we have concluded, will 
certainly obtain in the future, even if moral reproba- 
tion and minor social inconveniences do still attach 
to certain sorts of status, it will probably be increas- 
ingly difficult to determine the status of people who 
wish to conceal it for any but criminal ends. 

In another direction there must be a movement 
towards the relaxation of the marriage law and of 
divorce that will complicate status very confusingly. 
In the past it has been possible to sustain several 
contrasting moral systems in each of the practically 
autonomous states of the world, but with a develop- 
ment and cheapening of travel and migration that is 
as yet only in its opening phase, an increasing conflict 
between dissimilar moral restrictions must appear. 
Even at present, with only the most prosperous classes 
of the American and Western European countries 
migrating at all freely, there is a growing amount of 
inconvenience arising out of these from the point of 
view of social physiology quite arbitrary differences. 
A man or woman may, for example, have been the 
injured party in some conjugal complication, may 
have established a domicile and divorced the erring 


1 30 A nticipations 

spouse in certain of the United States, may have 
married again there with absolute local propriety, and 
may be a bigamist and a criminal in England. A 
child may be a legal child in Denmark or Australia, 
and a bastard in this austerer climate. These things 
are, however, only the first intimations of much more 
profound reactions. Almost all the great European 
Powers, and the United States also, are extending 
their boundaries to include great masses of non- 
Christian polygamous peoples, and they are per- 
meating these peoples with railways, printed matter, 
and all the stimulants of our present state. With 
the spread of these conveniences there is no corre- 
sponding spread of Christianity. These people will 
not always remain in the ring fence of their present 
regions ; their superseded princes, and rulers, and 
public masters, and managers, will presently come to 
swell the shareholding mass of the appropriating 
Empire. Europeans, on the other hand, will drift 
into these districts, and under the influence of their 
customs, intermarriages and interracial reaction will 
increase ; in a world which is steadily abolishing 
locality, the compromise of local concessions, of 
localized recognition of the " custom of the country," 
cannot permanently avail. Statesmen will have to 
face the alternative of either widening the permissible 
variations of the marriage contract, or of acute racial 
and religious stresses, of a vast variety of possible 
legal betrayals, and the appearance of a body of self- 

Certain Social Reactions 131 

respecting people, outside the law and public respect, 
a body that will confer a touch of credit upon, because 
it will share the stigma of, the deliberately dissolute 
and criminal. And whether the moral law shrivels 
relatively by mere exclusiveness as in religious 
matters the Church of England, for example, has 
shrivelled to the proportions of a mere sectarian 
practice or whether it broadens itself to sustain 
justice in a variety of sexual contracts, the nett result, 
so far as our present purpose goes, will be the same. 
All these forces, making for moral relaxation in the 
coming time, will probably be greatly enhanced by 
the line of development certain sections of the irre- 
sponsible wealthy will almost certainly follow. 

Let me repeat that the shareholding rich man of 
the new time is in a position of freedom almost un- 
paralleled in the history of men. He has sold his per- 
mission to control and experiment with the material 
wealth of the community for freedom for freedom 
from care, labour, responsibility, custom, local usage 
and local attachment. He may come back again into 
public affairs if he likes that is his private concern. 
Within the limits of the law and his capacity and 
courage, he may do as the imagination of his heart 
directs. Now, such an experimental and imperfect 
creature as man, a creature urged by such imperious 
passions, so weak in imagination and controlled by 
so feeble a reason, receives such absolute freedom as 
this only at infinite peril. To a great number of 

1 32 A nticipations 

these people, in the second or third generation, this 
freedom will mean vice, the subversion of passion 
to inconsequent pleasures. We have on record, in 
the personal history of the Roman emperors, how 
freedom and uncontrolled power took one representa- 
tive group of men, men not entirely of one blood nor 
of one bias, but reinforced by the arbitrary caprice of 
adoption and political revolution. We have in the 
history of the Russian empresses a glimpse of similar 
feminine possibilities. We are moving towards a 
time when, through this confusion of moral standards 
I have foretold, the pressure of public opinion in these 
matters must be greatly relaxed, when religion will 
no longer speak with a unanimous voice, and when 
freedom of escape from disapproving neighbours will 
be greatly facilitated. In the past, when depravity 
had a centre about a court, the contagion of its 
example was limited to the court region, but every 
idle rich man of this great, various, and widely diffused 
class, will play to a certain extent the moral rdle of a 
court. In these days of universal reading and vivid 
journalism, every novel infraction of the code will be 
known of, thought about, and more or less thoroughly 
discussed by an enormous and increasing proportion 
of the common people. In the past it has been 
possible for the churches to maintain an attitude of 
respectful regret towards the lapses of the great, and 
even to co-operate in these lapses with a sympathetic 
privacy, while maintaining a wholesome rigour towards 

Certain Social Reactions 133 

vulgar vice. But in the coming time there will be no 
Great, but many rich, the middling sort of people will 
probably be better educated as a whole than the rich, 
and the days of their differential treatment are at an 

It is foolish, in view of all these things, not to 
anticipate and prepare for a state of things when not 
only will moral standards be shifting and uncertain, 
admitting of physiologically sound menages of very 
variable status, but also when vice and depravity, in 
every form that is not absolutely penal, will be 
practised in every grade of magnificence and con- 
doned. This means that not only will status cease 
to be simple and become complex and varied, but 
that outside the system of manages now recognized, 
and under the disguise of which all other manages 
shelter, there will be a vast drifting and unstable 
population grouped in almost every conceivable form 
of relation. The world of Georgian England was 
a world of Homes ; the world of the coming time 
will still have its Homes, its real Mothers, the cus- 
todians of the human succession, and its cared-for 
children, the inheritors of the future, but in addition 
to this Home world, frothing tumultuously over and 
amidst these stable rocks, there will be an enormous 
complex of establishments, and hotels, and sterile 
households, and flats, and all the elaborate furnishing 
and appliances of a luxurious extinction. 

And since in the present social chaos there does 

134 Anticipations 

not yet exist any considerable body of citizens 
comparable to the agricultural and commercial 
middle class of England during the period of limited 
monarchy that will be practically unanimous in 
upholding any body of rules of moral restraint, since 
there will probably not appear for some generations 
any body propounding with wide-reaching authority 
a new definitely different code to replace the one 
that is now likely to be increasingly disregarded, 
it follows that the present code with a few interlined 
qualifications and grudging legal concessions will 
remain nominally operative in sentiment and prac- 
tice while being practically disregarded, glossed, or 
replaced in numberless directions. It must be 
pointed out that in effect, what is here forecast 
for questions of manage and moral restraints has 
already happened to a very large extent in religious 
matters. There was a time when it was held and 
I think rightly that a man's religious beliefs, and 
particularly his method of expressing them, was a 
part not of his individual but of his social life. But 
the great upheavals of the Reformation resulted 
finally in a compromise, a sort of truce, that has 
put religious belief very largely out of intercourse 
and discussion. It is conceded that within the 
bounds of the general peace and security a man 
may believe and express his belief in matters of 
religion as he pleases, not because it is better so, 
but because for the present epoch there is no way 

Certain Social Reactions 135 

nor hope of attaining unanimous truth. There is 
a decided tendency that will, I believe, prevail 
towards the same compromise in the question of 
private morals. There is a convention to avoid all 
discussion of creeds in general social intercourse ; 
and a similar convention to avoid the point of status 
in relation to marriage, one may very reasonably 
anticipate, will be similarly recognized. 

But this impending dissolution of a common 
standard of morals does not mean universal depravity 
until some great reconstruction obtains any more 
than the obsolescence of the Conventicle Act means 
universal irreligion. It means that for one Morality 
there will be many moralities. Each human being 
will, in the face of circumstances, work out his or 
her particular early training as his or her character 
determines. And although there will be a general 
convention upon which the most diverse people 
will meet, it will only be with persons who have 
come to identical or similar conclusions in the matter 
of moral conduct and who are living in similar 
manages, just as now it is only with people whose 
conversation implies a certain community or kinship 
of religious belief, that really frequent and intimate 
intercourse will go on. In other words, there will 
be a process of moral segregation 1 set up. Indeed, 

1 I use the word " segregation " here and always as it is used by 
mineralogists to express the slow conveyance of diffused matter upon 
centres of aggregation, such a process as, for example, must have 
occurred in the growth of flints. 

136 Anticipations 

such a process is probably already in operation, 
amidst the deliquescent social mass. People will 
be drawn together into little groups of similar 
manages having much in common. And this in 
view of the considerations advanced in the first two 
chapters, considerations all converging on the prac- 
tical abolition of distances and the general freedom 
of people to live anywhere they like over large areas 
will mean very frequently an actual local segregation. 
There will be districts that will be clearly recognized 
and marked as "nice," fast regions, areas of ram- 
shackle Bohemianism, regions of earnest and active 
work, old-fashioned corners and Hill Tops. Whole 
regions will be set aside for the purposes of opulent 
enjoyment a thing already happening, indeed, at 
points along the Riviera to-day. Already the super- 
ficial possibilities of such a segregation have been 
glanced at. It has been pointed out that the 
enormous urban region of the future may present 
an extraordinary variety of districts, suburbs, and 
subordinate centres within its limiting boundaries, 
and here we have a very definite enforcement of 
that probability. 

In the previous chapter I spoke of boating 
centres and horsey suburbs, and picturesque hilly 
districts and living places by the sea, of promenade 
centres and theatrical districts ; I hinted at various 
fashions in architecture, and suchlike things, but these 
exterior appearances will be but the outward and 

Certain Social Reactions 137 

visible sign of inward and more spiritual distinctions* 
The people who live in the good hunting country 
and about that glittering Grand Stand, will no longer 
be even pretending to live under the same code as 
those picturesque musical people who have con- 
centrated on the canoe-dotted river. Where the 
promenaders gather, and the bands are playing, and 
the pretty little theatres compete, the pleasure seeker 
will be seeking such pleasure as he pleases, no longer 
debased by furtiveness and innuendo, going his prim- 
rose path to a congenial, picturesque, happy and 
highly desirable extinction. Just over the hills, 
perhaps, a handful of opulent shareholders will be 
pleasantly preserving the old traditions of a landed 
aristocracy, with servants, tenants, vicar, and other 
dependents all complete, and what from the point 
of view of social physiology will really be an 
arrested contingent of the Abyss, but all nicely 
washed and done good to, will pursue home in- 
dustries in model cottages in a quite old English 
and exemplary manner. Here the windmills will 
spin and the waterfalls be trapped to gather force, 
and the quiet-eyed master of the machinery will 
have his office and perhaps his private home. Here 
about the great college and its big laboratories there 
will be men and women reasoning and studying 
and here, where the homes thicken among the ripe 
gardens, one will hear the laughter of playing chil- 
dren, the singing of children in their schools, and 

1 38 Anticipations 

see their little figures going to and fro amidst the 
trees and flowers. . . . 

i And these segregations, based primarily on a 
\ difference in moral ideas and pursuits and ideals, 
'will probably round off and complete themselves at 
last as distinct and separate cultures. As the moral 
ideas realize themselves in manage and habits, so the 
ideals will seek to find expression in a literature, and 
the passive drifting together will pass over into a 
phase of more or less conscious and intentional 
organization. The segregating groups will develop 
fashions of costume, types of manners and bearing, 
and even, perhaps, be characterized by a certain type 
of facial expression. And this gives us a glimpse, 
an aspect of the immediate future of literature. The 
kingdoms of the past were little things, and above 
the mass of peasants who lived and obeyed and died, 
there was just one little culture to which all must 
needs conform. Literature was universal within the 
limits of its language. Where differences of view 
arose there were violent controversies, polemics, and 
persecutions, until one or other rendering had won its 
ascendency. But this new world into which we are 
passing will, for several generations at least, albeit 
it will be freely inter-communicating and like a 
whispering gallery for things outspoken, possess no 
universal ideals, no universal conventions : there will 
be the literature of the thought and effort of this sort 
of people, and the literature, thought, and effort of 

Certain Social Reactions 139 

that. 1 Life is already most wonderfully arbitrary 
and experimental, and for the coming century this 
must be its essential social history, a great drifting 
and unrest of people, a shifting and regrouping and 
breaking up again of groups, great multitudes seek- 
ing to find themselves. 

The safe life in the old order, where one did this 
because it was right, and that because it was the 
custom, when one shunned this and hated that, as 
lead runs into a mould, all that is passing away. 

1 Already this is becoming apparent enough. The literary " Boom," 
for example, affected the entire reading public of the early nineteenth 
century. It was no figure of speech that " everyone " was reading 
Byron or puzzling about the Waverley mystery, that first and most suc- 
cessful use of the unknown author dodge. The booming of Dickens, 
too, forced him even into the reluctant hands of Omar's Fitzgerald. 
But the factory-syren voice of the modern " boomster " touches whole 
sections of the reading public no more than fog-horns going down 
Channel. One would as soon think of Skinner's Soap for one's 
library as So-and-so's Hundred Thousand Copy Success. Instead of 
"everyone" talking of the Great New Book, quite considerable 
numbers are shamelessly admitting they don't read that sort of thing. 
One gets used to literary booms just as one gets used to motor cars, 
they are no longer marvellous, universally significant things, but merely 
something that goes by with much unnecessary noise and leaves a faint 
offence in the air. Distinctly we segregate. And while no one 
dominates, while for all this bawling there are really no great authors 
of imperial dimensions, indeed no great successes to compare with the 
Waverley boom, or the boom of Macaulay's History, many men, too 
fine, too subtle, too aberrant, too unusually fresh for any but exceptional 
readers, men who would probably have failed to get a hearing at all in 
the past, can now subsist quite happily with the little sect they have 
found, or that has found them. They live safely in their islands ; a 
little while ago they could not have lived at all, or could have lived 
only on the shameful bread of patronage, and yet it is these very men 
who are often most covetously bitter against the vulgar preferences of 
the present day. 

140 Anticipations 

And presently, as the new century opens out, there 
will become more and more distinctly emergent many 
new cultures and settled ways. The grey expanse 
of life to-day is grey, not in its essence, but because 
of the minute confused mingling and mutual can- 
celling of many-coloured lives. Presently these tints 
and shades will gather together here as a mass of one 
colour, and there as a mass of another. And as 
these colours intensify and the tradition of the 
former order fades, as these cultures become more 
and more shaped and conscious, as the new literatures 
grow in substance and power, as differences develop 
from speculative matter of opinion to definite in- 
tentions, as contrasts and affinities grow sharper and 
clearer, there must follow some very extensive 
modifications in the collective public life. But one 
series of tints, one colour must needs have a heighten- 
ing value amidst this iridescent display. While the 
forces at work in the wealthy and purely speculative 
groups of society make for disintegration, and in 
many cases for positive elimination, the forces that 
bring together the really functional people will tend 
more and more to impose upon them certain common 
characteristics and beliefs, and the discovery of a 
group of similar and compatible class interests upon 
which they can unite. The practical people, the 
engineering and medical and scientific people, will 
become more and more homogeneous in their funda- 
mental culture, more and more distinctly aware of a 

Certain Social Reactions 141 

common " general reason " in things, and of a common 
difference from the less functional masses and from 
any sort of people in the past. They will have in 
their positive science a common ground for under- 
standing the real pride of life, the real reason for the 
incidental nastiness of vice, and so they will be a 
sanely reproductive class, and, above all, an educating 
class. Just how much they will have kept or changed 
of the deliquescent morality of to-day, when in a hun- 
dred years or so they do distinctively and powerfully 
emerge, I cannot speculate now. They will certainly 
be a moral people. They will have developed the 
literature of their needs, they will have discussed and 
tested and thrashed out many things, they will be 
clear where we are confused, resolved where we are 
undecided and weak. In the districts of industrial 
possibility, in the healthier quarters of the town 
regions, away from the swamps and away from the 
glare of the midnight lights, these people will be 
gathered together. They will be linked in pro- 
fessions through the agency of great and sober 
papers in England the Lancet^ the British Medical 
Journal, and the already great periodicals of the 
engineering trades, foreshadow something, but only 
a very little, of what these papers may be. The best 
of the wealthy will gravitate to their attracting 
centres. . . . Unless some great catastrophe in nature 
break down all that man has built, these great 
kindred groups of capable men and educated, 

142 Anticipations 

adequate women must be, under the operation of 
the forces we have considered so far, the element 
finally emergent amidst the vast confusions of the 
coming time. 

I take the opportunity afforded by a fresh printing of this book to 
add a clarifying word or so to the two preceding chapters. Much com- 
ment has made it clear to me that the shareholding and efficient elements 
have been too sharply antagonized in my discussion, so that it is 
assumed I write of two distinct, contrasted, separated strata of people. 
Such was certainly not my design. Throughout, my intention at least, 
was to contrast social forces or elements that more often than not will 
be found in conflict in individual men and individual households, not 
to contrast classes in the community, much less stratified classes. For 
example, I do not think of the men who concentrate and control Trusts, 
as members of, what I will admit I have spoken of too carelessly, as the 
shareholding class. Their wives and children may be, that is another 
matter. The essential feature of the Trust process is to gather together 
shares in order to control a reality ; the chief feature of that diffused 
body I intend when I speak of the shareholding class is its parasitic 
detachment from reality. H. G. W. 


IN the preceding four chapters there has been 
developed, in a clumsy laborious way, a smudgy, im- 
perfect picture of the generalized civilized state of 
the coming century. In terms, vague enough at times, 
but never absolutely indefinite, the general distribu- 
tion of the population in this state has been discussed, 
and its natural development into four great but 
in practice intimately interfused classes. It has 
been shown I know not how convincingly that as 
the result of forces that are practically irresistible, 
a world-wide process of social and moral deliquescence 
is in progress, and that a really functional social 
body of engineering, managing men, scientifically 
trained, and having common ideals and interests, 
is . likely to segregate and disentangle itself from 
our present confusion of aimless and ill-directed 
lives. It has been pointed out that life is presenting 
an unprecedented and increasing variety of morals, 
manages, occupations and types, at present so mingled 
as to give a general effect of grey ness, but contain- 
ing the promise of local concentration that may 

144 Anticipations 

presently change that greyness into kaleidoscopic 
effects. That image of concentrating contrasted 
colours will be greatly repeated in this present 
chapter. In the course of these inquiries, we have per- 
mitted ourselves to take a few concrete glimpses of 
households, costumes, conveyances, and conveniences 
of the coming time, but only as incidental realizations 
of points in this general thesis. And now, assuming, 
as we must necessarily do, the soundness of these 
earlier speculations, we have arrived at a stage when 
we may consider how the existing arrangements for 
the ostensible government of the State are likely to 
develop through their own inherent forces, and how 
they are likely to be affected by the processes we 
have forecast. 

So far, this has been a speculation upon the probable 
development of a civilized society in vacuo. Atten- 
tion has been almost exclusively given to the forces 
of development, and not to the forces of conflict 
and restraint. We have ignored the boundaries of 
language that are flung athwart the great lines of 
modern communication, we have disregarded the 
friction of tariffs, the peculiar groups of prejudices 
and irrational instincts that inspire one miscellany 
of shareholders, workers, financiers, and superfluous 
poor such as the English, to hate, exasperate, lie 
about, and injure another such miscellany as the 
French or the Germans. Moreover, we have taken 
very little account of the fact that, quite apart from 

The Life-History of Democracy 145 

nationality, each individual case of the new social 
order is developing within the form of a legal govern- 
ment based on conceptions of a society that has 
been superseded by the advent of mechanism. It 
is this last matter that we are about to take into 

Now, this age is being constantly described as a 
" Democratic " age ; " Democracy " is alleged to have 
affected art, literature, trade and religion alike in the 
most remarkable ways. It is not only tacitly present 
in the great bulk of contemporary thought that this 
" Democracy " is now dominant, but that it is be- 
coming more and more overwhelmingly predominant 
as the years pass. Allusions to Democracy are so 
abundant, deductions from its influence so confident 
and universal, that it is worth while to point out 
what a very hollow thing the word in most cases 
really is, a large empty object in thought, of the 
most vague and faded associations and the most 
attenuated content, and to inquire just exactly what 
the original implications and present realities of 
" Democracy " may be. The inquiry will leave us 
with a very different conception of the nature and 
future of this sort of political arrangement from that 
generally assumed.. We have already seen in the 
discussion of the growth of great cities, that an 
analytical process may absolutely invert the ex- 
pectation based on the gross results up-to-date, and 
I believe it will be equally possible to show cause 


146 Anticipations 

for believing that the development of Democracy 
also is, after all, not the opening phase of a world- 
wide movement going on unbendingly in its present 
direction, but the first impulse of forces that will 
finally sweep round into a quite different path. Fly- 
ing off at a tangent is probably one of the gravest 
dangers and certainly the one most constantly 
present, in this enterprise of prophecy. 

One may, I suppose, take the Rights of Man as 
they are embodied in the French Declaration as the 
ostentations of Democracy ; our present Democratic 
state may be regarded as a practical realization of 
these claims. As far as the individual goes, the 
realization takes the form of an untrammelled liberty 
in matters that have heretofore been considered a 
part of social procedure, in the lifting of positive 
religious and moral compulsions, in the recognition 
of absolute property, and in the abolition of special 
privileges and special restrictions. Politically modern 
Democracy takes the form of denying that any 
specific person or persons shall act as a matter of 
intrinsic right or capacity on behalf of the community 
as a whole. Its root idea is representation. Govern- 
ment is based primarily on election, and every ruler 
is, in theory at least, a delegate and servant of the 
popular will. It is implicit in the Democratic theory 
that there is such a thing as a popular will, and 
this is supposed to be the net sum of the wills 
of all the citizens in the State, so far as public 

The Life-History of Democracy 147 

affairs are concerned. In its less perfect and more 
usual state the Democratic theory is advanced either 
as an ethical theory which postulates an absence 
of formal acquiescence on the part of the governed 
as injustice, or else as a convenient political com- 
promise, the least objectionable of all possible 
methods of public control, because it will permit 
only the minimum of general unhappiness. ... I 
know of no case for the elective Democratic govern- 
ment of modern States that cannot be knocked 
to pieces in five minutes. It is manifest that 
upon countless important public issues there is no 
collective will, and nothing in the mind of the 
average man except blank indifference ; that an 
electional system simply places power in the hands 
of the most skilful electioneers ; that neither men 
nor their rights are identically equal, but vary with 
every individual, and, above all, that the minimum 
or maximum of general happiness is related only 
so indirectly to the public control that people will 
suffer great miseries from their governments un- 
resistingly, and, on the other hand, change their 
rulers on account of the most trivial irritations. 
The case against all the prolusions of ostensible 
Democracy is indeed so strong that it is impossible 
to consider the present wide establishment of Demo- 
cratic institutions as being the outcome of any process 
of intellectual conviction ; it arouses suspicion even 
whether ostensible Democracy may not be a mere 

148 Anticipations 

rhetorical garment for essentially different facts, and 
upon that suspicion we will now inquire. 

Democracy of the modern type, manhood suffrage 
and so forth, became a conspicuous phenomenon 
in the world only in the closing decades of the 
eighteenth century. Its genesis is so intimately con- 
nected with the first expansion of the productive 
element in the State, through mechanism and a 
co-operative organization, as to point at once to a 
causative connection. The more closely one looks 
into the social and political life of the eighteenth 
century the more plausible becomes this view. New 
and potentially influential social factors had begun to 
appear the organizing manufacturer, the intelligent 
worker, the skilled tenant, and the urban abyss, and 
the traditions of the old land-owning non-progressive 
aristocratic monarchy that prevailed in Christendom, 
rendered it incapable without some destructive 
shock or convulsion of any re-organization to 
incorporate or control these new factors. In the 
case of the British Empire an additional stress was 
created by the incapacity of the formal government 
to assimilate the developing civilization of the 
American colonies. Everywhere there were new 
elements, not as yet clearly analyzed or defined, 
arising as mechanism arose ; everywhere the old 
traditional government and social system, defined 
and analyzed all too well, appeared increasingly 
obstructive, irrational, and feeble in its attempts 

The Life-History of Democracy 149 

to include and direct these new powers. But now 
comes a point to which I am inclined to attach 
very great importance. The new powers were as 
yet shapeless. It was not the conflict of a new 
organization with the old. It was the preliminary 
dwarfing and deliquescence of the mature old beside 
the embryonic mass of the new. It was impossible 
then it is, I believe, only beginning to be possible 
now to estimate the proportions, possibilities, and 
inter-relations of the new social orders out of which 
a social organization has still to be built in the 
coming years. No formula of definite re-construction 
had been evolved, or has even been evolved yet, 
after a hundred years. And these swelling inchoate 
new powers, whose very birth condition was the 
crippling, modification, or destruction of the old 
order, were almost forced to formulate their pro- 
ceedings for a time, therefore, in general affirmative 
propositions that were really in effect not affirmative 
propositions at all, but propositions of repudiation 
and denial. "These kings and nobles and people 
privileged in relation to obsolescent functions cannot 
manage our affairs" that was evident enough, 
that was the really essential question at that time, 
and since no other effectual substitute appeared 
ready made, the working doctrine of the infallible 
judgment of humanity in the gross, as distin- 
guished from the quite indisputable incapacity of 
sample individuals, became, in spite of its inherent 

150 Anticipations 

absurdity, a convenient and acceptable working 

Modern Democracy thus came into being, not, 
as eloquent persons have pretended, by the sovereign 
people consciously and definitely assuming power 
I imagine the sovereign people in France during 
the first Revolution, for example, quite amazed and 
muddle-headed with it all but by the decline of 
old ruling classes in the face of the quasi- natural 
growth of mechanism and industrialism, and by 
the unpreparedness and want of organization in 
the new intelligent elements in the State. I have 
compared the human beings in society to a great 
and increasing variety of colours tumultuously 
smashed up together, and giving at present a general 
and quite illusory effect of grey, and I have 
attempted to show that there is a process in progress 
that will amount at last to the segregation of these 
mingled tints into recognizable distinct masses again. 
It is not a monotony, but an utterly disorderly 
and confusing variety that makes this grey, but 
Democracy, for practical purposes, does really assume 
such a monotony. Like oo, the Democratic formula 
is a concrete-looking and negotiable symbol for a 
negation. It is the aspect in political disputes and 
contrivances of that social and moral deliquescence 
the nature and possibilities of which have been 
discussed in the preceding chapters of this volume. 

Modern Democracy first asserted itself in the 

The Life-History of Democracy 151 

ancient kingdoms of France and Great Britain 
(counting the former British colonies in America 
as a part of the latter), and it is in the French 
and English-speaking communities that Democracy 
has developed itself most completely. Upon the 
supposition we have made, Democracy broke out 
first in these States because they were leading the 
way in material progress, because they were the first 
States to develop industrialism, wholesale mechanisms, 
and great masses of insubordinate activity outside 
the recognized political scheme, and the nature and 
time and violence of the outbreak was determined 
by the nature of the superseded government, and 
the amount of stress between it and the new ele- 
ments. But the detachment of a great section of 
the new middle-class from the aristocratic order of 
England to form the United States of America, and 
the sudden rejuvenescence of France by the swift 
and thorough sloughing of its outworn aristocratic 
monarchy, the consequent wars and the Napoleonic 
adventure, checked and modified the parallel de- 
velopment that might otherwise have happened in 
country after country over all Europe west of the 
Carpathians. The monarchies that would probably 
have collapsed through internal forces and given 
place to modern democratic states were smashed 
from the outside, and a process of political re-con- 
struction, that has probably missed out the complete 
formal Democratic phase altogether and which has 

152 Anticipations 

been enormously complicated through religious, 
national, and dynastic traditions set in. Through- 
out America, in England, and, after extraordinary 
experiments, in France, political democracy has in 
effect legally established itself most completely in 
the United States and the reflection and influence 
of its methods upon the methods of all the other 
countries in intellectual contact with it, have been 
so considerable as practically to make their monarchies 
as new in their kind, almost, as democratic republics. 
In Germany, Austria, and Italy, for example, there 
is a press nearly as audible as in the more frankly 
democratic countries, and measurably akin in in- 
fluence ; there are constitutionally established legis- 
lative assemblies, and there is the same unofficial 
development of powerful financial and industrial 
powers with which the ostensible Government must 
make terms. In a vast amount of the public dis- 
cussion of these States, the postulates of Democracy 
are clearly implicit. Quite as much in reality as 
the democratic republics of America, are they based 
not on classes but upon a confusion ; they are, in 
their various degrees and with their various indi- 
vidual differences, just as truly governments of the 

It has been argued that the grey is illusory and 
must sooner or later pass, and that the colour that 
will emerge to predominance will take its shape as 
a scientifically trained middle-class of an unpre- 

The Life-History of Democracy 153 

cedented sort, not arising out of the older middle- 
classes, but replacing them. This class will become, 
I believe, at last consciously the State, controlling 
and restricting very greatly the three non-functional 
masses with which it is as yet almost indistinguish- 
ably mingled. The general nature of its formation 
within the existing confusion and its emergence may, 
I think, with a certain degree of confidence, be already 
forecast, albeit at present its beginnings are singularly 
unpromising and faint. At present the class of 
specially trained and capable people doctors, en- 
gineers, scientific men of all sorts is quite dispro- 
portionally absent from political life, it does not 
exist as a factor in that life, it is growing up outside 
that life, and has still to develop, much more to 
display, a collective intention to come specifically 
in. But the forces are in active operation to drag 
it into the centre of the stage for all that. 

The modern democracy or democratic quasi- 
monarchy conducts its affairs as though there was 
no such thing as special knowledge or practical 
education. The utmost recognition it affords to the 
man who has taken the pains to know, and specifically 
to do, is occasionally to consult him upon specific 
points and override his counsels in its ampler wisdom, 
or to entrust to him some otherwise impossible duty 
under circumstances of extreme limitation. The 
man of special equipment is treated always as if he 
were some sort of curious performing animal, The 

1 54 Anticipations 

gunnery specialist, for example, may move and let off 
guns, but he may not say where they are to be let 
off some one a little ignorant of range and trajec- 
tory does that; the engineer may move the ship 
and fire the battery, but only with some man, who 
does not perfectly understand, shouting instructions 
down a tube at him. If the cycle is to be adapted 
to military requirements, the thing is entrusted to 
Lieu tenant- Colonel Balfour. If horses are to be 
bought for the British Army in India, no specialist 
goes, but Lord Edward Cecil. These people of the 
governing class do not understand there is such a 
thing as special knowledge or an inexorable fact in 
the world ; they have been educated at schools con- 
ducted by amateur schoolmasters, whose real aim in 
life if such people can be described as having a real 
aim in life is the episcopal bench, and they have 
learnt little or nothing but the extraordinary power 
of appearances in these democratic times. To look 
right and to be of good report is to succeed. What 
else is there ? The primarily functional men are 
ignored in the ostensible political scheme, it operates 
as though they did not exist, as though nothing, in 
fact, existed but the irresponsible wealthy, and the 
manipulators of irresponsible wealth, on the one 
hand, and a great, grey, politically indifferent com- 
munity on the other. Having regard only to the 
present condition of political life, it would seem as 
though this state of affairs must continue indefinitely, 

The Life-History of Democracy 155 

and develop only in accordance with the laws of 
inter-action between our charlatan governing class 
on the one hand, and the grey mass of governed on 
the other. There is no way apparent in the existing 
political and social order, whereby the class of really 
educated persons that the continually more com- 
plicated mechanical fabric of social life is developing 
may be expected to come in. And in a very great 
amount of current political speculation, the develop- 
ment and final emergence of this class is ignored, 
and attention is concentrated entirely upon the 
inherent process of development of the political 
machine. And even in that it is very easy to ex- 
aggerate the preponderance of one or other of what 
are really very evenly balanced forces in the machine 
of democratic government. 

There are two chief sets of parts in the machine 
that have a certain antagonistic relation, that play 
against each other, and one's conception of coming 
developments is necessarily determined by the relative 
value one gives to these opposing elements. One 
may compare these two groups to the Power and the 
Work, respectively, at the two ends of a lever. 1 On 
the one hand there is that which pays for the machine, 
which distributes salaries and rewards, subsidizes 
newspapers and so forth the central influence. 2 On 

1 The fulcrum, which is generally treated as being absolutely im- 
movable, being the general belief in the theory of democracy. 

a In the United States, a vast rapidly developing country, with 
relatively much kinetic wealth, this central influence is the financial 

156 Anticipations 

the other hand, there is the collectively grey voting 
mass, with certain prejudices and traditions, and 
certain laws and limitations of thought upon which 
the newspapers work, and which, within the confines 
of its inherent laws, they direct. If one dwell chiefly 
on the possibilities of the former element, one may 
conjure up a practical end to democracy in the 
vision of a State " run " entirely by a group of 
highly forcible and intellectual persons usually the 
dream takes the shape of financiers and their 
associates, their perfected mechanism of party control 
working the elections boldly and capably, and their 
public policy being directed towards financial ends. 
One of the common prophecies of the future of the 
United States is such a domination by a group of 
trust organizers and political bosses. But a man, 
or a group of men, so strong and intelligent as would 
be needed to hold an entire party machine within 
the confines of his or their collective mind and 
will, could, at the most, be but a very transitory 
and incidental phenomenon in the history of the 
world. Either such an exploitation of the central 

support of the Boss, consisting for the most part of active-minded, 
capable business organizers ; in England, the land where irresponsible 
realized wealth is at a maximum, a public-spirited section of the 
irresponsible, inspired by the tradition of an aristocratic functional past, 
qualifies the financial influence with an amateurish, indolent, and pub- 
licly unprofitable integrity. In Germany an aggressively functional 

Court occupies the place and plays the part of a permanently 

dominant party machine. 

The Life-History of Democracy 157 

control will have to be covert and subtle beyond 
any precedent in human disingenuousness, or else 
its domination will have to be very amply modified 
indeed, by the requirements of the second factor, 
and its proceedings made very largely the resultant 
of that second factor's forces. Moreover, very subtle 
men do not aim at things of this sort, or aiming, 
fail, because subtlety of intelligence involves subtlety 
of character, a certain fastidiousness and a certain 
weakness. Now that the garrulous period, when a 
flow of language and a certain effectiveness of 
manner was a necessary condition to political pre- 
eminence, is passing away, political control falls 
more and more entirely into the hands of a barris- 
terish intriguing sort of person with a tough-wearing, 
leathery, practical mind. The sort of people who 
will work the machine are people with " faith," as 
the popular preachers say, meaning, in fact, people 
who do not analyze, people who will take the 
machine as it is, unquestioningly, shape their ambi- 
tions to it, and saving their vanity work it as it 
wants to go. The man who will be boss will be 
the man who wants to be boss, who finds, in being 
boss, a complete and final satisfaction, and not the 
man who complicates things by wanting to be boss 
in order to be, or do, something else. The machines 
are governed to-day, and there is every reason to 
believe that they will continue to be governed, by 
masterful-looking resultants, masters of nothing but 

158 Anticipations 

compromise, and that little fancy of an inner con- 
spiracy of control within the machine and behind 
ostensible politics is really on all fours with the 
wonderful Rodin (of the Juif Errant) and as probable 
as anything else in the romances of Eugene Sue. 

If, on the other hand, we direct attention to the 
antagonistic element in the machine, to Public 
Opinion, to the alleged collective mind of the grey 
mass, and consider how it is brought to believe in 
itself and its possession of certain opinions by the 
concrete evidence of daily newspapers and eloquent 
persons saying as much, we may also very readily 
conjure up a contrasted vision of extraordinary 
demagogues or newspaper syndicates working the 
political machine from that direction. So far as 
the demagogue goes, the increase of population, the 
multiplication of amusements and interests, the 
differentiation of social habits, the diffusion of great 
towns, all militate against that sufficient gathering 
of masses of voters in meeting-houses which gave 
him his power in the recent past. It is improbable 
that ever again will any flushed undignified man 
with a vast voice, a muscular face in incessant 
operation, collar crumpled, hair disordered, and 
arms in wild activity, talking, talking, talking, talk- 
ing copiously out of the windows of railway carriages, 
talking on railway platforms, talking from hotel 
balconies, talking on tubs, barrels, scaffoldings, 
pulpits tireless and undammable rise to be the 

The Life-History of Democracy 159 

most powerful thing in any democratic state in 
the world. Continually the individual vocal dema- 
gogue dwindles, and the element of bands and 
buttons, the organization of the press and procession, 
the share of the machine, grows. 

Mr. Harmsworth, of the London Daily Mail, in 
a very interesting article has glanced at certain 
possibilities of power that may vest in the owners 
of a great system of world-wide "simultaneous" 
newspapers, but he does not analyze the nature of 
the influence exercised by newspapers during the 
successive phases of the nineteenth century, nor the 
probable modifications of that influence in the years 
to come, and I think, on the whole, he inclines very 
naturally to over estimate the amount of intentional 
direction that may be given by the owner of a paper 
to the minds and acts of his readers, and to exceed 
the very definite limits within which that influence 
is confined. In the earlier Victorian period, the 
more limited, partly educated, and still very homo- 
geneous enfranchised class, had a certain habit of 
thinking ; its tranquil assurance upon most theo- 
logical and all moral and aesthetic points left political 
questions as the chief field of exercise for such 
thinking as it did, and, as a consequence, the dignified 
newspapers of that time were able to discuss, and 
indeed were required to discuss not only specific 
situations but general principles. That indeed was 
their principal function, and it fell rather to the 

160 Anticipations 

eloquent men to misapply these principles according 
to the necessity of the occasion. The papers did 
then very much more than they do now to mould 
opinion, though they did not direct affairs to any- 
thing like the extent of their modern successors. 
They made roads upon which events presently 
travelled in unexpected fashions. But the often 
cheaper and always more vivid newspapers that have 
come with the New Democracy do nothing to mould 
opinion. Indeed, there is no longer upon most public 
questions and as I have tried to make clear in my 
previous paper, there is not likely to be any longer 
a collective opinion to be moulded. Protectionists, 
for example, are a mere band, Free Traders are a 
mere band; on all these details we are in chaos. 
And these modern newspapers simply endeavour to 
sustain a large circulation and so merit advertise- 
ments by being as miscellaneously and vividly 
interesting as possible, by firing where the crowd 
seems thickest, by seeking perpetually and without 
any attempt at consistency, the greatest excitement 
of the greatest number. It is upon the cultivation 
and rapid succession of inflammatory topics that the 
modern newspaper expends its capital and trusts to 
recover its reward. Its general news sinks steadily 
to a subordinate position ; criticism, discussion, and 
high responsibility pass out of journalism, and the 
power of the press comes more and more to be a 
dramatic and emotional power, the power to cry 

The Life-History of Democracy 161 

" Fire ! " in the theatre, the power to give enormous 
value for a limited time to some personality, some 
event, some aspect, true or false, without any power 
of giving a specific direction to the forces this dis- 
tortion may set going. Directly the press of to-day 
passes from that sort of thing to some specific pro- 
posal, some implication of principles and beliefs, 
directly it chooses and selects, then it passes from 
the miscellaneous to the sectarian, and out of touch 
with the grey indefiniteness of the general mind. It 
gives offence here, it perplexes and bores there ; no 
more than the boss politician can the paper of great 
circulation afford to work consistently for any 
ulterior aim. 

This is the limit of the power of the modern news- 
paper of large circulation, the newspaper that 
appeals to the grey element, to the average demo- 
cratic man, the newspaper of the deliquescence, and 
if our previous conclusion that human society has 
ceased to be homogeneous and will presently display 
new masses segregating from a great confusion, holds 
good, that will be the limit of its power in the future. 
It may undergo many remarkable developments and 
modifications, 1 but none of these tend to give it any 

1 The nature of these modifications is an interesting side issue. 
There is every possibility of papers becoming at last papers of world- 
wide circulation, so far as the language in which they are printed 
permits, with editions that will follow the sun and change into to- 
morrow's issue as they go, picking up literary criticism here, financial 
intelligence there, here to-morrow's story, and there to-morrow's 


1 62 Anticipations 

greater political importance than it has now. And 
so, after all, our considerations of the probable 

scandal, and, like some vast intellectual garden-roller, rolling out local 
provincialism at every revolution. This, for papers in English, at any 
rate, is merely a question of how long it will be before the price of the 
best writing (for journalistic purposes) rises actually or relatively above 
the falling cost of long distance electrical type setting. Each of the 
local editions of these world travelling papers, in addition to the 
identical matter that will appear almost simultaneously everywhere, 
will no doubt have its special matter and its special advertisements. 
Illustrations will be telegraphed just as well as matter, and probably a 
much greater use will be made of sketch and diagram than at present. 
If the theory advanced in this book that democracy is a transitory con- 
fusion be sound, there will not be one world paper of this sort only 
like Moses' serpent after its miraculous struggle but several, and as 
the non-provincial segregation of society goes on, these various great 
papers will take on more and more decided specific characteristics, and 
lose more and more their local references. They will come to have 
not only a distinctive type of matter, a distinctive method of thought 
and manner of expression, but distinctive fundamental implications, and 
a distinctive class of writer. This difference in character and tone 
renders the advent of any Napoleonic master of the newspaper world 
vastly more improbable than it would otherwise be. These specializing 
newspapers will, as they find their class, throw out many features that 
do not belong to that class. It is highly probable that many will 
restrict the space devoted to news and sham news ; that forged and 
inflated stuff made in offices, that bulks out the foreign intelligence of 
so many English papers, for example. At present every paper contains 
a little of everything, inadequate sporting stuff, inadequate financial 
stuff, vague literary matter, voluminous reports of political vapourings, 
because no newspaper is quite sure of the sort of readers it has 
probably no daily newspaper has yet a distinctive sort of reader. 

Many people, with their minds inspired by the number of editions 
which evening papers pretend to publish and do not, incline to believe 
that daily papers may presently give place to hourly papers, each with 
the last news of the last sixty minutes photographically displayed. As 
a matt / of fact no human being wants that, and very few are so foolish 
as to 4hink they do ; the only kind of news that any sort of people 
cla^ /ours for hot and hot is financial and betting fluctuations, lottery 
li is' and examination results; and the elaborated and cheapened 

The Life-History of Democracy 163 

developments of the party machine give us only 
negative results, so long as the grey social confusion 

telegraphic and telephonic system of the coming days, with tapes (or 
phonograph to replace them) in every post-office and nearly every 
private house, so far from expanding this department, will probably 
sweep it out of the papers altogether. One will subscribe to a news 
agency which will wire all the stuff one cares to have so violently 
fresh, into a phonographic recorder perhaps, in some convenient corner. 
There the thing will be in every house, beside the barometer, to hear or 
ignore. With the separation of that function what is left of the news- 
paper will revert to one daily edition daily, I think, because of the 
power of habit to make the newspaper the specific business of some 
definite moments in the day ; the breakfast hour, I suppose, or the 
" up- to- town " journey with most Englishmen now. Quite possibly 
some one will discover some day that there is now machinery for 
folding and fastening a paper into a form that will not inevitably get 
into the butter, or lead to bitterness in a railway carriage. This pitch 
of development reached, I incline to anticipate daily papers much more 
like the Spectator in form than these present mainsails of our public 
life. They will probably not contain fiction at all, and poetry only 
rarely, because no one but a partial imbecile wants these things in 
punctual daily doses, and we are anticipating an escape from a period 
of partial imbecility. My own culture and turn of mind, which is 
probably akin to that of a respectable mechanic of the year 2000, 
inclines me towards a daily paper that will have in addition to its con- 
centrated and absolutely trustworthy daily news, full and luminous 
accounts of new inventions, new theories, and new departures of all 
sorts (usually illustrated), witty and penetrating comments upon public 
affairs, criticisms of all sorts of things, representations of newly pro- 
duced works of art, and an ample amount of ably written controversy 
upon everything under the sun. The correspondence columns, instead 
of being an exercising place for bores and conspicuous people who are 
not mercenary, will be the most ample, the most carefully collected, 
and the most highly paid of all departments in this paper. Personal 
paragraphs will be relegated to some obscure and costly corner next to 
the births, deaths, and marriages. This paper will have, of course, 
many pages of business advertisements, and these will usually be well 
worth looking through, for the more intelligent editors of the days to 
come will edit this department just like any other, and classify their 
advertisements in a descending scale of freshness and interest that will 

164 Anticipations 

continues. Subject to that continuance the party 
machine will probably continue as it is at present, 

also be an ascending scale of price. The advertiser who wants to be 
an indecent bore, and vociferate for the ten millionth time some 
flatulent falsehood about a pill, for instance, will pay at nuisance rates. 
Probably many papers will refuse to print nasty and distressful 
advertisements about people's insides at all. The entire paper will be 
as free from either greyness or offensive stupidity in its advertisement 
columns as the shop windows in Bond Street to-day, and for much the 
same reason, because the people who go that way do not want that 
sort of thing. 

It has been supposed that, since the real income of the newspaper is 
derived from advertisements, large advertisers will combine in the 
future to own papers confined to the advertisements of their specific 
wares. Some such monopoly is already attempted ; several publishing 
firms own or partially own a number of provincial papers, which they 
adorn with strange "Book Chat" columns conspicuously deficient in 
their information j and a well-known cycle tyre firm supplies " Cycling " 
columns that are mere pedestals for the Head-of-King-Charles make of 
tyre. Many quack firms publish and give away annual almanacks 
replete with economical illustrations, offensive details, and bad jokes. 
But I venture to think, in spite of such phenomena, that these 
suggestions and attempts are made with a certain disregard of the 
essential conditions of sound advertisement. Sound advertisement 
consists in perpetual alertness and newness, in appearance in new places 
and in new aspects, in the constant access to fresh minds. The devotion 
of a newspaper to the interest of one particular make of a commodity 
or group of commodities will inevitably rob its advertisement depart- 
ment of most of its interest for the habitual readers of the paper. That 
is to say, the newspaper will fail in what is one of the chief attractions 
of a good newspaper. Moreover, such a devotion will react upon all 
the other matter in the paper, because the editor will need to be con- 
stantly alert to exclude seditious reflections upon the Health- Extract-of- 
Horse-Flesh or Saved-by-Boiling-Jam. His sense of this relation will 
taint his self-respect and make him a less capable editor than a man 
whose sole affair is to keep his paper interesting. To these more 
interesting rival papers the excluded competitor will be driven, and the 
reader will follow in his wake. There is little more wisdom in the pro- 
prietor of an article in popular demand buying or creating a newspaper 
to contain all his advertisements than in his buying a coal pit for the 

The Life-History of Democracy 165 

and Democratic States and governments follow the 
lines upon which they run at the present time. 

Now, how will the emergent class of capable men 
presently begin to modify the existing form of 
government in the ostensibly democratic countries 
and democratic monarchies? There will be very 
many variations and modifications of the methods 
of this arrival, an infinite complication of detailed 
incidents, but a general proposition will be found to 
hold good. The suppression of the party machine 
in the purely democratic countries and of the official 
choice of the rich and privileged rulers in the more 
monarchical ones, by capable operative and adminis- 
trative men inspired by the belief in a common 
theory of social order, will come about peacefully 
and gradually as a process of change, or violently 
as a revolution but inevitably as the outcome 
either of the imminence or else of the disasters of 

That all these governments of confusion will drift 
towards war, with a spacious impulse and a final 
vehemence quite out of comparison greater than the 
warlike impulses of former times, is a remarkable 

same purpose. Such a privacy of advertisement will never work, 
I think, on a large scale ; it is probably at or near its maximum 
development now, and this anticipation of the advertiser- owned paper, 
like that of hourly papers, and that wonderfully powerful cosmic news- 
paper syndicate, is simply another instance of prophesying based only 
on a present trend, an expansion of the obvious, instead of an analysis 
of determining forces. 

1 66 A nticipations 

but by no means inexplicable thing. A tone of 
public expression, jealous and patriotic to the danger- 
point, is an unavoidable condition under which 
democratic governments exist. To be patriotically 
quarrelsome is imperative upon the party machines 
that will come to dominate the democratic countries. 
They will not possess detailed and definite policies 
and creeds because there are no longer any detailed 
and definite public opinions, but they will for all that 
require some ostensible purpose to explain their 
cohesion, some hold upon the common man that will 
ensure his appearance in numbers at the polling 
place sufficient to save the government from the 
raids of small but determined sects. That hold can 
be only of one sort. Without moral or religious 
uniformity, with material interests as involved and 
confused as a heap of spelicans, there remains only 
one generality for the politician's purpose, the ampler 
aspect of a man's egotism, his pride in what he 
imagines to be his particular kind his patriotism. 
In every country amenable to democratic influences 
there emerges, or will emerge, a party machine, 
vividly and simply patriotic and indefinite upon the 
score of any other possible consideration between 
man and man. This will hold true, not only of the 
ostensibly democratic states, but also of such re- 
constituted modern monarchies as Italy and Ger- 
many, for they, too, for all their legal difference, rest 
also on the grey. The party conflicts of the future 

The Life-History of Democracy 167 

will turn very largely on the discovery of the true 
patriot, on the suspicion that the crown or the machine 
in possession is in some more or less occult way 
traitorous, and almost all other matters of contention 
will be shelved and allowed to stagnate, for fear of 
breaking the unity of the national mechanism. 

Now, patriotism is not a thing that flourishes in 
the void, one needs a foreigner. A national and 
patriotic party is an anti-foreign party ; the altar of 
the modern god, Democracy, will cry aloud for the 
stranger men. Simply to keep in power, and out of 
no love of mischief, the government or the party 
machine will have to insist upon dangers and national 
differences, to keep the voter to the poll by alarms, 
seeking ever to taint the possible nucleus of any 
competing organization with the scandal of external 
influence. The party press will play the watch-dog 
and allay all internal dissensions with its warning 
bay at some adjacent people, and the adjacent peoples, 
for reasons to be presently expanded, will be con- 
tinually more sensitive to such baying. Already one 
sees country yelping at country all over the modern 
world, not only in the matter of warlike issues, but 
with a note of quite furious commercial rivalry 
quite furious and, indeed, quite insane, since its ideal 
of trading enormously with absolutely ruined and 
tradeless foreigners, exporting everything and im- 
porting nothing, is obviously outside reason alto- 
gether. The inexorable doom of these governments 

1 68 Anticipations 

based on the grey, is to foster enmity between people 
and people. Even their alliances are but sacrifices 
to intenser antagonisms. And the phases of the 
democratic sequence are simple and sure. Forced 
on by a relentless competition, the tone of the out- 
cries will become fiercer and fiercer ; the occasions 
of excitement, the perilous moments, the ingenuities 
of annoyance, more and more dramatic, from the 
mere emptiness and disorder of the general mind ! 
Jealousies and anti-foreign enactments, tariff mani- 
pulations and commercial embitterment, destructive, 
foolish, exasperating obstructions that benefit no 
human being, will minister to this craving without 
completely allaying it. Nearer, and ever nearer, the 
politicians of the coming times will force one another 
towards the verge, not because they want to go over 
it, not because any one wants to go over it, but 
because they are, by their very nature, compelled 
to go that way, because to go in any other direction 
is to break up and lose power. And, consequently, 
the final development of the democratic system, so 
far as intrinsic forces go, will be, not the rule of the 
boss, nor the r e of the trust, nor the rule of the 
newspaper ; no ule, indeed, but international rivalry, 
international corn-petition, international exasperation 
and hostility, and at last irresistible and over- 
whelming the definite establishment of the rule of 
that most stern and educational of all masters 
War. \ 

The Life-History of Democracy 169 

At this point there opens a tempting path, and 
along it historical precedents, like a forest of notice- 
boards, urge us to go. At the end of the vista 
poses the figure of Napoleon with " Caesarism " 
written beneath it. Disregarding certain alien con- 
siderations for a time, assuming the free working 
out of democracy to its conclusion, we perceive 
that, in the case of our generalized state, the party 
machine, together with the nation entrusted to it, 
must necessarily be forced into passionate national 
war. But, having blundered into war, the party 
machine will have an air of having accomplished its 
destiny. A party machine or a popular government 
is surely as likely a thing to cause a big disorder of 
war and as unlikely a thing to conduct it, as the wit 
of man, working solely to that end, could ever have 
devised. I have already pointed out why we can 
never expect an elected government of the modern 
sort to be guided by any far-reaching designs, it is 
constructed to get office and keep office, not to do 
anything in office, the conditions of its survival are 
to keep appearances up and taxes down, 1 and the 

1 One striking illustration of the distinctive possibilities of demo- 
cratic government came to light during the last term of office of the 
present patriotic British Government. As a demonstration of patriotism 
large sums of money were voted annually for the purpose of building 
warships, and the patriotic common man paid the taxes gladly with 
a dream of irresistible naval predominance to sweeten the payment. 
But the money was not spent on warships ; only a portion of it was 
spent, and the rest remained to make a surplus and warm the heart of 
the common man in his tax-paying capacity. This artful dodge was 

1 70 Anticipations 

care and management of army and navy is quite 
outside its possibilities. The military and naval 
professions in our typical modern State will subsist 
very largely upon tradition, the ostensible govern- 
ment will interfere with rather than direct them, and 
there will be no force in the entire scheme to check 
the corrupting influence of a long peace, to insist 
upon adequate exercises for the fighting organiza- 
tion or ensure an adequate adaptation to the new 
and perpetually changing possibilities of untried 
apparatus. Incapable but confident and energetic 
persons, having political influence, will have been 
permitted to tamper with the various arms of the 
service, the equipment will be largely devised to 
create an impression of efficiency in times of peace 
in the minds of the general voting public, and the 
really efficient soldiers will either have fretted them- 
selves out of the army or have been driven out as 

repeated for several years ; the artful dodger is now a peer, no doubt 
abjectly respected, and nobody in the most patriotic party so far 
evolved is a bit the worse for it. In the organizing expedients of all 
popular governments, as in the prospectuses of unsound companies, 
the disposition is to exaggerate the nominal capital at the expense of 
the working efficiency. Democratic armies and navies are always 
short, and probably will always be short, of ammunition, paint, train- 
ing and reserve stores ; battalions and ships, since they count as units, 
are over-numerous and go short-handed, and democratic army reform 
almost invariably works out to some device for multiplying units by 
fission, and counting men three times instead of twice in some inge- 
nious and plausible way. And this must be so, because the sort of 
men who come inevitably to power under democratic conditions are 
men trained by all the conditions of their lives to so set appearances 
before realities as at last to become utterly incapable of realities. 

The Life-History of Democracy 171 

political non-effectives, troublesome, innovating per- 
sons anxious to spend money upon " fads." So 
armed, the New Democracy will blunder into war, 
and the opening stage of the next great war will 
be the catastrophic breakdown of the formal armies, 
shame and disasters, and a disorder of conflict 
between more or less equally matched masses of 
stupefied, scared, and infuriated people. Just how 
far the thing may rise from the value of an alarming 
and edifying incident to a universal catastrophe, 
depends upon the special nature of the conflict, but 
it does not alter the fact that any considerable war 
is bound to be a bitter, appalling, highly educational 
and constitution-shaking experience for the modern 
democratic state. 

Now, foreseeing this possibility, it is easy to step 
into the trap of the Napoleonic precedent. One 
hastens to foretell that either with the pressure of 
coming war, or in the hour of defeat, there will 
arise the Man. He will be strong in action, 
epigrammatic in manner, personally handsome and 
continually victorious. He will sweep aside parlia- 
ments and demagogues, carry the nation to glory, 
reconstruct it as an empire, and hold it together 
by circulating his profile and organizing further 
successes. He will I gather this from chance lights 
upon contemporary anticipations codify everything, 
rejuvenate the papacy, or, at any rate, galvanize 
Christianity, organize learning in meek intriguing 

172 Anticipations 

academies of little men, and prescribe a wonderful 
educational system. The grateful nations will once 
more deify a lucky and aggressive egotism. . . . 
And there the vision loses breath. 

Nothing of the sort is going to happen, or, at 
any rate, if it happens, it will happen as an interlude, 
as no necessary part in the general progress of the 
human drama. The world is no more to be recast 
by chance individuals than a city is to be lit by 
sky rockets. The purpose of things emerges upon 
spacious issues, and the day of individual leaders 
is past. The analogies and precedents that lead 
one to forecast the coming of military one-man- 
dominions, the coming of such other parodies of 
Caesar's career as that misapplied, and speedily 
futile chess champion, Napoleon I. contrived, are 
false. They are false because they ignore two 
correlated things; first, the steady development of 
a new and quite unprecedented educated class as 
a necessary aspect of the expansion of science and 
mechanism, and secondly, the absolute revolution 
in the art of war that science and mechanism are 
bringing about. This latter consideration the next 
chapter will expand, but here, in the interests of 
this discussion, we may in general terms anticipate 
its gist. War in the past has been a thing entirely 
different in its nature from what war, with the 
apparatus of the future, will be it has been showy, 
dramatic, emotional, and restricted ; war in the future 

The Life-History of Democracy 1 73 

will be none of these things. War in the past was 
a thing of days and heroisms ; battles and campaigns 
rested in the hand of the great commander, he stood 
out against the sky, picturesquely on horseback, 
visibly controlling it all. War in the future will 
be a question of preparation, of long years of fore- 
sight and disciplined imagination, there will be no 
decisive victory, but a vast diffusion of conflictit 
will depend less and less on controlling personalities 
and driving emotions, and more and more upon 
the intelligence and personal quality of a great 
number of skilled men. All this the next chapter 
will expand. And either before or after, but, at 
any rate, in the shadow of war, it will become 
apparent, perhaps even suddenly, that the whole 
apparatus of power in the country is in the hands 
of a new class of intelligent and scientifically- 
educated men. They will probably, under the 
development of warlike stresses, be discovered 
they will discover themselves almost surprisingly 
with roads and railways, carts and cities, drains, 
fpod supply, electrical supply, and water supply, 
and with guns and such implements of destruction 
and intimidation as men scarcely dream of yet, 
gathered in their hands. And they will be dis- 
covered, too, with a growing common consciousness 
of themselves as distinguished from the grey con- 
fusion, a common purpose and implication that the 
fearless analysis of science is already bringing to 

174 Anticipations 

light. They will find themselves with bloodshed 
and horrible disasters ahead, and the material 
apparatus of control entirely within their power. 
" Suppose, after all," they will say, " we ignore these 
very eloquent and showy governing persons above, 
and this very confused and ineffectual multitude 
below. Suppose now we put on the brakes and 
try something a little more stable and orderly. 
These people in possession have, of course, all sorts 
of established rights and prescriptions ; they have 
squared the law to their purpose, and the constitution 
does not know us ; they can get at the judges, 
they can get at the newspapers, they can do all 
sorts of things except avoid a smash but, for our 
part, we have these really most ingenious and subtle 
guns. Suppose instead of our turning them and 
our valuable selves in a fool's quarrel against the 
ingenious and subtle guns of other men akin to 
ourselves, we use them in the cause of the higher 
sanity, and clear that jabbering war tumult out 
of the streets." . . . There may be no dramatic 
moment for the expression of this idea, no moment 
when the new Cromwellism and the new Ironsides 
will come visibly face to face with talk and baubles, 
flags and patriotic dinner bells ; but, with or without 
dramatic moments, the idea will be expressed and 
acted upon. It will be made quite evident then, 
what is now indeed only a pious opinion, namely, 
that wealth is, after all, no ultimate Power at all 

The Life-History of Democracy 1 75 

but only an influence among aimless, police-guarded 
men. So long as there is peace the class of capable 
men may be mitigated and gagged and controlled, 
and the ostensible present order may flourish still 
in the hands of that other class of men which deals 
with the appearances of things. But as some super- 
saturated solution will crystallize out with the mere 
shaking of its beaker, so must the new order of 
men come into visibly organized existence through 
the concussions of war. The charlatans can escape 
everything except war, but to the cant and violence 
of nationality, to the sustaining force of international 
hostility, they are ruthlessly compelled to cling, and 
what is now their chief support must become at 
last their destruction. And so it is I infer that, 
whether violently as a revolution or quietly and 
slowly, this grey confusion that is Democracy must 
pass away inevitably by its own inherent conditions, 
as the twilight passes, as the embryonic confusion 
of the cocoon creature passes, into the higher stage, 
into the higher organism, the world-state of the 
coming years. 



IN shaping anticipations of the future of war there 
arises a certain difficulty about the point of de- 
parture. One may either begin upon such broad 
issues as the preceding forecasts have opened, and 
having determined now something of the nature 
of the coming State and the force of its warlike 
inclination, proceed to speculate how this vast ill- 
organized fourfold organism will fight ; or one may 
set all that matter aside for a space, and having 
regard chiefly to the continually more potent appli- 
ances physical science offers the soldier, we may 
try to develop a general impression of theoretically 
thorough war, go from that to the nature of the State 
most likely to be superlatively efficient in such 
warfare, and so arrive at the conditions of survival 
under which these present governments of confusion 
will struggle one against the other. The latter 
course will be taken here. We will deal first of 
all with war conducted for its own sake, with a 
model army, as efficient as an imaginative training 
can make it, and with a model organization for 

War 177 

warfare of the State behind it, and then the ex- 
perience of the confused modern social organism 
as it is impelled, in an uncongenial metamorphosis, 
towards this imperative and finally unavoidable 
efficient state, will come most easily within the 
scope of one's imagination. 

The great change that is working itself out in 
warfare is the same change that is working itself 
out in the substance of the social fabric. The 
essential change in the social fabric, as we have 
analyzed it, is the progressive supersession of the 
old broad labour base by elaborately organized 
mechanism, and the obsolescence of the once valid 
and necessary distinction of gentle and simple. In 
warfare, as I have already indicated, this takes the 
form of the progressive supersession of the horse 
and the private soldier which were the living and 
sole engines of the old time by machines, and the 
obliteration of the old distinction between leaders, 
who pranced in a conspicuously dangerous and en- 
couraging way into the picturesque incidents of 
battle, and the led, who cheered and charged and 
filled the ditches and were slaughtered in a wholesale 
dramatic manner. The old war was a matter of 
long dreary marches, great hardships of campaigning, 
but also of heroic conclusive moments. Long periods 
of campings almost always with an outbreak of 
pestilence of marchings and retreats, much crude 
business of feeding and forage, culminated at last, 


178 Anticipations 

with an effect of infinite relief, in an hour or so of 
"battle." The battle was always a very intimate 
tumultuous affair, the men were flung at one another 
in vast excited masses, in living fighting machines as 
it were, spears or bayonets flashed, one side or the other 
ceased to prolong the climax, and the thing was 
over. The beaten force crumpled as a whole, and 
the victors as a whole pressed upon it. Cavalry with 
slashing sabres marked the crowning point of victory. 
In the later stages of the old warfare musketry volleys 
were added to the physical impact of the contending 
regiments, and at last cannon, as a quite accessory 
method of breaking these masses of men. So you 
" gave battle " to and defeated your enemy's forces 
wherever encountered, and when you reached your 
objective in his capital the war was done. . . . The 
new war will probably have none of these features of 
the old system of fighting. 

The revolution that is in progress from the old 
war to a new war, different in its entire nature from 
the old, is marked primarily by the steady progress 
in range and efficiency of the rifle and of the field- 
gun and more particularly of the rifle. The rifle 
develops persistently from a clumsy implement, that 
any clown may learn to use in half a day, towards a 
very intricate mechanism, easily put out of order 
and "easily misused, but of the most extraordinary 
possibilities in the hands of men of courage, character, 
and high intelligence. Its precision at long range 

War 179 

has made the business of its care, loading and aim 
subsidiary to the far more intricate matter of its use 
in relation to the contour of the ground within its 
reach. Even its elaboration as an instrument is 
probably still incomplete. One can conceive it pro- 
vided in the future with cross-thread telescopic 
sights, the focussing of which, corrected by some in- 
genious use of hygroscopic material, might even find 
the range, and so enable it to be used with assurance 
up to a mile or more. It will probably also take on 
some of the characters of the machine-gun. It will 
be used either for single shots or to quiver and send 
a spray of almost simultaneous bullets out of a 
magazine evenly and certainly, over any small area 
the rifleman thinks advisable. It will probably be 
portable by one man, but there is no reason really, 
except the bayonet tradition, the demands of which 
may be met in other ways, why it should be the 
instrument of one sole man. It will, just as probably, 
be slung with its ammunition and equipment upon 
bicycle wheels, and be the common care of two or 
more associated soldiers. Equipped with such a 
weapon, a single couple of marksmen even, by reason 
of smokeless powder and carefully chosen cover, 
might make themselves practically invisible, and 
capable of surprising, stopping, and destroying a 
visible enemy in quite considerable numbers who 
blundered within a mile of them. And a series of 
such groups of marksmen so arranged as to cover 

180 Anticipations 

the arrival of reliefs, provisions, and fresh ammunition 
from the rear, might hold out against any visible 
attack for an indefinite period, unless the ground 
they occupied was searched very ably and subtly by 
some sort of gun having a range in excess of their 
rifle fire. If the ground they occupied were to be 
properly tunnelled and trenched, even that might not 
avail, and there would be nothing for it but to attack 
them by an advance under cover either of the night 
or of darkness caused by smoke-shells, or by the 
burning of cover about their position. Even then 
they might be deadly with magazine fire at close 
quarters. Save for their liability to such attacks, a 
few hundreds of such men could hold positions of a 
quite vast extent, and a few thousand might hold 
a frontier. Assuredly a mere handful of such men 
could stop the most multitudinous attack or cover 
the most disorderly retreat in the world, and even 
when some ingenious, daring, and lucky night assault 
had at last ejected them from a position, dawn would 
simply restore to them the prospect of reconstituting 
in new positions their enormous advantage of defence. 
The only really effective and final defeat such an 
attenuated force of marksmen could sustain, would 
be from the slow and circumspect advance upon it of 
a similar force of superior marksmen, creeping forward 
under cover of night or of smoke-shells and fire, 
digging pits during the snatches of cessation obtained 
in this way, and so coming nearer and nearer and 

War 181 

getting a completer and completer mastery of the 
defender's ground until the approach of the defender's 
reliefs, food, and fresh ammunition ceased to be 
possible. Thereupon there would be nothing for it 
but either surrender or a bolt in the night to positions 
in the rear, a bolt that might be hotly followed if it 
were deferred too late. 

Probably between contiguous nations that have 
mastered the art of war, instead of the pouring clouds 
of cavalry of the old dispensation, 1 this will be the 
opening phase of the struggle, a vast duel all along 

1 Even along such vast frontiers as the Russian and Austrian, for 
example, where M. Bloch anticipates war will be begun with an in- 
vasion of clouds of Russian cavalry and great cavalry battles, I am 
inclined to think this deadlock of essentially defensive marksmen may 
still be the more probable thing. Small bodies of cyclist riflemen 
would rush forward to meet the advancing clouds of cavalry, would 
drop into invisible ambushes, and announce their presence-^-in un- 
known numbers with carefully aimed shots difficult to locate. A 
small number of such men could always begin their fight with a 
surprise at the most advantageous moment, and they would be able to 
make themselves very deadly against a comparatively powerful frontal 
attack. If at last the attack were driven home before supports came 
up to the defenders, they would still be able to cycle away, compara- 
tively immune. To attempt even very wide flanking movements against 
such a snatched position would be simply to run risks of blundering 
upon similar ambushes. The clouds of cavalry would have to spread 
into thin lines at last and go forward with the rifle. Invading clouds 
of cyclists would be in no better case. A conflict of cyclists against 
cyclists over a country too spacious for unbroken lines, would still, I 
think, leave the struggle essentially unchanged. The advance of small 
unsupported bodies would be the wildest and most unprofitable 
adventure ; every advance would have to be made behind a screen 
of scouts, and, given a practical equality in the numbers and manhood 
of the two forces, these screens would speedily become simply very 
attenuated lines. 

1 82 Anticipations 

the frontier between groups of skilled marksmen, 
continually being relieved and refreshed from the 
rear. For a time quite possibly there will be no 
definite army here or there, there will be no con- 
trollable battle, there will be no Great General in 
the field at all. But somewhere far in the rear the 
central organizer will sit at the telephonic centre 
of his vast front, and he will strengthen here and 
feed there and watch, watch perpetually the pressure, 
the incessant remorseless pressure that is seeking 
to wear down his countervailing thrust. Behind the 
thin firing line that is actually engaged, the country 
for many miles will be rapidly cleared and devoted 
to the business of war, big machines will be at work 
making second, third, and fourth lines of trenches 
that may be needed if presently the firing line is 
forced back, spreading out transverse paths for the 
swift lateral movement of the cyclists who will be 
in perpetual alertness to relieve sudden local pres- 
sures, and all along those great motor roads our 
first " Anticipations " sketched, there will be a vast 
and rapid shifting to and fro of big and very long 
range guns. These guns will probably be fought 
with the help of balloons. The latter will hang 
above the firing line all along the front, incessantly 
ascending and withdrawn ; they will be continually 
determining the distribution of the antagonist's 
forces, directing the fire of continually shifting 
great guns upon the apparatus and supports in 

War 183 

the rear of his fighting line, forecasting his night 
plans and seeking some tactical or strategic weak- 
ness in that sinewy line of battle. 

It will be evident that such warfare as this inevi- 
table precision of gun and rifle forces upon humanity, 
will become less and less dramatic as a whole, more 
and more as a whole a monstrous thrust and pressure 
of people against people. No dramatic little general 
spouting his troops into the proper hysterics for 
charging, no prancing merely brave officers, no 
reckless gallantry or invincible stubbornness of 
men will suffice. For the commander-in-chief on a 
picturesque horse sentimentally watching his " boys " 
march past to death or glory in battalions, there 
will have to be a loyal staff of men, working 
simply, earnestly, and subtly to keep the front tight, 
and at the front, every little isolated company of 
men will have to be a council of war, a little con- 
spiracy under the able man its captain, as keen 
and individual as a football team, conspiring against 
the scarcely seen company of the foe over yonder. 
The battalion commander will be replaced in 
effect by the organizer of the balloons and guns 
by which his few hundreds of splendid individuals 
will be guided and reinforced. In the place of 
hundreds of thousands of more or less drunken and 
untrained young men marching into battle muddle- 
headed, sentimental, dangerous and futile hobble- 
dehoys there will be thousands of sober men 

184 Anticipations 

braced up to their highest possibilities, intensely 
doing their best ; in the place of charging battalions, 
shattering impacts of squadrons and wide harvest- 
fields of death, there will be hundreds of little rifle 
battles fought up to the hilt, gallant dashes here, 
night surprises there, the sudden sinister faint gleam 
of nocturnal bayonets, brilliant guesses that will drop 
catastrophic shell and death over hills and forests 
suddenly into carelessly exposed masses of men. 
For eight miles on either side of the firing lines 
whose fire will probably never altogether die away 
while the war lasts men will live and eat and sleep 
under the imminence of unanticipated death. . . . 
Such will be the opening phase of the war that is 
speedily to come. 

And behind the thin firing line on either side a 
vast multitude of people will be at work ; indeed, 
the whole mass of the efficients in the State will 
have to be at work, and most of them will be simply 
at the same work or similar work to that done in 
peace time only now as combatants upon the lines 
of communication. The organized staffs of the big 
road managements, now become a part of the military 
scheme, will be deporting women and children and 
feeble people and bringing up supplies and supports ; 
the doctors will be dropping from their civil duties 
into pre-appointed official places, directing the feed- 
ing and treatment of the shifting masses of people 
and guarding the valuable manhood of the fighting 

War 185 

apparatus most sedulously from disease ; 1 the en- 
gineers will be entrenching and bringing up a vast 
variety of complicated and ingenious apparatus 
designed to surprise and inconvenience the enemy 
in novel ways ; the dealers in food and clothing, the 
manufacturers of all sorts of necessary stuff, will 
be converted by the mere declaration of war into 
public servants ; a practical realization of socialistic 
conceptions will quite inevitably be forced upon the 
righting State. The State that has not incorporated 
with its fighting organization all its able-bodied 
manhood and all its material substance, its roads, 
vehicles, engines, foundries, and all its resources of 
food and clothing ; the State which at the outbreak 
of war has to bargain with railway and shipping 
companies, replace experienced station-masters by 
inexperienced officers, and haggle against alien inte- 
rests for every sort of supply, will be at an over- 
whelming disadvantage against a State which has 
emerged from the social confusion of the present 
time, got rid of every vestige of our present distinc- 
tion between official and governed, and organized 
every element in its being. 

I imagine that in this ideal war as compared with 

1 So far, pestilence has been a feature of almost every sustained war 
in the world, but there is really no reason whatever why it should be so. 
There is no reason, indeed, why a soldier upon active service on the 
victorious side should go without a night's rest or miss a meal. If he 
does , there is muddle and want of foresight somewhere, and that our 
hypothesis excludes. 

1 86 Anticipations 

the war of to-day, there will be a very considerable 
restriction of the rights of the non-combatant. A 
large part of existing International Law involves a 
curious implication, a distinction between the belli- 
gerent government and its accredited agents in 
warfare and the general body of its subjects. There 
is a disposition to treat the belligerent government, 
in spite of the democratic status of many States, 
as not fully representing its people, to establish a 
sort of world-citizenship in the common mass out- 
side the official and military class. Protection of 
the non-combatant and his property comes at last 
in theory at least within a measurable distance of 
notice boards : " Combatants are requested to keep 
off the grass." This disposition I ascribe to a 
recognition of that obsolescence and inadequacy of 
the formal organization of States, which has already 
been discussed in this book. It was a disposition 
that was strongest perhaps in the earliest decades of 
the nineteenth century, and stronger now than, in 
the steady and irresistible course of strenuous and 
universal military preparation, it is likely to be in 
the future. In our imaginary twentieth century 
State, organized primarily for war, this tendency to 
differentiate a non-combatant mass in the fighting 
State will certainly not be respected, the State will 
be organized as a whole to fight as a whole, it will 
have triumphantly asserted the universal duty of its 
citizens. The military force will be a much ampler 

War 187 

organization than the "army" of to-day, it will be 
not simply the fists but the body and brain of the 
land. The whole apparatus, the whole staff engaged 
in internal communication, for example, may con- 
ceivably not be State property and a State service, 
but if it is not it will assuredly be as a whole organized 
as a volunteer force, that may instantly become a 
part of the machinery of defence or aggression at the 
outbreak of war. 1 The men may very conceivably 
not have a uniform, for military uniforms are simply 
one aspect of this curious and transitory phase of 
restriction, but they will have their orders and their 
universal plan. As the bells ring and the recording 
telephones click into every house the news that war 
has come, there will be no running to and fro upon 
the public ways, no bawling upon the moving plat- 
forms of the central urban nuclei, no crowds of silly 
useless able-bodied people gaping at inflammatory 
transparencies outside the offices of sensational papers 
Because the egregious idiots in control of affairs have 
found them no better employment. Every man will 
be soberly and intelligently setting about the par- 
ticular thing he has to do even the rich shareholding 
sort of person, the hereditary mortgager of society, 

1 Lady Maud Rolleston, in her very interesting Yeoman Service, com- 
plains of the Boers killing an engine-driver during an attack on a train 
at Kroonstadt, "which was," she writes, "an abominable action, as he 
is, in law, a non-combatant." The implicit assumption of this com- 
plaint would cover the engineers of an ironclad or the guides of a night 
attack, everybody, in fact, who was not positively weapon in hand. 

1 88 Anticipations 

will be given something to do, and if he has learnt 
nothing else he will serve to tie up parcels of 
ammunition or pack army sausage. Very probably 
the best of such people and of the speculative class 
will have qualified as cyclist marksmen for the front, 
some of them may even have devoted the leisure of 
peace to military studies and may be prepared with 
novel weapons. Recruiting among the working 
classes or, more properly speaking, among the 
People of the Abyss will have dwindled to the 
vanishing point ; people who are no good for peace 
purposes are not likely to be any good in such a 
grave and complicated business as modern war. The 
spontaneous traffic of the roads in peace, will fall now 
into two streams, one of women and children coming 
quietly and comfortably out of danger, the other of 
men and material going up to the front There will 
be no panics, no hardships, because everything will 
have been amply pre-arranged we are dealing with 
an ideal State. Quietly and tremendously that State 
will have gripped its adversary and tightened its 
muscles that is all. 

Now the strategy of this new sort of war in its 
opening phase will consist mainly in very rapid 
movements of guns and men behind that thin screen 
of marksmen, in order to deal suddenly and un- 
expectedly some forcible blow, to snatch at some 
position into which guns and men may be thrust to 
outflank and turn the advantage of the ground against 

War 189 

some portion of the enemy's line. The game will be 
largely to crowd and crumple that line, to stretch it 
over an arc to the breaking point, to secure a posi- 
tion from which to shell and destroy its supports and 
provisions, and to capture or destroy its guns and 
apparatus, and so tear it away from some town or 
arsenal it has covered. And a factor of primary im- 
portance in this warfare, because of the importance 
of seeing the board, a factor which will be enormously 
stimulated to develop in the future, will be the aerial 
factor. Already we have seen the captive balloon as 
an incidental accessory of considerable importance 
even in the wild country warfare of South Africa. In 
the warfare that will go on in the highly-organized 
European States of the opening century, the special 
military balloon used in conjunction with guns, con- 
ceivably of small calibre but of enormous length and 
range, will play a part of quite primary importance. 
These guns will be carried on vast mechanical 
carriages, possibly with wheels of such a size as will 
enable them to traverse almost all sorts of ground. 1 

1 Experiments will probably be made in the direction of armoured 
guns, armoured search-light carriages, and armoured shelters for men, 
that will admit of being pushed forward over rifle-swept ground. To 
such possibilities, to possibilities even of a sort of land ironclad, my 
inductive reason inclines ; the armoured train seems indeed a distinct 
beginning of this sort of thing, but my imagination proffers nothing but 
a vision of wheels smashed by shells, iron tortoises gallantly rushed by 
hidden men, and unhappy marksmen and engineers being shot at as 
they bolt from some such monster overset. The fact of it is, I detest 
and fear these thick, slow, essentially defensive methods, either for land 

i go Anticipations 

The aeronauts, provided with large scale maps of the 
hostile country, will mark down to the gunners below 
the precise point upon which to direct their fire, and 
over hill and dale the shell will fly ten miles it may 
be to its billet, camp, massing night attack, or 
advancing gun. 

Great multitudes of balloons will be the Argus 
eyes of the entire military organism, stalked eyes 
with a telephonic nerve in each stalk, and at night 
they will sweep the country with search-lights and 
come soaring before the wind with hanging flares. 
Certainly they will be steerable. Moreover, when 
the wind admits, there will be freely-moving steer- 
able balloons wagging little flags to their friends 
below. And so far as the resources of the men on 
the ground go, the balloons will be almost invulner- 
able. The mere perforation of balloons with shot 
does them little harm, and the possibility of hitting 
a balloon that is drifting about at a practically un- 
ascertainable distance and height so precisely as to 
blow it to pieces with a timed shell, and to do this 
in the little time before it is able to give simple and 
precise instructions as to your range and position to 
the unseen gunners it directs, is certainly one of the 
most difficult and trying undertakings for an artil- 
leryman that one can well imagine. I am inclined 

or sea fighting. I believe invincibly that the side that can go fastest 
and hit hardest will always win, with or without or in spite of massive 
defences, and no ingenuity in devising the massive defence will shake 
that belief. 

War 191 

to think that the many considerations against a 
successful attack on balloons from the ground, will 
enormously stimulate enterprise and invention in the 
direction of dirigible aerial devices that can fight. 
Few people, I fancy, who know the work of Langley, 
Lilienthal, Pilcher, Maxim, and Chanute, but will be 
inclined to believe that long before the year A.D. 
2000, and very probably before 1950, a successful 
aeroplane will have soared and come home safe and 
sound. Directly that is accomplished the new inven- 
tion will be most assuredly applied to war. 

The nature of the things that will ultimately fight 
in the sky is a matter for curious speculation. We 
begin with the captive balloon. Against that the 
navigable balloon will presently operate. I am in- 
clined to think the practicable navigable balloon 
will be first attained by the use of a device already 
employed by Nature in the swimming-bladder of 
fishes. This is a closed gas-bag that can be con- 
tracted or expanded. If a gas-bag of thin, strong, 
practically impervious substance could be enclosed 
in a net of closely interlaced fibres (interlaced, for 
example, on the pattern of the muscles of the bladder 
in mammals), the ends of these fibres might be 
wound and unwound, and the effect of contractility 
attained. A row of such contractile balloons, hung 
over a long car which was horizontally expanded 
into wings, would not only allow that car to rise 
and fall at will, but if the balloon at one end were 

1 92 Anticipations 

contracted and that at the other end expanded, and 
the intermediate ones allowed to assume interme- 
diate conditions, the former end would drop, the 
expanded wings would be brought into a slanting 
condition over a smaller area of supporting air, and 
the whole apparatus would tend to glide downwards 
in that direction. The projection of a small vertical 
plane upon either side would make the gliding mass 
rotate in a descending spiral, and so we have all the 
elements of a controllable flight. Such an affair 
would be difficult to overset. It would be able to 
beat up even in a fair wind, and then it would be 
able to contract its bladders and fall down a long 
slant in any direction. From some such crude be- 
ginning a form like a soaring, elongated, flat-brimmed 
hat might grow, and the possibilities of adding an 
engine-driven screw are obvious enough. 

It is difficult to see how such a contrivance could 
carry guns of any calibre unless they fired from the 
rear in the line of flight. The problem of recoil 
becomes a very difficult one in aerial tactics. It 
would probably have at most a small machine-gun 
or so, which might fire an explosive shell at the 
balloons of the enemy, or kill their aeronauts with 
distributed bullets. The thing would be a sort of 
air-shark, and one may even venture to picture some- 
thing of the struggle the deadlocked marksmen of 
1950, lying warily in their rifle-pits, will see. 

One conceives them at first, each little hole with 

War 193 

its watchful, well-equipped couple of assassins, turn- 
ing up their eyes in expectation. The wind is with 
our enemy, and his captive balloons have been dis- 
agreeably overhead all through the hot morning. 
His big guns have suddenly become nervously active. 
Then, a little murmur along the pits and trenches, 
and from somewhere over behind us, this air-shark 
drives up the sky. The enemy's balloons splutter a 
little, retract, and go rushing down, and we send a 
spray of bullets as they drop. Then against our 
aerostat, and with the wind driving them clean over- 
head of us, come the antagonistic flying-machines. 
I incline to imagine there will be a steel prow with 
a cutting edge at either end of the sort of aerostat I 
foresee, and conceivably this aerial ram will be the 
most important weapon of the affair. When ope- 
rating against balloons, such a fighting-machine will 
rush up the air as swiftly as possible, and then, with 
a rapid contraction of its bladders, fling itself like a 
knife at the sinking war-balloon of the foe. Down, 
down, down, through a vast alert tension of flight, 
down it will swoop, and, if its stoop is successful, slash 
explosively at last through a suffocating moment. 
Rifles will crack, ropes tear and snap ; there will be 
a rending and shouting, a great thud of liberated 
gas, and perhaps a flare. Quite certainly those 
flying machines will carry folded parachutes, and 
the last phase of many a struggle will be the despe- 
rate leap of the aeronauts with these in hand, to 


194 Anticipations 

snatch one last chance of life out of a mass of 
crumpling, fallen wreckage. 

But in such a fight between flying-machine and 
flying-machine as we are trying to picture, it will be 
a fight of hawks, complicated by bullets and little 
shells. They will rush up and up to get the pitch of 
one another, until the aeronauts sob and sicken in 
the rarefied air, and the blood comes to eyes and 
nails. The marksmen below will strain at last, eyes 
under hands, to see the circling battle that dwindles 
in the zenith. Then, perhaps, a wild adventurous 
dropping of one close beneath the other, an attempt 
to stoop, the sudden splutter of guns, a tilting up or 
down, a disengagement. What will have happened ? 
One combatant, perhaps, will heel lamely earthward, 
dropping, dropping, with half its bladders burst or 
shot away, the other circles down in pursuit. . . . 
" What are they doing ? " Our marksmen will snatch 
at their field-glasses, tremulously anxious, " Is that a 
white flag or no? ... If they drop now we have 
'em ! " 

But the duel will be the rarer thing. In any affair 
of ramming there is an enormous advantage for the 
side that can contrive, anywhere in the field of 
action, to set two vessels at one. The mere ascent 
of one flying-ram from one side will assuredly slip 
the leashes of two on the other, until the manoeuvring 
squadrons may be as thick as starlings in October. 
They will wheel and mount, they will spread and 

War 195 

close, there will be elaborate manoeuvres for the 
advantage of the wind, there will be sudden drops to 
the shelter of entrenched guns. The actual impact 
of battle will be an affair of moments. They will be 
awful moments, but not more terrible, not more 
exacting of manhood than the moments that will 
come to men when there is and it has not as yet 
happened on this earth equal fighting between pro- 
perly manned and equipped ironclads at sea. (And 
the well-bred young gentlemen of means who are 
privileged to officer the British Army nowadays will 
be no more good at this sort of thing than they are 
at controversial theology or electrical engineering 
or anything else that demands a well-exercised 
brain.) . . . 

Once the command of the air is obtained by one 
of the contending armies, the war must become a 
conflict between a seeing host and one that is blind. 
The victor in that aerial struggle will tower with 
pitilessly watchful eyes over his adversary, will con- 
centrate his guns and all his strength unobserved, 
will mark all his adversary's roads and communica- 
tions, and sweep them with sudden incredible dis- 
asters of shot and shell. The moral effect of this 
predominance will be enormous. All over the losing 
country, not simply at his frontier but everywhere, 
the victor will soar. Everybody everywhere will 
be perpetually and constantly looking up, with a 
sense of loss and insecurity, with a vague stress of 

196 Anticipations 

painful anticipations. By day the victor's aeroplanes 
will sweep down upon the apparatus of all sorts in 
the adversary's rear, and will drop explosives and 
incendiary matters upon them, 1 so that no apparatus 
or camp or shelter will any longer be safe. At night 
his high floating search-lights will go to and fro and 
discover and check every desperate attempt to relieve 
or feed the exhausted marksmen of the fighting line. 
The phase of tension will pass, that weakening oppo- 
sition will give, and the war from a state of mutual 
pressure and petty combat will develop into the col- 
lapse of the defensive lines. A general advance will 
occur under the aerial van, ironclad road fighting- 
machines may perhaps play a considerable part in 
this, and the enemy's line of marksmen will be driven 
back or starved into surrender, or broken up and 
hunted down. As the superiority of the attack 
becomes week by week more and more evident, its 
assaults will become more dashing and far-reaching. 
Under the moonlight and the watching balloons 
there will be swift noiseless rushes of cycles, pre- 
cipitate dismounts, and the never-to-be-quite-aban- 
doned bayonet will play its part. And now men on 
the losing side will thank God for the reprieve of a 
pitiless wind, for lightning, thunder, and rain, for 
any elemental disorder that will for a moment lift 
the descending scale ! Then, under banks of fog and 

1 Or, in deference to the Rules of War, fire them out of guns of 
trivial carrying power. 

War 197 

cloud, the victorious advance will pause and grow 
peeringly watchful and nervous, and mud-stained 
desperate men will go splashing forward into an 
elemental blackness, rain or snow like a benediction 
on their faces, blessing the primordial savagery of 
nature that can still set aside the wisest devices of 
men, and give the unthrifty one last desperate chance 
to get their own again or die. 

Such adventures may rescue pride and honour, 
may cause momentary dismay in the victor and 
palliate disaster, but they will not turn back the ad- 
vance of the victors, or twist inferiority into victory. 
Presently the advance will resume. With that 
advance the phase of indecisive contest will have 
ended, and the second phase of the new war, the 
business of forcing submission, will begin. This 
should be more easy in the future even than it has 
proved in the past, in spite of the fact that central 
governments are now elusive, and small bodies of 
rifle-armed guerillas far more formidable than ever 
before. It will probably be brought about in a 
civilized country by the seizure of the vital apparatus 
of the urban regions the water supply, the genera- 
ting stations for electricity (which will supply all the 
heat and warmth of the land), and the chief ways 
used in food distribution. Through these expedients 
even while the formal war is still in progress, an 
irresistible pressure upon a local population will be 
possible, and it will be easy to subjugate or to create 

198 Anticipations 

afresh local authorities, who will secure the invader 
from any danger of a guerilla warfare upon his rear. 
Through that sort of an expedient an even very 
obdurate loser will be got down to submission, area 
by area. With the destruction of its military appa- 
ratus and the prospective loss of its water and food 
supply, however, the defeated civilized State will 
probably be willing to seek terms as a whole, and 
bring the war to a formal close. 

In cases where, instead of contiguous frontiers, the 
combatants are separated by the sea, the aerial 
struggle will probably be preceded or accompanied 
by a struggle for the command of the sea. Of this 
warfare there have been many forecasts. In this, as 
in all the warfare of the coming time, imaginative 
foresight, a perpetual alteration of tactics, a per- 
petual production of unanticipated devices, will 
count enormously. Other things being equal, victory 
will rest with the force mentally most active. What 
type of ship may chance to be prevalent when the 
great naval war comes is hard guessing, but I incline 
to think that the naval architects of the ablest 
peoples will concentrate more and more upon speed 
and upon range and penetration, and, above all, upon 
precision of fire. I seem to see a light type of iron- 
clad, armoured thickly only over its engines and 
magazines, murderously equipped, and with a ram 
as alert and deadly as a striking snake. In the 
battles of the open she will have little to fear from 

War 199 

the slow fumbling treacheries of the submarine, she 
will take as little heed of the chance of a torpedo as 
a barefooted man in battle does of the chance of a 
fallen dagger in his path. Unless I know nothing 
of my own blood, the English and Americans will 
prefer to catch their enemies in ugly weather or at 
night, and then they will fight to ram. The struggle 
on the high seas between any two naval powers 
(except, perhaps, the English and American, who 
have both quite unparalleled opportunities for coal- 
ing) will not last more than a week or so. One or 
other force will be destroyed at sea, driven into its 
ports and blockaded there, or cut off from its supply 
of coal (or other force-generator), and hunted down 
to fight or surrender. An inferior fleet that tries to 
keep elusively at sea will always find a superior fleet 
between itself and coal, and will either have to fight 
at once or be shot into surrender as it lies helpless 
on the water. Some commerce-destroying enterprise 
on the part of the loser may go on, but I think the 
possibilities of that sort of thing are greatly exag- 
gerated. The world grows smaller and smaller, the 
telegraph and telephone go everywhere, wireless tele- 
graphy opens wider and wider possibilities to the 
imagination, and how the commerce-destroyer is to 
go on for long without being marked down, headed 
off, cut off from coal, and forced to fight or surrender, 
I do not see. The commerce-destroyer will have a 
very short run ; it will have to be an exceptionally 

2OO Anticipations 

good and costly ship in the first place, it will be 
finally sunk or captured, and altogether I do not see 
how that sort of thing will pay when once the com- 
mand of the sea is assured. A few weeks will carry 
the effective frontier of the stronger power up to the 
coast-line of the weaker, and permit of the secure 
resumption of the over-sea trade of the former. And 
then will open a second phase of naval warfare, in 
which the submarine may play a larger part. 

I must confess that my imagination, in spite even 
of spurring, refuses to see any sort of submarine 
doing anything but suffocate its crew and founder 
at sea. It must involve physical inconvenience of 
the most demoralizing sort simply to be in one for 
any length of time. A first-rate man who has been 
breathing carbonic acid and oil vapour under a pres- 
sure of four atmospheres becomes presently a second- 
rate man. Imagine yourself in a submarine that has 
ventured a few miles out of port, imagine that you 
have headache and nausea, and that some ship of 
the Cobra type is flashing itself and its search-lights 
about whenever you come up to the surface, and 
promptly tearing down on your descending bubbles 
with a ram, trailing perhaps a tail of grapples or a 
net as well. Even if you get their boat, these nicely 
aerated men you are fighting know they have a four 
to one chance of living ; while for your submarine 
to be "got" is certain death. You may, of course, 
throw out a torpedo or so, with as much chance of 

War 201 

hitting vitally as you would have if you were blind- 
folded, turned round three times, and told to fire 
revolver-shots at a charging elephant. The possi- 
bility of sweeping for a submarine with a seine would 
be vividly present in the minds of a submarine crew. 
If you are near shore you will probably be near 
rocks an unpleasant complication in a hurried dive. 
There would, probably, very soon be boats out too, 
seeking with a machine-gun or pompom for a chance 
at your occasionally emergent conning-tower. In no 
way can a submarine be more than purblind, it will 
be, in fact, practically blind. Given a derelict iron- 
clad on a still night within sight of land, a carefully 
handled submarine might succeed in groping its way 
to it and destroying it ; but then it would be much 
better to attack such a vessel and capture it boldly 
with a few desperate men on a tug. At the utmost 
the submarine will be used in narrow waters, in 
rivers, or to fluster or destroy ships in harbour or 
with poor-spirited crews that is to say, it will simply 
be an added power in the hands of the nation that 
is predominant at sea. And, even then, it can be 
merely destructive, while a sane and high-spirited 
fighter will always be dissatisfied if, with an indis- 
putable superiority of force, he fails to take. 1 

1 A curious result might very possibly follow a success of submarines 
on the part of a naval power finally found to be weaker and defeated. 
The victorious power might decide that a narrow sea was no longer, 
under the new conditions, a comfortable boundary line, and might 
insist on marking its boundary along the high- water mark of its 
adversary's adjacent coasts. 

2O2 Anticipations 

No ; the naval warfare of the future is for light, 
swift ships, almost recklessly not defensive and with 
splendid guns and gunners. They will hit hard and 
ram, and warfare which is taking to cover on land 
will abandon it at sea. And the captain, and the 
engineer, and the gunner will have to be all of the 
same sort of men : capable, headlong men, with 
brains and no ascertainable social position. They 
will differ from the officers of the British Navy in the 
fact that the whole male sex of the nation will 
have been ransacked to get them. The incredible 
stupidity that closes all but a menial position in the 
British Navy to the sons of those who cannot afford 
to pay a hundred a year for them for some years, 
necessarily brings the individual quality of the British 
naval officer below the highest possible, quite apart 
from the deficiencies that must exist on account of 
the badness of secondary education in England. The 
British naval officer and engineer are not made 
the best of, good as they are, indisputably they 
might be infinitely better both in quality and train- 
ing. The smaller German navy, probably, has an 
ampler pick of men relatively, is far better educated, 
less confident, and more strenuous. But the abstract 
navy I am here writing of will be superior to either 
of these, and like the American, in the absence of 
any distinction between officers and engineers. The 
officer will be an engineer. 

The military advantages of the command of the 

War 203 

sea will probably be greater in the future than they 
have been in the past. A fleet with aerial supports 
would be able to descend upon any portion of the 
adversary's coast it chose, and to dominate the 
country inland for several miles with its gun-fire. 
All the enemy's sea-coast towns would be at its 
mercy. It would be able to effect landing and send 
raids of cyclist-marksmen inland, whenever a weak 
point was discovered. Landings will be enormously 
easier than they have ever been before. Once a 
wedge of marksmen has been driven inland they 
would have all the military advantages of the defence 
when it came to eject them. They might, for example, 
encircle and block some fortified post, and force costly 
and disastrous attempts to relieve it. The defensive 
country would stand at bay, tethered against any 
effective counter-blow, keeping guns, supplies, and 
men in perpetual and distressing movement to and 
fro along its sea-frontiers. Its soldiers would get 
uncertain rest, irregular feeding, unhealthy conditions 
of all sorts in hastily made camps. The attacking 
fleet would divide and re-unite, break up and vanish, 
amazingly reappear. The longer the defender's coast 
the more wretched his lot. Never before in the 
world's history was the command of the sea worth 
what it is now. But the command of the sea is, after 
all, like military predominance on land, to be insured 
only by superiority of equipment in the hands of a 
certain type of man, a type of man that it becomes 

2O4 Anticipations 

more and more impossible to improvise, that a country 
must live for through many years, and that no country 
on earth at present can be said to be doing its best 
possible to make. 

All this elaboration of warfare lengthens the scale 
between theoretical efficiency and absolute unpre- 
paredness. There was a time when any tribe that 
had men and spears was ready for war, and any tribe 
that had some cunning or emotion at command might 
hope to discount any little disparity in numbers 
between itself and its neighbour. Luck and stub- 
bornness and the incalculable counted for much ; it 
was half the battle not to know you were beaten, and 
it is so still. Even to-day, a great nation, it seems, 
may still make its army the plaything of its gentle- 
folk, abandon important military appointments to 
feminine intrigue, and trust cheerfully to the home- 
sickness and essential modesty of its influential people, 
and the simpler patriotism of its colonial dependencies 
when it comes at last to the bloody and wearisome 
business of " muddling through." But these days of 
the happy-go-lucky optimist are near their end. War 
is being drawn into the field of the exact sciences. 
Every additional weapon, every new complication of 
the art of war, intensifies the need of deliberate pre- 
paration, and darkens the outlook of a nation of 
amateurs. Warfare in the future, on sea or land alike, 
will be much more one-sided than it has ever been in 
the past, much more of a foregone conclusion. Save 

IVar 205 

for national lunacy, it will be brought about by the 
side that will win, and because that side knows that 
it will win. More and more it will have the quality 
of surprise, of pitiless revelation. Instead of the see- 
saw, the bickering interchange of battles of the old 
time, will come swiftly and amazingly blow, and blow, 
and blow, no pause, no time for recovery, disasters 
cumulative and irreparable. 

The fight will never be in practice between equal 
sides, never be that theoretical deadlock we have 
sketched, but a fight between the more efficient and 
the less efficient, between the more inventive and the 
more traditional. While the victors, disciplined and 
grimly intent, full of the sombre yet glorious delight 
of a grave thing well done, will, without shouting or 
confusion, be fighting like one great national body, 
the losers will be taking that pitiless exposure of 
helplessness in such a manner as their natural culture 
and character may determine. War for the losing 
side will be an unspeakable pitiable business. There 
will be first of all the coming of the war, the wave of 
excitement, the belligerent shouting of the unem- 
ployed inefficients, the flag-waving, the secret doubts, 
the eagerness for hopeful news, the impatience of the 
warning voice. I seem to see, almost as if he were 
symbolic, the grey old general the general who 
learnt his art of war away in the vanished nineteenth 
century, the altogether too elderly general with his 
epaulettes and decorations, his uniform that has still 

206 Anticipations 

its historical value, his spurs and his sword riding 
along on his obsolete horse, by the side of his doomed 
column. Above all things he is a gentleman. And 
the column looks at him lovingly with its countless 
boys' faces, and the boys' eyes are infinitely trustful, 
for he has won battles in the old time. They will 
believe in him to the end. They have been brought 
up in their schools to believe in him and his class, 
their mothers have mingled respect for the gentle- 
folk with the simple doctrines of their faith, their first 
lesson on entering the army was the salute. The 
"smart" helmets His Majesty, or some such un- 
qualified person, chose for them, lie hotly on their 
young brows, and over their shoulders slope their 
obsolete, carelessly-sighted guns. Tramp, tramp, 
they march, doing what they have been told to do, 
incapable of doing anything they have not been told 
to do, trustful and pitiful, marching to wounds and 
disease, hunger, hardship, and death. They know 
nothing of what they are going to meet, nothing of 
what they will have to do ; Religion and the Rate- 
payer and the Rights of the Parent working through 
the instrumentality of the Best Club in the World 
have kept their souls and minds, if not untainted, at 
least only harmlessly veneered, with the thinnest 
sham of training or knowledge. Tramp, tramp, they 
go, boys who will never be men, rejoicing patriotically 
in the nation that has thus sent them forth, badly 
armed, badly clothed, badly led, to be killed in some 

War 207 

avoidable quarrel by men unseen. And beside them, 
an absolute stranger to them, a stranger even in 
habits of speech and thought, and at any rate to be 
shot with them fairly and squarely, marches the sub- 
altern the son of the school-burking, shareholding 
class a slightly taller sort of boy, as ill-taught as 
they are in all that concerns the realities of life, 
ignorant of how to get food, how to get water, how 
to keep fever down and strength up, ignorant of his 
practical equality with the men beside him, carefully 
trained under a clerical headmaster to use a crib, 
play cricket rather nicely, look all right whatever 
happens, believe in his gentility, and avoid talking 
"shop." . . . The major you see is a man of the 
world, and very pleasantly meets the grey general's 
eye. He is, one may remark by the way, something 
of an army reformer, without offence, of course, to 
the Court people or the Government people. His 
prospects if only he were not going to be shot are 
brilliant enough. He has written quite cleverly on 
the question of Recruiting, and advocated as much 
as twopence more a day and billiard rooms under 
the chaplain's control ; he has invented a military 
bicycle with a wheel of solid iron that can be used as 
a shield ; and a war correspondent and, indeed, any 
one who writes even the most casual and irresponsible 
article on military questions is a person worth his 
cultivating. He is the very life and soul of army 
reform, as it is known to the governments of the grey 

2o8 Anticipations 

that is to say, army reform without a single step 
towards a social revolution. . . . 

So the gentlemanly old general the polished 
drover to the shambles rides, and his doomed column 
march by, in this vision that haunts my mind. 

I cannot foresee what such a force will even attempt 
to do, against modern weapons. Nothing can happen 
but the needless and most wasteful and pitiful killing 
of these poor lads, who make up the infantry bat- 
talions, the main mass of all the European armies 
of to-day, whenever they come against a sanely- 
organized army. There is nowhere they can come 
in, there is nothing they can do. The scattered 
invisible marksmen with their supporting guns will 
shatter their masses, pick them off individually, cover 
their line of retreat and force them into wholesale 
surrenders. It will be more like herding sheep than 
actual fighting. Yet the bitterest and cruellest things 
will have to happen, thousands and thousands of 
poor boys will be smashed in all sorts of dreadful 
ways and given over to every conceivable form of 
avoidable hardship and painful disease, before the 
obvious fact that war is no longer a business for half- 
trained lads in uniform, led by parson-bred sixth- 
form boys and men of pleasure and old men, but an 
exhaustive demand upon very carefully-educated 
adults for the most strenuous best that is in them, 
will get its practical recognition. 1 . . . 

1 There comes to hand as I correct these proofs a very typical 

War 209 

Well, in the ampler prospect even this haunting 
tragedy of innumerable avoidable deaths is but an 

illustration of the atmosphere of really almost imbecile patronage in 
which the British private soldier lives. It is a circular from some one 
at Lydd, some one who evidently cannot even write English, but who 
is nevertheless begging for an iron hut in which to inflict lessons on 
our soldiers. "At present," says this circular, "it is pretty to see 
in the Home a group of Gunners busily occupied in wool-work or 
learning basket-making, whilst one of their number sings or recites, 
and others are playing games or letter-writing, but even quite recently 
the members of the Bible Reading Union and one of the ladies might 
have been seen painfully crowded behind screens, choosing the * Golden 
Text' with lowered voices, and trying to pray 'without distraction,' 
whilst at the other end of the room men were having supper, and half- 
way down a dozen Irish militia (who don't care to read, but are keen 
on a story) were gathered round another lady, who was telling them an 
amusing temperance tale, trying to speak so that the Bible readers 
should not hear her and yet that the Leinsters should was a difficulty, 
but when the Irishmen begged for a song difficulty became im- 
possibility, and their friend had to say, 'No.' Yet this is just the 
double work required in Soldiers' Homes, and above all at Lydd, 
where there is so little safe amusement to be had in camp, and none 
in the village." These poor youngsters go from this " safe amusement " 
under the loving care of "lady workers," this life of limitation, make- 
believe and spiritual servitude that a self-respecting negro would find 
intolerable, into a warfare that exacts initiative and a freely acting 
intelligence from all who take part in it, under the bitterest penalties 
of shame and death. What can you expect of them ? And how can 
you expect any men of capacity and energy, any men even of mediocre 
self-respect to knowingly place themselves under the tutelage of the 
sort of people who dominate these organized degradations? I am 
amazed the army gets so many capable recruits as it does. And while 
the private lives under these conditions, the would-be capable officer 
stifles amidst equally impossible surroundings. He must associate with 
the uneducated products of the public schools, and listen to their chatter 
about the "sports" that delight them, suffer social indignities from 
the " army woman," worry and waste money on needless clothes, and 
expect to end by being shamed or killed under some unfairly promoted 
incapable. Nothing illustrates the intellectual blankness of the British 
army better than its absolute dearth of military literature. No one 


2 1 o Anticipations 

incidental thing. They die, and their troubles are 
over. The larger fact after all is the inexorable 

would dream of gaining any profit by writing or publishing a book 
upon such a subject, for example, as mountain warfare in England, 
because not a dozen British officers would have the sense to buy such a 
book, and yet the British army is continually getting into scrapes in 
mountain districts. A few unselfish men like Major Peech find time to 
write an essay or so, and that is all. On the other hand, I find no less 
than five works in French on this subject in MM. Chapelet & Cie.'s 
list alone. On guerilla warfare again, and after two years of South 
Africa, while there is nothing in English but some scattered papers by 
Dr. T. Miller Maguire, there are nearly a dozen good books in French. 
As a supplement to these facts is the spectacle of the officers of the 
Guards telegraphing to Sir Thomas Lipton on the occasion of the defeat 
of his Shamrock II., " Hard luck. Be of good cheer. Brigade of 
Guards wish you every success." This is not the foolish enthusiasm of 
one or two subalterns, it is collective. They followed that yacht race 
with emotion ! as a really important thing to them. No doubt the 
whole mess was in a state of extreme excitement. How can capable 
and active men be expected to live and work between this upper and 
that nether millstone? The British army not only does not attract 
ambitious, energetic men, it repels them. I must confess that I see no 
hope either in the rulers, the traditions, or the manhood of the British 
regular army, to forecast its escape from the bog of ignorance and 
negligence in which it wallows. Far better than any of projected 
reforms would it be to let the existing army severely alone, to cease to 
recruit for it, to retain (at the expense of its officers, assisted perhaps 
by subscriptions from ascendant people like Sir Thomas Lipton) its 
messes, its uniforms, its games, bands, entertainments, and splendid 
memories as an appendage of the Court, and to create, in absolute 
independence of it, battalions and batteries of efficient professional 
soldiers, without social prestige or social distinctions, without bands, 
dress uniforms, colours, chaplains or honorary colonels, and to embody 
these as a real marching army perpetually en route throughout the 
empire a reading, thinking, experimenting army under an absolutely 
distinct war office, with its own colleges, depots and training camps 
perpetually ready for war. I cannot help but think that, if a hint were 
taken from the Turbinia syndicate, a few enterprising persons of means 
and intelligence might do much by private experiment to supplement 
and replace the existing state of affairs. 

War 211 

tendency in things to make a soldier a skilled and 
educated man, and to link him, in sympathy and 
organization, with the engineer and the doctor, and 
all the continually developing mass of scientifically 
educated men that the advance of science and 
mechanism is producing. We are dealing with 
the inter-play of two world-wide forces, that work 
through distinctive and contrasted tendencies to a 
common end. We have the force of invention in- 
sistent upon a progress of the peace organization, 
which tends on the one hand to throw out great 
useless masses of people, the People of the Abyss, 
and on the other hand to develop a sort of adiposity 
of functionless wealthy, a speculative elephantiasis, 
and to promote the development of a new social 
order of efficients, only very painfully and slowly, 
amidst these growing and yet disintegrating masses. 
And on the other hand we have the warlike drift of 
such a social body, the inevitable intensification of 
international animosities in such a body, the absolute 
determination evident in the scheme of things to 
smash such a body, to smash it just as far as it is 
such a body, under the hammer of war, that must 
finally bring about rapidly and under pressure the 
same result as that to which the peaceful evolution 
slowly tends. While we are as yet only thinking of 
a physiological struggle, of complex reactions and 
slow absorptions, comes War with the surgeon's knife. 
War comes to simplify the issue and line out the 
thing with knife-like cuts. 

212 Anticipations 

The law that dominates the future is glaringly 
plain. A people must develop and consolidate its 
educated efficient classes or be beaten in war and 
give way upon all points where its interests conflict 
with the interests of more capable people. It must 
foster and accelerate that natural segregation, which 
has been discussed in the third and fourth chapters 
of these " Anticipations," or perish. The war of the 
coming time will really be won in schools and 
colleges and universities, wherever men write and 
read and talk together. The nation that produces in 
the near future the largest proportional development 
of educated and intelligent engineers and agricul- 
turists, of doctors, schoolmasters, professional soldiers, 
and intellectually active people of all sorts ; the 
nation that most resolutely picks over, educates, 
sterilizes, exports, or poisons its People of the Abyss ; 
the nation that succeeds most subtly in checking 
gambling and the moral decay of women and homes 
that gambling inevitably entails ; the nation that by 
wise interventions, death duties and the like, con- 
trives to expropriate and extinguish incompetent 
rich families while leaving individual ambitions free ; 
the nation, in a word, that turns the greatest propor- 
ion of its irresponsible adiposity into social muscle, 
will certainly be the nation that will be the most 
powerful in warfare as in peace, will certainly be the 
ascendant or dominant nation before the year 2000. 
In the long run no heroism and no accidents can 

IVar 213 

alter that. No flag-waving, no patriotic leagues, no 
visiting of essentially petty imperial personages 
hither and thither, no smashing of the windows of 
outspoken people nor seizures of papers and books, 
will arrest the march of national defeat. And this 
issue is already so plain and simple, the alternatives 
are becoming so pitilessly clear, that even in the 
stupidest court and the stupidest constituencies, it 
must presently begin in some dim way to be felt. A 
time will come when so many people will see this issue 
clearly that it will gravely affect political and social 
life. The patriotic party the particular gang, that is, 
of lawyers, brewers, landlords, and railway directors 
that wishes to be dominant will be forced to become 
an efficient party in profession at least, will be forced 
to stimulate and organize that educational and social 
development that may at last even bring patriotism 
under control. The rulers of the grey, the democratic 
politician and the democratic monarch, will be obliged 
year by year by the very nature of things to promote 
the segregation of colours within the grey, to foster 
the power that will finally supersede democracy and 
monarchy altogether, the power of the scientifically 
educated, disciplined specialist, and that finally is 
the power of sanity, the power of the thing that is 
provably right. It may be delayed, but it cannot be 
defeated ; in the end it must arrive if not to-day 
and among our people, then to-morrow and among 
another people, who will triumph in our overthrow. 

214 Anticipations 

This is the lesson that must be learnt, that some 
tongue and kindred of the coming time must inevit- 
ably learn. But what tongue it will be, and what 
kindred that will first attain this new development, 
opens far more complex and far less certain issues 
than any we have hitherto considered. 



WE have brought together thus far in these Anticipa- 
tions the material for the picture of a human com- 
munity somewhere towards the year 2000. We have 
imagined its roads, the type and appearance of its 
homes, its social developments, its internal struggle 
for organization ; we have speculated upon its moral 
and aesthetic condition, read its newspaper, made 
an advanced criticism upon the lack of universality 
in its literature, and attempted to imagine it at 
war. We have decided in particular that unlike the 
civilized community of the immediate past which 
lived either in sharply-defined towns or agriculturally 
over a wide country, this population will be dis- 
tributed in a quite different way, a little more thickly 
over vast urban regions and a little less thickly over 
less attractive or less convenient or less industrial 
parts of the world. And implicit in all that has 
been written there has appeared an unavoidable 
assumption that the coming community will be vast, 
something geographically more extensive than most, 
and geographically different from almost all existing 

2 1 6 Anticipations 

communities, that the outline its creative forces will 
draw not only does not coincide with existing 
political centres and boundaries, but will be more 
often than not in direct conflict with them, uniting 
areas that are separated and separating areas that 
are united, grouping here half a dozen tongues and 
peoples together and there tearing apart homogeneous 
bodies and distributing the fragments among separate 
groups. And it will now be well to inquire a little 
into the general causes of these existing divisions, 
the political boundaries of to-day, and the still older 
contours of language and race. 

It is first to be remarked that each of these sets 
of boundaries is superposed, as it were, on the older 
sets. The race areas, for example, which are now 
not traceable in Europe at all must have represented 
old regions of separation ; the language areas, which 
have little or no essential relation to racial distribu- 
tion, have also given way long since to the newer 
forces that have united and consolidated nations. 
And the still newer forces that have united and 
separated the nineteenth century states have been, 
and in many cases are still, in manifest conflict with 
" national " ideas. 

Now, in the original separation of human races, 
in the subsequent differentiation and spread of 
languages, in the separation of men into nationalities, 
and in the union and splitting of states and empires, 
we have td deal essentially with the fluctuating 

The Conflict of Languages 217 

manifestations of the same fundamental shaping 
factor which will determine the distribution of urban 
districts in the coming years. Every boundary of the 
ethnographical, linguistic, political, and commercial 
map as a little consideration will show has indeed 
been traced in the first place by the means of transit, 
under the compulsion of geographical contours. 

There are evident in Europe four or five or more 
very distinct racial types, and since the methods 
and rewards of barbaric warfare and the nature of 
the chief chattels of barbaric trade have always 
been diametrically opposed to racial purity, their 
original separation could only have gone on through 
such an entire lack of communication as prevented 
either trade or warfare between the bulk of the 
differentiating bodies. These original racial types 
are now inextricably mingled. Unobservant, over- 
scholarly people talk or write in the profoundest 
manner about a Teutonic race and a Keltic race, 
and institute all sorts of curious contrasts between 
these phantoms, but these are not races at all, if 
physical characteristics have anything to do with 
race. The Dane, the Bavarian, the Prussian, the 
Frieslander, the Wessex peasant, the Kentish man, 
the Virginian, the man from New Jersey, the Nor- 
wegian, the Swede, and the Transvaal Boer, are 
generalized about, for example, as Teutonic, while 
the short, dark, cunning sort of Welshman, the tall 
and generous Highlander, the miscellaneous Irish, 

2 1 8 Anticipations 

the square-headed Breton, and any sort of Cornwall 
peasant are Kelts within the meaning of this oil- 
lamp anthropology. 1 People who believe in this 
sort of thing are not the sort of people that one 
attempts to convert by a set argument. One need 
only say the thing is not so ; there is no Teutonic 
race, and there never has been ; there is no Keltic 
race, and there never has been. No one has ever 
proved or attempted to prove the existence of such 
races, the thing has always been assumed ; they are 
dogmas with nothing but questionable authority 
behind them, and the onus of proof rests on the 
believer. This nonsense about Keltic and Teutonic 
is no mdre science than Lombroso's extraordinary 
assertions about criminals, or palmistry, or the 
development of religion from a solar myth. Indis- 
putably there are several races intermingled in the 
European populations I am inclined to suspect the 
primitive European races may be found to be so 
distinct as to resist confusion and pamnyxia through 
hybridization but there is no inkling of a satis- 
factory analysis yet that will discriminate what these 

1 Under the intoxication of the Keltic Renascence the most diverse 
sorts of human beings have foregathered and met face to face, and 
been photographed Pan-Keltically, and have no doubt gloated over 
these collective photographs, without any of them realizing, it seems, 
what a miscellaneous thing the Keltic race must be. There is nothing 
that may or may not be a Kelt, and I know, for example, professional 
Kelts who are, so far as face, manners, accents, morals, and ideals go, 
indistinguishable from other people who are, I am told, indisputably 
Assyroid Jews. 

The Conflict of Languages 219 

races were and define them in terms of physical and 
moral character. The fact remains there is no such 
thing as a racially pure and homogeneous com- 
munity in Europe distinct from other communities. 
Even among the Jews, according to Erckert and 
Chantre and J. Jacobs, there are markedly divergent 
types, there may have been two original elements 
and there have been extensive local intermixtures. 

Long before the beginnings of history, while even 
language was in its first beginnings indeed as 
another aspect of the same process as the beginning 
of language the first complete isolations that estab- 
lished race were breaking down again, the little pools 
of race were running together into less homogeneous 
lagoons and marshes of humanity, the first paths 
were being worn war paths for the most part. 
Still differentiation would be largely at work. With- 
out frequent intercourse, frequent interchange of 
women as the great factor in that intercourse, the 
tribes and bands of mankind would still go on 
separating, would develop dialectic and customary, 
if not physical and moral differences. It was no 
longer a case of pools perhaps, but they were still 
in lakes. There were as yet no open seas of man- 
kind. With advancing civilization, with iron weapons 
and war discipline, with established paths and a 
social rule and presently with the coming of the 
horse, what one might call the areas of assimilation 
would increase in size. A stage would be reached 

22o Anticipations 

when the only checks to transit of a sufficiently con- 
venient sort to keep language uniform would be 
the sea or mountains or a broad river or pure dis- 
tance. And presently the rules of the game, so to 
speak, would be further altered and the unifications 
and isolations that were establishing themselves upset 
altogether and brought into novel conflict by the 
beginnings of navigation, whereby an impassable 
barrier became a highway. 

The commencement of actual European history 
coincides with the closing phases of what was 
probably a very long period of a foot and (occasional) 
horseback state of communications ; the adjustments 
so arrived at being already in an early state of 
rearrangement through the advent of the ship. The 
communities of Europe were still for the larger 
part small isolated tribes and kingdoms, such king- 
doms as a mainly pedestrian militia, or at any rate a 
militia without transport, and drawn from (and soon 
drawn home again by) agricultural work, might hold 
together. The increase of transit facilities between 
such communities, by the development of shipping 
and the invention of the wheel and the made road, 
spelt increased trade perhaps for a time, but very 
speedily a more extensive form of war, and in the 
end either the wearing away of differences and union, 
or conquest. Man is the creature of a struggle for 
existence, incurably egoistic and aggressive. Con- 
vince him of the gospel of self-abnegation even, and 

The Conflict of Languages 221 

he instantly becomes its zealous missionary, taking 
great credit that his expedients to ram it into the 
minds of his fellow-creatures do not include physical 
force and if that is not self-abnegation, he asks, 
what is? So he has been, and so he is likely to 
remain. Not to be so, is to die of abnegation and 
extinguish the type. Improvement in transit between 
communities formerly for all practical purposes iso- 
lated, means, therefore, and always has meant, and I 
imagine, always will mean, that now they can get 
at one another. And they do. They inter-breed and 
fight, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Unless 
Providence is belied in His works that is what they 
are meant to do. 

A third invention which, though not a means of 
transit like the wheeled vehicle and the ship, was 
yet a means of communication, rendered still larger 
political reactions possible, and that was the develop- 
ment of systems of writing. The first empires and 
some sort of written speech arose together. Just as 
a kingdom, as distinguished from a mere tribal group 
of villages, is almost impossible without horses, so 
is an empire without writing and post-roads. The 
history of the whole world for three thousand years 
is the history of a unity larger than the small king- 
dom of the Heptarchy type, endeavouring to establish 
itself under the stress of these discoveries of horse- 
traffic and shipping and the written word, the history, 
that is, of the consequences of the partial shattering 

222 Anticipations 

of the barriers that had been effectual enough to 
prevent the fusion of more than tribal communities 
through all the long ages before the dawn of history. 
East of the Gobi Pamir barrier there has slowly 
grown up under these new conditions the Chinese 
system. West and north of the Sahara Gobi barrier 
of deserts and mountains, the extraordinarily strong 
and spacious conceptions of the Romans succeeded 
in dominating the world, and do, indeed, in a sort 
of mutilated way, by the powers of great words and 
wide ideas, in Caesarism and Imperialism, in the titles 
of Czar, Kaiser, and Imperator, in Papal pretension 
and countless political devices, dominate it to this 
hour. For awhile these conceptions sustained a 
united and to a large extent organized empire over 
very much of this space. But at its stablest time, 
this union was no more than a political union, the 
spreading of a thin layer of Latin-speaking officials, 
of a thin network of roads and a very thin veneer 
indeed of customs and refinements, over the scarcely 
touched national masses. It checked, perhaps, but 
it nowhere succeeded in stopping the slow but in- 
evitable differentiation of province from province 
and nation from nation. The forces of transit that 
permitted the Roman imperialism and its partial 
successors to establish wide ascendancies, were not 
sufficient to carry the resultant unity beyond the 
political stage. There was unity, but not unification. 
Tongues and writing ceased to be pure without 

The Conflict of Languages 223 

ceasing to be distinct. Sympathies, religious and 
social practices, ran apart and rounded themselves 
off like drops of oil on water. Travel was restricted 
to the rulers and the troops and to a wealthy leisure 
class ; commerce was for most of the constituent 
provinces of the empire a commerce in superficialities, 
and each province except for Italy, which latterly 
became dependent on an over-seas food supply 
was in all essential things autonomous, could have 
continued in existence, rulers and ruled, arts, luxuries, 
and refinements just as they stood, if all other lands 
and customs had been swept out of being. Local 
convulsions and revolutions, conquests and develop- 
ments, occurred indeed, but though the stones were 
altered the mosaic remained, and the general size 
and character of its constituent pieces remained. So 
it was under the Romans, so it was in the eighteenth 
century, and so it would probably have remained as 
long as the post-road and the sailing-ship were the 
most rapid forms of transit within the reach of 
man. Wars and powers and princes came and 
went, that was all. Nothing was changed, there 
was only one state the more or less. Even in the 
eighteenth century the process of real unification 
had effected so little, that not one of the larger 
kingdoms of Europe escaped a civil war not a 
class war, but a really internal war between one 
^part of itself and another, in that hundred years. 
In spite of Rome's few centuries of unstable empire, 

224 Anticipations 

internal wars, a perpetual struggle against finally 
triumphant disruption seemed to be the unavoid- 
able destiny of every power that attempted to rule 
over a larger radius than at most a hundred miles. 

So evident was this that many educated English 
persons thought then, and many who are not in the 
habit of analyzing operating causes, still think to-day, 
that the wide diffusion of the English-speaking people 
is a mere preliminary to their political, social, and 
linguistic disruption the eighteenth-century breach 
with the United States is made a precedent of, and 
the unification that followed the war of Union and 
the growing unification of Canada is overlooked 
that linguistic differences, differences of custom, 
costume, prejudice, and the like, will finally make 
the Australian, the Canadian of English blood, the 
Virginian, and the English Africander, as incompre- 
hensible and unsympathetic one to another as 
Spaniard and Englishman or Frenchman and German 
are now. On such a supposition all our current 
Imperialism is the most foolish defiance of the in- 
evitable, the maddest waste of blood, treasure, and 
emotion that man ever made. So, indeed, it might 
be so, indeed, I certainly think it would be if it 
were not that the epoch of post-road and sailing-ship 
is at an end. We are in the beginning of a new 
time, with such forces of organization and unification 
at work in mechanical traction, in the telephone 
and telegraph, in a whole wonderland of novel, 

The Conflict of Languages 225 

space-destroying appliances, and in the correlated 
inevitable advance in practical education, as the world 
has never felt before. 

The operation of these unifying forces is already 
to be very distinctly traced in the check, the arrest 
indeed, of any further differentiation in existing 
tongues, even in the most widely spread. In fact, it 
is more than an arrest even, the forces of differentia- 
tion have been driven back and an actual process 
of assimilation has set in. In England at the com- 
mencement of the nineteenth century the common 
man of Somerset and the common man of Yorkshire, 
the Sussex peasant, the Caithness cottar and the 
common Ulsterman, would have been almost incom- 
prehensible to one another. They differed in accent, 
in idiom, and in their very names for things. They 
differed in their ideas about things. They were, in 
plain English, foreigners one to another. Now they 
differ only in accent, and even that is a dwindling 
difference. Their language has become ampler 
because now they read. They read books or, at 
any rate, they learn to read out of books and 
certainly they read newspapers and those scrappy 
periodicals that people like bishops pretend to think 
so detrimental to the human mind, periodicals that 
it is cheaper to make at centres and uniformly, than 
locally in accordance with local needs. Since the 
newspaper cannot fit the locality, the locality has to 
broaden its mind to the newspaper, and to ideas 


226 Anticipations 

acceptable in other localities. The word and the 
idiom of the literary language and the pronunciation 
suggested by its spelling tends to prevail over the 
local usage. And moreover there is a persistent 
mixing of peoples going on, migration in search of 
employment and so on, quite unprecedented before 
the railways came. Few people are content to re- 
main in that locality and state of life "into which 
it has pleased God to call them." As a result, 
dialectic purity has vanished, dialects are rapidly 
vanishing, and novel differentiations are retarded or 
arrested altogether. Such novelties as do establish 
themselves in a locality are widely disseminated 
almost at once in books and periodicals. 

A parallel arrest of dialectic separation has 
happened in France, in Italy, in Germany, and in 
the States. It is not a process peculiar to any one 
nation. It is simply an aspect of the general pro- 
cess that has arisen out of mechanical locomotion. 
The organization of elementary education has no 
doubt been an important factor, but the essential 
influence working through this circumstance is the 
fact that paper is relatively cheap to type-setting, 
and both cheap to authorship even the commonest 
sorts of authorship and the wider the area a 
periodical or book serves the bigger, more attractive, 
and better it can be made for the same money. And 
clearly this process of assimilation will continue. 
Even local differences of accent seem likely to follow. 

The Conflict of Languages 227 

The itinerant dramatic company, the itinerant 
preacher, the coming extension of telephones and 
the phonograph, which at any time in some applica- 
tion to correspondence or instruction may cease to 
be a toy, all these things attack, or threaten to 
attack, the weeds of differentiation before they can 
take root. . . . 

And this process is not restricted to dialects 
merely. The native of a small country who knows 
no other language than the tongue of his country 
becomes increasingly at a disadvantage in comparison 
with the user of any of the three great languages 
of the Europeanized world. For his literature he 
depends on the scanty writers who are in his own 
case and write, or have written, in his own tongue. 
Necessarily they are few, because necessarily with a 
small public there can be only subsistence for a few. 
For his science he is in a worse case. His country 
can produce neither teachers nor discoverers to com- 
pare with the numbers of such workers in the larger 
areas, and it will neither pay them to write original 
matter for his instruction nor to translate what has 
been written in other tongues. The larger the number 
of people reading a tongue, the larger other things 
being equal will be not only the output of more or 
less original literature in that tongue, but also the 
more profitable and numerous will be translations of 
whatever has value in other tongues. Moreover, the 
larger the reading public in any language the cheaper 

228 Anticipations 

will it be to supply copies of the desired work. In 
the matter of current intelligence the case of the 
speaker of the small language is still worse. His 
newspaper will need to be cheaply served, his home 
intelligence will be cut and restricted, his foreign 
news belated and second hand. Moreover, to travel 
even a little distance or to conduct anything but the 
smallest business enterprise will be exceptionally in- 
convenient to him. The Englishman who knows no 
language but his own may travel well-nigh all over 
the world and everywhere meet some one who can 
speak his tongue. But what of the Welsh-speaking 
Welshman ? What of the Basque and the Lithuanian 
who can speak only his mother tongue ? Everywhere 
such a man is a foreigner and with all the foreigner's 
disadvantages. In most places he is for all practical 
purposes deaf and dumb. 

The inducements to an Englishman, Frenchman, 
or German to become bi-lingual are great enough 
nowadays, but the inducements to a speaker of the 
smaller languages are rapidly approaching compulsion. 
He must do it in self-defence. To be an educated 
man in his own vernacular has become an impossi- 
bility, he must either become a mental subject of one 
of the greater languages or sink to the intellectual 
status of a peasant. But if our analysis of social 
development was correct the peasant of to-day will 
be represented to-morrow by the people of no account 
whatever, the classes of extinction, the People of the 

The Conflict of Languages 229 

Abyss. If that analysis was correct, the essential 
nation will be all of educated men, that is to say, 
the essential nation will speak some dominant lan- 
guage or cease to exist, whatever its primordial 
tongue may have been. It will pass out of being 
and become a mere local area of the lower social 
stratum, a Problem for the philanthropic amateur. 

The action of the force of attraction of the great 
tongues is cumulative. It goes on, as bodies fall, 
with a steady acceleration. The more the great 
tongues prevail over the little languages the less will 
be the inducement to write and translate into these 
latter, the less the inducement to master them with 
any care or precision. And so this attack upon the 
smaller tongues, this gravitation of those who are 
born to speak them, towards the great languages, is 
not only to be seen going on in the case of such 
languages as Flemish, Welsh, or Basque, but even in 
the case of Norwegian and of such a great and noble 
tongue as the Italian, I am afraid that the trend of 
things makes for a similar suppression. All over 
Italy is the French newspaper and the French book, 
French wins its way more and more there, as English, 
I understand, is doing in Norway, and English and 
German in Holland. And in the coming years when 
the reading public will, in the case of the Western 
nations, be practically the whole functional popula- 
tion, when travel will be more extensive and abun- 
dant, and the inter-change of printed matter still 

230 Anticipations 

cheaper and swifter and above all with the spread 
of the telephone the process of subtle, bloodless, 
unpremeditated annexation will conceivably progress 
much more rapidly even than it does at present. 
The Twentieth Century will see the effectual crowd- 
ing out of most of the weaker languages if not a 
positive crowding out, yet at least (as in Flanders) 
a supplementing of them by the superposition of one 
or other of a limited number of world-languages over 
the area in which each is spoken. This will go on 
not only in Europe, but with varying rates of progress 
and local eddies and interruptions over the whole 
world. Except in the special case of China and 
Japan, where there may be a unique development 
the peoples of the world will escape from the wreckage 
of their too small and swamped and foundering social 
systems, only up the ladders of what one may call 
the aggregating tongues. 

What will these aggregating world-languages be ? 
If one has regard only to its extension during the 
nineteenth century one may easily incline to overrate 
the probabilities of English becoming the chief of 
these. But a great part of the vast extension of 
English that has occurred has been due to the rapid 
reproduction of originally English-speaking peoples, 
the emigration of foreigners into English-speaking 
countries in quantities too small to resist the contagion 
about them, and the compulsion due to the political 

The Conflict of Languages 231 

and commercial preponderance of a people too illiterate 
to readily master strange tongues. None of these 
causes have any essential permanence. When one 
comes to look more closely into the question one is 
surprised to discover how slow the extension of 
English has been in the face of apparently far less 
convenient tongues. English still fails to replace the 
French language in French Canada, and its ascen- 
dency is doubtful to-day in South Africa, after nearly 
a century of British dominion. It has none of the 
contagious quality of French, and the small class 
that monopolizes the direction of British affairs, and 
probably will monopolize it yet for several decades, has 
never displayed any great zeal to propagate its use. 
Of the few ideas possessed by the British governing 
class, the destruction and discouragement of schools 
and colleges is, unfortunately, one of the chief, and 
there is an absolute incapacity to understand the 
political significance of the language question. The 
Hindoo who is at pains to learn and use English en- 
counters something uncommonly like hatred disguised 
in a facetious form. He will certainly read little about 
himself in English that is not grossly contemptuous, 
to reward him for his labour. The possibilities 
that have existed, and that do still in a dwindling 
degree exist, for resolute statesmen to make English 
the common language of communication for all 
Asia south and east of the Himalayas, will have 
to develop of their own force or dwindle and pass 

232 Anticipations 

away. They may quite probably pass away. There 
is no sign that either the English or the Americans 
have a sufficient sense of the importance of linguistic 
predominance in the future of their race to interfere 
with natural processes in this matter for many years 
to come. 

Among peoples not actually subject to British 
or American rule, and who are neither waiters nor 
commercial travellers, the inducements to learn 
English, rather than French or German, do not 
increase. If our initial assumptions are right, the 
decisive factor in this matter is the amount of science 
and thought the acquisition of a language will afford 
the man who learns it. It becomes, therefore, a fact 
of very great significance that the actual number 
of books published in English is less than that in 
French or German, and that the proportion of serious 
books is very greatly less. A large proportion of 
English books are novels adapted to the minds of 
women, or of boys and superannuated business 
men, stories designed rather to allay than stimulate 
thought they are the only books, indeed, that are 
profitable to publisher and author alike. In this 
connection they do not count, however ; no foreigner 
is likely to learn English for the pleasure of reading 
Miss Marie Corelli in the original, or of drinking 
untranslatable elements from The Helmet of Na- 
varre. The present conditions of book production for 
the English reading public offer no hope of any 

The Conflict of Languages 233 

immediate change in this respect. There is neither 
honour nor reward there is not even food or 
shelter for the American or Englishman who de- 
votes a year or so of his life to the adequate 
treatment of any spacious question, and so small 
is the English reading public with any special 
interest in science, that a great number of impor- 
tant foreign scientific works are never translated 
into English at all. Such interesting compilations 
as Bloch's work on war, for example, must be 
read in French ; in English only a brief summary 
of his results is to be obtained, under a sensational 
heading. 1 Schopenhauer again is only to be got 
quite stupidly Bowdlerized, explained, and " selected " 
in English. Many translations that are made into 
English are made only to sell, they are too often the 
work of sweated women and girls very often quite 
without any special knowledge of the matter they 
translate they are difficult to read and untrust- 
worthy to quote. The production of books in English, 
except the author be a wealthy amateur, rests finally 
upon the publishers, and publishers to-day stand a 
little lower than ordinary tradesmen in not caring 
at all whether the goods they sell are good or bad. 
Unusual books, they allege and all good books 
are unusual are "difficult to handle," and the 
author must pay the fine amounting, more often 
than not, to the greater portion of his interest in 

1 Is War Noiv Impossible 1 ! and see also footnote, p. 210. 

234 Anticipations 

the book. There is no criticism to control the 
advertising enterprises of publishers and authors, 
and no sufficiently intelligent reading public has 
differentiated out of the confusion to encourage 
attempts at critical discrimination. The organs 
of the great professions and technical trades are 
as yet not alive tor the part their readers must 
play in the public life of the future, and ignore 
all but strictly technical publications. A bastard 
criticism, written in many cases by publishers' 
employees, a criticism having a very direct relation 
to the advertisement columns, distributes praise and 
blame in the periodic press. There is no body of 
great men either in England or America, no intelli- 
gence in the British Court, that might by any 
form of recognition compensate the philosophical 
or scientific writer for poverty and popular neglect. 
The more powerful a man's intelligence the more dis- 
tinctly he must see that to devote himself to increase 
the scientific or philosophical wealth of the English 
tongue will be to sacrifice comfort, the respect of 
the bulk of his contemporaries, and all the most 
delightful things of life, for the barren reward of 
a not very certain righteous self-applause. By 
brewing and dealing in tied houses, 1 or by selling 

1 It is entirely for their wealth that brewers have been ennobled in 
England, never because of their services as captains of a great industry. 
Indeed, these services have been typically poor. While these men were 
earning their peerages by the sort of proceedings that do secure men 
peerages under the British Crown, the German brewers were developing 

The Conflict of Languages 235 

pork and tea, or by stock-jobbing and by pandering 
with the profits so obtained to the pleasures of 
the established great, a man of energy may hope 
to rise to a pitch of public honour and popularity 
immeasurably in excess of anything attainable 
through the most splendid intellectual perform- 
ances. Heaven forbid I should overrate public 
honours and the company of princes ! But it is 
not always delightful to be splashed by the wheels 
of cabs. Always before there has been at least a 
convention that the Court of this country, and its 
aristocracy, were radiant centres of moral and intel- 
lectual influence, that they did to some extent 
check and correct the judgments of the cab-rank 
and the beer-house. But the British Crown of 
to-day, so far as it exists for science and literature 
at all, exists mainly to repudiate the claims of 
intellectual performance to public respect. 

These things, if they were merely the grievances 
of the study, might very well rest there. But they 
must be recognized here because the intellectual 
decline of the published literature of the English 
language using the word to cover all sorts of 
books involves finally the decline of the language 
and of all the spacious political possibilities that 

the art and science of brewing with remarkable energy and success. 
The Germans and Bohemians can now make light beers that the 
English brewers cannot even imitate ; they are exporting beer to 
England in steadily increasing volume. 

236 Anticipations 

go with the wide extension of a language. Con- 
ceivably, if in the coming years a deliberate attempt 
were made to provide sound instruction in English 
to all who sought it, and to all within the control 
of English-speaking Governments, if honour and 
emolument were given to literary men instead of 
being left to them to most indelicately take, and 
if the present sordid trade of publishing were so 
lifted as to bring the whole literature, the whole 
science, and all the contemporary thought of the 
world not some selection of the world's litera- 
ture, not some obsolete Encyclopaedia sold meanly 
and basely to choke hungry minds, but a real 
publication of all that has been and is being 
done within the reach of each man's need and 
desire who had the franchise of the tongue, then 
by the year 2000 I would prophesy that the 
whole functional body of human society would read, 
and perhaps even write and speak, our language. 
And not only that, but it might be the prevalent 
and everyday language of Scandinavia and Den- 
mark and Holland, of all Africa, all North 
America, of the Pacific coasts of Asia and of 
India, the universal international language, and 
in a fair way to be the universal language of man- 
kind. But such an enterprise demands a resolve 
and intelligence beyond all the immediate signs of 
the times ; it implies a veritable renascence of in- 
tellectual life among the English-speaking peoples. 

The Conflict of Languages 237 

The probabilities of such a renascence will be 
more conveniently discussed at a later stage, 
when we attempt to draw the broad outline of 
the struggle for world-wide ascendency that the 
coming years will see. But here it is clear that 
upon the probability of such a renascence depends 
the extension of the language, and not only that, 
but the preservation of that military and naval 
efficiency upon which, in this world of resolute 
aggression, the existence of the English-speaking 
communities finally depends. 

French and German will certainly be aggregating 
languages during the greater portion of the coming 
years. Of the two I am inclined to think French 
will spread further than German. There is a dis- 
position in the world, which the French share, to 
grossly undervalue the prospects of all things French, 
derived, so far as I can gather, from the facts that 
the French were beaten by the Germans in 1870, 
and that they do not breed with the abandon of 
rabbits or negroes. These are considerations that 
affect the dissemination of French very little. The 
French reading public is something different and 
very much larger than the existing French political 
system. The number of books published in French 
is greater than that published in English ; there is 
a critical reception for a work published in French 
that is one of the few things worth a writer's having, 
and the French translators are the most alert and 

238 Anticipations 

efficient in the world. One has only to see a Parisian 
bookshop, and to recall an English one, to realize 
the as yet unattainable standing of French. The 
serried ranks of lemon-coloured volumes in the 
former have the whole range of human thought and 
interest ; there are no taboos and no limits, you 
have everything up and down the scale, from frank 
indecency to stark wisdom. It is a shop for men. 
I remember my amazement to discover three copies 
of a translation of that most wonderful book, 
The Principles of Psychology of Professor William 
James, in a shop in L' Avenue de 1'Opera three 
copies of a book that I have never seen anywhere 
in England outside my own house, and I am an 
attentive student of bookshop windows ! And the 
French books are all so pleasant in the page, 
and so cheap they are for a people that buys to 
read. One thinks of the English bookshop, with 
its gaudy reach-me-downs of gilded and embossed 
cover, its horribly printed novels still more horribly 
" illustrated," the exasperating pointless variety in the 
size and thickness of its books. The general effect 
of the English book is that it is something sold 
by a dealer in bric-&-brac, honestly sorry the thing 
is a book, but who has done his best to remedy it, 
anyhow! And all the English shopful is either 
brand new fiction or illustrated travel (of * Buns with 
the Grand Lama ' type), or gilded versions of the 
classics of past times done up to give away. 

The Conflict of Languages 239 

While the French bookshop reeks of contemporary 
intellectual life ! 

These things count for French as against English 
now, and they will count for infinitely more in the 
coming years. And over German also French has 
many advantages. In spite of the numerical pre- 
ponderance of books published in Germany, it is 
doubtful if the German reader has quite such a 
catholic feast before him as the reader of French. 
There is a mass of German fiction probably as 
uninteresting to a foreigner as popular English and 
American romance. And German compared with 
French is an unattractive language ; unmelodious, 
unwieldy, and cursed with a hideous and blinding 
lettering that the German is too patriotic to sacrifice. 
There has been in Germany a more powerful parallel 
to what one may call the " honest Saxon " movement 
among the English, that queer mental twist that 
moves men to call an otherwise undistinguished 
preface a " Foreword," and find a pleasurable advan- 
tage over their fellow-creatures in a familiarity with 
"eftsoons." This tendency in German has done 
much to arrest the simplification of idiom, and 
checked the development of new words of classical 
origin. In particular it has stood in the way of 
the international use of scientific terms. The 
Englishman, the Frenchman, and the Italian have 
a certain community of technical, scientific, and 
philosophical phraseology, and it is frequently easier 

240 Anticipations 

for an Englishman with some special knowledge 
of his subject to read and appreciate a subtle and 
technical work in French, than it is for him to fully 
enter into the popular matter of the same tongue. 
Moreover, the technicalities of these peoples, being 
not so immediately and constantly brought into con- 
trast and contact with their Latin or Greek roots as 
they would be if they were derived (as are so many 
" patriotic " German technicalities) from native roots, 
are free to qualify and develop a final meaning 
distinct from their original intention. In the grow- 
ing and changing body of science this counts for 
much. The indigenous German technicality remains 
clumsy and compromised by its everyday relations, 
to the end of time it drags a lengthening chain of 
unsuitable associations. And the shade of mean- 
ing, the limited qualification, that a Frenchman or 
Englishman can attain with a mere twist of the 
sentence, the German must either abandon or 
laboriously overstate with some colossal wormcast 
of parenthesis. . . . Moreover, against the German 
tongue there are hostile frontiers, there are hostile 
people who fear German preponderance, and who 
have set their hearts against its use. In Roumania, 
and among the Slav, Bohemian, and Hungarian 
peoples, French attacks German in the flank, and 
has as clear a prospect of predominance. 

These two tongues must inevitably come into 
keen conflict; they will perhaps fight their battle 

The Conflict of Languages 241 

for the linguistic conquest of Europe, and perhaps 
of the world, in a great urban region that will arise 
about the Rhine. Politically this region lies now 
in six independent States, but economically it must 
become one in the next fifty years. It will almost 
certainly be the greatest urban region in all the 
world except that which will arise in the eastern 
States of North America, and that which may arise 
somewhere about Hankow. It will stretch from 
Lille to Kiel, it will drive extensions along the Rhine 
valley into Switzerland, and fling an arm along the 
Moldau to Prague, it will be the industrial capital 
of the old world. Paris will be its West End, and 
it will stretch a spider's web of railways and great 
roads of the new sort over the whole continent. 
Even when the coal-field industries of the plain give 
place to the industrial application of mountain-born 
electricity, this great city region will remain, I 
believe, in its present position at the seaport end 
of the great plain of the Old World. Considerations 
of transit will keep it where it has grown, and 
electricity will be brought to it in mighty cables 
from the torrents of the central European mountain 
mass. Its westward port may be Bordeaux or Milford 
Haven, or even some port in the south-west of 
Ireland unless, which is very unlikely, the velocity 
of secure sea-travel can be increased beyond that 
of land locomotion. I do not see how this great 
region is to unify itself without some linguistic 


242 Anticipations 

compromise the Germanization of the French- 
speaking peoples by force is too ridiculous a sugges- 
tion to entertain. Almost inevitably with travel, 
with transport communications, with every condition 
of human convenience insisting upon it, formally 
or informally a bi-lingual compromise will come into 
operation, and to my mind at least the chances 
seem even that French will emerge on the upper 
hand. Unless, indeed, that great renascence of the 
English-speaking peoples should, after all, so over- 
whelmingly occur as to force this European city 
to be tri-lingual, and prepare the way by which 
the whole world may at last speak together in one 

These are the aggregating tongues. I do not 
think that any other tongues than these are quite 
likely to hold their own in the coming time. Italian 
may flourish in the city of the Po valley, but only 
with French beside it. Spanish and Russian are 
mighty languages, but without a reading public how 
can they prevail, and what prospect of a reading 
public has either? They are, I believe, already 
judged. By A.D. 2000 all these languages will be 
tending more and more to be the second tongues of 
bi-lingual communities, with French, or English, or 
less probably German winning the upper hand. 

But when one turns to China there are the 
strangest possibilities. It is in Eastern Asia alone 
that there seems to be any possibility of a synthesis 

The Conflict of Languages 243 

sufficiently great to maintain itself, arising outside 
of, and independently of, the interlocked system 
of mechanically sustained societies that is develop- 
ing out of mediaeval Christendom. Throughout 
Eastern Asia there is still, no doubt, a vast wilder- 
ness of languages, but over them all rides the 
Chinese writing. And very strong strong enough 
to be very gravely considered is the possibility of 
that writing' taking up an orthodox association of 
sounds, and becoming a world speech. The Japanese 
written language, the language of Japanese literature, 
tends to assimilate itself to Chinese, and fresh Chinese 
words and expressions are continually taking root in 
Japan. The Japanese are a people quite abnormal 
and incalculable, with a touch of romance, a con- 
ception of honour, a quality of imagination, and a 
clearness of intelligence that renders possible for 
them things inconceivable of any other existing 
nation. I may be the slave of perspective effects, 
but when I turn my mind from the pettifogging 
muddle of the English House of Commons, for 
example, that magnified vestry that is so proud 
of itself as a club when I turn from that to this 
race of brave and smiling people, abruptly destiny 
begins drawing with a bolder hand. Suppose the 
Japanese were to make up their minds to accelerate 
whatever process of synthesis were possible in China! 
Suppose, after all, I am not the victim of atmospheric 
refraction, and they are, indeed, as gallant and bold 

244 Anticipations 

and intelligent as my baseless conception of them 
would have them be ! They would almost certainly 
find co-operative elements among the educated 
Chinese. . . . But this is no doubt the lesser pro- 
bability. In front and rear of China the English 
language stands. It has the start of all other 
languages the mechanical advantage the position. 
And if only we, who think and write and translate 
and print and put forth, could make it worth the 
world's having ! 



WE have seen that the essential process arising 
out of the growth of science and mechanism, and 
more particularly out of the still developing new 
facilities of locomotion and communication science 
has afforded, is the deliquescence of the social 
organizations of the past, and the synthesis of 
ampler and still ampler and more complicated 
and still more complicated social unities. The 
suggestion is powerful, the conclusion is hard to 
resist, that, through whatever disorders of danger 
and conflict, whatever centuries of misunderstanding 
and bloodshed, men may still have to pass, this 
process nevertheless aims finally, and will attain 
to the establishment of one world-state at peace 
within itself. In the economic sense, indeed, a 
world-state is already established. Even to-day 
we do all buy and sell in the same markets albeit 
the owners of certain ancient rights levy their tolls 
here and there and the Hindoo starves, the Italian 
feels the pinch, before the Germans or the English 
go short of bread. There is no real autonomy any 

246 Anticipations 

more in the world, no simple right to an absolute 
independence such as formerly the Swiss could 
claim. The nations and boundaries of to-day do 
no more than mark claims to exemptions, privileges, 
and corners in the market claims valid enough 
to those whose minds and souls are turned towards 
the past, but absurdities to those who look to 
the future as the end and justification of our 
present stresses. The claim to political liberty 
amounts, as a rule, to no more than the claim of a 
man to live in a parish without observing sanitary 
precautions or paying rates because he had an 
excellent great-grandfather. Against all these old 
isolations, these obsolescent particularisms, the forces 
of mechanical and scientific development fight, and 
fight irresistibly ; and upon the general recognition 
of this conflict, upon the intelligence and courage 
with which its inflexible conditions are negotiated, 
depends very largely the amount of bloodshed and 
avoidable misery the coming years will hold. 

The final attainment of this great synthesis, like 
the social deliquescence and reconstruction dealt 
with in the earlier of these anticipations, has an 
air*of being a process independent of any collective 
or conscious will in man, as being the expression 
of a greater Will ; it is working now, and may 
work out to its end vastly, and yet at times almost 
imperceptibly, as some huge secular movement in 
Nature, the raising of a continent, the crumbling 

The Larger Synthesis 247 

of a mountain-chain, goes on to its appointed 
culmination. Or one may compare the process to 
a net that has surrounded, and that is drawn con- 
tinually closer and closer upon, a great and varied 
multitude of men. We may cherish animosities, 
we may declare imperishable distances, we may 
plot and counter-plot, make war and " fight to a 
finish ; " the net tightens for all that. 

Already the need of some synthesis at least 
ampler than existing national organizations is so 
apparent in the world, that at least five spacious 
movements of coalescence exist to-day; there is 
the movement called Anglo-Saxonism, the allied 
but finally very different movement of British 
Imperialism, the Pan-Germanic movement, Pan- 
Slavism, and the conception of a great union of 
the " Latin " peoples. Under the outrageous treat- 
ment of the white peoples an idea of unifying 
the " Yellow " peoples is pretty certain to become 
audibly and visibly operative before many years. 
These are all deliberate and justifiable suggestions, 
and they all aim to sacrifice minor differences in 
order to link like to like in greater matters, and 
so secure, if not physical predominance in the 
world, at least an effective defensive strength for 
their racial, moral, customary, or linguistic differences 
against the aggressions of other possible coalescences. 
But these syntheses or other similar synthetic concep- 
tions, if they do not contrive to establish a rational 

248 Anticipations 

social unity by sanely negotiated unions, will be 
forced to fight for physical predominance in the 
world. The whole trend of forces in the world is 
against the preservation of local social systems, 
however greatly and spaciously conceived. Yet it 
is quite possible that several or all of the cultures 
that will arise out of the development of these 
Pan-this-and-that movements may in many of their 
features survive, as the culture of the Jews has 
survived, political obliteration, and may disseminate 
themselves, as the Jewish system has disseminated 
itself, over the whole world-city. Unity by no means 
involves homogeneity. The greater the social 
organism the more complex and varied its parts, 
the more intricate and varied the interplay of 
culture and breed and character within it. 

It is doubtful if either the Latin or the Pan- 
Slavic idea contains the promise of any great 
political unification. The elements of the Latin 
synthesis are dispersed in South and Central 
America and about the Mediterranean basin in 
a way that offers no prospect of an economic unity 
between them. The best elements of the French 
people lie in the western portion of what must 
become the greatest urban region of the Old 
World, the Rhine-Netherlandish region ; the interests 
of North Italy draw that region away from the Italy 
of Rome and the South towards the Swiss and South 
Germany, and the Spanish and Portuguese speaking 

The Larger Synthesis 249 

halfbreeds of South America have not only their 
own coalescences to arrange, but they lie already 
under the political tutelage of the United States. 
Nowhere except in France and North Italy is there 
any prospect of such an intellectual and educational 
evolution as is necessary before a great scheme of 
unification can begin to take effect. And the 
difficulties in the way of the pan-Slavic dream 
are far graver. Its realization is enormously 
hampered by the division of its languages, and 
the fact that in the Bohemian language, in Polish 
and in Russian, there exist distinct literatures, 
almost equally splendid in achievement, but equally 
insufficient in quantity and range to establish a 
claim to replace all other Slavonic dialects. Russia, 
which should form the central mass of this synthesis, 
stagnates, relatively to the Western states, under 
the rule of reactionary intelligences ; it does not 
develop, and does not seem likely to develop, the 
merest beginnings of that great educated middle 
class, with which the future so enormously rests. The 
Russia of to-day is indeed very little more than 
a vast breeding-ground for an illiterate peasantry, 
and the forecasts of its future greatness entirely 
ignore that dwindling significance of mere numbers 
in warfare which is the clear and necessary conse- 
quence of mechanical advance. To a large extent, 
I believe, the Western Slavs will follow the Prus- 
sians and Lithuanians, and be incorporated in the 

250 Anticipations 

urbanization of Western Europe, and the remoter por- 
tions of Russia seem destined to become are indeed 
becoming Abyss, a wretched and disorderly Abyss 
that will not even be formidable to the armed and 
disciplined peoples of the new civilization, the last 
quarter of the earth, perhaps, where a barbaric or 
absentee nobility will shadow the squalid and un- 
happy destinies of a multitude of hopeless and 
unmeaning lives. 

To a certain extent, Russia may play the part 
of a vaster Ireland, in her failure to keep pace with 
the educational and economic progress of nations 
which have come into economic unity with her. 
She will be an Ireland without emigration, a place 
for famines. And while Russia delays to develop 
anything but a fecund orthodoxy and this simple 
peasant life, the grooves and channels are growing 
ever deeper along which the currents of trade, of 
intellectual and moral stimulus, must presently flow 
towards the West. I see no region where any- 
thing like the comparatively dense urban regions 
that are likely to arise about the Rhineland and 
over the eastern states of America, for example, 
can develop in Russia. With railways planned 
boldly, it would have been possible, it might still 
be possible, to make about Odessa a parallel to 
Chicago, but the existing railways run about 
Odessa as though Asia were unknown ; and when 
at last the commercial awakening of what is now 

The Larger Synthesis 251 

the Turkish Empire comes, the railway lines will 
probably run, not north or south, but from the* 
urban region of the more scientific central Euro- 
peans down to Constantinople. The long-route land 
communications in the future will become con- 
tinually more swift and efficient than Baltic naviga- 
tion, and it is unlikely, therefore, that St. Petersburg 
has any great possibilities of growth. It was 
founded by a man whose idea of the course of 
trade and civilization was the sea wholly and 
solely, and in the future the sea must necessarily 
become more and more a last resort. With its 
spacious prospects, its architectural magnificence, 
its political quality, its desertion by the new com- 
merce, and its terrible peasant hinterland, it may 
come about that a striking analogy between St. 
Petersburg and Dublin will finally appear. 

So much for the Pan-Slavic synthesis. It seems 
improbable that it can prevail against the forces 
that make for the linguistic and economic annexa- 
tion of the greater part of European Russia and of 
the minor Slavonic masses, to the great Western 
European urban region. 

The political centre of gravity of Russia, in its 
resistance to these economic movements, is palpably 
shifting eastward even to-day, but that carries it 
away from the Central European synthesis only 
towards the vastly more enormous attracting centre 
of China. Politically the Russian Government may 



come to dominate China in the coming decades, 
but the reality beneath any such formal predominance 
will be the absorption of Russia beyond the range 
of the European pull by the synthesis of Eastern 
Asia. Neither the Russian literature nor the Russian 
language and writing, nor the Russian civilization 
as a whole have the qualities to make them irresist- 
ible to the energetic and intelligent millions of the 
far East. The chances seem altogether against the 
existence of a great Slavonic power in the world 
at the beginning of the twenty-first century. They 
seem, at the first glance, to lie just as heavily 
in favour of an aggressive Pan-Germanic power 
struggling towards a great and commanding position 
athwart Central Europe and Western Asia, and 
turning itself at last upon the defeated Slavonic 
disorder. There can be no doubt that at present 
the Germans, with the doubtful exception of the 
United States, have the most efficient middle class 
in the world, their rapid economic progress is to a 
very large extent, indeed, a triumph of intelligence, 
and their political and probably their military and 
naval services are still conducted with a capacity and 
breadth of view that find no parallel in the world. 
But the very efficiency of the German as a German 
to-day, and the habits and traditions of victory he 
has accumulated for nearly forty years, may prove 
in the end a very doubtful blessing to Europe 
as a whole, or even to his own grandchildren. 

The Larger Synthesis 253 

Geographical contours, economic forces, the trend of 
invention and social development, point to a unifica- 
tion of all Western Europe, but they certainly do 
not point to its Germanization. I have already 
given reasons for anticipating that the French 
language may not only hold its own, but prevail 
against German in Western Europe. And there 
are certain other obstacles in the way even of the 
union of indisputable Germans. One element in 
Germany's present efficiency must become more and 
more of an encumbrance as the years pass. The 
Germanic idea is deeply interwoven with the tradi- 
tional* Empire and with the martinet methods of 
the Prussian monarchy. The intellectual develop- 
ment of the Germans is defined to a very large 
extent by a court-directed officialdom. In many 
things that court is still inspired by the noble 
traditions of education and discipline that come 
from the days of German adversity, and the pre- 
dominance of the Imperial will does, no doubt, 
give a unity of purpose to German policy and 
action that adds greatly to its efficacy. But for 
a capable ruler, even more than for a radiantly 
stupid monarch, the price a nation must finally 
pay is heavy. Most energetic and capable people 
are a little intolerant of unsympathetic capacity, 
are apt on the under side of their egotism to be 
jealous, assertive, and aggressive. In the present 
Empire of Germany there are no other great figures 

254 Anticipations 

to balance the Imperial personage, and I do not see 
how other great figures are likely to arise. A great 
number of fine and capable persons must be failing 
to develop, failing to tell, under the shadow of this 
too prepotent monarchy. There are certain limiting 
restrictions imposed upon Germans through the Im- 
perial activity, that must finally be bad for the intellec- 
tual atmosphere which is Germany's ultimate strength. 
For example, the Emperor professes a violent and 
grotesque Christianity with a ferocious pro-Teutonic 
Father and a negligible Son, and the public mind 
is warped into conformity with the finally impossible 
cant of this eccentric creed. His Imperial Majesty's 
disposition to regard criticism as hostility stifles 
the public thought of Germany. He interferes in 
university affairs and in literary and artistic matters 
with a quite remarkable confidence and incalculable 
consequences. The inertia of a century carries him 
and his Germany onward from success to success, 
but for all that one may doubt whether the extra- 
ordinary intellectuality that distinguished the Ger- 
man atmosphere in the early years of the century, 
and in which such men as Blumenthal and Moltke 
grew to greatness, in which Germany grew to great- 
ness, is not steadily fading in the heat and blaze 
of the Imperial sunshine. Discipline and education 
have carried Germany far ; they are essential things, 
but an equally essential need for the coming time 
is a free play for men of initiative and imagination. 

The Larger Synthesis 255 

Is Germany to her utmost possibility making 
capable men ? That, after all, is the vital question, 
and not whether her policy is wise or foolish, or 
her commercial development inflated or sound. Or 
is Germany doing no more than cash the promises 
of those earlier days ? 

After all, I do not see that she is in a greatly 
stronger position than was France in the early sixties, 
and, indeed, in many respects her present predominance 
is curiously analogous to that of the French Empire 
in those years. Death at any time may end the 
career of the present ruler of Germany there is no 
certain insurance of one single life. This withdrawal 
would leave Germany organized entirely with refer- 
ence to a Court, and there is no trustworthy guarantee 
that the succeeding Royal Personality may not be 
something infinitely more vain and aggressive, or 
something weakly self-indulgent or unpatriotic and 
morally indifferent. Much has been done in the past 
of Germany, the infinitely less exacting past, by 
means of the tutor, the Chamberlain, the Chancellor, 
the wide-seeing power beyond the throne, who very 
unselfishly intrigues his monarch in the way that 
he should go. But that sort of thing is remarkably 
like writing a letter by means of a pen held in lazy 
tongs instead of the hand. A very easily imagined 
series of accidents may place the destinies of Germany 
in such lazy tongs again. When that occasion comes, 
will the new class of capable men on which we have 

256 Anticipations 

convinced ourselves in these anticipations the future 
depends will it be ready for its enlarged responsi- 
bilities, or will the flower of its possible members be 
in prison for Ihe majest^ or naturalized Englishmen 
or naturalized Americans or troublesome privates 
under officers of indisputably aristocratic birth, or 
well-broken labourers, won " back to the land," under 
the auspices of an Agrarian League ? 

In another way the intensely monarchical and 
aristocratic organization of the German Empire will 
stand in the way of the political synthesis of greater 
Germany. Indispensable factors in that synthesis 
will be Holland and Switzerland little, advan- 
tageously situated peoples, saturated with ideas of 
personal freedom. One can imagine a German Swiss, 
at any rate, merging himself in a great Pan-Germanic 
republican state, but to bow the knee to the luridly 
decorated God of His Imperial Majesty's Fathers 
will be an altogether more difficult exploit for a self- 
respecting man. . . . 

Moreover, before Germany can unify to the East 
she must fight the Russian, and to unify to the West 
she must fight the French and perhaps the English, 
and she may have to fight a combination of these 
powers. I think the military strength of France is 
enormously underrated. Upon this matter M. Bloch 
should be read. Indisputably the French were beaten 
in 1870, indisputably they have fallen behind in 
their long struggle to maintain themselves equal 

The Larger Synthesis 257 

with the English on the sea, but neither of these 
things efface the future of the French. The disasters 
of 1870 were probably of the utmost benefit to the 
altogether too sanguine French imagination. They 
cleared the French mind of the delusion that personal 
Imperialism is the way to do the desirable thing, a 
delusion many Germans (and, it would seem, a few 
queer Englishmen and still queerer Americans) enter- 
tain. The French have done much to demonstrate 
the possibility of a stable military republic. They 
have disposed of crown and court, and held them- 
selves in order for thirty good years ; they have 
dissociated their national life from any form of re- 
ligious profession ; they have contrived a freedom of 
thought and writing that, in spite of much conceit 
to the contrary, is quite impossible among the 
English-speaking peoples. I find no reason to doubt 
the implication of M. Bloch that on land to-day the 
French are relatively far stronger than they were 
in 1870, that the evolution of military expedients has 
been all in favour of the French character and in- 
telligence, and that even a single-handed war between 
France and Germany to-day might have a very 
different issue from that former struggle. In such 
a conflict it will be Germany, and not France, that 
will have pawned her strength to the English-speak- 
ing peoples on the high seas. And France will not 
fight alone. She will fight for Switzerland or Luxem- 
bourg, or the mouth of the Rhine. She will fight 


258 Anticipations 

with the gravity of remembered humiliations, with 
the whole awakened Slav-race at the back of her 
antagonist, and very probably with the support of 
the English-speaking peoples. 

It must be pointed out how strong seems the 
tendency of the German Empire to repeat the history 
of Holland upon a larger scale. While the Dutch 
poured out all their strength upon the seas, in a 
conflict with the English that at the utmost could 
give them only trade, they let the possibilities of 
a great Low German synthesis pass utterly out of 
being. (In those days Low Germany stretched to 
Arras and Douay.) They positively dragged the 
English into the number of their enemies. And 
to-day the Germans invade the sea with a threat 
and intention that will certainly create a counter- 
vailing American navy, fundamentally modify the 
policy of Great Britain, such as it is, and very 
possibly go far to effect the synthesis of the English- 
speaking peoples. 

So involved, I do not see that the existing. 
Germanic synthesis is likely to prevail in the close 
economic unity, the urban region that will arise 
in Western Europe. I imagine that the German 
Empire that is, the organized expression of German 
aggression to-day will be either shattered or 
weakened to the pitch of great compromises by 
a series of wars by land and sea ; it will be forced 
to develop the autonomy of its rational middle class 

The Larger Synthesis 259 

in the struggles that will render these compromises 
possible, and it will be finally not Imperial German 
ideas, but central European ideas possibly more 
akin to Swiss conceptions, a civilized republicanism 
finding its clearest expression in the French language, 
that will be established upon a bilingual basis 
throughout Western Europe, and increasingly pre- 
dominant over the whole European mainland and 
the Mediterranean basin, as the twentieth century 
closes. The splendid dream of a Federal Europe, 
which opened the nineteenth century for France, 
may perhaps, after all, come to something like 
realization at the opening of the twenty-first. But 
just how long these things take, just how easily 
or violently they are brought about, depends, after 
all, entirely upon the rise in general intelligence in 
Europe. An ignorant, a merely trained or a merely 
cultured people, will not understand these coales- 
cences, will fondle old animosities and stage hatreds, 
and for such a people there must needs be disaster, 
forcible conformities and war. Europe will have 
her Irelands as well as her Scotlands, her Irelands 
of unforgettable wrongs, kicking, squalling, bawl- 
ing most desolatingly, for nothing that any one can 
understand. There will be great scope for the share- 
holding dilettanti, great opportunities for literary 
quacks, in " national " movements, language leagues, 
picturesque plotting, and the invention of such 
" national " costumes as the world has never seen. 

260 Anticipations 

The cry of the little nations will go up to heaven, 
asserting the inalienable right of all little nations 
to sit down firmly in the middle of the high-road, 
in the midst of the thickening traffic, and with 
all their dear little toys about them, play and 
play just as they used to play before the road 
had come. . . . 

And while the great states of the continent of 
Europe are hammering down their obstructions of 
language and national tradition or raising the 
educational level above them until a working unity 
is possible, and while the reconstruction of Eastern 
Asia whether that be under Russian, Japanese, 
English, or native Chinese direction struggles 
towards attainment, will there also be a great 
synthesis of the English-speaking peoples going 
on ? I am inclined to believe that there will be 
such a synthesis, and that the head and centre of 
the new unity will be the great urban region that 
is developing between Chicago and the Atlantic, 
and which will lie mainly, but not entirely, south 
of the St. Lawrence. Inevitably, I think, that region 
must become the intellectual, political, and industrial 
centre of any permanent unification of the English- 
speaking states. There will, I believe, develop 
about that centre a great federation of white English- 
speaking peoples, a federation having America north 
of Mexico as its central mass (a federation that may 
conceivably include Scandinavia) and its federal 

The Larger Synthesis 261 

government will sustain a common fleet, and protect 
or dominate or actually administer most or all of 
the non-white states of the present British Empire, 
and in addition much of the South and Middle 
Pacific, the East and West Indies, the rest of 
America, and the larger part of black Africa. 
Quite apart from the dominated races, such an 
English-speaking state should have by the century- 
end a practically homogeneous citizenship of at 
least a hundred million sound-bodied and educated 
and capable men. It should be the first of the 
three powers of the world, and it should face the 
organizing syntheses of Europe and Eastern Asia 
with an intelligent sympathy. By the year 2000 
all its common citizens should certainly be in touch 
with the thought of Continental Europe through 
the medium of French ; its English language should 
be already rooting firmly through all the world 
beyond its confines, and its statesmanship should 
be preparing openly and surely, and discussing 
calmly with the public mind of the European, and 
probably of the Yellow state, the possible coalescences 
and conventions, the obliteration of custom-houses, 
the homologization of laws and coinage and measures, 
and the mitigation of monopolies and special claims, 
by which the final peace of the world may be assured 
for ever. Such a synthesis, at any rate, of the peoples 
now using the English tongue, I regard not only 
as a possible, but as a probable, thing. The positive 

262 Anticipations 

obstacles to its achievement, great though they are, 
are yet trivial in comparison with the obstructions 
to that lesser European synthesis we have ventured 
to forecast. The greater obstacle is negative, it 
lies in the want of stimulus, in the lax prosperity 
of most of the constituent states of such a union. 
But such a stimulus, the renascence of Eastern 
Asia, or a great German fleet upon the ocean, may 
presently supply. 

Now, all these three great coalescences, this 
shrivelling up and vanishing of boundary lines, 
will be the outward and visible accompaniment of 
that inward and social reorganization which it is 
the main object of these Anticipations to display. 
I have sought to show that in peace and war alike 
a process has been and is at work, a process with 
all the inevitableness and all the patience of a 
natural force, whereby the great swollen, shapeless, 
hypertrophied social mass of to-day must give birth 
at last to a naturally and informally organized, 
educated class, an unprecedented sort of people, 
a New Republic dominating the world. It will 
be none of our ostensible governments that will 
effect this great clearing up ; it will be the mass 
of power and intelligence altogether outside the 
official state systems of to-day that will make this 
great clearance, a new social Hercules that will 
strangle the serpents of war and national animosity 
in his cradle. 

The Larger Synthesis 263 

Now, the more one descends from the open uplands 
of wide generalization to the parallel jungle of par- 
ticulars, the more dangerous does the road of prophe- 
sying become, yet nevertheless there may be some 
possibility of speculating how, in the case of the 
English-speaking synthesis at least, this effective 
New Republic may begin visibly to shape itself out 
and appear. It will appear first, I believe, as a con- 
scious organization of intelligent and quite possibly 
in some cases wealthy men, as a movement having 
distinct social and political aims, confessedly ignoring 
most of the existing apparatus of political control, 
or using it only as an incidental implement in the 
attainment of these aims. It will be very loosely 
organized in its earlier stages, a mere movement of 
a number of people in a certain direction, who will 
presently discover with a sort of surprise the common 
object towards which they are all moving. 

Already there are some interesting aspects of public 
activity that, diverse though their aims may seem, do 
nevertheless serve to show the possible line of develop- 
ment of this New Republic in the coming time. For 
example, as a sort of preliminary sigh before the 
stirring of a larger movement, there are various 
Anglo-American movements and leagues to be noted. 
Associations for entertaining travelling samples of 
the American leisure class in guaranteed English 
country houses, for bringing them into momentary 
physical contact with real titled persons at lunches 

264 Anticipations 

and dinners, and for having them collectively lectured 
by respectable English authors and divines, are no 
doubt trivial things enough ; but a snob sometimes 
shows how the wind blows better than a serious man. 
The Empire may catch the American as the soldier 
caught the Tartar. There is something very much 
more spacious than such things as this, latent in 
both the British and the American mind, and observ- 
able, for instance, in the altered tone of the Presses 
of both countries since the Venezuela Message and 
the Spanish American War. Certain projects of a 
much ampler sort have already been put forward. 
An interesting proposal of an interchangeable citizen- 
ship, so that with a change of domicile an Englishman 
should have the chance of becoming a citizen of the 
United States, and an American a British citizen or 
a voter in an autonomous British colony, for example, 
has been made. Such schemes will, no doubt, become 
frequent, and will afford much scope for discussion 
in both countries during the next decade or so. 1 
The American constitution and the British crown 
and constitution have to be modified or shelved at 
some stage in this synthesis, and for certain types 
of intelligence there could be no more attractive 
problem. Certain curious changes in the colonial 

1 I foresee great scope for the ingenious persons who write so abun- 
dantly to the London evening papers upon etymological points, issues 
in heraldry, and the correct Union Jack, in the very pleasing topic of 
a possible Anglo-American flag (for use at first only on unofficial 

The Larger Synthesis 265 

point of view will occur as these discussions open 
out. The United States of America are rapidly 
taking, or have already taken, the ascendency in 
the iron and steel and electrical industries out of 
the hands of the British ; they are developing a far 
ampler and more thorough system of higher scientific 
education than the British, and the spirit of efficiency 
percolating from their more efficient businesses is 
probably higher in their public services. These things 
render the transfer of the present mercantile and 
naval ascendency of Great Britain to the United 
States during the next two or three decades a very 
probable thing, and when this is accomplished the 
problem how far colonial loyalty is the fruit of 
Royal Visits and sporadic knighthoods, and how far 
it has relation to the existence of a predominant 
fleet, will be near its solution. An interesting point 
about such discussions as this, in which indeed in 
all probability the nascent consciousness of the New 
Republic will emerge, will be the solution this larger 
synthesis will offer to certain miserable difficulties 
of the present time. Government by the elect of 
the first families of Great Britain has in the last 
hundred years made Ireland and South Africa two 
open sores of irreconcilable wrong. These two 
English-speaking communities will never rest and 
never emerge from wretchedness under the vacillating 
vote-catching incapacity of British Imperialism, 
and it is impossible that the British power, having 

266 Anticipations 

embittered them, should ever dare to set them free. 
But within such an ampler synthesis as the New 
Republic will seek, these states could emerge to an 
equal fellowship that would take all the bitterness 
from their unforgettable past. 

Another type of public activity which foreshadows 
an aspect under which the New Republic will emerge 
is to be found in the unofficial organizations that 
have come into existence in Great Britain to watch 
and criticize various public departments. There is, 
for example, the Navy League, a body of intelligent 
and active persons with a distinctly expert qualifica- 
tion which has intervened very effectively in naval 
control during the last few years. There is also at 
present a vast amount of disorganized but quite 
intelligent discontent with the tawdry futilities of 
army reform that occupy the War Office. It becomes 
apparent that there is no hope of a fully efficient 
and well-equipped official army under parliamentary 
government, and with that realization there will 
naturally appear a disposition to seek some way to 
military efficiency, as far as is legally possible, outside 
War Office control. Already recruiting is falling off, it 
will probably fall off more and more as the patriotic 
emotions evoked by the Boer War fade away, and no 
trivial addition to pay or privilege will restore it. 
Elementary education has at last raised the intelli- 
gence of the British lower classes to a point when 
the prospect of fighting in distant lands under 

The Larger Synthesis 267 

unsuitably educated British officers of means and 
gentility with a defective War Office equipment 
and inferior weapons has lost much of its romantic 
glamour. But an unofficial body that set itself 
to the establishment of a school of military science, 
to the sane organization and criticism of military ex- 
periments in tactics and equipment, and to the raising 
for experimental purposes of volunteer companies 
and battalions, would find no lack of men. . . . What 
an unofficial syndicate of capable persons of the new 
sort may do in these matters has been shown in the 
case of the Turbinia, the germ of an absolute revolu- 
tion in naval construction. 

Such attempts at unofficial soldiering would be 
entirely in the spirit in which I believe the New 
Republic will emerge, but it is in another line of 
activity that the growing new consciousness will 
presently be much more distinctly apparent. It is 
increasingly evident that to organize and control 
public education is beyond the power of a demo- 
cratic government. The meanly equipped and pre- 
tentiously conducted private schools of Great Britain, 
staffed with ignorant and incapable young men, 
exist, on the other hand, to witness that public 
education is no matter to be left to merely com- 
mercial enterprise working upon parental ignorance 
and social prejudice. The necessary condition to 
the effective development of the New Republic 
is a universally accessible, spacious, and varied 

268 Anticipations 

educational system working in an atmosphere of 
efficient criticism and general intellectual activity. 
Schools alone are of no avail, universities are merely 
dens of the higher cramming, unless the schoolmas- 
ters and schoolmistresses and lecturers are in touch 
with and under the light of an abundant, contempo- 
rary, and fully adult intellectuality. At present, 
in Great Britain at least, the headmasters entrusted 
with the education of the bulk of the influential men 
of the next decades are conspicuously second-rate 
men, forced and etiolated creatures, scholarship boys 
manured with annotated editions, and brought up 
under and protected from all current illumination 
by the kale-pot of the Thirty-nine Articles. Many 
of them are less capable teachers and even less 
intelligent men than many Board School teachers. 
There is, however, urgent need of an absolutely 
new type of school a school that shall be, at least, 
so skilfully conducted as to supply the necessary 
training in mathematics, dialectics, languages, and 
drawing, and the necessary knowledge of science, 
without either consuming all the leisure of the boy 
or destroying his individuality, as it is destroyed by 
the ignorant and pretentious blunderers of to-day; 
and there is an equally manifest need of a new type 
of University, something other than a happy fastness 
for those precociously brilliant creatures creatures 
whose brilliance is too often the hectic indication 
of a constitutional unsoundness of mind who can 

The Larger Synthesis 269 

" get in " before the portcullis of the nineteenth birth- 
day falls. These new educational elements may 
either grow slowly through the steady and painful 
pressure of remorseless facts, or, as the effort to 
evoke the New Republic becomes more conscious 
and deliberate, they may be rapidly brought into 
being by the conscious endeavours of capable men. 
Assuredly they will never be developed by the 
wisdom of the governments of the grey. It may 
be pointed out that in an individual and disorgan- 
ized way a growing sense of such needs is already 
displayed. Such great business managers as Mr. 
Andrew Carnegie, for example, and many other of 
the wealthy efficients of the United States of 
America, are displaying a strong disinclination to 
found families of functionless shareholders, and a 
strong disposition to contribute, by means of 
colleges, libraries, and splendid foundations, to the 
future of the whole English-speaking world. Of 
course, Mr. Carnegie is not an educational specialist, 
and his good intentions will be largely exploited by 
the energetic mediocrities who control our educa- 
tional affairs. But it is the intention that concerns 
us now, and not the precise method or effect. Indis- 
putably these rich Americans are at a fundamentally 
important work in these endowments, and as indis- 
putably many of their successors I do not mean 
the heirs to their private wealth, but the men of the 
same type who will play their rdle in the coming 

270 Anticipations 

years will carry on this spacious work with a wider 
prospect and a clearer common understanding. 

The establishment of modern and efficient schools 
is alone not sufficient for the intellectual needs of the 
coming time. The school and university are merely 
the preparation for the life of mental activity in 
which the citizen of the coming state will live. The 
three years of university and a lifetime of garrulous 
stagnation which constitutes the mind's history of 
many a public schoolmaster, for example, and most 
of the clergy to-day, will be impossible under the 
new needs. The old-fashioned university, secure in 
its omniscience, merely taught ; the university of the 
y coming time will, as its larger function, criticize and 
learn. It will be organized for research for the 
criticism, that is, of thought and nature. And a 
subtler and a greater task before those who will 
presently swear allegiance to the New Republic is 
to aid and stimulate that process of sound adult 
mental activity which is the cardinal element in 
human life. After all, in spite of the pretentious 
impostors who trade upon the claim, literature, con- 
temporary literature, is the breath of civilized life, 
and those who sincerely think and write the salt of 
the social body. To mumble over the past, to live 
on the classics, however splendid, is senility. The 
New Republic, therefore, will sustain its authors. In 
the past the author lived within the limits of his 
patron's susceptibility, and led the world, so far as 

The Larger Synthesis 271 

he did lead it, from that cage. In the present he 
lives within the limits of a particularly distressful and 
ill-managed market. He must please and interest 
the public before he may reason with it, and even 
to reach the public ear involves other assiduities than 
writing. To write one's best is surely sufficient 
work for a man, but unless the author is prepared 
to add to his literary toil the correspondence and 
alert activity of a business man, lie may find that no 
measure of acceptance will save him from a mys- 
terious poverty. Publishing has become a trade, 
differing only from the trade in pork or butter in 
the tradesman's careless book-keeping and his pro- 
fessed indifference to the quality of his goods. But 
unless the whole mass of argument in these Antici- 
pations is false, publishing is as much, or even 
more, of a public concern than education, and as 
little to be properly discharged by private men 
working for profit. On the other hand, it is not 
to be undertaken by a government of the grey, for 
a confusion cannot undertake to clarify itself: it 
is an activity in which the New Republic will neces- 
sarily engage. 

The men of the New Republic will be intelligently 
critical men, and they will have the courage of their 
critical conclusions. For the sake of the English 
tongue, for the sake of the English peoples, they will 
set themselves to put temptingly within the reach of 
all readers of the tongue, and all possible readers of 

272 Anticipations 

the tongue, an abundance of living literature. They 
will endeavour to shape great publishing trusts and 
associations that will have the same relation to the 
publishing office of to-day that a medical association 
has to a patent-medicine dealer. They will not only 
publish, but sell ; their efficient book-shops, their 
efficient system of book-distribution will replace the 
present haphazard dealings of quite illiterate persons 
under whose shadows people in the provinces live. 1 
If one of these publishing groups decides that a 
book, new or old, is of value to the public mind, I 
conceive the copyright will be secured and the book 
produced all over the world in every variety of form 
and price that seems necessary to its exhaustive sale. 
Moreover, these publishing associations will sustain 
spaciously conceived organs of opinion and criticism, 
which will begin by being patiently and persistently 
good, and so develop into power. And the more 
distinctly the New Republic emerges, the less danger 
there will be of these associations being allowed to 
outlive their service in a state of ossified authority. 

1 In a large town like Folkestone, for example, it is practically 
impossible to buy any book but a " boomed " novel unless one has ascer- 
tained the names of the author, the book, the edition, and the publisher. 
There is no index in existence kept up to date that supplies these 
particulars. If, for example, one wants as I want (i) to read all 
that I have not read of the work of Mr. Frank Stockton, (2) to read 
a book of essays by Professor Ray Lankaster the title of which I have 
forgotten, and (3) to buy the most convenient edition of the works of 
Swift, one has to continue wanting until the British Museum Library 
chances to get in one's way. The book-selling trade supplies no infor- 
mation at all on these points. 

The Larger Synthesis 273 

New groups of men and new phases of thought will 
organize their publishing associations as children 
learn to talk. 1 

1 One of the least satisfactory features of the intellectual atmosphere 
of the present time is the absence of good controversy. To follow 
closely an honest and subtle controversy, and to have arrived at a 
definite opinion upon some general question of real and practical 
interest and complicated reference, is assuredly the most educational 
exercise in the world I would go so far as to say that no person is 
completely educated who has not done as much. The memorable 
discussions in which Huxley figured, for example, were extraordinarily 
stimulating. We lack that sort of thing now. A great number of 
people are expressing conflicting opinions upon all sorts of things, but 
there is a quite remarkable shirking of plain issues of debate. There 
is no answering back. There is much indirect answering, depreciation 
of the adversary, attempts to limit his publicity, restatements of the 
opposing opinion in a new way, but no conflict in the lists. We no 
longer fight obnoxious views, but assassinate them. From first to last, 
for example, there has been no honest discussion of the fundamental 
issues in the Boer War. Something may be due to the multiplication 
of magazines and newspapers, and the confusion of opinions that has 
scattered the controversy-following public. It is much to be regretted 
that the laws of copyright and the methods of publication stand in 
the way of annotated editions of works of current controversial value. 
For example, Mr. Andrew Lang has assailed the new edition of the 
" Golden Bough." His criticisms, which are, no doubt, very shrewd 
and penetrating, ought to be accessible with the text he criticizes. 
Yet numerous people will read his comments who will never read the 
"Golden Bough;" they will accept his dinted sword as proof of the 
slaughter of Mr. Fraser, and many will read the "Golden Bough" 
and never hear of Mr. Lang's comments. Why should it be so hope- 
less to suggest an edition of the "Golden Bough" with footnotes by 
Mr. Lang and Mr. Fraser's replies ? There are all sorts of books to 
which Mr. Lang might add footnotes with infinite benefit to every one. 
Mr. Mallock, again, is going to explain how Science and Religion 
stand at the present time. If only some one would explain in the 
margin how Mr. Mallock stands, the thing would be complete. Such 
a book, again, as these "Anticipations " would stand a vast amount 
of controversial footnoting. It bristles with pegs for discussion 
vacant pegs j it is written to provoke. I hope that some publisher, 


274 Anticipations 

And while the New Republic is thus developing 
its idea of itself and organizing its mind, it will also 
be growing out of the confused and intricate busi- 
nesses and undertakings and public services of the 
present time, into a recognizable material body. The 
synthetic process that is going on in the case of many 
of the larger of the businesses of the world, that 
formation of Trusts that bulks so large in American 
discussion, is of the utmost significance in this con- 
nection. Conceivably the first impulse to form Trusts 
came from a mere desire to control competition and 
economize working expenses, but even in its very 
first stages this process of coalescence has passed out 
of the region of commercial operations into that of 

sooner or later, will do something of this kind, and will give us not 
only the text of an author's work, but a series of footnotes and appen- 
dices by reputable antagonists. The experiment, well handled, might 
prove successful enough to start a fashion a very beneficial fashion for 
authors and readers alike. People would write twice as carefully and 
twice as clearly with that possible second edition (with footnotes by 
X and Y) in view. Imagine "The Impregnable Rock of Holy 
Scripture " as it might have been edited by the late Professor Huxley ; 
Froude's edition of the " Grammar of Assent ; " Mr. G. B. Shaw's 
edition of the works of Mr. Lecky ; or the criticism of art and life of 
Ruskin, the "Beauties of Ruskin" annotated by Mr. Whistler and 
carefully prepared for the press by Professor William James. Like the 
tomato and the cucumber, every book would carry its antidote wrapped 
about it. Impossible, you say. But is it ? Or is it only unprecedented ? 
If novelists will consent to the illustration of their stories by artists 
whose chief aim appears to be to contradict their statements, I do not 
see why controversial writers who believe their opinions are correct 
should object to the checking of their facts and logic by persons with a 
different way of thinking. Why should not men of opposite opinions 
collaborate in their discussion ? 

The Larger Synthesis 275 

public affairs. The Trust develops into the organiza- 
tion under men far more capable than any sort of 
public officials, of entire industries, of entire depart- 
ments of public life, quite outside the ostensible 
democratic government system altogether. The 
whole apparatus of communications, which we have 
seen to be of such primary importance in the making 
of the future, promises to pass, in the case of the 
United States at least, out of the region of scramble 
into the domain of deliberate control. Even to-day 
the Trusts are taking over quite consciously the most 
vital national matters. The American iron and steel 
industries have been drawn together and developed 
in a manner that is a necessary preliminary to 
the capture of the empire of the seas. That end 
is declaredly within the vista of these operations, 
within their initial design. These things are not 
the work of dividend-hunting imbeciles, but of men 
who regard wealth as a convention, as a means to 
spacious material ends. There is an animated little 
paper published in Los Angeles in the interests of 
Mr. Wilshire, which bears upon its forefront the 
maxim, "Let the Nation own the Trusts." Well, 
under their mantle of property, the Trusts grow 
continually more elaborate and efficient machines 
of production and public service, while the formal 
nation chooses its bosses and buttons and reads its 
illustrated press. I must confess I do not see the 
negro and the poor Irishman and all the emigrant 

276 Anticipations 

sweepings of Europe, which constitute the bulk of 
the American Abyss, uniting to form that great 
Socialist party of which Mr. Wilshire dreams, and 
with a little demonstrating and balloting taking over 
the foundry and the electrical works, the engine shed 
and the signal box, from the capable men in charge. 
But that a confluent system of Trust-owned busi- 
ness organisms, and of Universities and re-organized 
military and naval services may presently discover 
an essential unity of purpose, presently begin think- 
ing a literature, and behaving like a State, is a much 
more possible thing. . . . 

In its more developed phases I seem to see the 
New Republic as (if I may use an expressive bull) 
a sort of outspoken Secret Society, with which even 
the prominent men of the ostensible state may be 
openly affiliated. A vast number of men admit the 
need but hesitate at the means of revolution, and in 
this conception of a slowly growing new social order 
organized with open deliberation within the substance 
of the old, there are no doubt elements of technical 
treason, but an enormous gain in the thoroughness, 
efficiency, and stability of the possible change. 

So it is, or at least in some such ways, that I 
conceive the growing sense of itself which the new 
class of modern efficients will develop, will become 
manifest in movements and concerns that are now 
heterogeneous and distinct, but will presently drift 
into co-operation and coalescence. This idea of a 

The Larger Synthesis 277 

synthetic reconstruction within the bodies of the 
English-speaking States may very possibly clothe 
itself in quite other formulae than my phrase of 
the New Republic ; but the need is with us, the 
social elements are developing among us, the 
appliances are arranging themselves for the hands 
that will use them, and I cannot but believe that 
the idea of a spacious common action will presently 
come. In a few years I believe many men who 
are now rather aimless men who have disconsolately 
watched the collapse of the old Liberalism will 
be clearly telling themselves and one another of 
their adhesion to this new ideal. They will be work- 
ing in schools and newspaper offices, in foundries 
and factories, in colleges and laboratories, in county 
councils and on school boards even, it may be, in 
pulpits for the time when the coming of the New 
Republic will be ripe. It may be dawning even in 
the schools of law, because presently there will be a 
new and scientific handling of jurisprudence. The 
highly educated and efficient officers' mess will rise 
mechanically and drink to the Monarch, and sit 
down to go on discussing the New Republic's growth. 
I do not see, indeed, why an intelligent monarch 
himself, in these days, should not waive any silliness 
about Divine Right, and all the ill-bred pretensions 
that sit so heavily on a gentlemanly King, and come 
into the movement with these others. When the 
growing conception touches, as in America it has 

278 Anticipations 

already touched, the legacy-leaving class, there will 
be fewer new Asylums perhaps, but more university 
chairs. . . . 

So it is I conceive the elements of the New Re- 
public taking shape and running together through 
the social mass, picking themselves out more and 
more clearly, from the shareholder, the parasitic 
speculator and the wretched multitudes of the Abyss. 
The New Republicans will constitute an informal 
and open freemasonry. In all sorts of ways they 
will be influencing and controlling the apparatus of 
the ostensible governments, they will be pruning 
irresponsible property, checking speculators and con- 
trolling the abyssward drift, but at that, at an indirect 
control, at any sort of fiction, the New Republic, 
from the very nature of its cardinal ideas, will not 
rest. The clearest and simplest statement, the clearest 
and simplest method, is inevitably associated with 
the conceptions of that science upon which the New 
Republic will arise. There will be a time, in peace 
it may be, or under the stresses of warfare, when the 
New Republic will find itself ready to arrive, when 
the theory will have been worked out and the details 
will be generally accepted, and the new order will 
be ripe to begin. And then, indeed, it will begin. 
What life or strength will be left in the old order 
to prevent this new order beginning ? 



IF the surmise of a developing New Republic a 
Republic that must ultimately become a World 
State of capable rational men, developing amidst 
the fading contours and colours of our existing 
nations and institutions be indeed no idle dream, 
but an attainable possibility in the future, and to 
that end it is that the preceding Anticipations have 
been mainly written, it becomes a speculation of very 
great interest to forecast something of the general 
shape and something even of certain details of that 
common body of opinion which the New Republic, 
when at last it discovers and declares itself, will 
possess. Since we have supposed this New Republic 
will already be consciously and pretty freely con- 
trolling the general affairs of humanity before this 
century closes, its broad principles and opinions 
must necessarily shape and determine that still 
ampler future of which the coming hundred years is 
but the opening phase. There are many processes, 
many aspects of things, that are now, as it were, 

280 Anticipations 

in the domain of natural laws and outside human 
control, or controlled unintelligently and supersti- 
tiously, that in the future, in the days of the coming 
New Republic, will be definitely taken in hand as 
part of the general work of humanity, as indeed 
already, since the beginning of the nineteenth century, 
the control of pestilences has been taken in hand. 
And in particular, there are certain broad questions 
much under discussion to which, thus far, I have 
purposely given a value disproportionately small : 

While the New Republic is gathering itself to- 
gether and becoming aware of itself, that other 
great element, which I have called the People of the 
Abyss, will also have followed out its destiny. For 
many decades that development will be largely or 
entirely out of all human control. To the multiply- 
ing rejected of the white and yellow civilizations 
there will have been added a vast proportion of 
the black and brown races, and collectively those 
masses will propound the general question, "What 
will you do with us, we hundreds of millions, who 
cannot keep pace with you ? " If the New Republic 
emerges at all it will emerge by grappling with this 
riddle; it must come into existence by the passes 
this Sphinx will guard. Moreover, the necessary 
results of the reaction of irresponsible wealth upon 
that infirm and dangerous thing the human will, 
the spreading moral rot of gambling which is 
associated with irresponsible wealth, will have been 

The Faith of the New Republic 281 

working out, and will continue to work out, so long 
as there is such a thing as irresponsible wealth 
pervading the social body. That too the New 
Republic must in its very development overcome. 
In the preceding chapter it is clearly implicit that 
I believe that the New Republic, as its consciousness 
and influence develop together, will meet, check, 
and control these things ; but the broad principles 
upon which the control will go, the nature of the 
methods employed, still remain to be deduced. And 
to make that deduction, it is necessary that the 
primaiy conception of life, the fundamental, religious, 
and moral ideas of these predominant men of the 
new time should first be considered. 

Now, quite inevitably, these men will be religious 
men. Being themselves, as by the nature of the 
forces that have selected them they will certainly be, 
men of will and purpose, they will be disposed to 
find, and consequently they will find, an effect of 
purpose in the totality of things. Either one must 
believe the Universe to be one and systematic, and 
held together by some omnipresent quality, or one 
must believe it to be a casual aggregation, an inco- 
herent accumulation with no unity whatsoever outside 
the unity of the personality regarding it. All science 
and most modern religious systems presuppose the 
former, and to believe the former is, to any one not 
too anxious to quibble, to believe in God. But I 
believe that these prevailing men of the future, like 

282 Anticipations 

many of the saner men of to-day, having so formu- 
lated their fundamental belief, will presume to no 
knowledge whatever, will presume to no possibility 
of knowledge of the real being of God. They will 
have no positive definition of God at all. They will 
certainly not indulge in "that something, not our- 
selves, that makes for righteousness" (not defined) 
or any defective claptrap of that sort. They will 
content themselves with denying the self-contra- 
dictory absurdities of an obstinately anthropomorphic 
theology, 1 they will regard the whole of being, within 
themselves and without, as the sufficient revelation of 
God to their souls, and they will set themselves 

1 As, for example, that God is an omniscient mind. This is the last 
vestige of that barbaric theology which regarded God as a vigorous 
but uncertain old gentleman with a beard and an inordinate lust for 
praise and propitiation. The modern idea is, indeed, scarcely more 
reasonable than the one it has replaced. A mind thinks, and feels, 
and wills ; it passes from phase to phase ; thinking and willing are a 
succession of mental states which follow and replace one another. But 
omniscience is a complete knowledge, not only of the present state, 
but of all past and future states, and, since it is all there at any 
moment, it cannot conceivably pass from phase to phase, it is stagnant, 
infinite, and eternal. An omniscient mind is as impossible, therefore, 
as an omnipresent moving body. God is outside our mental scope j 
only by faith can we attain Him ; our most lucid moments serve only 
to render clearer His inaccessibility to our intelligence. We stand a 
little way up in a scale of existences that may, indeed, point towards 
Him, but can never bring Him to our scope. As the fulness of the 
conscious mental existence of a man stands to the subconscious activi- 
ties of an amoeba or of a visceral ganglion cell, so our reason forces us to 
admit other possible mental existences may stand to us. But such an 
existence, inconceivably great as it would be to us, would be scarcely 
nearer that transcendental God in whom the serious men of the future 
will, as a class, believe. 

The Faith of the New Republic 283 

simply to that revelation, seeking its meaning towards 
themselves faithfully and courageously. Manifestly 
the essential being of man in this life is his will ; he 
exists consciously only to do ; his main interest in life 
is the choice between alternatives ; and, since he 
moves through space and time to effects and conse- 
quences, a general purpose in space and time is the 
limit of his understanding. He can know God only 
under the semblance of a pervading purpose, of which 
his own individual freedom of will is a part, but he 
can understand that the purpose that exists in space 
and time is no more God than a voice calling out of 
impenetrable darkness is a man. To men of the 
kinetic type belief in God so manifest as purpose 
is irresistible, and, to all lucid minds, the being of 
God, save as that general atmosphere of imperfectly 
apprehended purpose in which our individual wills 
operate, is incomprehensible. To cling to any belief 
more detailed than this, to define and limit God in 
order to take hold of Him, to detach one's self and 
parts of the universe from God in some mysterious 
way in order to reduce life to a dramatic antagonism, 
is not faith, but infirmity. Excessive strenuous 
belief is not faith. By faith we disbelieve, and it is 
the drowning man, and not the strong swimmer, who 
clutches at the floating straw. It is in the nature of 
man, it is in the present purpose of things, that the 
real world of our experience and will should appear 
to us not only as a progressive existence in space and 

284 Anticipations 

time, but as a scheme of good and evil. But choice, 
the antagonism of good and evil, just as much as the 
formulation of things in space and time, is merely a 
limiting condition of human being, and in the thought 
of God as we conceive of Him in the light of faith, 
this antagonism vanishes. God is no moralist, God 
is no partisan ; He comprehends and cannot be com- 
prehended, and our business is only with so much 
of His purpose as centres on our individual wills. 

So, or in some such phrases, I believe, these men of 
the New Republic will formulate their relationship to 
God. They will live to serve this purpose that 
presents Him, without presumption and without fear. 
For the same spacious faith that will render the idea 
of airing their egotisms in God's presence through 
prayer, or of any such quite personal intimacy, absurd, 
will render the idea of an irascible and punitive Deity 
ridiculous and incredible. . . . 

The men of the New Republic will hold and 
understand quite clearly the doctrine that in the real 
world of man's experience, there is Free Will. 
They will understand that constantly, as a very con- 
dition of his existence, man is exercising choice 
between alternatives, and that a conflict between 
motives that have different moral values constantly 
arises. That conflict between Predestination and 
Free Will, which is so puzzling to untrained minds, 
will not exist for them. They will know that in the 
real world of sensory experience, will is free, just as 

The Faith of the New Republic 285 

new sprung grass is green, wood hard, ice cold, and 
toothache painful. In the abstract world of reason- 
ing science there is no green, no colour at all, but 
certain lengths of vibration ; no hardness, but a 
certain reaction of molecules ; no cold and no pain, 
but certain molecular consequences in the nerves 
that reach the misinterpreting mind. In the abstract 
world of reasoning science, moreover, there is a rigid 
and inevitable sequence of cause and effect ; every 
act of man could be foretold to its uttermost detail, 
if only we knew him and all his circumstances fully ; 
in the abstract world of reasoned science all things 
exist now potentially down to the last moment of 
infinite time. But the human will does not exist in 
the abstract world of reasoned science, in the world 
of atoms and vibrations, that rigidly predestinate 
scheme of things in space and time. The human 
will exists in this world of men and women, in this 
world where the grass is green and desire beckons 
and the choice is often so wide and clear between 
the sense of what is desirable and what is more 
widely and remotely right. In this world of sense and 
the daily life, these men will believe with an absolute 
conviction, that there is free will and a personal 
moral responsibility in relation to that indistinctly 
seen purpose which is the sufficient revelation of God 
to them so far as this sphere of being goes. . . . 

The conception they will have of that purpose will 
necessarily determine their ethical scheme. It follows 

286 Anticipations 

manifestly that if we do really believe in Almighty 
God, the more strenuously and successfully we seek 
in ourselves and His world to understand the order 
and progress of things, and the more clearly we appre- 
hend His purpose, the more assured and systematic 
will our ethical basis become. 

If, like Huxley, we do not positively believe in 
God, then we may still cling to an ethical system 
which has become an organic part of our lives and 
habits, and finding it manifestly in conflict with the 
purpose of things, speak of the non-ethical order of 
the universe. But to any one whose mind is pervaded 
by faith in God, a non-ethical universe in conflict with 
the incomprehensibly ethical soul of the Agnostic, is 
as incredible as a black horned devil, an active 
material anti-god with hoofs, tail, pitchfork, and 
Dunstan-scorched nose complete. To believe com- 
pletely in God is to believe in the final Tightness of 
all being. The ethical system that condemns the 
ways of life as wrong, or points to the ways of death 
as right, that countenances what the scheme of 
things condemns, and condemns the general purpose 
in things as it is now revealed to, us, must prepare 
to follow the theological edifice upon which it was 
originally based. If the universe is non-ethical by our 
present standards, we must reconsider these standards 
and reconstruct our ethics. To hesitate to do so, how- 
ever severe the conflict with old habits and traditions 
and sentiments may be, is to fall short of faith. 

The Faith of the New Republic 287 

Now, so far as the intellectual life of the world 
goes, this present time is essentially the opening 
phase of a period of ethical reconstruction, a re- 
construction of which the New Republic will possess 
the matured result. Throughout the nineteenth 
century there has been such a shattering and recast- 
ing of fundamental ideas, of the preliminaries to 
ethical propositions, as the world has never seen 
before. This breaking down and routing out of 
almost all the cardinal assumptions on which the 
minds of the Eighteenth Century dwelt securely, is 
a process akin to, but independent of, the develop- 
ment of mechanism, whose consequences we have 
traced. It is a part of that process of vigorous 
and fearless criticism which is the reality of science, 
and of which the development of mechanism and all 
that revolution in physical and social conditions we 
have been tracing, is merely the vast imposing 
material bye product. At present, indeed, its more 
obvious aspect on the moral and ethical side is 
destruction, any one can see the chips flying, but it 
still demands a certain faith and patience to see the 
form that ensues. But it is not destruction, any 
more than a sculptor's work is stone-breaking. 

The first chapter in the history of this intellectual 
development, its definite and formal opening, coin- 
cides with the opening of the nineteenth century and 
the publication of Malthus's Essay on Population. 
Malthus is one of those cardinal figures in intellectual 

288 Anticipations 

history who state definitely for all time, things ap- 
parent enough after their formulation, but never 
effectively conceded before. He brought clearly and 
emphatically into the sphere of discussion a vitally 
important issue that had always been shirked and 
tabooed heretofore, the fundamental fact that the 
main mass of the business of human life centres 
about reproduction. He stated in clear, hard, decent, 
and unavoidable argument what presently Schopen- 
hauer was to discover and proclaim, in language, at 
times, it would seem, quite unfitted for translation into 
English. And, having made his statement,. Malthus 
left it, in contact with its immediate results. 

Probably no more shattering book than the Essay 
on Population has ever been, or ever will be, written. 
It was aimed at the facile Liberalism of the Deists 
and Atheists of the eighteenth century ; it made as 
clear as daylight that all forms of social reconstruc- 
tion, all dreams of earthly golden ages must be either 
futile or insincere or both, until the problems of 
human increase were manfully faced. It proffered 
no suggestions for facing them (in spite of the un- 
pleasant associations of Malthus's name), it aimed 
simply to wither the Rationalistic Utopias of the 
time and by anticipation, all the Communisms, 
Socialisms, and Earthly Paradise movements that 
have since been so abundantly audible in the world. 
That was its aim and its immediate effect. Inci- 
dentally it must have been a torturing soul-trap 

The Faith of the New Republic m 

for innumerable idealistic but intelligent souls. Its 
indirect effects have been altogether greater. Aiming 
at unorthodox dreamers, it has set such forces in 
motion as have destroyed the very root-ideas of 
orthodox righteousness in the western world. Im- 
pinging on geological discovery, it awakened almost 
simultaneously in the minds of Darwin and Wallace, 
that train of thought that found expression and 
demonstration at last in the theory of natural selec- 
tion. As that theory has been more and more 
thoroughly assimilated and understood by the general 
mind, it has destroyed, quietly but entirely, the belief 
in human equality which is implicit in all the " Libe- 
ralizing " movements of the world. In the place of 
an essential equality, distorted only by tradition and 
early training, by the artifices of those devils of the 
Liberal cosmogony, "kingcraft" and "priestcraft," 
an equality as little affected by colour as the equality 
of a black chess pawn and a white, we discover that 
all men are individual and unique, and, through long 
ranges of comparison, superior and inferior upon 
countless scores. It has become apparent that whole 
masses of human population are, as a whole, inferior 
in their claim upon the future, to other masses, 
that they cannot be given opportunities or trusted 
with power as the superior peoples are trusted, that 
their characteristic weaknesses are contagious and 
detrimental in the civilizing fabric, and that their 
range of incapacity tempts and demoralizes the strong, 


2 gg Anticipations 

To give them equality is to sink to their level, to 
protect and cherish them is to be swamped in their 
fecundity. The confident and optimistic Radicalism 
of the earlier nineteenth century, and the humani- 
tarian philanthropic type of Liberalism, have bogged 
themselves beyond hope in these realizations. The 
Socialist has shirked them as he has shirked the 
older crux of Malthus. Liberalism is a thing of the 
past, it is no longer a doctrine, but a faction. There 
must follow some newborn thing. 

And as effectually has the mass of criticism that 
centres about Darwin destroyed the dogma of the Fall 
upon which the whole intellectual fabric of Chris- 
tianity rests. For without a Fall there is no re- 
demption, and the whole theory and meaning of the 
Pauline system is vain. In conjunction with the 
wide vistas opened by geological and astronomical 
discovery, the nineteenth century has indeed lost the 
very habit of thought from which the belief in a Fall 
arose. It is as if a hand had been put upon the 
head of the thoughtful man and had turned his eyes 
about from the past to the future. In matters of 
intelligence, at least, if not yet in matters of ethics 
and conduct, this turning round has occurred. In 
the past thought was legal in its spirit, it deduced 
the present from pre-existing prescription, it derived 
everything from the offences and promises of the 
dead ; the idea of a universe of expiation was the 
most natural theory amidst such processes. The 

The Faith of the New Republic 291 

purpose the older theologians saw in the world was 
no more than the revenge accentuated by the special 
treatment of a favoured minority of a mysteriously 
incompetent Deity exasperated by an unsatisfactory 
creation. But modern thought is altogether too 
constructive and creative to tolerate such a concep- 
tion, and in the vaster past that has opened to us, it 
can find neither offence nor promise, only a spacious 
scheme of events, opening out perpetually opening 
out with a quality of final purpose as irresistible to 
most men's minds as it is incomprehensible, opening 
out with all that inexplicable quality of design that, for 
example, some great piece of music, some symphony 
of Beethoven's, conveys. We see future beyond 
future and past behind past. It has been like the 
coming of dawn, at first a colourless dawn, clear and 
spacious, before which the mists whirl and fade, and 
there opens to our eyes not the narrow passage, the 
definite end we had imagined, but the rocky, ill- 
defined path we follow high amidst this limitless 
prospect of space and time. At first the dawn is 
cold there is, at times, a quality of terror almost 
in the cold clearness of the morning twilight ; but 
insensibly its coldness passes, the sky is touched with 
fire, and presently, up out of the dayspring in the 
east, the sunlight will be pouring. . . . And these 
men of the New Republic will be going about in 
the daylight of things assured. 

And men's concern under this ampler view will no 

292 Anticipations 

longer be to work out a system of penalties for 
the sins of dead men, but to understand and par- 
ticipate in this great development that now dawns 
on the human understanding. The insoluble pro- 
blems of pain and death, gaunt, incomprehensible 
facts as they were, fall into place in the gigantic 
order that evolution unfolds. All things are integral 
in the mighty scheme, the slain builds up the 
slayer, the wolf grooms the horse into swiftness, 
and the tiger calls for wisdom and courage out of 
man. All things are integral, but it has been left for 
men to be consciously integral, to take, at last, a 
share in the process, to have wills that have caught 
a harmony with the universal will, as sand grains 
flash into splendour under the blaze of the sun. 
There will be many who will never be called to this 
religious conviction, who will lead their little lives 
like fools, playing foolishly with religion and all the 
great issues of life, or like the beasts that perish, 
having sense alone ; but those who, by character and 
intelligence, are predestinate to participate in the 
reality of life, will fearlessly shape all their ethical 
determinations and public policy anew, from a fear- 
less study of themselves and the apparent purpose 
that opens out before them. 

Very much of the cry for faith that sounds in con- 
temporary life so loudly, and often with so distressing 
a note of sincerity, comes from the unsatisfied egotisms 
of unemployed, and, therefore, unhappy and craving 

The Faith of the New Republic 293 

people ; but much is also due to the distress in the 
minds of active and serious men, due to the conflict 
of inductive knowledge, with conceptions of right and 
wrong deduced from unsound, but uncriticised, first 
principles. The old ethical principles, the principle 
of equivalents or justice, the principle of self-sacrifice, 
the various vague and arbitrary ideas of purity, 
chastity, and sexual " sin," came like rays out of the 
theological and philosophical lanterns men carried 
in the darkness. The ray of the lantern indicated 
and directed and one followed it as one follows a 
path. But now there has come a new view of 
man's place in the scheme of time and space, a new 
illumination, dawn ; the lantern rays fade in the 
growing brightness, and the lanterns that shone so 
brightly are becoming smoky and dim. To many 
men this is no more than a waning of the lanterns, 
and they call for new ones, or a trimming of the old. 
They blame the day for putting out these flares. And 
some go apart, out of the glare of life, into corners of 
obscurity, where the radiation of the lantern may 
still be faintly traced. But, indeed, with the new 
light there has come the time for new methods ; the 
time of lanterns, the time of deductions from arbitrary 
first principles is over. The act of faith is no longer 
to follow your lantern, but to put it down. We can 
see about us, and by the landscape we must go. 1 

1 It is an interesting byway from our main thesis to speculate on 
the spiritual pathology of the functionless wealthy, the half-educated 

294 Anticipations 

How will the landscape shape itself to the dominant 
men of the new time and in relation to themselves ? 

independent women of the middle class, and the people of the Abyss. 
While the segregating new middle class, whose religious and moral 
development forms our main interest, is developing its spacious and 
confident Theism, there will, I imagine, be a steady decay in the 
various Protestant congregations. They have played a noble part in 
the history of the world, their spirit will live for ever, but their formulae 
and organization wax old like a garment. Their moral austerity that 
touch of contempt for the unsubstantial esthetic, which has always 
distinguished Protestantism is naturally repellent to the irrespon- 
sible rich and to artistic people of the weaker type, and the face of 
Protestantism has ever been firm even to hardness against the self- 
indulgent, the idler, and the prolific, useless poor. The rich as a class 
and the people of the Abyss, so far as they move towards any existing 
religious body, will be attracted by the moral kindliness, the picturesque 
organization and venerable tradition of the Roman Catholic Church. 
We are only in the very beginning of a great Roman Catholic revival. 
The diversified countryside of the coming time will show many a 
splendid cathedral, many an elaborate monastic palace, towering amidst 
the abounding colleges and technical schools. Along the moving plat- 
forms of the urban centre, and athwart the shining advertisements that 
will adorn them, will go the ceremonial procession, all glorious with 
banners and censer-bearers, and the meek blue-shaven priests and bare- 
footed, rope-girdled, holy men. And the artful politician of the coming 
days, until the broom of the New Republic sweep him up, will arrange 
the miraculous planks of his platform always with an eye upon the 
priest. Within the ample sheltering arms of the Mother Church many 
eccentric cults will develop. The curious may study the works of 
M. Huysmans to learn of the mystical propitiation of God, Who made 
heaven and earth, by the bedsores of hysterical girls. The future as 
I see it swarms with Durtals and Sister Teresas ; countless ecstatic 
nuns, holding their Maker as it were in delicice, will shelter from the 
world in simple but costly refuges of refined austerity. Where miracles 
are needed, miracles will occur. 

Except for a few queer people, nourished on " Maria Monk " and 
suchlike anti-papal pornography, I doubt if there will be any Protes- 
tants left among the irresponsible rich. Those who do not follow the 
main current will probably take up with weird science-denouncing 
sects of the faith-healing type, or with such pseudo-scientific gibberish 

The Faith of the New Republic 295 

What is the will and purpose that these men of 
will and purpose will find above and comprehending 
their own ? Into this our inquiry resolves itself. 
They will hold with Schopenhauer, I believe, and 
with those who build themselves on Malthus and 
Darwin, that the scheme of being in which we live 

as Theosophy. Mrs. Piper (in an inelegant attitude and with only the 
whites of her eyes showing) has restored the waning faith of Professor 
James in human immortality, and I do not see why that lady should 
stick at one dogma amidst the present quite insatiable demand for 
creeds. Shintoism and either a cleaned or, more probably, a scented 
Obi, might in vigorous hands be pushed to a very considerable success 
in the coming years ; and I do not see any absolute impossibility in 
the idea of an after-dinner witch-smelling in Park Lane with a witch- 
doctor dressed in feathers. It might be made amazingly picturesque. 
People would attend it with an air of intellectual liberality, not, of 
course, believing in it absolutely, but admitting " there must be Some- 
thing in it." That Something in it! "The fool hath said in his 
heart, there is no God," and after that he is ready to do anything with 
his mind and soul. It is by faith we disbelieve. 

And, of course, there will be much outspoken Atheism and Anti- 
religion of the type of the Parisian Devil-Worship imbecilities. Young 
men of means will determine to be " wicked. " They will do silly things 
that will strike them as being indecent and blasphemous and dreadful 
black masses and suchlike nonsense and then they will get scared. 
The sort of thing it will be to shock orthodox maiden aunts and make 
Olympus ring with laughter. A taking sort of nonsense already loose, 
I find, among very young men is to say, " Understand, I am non- 
moral." Two thoroughly respectable young gentlemen coming from 
quite different circles have recently introduced their souls to me in 
this same formula. Both, I rejoice to remark, are married, both are 
steady and industrious young men, trustworthy in word and contract, 
dressed in accordance with current conceptions, and behaving with 
perfect decorum. One, no doubt for sinister ends, aspires to better the 
world through a Socialistic propaganda. That is all. But in a tight 
corner some day that silly little formula may just suffice to trip up one or 
other of these men. To many of the irresponsible rich, however, that 
little " Understand, I am non-moral "may prove of priceless worth. 

296 Anticipations 

is a struggle of existences to expand and develop 
themselves to their full completeness, and to pro- 
pagate and increase themselves. But, being men of 
action, they will feel nothing of the glamour of 
misery that irresponsible and sexually vitiated share- 
holder, Schopenhauer, threw over this recognition. 
The final object of this struggle among existences 
they will not understand ; they will have abandoned 
the search for ultimates ; they will state this scheme 
of a struggle as a proximate object, sufficiently 
remote and spacious to enclose and explain all their 
possible activities. They will seek God's purpose 
in the sphere of their activities, and desire no more, 
as the soldier in battle desires no more, than the 
immediate conflict before him. They will admit 
failure as an individual aspect of things, as a soldier 
seeking victory admits the possibility of death ; but 
they will refuse to admit as a part of their faith in 
God that any existence, even if it is an existence 
that is presently entirely erased, can be needless 
or vain. It will have reacted on the existences 
that survive ; it will be justified for ever in the 
modification it has produced in them. They will 
find in themselves it must be remembered I am 
speaking of a class that has naturally segregated, 
and not of men as a whole a desire, a passion 
almost, to create and organize, to put in order, to 
get the maximum result from certain possibilities. 
They will all be artists in reality, with a passion 

The Faith of the New Republic 297 

for simplicity and directness and an impatience of 
confusion and inefficiency. The determining frame 
of their ethics, the more spacious scheme to which 
they will shape the schemes of their individual wills, 
will be the elaboration of that future world state 
to which all things are pointing. They will not 
conceive of it as a millennial paradise, a blissful 
inconsequent stagnation, but as a world state of 
active ampler human beings, full of knowledge and 
energy, free from much of the baseness and limita- 
tions, the needless pains and dishonours of the 
world disorder of to-day, but still struggling, 
struggling against ampler but still too narrow re- 
strictions and for still more spacious objects than 
our vistas have revealed. For that as a general 
end, for the special work that contributes to it as 
an individual end, they will make the plans and the 
limiting rules of their lives. 

It is manifest that a reconstructed ethical system, 
reconstructed in the light of modern science and 
to meet the needs of such temperaments and cJta- 
racters as the evolution of mechanism will draw 
together and develop, will give very different values 
from those given by the existing systems (if they 
can be called systems) to almost all the great 
matters of conduct. Under scientific analysis the 
essential facts of life are very clearly shown to be 
two birth and death. All life is the effort of the 
thing born, driven by fears, guided by instincts 

298 Anticipations 

and desires, to evade death, to evade even the partial 
death of crippling or cramping or restriction, and 
to attain to effective procreation, to the victory of 
another birth. Procreation is the triumph of the 
living being over death; and in the case of man, 
who adds mind to his body, it is not only in his 
child but in the dissemination of his thought, the 
expression of his mind in things done and made, 
that his triumph is to be found. And the ethical 
system of these men of the New Republic, the 
ethical system which will dominate the world state, 
will be shaped primarily to favour the procreation 
of what is fine and efficient and beautiful in humanity 
beautiful and strong bodies, clear and powerful 
minds, and a growing body of knowledge and to 
check the procreation of base and servile types, of 
fear-driven and cowardly souls, of all that is mean 
and ugly and bestial in the souls, bodies, or habits 
of men. To do the latter is to do the former ; the 
two things are inseparable. And the method that 
nature has followed hitherto in the shaping of the 
world, whereby weakness was prevented from pro- 
pagating weakness, and cowardice and feebleness 
were saved from the accomplishment of their desires, 
the method that has only one alternative, the method 
that must in some cases still be called in to the 
help of man, is death. In the new vision death is 
no inexplicable horror, no pointless terminal terror 
to the miseries of life, it is the end of all the pain 

The Faith of the New Repitblic 299 

of life, the end of the bitterness of failure, the merci- 
ful obliteration of weak and silly and pointless 
things. . . . 

The new ethics will hold life to be a privilege 
and a responsibility, not a sort of night refuge for 
base spirits out of the void ; and the alternative in 
right conduct between living fully, beautifully, and 
efficiently will be to die. For a multitude of con- 
temptible and silly creatures, fear-driven and helpless 
and useless, unhappy or hatefully happy in the midst 
of squalid dishonour, feeble, ugly, inefficient, born of 
unrestrained lusts, and increasing and multiplying 
through sheer incontinence and stupidity, the men 
of the New Republic will have little pity and less 
benevolence. To make life convenient for the 
breeding of such people will seem to them not the 
most virtuous and amiable thing in the world, as it 
is held to be now, but an exceedingly abominable 
proceeding. Procreation is an avoidable thing for 
sane persons of even the most furious passions, and 
the men of the New Republic will hold that the 
procreation of children who, by the circumstances 
of their parentage, must be diseased bodily or 
mentally I do not think it will be difficult for the 
medical science of the coming time to define such 
circumstances is absolutely the most loathsome of 
all conceivable sins. They will hold, I anticipate, 
that a certain portion of the population the small 
minority, for example, afflicted with indisputably 


transmissible diseases, with transmissible mental 
disorders, with such hideous incurable habits of 
mind as the craving for intoxication exists only 
on sufferance, out of pity and patience, and on the 
understanding that they do not propagate ; and I do 
not foresee any reason to suppose that they will 
hesitate to kill when that sufferance is abused. And 
I imagine also the plea and proof that a grave criminal 
is also insane will be regarded by them not as a 
reason for mercy, but as an added reason for death. 
I do not see how they can think otherwise on the 
principles they will profess. 

The men of the New Republic will not be 
squeamish, either, in facing or inflicting death, because 
they will have a fuller sense of the possibilities of 
life than we possess. They will have an ideal that 
will make killing worth the while; like Abraham, 
they will have the faith to kill, and they will have 
no superstitions about death. They will naturally 
regard the modest suicide of incurably melan- 
choly, or diseased or helpless persons as a high and 
courageous act of duty rather than a crime. And 
since they will regard, as indeed all men raised above 
a brutish level do regard, a very long term of im- 
prisonment as infinitely worse than death, as being, 
indeed, death with a living misery added to its 
natural terror, they will, I conceive, where the whole 
tenor of a man's actions, and not simply some inci- 
dental or impulsive action, seems to prove him 

The Faith of the New Republic 301 

unfitted for free life in the world, consider him care- 
fully, and condemn him, and remove him from being. 
All such killing will be done with an opiate, for death 
is too grave a thing to be made painful or dreadful, 
and used as a deterrent from crime. If deterrent 
punishments are used at all in the code of the future^ 
the deterrent will neither be death, nor mutilation of 
the body, nor mutilation of the life by imprisonment, 
nor any horrible things like that, but good scientifi- 
cally caused pain, that will leave nothing but a 
memory. Yet even the memory of overwhelming 
pain is a sort of mutilation of the soul. The idea 
that only those who are fit to live freely in an orderly 
world-state should be permitted to live, is entirely 
against the use of deterrent punishments at all. 
Against outrageous conduct to children or women, 
perhaps, or for very cowardly or brutal assaults of 
any sort, the men of the future may consider pain 
a salutary remedy, at least during the ages of tran- 
sition while the brute is still at large. But since 
most acts of this sort done under conditions that 
neither torture nor exasperate, point to an essential 
vileness in the perpetrator, I am inclined to think 
that even in these cases the men of the coming time 
will be far less disposed to torture than to kill. They 
will have another aspect to consider. The conscious 
infliction of pain for the sake of the pain is against 
the better nature of man, and it is unsafe and 
demoralizing for any one to undertake this duty. 

302 Anticipations 

To kill under the seemly conditions science will 
afford is a far less offensive thing. The rulers of 
the future will grudge making good people into 
jailers, warders, punishment - dealers, nurses, and 
attendants on the bad. People who cannot live 
happily and freely in the world without spoiling 
the lives of others are better out of it. That is 
a current sentiment even to-day, but the men of 
the New Republic will have the courage of their 

And the type of men that I conceive emerging in 
the coming years will deal simply and logically not 
only with the business of death, but with birth. At 
present the sexual morality of the civilized world 
is the most illogical and incoherent system of wild 
permissions and insane prohibitions, foolish tolerance 
and ruthless cruelty that it is possible to imagine. 
/ Our current civilization is a sexual lunatic. And it 
has lost its reason in this respect under the stresses 
of the new birth of things, largely through the diffi- 
culties that have stood in the way, and do still, in a 
diminishing degree, stand in the way of any sane 
discussion of the matter as a whole. To approach 
it is to approach excitement. So few people seem 
to be leading happy and healthy sexual lives that 
to mention the very word " sexual " is to set them 
stirring, to brighten the eye, lower the voice, and 
blanch or flush the cheek with a flavour of guilt. 
We are all, as it were, keeping our secrets and hiding 

The Faith of the New Republic 303 

our shames. One of the most curious revelations 
of this fact occurred only a few years ago, when the 
artless outpourings in fiction of certain young women 
who had failed to find light on problems that pressed 
upon them for solution (and which it was certainly 
their business as possible wives and mothers to 
solve) roused all sorts of respectable people to a 
quite insane vehemence of condemnation. Now, there 
are excellent reasons and a permanent necessity for 
the preservation of decency, and for a far more 
stringent suppression of matter that is merely 
intended to excite than at present obtains, and the 
chief of these reasons lies in the need of preserving 
the young from a premature awakening, and indeed, 
in the interests of civilization, in positively delaying 
the period of awakening, retarding maturity and 
lengthening the period of growth and preparation as 
much as possible. But purity and innocence may 
be prolonged too late ; innocence is really no more 
becoming to adults than a rattle or a rubber consoler, 
and the bashfulness that hampers this discussion, that 
permits it only in a furtive silly sort of way, has its 
ugly consequences in shames and cruelties, in miser- 
able households and pitiful crises, in the production 
of countless, needless, and unhappy lives. Indeed, 
too often we carry our decency so far as to make it 
suggestive and stimulating in a non-natural way ; we 
invest the plain business of reproduction with a mystic 
religious quality far more unwholesome than a savage 
nakedness could possibly be. 

34 Anticipations 

The essential aspect of all this wild and windy 
business of the sexual relations is, after all, births. 
Upon this plain fact the people of the emergent New 
Republic will unhesitatingly go. The pre-eminent 
value of sexual questions in morality lies in the fact 
that the lives which will constitute the future are 
involved. If they are not involved, if we can dis- 
sociate this relationship from this issue, then sexual 
questions become of no more importance than the 
morality of one's deportment at chess, or the general 
morality of outdoor games. Indeed, then the 
question of sexual relationships would be entirely on 
all fours with, and probably very analogous to, the 
question of golf. In each case it would be for the 
medical man and the psychologist to decide how far 
the thing was wholesome and permissible, and how 
far it was an aggressive bad habit and an absorbing 
waste of time and energy. An able-bodied man con- 
tinually addicted to love-making that had no result 
in offspring would be just as silly and morally 
objectionable as an able-bodied man who devoted his 
chief energies to hitting little balls over golf-links. 
But no more. Both would probably be wasting the 
lives of other human beings the golfer must employ 
his caddie. It is entirely the matter of births, and 
a further consideration to be presently discussed, that 
makes this analogy untrue. It does not, however, 
make it so untrue as to do away with the probability 
that in many cases the emergent men of the new 

The Faith of the New Repiiblic 305 

time will consider sterile gratification a moral and 
legitimate thing. St. Paul tells us that it is better 
to marry than to burn, but to beget children on that 
account will appear, I imagine, to these coming men 
as an absolutely loathsome proceeding. They will 
stifle no spread of knowledge that will diminish the 
swarming misery of childhood in the slums, they will 
regard the disinclination of the witless " Society " 
woman to become a mother as a most amiable trait 
in her folly. In our bashfulness about these things 
we talk an abominable lot of nonsense ; all this 
uproar one hears about the Rapid Multiplication of 
the Unfit and the future of the lower races takes on 
an entirely different complexion directly we face 
known, if indelicate, facts. Most of the human types, 
that by civilized standards are undesirable, are quite 
willing to die out through such suppressions if the 
world will only encourage them a little. They 
multiply in sheer ignorance, but they do not desire 
multiplication even now, and they can easily be made 
to dread it. Sensuality aims not at life, but at itself. 
I believe that the men of the New Republic will 
deliberately shape their public policy along these 
lines. They will rout out and illuminate urban 
rookeries and all places where the base can drift to 
multiply ; they will contrive a land legislation that 
will keep the black, or yellow, or mean-white squatter 
on the move ; they will see to it that no parent can 
make a profit out of a child, so that childbearing 


306 Anticipations 

shall cease to be a hopeful speculation for the un- 
employed poor ; and they will make the maintenance 
of a child the first charge upon the parents who have 
brought it into the world. Only in this way can 
progress escape being clogged by the products of the 
security it creates. The development of science has 
lifted famine and pestilence from the shoulders of 
man, and it will yet lift war for some other end 
than to give him a spell of promiscuous and finally 
cruel and horrible reproduction. 

No doubt the sentimentalist and all whose moral 
sense has been vigorously trained in the old school 
will find this rather a dreadful suggestion ; it amounts 
to saying that for the Abyss to become a " hotbed " 
of sterile immorality will fall in with the deliberate 
policy of the ruling class in the days to come. At 
any rate, it will be a terminating evil. At present 
the Abyss is a hotbed breeding undesirable and too 
often fearfully miserable children. That is some- 
thing more than a sentimental horror. Under the 
really very horrible morality of to-day, the spectacle 
of a mean-spirited, under-sized, diseased little man, 
quite incapable of earning a decent living even for 
himself, married to some underfed, ignorant, ill- 
shaped, plain and diseased little woman, and guilty 
of the lives of ten or twelve ugly ailing children, is 
regarded as an extremely edifying spectacle, and the 
two parents consider their reproductive excesses as 
giving them a distinct claim upon less fecund and 

The Faith of the New Republic 307 

more prosperous people. Benevolent persons throw 
themselves with peculiar ardour into a case of this 
sort, and quite passionate efforts are made to 
strengthen the mother against further eventualities 
and protect the children until they attain to nubile 
years. Until the attention of the benevolent persons 
is presently distracted by a new case. . . . Yet so 
powerful is the suggestion of current opinions that 
few people seem to see nowadays just what a horrible 
and criminal thing this sort of family, seen from the 
point of view of social physiology, appears. 

And directly such principles as these come into 
effective operation, and I believe that the next 
hundred years will see this new phase of the human 
history beginning, there will recommence a process 
of physical and mental improvement in mankind, a 
raising and elaboration of the average man, that has 
virtually been in suspense during the greater portion 
of the historical period. It is possible that in the 
last hundred years, in the more civilized states of the 
world, the average of humanity has positively fallen. 
All our philanthropists, all our religious teachers, seem 
to be in a sort of informal conspiracy to preserve an 
atmosphere of mystical ignorance about these matters, 
which, in view of the irresistible nature of the sexual 
impulse, results in a. swelling tide of miserable little 
lives. Consider what it will mean to have perhaps 
half the population of the world, in every generation, 
restrained from or tempted to evade reproduction ! 

308 Anticipations 

This thing, this euthanasia of the weak and sensual, 
is possible. On the principles that will probably 
animate the predominant classes of the new time, it 
will be permissible, and I have little or no doubt that 
in the future it will be planned and achieved. 

If birth were all the making of a civilized man, the 
men of the future, on the general principles we have 
imputed to them, would under no circumstances find 
the birth of a child, healthy in body and brain, more 
than the most venial of offences. But birth gives 
only the beginning, the raw material, of a civilized 
man. The perfect civilized man is not only a sound 
strong body but a very elaborate fabric of mind. He 
is a fabric of moral suggestions that become mental 
habits, a magazine of more or less systematized ideas, 
a scheme of knowledge and training and an aesthetic 
culture. He is the child not only of parents but of a 
home and of an education. He has to be carefully 
guarded from physical and moral contagions. A 
reasonable probability of ensuring home and educa- 
tion and protection without any parasitic dependence 
on people outside the kin of the child, will be a 
necessary condition to a moral birth under such 
general principles as we have supposed. Now, this 
sweeps out of reason any such promiscuity of healthy 
people as the late Mr. Grant Allen is supposed to 
have advocated but, so far as I can understand him, 
did not. But whether it works out to the taking over 
of the permanent monogamic marriage of the old 

The Faith of the New Republic 309 

morality, as a going concern, is another matter. 
Upon this matter I must confess my views of the 
trend of things in the future do not seem to be finally 
shaped. The question involves very obscure physio- 
logical and psychological considerations. A man 
who aims to become a novelist naturally pries into 
these matters whenever he can, but the vital facts are 
very often hard to come by. It is probable that a great 
number of people could be paired off in couples 
who would make permanently happy and successful 
monogamic homes for their sound and healthy 
children. At any rate, if a certain freedom of re- 
grouping were possible within a time limit, this might 
be so. But I am convinced that a large proportion 
of married couples in the world to-day are not com- 
pletely and happily matched, that there is much 
mutual limitation, mutual annulment and mutual 
exasperation. Home with an atmosphere of conten- 
tion is worse than none for the child, and it is the 
interest of the child, and that alone, that will be the 
test of all these things. I do not think that the 
arrangement in couples is universally applicable, or 
that celibacy (tempered by sterile vice) should be its 
only alternative. Nor can I see why the union of 
two childless people should have an indissoluble 
permanence or prohibit an ampler grouping. The 
question is greatly complicated by the economic dis- 
advantage of women, which makes wifehood the chief 
feminine profession, while only for an incidental sort 

310 Anticipations 

of man is marriage a source of income, and further 
by the fact that most women have a period of 
maximum attractiveness after which it would be 
grossly unfair to cast them aside. From the point 
of view we are discussing, the efficient mother who 
can make the best of her children, is the most im- 
portant sort of person in the state. She is a primary 
necessity to the coming civilization. Can the wife in 
any sort of polygamic arrangement, or a woman of no 
assured status, attain to the maternal possibilities of 
the ideal monogamic wife ? One is disposed to 
answer, No. But then, on the other hand, does the 
ordinary monogamic wife do that ? We are dealing 
with the finer people of the future, strongly individual- 
ized people, who will be much freer from stereotyped 
moral suggestions and much less inclined to be dealt 
with wholesale than the people of to-day. 

I have already shown cause in these Anticipations 
to expect a period of disorder and hypocrisy in 
matters of sexual morality. I am inclined to think 
that, when the New Republic emerges on the other 
side of this disorder, there will be a great number of 
marriage contracts possible between men and women, 
and that the strong arm of the State will insist only 
upon one thing the security and welfare of the 
child. The inevitable removal of births from the 
sphere of an uncontrollable Providence to the cate- 
gory of deliberate acts, will enormously enhance 
the responsibility of the parent and of the State 

The Faith of the New Republic 311 

that has failed to adequately discourage the philo- 
progenitiveness of the parent towards the child. 
Having permitted the child to come into existence, 
public policy and the older standard of justice alike 
demand, under these new conditions, that it must be 
fed, cherished, and educated, not merely up to a 
respectable minimum, but to the full height of its 
possibilities. The State will, therefore, be the reserve 
guardian of all children. If they are being under- 
nourished, if their education is being neglected, the 
State will step in, take over the responsibility of their 
management, and enforce their charge upon the 
parents. The first liability of a parent will be to 
his child, and for his child ; even the dues of that 
darling of our current law, the landlord, will stand 
second to that. This conception of the responsibility 
of the parents and the State to the child and the 
future runs quite counter to the general ideas of 
to-day. These general ideas distort grim realities. 
Under the most pious and amiable professions, all 
the Christian states of to-day are, as a matter of fact, 
engaged in slave-breeding. The chief result, though 
of course it is not the intention, of the activities of 
priest and moralist to-day in these matters, is to lure 
a vast multitude of little souls into this world, for 
whom there is neither sufficient food, nor love, nor 
schools, nor any prospect at all in life but the 
insufficient bread of servitude. It is a result that 
endears religion and purity to the sweating employer, 

312 Anticipations 

and leads unimaginative bishops, who have never 
missed a meal in their lives, and who know nothing 
of the indescribable bitterness of a handicapped entry 
into this world, to draw a complacent contrast with 
irreligious France. It is a result that must necessarily 
be recognized in its reality, and faced by these men 
who will presently emerge to rule the world; men 
who will have neither the plea of ignorance, nor 
moral stupidity, nor dogmatic revelation to excuse 
such elaborate cruelty. 

And having set themselves in these ways to raise 
the quality of human birth, the New Republicans will 
see to it that the children who do at last effectually 
get born come into a world of spacious opportunity. 
The half-educated, unskilled pretenders, professing 
impossible creeds and propounding ridiculous curri- 
cula, to whom the unhappy parents of to-day must 
needs entrust the intelligences of their children ; these 
heavy-handed barber-surgeons of the mind, these 
schoolmasters, with their ragtag and bobtail of 
sweated and unqualified assistants, will be succeeded 
by capable, self-respecting men and women, con- 
stituting the most important profession of the world. 
The windy pretences of "forming character," supply- 
ing moral training, and so forth, under which the 
educationalist of to-day conceals the fact that he is 
incapable of his proper task of training, developing 
and equipping the mind, will no longer be made by 
the teacher. Nor will the teacher be permitted to 

The Faith of the New Republic 313 

subordinate his duties to the entirely irrelevant 
business of his pupils' sports. The teacher will teach, 
and confine his moral training, beyond enforcing 
truth and discipline, to the exhibition of a capable 
person doing his duty as well as it can be done. He 
will know that his utmost province is only a part 
of the educational process, that equally important 
educational influences are the home and the world 
of thought about the pupil and himself. The whole 
world will be thinking and learning ; the old idea 
of " completing " one's education will have vanished 
with the fancy of a static universe ; every school 
will be a preparatory school, every college. The 
school and college will probably give only the keys 
and apparatus of thought, a necessary language or 
so, thoroughly done, a sound mathematical training, 
drawing, a wide and reasoned view of philosophy, 
some good exercises in dialectics, a training in the 
use of those stores of fact that science has made. So 
equipped, the young man and young woman will go 
on to the technical school of their chosen profession, 
and to the criticism of contemporary practice for their 
special efficiency, and to the literature of contemporary 
thought for their general development. . . . 

And while the emergent New Republic is deciding 
to provide for the swarming inferiority of the Abyss, 
and developing the morality and educational system 
of the future, in this fashion, it will be attacking that 
mass of irresponsible property that is so unavoidable 


and so threatening under present conditions. The 
attack will, of course, be made along lines that 
the developing science of economics will trace in the 
days immediately before us. A scheme of death 
duties and of heavy graduated taxes upon irrespon- 
sible incomes, with, perhaps, in addition, a system of 
terminable liability for borrowers, will probably suffice 
to control the growth of this creditor elephantiasis. 
The detailed contrivances are for the specialist to 
make. If there is such a thing as bitterness in the 
public acts of the New Republicans, it will probably 
be found in the measures that will be directed against 
those who are parasitic, or who attempt to be para- 
sitic, upon the social body, either by means of 
gambling, by manipulating the medium of exchange, 
or by such interventions upon legitimate transactions 
as, for example, the legal trade union in Great 
Britain contrives in the case of house property and 
land. Simply because he fails more often than he 
succeeds, there is still a disposition among senti- 
mental people to regard the gambler or the specu- 
lator as rather a dashing, adventurous sort of person, 
and to contrast his picturesque gallantry with the 
sober certainties of honest men. The men of the 
New Republic will be obtuse to the glamour of such 
romance ; they will regard the gambler simply as a 
mean creature who hangs about the social body in 
the hope of getting something for nothing, who runs 
risks to filch the possessions of other men, exactly 

The Faith of the New Republic 315 

as a thief does. They will put the two on a footing, 
and the generous gambler, like the kindly drunkard, 
in the face of their effectual provision for his little 
weakness, will cease to complain that his worst 
enemy is himself. And, in dealing with speculation, 
the New Republic will have the power of an assured 
faith and purpose, and the resources of an economic 
science that is as yet only in its infancy. In such 
matters the New Republic will entertain no supersti- 
tion of laisses faire. Money and credit are as much 
human contrivances as bicycles, and as liable to 
expansion and modification as any other sort of 
prevalent but imperfect machine. 

And how will the New Republic treat the inferior 
races ? How will it deal with the black ? how will it 
deal with the yellow man ? how will it tackle that 
alleged termite in the civilized woodwork, the Jew ? 
Certainly not as races at all. It will aim to establish, 
and it will at last, though probably only after a 
second century has passed, establish a world-state 
with a common language and a common rule. All 
over the world its roads, its standards, its laws, and its 
apparatus of control will run. It will, I have said, make 
the multiplication of those who fall behind a certain 
standard of social efficiency unpleasant and difficult, 
and it will have cast aside any coddling laws to save 
adult men from themselves. 1 It will tolerate no 

1 Vide Mr. Archdall Read 
Present Evolution of Man." 

316 Anticipations 

dark corners where the people of the Abyss may 
fester, no vast diffused slums of peasant proprietors, 
no stagnant plague-preserves. Whatever men may 
come into its efficient citizenship it will let come 
white, black, red, or brown ; the efficiency will be the 
test. And the Jew also it will treat as any other 
man. It is said that the Jew is incurably a parasite 
on the apparatus of credit. If there are parasites on 
the apparatus of credit, that is a reason for the 
legislative cleaning of the apparatus of credit, but it 
is no reason for the special treatment of the Jew. If 
the Jew has a certain incurable tendency to social 
parasitism, and we make social parasitism impossible, 
we shall abolish the Jew, and if he has not, there is 
no need to abolish the Jew. We are much more 
likely to find we have abolished the Caucasian 
solicitor. I really do not understand the exceptional 
attitude people take up against the Jews. There is 
something very ugly about many Jewish faces, but 
there are Gentile faces just as coarse and gross. The 
Jew asserts himself in relation to his nationality with 
a singular tactlessness, but it is hardly for the English 
to blame that. Many Jews are intensely vulgar in 
dress and bearing, materialistic in thought, and 
cunning and base in method, but no more so than 
many Gentiles. The Jew is mentally and physically 
precocious, and he ages and dies sooner than the 
average European, but in that and in a certain dis- 
ingenuousness he is simply on all fours with the short, 

The Faith of the New Republic 317 

dark Welsh. He foregathers with those of his own 
nation, and favours them against the stranger, but so 
do the Scotch. I see nothing in his curious, dispersed 
nationality to dread or dislike. He is a remnant 
and legacy of medievalism, a sentimentalist, perhaps, 
but no furtive plotter against the present progress of 
things. He was the mediaeval Liberal ; his persistent 
existence gave the lie to Catholic pretensions all 
through the days of their ascendency, and to-day he 
gives the lie to all our yapping " nationalisms," and 
sketches in his dispersed sympathies the coming 
of the world-state. He has never been known to 
burke a school. Much of the Jew's usury is no 
more than social scavenging. The Jew will probably 
lose much of his particularism, intermarry with 
Gentiles, and cease to be a physically distinct 
element in human affairs in a century or so. But 
much of his moral tradition will, I hope, never 
die. . . . And for the rest, those swarms of black, 
and brown, and dirty-white, and yellow people, who 
do not come into the new needs of efficiency ? 

Well, the world is a world, not a charitable 
institution, and I take it they will have to go. The 
whole tenor and meaning of the world, as I see it, is 
that they have to go. So far as they fail to develop 
sane, vigorous, and distinctive personalities for the 

(great world of the future, it is their portion to die 
* out and disappear. 
The world has a purpose greater than happiness ; 

3 1 8 A nticipations 

our lives are to serve God's purpose, and that pur- ^ 
pose aims not at man as an end, but works through 
him to greater issues. . . . This, I believe, will be the 
distinctive quality of the New Republican's belief. 
And, for that reason, I have not even speculated 
whether he will hold any belief in human immortality 
or no. He will certainly not believe there is any 
post mortem state of rewards and punishments 
because of his faith in the sanity of God, and I do 
not see how he will trace any reaction between this 
world and whatever world there may be of disem- 
bodied lives. Active and capable men of all forms 
of religious profession to-day tend in practice to dis- 
regard the question of immortality altogether. So, to 
a greater degree, will the kinetic men of the coming 
time. We may find that issue interesting enough 
when we turn over the leaf, but at present we have 
not turned over the leaf. On this side, in this life, 
the relevancy of things points not in the slightest 
towards the immortality of our egotisms, but con- 
vergently and overpoweringly to the future of our 
race, to that spacious future, of which these weak, 
ambitious Anticipations are, as it were, the dim 
reflection seen in a shallow and troubled pool. 
For that future these men will live and die. 




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