(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "The revolt against civilization; the menace of the under man"

REVOLT AGAINS 
CIVILIZATION 



LOTHROP STClDARD 




^/ u 






\i 









-^ -2_- 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2009 



http://www.archive.org/details/revoltagainstcivOOstod 



BY LOTHROP STODDARD 

THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

THE NEW WORLD OF ISLAM 

THE RISING TIDE OF COLOR AGAINST 
WHITE WORLD-SUPREMACY 

CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS 



THE REVOLT 
AGAINST CIVILIZATION 



THE REVOLT 
AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

THE MENACE OF THE UNDER MAN 



BY 

LOTHROP STODDARD, A.M., Ph.D. (Harv.) 

AUTHOR or "the niw wosld of islam," 

" THE BlaiNO TIDI OF COLOB," 
"TBE BTAKEa OF THB WAB," STC. 



NEW YORK 

CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS 

1922 



'COPTBIGHT, 1922, BT 

CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS 



Printed in the United States of America 



Published May, 1922 




PREFACE 

The revolutionary unrest which to-day afflicts the en- 
tire world goes far deeper than is generally supposed. 
Its root-cause is not Russian Bolshevik propaganda, 
nor the late war, nor the French Revolution, but a 
process of racial impoverishment, which destroyed the 
great civilizations of the past and which threatens to 
destroy our own. 

This grim blight of civilized society has been correctly 
diagnosed only in recent years. The momentous bio- 
logical discoveries of the past generation have revealed 
the true workings of those hitherto mysterious laws of 
life on which, in the last analysis, all human activity 
depends. 

In the light of these biological discoveries, confirmed 
and amphfied by investigations in other fields of science, 
especially psychology, all political and social problems 
need to be re-examined. 

Such a re-examination of one of these problems — the 
problem of social revolution — has been attempted in 
the present book. 

LoTHKOP Stoddard. 

Brookline, Massachusetts, 
March 30, 1922. 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTBB PAOB 

I. The Burden or Civilization 1 

II. The Iron Law of Inequality 30 

III. The Nemesis of the Inferior 88 

IV. The Lure of the Primitive 125 

V. The Ground-Swell of Revolt 142 

VI. The Rebellion of the Under-Man 177 

VII. The War against Chaos 220 

VIII. Neo-Aristocracy 237 

Index 269 



THE REVOLT 
AGAINST CIVILIZATION 



THE EEYOLT AGAINST CIYILIZATION 

CHAPTER I 
THE BURDEN OF CIVILIZATION 

Civilization is the flowering of the human species. It 
is both a recent and a fragile thing. The first glimmer- 
ings of genuine civilization appeared only eight or ten 
thousand years ago. This may seem a long time. It 
does not seem so long when we remember that behind 
civilization's dawn Hes a vast night of barbarism, of sav- 
agery, of bestiahty, estimated at half a million years, 
since the ape-man shambled forth from the steaming 
murk of tropic forests, and, scowling and blinking, raised 
his eyes to the stars. 

Civilization is complex. It involves the existence of 
human communities characterized by pohtical and social 
organization; dominating and utilizing natural forces; 
adapting themselves to the new man-made environment 
thereby created; possessing knowledge, refinement, arts, 
and sciences; and (last, but emphatically not least) com- 
posed of individuals capable of sustaining this elaborate 
complex and of handing it on to a capable posterity. 

This last consideration is, in fact, the crux of the whole 
matter; the secret of success; the secret, likewise, of 
those tragic failures which perplex and sadden the stu- 
dent of history. Man's march athwart the ages has been, 

1 



2 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

not a steady advance, but rather a slow wandering, now 
breasting sunlit heights, yet anon plunging into dank 
swamps and gloomy valleys. Of the countless tribes of 
men, many have perished utterly while others have 
stopped by the wayside, apparently incapable of going 
forward, and have either vegetated or sunk into deca- 
dence. Man's trail is littered with the wrecks of dead 
civihzations and dotted with the graves of promising 
peoples stricken by an untimely end. 

Sharp and insistent comes the query: Why? Civihza- 
tion seems so good a thing ! It means relative protection 
from the blind and cruel forces of nature; abohtion of 
the struggle against savage beasts and amelioration of 
the struggle between men; opportunity for comfort, 
leisure, and the development of the higher faculties. 
Why, then, do we find so many branches of the human 
species never attaining — never really striving after — 
these eminently desirable boons? Also (yet more note- 
worthy !) why do we find still other stocks, after having 
attained civiHzation, losing it and falling back to the 
lower levels of barbarism or even of savagery ? 

Mysterious though this may at first sight appear, there 
is, nevertheless, an answer: Those stagnant or decadent 
peoples could not bear the burden of civilization. For 
civiHzation is a burden as well as a benefit. This is in- 
evitable in a universe governed by laws which decree 
that something may not come out of nothing. Civiliza- 
tion is not a cause but an effect — the effect of sustained 
human energy; and this energy, in turn, springs from the 
creative urge of superior germ-plasm. Civilization is 



THE BURDEN OF CIVILIZATION 3 

thus fundamentally conditioned by race. In any par- 
ticular people, civilization will progress just so far as 
that people has the capacity to further it and the ability 
to bear the correlative burden which it entails. When 
this crucial point is reached, the civilization of that people 
either stagnates or retrogrades. Exactly how the process 
works becomes clear by a glance at human history. 

When the ape-man emerged from utter animality, he 
emerged with empty hands and an almost empty head. 
Ever since that far-off day, man has been filling both 
hands and head — his hands with tools, his head with 
ideas. But the filling has proceeded most unequally, 
because capacity has varied greatly among the different 
branches of mankind. Whether all human varieties 
spring from a single original stock we do not know. What 
we do know is that the human species early appears di- 
vided into a number of different varieties contrasting 
markedly both in physical features and mental capacities. 
Thus differentiated and ever further differentiating, man- 
kind plodded the long, long trail leading from bestiaUty 
to savagery, from savagery to barbarism, and from bar- 
barism to civilization. Slowly the empty hands and 
heads began to fill. The hands grasped chance sticks 
and stones, then trimmed clubs and chipped flints, then 
a combination of the twain. These same hands pres- 
ently fashioned the skins of beasts to clothe the body's 
nakedness against the cold, kindled fires for warmth and 
roasted food, modelled clay for pottery, tamed wild crea- 
tures into domestic animals. And behind the hand was 
the brain, not merely making these purely material in- 



4 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

ventions but also discovering others of a higher order, 
Hke speech or even non-material concepts from which 
sprang the rudiments of social and political existence. 
All this occurred while man was still a savage. With 
the next stage — ^barbarism — came fresh discoveries, like 
agriculture and the smelting of metals, together with a 
variety of new ideas (especially the momentous art of 
writing), which brought mankind to the threshold of 
civiHzation. 

Now it is obvious that at this st£ige of his development 
man was a vastly different creature from the bestial being 
of earHer times. Starting from naked destitution and 
brutish ignorance, man had gradually gathered to him- 
self an increasing mass of tools, possessions, and ideas. 
This made life much more comfortable and agreeable. 
But it also made life much more complex. Such a life 
required vastly more effort, inteUigence, and character 
than had the instinctive, animal existence of primeval 
days. In other words, long before the dawn of true civili- 
zation, the burden of progress had begun to weigh upon 
mankind. 

Indeed, even the first light burdens had in some cases 
proved too heavy to be borne. Not all the branches of 
the human species attained the threshold of civilization. 
Some, indeed, never reached even the limits of savagery. 
Existing survivals of low-type savage man, such as the 
Bushmen of South Africa and the AustraHan "Black- 
fellows," have vegetated for countless ages in primeval 
squalor and seem incapable of rising even to the level 
of barbarism, much less to that of civilization. It is for- 



THE BURDEN OF CIVILIZATION 5 

tunate for the future of mankind that most of these sur- 
vivals from the remote past are to-day on the verge of 
extinction. Their persistence and possible incorporation 
into higher stocks would produce the most depressive 
and retrogressive results. 

Much more serious is the problem presented by those 
far more numerous stocks which, while transcending the 
plane of mere savagery, have stopped at some level of 
barbarism. Not only have these stocks never originated 
a civilization themselves, but they also seem constitu- 
tionally incapable of assimilating the civilization of 
others. Deceptive veneers of civihzation may be ac- 
quired, but reversion to congenital barbarism ultimately 
takes place. To such barbarian stocks belong many of 
the peoples of Asia, the American Indians, and the 
African negroes. These congenital barbarians have al- 
ways been dangerous foes of progress. Many a promis- 
ing civilization has been ravaged and ruined by barbarians 
without the wit to rebuild what they had destroyed. To- 
day, the progress of science may have freed our own ciii- 
lization from the peril of armed conquest by barbarian 
hordes; nevertheless, these peoples still threaten us with 
the subtler menace of "pacific penetration." Usually 
highly prolific, often endowed with extraordinary phys- 
ical vigor, and able to migrate easily, owdng to modern 
facilities of transportation, the more backward peoples 
of the earth tend increasingly to seek the centres of civi- 
lization, attracted thither by the high wages and easier 
living conditions which there prevail. The influx of such 
lower elements into civilized societies is an unmitigated 



6 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

disaster. It upsets living standards, socially sterilizes 
the higher native stocks, and if (as usually happens in 
the long run) interbreeding occurs, the racial founda- 
tions of civilization are undermined, and the mongrelized 
population, unable to bear the burden, sinks to a lower 
plane. 

So much for savagery and barbarism. Now what 
about civiHzation? For the last eight or ten thousand 
years civiHzations have been appearing all the way from 
Eastern Asia to Europe and North Africa. At first these 
civilizations were local — mere points of hght in a vast 
night of barbarism and savagery. They were also iso- 
lated; the civiHzations of Egypt, Chaldea, India, and 
China developing separately, with shght influence upon 
each other. But gradually civiHzations spread, met, 
interacted, synthesized. FinaUy, in Europe, a great 
civiHzing tide set in, first displaying itself in the "Clas- 
sic" civiHzation of Greece and Rome, and persisting 
down to the "Western Civilization" of our own days. 

A remarkable fact about civiHzation is its intensifica- 
tion of features already observed on the savage and bar- 
barian planes. The civilized man has vastly more secu- 
rity, power, opportimity, comfort, leisure, than has the 
barbarian or the savage; he has amassed a wealth of 
instruments, possessions, and ideas infinitely transcend- 
ing the paltry hoards of earHer days; he lives in a "man- 
made" environment astoundingly different from the 
"state of nature." This is especially true of modern 
Western civiHzation. Om* civiHzation may be inferior 
to others in some respects. It may lack the beauty of 



THE BURDEN OF CIVILIZATION 7 

the Greek, the durability of the Chinese, the spirituality 
of the Mediaeval. But in dynamic energy, in mastery 
over the forces of nature, and in all-round efficiency it 
far transcends anything the world has ever seen. 

In fact, within the past century we have broken the 
age-old tempo of material progress and have leaped 
clear over into a new self-made world. Down to a trifle 
over a century ago man's material progress had been a 
gradual — a very gradual — evolution. His tools, though 
more nimierous, were mainly elaborations of those dis- 
covered by his remote ancestors. A few instruments hke 
the printing-press and the mariner's compass were about 
the only notable innovations. Man's control over natural 
resources had likewise not greatly expanded. With the 
exception of gunpowder, he had tapped no new sources 
of material energy since very ancient times. His chief 
source of power was muscle, animal and human (do we 
not still reckon in "horse-power"?), and, for the rest, he 
filled his sails with the breeze and turned clumsy water- 
wheels by using brooks and streams. But the ancients 
had done all these things. As for methods of communica- 
tion, they had, if anything, deteriorated. In the year 
1800, there was no system of highways which equalled 
the Roman roads, no posting-service as quick as Caesar's, 
no method of signalling which could compare with the 
semaphore "telegraphy" of the Persians, and probably 
no ship which could not have been overhauled by a Phoe- 
nician galley in a moderate sea. 

Suddenly, astoundingly, all was changed. The hidden 
forces of nature yielded themselves wholesale, as though 



8 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

at the wave of a magician's wand. Steam, electricity, 
petrol, and a whole series of mysterious "rays" and 
"waves" gave man powers of which he had not even 
dreamed. These powers were promptly harnessed to 
innumerable machines which soon transformed every 
phase of human existence. Production and transporta- 
tion were ahke revolutionized, distance was well-nigh 
abolished, and the very planet shrunk to the measure of 
human hands. In other words, man suddenly entered a 
new material world, differing not merely in degree but in 
kind from that of his grandfathers. 

Now all this inspired modem man with that spirit of 
confidence and optimistic hope in an inimitably glorious 
future which characterized the greater part of the nine- 
teenth century. And yet, a Httle reflection and a modi- 
cum of historical knowledge should have made intelligent 
persons do some hard thinking. Modern civilization was 
not the first civilization. It was merely the last of a long 
series of civilizations which had bloomed gloriously — and 
had then stagnated, decayed, or utterly perished. Fur- 
thermore, save for a few exceptional cases where civiHza- 
tions were uprooted in their prime by a blast of foreign 
conquest, the basic cause of disaster was always a decHne 
or breakdown from within. 

Here, obviously, was food for thought. And, as a 
matter of fact, a large number of thoughtful persons 
gave the matter their earnest consideration. Was our 
glorious modern civilization ultimately destined to be 
"one with Nineveh or Tyre"? So it might seem: un- 
less, perchance, ours turned out to be the "exception 



THE BURDEN OF CIVILIZATION 9 

which proves the rule." But what, then, was this "rule" 
which foredoomed all civilizations to eventual dechne? 
Despite much theorizing, the answers were not convinc- 
ing. Certain thinkers elaborated "The Law of Civihza- 
tion and Decay." This fataHstic theory asserted that 
civilizations, hke individuals, have their cycle of youth, 
maturity, senescence, and death. But what was the 
cycle ? Some civihzations, like those of Egypt and China, 
endured for thousands of years, others for centuries; 
still others for a few brief generations. Obviously, no 
statistical curve could here be plotted, and the idea was 
discredited. Of course, other theories were elaborated. 
The ruin of civihzations was variously ascribed to luxury, 
vice, town hfe, irreligion, and much more besides. Yet 
all these theories somehow failed to satisfy. They might 
be shown to have been contributing causes in particular 
cases, but they could not account universally for the 
phenomena of decHning civihzation. 

Within the past two decades, however, the rapid prog- 
ress of biological knowledge has thrown a flood of light 
on this vexed question, and has enabled us to frame a 
theory so in accordance with known facts that it seems 
to offer substantially the correct answer. 

And this answer is that, in the last analysis, civiliza- 
tion always depends upon the qualities of the people who 
are the bearers of it. AU these vast accumulations of in- 
struments and ideas, massed and welded into marvellous 
structures rising harmoniously in glittering majesty, rest 
upon li\dng foundations — upon the men and women who 
create and sustain them. So long as those men and 



10 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

women are able to support it, the structure rises, broad- 
based and serene; but let the living foundations prove 
unequal to their task, and the mightiest civiHzation sags, 
cracks, and at last crashes down into chaotic ruin. 

CiviHzation thus depends absolutely upon the quality of 
its human supporters. Mere numbers mean nothing. The 
most briUiant civiHzation the world has ever seen arose 
in Athens — a tiny community where the number of free- 
men (z. e., genuine Athenians) numbered perhaps 50,000 
all told. We therefore see that, for civilization to arise 
at aU, a superior human stock is first necessary; while to 
perfect, or even to maintain that civiHzation, the human 
stock must be kept superior. And these are require- 
ments more exacting than might be imagined. Survey- 
ing human history, we find that superior stocks are the 
exception rather than the rule. We have already seen 
how many races of men have never risen above the planes 
of savagery or barbarism, while relatively few races have 
shown the abiHty to create high and enduring civiHzations. 

Furthermore, even inside the superior racial groups 
there exists a similar differentiation. WTien we speak of 
a "superior race" we do not imply that aU the members 
of that race stand on the same lofty plane. Of course, 
the average level runs higher than do the averages of 
less favored races. But besides this statistical considera- 
tion there is the even more important fact that within 
the higher group itself there exist a relatively large num- 
ber of very superior individuals, characterized by unusual 
energy, abiHty, talent, or genius. It is this eHte which 
leavens the group and initiates progress. Here, again, we 



THE BURDEN OF CIVILIZATION 11 

see the supreme importance of quality. In no human 
society has the percentage of really superior individuals 
ever been large — in fact, their percentage has been always 
statistically negligible. Their influence, however, has 
been incalculable. Athens was not made up of Platos or 
Xenophons: it had its quota of dullards, knaves, and 
fools — as is vividly shown in the immortal satires of Aris- 
tophanes. Yet the dynamic power of its ehte made 
Athens the glory of the world, and only when the Athe- 
nian stock ceased to produce superiors did Athens sink 
into insignificance. 

Thus we see that civiHzation depends absolutely upon 
quality, while quaHty, in turn, depends upon inheritance. 
Environment may bring out all there is in a man, but 
heredity predetermines what there is to bring. We now 
begin to see the fallacy of such fatahstic notions as "The 
Law of Civilization and Decay." CiviHzations, unlike 
living organisms, have no appointed cycle of Hfe and 
death. Given a high-type stock producing an adequate 
quota of superior individuals, and a civihzation might 
be immortal. 

Why, then, has this never occurred? It has not oc- 
curred mainly because of three destructive tendencies 
which have always, sooner or later, brought civilizations 
to decline and ruin. These three tendencies are: (1) the 
tendency to structural overloading; (2) the tendency to 
biological regression; (3) the tendency to atavistic re- 
volt. Here are the three grim Nemeses that have dogged 
the footsteps of the most promising peoples. Let us con- 
sider them in turn. 



12 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

We have observed how civilizations, as they progress, 
inevitably become more complex. Each succeeding gen- 
eration elaborates the social environment of the past, 
makes fresh additions, and passes it on to the next gen- 
eration, which repeats the process in tmn. This ability 
to transmit social acquirements, both material and men- 
tal, is one of the chief points marking man off from the 
animals. It has, in fact, been happily termed "social 
heredity." Because of "social heredity" each human 
generation is able to start at a higher environment level, 
and is not forced, like the animals, to depend upon in- 
stinct and blind experience. Indeed, "social heredity" 
forms the basis of all those theories which assert that 
environment is the chief factor in human progress and 
which minimize true {i. e., biological) heredity as a minor 
or even a neghgible factor. 

These " environmentahst " arguments, however, omit 
one essential fact which vitiates their conclusions. This 
fact is that, while hereditary qualities are implanted in 
the individual with no action on his part, social acquire- 
ments are taken over only at the cost of distinct effort. 
How great this effort may become is easily seen by the 
long years of strenuous mental labor required in modem 
3^outh to assimilate the knowledge already gained by 
adults. That old saying, "There is no royal road to 
learning," illustrates the hard fact that each succes- 
sive generation must tread the same thorny path if the 
acquirements of the past are to be retained. Of course, 
it is obvious that the more acquirements increase, the 
longer and steeper the path must be. And this raises the 



THE BURDEN OF CIVILIZATION 13 

query: May there not come a point where the youthful 
traveller ^ill be unable to scale the height — ^^^here the 
effort required will be beyond his powers ? 

Well, this is precisely what has happened numberless 
times in the past. It is happening to multitudes of in- 
dividuals about us every day. "WTien it occurs on a suf- 
ficiently grand scale we witness those social regressions 
of entire communities which we call a "dechne in ci\dli- 
zation." A "decline in cii'ilization " means that the 
social emdronment has outrun inherited capacity. Fur- 
thermore, the grim frec^uency of such decHnes throughout 
history seems to show that in every highly developed 
society the increasingly massive, complex superstructure 
of ci\'ilization tends to overload the human foundations. 

Now why does this overloading in high civiKzations 
always tend to take place? For the very simple reason 
that the complexity (and, therefore, the burden) of a 
ci\41ization may increase with tremendous rapidity to an 
inconceivable degree; whereas the capacity of its human 
bearers remains \drtually constant or positively declines. 

The sobering truth was until recently obscured by the 
wide-spread behef (first elaborated about a century ago 
by the French scientist Lamarck) that acquired char- 
acteristics were inherited. In other words, it used to be 
thought that the acquirements of one generation could 
be passed on by actual inheritance to the next. La- 
marck's theory excited enthusiastic hopes, and young 
men contemplating matrimony used to go in for "high 
thinking" in order to have brainy sons, while ex'pectant 
mothers inspired their months of gestation by. reading 



14 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

the classics, confident that their offspring would be bom 
with a marked taste for good Hterature. To-day this 
amiable doctrine is exploded, virtually all biologists now 
agreeing that acquired characteristics are not inherited. 

An abundant weight of evidence proves that, during 
the entire historic period at any rate, mankind has made 
no racial progress in either physical power or brain ca- 
pacity. The skeletal remains of the ancients show them 
to have possessed brains and bodies fully equal to our 
own. And these anatomical observations are confirmed 
by the teachings of history. The earliest civihzed peoples 
of whom we have any knowledge displayed capacities, 
initiative, and imagination quite comparable to ours. Of 
course, their stock of social experience was very much 
less than ours, but their inherent quahties cannot be 
deemed inferior. Certainly those ancient peoples pro- 
duced their full share of great men. Can we show greater 
philosophers than Plato or Aristotle, greater scientists 
than Archimedes or Ptolemy, greater generals than Caesar 
or Alexander, greater poets than Homer or Hesiod, greater 
spiritual guides than Buddha or Jesus ? Surely, the peo- 
ples who produced such immortal personalities ranked 
not beneath us in the biological scale. 

But if this be so; if even the highest human types have 
made no perceptible biological advance during the last 
ten thousand years; what does this mean? It means 
that all the increasingly vast superstructures of civiHza- 
tion which have arisen during those millennia have 
been raised on similar human foundations. It means 
that men have been called upon to carry heavier loads 



THE BURDEN OF CIVILIZATION 15 

with no correlative increase of strength to bear them. 
The glitter of civilization has so blinded us to the inner 
truth of things that we have long believed that, as a civi- 
lization progressed, the quality of the human stock con- 
cerned in building it progressed too. In other words, 
we have imagined that we saw an improving race, where- 
as all we actually saw was a race expressing itself under 
improving conditions. 

A dangerous delusion, this ! Especially for us, whose 
civilization is the most complex the world has ever seen, 
and whose burden is, therefore, the heaviest ever borne. 
If past civilizations have crushed men beneath the load, 
what may happen to our civilization, and ourselves? 

Our analysis has thus far shown that civilizations tend 
toward structural overloading, both from their own in- 
creasing complexity and also from the influence of other 
civilizations, which add sudden strains and stresses 
hitherto imknown. Even if this were the only danger 
to which civilizations were exposed, the matter would 
be serious enough. But the problem is more complex. 
We have already indicated that other destructive ten- 
dencies exist. To the second of these tendencies — biolog- 
ical regression — let us now turn. 

Up to this point we have viewed civilization mainly in 
its structural aspect. We have estimated its pressure 
upon the human foimdations, and have provisionally 
treated these foundations as fixed quantities. But that 
is only one phase of the problem, because civilization 
exerts upon its living bearers not merely mechanical, but 
also vital influences of the profoundest significance. And, 



16 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

unfortunately, these \Tital influences are mainly of a de- 
structive character. The stem truth of the matter is 
that civilization tends to impair the innate qualities of 
its human bearers; to use up strong stocks; to unmake 
those very racial values which first enabled a people to 
undertake its civilizing task. 

Let us see how this comes about. 

Consider, first, man's condition before the advent of 
civilization. Far, far back in its life history the human 
species underwent a profound differentiation. Fossil 
bones tens of thousands of years old, show mankind al- 
ready divided into distinct races differing markedly not 
merely in bodily structure but also in brain capacity, 
and hence in intelHgence. This differentiation probably 
began early and proceeded rapidly, since biology teaches 
us that species are plastic when new, gradually losing 
this plasticity as they "set" with time and development. 

However, at whatever rate it proceeded, differentiation 
went on for untold ages, operating not only between 
separate races but also within the various stocks, so that 
each stock came to consist of many "strains" varying 
considerably from one another in both physical and men- 
tal capacity. 

Now the fate of these strains depended, not upon 
chance, but upon the very practical question whether 
or not they could sm'\dve. And since man was then liv- 
ing in the "state of nature," qualities like strength, in- 
telligence, and \'igor were absolutely necessary for life, 
while weakness, dulness, and degeneracy spelled speedy 
death. Accordingly, individuals endowed with the for- 



THE BURDEN OF CIVILIZATION 17 

mer qualities survived and bred freely, whereas those 
handicapped by the latter qualities perished oftener and 
left fewer ofifspring. Thus, age after age, nature imposed 
upon man her individually stem but racially beneficent 
will; eliminating the weak, and preserving and multi- 
plying the strong. Surely, it is the most striking proof 
of human differentiation that races should display such 
inequalities after undergoing so long a selective process 
so much the same. 

However, differentiated mankind remained, and at 
last the more gifted races began to create civihzations. 
Now civilization wrought profound changes, the most 
important of which was a modification of the process of 
selection for survival. So long as man was a savage, or 
even a barbarian, nature continued to select virtually 
unhindered according to her immemorial plan — that of 
eliminating the weak and preserving the strong. But 
civilization meant a change from a "natural" to a more 
or less artificial, man-made en\dronment, in which natural 
selection was increasingly modified by "social" selection. 
And social selection altered survival values aU along the 
line. In the first place, it enabled many weak, stupid, 
and degenerate persons to five and beget children who 
would have certainly perished in the state of nature, or 
even on the savage and barbarian planes. Upon the 
strong the effect of social selection was more subtle but 
equally important. The strong individual survived even 
better than before — hut he tended to have fewer children. 

The reason for this lessened fecundity of the superior 
was that civilization opened up to them a whole new 



18 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

range of opportunities and responsibilities. Under primi- 
tive conditions, opportunities for self-expression were 
few and simple, the most prized being desirable mates 
and sturdy offspring. Among savages and barbarians 
the choicest women and many children are the acknowl- 
edged perquisites of the successful, and the successful are 
those men endowed with qualities like strength, vigor, 
and resourceful intelKgence, which are not only essential 
for continued survival imder primitive conditions, but 
which are equally essential for the upbuilding and main- 
tenance of civilization. In short, when a people enters 
the stage of ci\alization it is in the pink of condition, 
because natural selection has for ages been multiplying 
superior strains and eliminating inferiors. 

Such was the high biological level of the selected stocks 
which attained the plane of civihzation. But, as time 
passed, the situation altered. The successful superiors 
who stood in the vanguard of progress were alike allured 
and constrained by a host of novel influences. Power, 
wealth, luxury, leisure, art, science, learning, govern- 
ment — these and many other matters increasingly com- 
plicated hfe. And, good or bad, temptations or respon- 
sibilities, they all had this in common : that they tended 
to divert human energy from racial ends to individual 
and social ends. 

Now this diverted energy flowed mainly from the 
superior strains in the population. Upon the successful 
superior, civihzation laid both her highest gifts and her 
heaviest burdens. The effect upon the indi\idual was, of 
course, striking. Powerfully stimulated, he put forth his 



THE BURDEN OF CIVILIZATION 19 

inherited energies. Glowing with the fire of achievement, 
he advanced both himself and his civilization. But, in 
this very fire, he was apt to be racially consumed. Ab- 
sorbed in personal and social matters, racial matters 
were neglected. Late marriage, fewer children, and celi- 
bacy combined to thin the ranks of the successful, 
diminish the number of superior strains, and thus grad- 
ually impoverish the race. 

Meanwhile, as the numbers of the superior diminished, 
the numbers of the inferior increased. No longer ruth- 
lessly weeded by natural selection, the inferior survived 
and multiphed. 

Here, then, was what had come to pass: instead of 
dying off at the base and growing at the top, civilized 
society was d}dng at the top and spreading out below. 
The result of this dual process was, of course, as disastrous 
as it was inevitable. Drained of its superiors, and satu- 
rated with dullards and degenerates, the stock could no 
longer support its civilization. And, the upper layers of 
the human foundation having withered away, the civi- 
Hzation either sank to a lower level or collapsed in utter 
ruin. The stock had regressed, "gone back," and the 
civilization w^nt back too. 

Such are the workings of that fatal tendency to biolog- 
ical regression which has blighted past civilizations. Its 
effects on our own civihzation and the peculiar perils 
w^hich these entail will be discussed- in subsequent chap- 
ters. One further point should, however, be here noted. 
This is the irreparable character of racial impoverish- 
ment. Once a stock has been thoroughly drained of its 



20 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

superior strains, it sinks into permanent mediocrity, and 
can never again either create or support a high civiHza- 
tion. Physically, the stock may survive; unfortunately 
for human progress, it only too often does survive, to 
contaminate better breeds of men. But mentally and 
spiritually it is played out and can never revive — save, 
perchance, through some age-long process of biological 
restoration akin to that seen in the slow reforesting of 
a mountain range stripped to the bare rock. 

We have observed that civiHzations tend to fall both 
by their own increasing weight and by the decay of their 
human foundations. But we have indicated that there 
exists yet another destructive tendency, which may be 
termed "atavistic revolt." Let us see precisely what 
this implies. 

Civilization depends upon superior racial stocks. But 
stocks are made up of individuals, who, far from being 
precisely equal, differ widely in qualities and capacities. 
At one end of the human scale are a number of superior 
individuals, at the other end a number of inferior in- 
dividuals, while between the two extremes stands the 
mass of intermediate individuals, who hkewise grade up 
or down the scale. 

Of course, these "superiors," "inferiors," and "inter- 
mediates," are not parked off by clear-cut Hues; on the 
contrary, they shade imperceptibly into each other, and 
between the classes there lie intermediate zones com- 
posed of "border-line" individuals whose exact classi- 
fication is hard to determine. Nevertheless, these classes 
do exist, just as day and night exist. At dawn or twi- 



THE BURDEN OF CIVILIZATION 21 

light, we cannot say of any particular minute: "This is 
day, and next minute will be night." Yet day and night 
are facts of transcendent importance, and we accordingly 
grade the hours into categories of hght and darkness 
which, though slightly arbitrary, are essentially true. 

Now, among our human categories we have obser\'ed 
that progress is primarily due to the superiors. It is 
they who found and further civilizations. As for the 
intermediate mass, it accepts the achievements of its 
creative pioneers. Its attitude is receptive. This re- 
ceptivity is due to the fact that most of the intermediate 
grades are near enough to the superiors to understand 
and assimilate what the superiors have initiated. 

But what about the inferiors? Hitherto we have not 
analyzed their attitude. We have seen that they are 
incapable of either creating or furthering civilization, 
and are thus a negative hindrance to progress. But the 
inferiors are not mere negative factors in civiHzed life; 
they are also positive — in an inverse, destructive sense. 
The inferior elements are, instinctively or consciously, 
the enemies of civilization. And they are its enemies, 
not by chance, but because they are more or less un- 
civilizable. We must remember that the level of society 
never coincides with the levels of its human units. 
The social level is a sort of compromise — a balance of 
constituent forces. This very fact impUes that the in- 
dividuals* must be differentially spaced. And so it is. 
Superior individuals stand above the social level; some- 
times far above that level — whence the saying about men 
"ahead of their times." But what about men "behind 



22 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

their times"? They have always been numerous, and, 
the higher the civilization, the more of them there are 
apt to be. 

The truth is that as a civilization advances it leaves 
behind multitudes of human beings who have not the 
capacity to keep pace. The laggards, of course, vary 
greatly among themselves. Some are congenital savages 
or barbarians; men who could not fit into any ci\ihza- 
tion, and who consequently fall behind from the start. 
These are not "degenerates"; they are "primitives," 
carried over into a social enviromnent in which they do 
not belong. They must be clearly distinguished from 
the true degenerates: the imbecile, the feeble-minded, 
the neurotic, the insane — all those melancholy waste- 
products which every hving species excretes but which 
are promptly extirpated in the state of nature, whereas 
in human societies they are too often preserved. 

Moreover, besides primitives and degenerates, ci^dH- 
zation by its very advance automatically condemns fresh 
multitudes to the ranks of the "inferior." Just as "primi- 
tives" who would be quite at home in savage or barbarian 
environments are ahen to any sort of ci\alization, so, many 
individuals who rub along weU enough in civilization's 
early phases have neither the mt nor the moral fibre to 
meet the sterner demands of high, complex ci\alizations. 
Most poignant of aU is the lot of the " border-hners" — 
those who just fail to achieve a social order, which they 
can comprehend but in which they somehow cannot suc- 
ceed. 

Such are the ranks of the inferior — the vast army of 



THE BURDEN OF CIVILIZATION 23 

the unadaptable and the incapable. Let me again em- 
phasize that "inferior" does not necessarily mean "de- 
generate." The degenerate are, of com^e, included, but 
the word "inferior" is a relative term signifying "be- 
low" or "beneath," in this case meaning persons beneath 
or below the standard of ci\dlization. The word inferior 
has, however, been so often employed as a synonym for 
degenerate that it tends to produce confusion of thought, 
and to avoid this I have coined a term which seems to 
describe collectively all those kinds of persons whom I 
have just discussed. This tenn is The Under-Man — the 
man who measures under the standards of capacity and 
adaptability imposed by the social order in which he 
lives. And this term I shall henceforth employ. 

Now how does the Under-Man look at civilization? 
This civilization offers him few benefits and fewer hopes. 
It usually affords him httle beyond a meagre subsistence. 
And, sooner or later, he instinctively senses that he is 
a failure; that ci\Tlization's prizes are not for him. But 
this ci\'ilization, which withholds benefits, does not hesi- 
tate to impose burdens. We have previously stated that 
ci\alization's hea\dest burdens are borne by the superior. 
Absolutely, this is true; relatively, the Under-Man's 
intrinsically lighter burdens feel heavier because of his 
innate incapacity. The very discipline of the social order 
oppresses the Under-Man; it thwarts and chastises him 
at every turn. To wild natures society is a torment, 
while the congenital caveman, placed in civilization, is 
always in trouble and usually in jail. 

All this seems to be inevitable. But, in addition to 



24 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

these social handicaps, the Under-Man often suffers from 
the action of better-placed individuals, who take advan- 
tage of his weakness and incapacity to exploit him and 
drive him down to social levels even lower than those 
which he would normally occupy. 

Such is the Under-Man's unhappy lot. Now, what is 
his attitude toward that civilization from which he has 
so Httle to hope? What but instinctive opposition and 
discontent? These feelings, of course, vary all the way 
from dull, imreasoning dislike to flaming hatred and re- 
belHon. But, in the last analysis, they are directed not 
merely against imperfections in the social order, hut 
against the social order itself. This is a point which is 
rarely mentioned, and still more rarely understood. Yet 
it is the meat of the whole matter. We must reahze 
clearly that the basic attitude of the Under-Man is an 
instinctive and natural revolt against civilization. The 
reform of abuses may diminish the intensity of social 
discontent. It may also diminish the numbers of the 
discontented, because social abuses precipitate into the 
depths many persons who do not really belong there; 
persons who were innately capable of achieving the social 
order if they had had a fair chance. But, excluding all 
such anomalous cases, there remains a vast residue of 
unadaptable, depreciated humanity, essentially uncivi- 
hzable and incorrigibly hostile to civilization. Every 
society engenders within itself hordes of savages and 
barbarians, ripe for revolt and ever ready to pour forth 
and destroy. 

In normal times these elements of chaos go almost 



THE BURDEN OF CIVILIZATION 25 

unperceived. Civilization automatically evolves strong 
social controls which keep down the antisocial elements. 
For one thing, the civilized man instinctively supports 
his civilization, just as the Under-Man instinctively op- 
poses it; and when civiHzation is threatened, its sup- 
porters instantly rise in its defense. Again, society 
maintains a permanent standing army (composed of 
policemen, soldiers, judges, and others), which is usually 
quite capable of keeping order. The mere presence of 
this standing army deters the antisocial elements from 
mass action. Desperate indi\aduals, of course, break 
forth into crime, but society hunts them down and elimi- 
nates them by prison and the scaffold. 

The Under-Man may thus be controlled. But he re- 
mains; he multiplies; he bides his time. And, now and 
then, his time comes. When a ci\alization falters beneath 
its own weight and by the decay of its human founda- 
tions; when its structure is shaken by the storms of war, 
dissension, or calamity; then the long-repressed forces 
of atavistic revolt gather themselves together for a 
spring. 

And (noteworthy fact !) such revolts usually have able 
leaders. That is what makes them so formidable. This 
revolutionary officers-corps is mainly composed of tliree 
significant t^^^es: the "border-liner," the "disinherited," 
and the "misguided superior." Let us consider them in 
turn. 

We have already noted the "border-liner," the man 
who cannot quite "make good." We have seen how hard 
is his lot and how hotly he turns against that social order 



26 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

which he just fails to achieve. Most of such persons fail 
because of some fatal defect — a taint of character or 
a mental "twist." In other respects they may be very 
superior; and possess brilliant talents which they can use 
against society with powerful effect. 

We have also noted the "disinherited/' the man in- 
nately capable of ci\'ihzed success but cast into the 
depths by social injustice or individual wrong-doing. 
Deprived of their birthright, the disinherited are like- 
wise apt to be bitter foes of society. They enlist gladly 
in the arm}/ of chaos (where they do not really belong), 
and if they possess marked talents they may be very 
dangerous enemies. 

Lastly, there is the "misguided superior." He is a 
strange phenomenon ! Placed by nature in the van of 
civilization, he goes over to its enemies. This seems in- 
explicable. Yet it can be explained. As the Under-Man 
revolts because civihzation is so far ahead of him, so the 
misguided superior revolts because it is so far behuid. 
Exasperated by its slow progress, shocked at its faults, 
and erroneously ascribing to mankind in general his own 
lofty impulses, the misguided superior dreams short cuts 
to the millennium and joins the forces of social revolt, 
not realizing that their ends are profoundly different 
even though their methods may be somewhat the same. 
The misguided superior is probably the most pathetic 
figure in human history. Flattered by designing scoun- 
drels, used to sanctify sinister schemes, and pushed for- 
ward as a figurehead during the early stages of revolu- 
tionary agitation, the triumph of the revolution brings 



THE BURDEN OF CIVILIZATION 27 

him to a tragic end. Horrified at sight of barbarism's 
unmasked face, he tries to stay its destructive course. 
In vain ! The Under-Man turns upon his former cham- 
pion with a snarl and tramples him into the mud. 

The social revolution is now in fuU swing. Such up- 
heavals are profoundly terrible. I have described them 
as "atavistic." And that is just what they are — "throw 
backs" to a far lower social plane. The complex fabric 
of society ; slowly and painfully woven, is torn to tatters; 
the social controls vanish, and civilization is left naked to 
the assaults of anarchy. In truth, disruption goes deeper 
still. Not only is society in the grip of its barbarians, 
but every individual falls more or less under the sway of 
his own lower instincts. For, in this respect, the indi- 
vidual is like society. Each of us has within him an 
"Under-Man," that primitive animality which is the 
heritage of our human, and even our prehuman, past. 
This Under-Man may be buried deep in the recesses of 
our being; but he is there, and psychoanalysis informs 
us of his latent power. This primitive animality, po- 
tentially present even in the noblest natures, continuously 
dominates the lower social strata, especially the pauper, 
criminal, and degenerate elements — civilization's "inner 
barbarians." Now, when society's dregs boil to the top, 
a similar process takes place in individuals, to whatever 
social level they may belong. In virtually every member 
of the community there is a distinct resurgence of the 
brute and the savage, and the atavistic trend thus be- 
comes practically universal. 

This explains most of the seemingly mysterious phe- 



28 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

nomena of revolution. It accounts for the mental con- 
tagion which infects all classes; the wild elation with 
which the revolution is at first hailed; the way in which 
even well-poised men throw themselves into the stream, 
let it carry them whither it Hsts, and commit acts which 
they afterward not only cannot explain but cannot even 
remember. General atavistic resurgence also accounts 
for the ferocious temper displayed, not merely by the 
revolutionists, but by their counter-revolutionary op- 
ponents as well. However much they may differ in their 
principles, "Reds" and "WTiites" display the same sav- 
age spirit and commit similar cruelties. This is because 
society and the individual have been alike rebarbarized. 

In time the revolutionary tempest passes. Civihzed 
men wiU not forever endure the misrule of their own bar- 
barians; they wiU not lastingly tolerate what Burke 
rightly termed the tyranny of a " base oligarchy." Sooner 
or later the Under-Man is again mastered, new social 
controls are forged, and a stable social order is once more 
estabhshed. 

But — what sort of a social order? It may well be one 
inferior to the old. Of course, few revolutions are whoUy 
evil. Their very destructiveness imphes a sweeping away 
of old abuses. Yet at what a cost ! No other process is 
so terribly expensive as revolution. Both the social and 
the human losses are usually appalling, and are frequently 
irreparable. In his brief hour, the Under-Man does his 
work. Hating not merely civilization but also the ci\'i- 
lized, the Under-Man wTeaks his destructive fury on in- 
dividuals as weU as on institutions. And the superior are 



THE BURDEN OF CIVILIZATION 29 

always his special targets. His philosophy of Hfe is ever 
a levelling ''equality/' and he tries to attain it by lopping 
off aU heads which rise conspicuously above his own. 
The result of this "inverse selection" may be such a de- 
crease of superior persons that the stock is permanently 
impoverished and cannot produce the talent and energy 
needed to repair the destruction which the revolutionary 
cataclysm has wrought. In such cases civilization has 
suffered a mortal wound and declines to a permanently 
lower plane. 

This is especially true of high civilizations. The more 
complex the society and the more differentiated the stock, 
the graver the Hability to irreparable disaster. Our own 
civihzation is a striking example. The destruction to- 
day being wrought by social revolution in Russia, great 
as it is, would pale beside the far greater destruction 
which such an upheaval would produce in the more ad- 
vanced societies of western Europe and America. It 
would mean nothing short of ruin, and would almost in- 
falHbly spell permanent decadence. This grim peril to 
our civihzation and our race future we wiU carefully 
examine in subsequent chapters. 

So ends our preUminary sur^^ey. We have sketched 
man's ascent from bestiahty through savagery and bar- 
barism to civihzed life. We have considered the basic 
reasons for his successes and his failures. Let us now 
pass to a more detailed examination of the great factors 
in human progress and decline, with special reference to 
the possibihties and perils of our own civilization. 



CHAPTER II 
THE IRON LAW OF INEQUALITY 

The idea of "Natural Equality" is one of the most per- 
nicious delusions that has ever afflicted mankind. It is 
a figment of the human imagination. Nature knows no 
equality. The most cursory examination of natural 
phenomena reveals the presence of a Law of Inequahty 
as universal and inflexible as the Law of Gravitation. 
The evolution of Hfe is the most striking instance of this 
fundamental truth. Evolution is a process of differentia- 
tion — of increasing differentiation — from the simple one- 
ceUed bit of protoplasm to the infinitely differentiated, 
complex Hfe forms of the present day. 

And the evolutionary^ process is not merely quantita- 
tive; it is quaHtative as wefl. These successive differen- 
tiations imply increasing inequahties. Nobody but a 
madman could seriously contend that the microscopic 
speck of protoplasmic jeUy floating in the tepid waters 
of the Palaeozoic Sea was "equal" to a human being. 

But this is only the beginning of the story. Not only 
are the various life types profoimdly unequal in quah- 
ties and capacities; the indi\'idual members of each t}^e 
are similarly differentiated among themselves. No two 
indi\dduals are ever precisety alike. We have already 
seen how greatly this dual process of differentiation both 
of t}"pe and indi\'idual has affected the human species, 
and how basic a factor it has been in human progress. 

Furthermore, individual inequahties steadily increase 

30 



THE IRON LAW OF INEQUALITY 31 

as we ascend the biological scale. The amoeba differs 
very Httle from his fellows; the dog much more so; man 
most of all. And inequaHties between men likewise be- 
come ever more pronoimced. The innate differences be- 
tween members of a low-grade savage tribe are as nothing 
compared with the abyss simdering the idiot and the 
genius who coexist in a high-grade civiUzation. 

ThuS; we see that evolution means a process of ever- 
growing inequahty. There is, in fact, no such word as 
"equality" in nature's lexicon. With an increasingly 
uneven hand she distributes health, beauty, vigor, in- 
telligence, genius — all the quaHties which confer on their 
possessors superiority over their fellows. 

Now, in the face of all this, how has the delusion of 
"natural equality" obtained — and retained — so stub- 
bom a hold on mankind? As to both its antiquity and 
persistency there can be no shadow of doubt. The slogan 
of "equahty" was raised far back in the remote past, 
and, instead of lessening, was never more loudly trum- 
peted than to-day. It is a curious fact that just when 
the advance of knowledge and the increasing complexity 
of civihzation have enhanced indi\ddual differences and 
rendered superior capacities supremely important, the 
cry for equality should have become fiercer than ever, 
should have been embodied in all sorts of levelling doc- 
trines, and should have been actually attempted in Bol- 
shevik Russia with the most fanatical fury and the most 
appalHng results. 

Here is obviously something requiring careful analysis. 
As a matter of fact, the passion for "natural" equahty 



32 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

seems to spring primarily from certain impulses of the 
ego, the self; particulariy from the impulses of self- 
presentation and self-esteem. Every individual is ine\i- 
tably the centre of his worid, and instinctively tends to 
regard his own existence and well-being as matters of 
supreme importance. This instinctive egoism is, of 
course; modified by experience, observation, and reflec- 
tion, and may be so overlaid that it becomes scarcely 
recognizable even by the indi\adual himseK. Never- 
theless, it remains, and subtly colors every thought and 
attitude. In his heart of hearts, each individual feels 
that he is really a person of importance. No matter how 
low may be his capacities, no matter how egregious his 
failures, no matter how unfavorable the judgment of his 
fellows; still his inborn instincts of seK-preservation and 
self-love whisper that he should survdve and prosper, 
that "things are not right," and that if the world were 
properly ordered he would be much better placed. 

Fear and wounded vanity thus inspire the individual 
to resent imfavorable status, and this resentment tends 
to take the form of protest against "injustice." Injus- 
tice of what? Of "fate," "nature," "circumstances," 
perhaps; yet, more often, injustice of persons — indi\ad- 
ually or collectively (i. e., "society"). But (argues the 
discontented ego), since all this is unjust, those better 
placed persons have no "right" to succeed where he fails. 
Though more fortunate, they are not reaUy his superiors. 
He is "as good as they are." Hence, either he should 
be up with them — or they should be down ^ith him. 
"We are all men. We are aU equal!" 



THE IRON LAW OF INEQUALITY 33 

Such, in a nutshell; is the train of thought — or rather 
of feeling — underl}dng the idea of "natural equality." 
It iS; of course, evident that the idea springs primarily 
from the emotions, however much it may "rationalize" 
itself by intellectual arguments. Being basically emo- 
tional, it is impervious to reason, and when confronted by 
hard facts it takes refuge in mystic faith. AH levelling 
doctrines (including, of course, the various brands of 
modem Socialism) are, in the last analysis, not intellec- 
tual concepts, but religious cults. This is strikingly shown 
by recent events. During the past ten years biology 
and kindred sciences have refuted practically all the in- 
tellectual arguments on which the doctrine of "natural 
equality" relies. But has this destroyed the doctrine? 
Not at aU. Its devoted followers either ignore biology, 
or elaborate pseiwfobiological fallacies (which we wiU 
later examine), or, lastly, lose their tempers, show their 
teeth, and swear to kill their opponents and get their 
own way somehow — which is just what the extreme "pro- 
letarian" ragings mean. Quite useless to point out to 
such zealots the inequalities of nature. Their answer is 
that superior endowment is itself a basic injustice ("in- 
justice" of nature!) which it is society's duty to remedy 
by equahzing rewards regardless of abihty or service. 
This is exemplified by that stock SociaHst formula: Dis- 
tribution according to "needs." 

Such are the emotional bases of the doctrine of natural 
equahty. But, as we have already stated, these emo- 
tional bases have been buttressed by many intellectual 
arguments of great apparent force. Indeed, down to 



34 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

our own days, when the new biological revelation (for it 
is nothing short of that) has taught us the supreme im- 
portance of heredity, mankind tended to believe that 
environment rather than heredity was the main factor 
in human existence. We simply cannot overestimate the 
change which biology is effecting in our whole outlook on 
life. It is unquestionably inaugurating the mightiest 
transformation of ideas that the world has ever seen. 
Let us glance at the state of human knowledge a few 
short decades ago to appreciate its full significance. 

Down to that time the exact nature of the Hfe process 
remained a mystery. This mystery has now been cleared 
up. The researches of Weismann and other modem 
biologists have revealed the fact that all Hving beings 
are due to a continuous stream of germ-plasm which has 
existed ever since Hfe first appeared on earth, and which 
will continue to exist as long as any life remains. This 
germ-plasm consists of minute germ-cells which have 
the power of developing into living beings. All human 
beings spring from the union of a male sperm-cell and a 
female egg-cell. Right here, however, occurs the basic 
feature of the Hfe process. The new individual consists, 
from the start, of two sorts of plasm. Almost the whole 
of him is hody-iplsism — the ever-multiplying cells which 
differentiate into the organs of the body. But he also 
contains grerm-plasm. At his very conception a tiny bit 
of the life stuff from which he springs is set aside, is care- 
fully isolated from the body-plasm, and follows a course 
of development entirely its own. In fact, the germ-plasm 
is not really part of the individual; he is merely its 



THE IRON LAW OF INEQUALITY 35 

hearer, destined to pass it on to other bearers of the life 
chain. 

Now all this was not only unknown but even unsus- 
pected down to a very short time ago. Its discovery was 
in fact dependent upon modern scientific methods. Cer- 
tainly, it was not likely to suggest itself to even the most 
philosophic mind. Thus, down to about a generation 
ago, the life stuff was supposed to be a product of the 
body, not differing essentially in character from other 
body products. This assmnption had two important 
consequences. In the firet place, it tended to obscure 
the very concept of heredity, and led men to think of 
environment as virtually all-important; in the second 
place, even where the importance of heredity was dimly 
perceived, the role of the individual was misunderstood, 
and he was conceived as a creator rather than a mere 
transmitter. This was the reason for the false theory of 
the "inheritance of acquired characteristics," formulated 
by Lamarck and upheld by most scientists until almost 
the end of the nineteenth century. Of course, Lamarck- 
ism was merely a modification of the traditional "en- 
vironmentalist" attitude: it admitted that heredity 
possessed some importance, but it maintained emdron- 
ment as the basic factor. 

Now a moment's reflection must suggest the tre- 
mendous practical differences between the theories of 
environment and heredity. This is no mere academic 
matter; it involves a radically different outlook on every 
phase of life, from religion and government to personal 
conduct. Let us examine the facts of the case. 



36 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

DowTi to our own days mankind had generally believed 
that environment was the chief factor in existence. This 
was only natural. The true character of the hfe process 
was so closely veiled that it could not well be discovered 
except by the methods of modern science; the workings 
of heredity were obscure and easily confounded with 
environmental influences. The workings of environ- 
ment, on the other hand, were clear as day and forced 
themselves on the attention of the dullest observer. To 
the pressing problems of environment, therefore, man 
devoted himself, seeking in the control of his surround- 
ings both the betterment of the race and the curing of its 
ills. Only occasionally did a few reflective minds catch 
a glimpse of the hereditary factor in the problem of hfe. 
That marvellous breed of men, the ancient Greeks, had 
such glimpses of the higher truth. With their charac- 
teristic insight they discerned clearly the principle of 
heredity, gave considerable thought to it, and actually 
evolved a theory of race-betterment b)^ the weeding out 
of inferior strains and the multiplication of superiors — 
in other words, the "Eugenics" theor}'' of to-day. 

For example, as early as the sixth century B. C. the 
Greek poet Theognis of Megara wrote: "We look for 
rams and asses and stallions of good stock, and one be- 
lieves that good will come from good; yet a good man 
minds not to wed the evil daughter of an evil sire. . . . 
Marvel not that the stock of our folk is tarnished, for 
the good is mingling with the base." A century later 
Plato was much interested in biological selection as the 
best method for race improvement. He suggested that 



THE IRON LAW OF INEQUALITY 37 

the state should mate the best with the best and the 
worst with the worst; the former should be encouraged 
to breed freely, while the offspring of the unfit should be 
destroyed. Aristotle likewise held that the state should 
strongly encourage the increase of superior types. 

Of course, these were but the visions of a few seers, 
which had no practical results. The same is true of those 
other rare thinkers who, like Shakespear with his famous 
Hues about "nature" and "nurture," evidently grasped 
the hereditarian idea. The mass of mankind continued 
to hold that environment was the great matter for con- 
sideration. 

Now a beHef in the transcendent importance of en- 
vironment leads inevitably to certain conclusions of great 
practical importance. In the first place, if it be true that 
man is moulded primarily by his environment, it logically 
follows that he has merely to gain control over his en- 
vironment in order to change himself almost at will. 
Therefore, according to the environmentalist, progress 
depends, not on human nature, but on conditions and 
institutions. Again, if man is the product of his environ- 
ment, human differences are merely effects of environ- 
mental differences, and can be rapidly modified by en- 
vironmental changes. Lastly, before the supreme im- 
portance of environment, all human differences whether 
individual or racial sink into insignificance, and aU men 
are potentially "equal." 

Such are the logical deductions from the environmen- 
tahst theory. And this theory was certainly attractive. 
It not only appealed to those wounded feehngs of self- 



38 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

preservation and seK-esteem among the iU-endowed and 
the unfortunate which we have previously examined, but 
it appealed also to many of the most superior minds of 
the race. What could be more attractive than the 
thought that humanit^^'s ills were due, not to inborn 
shortcomings but to faulty surroundings, and that the 
most backward and degraded human beings might pos- 
sibly be raised to the highest levels if only the environ- 
ment were sufficiently improved? This appeal to al- 
truism was powerfully strengthened by the Christian 
doctrine of the equality of all souls before God. WTiat 
wonder, then, that philosophers and scientists combined 
to elaborate theories about mankind of a wholly environ- 
mentahst character? 

All the great thinkers of the eighteenth century (who 
still influence our ideas and institutions to a far greater 
degree than we may imagine) were convinced believers 
in "natural equality." Locke and Hume, for example, 
taught that at birth "the human mind is a blank sheet, 
and the brain a structureless mass, lacking inherent or- 
ganization or tendencies to develop in this way or that; 
a mere mass of undefined potentiahties which, through 
experience, association, and habit, through education, 
in short, could be moulded and developed to an unlimited 
extent and in any manner or direction." ^ The doctrine 
of natural equahty was brilHantly formulated by Rous- 
seau, and was explicitly stated both in the American 
Declaration of Independence and in the French Declara- 
tion of the Rights of Man. The doctrine, in its most 

^ W. McDougall, 7s America Safe for Democracy ? (Lowell Institute 
Lectures), p. 21 (New York, 1921). 



THE IRON LAW OF INEQUALITY 39 

uncompromising form, held its ground until well past 
the middle of the nineteenth century. At that period 
so notable a thinker as John Stuart Mill could declare 
roundly: "Of all vulgar modes of escaping from the con- 
sideration of the effect of social and moral influences on 
the human mind, the most vulgar is that of attributing 
the diversities of conduct and character to inherent nat- 
ural differences." 

Mills's utterance may be considered an expression of 
pure environmentaUsm. At the moment when he spoke, 
however, the doctrine had already been considerably 
modified. In fact, by the beginning of the nineteenth 
century, the progress of science had begun to lift the 
veil which obscured the mystery of heredity, and scien- 
tists were commencing to give close attention to such 
matters. At first the phenomena of inheritance were not 
beUeved to affect the basic importance of environment. 
This idea was clearly stated early in the nineteenth cen- 
tury by the French naturalist Lamarck. Lamarck as- 
serted that the forms and functions of living beings arose 
and developed through use, and that such changes were 
directly transmitted from generation to generation. In 
other words, Lamarck formulated the theory of the "in- 
heritance of acquired characteristics" which was destined 
to dominate biological tliinking down to a generation 
ago. This theory, which is usually termed "Lamarck- 
ism," was merely a modification of the old en\'ironmen- 
talist philosophy. It admitted the factor of heredity, 
but it considered heredity dependent upon environmental 
influences. 

It is difl5cult to overestimate the tremendous practical 



40 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

consequences of Lamarckism, not merely upon the nine- 
teenth century but also upon our own times. The primal 
importance of heredity may to-day be accepted by most 
scientists and by an increasing number of forward-looking 
persons everywhere, but it has as yet neither deeply pene- 
trated the popular consciousness nor sensibly modified 
our institutions. The march of new ideas is slow at best, 
and however much we may be changing our thinking, we 
are stiU Hving and acting under the environmentalist 
theories of the past. Our political, educational, and so- 
cial systems remain alike rooted in Lamarckism and 
proceed on the basic premise that environment rather 
than heredity is the chief factor in human existence. 

The emotional grip of Lamarckism is very strong. It 
is an optimistic creed, appealing to both hopes and sym- 
pathies. To Lamarckism was due in large measure the 
cheery self-confidence of the nineteenth century, with its 
assurance of automatic and illimitable progress. Indeed, 
in some respects, Lamarckism increased rather than 
diminished the traditional faith in environment. Before 
Lamarck, men had beheved that the new-bom individual 
was a blank sheet on which society could write. Now 
came Lamarck, asserting that much of this writing could 
be passed on by inheritance to succeeding generations 
with cumulative effect. Considering the powerful agen- 
cies which society had at its disposal — government, the 
church, the home, the school, philanthropy, etc., it was 
eas3^ to believe that a wiser and intenser apphcation of 
these social agencies offered a sure and speedy road to 
the millennium. 



THE IRON LAW OF INEQUALITY 41 

Accordingly, "the comfortable and optimistic doctrine 
was preached that we had only to improve one generation 
by more healthy surroundings, or by better education, 
and, by the mere action of heredity, the next generation 
would begin on a higher level of natural endowments 
than its predecessor. And so, from generation to gen- 
eration, on this theory, we could hope continually to 
raise the inborn character of a race in an unlimited prog- 
ress of cumulative improvement." ^ 

On this common environmentalist basis all the political 
and social philosophies of the nineteenth century arose. 
They might differ widely and wrangle bitterly over which 
environmental factor was of prime importance. Pohtical 
thinkers asserted that progress depended on constitu- 
tions; "naturalists" like Buckle claimed that peoples 
were moulded by their physical en\dronments hke so 
much soft clay; while SociaUsts proclaimed that man's 
regeneration lay in a new system of economics. Never- 
theless, they were all united by a common beHef in the 
supreme importance of environment, and they all either 
ignored heredity or deemed it a minor factor. 

We need to stress this point, because we must remem- 
ber that it is precisely these doctrines which stiU sway 
the thought and action of most persons — even the edu- 
cated. "WTiether they know it or not, most people who 
have not made a particular study of the question stiU 
tacitly assume that the acquirements of one generation 
form part of the inborn heritage of the next, and the pres- 

^ W. C. D. and C. D. Whetham, Heredity and Society, p. 4 (London, 
1912). 



42 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

ent social and educational systems are founded in large 
part on this false foundation." ^ 

Let us now consider the rise of the new biology, which 
has already exerted so powerful an influence upon our 
philosophy of life and which promises to affect profoundly 
the destinies of mankind. Modern biology can be said 
to date from the pubhcation of Darwin's work on The 
Origin of Species hy Means of Natural Selection, in the 
year 1859. This epoch-making book was fiercely chal- 
lenged and was not generall}^ accepted even by the scien- 
tific world until the last quarter of the nineteenth century. 
Its acceptance, however, marked nothing short of a revo- 
lution in the realm of ideas. Darwin established the 
principle of evolution and showed that evolution pro- 
ceeded by heredity. A second great step was soon taken 
by Francis Galton, the founder of the science of "Eu- 
genics" or "Race Betterment." Darwin had centred his 
attention upon animals. Galton apphed Darwin's teach- 
ing to man, and went on to break new ground by point- 
ing out not merely the inborn differences between men, 
but the fact that these differences could be controlled; 
that the human stock could be surely and lastingly im- 
proved by increasing the number of indi\dduals endowed 
with superior qualities and decreasing the number of in- 
feriors. In other words, Galton grasped fully the mo- 
mentous impHcations of heredity (which Darwin had not 
done), and announced clearly that heredity rather than 
environment was the basic factor in life and the prime 
lever of hmnan progress. 

^ Popenoe and Johnson, Applied Eugenics, p. 33 (New York, 1920). 



THE IRON LAW OF INEQUALITY 43 

Like most intellectual pioneers, Galton had to wait 
long for adequate recognition. Although his first eugenic 
writings appeared as early as 1865, they did not attract 
a tithe of the attention excited by Darwin's work, and 
it was not until the ver^^ close of the nineteenth century 
that his theory gained wide acceptance even in scientific 
circles, while the educated pubhc did not become really 
aware of it until the opening years of the present century. 
Once fairly started, however, the idea made rapid prog- 
ress. In every part of the ci\dlized world scientists took 
up the work, and soon a series of remarkable discoveries 
by biologists like Weismann, DeVries, and others put the 
new science on a sure and authoritative foundation.^ 

We have already indicated how momentous has been 
the change in outlook wrought by the new biological 
revelation, not merely in the field of abstract science, but 
also in every phase of practical human existence. The 
discovery of the true nature of the life process, the cer- 
tainty that the vast inequalities among men are due 
primarily to heredity rather than environment, and the 
discover}^ of a scientific method of race improvement, 
are matters of transcendent importance. Let us examine 
some of their practical aspects. 

One of the most striking features of the life process is 

^ The mass of modem biological literature is very great, and in a gen- 
eral work like mine elaborate reference footnotes would be out of place. 
I will, therefore, merely refer the reader to two excellent manuals on this 
field, with special reference to its eugenics side: Popenoe and Johnson, Ap- 
plied Eugenics (New York, 1920), and S. J. Holmes, The Trend of the 
Race (New York, 1921). The latter work contains good and fairly full 
bibUographies at the end of each chapter. From these two manuals the 
reader who desires to go deeper into the field can find the necessary clews. 



44 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

the tremendous power of heredity. The marveUous po- 
tency of the germ-plasm is increasingly revealed by each 
fresh biological discovery. Carefully isolated and pro- 
tected against external influences, the germ-plasm per- 
sistently follows its predetermined course, and even 
when actually interfered with it tends to overcome the 
difficulty and resume its normal evolution. 

This persistency of the germ-plasm is seen at every 
stage of its development, from the isolated germ-cell to 
the mature individual. Consider it first at its earliest 
stage. Ten years ago biologists generally beheved that 
the germ-plasm was permanently injured — and perma- 
nently modified — by certain chemical substances and 
disease toxins Hke lead, alcohol, syphilis, etc. These 
noxious influences were termed "racial poisons," and 
were beheved to be prime causes of racial degeneracy. 
In other words, here was a field where biologists used to 
admit that environment directly^ modified heredity in 
profound and lasting fashion. To-day the weight of evi- 
dence is clearly the other way. "WTiile it is still generally 
admitted that injury to the germ-plasm does occur, most 
biologists now think that such injury is a temporary " in- 
duction/' that is, a change in the germ-cells which does 
not permanently alter the nature of the inherited traits 
and which will disappear in a few generations if the in- 
jury be not repeated. 

* The distinction between direct and indirect effects should be kept 
clearly in mind. Of course, it is perfectly evident that environment does 
indirectly affect all forms of hfe — notably by favoring certain types and 
handicapping others, and so resulting in the increase of the former and 
the decrease of the latter. 



THE IRON LAW OF INEQUALITY 45 

To quote from an authoritative source: "We are thus 
in a position to state that, from the eugenist's point of 
view, the origination of degeneracy, by some direct action 
on the germ-plasm, is a contingency that hardly needs 
to be reckoned with. . . . The germ-plasm is so care- 
fully isolated and guarded that it is almost impossible 
to injure it, except by treatment so severe as to kill it 
altogether; and the degeneracy with which the eugenists 
are called on to deal is a degeneracy which is running 
along from generation to generation and which, when 
once stopped by the cessation of reproduction, is in little 
danger of being originated anew through some racial 
poison." ^ 

Consider now the life process at its next stage — the 
stage between conception and birth. It used to be 
thought that the germ-plasm of the growing embrj^o 
could be injured and permanently altered, not merely 
by the "racial poisons" above mentioned but also by 
certain "prenatal" influences, such as the mother's 
undernourishment, chronic exhaustion, fright, worry^, or 
shock. To-day such ideas are utterly discredited. There 
is not a shred of evidence that the mother's circumstances 
or feelings can affect in any wa}' the germ-plasm of her 
unborn child. Of course, the mother's condition may 
profoundly affect the embryo's hody-plasm, so that the 
child may be bom stunted or diseased. But the child 
will not pass on those handicaps by heredity to its off- 
spring. Conversely, it is equally certain that nothing 
the mother can do to improve her unborn child will better 

^ Popenoe and Johnson, op. cit., pp. 63-64. 



46 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

its germ-plasm. She may give her child a sounder body, 
but its heredity was fixed irrevocably the instant it was 
conceived. Here, then, is another field where the theory 
of direct action of environment on heredity has been 
definitely disproved. 

Let us pass to the next stage. Birth has taken place. 
The individual is out in the world and is exposed to en- 
vironmental influences vastly greater than those which 
acted upon him during his embr}^onic stage. But these 
environmental influences fall upon his body-plasm; his 
gferm-plasm is as carefully isolated and protected as was 
his parents', so that the same laws which we have already 
discussed will apply to him as well as to them. 

Furthermore, the effect of the enwonment even upon 
the body-plasm ^dll depend largely upon what sort of 
a creature the particular individual may be. Biology 
has recently discovered that the effect of environment 
decreases as we ascend the fife scale; in other words, 
the simpler types are most affected, while man, the high- 
est biological t}"pe, seems to be affected least of all. This 
is a point of great importance. Certain en\dronmentalist 
writers have maintained that, even though the germ- 
plasm were unaltered, man is so moulded by his environ- 
ment that with each generation the hereditary tendencies 
are overcome by circumstances and are thus rendered 
practically of secondary importance. Such writers base 
their arguments largely upon scientific experiments made 
upon primitive forms of animal fife, where striking bodily 
changes have been brought about. As appHed to man, 
however, these arguments are misleading, because the 



THE IRON LAW OF INEQUALITY 47 

same influences which profoundly affect lower forms have 
relatively little effect upon the higher animals and still 
less upon man himself. Man is, therefore, least affected 
by, and most independent of, environmental influences. 

This matter has been ably summed up by the American 
biologist Woods, who has formulated it as "The Law of 
Diminishing Environmental Influences." ^ Woods shows 
not only that environmental influence diminishes accord- 
ing to the individual's rank in the biological scale, but 
also that, even within the body of the particular indi- 
vidual, environmental influence diminishes with the evo- 
lutionary rank of the tissue affected and in proportion to 
its age. This is important in connection with possible 
environmental influence upon the human brain. Says 
Woods: "It must be remembered that the brain-cells, 
even of a child, are, of all tissues, farthest removed from 
any of these primordial states. The cells of the brain 
ceased subdivision long before birth. Therefore, a priori, 
we must expect relatively httle modification of brain 
function." Finally, Woods shows that environmental 
influence diminishes with the organism's power of choice. 
Tills is, of course, of the utmost importance regarding 
man. For, as Woods says : " This may be the chief reason 
why human beings, who of aU creatures have the greatest 
power to choose the surroundings congenial to their spe- 
cial needs and natures, are so Httle affected by outward 
conditions. The occasional able, ambitious, and deter- 
mined member of an obscure or degenerate family can 

^Frederick Adams Woods, "Laws of Diminishing Environmental In- 
fluences," Popular Science Monthly, April, 1910. 



48 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

get free from his uncongenial associates. So can the weak 
or lazy or vicious (even if a black sheep from the finest 
fold) easily find his natural haunts." 

From all this Woods concludes: "Experimentally and 
statistically, there is not a grain of proof that ordinary 
en\dronment can alter the sahent mental and moral traits 
in any measurable degree from what they were prede- 
termined to be through iimate influences." 

We thus see that man is moulded more by heredity 
and less by environment than any other hving creature, 
and that the vast differences observable between human 
beings are mainly predetermined at the instant of con- 
ception, with relatively httle regard to what happens 
afterward. 

Let us now observe some of the actual workings of 
heredity in man, both in the good and bad sense. In 
the present chapter we will devote our attention mainly 
to the superior types, leaving our consideration of the 
inferior for the next chapter. 

Now what do we know about superior individuals? 
We know that they exist and that they are due to he- 
redity. That is a good beginning, but it would not get 
us very far imless we knew more along the same fines. 
Fortunately, we not onlj" know that superiors tend to 
produce superior offspring, but that they produce such 
offspring according to natural laws which can be deter- 
mined statisticaUy with a high degree of accuracy. (And, 
of course, the same is true of the production of inferiors.) 

The production of superior persons has been studied 
by modern biologists from Galton down to the present 



THE IRON LAW OF INEQUALITY 49 

da}'; and a mass of authoritative data has been accumu- 
lated. Let us examine a few of these instructive investi- 
gations. To cite the earhest of them, Galton's study 
on "Hereditar}' Genius" (1869), Galton discovered that 
in Enghsh histor}^ success in Hfe was a strikingly "family 
affair." From careful statistical investigation of a great 
number of notable EngHshmen Galton found that a dis- 
tinguished father was infinitely more likely to have a 
distinguished son than was an undistinguished father. 
To cite one case out of many, Galton found that the son 
of a distinguished judge had about one chance in four 
of becoming himself distinguished, while the son of a 
man picked out at random from the general population 
had only about one chance in 4,000 of becoming similarly 
distinguished. 

Of course, the objection at once suggested itself that 
environmental influences like social opportunity might 
be predominant; that the son of a distinguished man is 
pushed forward regardless of his innate abilities, while 
the son of an obscure man never gets a chance. To test 
this, Galton turned to the history of the Papacy. For 
centuries it was the custom for a Pope to adopt one of 
his nephews as a son, and advance him in ever}'- way. 
Now if opportunity is all that is necessar}' to advance a 
man, these adopted sons ought to have reached eminence 
in the same proportion as the real sons of eminent men. 
As a matter of fact, however, they reached eminence 
only as often as the statistical expectation for nephews 
of great men — whose chance of eminence has been dis- 
covered to be much less than that of the sons of great 



50 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

men. Nevertheless, despite different ratios of heritabU- 
ity, superiority still remains a family affair; Galton found 
that nearly half of the great men of England had dis- 
tinguished close relatives. 

Galton's studies of Enghsh greatness have been criti- 
cised as appl}ing to a country where caste hnes are sharply 
drawn. To test these objections the American biologist 
Woods transferred the inquiry to the United States — a 
land where opportunities have been much more equal 
and rigid caste lines virtually absent. How was it with 
the great men of America? If they were found to have 
fewer distinguished relatives than the great men of Eng- 
land, it would be a great feather in the environmentahsts' 
cap, since it would tend to show that, given equal oppor- 
tunity, success does not depend on family stock. On the 
other hand, if what was true of England should hold 
good also of America, the theory of hereditary superiority 
would be much more firmly estabhshed. 

The result of Woods's study^ was a striking confirma- 
tion of Galton's researches. Woods took two groups of 
distinguished Americans : a large group of 3,500 fisted as 
eminent in the standard dictionaries of biography; and 
a smaU group of the 46 very eminent Americans admitted 
to the "Hall of Fame." Now how were these eminent 
persons related to each other? If superiority did not 
"run in famifies," it is evident that their chances of re- 
lationship would be no greater than that of the rest of 
the population — which ratio Vv^oods found to be statis- 

^ Frederick Adams Woods, "Heredity and the Hall of Fame," Popular 
Science Monthly, May, 1913. 



THE IRON LAW OF INEQUALITY 51 

tically 1 in 500. However, as a matter of fact, the 3,500 
eminent Americans were found to be related to each 
other, not as 1 to 500 but as 1 to 5. Furthermore, by 
picking out the more eminent among the 3,500 and form- 
ing a new group, this group was found to be related to 
each other as 1 to 3. Most striking of all were the re- 
sults obtained by considering the very superior group 
listed in the Hall of Fame. Here the ratio of relationship 
rose to 1 in 2, while if all their eminent relations were 
counted in, they averaged more than one apiece. Thus, 
distinguished Americans are discovered to be from 500 to 
1,000 times as much related to other distinguished per- 
sons as is the ordinar}^ American. Or, to put it in an- 
other way, something Hke 1 per cent of the population 
of the United States is as Hkely to produce a genius as 
is all the rest of the country put together — the other 
99 per cent. 

It might, to be sure, be objected that even in America 
the early en\dronment of eminent men might be on the 
average more favorable than that of the mass of the pop- 
ulation. This objection is met by another of Woods's 
investigations — a yery able and elaborate study of the 
royal families of Europe.^ Here is a class of persons where 
no one can doubt that the environment is uniformly 
favorable. If opportunity rather than inherited capacity 
be the cause of success, then most of the members of this 

^ Frederick Adams Woods, Mental and Moral Heredity in Royalty, New 
York, 1906. See also his book, The Influence oj Monarchs, New York, 
1913, and his article, "Sovereigns and the Supposed Influence of Oppor- 
tunity," Science, 19 June, 1914, where Doctor Woods answers some criti- 
cisms of his work. 



52 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

class ought to have succeeded, and succeeded in about 
the same degree, because to every one of royal blood 
the door of opportunity stands open. Yet the result of 
Woods's study was just the reverse of this. Despite the 
good environment almost uniformly present, superiority 
in royalty, as in other classes, is found to be a distinctly 
"family matter." Royal geniuses are not scattered hap- 
hazard over the genealogical chart; they are concentrated 
in isolated chains of closely related individuals. One 
chain centres in Frederick the Great, another in Queen 
Isabella of Spain, a third in WilHam the Silent, and a 
fourth in Gusta\iis Adolphus. And, be it also noted, 
inferiority in royalty is equally segregated, royal dullards 
and degenerates also running by famihes. 

But how about superior individuals who rise from ap- 
parently mediocre stocks? EnvironmentaHst writers are 
forever compiling hsts of great men who "came from 
nothing." These cases have, however, been carefully 
investigated, and the more they are studied the more 
convincing grows the evidence that greatness never arises 
out of "nothing." Take Abraham Lincoln. He was 
long a shining example for the en\dronmentalist thesis. 
Lincoln is popularly supposed to have come from "poor 
white trash" of a ver}' inferior order. But careful in- 
vestigation proves that this is emphatically not so. As 
one of the investigators remarks: "So far from his later 
career being unaccounted for in his origin and early his- 
tor}^, it is as fully accounted for as is the case of any 
man." ^ And a recent authority goes on to state: "The 

1 Ida M. Tarbell, The Early Life of Abraham Lincoln, New York, 1896. 



THE IRON LAW OF INEQUALITY 53 

Lincoln family was one of the best in America, and while 
Abraham's own father w^as an eccentric person, he was 
yet a man of considerable force of character, by no means 
the 'poor white trash,' which he is often represented to 
have been. The Hanks family, to which the Emanci- 
pator's mother belonged, had also maintained a high 
level of abihty in ever}^ generation.^ Furthermore, 
Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks, the parents of Abra- 
ham Lincoln, were first cousins." ^ 

Of course, there are a considerable number of distin- 
guished individuals whose greatness genealogy cannot 
as yet explain. But in most cases this is because very 
little is discoverable about their ancestors. Furthermore, 
as Holmes justly remarks: "It should be borne in mind 
that greatness involves a peculiar complex of quahties 
the lack of any one of which may prevent an individual 
from achie\ing an eminent position. A great man has 
to do more than simply exist ; he must accomphsh labors 
of a particularly noteworthy kind before he is crowned 
with fame, and many a man of splendid natural endow- 
ments has fallen short of achieving greatness through 
some inherent weakness of character or the lack of suf- 
ficient inspiration or driving force. Great men not only 
have to be born great; they also have to achieve great- 
ness, and if they receive their proper recognition in the 
eyes of the world, greatness has to be thrust upon them 
besides. Great men, it is true, seem to rise higher than 



^ For a study of Lincoln's maternal line, see C. H. Hitchcock, Nancy 
Hanks, New York, 1899. 

* Popenoe and Johnson, op. cit., p. 333. 



54 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

their source. Generally they come from an ancestiy 
considerably above mediocrity. And I venture to ex- 
press the opinion that a great man has never been pro- 
duced from parents of subnormal mentaHty. A great 
man is more apt to arise if both parents are of very su- 
perior abihty than if only one parent is above mediocrity. 
Where the great man appears to stand far above the level 
of his immediate ancestors it is due in large part, I believe, 
to the fact that each parent supphed pecuhar quahties 
lacking in the other, assisted also by quahties from more 
remote ancestors which may have conspired to furnish 
the necessary complement of hereditary factors. . . . 
One thing is certain, and that is that you cannot make 
greatness out of mediocrity or good abihty out of inborn 
dulness by all the aids which environment and education 
or anything else can possibly offer." ^ 

Indeed, even if we admit that great men may occa- 
sionally arise from stocks which had never shown any 
signs of superiority, this ought to strengthen rather than 
weaken our behef in the force of heredity. As Woods 
well says, when it is considered how rarely such an an- 
cestry produces a great man, it must be evident that his 
greatness is due to an accidental conjunction of favorable 
traits converging through his parents and meeting in 
himself. 

Finally, how except by heredity can we explain the 
enormous differences in achievement between great num- 
bers of persons exposed to the same environment and 
enjoying similar opportunities? "In terms of environ- 

1 S. J. Holmes, The Trend of the Race, pp. 115-116 (New York, 1921). 



THE IRON LAW OF INEQUALITY 55 

ment, the opportunity to become a great physicist was 
open to every one of the thousands of university students 
who were the contemporaries of Lord Kelvin; the op- 
portunity to become a great musician has been open to 
all the pupils in all the conser\^atories of music which 
have flourished since Johann Sebastian Bach was a choir- 
boy at Liineburg; the opportunity to become a multi- 
millionaire has been open to every clerk who has wielded 
a pen since John D. Rockefeller was a bookkeeper in a 
Cleveland store; the opportunity to become a great mer- 
chant has been open to every boy who has attended an 
American pubhc school since the time when John Wana- 
maker, at fourteen years of age, was an errand boy in a 
Philadelphia book store." ^ 

Such are the investigations of biology concerning hu- 
man inequahties. They are certainly striking, and they 
all point to the same conclusions, namely: that such 
inequalities are inborn; that they are predetermined by 
heredity; and that they are not inherently modified by 
either environment or opportunity. 

But this is only half the story. Within the past twenty 
years the problem of human inequality has been ap- 
proached along a wholly new line, by a different branch 
of science — ps^^hology. And the findings of these psy- 
chological investigations have not only tallied with those 
of biology in further revealing the inherited nature of 
human capacities, but have also proved it in even more 
striking fashion and with far greater possibilities of prac- 
tical application. 

* Alleyne Ireland, Democracy and the Human Equation, p. 153 (New 
York, 1921). 



56 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

The novelty of the psychological approach to the prob- 
lem is evident when we realize that, whereas biology has 
been investigating mainly the individual's ancestry or 
actions, psychology examines the mind itself. The best- 
known instrmnents of psychological investigation are 
the so-called "Intelligence Tests/' first invented by the 
French psychologist Binet in the year 1905. From Binet's 
relatively modest beginning the mental tests have in- 
creased enormously in both complexity and scope, cul- 
minating in those gigantic investigations conducted by 
the American army authorities during the late war, when 
more than 1,700,000 men were mentally tested in a va- 
riety of ways.^ Furthermore, despite the notable progress 
which it has already made, the psychological method ap- 
pears to be still in its infancy, and seems likely to yield 
far more extraordinary results in the near future. 

Yet the results already attained are of profound signif- 
icance. It has been conclusively proved that intelhgence 
is predetermined by heredity; that individuals come into 
the world differing vastly in mental capacities; that such 
differences remain virtually constant throughout life and 
cannot be lessened by environment or education; that the 
present mental level of any individual can be definitely 
ascertained, and even a child's future adult mental level 

1 The data gathered by the United States army intelligence tests have 
been published in detail in: Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences, 
vol. XV, edited by Major R. M. Yerkes. A useful abridgment, contain- 
ing many of the chief conclusions, etc., is the smaller volume by Majors 
Yerkes and Yoakum : Army Mental Tests, New York, 1920. See also val- 
uable discussions of this matter in: Publications of the American Sociolog- 
ical Society, vol. XV, pp. 102-124. For further discussions, see books by 
Conklin, Ireland, and McDougall, already cited. 



THE IRON LAW OF INEQUALITY 57 

confidently predicted. These are surely discoveries whose 
practical importance can hardly be overestimated. They 
enable us to grade not merely individuals but whole na- 
tions and races according to their inborn capacities, to 
take stock of our mental assets and liabilities; and to get 
a definite idea as to whether humanity is headed toward 
greater achievement or toward decline. 

Let us now see precisely what the intelligence tests 
have revealed. In the first place, we must remember the 
true meaning of the word "intelligence." " Intelhgence " 
must not be confused with "knowledge." Knowledge is 
the result of inteUigence, to which it stands in the rela- 
tion of effect to cause. InteUigence is the capacity of 
the mind; knowledge is the raw material which is put 
into the mind. AMiether the knowledge is assimilated or 
lost; or just what use is made of it; depends primarily 
upon the degree of inteUigence. This intellectual capacity 
as revealed by mental testing is termed by psychologists 
the "I. Q." or "inteUigence quotient." 

Psychology has invented a series of mental yardsticks 
for the measurement of human intelUgence; beginning 
with the mind of the child. For example; the mental 
capacity of a chUd at a certain age can be ascertained by 
comparing it (as revealed by mental tests) with the in- 
telligence which careful examination of a vast number 
of cases has shown to be the statistical average for chU- 
dren of that age. This is possible because it has been 
found that mental capacity increases regularly as a child 
grows older. This increase is rapid during the first years 
of life, then slows do^n mitU, about the age of sixteen. 



58 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

there is usually no further growth of mental capacity — 
albeit exceptionally superior intellects continue to grow 
in capacity for several years thereafter. 

A large number of careful investigations made among 
school children have revealed hteraUy amazing dis- 
crepancies between their chronological and their mental 
ages. In classes of first-grade grammar-school children, 
where the chronological age is about six years, some pupils 
are found with mental ages as low as three while other 
pupils are found with mental ages as high as nine or ten. 
Similarly, in first-year high-school classes, where the 
chronological age is about fomteen years, the mental 
age of some pupils may rank as low as ten or eleven, while 
the mental age of others may rise as high as nineteen or 
twenty. 

And, be it remembered, the "I. Q." of any individual 
child, once discovered, can be counted on as a constant 
factor, which does not change with the lapse of time. 
For example: Take two children rated by their birth 
certificates as being both four years old, but with mental 
ages of three and five respectively. When they are chron- 
ologically eight years old, the mental age of the duUer 
child will be about six, while the mental age of the 
brighter child will be about ten. And when they are 
chronologically twelve years old, their respective mental 
ages win be approximately nine and fifteen. Assuming 
that growth of mental capacity stops in both children at 
the chronological age of sixteen, the ratio of their mental 
ages as then attained wiU remain constant between them 
all the rest of their fives. That is why the mental ages 



THE IRON LAW OF INEQUALITY 59 

of persons over sixteen, once ascertained, can be regarded 
as fixed quantities. The only exceptions are those com- 
paratively rare individuals of very superior mentality 
whose intelligence continues to grow a few years longer, 
and who are consequently very far in advance of their 
fellows. Two methods of mental grading are employed: 
children are graded according to "years"; adults are 
graded according to qualitative ratings ranging from 
"very superior," through "average," to "very inferior." 

Space forbids any detailed discussion of the actual 
make-up of mental tests. Their number is legion and 
their specialization is minute. Yet they all yield the 
same general results. "No matter what trait of the 
indi\ddual be chosen, results are analogous. If one takes 
the simplest traits, to eliminate the most chances for 
confusion, one finds the same conditions every time. 
Whether it be speed in marking off aU the A's in a printed 
sheet of capitals, or in putting together the pieces of a 
puzzle, or in giving a reaction to some certain stimulus, 
or in making associations between ideas, or drawing fig- 
ures, or memory for various things, or gi™g the oppo- 
sites of words, or discrimination of Hfted weights, or suc- 
cess in any one of hundreds of other mental tests, the 
conclusion is the same. There are wide differences in 
the abihties of indi\dduals, no two being alike, either 
mentally or physically, at birth or any time thereafter." ^ 

We thus see that human beings are spaced on widely 
different mental levels; that they have a variety of men- 
tal statures, just as they have a variety of physical 

1 Popenoe and Johnson, pp. 77-78. 



60 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

statures, and that both are basically due to inheritance. 
Furthermore, it is extremely significant to observe how 
closely intelligence is correlated with industrial or pro- 
fessional occupation, social and economic status, and 
racial origin. Nowhere does the power of heredity show 
forth more clearly than in the way innate superiority 
tends to be related to actual achievement. Despite the 
fact that our social system contains many defects which 
handicap superior individuals and foster inferiors; de- 
spite the fact that our ideas, laws, and institutions are 
largely based on the fallacies of environmentalism and 
"natural equality"; nevertheless, the imperious urge of 
superior germ-plasm beats against these man-made bar- 
riers and tends to raise the superior individuals who bear 
it — albeit only too often at the cost of their racial ste- 
rility through their failure to leave children. 

Another noteworthy point is the way psychology has 
confirmed biological and sociological theories. Both 
biologists and sociologists have long been coming more 
and more to regard social and racial status as valid in- 
dications of innate quality. Now comes psychology, 
approaching the problem from a new angle and with 
different methods, and its findings coincide closely with 
those which the other sciences have already made. How 
close is this coincidence a few examples will show. 

Taking first a couple of English researches: a com- 
parison was made of the intellectual capacity of the boys 
at a certain private school who were mostly the sons of 
Oxford "dons" (i. e., members of the university faculty), 
and the capacity of the boys at a municipal school at- 



THE IRON LAW OF INEQUALITY 61 

tended by boys from the town population. I will quote 
the results in the words of Professor McDougall, who 
supervised the experiment, and of Mr. H. B. English, 
who conducted it. Says Professor McDougall: "The 
municipal school was an exceptionally good school of its 
kind, the teaching being in many respects better than in 
the other — the private school; the boys were from good 
homes, sons of good plain citizens — shopkeepers and 
skilled artisans, and so forth. Without going into detail 
I may say, summarily, that the result was to show a very 
marked superiority of the boys of the school frequented 
by the intellectual class." ^ And Mr. English states: 
"Although the groups are small, they are exceedingly 
homogeneous and thoroughly representative of the chil- 
dren in two social or economic strata. The writer does 
not hesitate, therefore, to predicate these results for the 
children of the entire classes represented or to conclude 
that the children of the professional class exhibit between 
twelve and fourteen years of age a very marked superi- 
ority in intelhgence."2 And Professor McDougall adds 
the following interesting comment: "The result is all 
the more striking, if you reflect on the following facts: 
First, every boy has two parents and inherits his quali- 
ties from both. Secondly, it has not been shown that 
university dons prefer clever wives, or that they are par- 
ticularly clever in choosing clever wives. It remains, 
then, highly probable that, if the wives of these men were 



1 McDougall, p. 61. 

* H. B. English, Yale Psychological Studies (1917), quoted by McDoug- 
all. 



62 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

all as superior in respect of intellect as their husbands, 
the superiority of their sons to the boys of the other group 
would have been still more marked."^ 

In this connection, let me quote the conclusions of 
another British psychologist who made a similar experi- 
ment with Hke results: "For all these reasons we may 
conclude that the superior proficiency at inteUigence 
tests on the part of boys of superior parentage was in- 
born. And thus we seem to have proved marked in- 
heritabihty in the case of a mental character of the high- 
est 'civic worth.' "* 

Let us now pass to America. The United States offers 
a more instructive field, because, with its more fluid social 
structure and its heterogeneous racial make-up, the cor- 
relations between intelhgence, social or economic status, 
and racial origin can be studied simultaneously. 

Before discussing these American experiments, let us 
recall certain facts. For a long time past American biolo- 
gists and sociologists have been coming more and more 
to the following conclusions: (1) That the old "Native 
American" stock, favorably selected as it was from the 
races of northern Europe, is the most superior element 
in the American population; (2) that subsequent im- 
migrants from northern Europe, though coming from 
substantially the same racial stocks, were less favorably 
selected and average somewhat less superior; (3) that 
the more recent immigrants from southern and eastern 



1 McDougall, pp. 61-62. 

2 Cyril Burt, "Experimental Teats of General Intelligence," British 
Journal of Psychology, vol. Ill (1909), quoted by McDougall. 



THE IRON LAW OF INEQUALITY 



63 



Europe average decidedly inferior to the north European 
elements; (4) that the negroes are inferior to all other 
elements. Now let us see how psychological tests have 
confirmed these biological and sociological conclusions. 

One of the most recent of these experiments^ was that 
conducted upon several hundred school children in the 
primary grades. The children were classified in two 
ways: according to racial origin, and according to eco- 
nomic-social status of parents. The racial classifications 
were: (a) children of American-bom white parents; (5) 
children of ItaHan immigrants (mostly south Italians); 
(c) colored (negroes and mulattoes). The economic- 
social classifications of parents were: (1) professional; 
(2) semi-professional and higher business; (3) skilled 
labor; (4) semi-skilled and unskilled labor. The "I. Q." 
(inteUigence quotient) of each category was then ob- 
tained, the object being to discover what correlations 
(if any) existed between racial origin, economic-social 
status, and inteUigence. Here are the results: 



Americans of social status (1). . . 

u u u a ^2)... 

" " " (3)... 

« « il K (4)... 

All Americans grouped together. 

Italians 

Colored 



LQ 
LQ 
LQ 
LQ 
LQ 
LQ 



LQ 



125 

118 

107 

92 

106 

84 

83 



* This experiment, conducted by Miss A. H. Arlitt, of Bryn Mawr Col- 
lege, is quoted by McDougall (pp. G3-64), he having obtained the data 
directly from Miss Arhtt in advance of her own publication. The experi- 
ment seems to have been conducted in the year 1920. 



64 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

A similar experiment made on children in New York 
City public schools by the well-known authority, Pro- 
fessor S. M. Terman/ yields strikingly similar results. 
In this case the children were graded simply according 
to racial origin of parents, the classifications being: (1) 
Parents native-born white Americans; (2) parents north 
European immigrants; (3) parents Itahan immigrants; 
(4) parents Portuguese immigrants. Here are the re- 
sults: 

American I. Q. = 106 

North European I. Q. = 105 

Italian .1. Q. = 84 

Portuguese I. Q. = 84 

Note how the respective I. Q/s of both the American 
and the Itahan groups are identical in both experiments, 
although the children examined were, of course, not the 
same. 

Here are the conclusions of Professor Terman regard- 
ing the correlation between economic-social status of 
parents and intelHgence in children, as a result of his 
many researches upon school children from New York 
to CaKfornia: "IntelHgence of 110 to 120 I. Q. (this range 
is defined as ' superior intelligence ') is approximately five 
times as common among children of superior social status 
as among children of inferior social status, the proportion 
among the former being about 24 per cent of all and 
among the latter only 5 per cent of all. The group of 
'superior intelligence,' is made up largely of children of 

^ S. M. Terman, Intelligence of School Children, p. 56 (New York, 1919). 



THE mON LAW OF INEQUALITY 65 

the fairly successful mercantile or professional classes." 
Professor Terman defines as of "very superior intelli- 
gence" those children who scored in the tests more than 
120 marks. ^'Children of this group are," he says, "un- 
usually superior. Not more than 3 out of 100 go as high 
as 125 I. Q., and only about 1 out of 100 as high as 130 
I. Q. In the schools of a city of average population only 
about 1 child in 250 or 300 tests as high as 140 I. Q. In 
a series of 476 unselected children there was not a single 
one reaching 120 I. Q. whose social class was described as 
'below average.' Of the children of superior social status, 
about 10 per cent reached 120 I .Q. or better. The 120- 
140 group (z. e., of very superior intelligence) is made 
up almost entirely of children whose parents belong to 
the professional or very successful business classes. The 
child of a skilled laborer belongs here occasionally; the 
child of a common laborer very rarely indeed." ^ 

Finally, let us note, in passing, some of the numerous 
researches which have been made on the intelHgence of 
colored school children.^ Space forbids our going into 
this point. Suffice it to say that the results accord with 
what has been previously stated, namely: that the in- 
telHgence of the colored population averages distinctly 
lower than the intelHgence of native American whites, 
and somewhat lower than the inteUigence of our least 
promising east and south European elements. 

So much for experiments upon children. Now let us 
consider similar psychological investigations of the in- 

^ S. M. Terman, The Measurement of Intelligence, p. 95, New York, 1916. 
* Several of these are noted and discussed by McDougall, pp. 55-66. 



66 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

telligence of adults. Fortunately, we possess a great 
mass of valuable data from the mammoth investigations 
conducted by the United States army authorities upon 
more than 1,700,000 officers and men during the late 
war.^ These investigations were planned and directed 
by a board of eminent psychologists. It is interesting to 
note that they were inspired, not by abstract scientific 
motives, but by motives of practical efficiency. In the 
words of two leading members of the investigating board, 
Majors Yoakum and Yerkes: 

"The human factors in most practical situations have 
been neglected largely because of our consciousness of 
ignorance and our inability to control them. Whereas 
engineers deal constantly with physical problems of qual- 
ity, capacity, stress and strain, they have tended to think 
of problems of human conduct and experience either as 
unsolved or as insoluble. At the same time there has 
existed a growing consciousness of the practical signif- 
icance of these human factors and of the importance of 
such systematic research as shall extend our knowledge 
of them and increase our directive power. 

"The great war from which we are now emerging into 
a civilization in many respects new has aheady worked 
marvellous changes in our points of \dew, our expecta- 
tions, and practical demands. Relatively early in this 
supreme struggle, it became clear to certain individuals 
that the proper utilization of man-power, and more par- 
ticularly of mind or brain-power, would assure ultimate 
victory. ... All this had to be done in the least possible 

^ See publications already quoted on this point. 



THE IRON LAW OF INEQUALITY 67 

time. Never before in the history of civilization was 
brain, as contrasted with brawn, so important; never 
before, the proper placement and utilization of brain- 
power so essential to success. 

"Our War Department, nerved to exceptional risks by 
the stem necessity for early victory, saw and immediately 
seized its opportunity to develop various new lines of 
personnel work. Among these is numbered the psy- 
chological service. Great will be our good fortune if the 
lesson in human engineering which the war has taught 
is carried over directly and effectively into our civil in- 
stitutions and activities." ^ 

The purposes of these psychological tests were, as 
stated in the army orders: " (a) to aid in segregating the 
mentally incompetent, (h) to classify men according to 
their mental capacity, (c) to assist in selecting competent 
men for responsible positions." And to quote a sub- 
sequent official pronouncement after the administration 
of the tests: "In the opinion of this oflB.ce these reports 
indicate very definitely that the desired results have 
been achieved." 

So much for the aims behind the tests. Now for the 
tests themselves. As already stated, they were adminis- 
tered to more than 1,700,000 oflicers and men. Great 
care was taken to ehminate the disturbing influence 
of environmental factors like lack of education and ig- 
norance of the EngHsh language. Separate tests were 
de\T[sed, and the close correlations obtained showed 
that inborn intelligence had been successfully segregated. 

* Yoakum and Yerkes, Army Mental Tests, pp. vii-viii (Introduction). 



68 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

Besides general intelligence gradings, special studies ac- 
cording to army rank, civilian occupation, racial origin, 
etc., were made on large groups consisting of "samples" 
taken at many points from the general mass. 

The following is the system of general grading em- 
ployed to indicate the degree of individual intelligence: 

A = very superior intelligence 
B = superior intelligence 
C + = high average intelligence 
C = average intelligence 
C — = low average intelligence 
D = inferior intelligence 
D — = very inferior intelligence 

E «= *'unteachable men," rejected at once or after a short 
time 

Let us now see how the 1,700,000 men examined graded 
according to intelligence, and what mental age these 
classifications implied : 



Grade 


Percentage 


Mental Age 


A 


4J^ 

9 

16J^ 
25 
20 
15 
10 


18-19 (+) 

16-17 

15 

13-14 

12 

11 

10 


B 


C + 


c 


c - 


D 


D - 





This table is assuredly depressing. Probably never 
before has the relative scarcity of high intelligence been 
so vividly demonstrated. It strikingly reinforces what 
biologists and sociologists have long been telHng us : that 



THE IRON LAW OF INEQUALITY 69 

the number of really superior persons is small, and that 
the great majority of even the most civilized popula- 
tions are of mediocre or low intelligence — which, be it 
remembered, neither education nor any other en\dron- 
mental agency can ever raise. Think of this table's social 
significance ! Assuming that these 1,700,000 men are 
a fair sample of the entire population of approximately 
100,000,000 (and there is every reason to beheve that it 
is a fair sample), this means that the average mental age 
of Americans is only about fourteen ; that forty-five mil- 
lions, or nearly one-half of the whole population, will 
never develop mental capacity beyond the stage repre- 
sented by a normal twelve-year-old child; that only 
thirteen and one-half millions will ever show superior 
intelligence, and that only four and one-half millions can 
be considered "talented." 

Still more alarming is the prospect for the future. The 
overwhelming weight of e\adence (as we shall later show) 
indicates that the A and B elements in America are barely 
reproducing themselves, while the other elements are in- 
creasing at rates proportionate to their decreasing intel- 
lectual capacity: in other words, that intelligence is to- 
day being steadily hred out of the American population. 

So much for the general results of the American army 
tests. Now let us consider some of the special classifica- 
tions, notably those relating to the correlation of intel- 
Hgence vdih army rank, ci\Tlian occupation, and racial 
origin. 

In all these special classifications the correlations were 
precisely what our study might lead us to expect. First, 



70 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

as to army rank: the great majority of officers, whether 
actually commissioned or in officers' training-camps, were 
fomid to be of A and B intelligence. Furthermore, in 
those branches of the service where a high degree of tech- 
nical knowledge is required, the highest degree of intel- 
Hgence was found. In the engineers and the artillery 
nearly all the officers graded A; whereas, in the veter- 
inary corps less than one-sixth of the officers graded A, 
and nearly two-fifths graded C. Among the non-coms 
(sergeants and corporals) one-half or more graded C. 
The rank and file were mostly C men, with a small mi- 
nority of A's and B's, and a somewhat larger minority 
of D's {E men, of course, being excluded from the ser- 
vice). 

Nex-t, as to the correlation between intelligence and 
civihan occupations: the professions were found to con- 
tain a great majority of A and B men; the percentage 
of superior intelligence sank steadily through the skilled 
and semi-skilled occupations, until it was least of aU 
among the common laborers, very few of whom were 
found to possess intelligence grading higher than C, while 
most of them graded C — or D. Space forbids the tex- 
tual reproduction of the statistical tables, which are very 
elaborate; but any one who cares to examine them in 
the works already quoted will see at a glance how S3nii- 
metrical and logical are the gradings. 

Finally, as to the correlation between intelligence and 
racial origin: two separate researches were made. The 
first of these was a comparison between white and colored 
drafted men; the other was a double grading of drafted 



THE IRON LAW OF INEQUALITY 71 

men of foreign birth. Let us visualize the results of the 
intelligence ratings of white and colored — by the follow- 
ing table — adding one other category (that of the officers) 
to visuahze the difference between the intelHgence level 
of the officers' corps and the levels of both white and 
colored drafted men: 





A 


B 


c+ 


C 


C- 


D 


D~ 


B 


Wliite— Draft 

Colored— Draft 

Officers 


2.0 

.8 

55.0 


4.8 

1.0 

29.0 


9.7 

1.9 

12.0 


20 
6 
4 


22 

15 




30 

37 




8 

30 




2 
7 






The above table needs no comment: it speaks for it- 
self! 

Now as to the second study concerning the correlation 
between intelligence and racial origin: the grading of 
foreign-bom drafted men. This investigation, as already 
stated; was dual: the men were graded both up and down 
the scale; i. e., both according to superiority and in- 
feriority of inteUigence. In the following tables "su- 
periority" means A and B grades combined, while "in- 
feriority " means D and E grades combined. 

TABLE I: PERCENTAGE OF INFERIORITY 



Country of Birth 




Coiintry of Birth 




England 


8.7 
9.2 
13.4 
13.6 
15.0 
19.4 
19.5 
24.0 


Norway 


25.6 
37.5 
39.4 
42.0 
43.6 
60.4 
63.4 
69.9 


Holland 


Austria 


Denmark 


Ireland . . 


Scotland 


Turkey 


Germany 


Greece 


Sweden 


Russia 


Canada 


Italy 


Belgium 


Poland 







72 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 



TABLE II: PERCENTAGE OF SUPERIORITY 



Country of Birth 




Country of Birth 




England 


19.7 

13.0 

10.7 

10.5 

8.3 

5.4 

4.3 

4.1 


Ireland 


4.1 

3.4 

3.4 

2.7 

2.1 

.8 

.8 

.5 


Scotland 


Turkey 




Austria 


Canada 


Russia 


Germany .... 


Greece 


Denmark 


Italy 


Sweden 


Belgium 


Norway . . 


Poland 







These tables are very interesting. Note how constant 
are the positions of the national groups in both tables. 
Also, note how surely a high percentage of superiority 
connotes a low percentage of inferiority — and vice versa. 
Of course, these tables refer merely to the inteUigence 
of foreign-bom groups in America; they may not be 
particularly good criteria for the entire home populations 
of the countries mentioned. But they do give us a good 
indication of the sort of people America is getting by 
immigration from those countries, and the)^ indicate 
elearly the intelligence levels of the various foreign-bom 
groups in America. And, once more we see a confirma- 
tion of those biological, sociological, and psychological 
researches which we have previously mentioned; viz., 
that the intelHgence level of the racial elements which 
America has received from northern Europe is far above 
that of the south and east European elements. 

We have already indicated how great are the possibili- 
ties for the practical employment of mental tests, not 
merely in the army but also in education, industiy, and 



THE IRON LAW OF INEQUALITY 73 

the evaluation of whole populations and races. ^ '^Be- 
fore the war mental engineering was a dream; to-day it 
exists, and its effective development is amply assured." ^ 

As yet psychology has not succeeded in measuring 
emotional and psychic qualities as it has done with in- 
tellectual faculties. But progress is being made in this 
direction, and the data accumulated already indicate not 
only that these qualities are inherited but also that they 
tend to be correlated with intelligence. Speaking of su- 
perior military qualities like loyalty, bravery, power to 
command, and ability to "carry on," Majors Yoakum 
and Yerkes state: "In the long run, these qualities are 
far more likely to be found in men of superior intelligence 
than in men who are intellectually inferior." ^ 

Furthermore, whatever the direct correlation between 
intellectual and moral quahties, there is an undoubted 
practical connection, owing to the rational control exerted 
by the intellect over the spirit and the emotions. As Pro- 
fessor Lichtenberger remarks concerning the statement 
just quoted: "It would seem almost superfluous to add 
that loyalty, bravery, and even power to command, with- 
out sufficiently high intelligence may result in foolhardi- 
ness. They are forces of character, and we should devise 
methods of evaluating them, but, like all forces, organic 
and inorganic, they are valuable to the extent to which 



^ For these wider applications, see Yoakum & Yerkes, op. cit., pp. 184- 
204; J. P. Lichtenberger, "The Social Significance of Mental Levels," 
Publications of the American Sociological Society, vol. XV, pp. 102-115; 
R. H. Piatt, Jr., "The Scope and Significance of Mental Tests," World's 
Work, September, 1920. 

* Yoakum and Yerkes, p. 197. » Ibid., p. 24. 



74 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

they are disciplined and controlled. The case is somewhat 
similar with respect to the emotions. . . . Probably it 
will not be long mitil we shall have some method of mea- 
suring the quahty of emotional distm-bances, and this 
will increase the acciu-acy of our judgments; but to what- 
ever degree of independence the emotions may be as- 
signed, their utihty is determined by the discipline of 
intelligence. Emotional control is weak in those of low 
mental level. The higher the level, the greater the pos- 
sibility of rational control." ^ 

We have thus far considered the nature of intelKgence, 
and we have found it to be an inborn quality whose ca- 
pacity is predetermined by heredity. Biologically, this 
is important, because a man may not make much actual 
use of his talents and yet pass them on to children who 
will make use of them. In every-day Hfe, however, ca- 
pacity is important chiefly as it expresses itself in prac- 
tical performance as evidenced by knowledge and action. 
We here enter a field where environment plays an im- 
portant part, since what a man actually learns or does 
depends obviously upon en\aronmental factors Hke edu- 
cation, training, and opportunity. Let us once more re- 
call the distinction between " intelhgence " and "knowl- 
edge": intelligence being the capacity of the mind, knowl- 
edge the filling of the mind. Let us also remember the 
true meaning of the word "education" — a "bringing 
forth" of that which potentially exists. 

Now precisely how does environment affect perform- 
ance? In extreme cases en\dronment may be of major 

1 Lichtenberger, op. cU., p. 104. 



THE IRON LAW OF INEQUALITY 75 

importance. A genius, condemned for life to the fate of 
Robinson Crusoe, would obviously accomplish very little; 
while, on the other hand, a man of mediocre capacity, if 
given every possible advantage, might make the utmost 
of his slender talents. But how is it under ordinarj^ cir- 
cumstances — especially under those substantially equal 
circumstances which it is the avowed aim of modern 
democratic ideals to produce? 

Before discussing this point in detail, however, let us 
stop and find out just what we mean by "equal circum- 
stances." Do we mean equality of opportunity? Or do 
we mean equahty of performance and recompense? The 
two ideas are poles asunder; yet they are often confused 
in thought, and frequently intentionally confused in 
argument. Equality of opportunity means freedom of 
different indi\T[duals to make the most of similar con- 
ditions, and, by logical imphcation, freedom to reap re- 
wards proportionate to respective achievements. Equal- 
ity of performance and recompense, on the contrary, 
means the fixing of certain standards according to which 
action will be stimulated and rewards apportioned. This 
last is what most of the hot-gospeUers of levelling "social 
equality" have in the back of their heads. They may 
camouflage their doctrines with fine phrases, but what 
they really intend is to handicap and defraud superior 
intelhgence in order to "give everybody a fair show." 
Even in our present social system we see many instances 
of the waste and injustice caused by "levelling" prac- 
tices : bright pupils held back to keep step with dullards, 
and bright workmen discouraged from doing their best 



76 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

by grasping employers or ordered to "go slow" by union 
rules setting the pace by their less competent fellows. 

This distinction being imderstood, let us now see how 
emdronment affects performance wdth individuals under 
conditions of equal opportunity. How, for example, does 
equahty of training or education affect individual achieve- 
ment ? The answer is another striking proof of the power 
of heredity. Not only is such equahty of conditions un- 
able to level the inborn differences between individuals; 
on the contrary, it increases the differences in results 
achieved. "EquaHzing practice seems to increase differ- 
ences. The superior man seems to have got his present 
superiority by his own nature rather than by superior 
advantages of the past, since, during a period of equal 
advantage for all, he increases his lead." ^ As McDougall 
justly remarks: "The higher the level of innate capacity, 
the more is it improved by education." ^ 

We thus see that even where superior individuals have 
no better opportimities than inferiors, environment tends 
to accentuate rather than equahze the differences between 
men, and that the only way to prevent increasing in- 
equality is by deliberately holding the superiors down. 

Certainly, the whole trend of ci\dhzation is toward 
increasing inequahty. In the first place, the demands 
made upon the individual are more and more complex 
and differentiated. The differences in training and edu- 
cation between savages are relatively insignificant; the 

^ Popenoe and Johnson, p. 92. The authors cite several careful psycholog- 
ical tests by which this principle is clearly established. 
2 McDougaU, p. 48. 



THE IRON LAW OF INEQUALITY 77 

differences between the feudal baron and his serf were 
comparatively slight; the differences to-day between 
casual laborers and captains of industry are enormous. 
Never before has the function of capacity been so impor- 
tant and so evident. 

The truth is that, as civihzation progresses, social 
status tends to coincide more and more closely with 
racial value; in other words, a given population tends 
to become more and more differentiated biologically, the 
upper social classes containing an ever larger proportion 
of persons of superior natural endowments while the 
lower social classes contain a growing proportion of in- 
feriors. The inteUigence tests which we have previously 
considered show us how marked this tendency has be- 
come in advanced modem societies hke England and the 
United States, and there is every reason to beheve that 
unless the civiHzing process be interrupted this strati- 
fication will become even sharper in the future. 

Now precisely how does this increasing stratification 
come about? We have already discussed this point in 
a general way. We have seen how the dynamic urge of 
superior germ-plasm surmounts environmental barriers 
and raises the indi\ddual socially; while, conversely, in- 
ferior indi\T[duals tend to sink in the social scale. 

Let us now look at the matter more closely. This 
process, by which individuals migrate socially upward 
or downward from class to class, is termed "The Social 
Ladder." The ease with which people can go up or down 
this ladder depends on the flexibihty of the social order, 
and social flexibihty in turn characterizes progressive 



78 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

civilizations. In the less advanced types of civilization, 
social flexibility is rare. Society crystallizes into closed 
castes, sons are compelled to follow the callings of their 
fathers, superior individuals cannot rise, and high-bom 
inferiors are kept from sinking to their proper levels. 
This means waste, inefficiency and imperfect utHization 
of human resources. 

However, as civilization progresses, its very complexity 
and needs compel greater efficiency; society becomes 
more flexible; and the "social ladder" works better and 
better. Latent talent rises more easily from the ranks, 
while the upper class cuts out more of its dead-wood, and 
thus tends to free itseK from degenerate taints which 
have ruined so many aristocratic castes. The abounding 
YigOT of American life, for example, is largely due to the 
way in which ability tends to be recognized wherever it 
appears and is given a chance to "make good." Thus, 
in course of time, the superior strains in a population rise 
to the top, while the inferior elements sink to the bottom. 
The upper classes are continually enriched by good new 
blood, while the lower classes, drained of their best ele- 
ments, are increasingly impoverished and become in-* 
creasingly inferior. 

This segregation of populations according to racial 
value is produced, not merely by the social ladder, but 
by another process known as " assortative mating." Con- 
trary to certain romantic but erroneous notions, careful 
scientffic investigation has proved conclusively that "like 
tends to mate with hke." Giants are not prone to m^arry 
dwarfs, nor do extreme blonds usually prefer dark bru- 



THE mON LAW OF INEQUALITY 79 

nettes. And what is true of physical characteristics is 
equally true of mental and emotional quaUties. People 
tend to many those not too unlike themselves. And, in 
addition to the action of personal preference, there is 
superadded the effect of propinquity. Indi\dduals are 
usually attracted to those with whom they associate. 
These are usually of their own class, with common stand- 
ards, similar tastes, and like educational attainments. 
But those are the very persons who are apt to be of the 
same general t}^e. Thus, as populations get more dif- 
ferentiated, assortative mating widens the class gaps. 
Superiors tend more and more to marry superiors, medi- 
ocrity tends to mate with mediocrit}^, while the inferior 
and the degenerate become segregated by themselves. 

At first sight it might seem as though the action of the 
social ladder would nuUify the action of assortative mat- 
ing. But when we look at the matter more closely we 
see that this is not the case. WTiere social flexibihty per- 
mits individuals to migrate easily, like tends oftener to 
associate and hence to mate ^dth like. The "self-made 
man" is more apt to find a Tvife of his own cahber, and 
is not compelled to choose exclusively from among the 
women of the lower social class in which he was born. 
On the other hand, high-born incompetents or "black 
sheep," sinking rapidly, are less likely to drag down with 
them high-t^'pe mates. Thus the social ladder and as- 
sortative mating, far from conflicting, reinforce each 
other and sift the population according to true racial 
values with cumulative effect. 

The sustained intermarriage of a well-selected upper 



80 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

class raises society's apex into a sharply defined peak or 
cone. Woods has termed this process "Social Conifica- 
tion."^ The members of such "conified" groups display 
clearly marked traits and possess high average racial 
value. On the other hand, the lowest social classes, seg- 
regated and drained of their best elements, similarly 
"conify" into well-marked racial inferiority. 

The extent to which these selective processes, working 
for generations in a highly civilized society, may drain 
the lower social classes of their best racial elements, is 
strikingly shown by the case of England. That marked 
differences of inborn capacity exist between the British 
upper and lower social strata has, of course, long been 
reahzed, but the rapidity with which the gap has been 
widening has been recently shown by two historical mea- 
surements of the social distribution of genius and talent 
in the United Kingdom conducted respectively by Have- 
lock EUis and Doctor Woods. The results of these studies 
have been ably summarized by Alleyne Ireland, whom I 
will quote. 

Says Ireland: "What these investigations disclose is 
that over a period of several centuries there has occurred 



^ Doctor Frederick Adams Woods has made a number of careful re- 
searches on this question, his latest being a genealogical study of leading 
Massachusetts families, with special reference to their intermarriages, 
traced over a period of approximately three hundred years from the found- 
ing of the Massachusetts Bay Colony (1630) to the present day. His 
data have not yet been pubhshed, but Doctor Woods has shown them 
to me in MSS. Furthermore, at the Second International Congress of 
Eugenics, held at New York City in September, 1921, Doctor Wooda read 
a paper summarizing the results of this study which will be published in 
the Congress's Proceedings. 



THE IRON LAW OF INEQUALITY 81 

a striking and progressive decline in the cultural con- 
tribution from the 'lower' classes in the United Kingdom, 
and; of course, a corresponding relative increase in the 
contribution from the 'upper' and 'middle' classes. 

" It appears that, from the earhest times to the end of 
the nineteenth century, the contribution to eminent 
achievement made by the sons of craftsmen, artisans, 
and unskilled laborers jdelded 11.7 per cent of the total 
number of names utilized in the inquiry; that the repre- 
sentatives of that class who were bom in the first quarter 
of the nineteenth century yielded 7.2 per cent of the 
names; and that those bom during the second quarter 
of the nineteenth century yielded only 4.2 per cent. 
These figures are of great interest and importance when 
considered in relation to the social and poUtical history 
of England during the nineteenth century. 

"Everybody knows that in England the nineteenth 
century witnessed a rapid and all-pervading democratiza- 
tion of social and political conditions. It was during that 
century that the English parliamentary system became, 
for the first time in the six hundred years of its existence, 
an institution representative of the great mass of the 
people; that schooling was made available for aU; that 
in industry, in politics, in society, the gates of oppor- 
tunity were opened wide for any person, of whatever 
parentage, who could make any contribution in any field 
of achievement; that peers became business men and 
business men peers; that any one whose talents had 
made him prominent in his calling could entertain a 
reasonable hope of finding wealth in the favor of the 



82 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

public, and a title of nobility in the appreciation of the 
poHtical leaders. . . . 

"With every circumstance of life growing constantly 
more favorable to the self-assertion of genius and talent 
in the 'lower' classes in England, how was it that the 
contributions to eminent achievement from that group 
fell from an average of 11.7 per cent of the total to a pro- 
portion of 4.2 per cent? 

"It seems to me that as the vast improvement in en- 
vironmental conditions had not only failed to produce 
an increase in high achievement by those whom this im- 
provement had done most to serv^e, but had, on the con- 
trary, taken place pari passu with a very serious decline 
in achievement, the cause must be sought in an influence 
powerful enough to offset whatever beneficent effects 
improved environment might actually exert upon a sta- 
tionary class during a single generation. 

"This influence I deem to have been that of assor- 
tative mating. Its operation appears to have been of 
a dual character. On the one hand, the effect in heredity 
of intelligence mating with inteUigence, of stupidity with 
stupidity, of success vdih success — to put the matter 
roughly — has been to perpetuate and to increase these 
traits in the respective groups. On the other hand, the 
practical social consequences of these effects being pro- 
duced under conditions of an ever-broadening democ- 
ratization of social hfe has been that the more intelligent 
and successful elements in the 'lower' classes have been 
constantly rising out of their class into one socially above 
it. This movement must have the consequence of drain- 



THE mON LAW OF INEQUALITY 83 

ing the 'lower' classes of talent and genius, and, through 
a process of social migration, of increasing the genius 
and talent of each succeeding upper layer in the social 
series."^ 

We thus see that, as civihzation progresses, inborn 
superiority tends to drain out of the lower social levels 
up into the higher social classes. And probably never 
before in human histori' has this selective process gone 
on so rapidly and so thoroughly as to-day. 

But it may be asked: Is this not a matter for rejoic- 
ing? Does not this imply the eventual formation of an 
aristocracy of "supermen," blessing all classes with the 
flowerings of its creative genius? 

Unfortunately, no; not as society is now constituted. 
On the contrary, if these tendencies continue under pres- 
ent social conditions, the concentration of superiority in 
the upper social levels will spell general racial impoverish- 
ment and hence a general decline of civilization. Let us 
remember that fatal tendency (discussed in the preced- 
ing chapter) to use up and exterminate racial values; 
to impoverish human stocks by the dual process of so- 
cially sterilizing superior strains and multiplying in- 
feriors. The history of civihzation is a series of racial 
tragedies. Race after race has entered civiHzation's por- 
tals; entered in the pink of condition, full of superior 
strains slowly selected and accumulated by the drastic 
methods of primitive life. Then, one by one, these races 
have been insidiously drained of their best, until, unable 

* Allevne Ireland, Democracy and the Human Equation, pp. 139-142 
(New York, 1921). 



84 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

to cany on, they have sunk back into impotent medi- 
ocrity. The only reason why the torch of civihzation 
has continued to flame high is because it has been passed 
on from hand to hand; because there have always been 
good stocks still racially protected by primitive condi- 
tions who could take up the task. 

To-day, however, this is no longer so. The local civih- 
zations of the past have merged into a world-civilization, 
which draws insistently on every high-type stock in exist- 
ence. That is why our modern civilization has made 
such marvellous progress — because it has had behind it 
the pooled inteUigence of the planet. But let us not 
deceive ourselves! Behind this brave show the same 
fatal tendencies that have wrought such havoc in the 
past are stiU working — working as never before ! In the 
next chapter we shall consider closely these factors of 
racial decline. Suffice it here to state that in every civi- 
Hzed country to-day the superior elements in the popu- 
lation are virtually stationary or actually declining in 
numbers, while the mediocre and inferior elements are 
rapidly increasing. 

Such is our racial balance-sheet. And, be it remem- 
bered: our civilization, unlike its predecessors, cannot 
shift the burden to other shoulders, because there are no 
more untapped "racial reserv^es." No "noble barbari- 
ans" wait to step forward as in the past; the barbarians 
and savages who still remain in the world are demon- 
strably of inferior cahber and can contribute httle or 
nothing to the progress of civilization. 

If, then, our civilization is to survive, it must conserve 



THE IRON LAW OF INEQUALITY 85 

and foster its owti race values. Happily our civilization 
possesses two great advantages over past times : scientific 
knowledge and the scientific spirit. To us have been 
revealed secrets of life our forebears never knew. And 
to us has been vouchsafed a passion for truth such as the 
world has never seen. Other ages have sought truth 
from the Hps of seers and prophets; our age seeks it from 
scientific proof. Other ages have had their saints and 
martyrs — dauntless souls who clung to their faith with 
unshakable constancy. Yet our age has also its saints 
and martyrs — heroes who cannot only face death for 
their faith, but who can also scrap their faith when facts 
have proved it wrong. There, indeed, is courage ! And 
therein lies our hope. 

This matchless love of truth, this spirit of science which 
combines knowledge and faith in the sjTithesis of a higher 
wisdom, as yet inspires only the elite of our time. Most 
of us are stiU more or less under the speU of the past — 
the spell of passion, prejudice, and unreason. It is thus 
that ideas and ideals clearly disproved by science yet 
claim the allegiance of multitudes of worthy men. 

The dead hand of false doctrines and fallacious hopes 
hes, indeed, hea^y upon us. Laws, institutions, customs, 
ideas, and ideals are all stamped deep with its imprint. 
Our very minds and souls are imbued with delusions like 
environmentalism and "natural equaUty" from whose 
emotional grip it is hard to escape. Mighty as is the 
new truth, our eyes are yet blinded to its full meaning, 
our hearts shrink instinctively from its wider impHcations, 
and our feet falter on the path to higher destinies. 



86 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

These reactionary forces stubbornly impede the prog- 
ress of those deep-going eugenic reforms which must 
speedily be undertaken if our civilization is to be saved 
from decline and our race from decay. 

This is serious enough. But there is something more 
serious still. The reactionary forces which we have just 
described; though powerful, are, after all, essentially 
negative in character. With the spread of enhghtenment 
they would soon wither — if they stood alone. But they 
do not stand alone. Behind them, sheltered by them, 
lurks a positive, aggressive force : The Under-Man ! 

The Under-Man is unconvertible. He will not bow to 
the new truth, because he knows that the new truth is not 
for him. Why should he work for a higher civilization, 
when even the present civilization is beyond his powers? 
What the Under-Man wants is, not progress, but regress 
— regress to more primitive conditions in which he would 
be at home. In fact, the more he grasps the significance 
of the new eugenic truth, the uglier grows his mood. So 
long as all men believed all men potentially equal, the 
Under-Man could delude himself into thinking that 
changed circumstances might raise him to the top. Now 
that nature herself proclaims him irremediably inferior, 
his hatred of superiority knows no bounds. 

This hatred he has always instinctively felt. Envy 
and resentment of superiority have ever been the badges 
of base minds. Yet never have these badges been so 
fiercely flaunted, so defiantly worn, as to-day. This ex- 
plains the seeming paradox that, just when the character 
of superiority becomes supremely manifest, the cry for 



THE IRON LAW OF INEQUALITY 87 

levelling "equality" rises supremely shrill. The Under- 
Man revolts against progress! Nature herself having 
decreed him uncivilizable, the Under-IVIan declares war 
on civilization. 

These are not pretty facts. But we had better face 
them, lest they face us, and catch us unawares. Let us, 
then, imderstand once and for all that we have among 
us a rebel army — the vast host of the unadaptable, the 
incapable, the envious, the discontented, filled with in- 
stinctive hatred of ci\alization and progress, and ready 
on the instant to rise in revolt. 

Here are foes that need watching. Let us watch 
them. 



CHAPTER ni 

THE NEMESIS OF THE INFERIOR 

Racial impoverishment is the plague of civiHzation. 
This insidious disease, with its twin symptoms the ex- 
tirpation of superior strains and the multiplication of 
inferiors, has ravaged humanity like a consuming fire, 
reducing the proudest societies to charred and squalid 
ruin. 

We have already examined the life process which per- 
petuates both superiors and inferiors according to their 
kind, so we can now pass to a practical consideration of 
inferior types. 

First of all, however, let us carefully distinguish 
between inferiority's two aspects: physical inferiority 
and mental inferiority. It is mental inferiority which is 
our chief concern. Physically, the human species seems 
equal to all demands which are Hkely to be made upon 
it. Despite ci\dlization's deleterious aspects, and despite 
the combined action of modern medicine and philan- 
thropy in keeping alive physically weak individuals, 
humanity does not appear to be threatened with general 
physical decay. We are heirs of a physical selection which 
goes back tens of millions, perhaps hundreds of millions 
of years to the very origin of life, and its beneficial in- 
fluence is so wide-spread and deep-going that a few mil- 
lennia of partial escape from its workings have pro- 
duced only superficial effects. 

88 



THE NEMESIS OF THE INFERIOR 89 

Far different is the case of mental inferiority. The 
special traits of intelligence which distinguish man from 
the animals appeared only a few hundred thousand years 
ago, and have developed strongly only in a few human 
stocks. Biologically speaking, therefore, high intelh- 
gence is a very recent trait, which is still comparatively 
rare and which may be easily lost. 

The rarity of mental as compared with physical su- 
periority in the human species is seen on every hand. 
Existing savage and barbarian races of a demonstrably 
low average level of intelligence, hke the negroes, are 
physically \dgorous, in fact, possess an animal vitality 
apparently greater than that of the intellectually higher 
races. The same is true of intellectually decadent peoples 
Hke those about the Mediterranean, whose loss of ancient 
mental greatness has been accompanied by no corre- 
sponding physical decline. Finally, even among the most 
civilized and progressive present-day populations, the 
great disparity between physical and mental superiority 
is clear. The recent American army intelligence tests 
are a striking example of this. Those 1,700,000 young 
men who were examined were nearly all physically fine 
specimens, yet less than one out of twenty (4}/^ per cent) 
possessed really high intelligence. From all this it is 
evident that mental superiority is comparatively rare, 
most men being mentally either mediocre or inferior. 

We have hkewise seen how civilized life has hitherto 
tended to make mental superiority ever rarer and to 
increase the proportion of mediocre and inferior elements. 
Indeed, down to the biological discoveries of our own 



90 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

days, this was believed to be a normal, rather than an 
abnormal, phenomenon. Our forebears considered so- 
ciety's withering away at the top and breeding from be- 
low as natural and inevitable. Take the attitude of the 
Romans, for example. Roman society was divided into 
six classes. The sixth, or lowest, social class, made up 
of paupers, vagabonds, and degenerates, was exempt 
from civic duties, military service, and the payment of 
taxes. But was this class debarred from having children ? 
Not at aU. On the contrary, it was positively encouraged 
to do so. These dregs of the Roman populace were 
termed "proletarians," "producers of offspring"! In 
other words, a man might be incapable of civic duties, 
incapable of bearing arms, incapable of paying taxes, but 
was considered not only capable but specially apt for 
bearing children, who were accepted as his contribution 
to society. Think what an attitude on racial matters 
this imphes ! No wonder Rome fell ! And yet — let us 
not forget that this was substantially the attitude of our 
grandfathers, and that it is still the attitude of milHons 
of so-caUed "educated" persons. Here is once more 
evident the dead hand of the past, perpetuating old errors 
and blocking the effective spread of new truths. 

This mingling of old and new forces is, in fact, mainly 
responsible for the peculiarly acute nature of our social 
and racial problems. Traditional influences making for 
racial decay are as active as ever, perhaps more so. On 
the other hand, many new factors hke universal educa- 
tion, high standards, preventive medicine, and birth 
control, all of which may become powerful agents of race 



THE NEMESIS OF THE INFERIOR 91 

betterment, have thus far worked mainly in the direction 
of racial decay, by speeding up both the social steriliza- 
tion of superior individuals, and the preservation of in- 
feriors. 

Perhaps never before have social conditions been so 
"dysgenic," so destructive of racial values, as to-day. 
"In the earlier stages of society, man interfered little 
with natural selection. But during the last century the 
increase of the philanthropic spirit and the progress of 
medicine have done a great deal to interfere with the 
selective process. In some ways, selection in the human 
race has almost ceased; in many ways it is actually re- 
versed, that is, it results in the survival of the inferior 
rather than the superior. In the olden days the criminal 
was summarily executed, the weakly child died soon 
after birth through lack of proper care and medical at- 
tention, the insane were dealt with so violently that if 
they were not killed by the treatment they were at least 
left hopelessly 'incurable,' and had httle chance of be- 
coming parents. Harsh measures, all of these; but they 
kept the germ-plasm of the race reasonably purified. 

"To-day, how is it? The inefficients, the wastrels, 
the physical, mental, and moral cripples are carefully 
preserved at public expense. The criminal is turned out 
on parole after a few years, to become the father of a 
family. The insane is discharged as 'cured,' again to 
take up the duties of citizenship. The feeble-minded 
child is painfully 'educated,' often at the ex-pense of his 
normal brother or sister. In short, the imdesirables of 
the race, with whom the bloody hand of natural selection 



92 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

would have made short work early in hfe, are now nursed 
along to old age." ^ And, as already stated, factors like 
birth control, education, and high social standards are 
simultaneously extirpating the superior elements at an 
unprecedented rate. 

Such is the situation. Now, what is to be done ? Re- 
turn to the grim methods of "natural selection"? Of 
course not. No sensible person could possibly advocate 
such a thing. It would not only outrage our moral sense, 
but it would also yield results far inferior to other methods 
of race betterment which science has already discovered 
and elaborated. That is the hopeful aspect of the situa- 
tion. Grave though our present phght may be, we do 
not have to waste precious time casting about for theo- 
retical solutions. Science, especially that branch of 
science known as "Eugenics" or "Race Betterment," 
shows us a way far more efficient as well as infinitely 
more humane than the crude, wasteful methods of natural 
selection, which, while killing out most of the bad, took 
many of the good at the same time. Science, there- 
fore, offers us a way of escape from impending perils, 
not by a return to natural selection, but by way of an 
improved social selection based upon natural law instead 
of, as hitherto, upon ignorance and haphazard. Detailed 
discussion of the eugenic progranmie will be deferred till 
the concluding chapter of this book. At present, let us 
continue our survey of human inferiority, in order better 
to appreciate how imperative the speedy application of 
eugenic measures to society has come to be. 

* Popeno« and Johnson, pp. 148-149. 



THE NEMESIS OF THE INFERIOR 93 

Inferiority is most plainly manifest in what are known 
as the "defective classes" — the feeble-minded, the in- 
sane, and certain categories of the deformed and the 
diseased. Most of these "defectives" suffer from hered- 
itary defects — in other words, from defects which are 
passed on in the germ-plasm from generation to genera- 
tion. The "defective classes" are not really sundered 
by any natural line of demarcation from the rest of the 
population. They are merely terms used to denote those 
groups of persons who are so obviously afflicted that 
they can be classified as such. Besides these acute de- 
fectives, however, there are vast numbers of persons who 
show only shght taints, while still others reveal no out- 
ward trace whatever, yet carry the defect in their germ- 
plasm as a latent or "recessive" quality which may come 
out in their children, especially if they marry persons 
similarly tainted. 

Defectiveness (or, as it is frequently termed, "de- 
generacy") is thus seen to be a problem as complex and 
far-reaching as it is serious. Defective persons are more 
or less unfit for holding useful places in the social order 
and tend to sink into the social depths, where they form 
those pauper, vagabond, and criminal elements which are 
ahke the burden and the menace of society. Few persons 
who have not studied the problem of degeneracy have 
any idea how serious it is. Let us consider these "de- 
fective classes." 

First of all, the feeble-minded. Feeble-mindedness is 
a condition characterized by such traits as dull intel- 
ligence, low moral sense, lack of self-control, shiftlessness, 



94 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

improvidence; etc. It is highly hereditary, and unfor- 
tunately it is frequently associated with great physical 
strength and vitality, so that feeble-minded persons 
usually breed rapidly, with no regard for consequences. 
In former times the numbers of the feeble-minded were 
kept down by the stern processes of natural selection, 
but modern charity and philanthropy have protected 
them and have thus favored their rapid multiphcation. 
The feeble-minded are becoming an increasingly serious 
problem in every ci\dlized country to-day. The number 
of obviously feeble-minded persons in the United States 
is estimated to be at least 300,000. During the last few 
decades, to be sure, many of the worst cases have been 
segregated in institutions, where they are of course kept 
from breeding; but even to-day the number of the segre- 
gated is only about 10 or 15 per cent of those who should 
clearly be under institutional care — the balance, mean- 
while, causing endless trouble for both the present and 
future generations. 

The rapidity with which feeble-minded stocks spread, 
and the damage they do, are vividly illustrated by nu- 
merous scientific studies which have been compiled. Both 
in Europe and America these studies tell the same story: 
feeble-minded individuals segregating in "clans," spread- 
ing like cancerous gro"^i;hs, disturbmg the social life and 
infecting the blood of whole communities, and thriving 
on misguided efforts to "better their condition," by 
charity and other forms of "social service."^ 

^ Summaries of several of the best-known of these studies may be found 
in Holmes, pp. 27-40; Popenoe and Johnson, pp. 159-161. 



THE NEMESIS OF THE INFERIOR 95 

A typical case is that of the ''Juke Family," which 
was first investigated in the year 1877, and re-investi- 
gated in 1915. To quote from the original study : "From 
one lazy vagabond nicknamed 'Juke/ born in rural 
New York in 1720, whose two sons married five degen- 
erate sisters, sLx generations numbering about 1,200 per- 
sons of every grade of idleness, viciousness, lewdness, 
pauperism, disease, idiocy, insanity, and criminahty 
were traced. Of the total seven generations, 300 died 
in infancy; 310 were professional paupers, kept in alms- 
houses a total of 2,300 years ; 440 were physically wrecked 
by their own 'diseased wickedness'; more than half 
the women feU into prostitution; 130 were convicted 
criminals; 60 were thieves; 7 were murderers; only 20 
learned a trade, 10 of these in state prison, and all at a 
state cost of over $1,250,000." ^ By the year 1915, the 
clan had reached its ninth generation, and had greatly 
lengthened its evil record. It then numbered 2,820 in- 
dividuals, half of whom were aHve. About the year 1880 
the Jukes had left their original home and had scattered 
widely over the countr}^, but change of enviroimaent 
had made no material change in their natures, for they 
still showed "the same feeble-mindedness, indolence, 
Hcentiousness, and dishonesty, even when not handi- 
capped by the associations of their bad family name and 
despite the fact of their being surrounded by better social 
conditions. "2 The cost to the state had now risen to 
about S2,500,000. As the investigator remarks, all this 
evil might have been averted by preventing the repro- 

1 Quoted by Popenoe and JohnBon, p. 159. * Ibid., pp. 159-160. 



96 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

duction of the first Jukes. As it is, the Jukes problem is 
still with us in growing severity, for in 1915, "out of ap- 
proximately 600 Uving feeble-minded and epileptic Jukes, 
there are only three now in custodial care."^ 

A striking illustration of how superiority and degen- 
eracy are alike rigidly determined by heredity is afforded 
by the "Kallikak Family," of New Jersey .^ During the 
Revolutionary War, one Martin "Kallikak," a young 
soldier of good stock, had an iUicit affair with a feeble- 
minded servant-girl, by whom he had a son. Some years 
later, Martin married a woman of good family by whom 
he had several legitimate children. Now this is what 
happened: Martin's legitimate children by the woman 
of good stock all turned out well and founded one of the 
most distinguished families in New Jersey. "In this 
family and its collateral branches we find nothing but 
good representative citizenship. There are doctors, law- 
yers, judges, educators, traders, landholders, in short, 
respectable citizens, men and women prominent in every 
phase of social Hfe. They have scattered over the United 
States and are prominent in their communities wherever 
they have gone. . . . There have been no feeble-minded 
among them; no illegitimate children; no immoral 
women; only one man was sexually loose."' In sharp 
contrast to this branch of the family stand the descen- 



*This is, of course, not the real name of the family. It is a scientific 
nickname, compounded from the Greek words "good" and "bad" — in 
short, "The Good-Bad Family," to characterize the strongly divergent 
character of its two branches. 

» Holmes, p. 31. 



THE NEMESIS OF THE INFERIOR 97 

dants of the feeble-minded girl. Of these 480 have been 
traced. Their record is: 143 clearly feeble-minded, 36 
illegitimate, 33 grossly immoral (mostly prostitutes), 24 
confirmed alcohohcs, 3 epileptics, 82 died in infancy, 
3 criminals, 8 kept houses of iU fame. Here are two 
family lines, uith the same paternal ancestor, Hving on 
the same soil, in the same atmosphere, and mider the 
same general environment; "yet the bar sinister has 
marked every generation of one and has been unknown 
in the other." ^ 

Melancholy genealogies hke these might be cited al- 
most indefinitely. And, be it noted, they represent only 
direct and ob\dous damage. The indirect and less ob- 
vious damage done by feeble-mindedness, though harder 
to trace, is far more wide-spread and is unquestionably 
even more serious, as we shall presently show. Before 
discussing this point, however, let us consider some of 
the other acutely defective classes. 

The insane, though differing in character from the 
feeble-minded, present an even graver problem in many 
respects. Insanity is, of course, a term embracing aU 
sorts of abnormal mental states, some of which are 
transient, while others, though incurable, are not in- 
heritable, and, therefore, have no racial significance. But 
many forms of insanity are clearly hereditary,- and the 
harm done by these unsomid strains, spreading through 
the race and tainting sound stocks, is simply incalculable. 



^ Popenoe and Johnson, p. 160. 

*For a discussion of the forms of insanity, see Holmes, pp. 27-72; 
Popenoe and Johnson, pp. 157-1(0; 176-183. 



98 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

Unlike feeble-mindedness, insanity is often associated 
with very superior qualities/ which may render the af- 
flicted individuals an acute menace to society. The 
feeble-minded never overturned a state. An essentially 
negative element, they may drag a civiHzation down 
toward sodden degeneracy, but they have not the wit 
to disrupt it. The insane, on the other hand, are apt to 
be intensely dynamic and to misuse their powers for de- 
structive ends. We shall presently see how many apostles 
of anarchic violence and furious discontent have been 
persons of ill-balanced mind. Such persons are, of course, 
rarely "insane" in the technical sense of being clearly 
" committable " to an asylum. They represent merely 
one aspect of that vast "outer fringe" of mental un- 
soundness which is scattered so widely through the gen- 
eral population. But even the acute "asylum cases" 
are lamentably numerous. In the United States, for 
example, the asylimi population numbers over 200,000, 
and it is well known that besides those actually in insti- 
tutions there are multitudes of equally aSlicted persons 
in private custody or even at large. 

Another class of pronounced defectives are the epi- 
leptics. Epilepsy is clearly hereditary, being probably 

^ An extraordinary idea used to be widely held that genius was a form 
of insanity. Careful scientific investigation has clearly disproved this 
notion. For one thing, elaborate statistical studies of eminent persons 
have shown them to be less liable to insanity than is the general popula- 
tion. Of course, a considerable number of eminent men can be listed who 
unquestionably suffered from various neuropathic traits. But it was not 
those traits that made them eminent; on the contrary, these were hand- 
icaps. Somewhere back in their ancestry a taint was introduced into a 
sound, superior strain, and produced this disharmonic combination of 
qualities. 



THE NEMESIS OF THE INFERIOR 99 

due, like feeble-mindedness and hereditary insanity, to 
some factor in the germ-plasm which causes abnormal 
development. Like insanity, it is often associated with 
superior mental qualities, but it is even more often asso- 
ciated with feeble-mindedness, and its victims tend to 
be dangerously antisocial, epilepsy being frequently con- 
nected with the worst crimes of violence. The spreading 
of epileptic strains among sound stocks is unquestionably 
disastrous, causing grave social dangers and lamentable 
racial losses. 

Besides these outstanding causes of degeneracy there 
are some other forms of defect which, though individually 
not so serious, represent in the aggregate a distinct bur- 
den to society and drain upon the race. Among these 
may be classed congenital deafness and blindness, some 
types of deformity, and certain crippling diseases hke 
Huntington's chorea. All such defects, being hereditary, 
inflict repeated damage from generation to generation, 
and tend to spread into sound stocks. 

So ends our melancholy survey of the "defective 
classes." In every civilized country their aggregate num- 
bers are enormous, and, under present social conditions, 
they are rapidly increasing. In the United States, for 
example, the total number of the patently feeble-minded, 
insane, and epileptic is estimated to be fully 1,000,000. 
And, as already stated, even this alarming total repre- 
sents merely those persons suffering from the more ex- 
treme forms of taints which extend broadcast through 
the general population. The extent of such contamina- 
tion is revealed by several estimates made independently 



100 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

by competent investigators who aU consider that over 

30 per cent of the entire population of the United States 
carries some form of mental defect.^ In great part, to 
be sure, defect is latent in the germ-plasm and does the 
bearers no harm. Yet the taints are there, and are apt 
to come out in their children, especially if they marry 
persons carrying a similar defect in their inheritance. 

And, even if we exclude from consideration all purely 
latent defects, the problem presented by those actually 
suffering from less acute forms of defect than those pre- 
viously described is one of almost incalculable gravity 
for both society and the race. There can be no question 
that inefficiency, stupidity, pauperism, crime, and other 
forms of antisocial conduct are largely (perhaps maialy) 
due to inborn degeneracy. The careful scientific inves- 
tigations conducted in many countries on paupers, 
tramps, criminals, prostitutes, chronic inebriates, drug 
fiends, etc., have aU revealed a high percentage of mental 
defect. 2 When to these out-and-out social failures we 
add the nimiberless semi-failures, grading all the way 
from the "unemployable" casual laborer to the "erratic 
genius" wasting or perverting his talents, we begin to 
reahze the truly terrible action of inherited degeneracy, 
working generation after generation, tainting and spoil- 

' Such is the opinion of some of the members of the Eugenics Record 
OflBce, the leading American scientific investigation centre on these prob- 
lems. The well-known psychiatrists Rosanoff and Orr beUeve that over 

31 per cent of apparently normal people are carriers of neuropathic de- 
fect. 

*For siimmaries of several of these investigations, both American and 
European, see Popenoe and Johnson, pp. 157-160; 176-183; Holmes, pp. 
73-97. 



THE NEMESIS OF THE INFERIOR 101 

ing good stocks, imposing heavier social burdens, and 
threatening the future of civilization. 

For degeneracy does threaten civihzation. The pres- 
ence of vast hordes of congenital inferiors — incapable, 
unadaptable, discontented, and unruly — ^menaces the 
social order with both dissolution and disruption. 

The biologist Humphrey well describes the perils of the 
situation. "So," he writes, "the army of the poorly 
endowed grows in every civilized land, by addition as 
new incompetency is revealed, and by its own rapid multi- 
plication; and to this level the human precipitate from 
every degenerative influence in civilization eventually 
settles. It is a menace already of huge proportions, but 
we succeed well in America in covering the extent and 
rapidity of its growth with soothing drafts of charity. 
And most of us rather like to remain blind to the increas- 
ing proportion of poor human material. Human interest 
centres upon vigor, strength, achievement. Its back is 
toward those who fail to achieve — until, perhaps, their 
sheer force of numbers brings them into unpleasant view. 

"As one reviews the latter days of the Roman Empire 
and reads of the many devices in the way of public enter- 
tainments for amusing and controlHng the hordes of the 
unsocial who had accumulated most grievously, the ques- 
tion arises: How soon wdll we arrive at the time when 
our unsocial masses shall have become unwieldy? One 
thing is certain: our more humanitarian methods are 
bringing the fateful day upon us at a more rapid rate. 
And our boasted Americanism is not a cure for mental 
incompetency. The police blotters of our cities will show 



102 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

that the mobs which spring up from nowhere at the shght- 
est let-up in pohce control are mostly American-bom, 
with scarcely an illiterate among them; yet they revert 
to the sway of their animal instincts quite as spon- 
taneously as benighted Russians. 

"It is folly to keep up the delusion that more democ- 
racy and more education will make over these ill-bom 
into good citizens. Democracy was never intended for 
degenerates, and a nation breeding freely of the sort that 
must continually be repressed is not headed toward an 
extension of democratic hberties. Rather, it is inevitable 
that class lines shall harden as a protection against the 
growing numbers of the underbred, just as in all previous 
cultures. However remote a cataclysm may be, our 
present racial trend is toward social chaos or a dictator- 
ship. 

"Meanwhile, we invite social turmoil by advancing 
muddled notions of equahty. Democracy, as we loosely 
ideahze it nowadays, is an overdrawn picture of earthly 
bhss; it stirs the httle-brained to hope for an impossible 
levelling of human beings. The most we can honestly 
expect to achieve is a fair levelling of opportunity ; but 
ever}^ step toward that end brings out more distinctly 
those basic inequalities of inheritance which no environ- 
mental effort can improve. So discontent is loudest in 
those least capable of grasping opportunity when it is 
offered." ^ 

In this connection we must never forget that it is the 
"high-grade" defectives who are most dangerous to 

^ Humphrey, pp. 77-80. 



THE NEMESIS OF THE INFERIOR 103 

the social order. It is the "near-genius/' the man with 
the fatal taint which perverts his talents, who oftenest 
rouses and leads the mob. The levelling social revolu- 
tionary doctrines of our own day, like SyndicaHsm, An- 
archism, and Bolshevism, superficially alluring yet basic- 
ally false and destructive, are essentially the product of 
unsound thinking — hy unsound brains. The sociologist 
Nordau ably analyzes the enormous harm done by such 
persons and doctrines, not only by rousing the degenerate 
elements, but also by leading astray vast numbers of 
average people, biologically normal enough yet with in- 
telligence not high enough to protect them against clever 
fallacies clothed in fervid emotional appeals. 

Says Nordau: "Besides the extreme forms of de- 
generacy there are milder forms, more or less inconspic- 
uous, not to be diagnosed at a first glance. These, 
however, are the most dangerous for the community, 
because their destructive influence only gradually makes 
itself felt; we are not on our guard against it; indeed, 
in many cases, we do not recognize it as the real cause 
of the evils it conjures up — evils whose serious importance 
no one can doubt. 

"A mattoid or half -fool, who is full of organic feelingB 
of dishke, generalizes his subjective state into a system 
of pessimism, of 'Weltschmertz' — weariness of fife. An- 
other, in whom a loveless egoism dominates all thought 
and feehng, so that the whole exterior world seems to 
him hostile, organizes his antisocial instincts into the 
theory of anarchism. A third, who suffers from moral 
insensibility, so that no bond of sympathy Hnks him 



104 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

with his fellow man or with any living thing, and who 
is obsessed by vanity amounting to megalomania, 
preaches a doctrine of the Superman, who is to know 
no consideration and no compassion, be bound by no 
moral principle, but 'Hve his own life' without regard 
for others. \^Tien these half -fools, as often happens, 
speak an excited language — when their imagination, un- 
bridled by logic or understanding, supplies them with 
odd, startling fancies and surprising associations and 
images — their writings make a strong impression on un- 
wary readers, and readily gain a decisive influence on 
thought in the cultivated circles of their time. 

"Of course, well-balanced persons are not thereby 
changed into practising disciples of these morbid cults. 
But the preachings of these mattoids are favorable to 
the development of similar dispositions in others; serve 
to polarize, in their own sense, tendencies of hitherto un- 
certain drift, and give thousands the courage openly, 
impudently, boastfully, to confess and act in accordance 
with convictions which, but for these theorists with their 
noise and the flash of their tinsel language, they would 
have felt to be absurd or infamous, which they would 
have concealed with shame; which in any case would 
have remained monsters known only to themselves and 
imprisoned in the lowest depths of their consciousness. 

"So, through the influence of the teachings of degen- 
erate half-fools, conditions arise which do not, like the 
cases of insanity and crime, admit of expression in figures, 
but can nevertheless in the end be defined through their 
political and social effects. We gradually observe a 



THE NEMESIS OF THE INFERIOR 105 

general loosening of morality, a disappearance of logic 
from thought and action, a morbid irritabihty and vacil- 
lation of public opinion, a relaxation of character. 
Offenses are treated with a frivolous or sentimental in- 
dulgence which encourages rascals of all kinds. People 
lose the power of moral indignation, and accustom them- 
selves to despise it as something banal, unadvanced, 
inelegant, and unintelHgent. Deeds that would formerly 
have disquahfied a man forever from pubhc life are no 
longer an obstacle in his career, so that suspicious and 
tainted personalities find it possible to rise to respon- 
sible positions, sometimes to the control of national busi- 
ness. Sound common sense becomes more rarely and 
less worthily appreciated, more and more meanly rated. 
Nobody is shocked by the most absurd proposals, mea- 
sures and fashions, and folly rules in legislation, adminis- 
tration, domestic and foreign poKtics. Every demagogue 
finds a following, every fool collects adherents, every 
event makes an impression beyond all measure, kindles 
ridiculous enthusiasm, spreads morbid consternation, 
leads to violent manifestations in one sense or the other 
and to official proceedings that are at least useless, often 
deplorable and dangerous. Everybody harps upon his 
'rights' and rebels against every limitation of his arbi- 
trary desires by law or custom. Everybody tries to 
escape from the compulsion of discipline and to shake 
off the burden of duty." ^ 
Such is the destructive action of degeneracy, spreading 

^ Max Nordau, "The Degeneration of Classes and Peoples," Hibbert 
Journal, July, 1912. 



106 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

like a cancerous blight and threatening to corrode society 
to the very marrow of its being. Against these assaults 
of inferiority; against the cleverly led legions of the de- 
generate and the backward; where can civihzation look 
for its champions? Where but in the slender ranks of 
the racially superior — those "J." and "5" stocks which, 
in America for example, we know to-day constitute barely 
13K per cent of the population ? It is this " thin red line " 
of rich, untainted blood which stands between us and 
barbarism or chaos. There alone lies our hope. Let us 
not deceive ourselves by prating about "government," 
"education," "democracy": our laws, our constitutions, 
our very sacred books, are in the last analysis mere paper 
barriers, which will hold only so long as there stand be- 
hind them men and women with the intelhgence to under- 
stand and the character to maintain them. 

Yet this life-line of civilization is not only thin but is 
wearing thinner with a rapidity which appalls those fully 
aware of the facts. We have already stated that prob- 
ably never before in human history have social conditions 
been so destructive of racial values as to-day, because of 
both the elimination of superior stocks and the multi- 
plication of inferiors. 

One dangerous fallacy we must get out of our heads: 
the fallacy of judging human populations by what we 
see among wild varieties of plants and animals. Among 
these latter we observ^e a marked stabihty of tj^je, and 
we are apt to conclude that, for man as for other life 
forms, "evolution is a slow process" in which a few gen- 
erations count for Httle, and therefore that we need not 



THE NEMESIS OF THE INFERIOR 107 

worry overmuch about measures of race betterment be- 
cause we have "plenty of time." 

A perilous delusion, this ! and a further indication of 
our unsound thinking and superficial knowledge of the 
laws of Hfe. A trifle more intelligent reflection would 
show us the profound unlikeness of the two cases. Ani- 
mals and plants (where not "domesticated" by man) 
live in the "state of nature," where they are subjected 
to the practically unvarjdng action of "natural selec- 
tion." Their germ-plasm varies in quality just like hu- 
man germ-plasm (as skilful breeders hke Luther Burbank 
have conclusively proved) ; but with them natural selec- 
tion eliminates all but a narrow range of characteristics 
which keeps the breed at a fixed level; whereas ci\'ihzed 
man, h\dng largely under self-made conditions, replaces 
natural selection by various social selections which pro- 
duce the most profound — and rapid modifications. 

There is a point w^hich we must keep in mind: the 
rapidity with which the qualities of a species can be 
altered by a change in the character of biological selec- 
tion. It is hterally amazing to observe how mankind has 
for ages been wasting its best efforts in the vain attempt 
to change existing individuals, instead of changing the 
race by determining which existing individuals should, 
and should not, produce the nex-t generation. 

Of course, racial changes by means of social selection 
have not waited for man to discover them; they have 
been going on from time immemorial. The trouble is 
that, instead of lifting humanity to the heights, as they 
might have done if intelligently directed, they have been 



108 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

working haphazard and have usually wrought decadence 
and ruin. 

The startling rapidity with which a particular stock 
may be either bred into, or out of, a given population 
can be accurately determined by discovering its rate of 
increase compared to that of the rest of the population. 
And the ultimate factor in this rate of increase is what 
is known as the "differential birth-rate." It has long 
been known that populations breeding freely tend to in- 
crease extremely fast. But what is true of a population 
as a whole apphes equally to any of its constituent ele- 
ments. Thus, in any given population, those elements 
which reproduce themselves the fastest 'wdll dominate 
the average character of the nation — and will do so at an 
ever-increasing rate. Let us take a rather moderate ex- 
ample of a differential birth-rate to show how differences 
barely noticeable from year to year may in a few genera- 
tions entirely transform the racial scene. Take two stocks 
each consisting of 1,000 individuals, the one just failing 
to reproduce itself while the other increases at, say, the 
rate of the general English population — by no means an 
extreme level of fecundity. At the end of a year the first 
stock wiU have become 996, at the end of a century it 
will have decHned to 687, while after two centuries it 
wiU number only 472. On the other hand, the second 
stock wiU after a j^ear number 1,013, in a century 3,600, 
and in two centuries about 13,000. In other words, at 
the end of a hundred years (from three to four genera- 
tions) the more prolific stock would outnumber the less 
prolific by 6 to 1, and in two centuries by 30 to 1. As- 



THE NEMESIS OF THE INFERIOR 109 

suming that the decreasing stock possessed marked abil- 
ity while the prolific stock was mediocre or inferior, the 
impoverishment of the race and the setback to civihza- 
tion can be estimated. 

Now the example above offered has been purposely 
simplified by combining other factors like differential 
death and marriage rates which should be separately 
considered in estimating the relative rates of increase 
between different groups or stocks. But it does give a 
fairly accurate idea of the present average difference in 
net fecundity between the very superior and the mediocre 
elements in the leading nations of the civihzed world, 
while it greatly understates the fecundity of the distinctly 
inferior elements. The alarming truth is that in almost 
all civilized countries the birth-rate of the superior ele- 
ments has been declining rapidly for the past half cen- 
tury, until to-day, despite a greatly lowered death-rate, 
they are either stationary or actually decreasing in num- 
bers; whereas the other elements are increasing at rates 
proportionate to their mediocrity and inferiority. These 
facts have been conclusively proved by a multitude of 
scientific researches conducted throughout Europe and 
in the United States.^ 

We can accurately determine the point at which a 
group should just reproduce itself by discovering its death 
and marriage rates and then estimating the average 
number of children that should be bom to those persons 

* For many of these researches, including reproductions of statistical 
tables and other data, see Holmes, pp. 118-180, 231-234; Popenoe and 
Johnson, pp. 135-146, 256-272; Whetham, pp. 59-73; McDougall, pp. 
154r-168. 



110 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

who marry. Taking the civilized world as a whole, it 
has been found that about four children should be bom 
per marriage if a stock is to reproduce itself. In a few 
countries like Australia and New Zealand, and in certain 
high-grade groups, where the death-rates are very low, 
an average of three children per marriage may be enough 
to reproduce the stock, but that seems to be about the 
absolute minimum of fecundity which will ever suffice. 

Now bearing in mind these reproductive minima, what 
do we actually find ? We find that in Europe (excluding 
the more backward countries) the superior elements of 
the population average from two to four children per 
marriage; that the mediocre elements average from four 
to six children per marriage; that the inferior elements, 
considered as a whole, average from six to seven and one- 
half children per marriage; while the most inferior ele- 
ments like casual laborers, paupers, and feeble-minded 
defectives, considered separately, average about seven to 
eight children (illegitimate births of course included). 
The differential birth-rates iu the different quarters of 
the great European cities are topical. Some years before 
the late war, the French sociologist Bertillon found that 
in Paris and Berlin the births in the slum quarters were 
more than three times as numerous as the births in the 
best residential sections, while in London and Vienna 
they were about two and one-half times as numerous. 

In the United States conditions are no better than in 
Europe — in some respects they seem to be rather worse. 
Outside of the South and parts of the West the old native 
American stock is not reproducing itself, the birth-rates 



THE NEMESIS OF THE INFERIOR 111 

of immigrant stocks from northern and western Europe 
are rapidly falling, while the birth-rates among the im- 
migrant stocks from southern and eastern Europe remain 
high and show comparatively sHght diminution. The 
American intellectual groups are much less fertile than 
similar European groups. The average number of chil- 
dren per married graduate of the leading American col- 
leges like Harvard and Yale is about two, w^hile among 
the leading women's colleges it is about one and one-half. 
Furthermore, the marriage-rates of college men and 
women are so low that, considering married and single 
graduates together, the statistical average is about one 
and one-half children per college man and something less 
than three-fourths of a child per college woman. Pro- 
fessor Cattell has investigated the size of famihes of 440 
American men of science, choosing only those cases in 
which the ages of the parents indicated that the family 
was completed. Despite a very low death-rate, the birth- 
rate was so much lower that, as he himself remarks, "it 
is obvious that the families are not self-perpetuating. 
The scientific men imder fifty, of whom there are 261 
with completed families, have on the average 1.88 chil- 
dren, about 12 per cent of whom die before the age of 
marriage. "WTiat proportion will marry we do not know; 
but only about 75 per cent of Harvard and Yale graduates 
msLTTy; only 50 per cent of the graduates of colleges for 
women marry. A scientific man has on the average about 
seven-tenths of an adult son. If three-fourths of his 
sons and grandsons marry, and their families continue 
to be of the same size, 1,000 scientific men will leave about 



112 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

350 grandsons to marry and transmit their names and 
their hereditary traits. The extermination will be still 
more rapid in female Hnes." 

In sharp contrast to these figures, note the high birth- 
rates in the tenement districts of America's great cities. 
In New York, for example, the birth-rate on the East 
Side is over four times the birth-rate in the smart 
residential districts. Commenting on similar conditions 
in Pittsburgh, where the birth-rate in the poorest ward 
is three times that of the best residential ward, Messrs. 
Popenoe and Johnson remark : " The significance of such 
figures in natural selection must be evident. Pittsburgh, 
Hke probably aU large cities in civihzed countries, breeds 
from the bottom. The lower a class is in the scale of in- 
telhgence, the greater is its reproductive contribution. 
Recalling that intelHgence is inherited, that hke begets 
like in this respect, one can hardly feel encouraged over 
the quality of the population of Pittsburgh a few genera- 
tions hence." ^ 

Furthermore, it must not be forgotten that such dif- 
ferential birth-rates imply for America problems more 
complex even than those in Europe; because, whereas 
in Europe they involve mainly shifts in group-inteUigence, 
in America they mean also changes of race with all that 
that imphes in modifications of fundamental national 
temperaments, ideals, and institutions. And that is 
precisely what is taking place in many parts of America 
to-day. New England, for example, once the prolific 
nursery of the ambitious, inteUigent "Yankee stock," 

^ Popenoe and Johnson, p. 139. 



THE NEMESIS OF THE INFERIOR 113 

which trekked forth in millions to settle the West, is fast 
ceasing to be Anglo-Saxon country. In Massachusetts 
the birth-rate of foreign-bom women is two and one-half 
times as high as the birth-rate among the native-born; 
in New Hampshire two times; in Rhode Island one and 
one-half times — the most prolific of the alien stocks being 
Poles, Polish and Russian Jews, South Italians, and 
French-Canadians. \^Tiat this may mean after a few 
generations is indicated by a calculation made by the 
biologist Davenport, who stated that, at present rates of 
reproduction, 1,000 Harvard graduates of to-day would 
have only fifty descendants two centuries hence, whereas 
1,000 Rumanians to-day in Boston, at their present rate 
of breeding, would have 100,000 descendants in the same 
space of time. 

To return to the more general aspect of the problem, 
it is clear that both in Europe and America the quality 
of the population is deteriorating, the more intelligent 
and talented strains being relatively or absolutely on the 
decline. Now this can mean nothing less than a deadly 
menace both to civilization and the race. Let us consider 
how the psychological experts who formulated the Amer- 
ican army intelhgence tests characterized the upper in- 
telligence grades. "A'' men were described as possessed 
of "the ability to make a superior record in college"; 
"B" men "capable of making an average record in col- 
lege"; "C" men "rarely capable of finishing a high- 
school course," and, on the basis of the army ratings, 
nearly 75 per cent of the whole population of the United 
States is to-day below the C + level ! 



114 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

Since the American population (with the exception of 
its south and east European immigrant stocks and its 
negroes) probably averages about as high in intelHgence 
as do the north European peoples, it is not difficult to 
foresee that if intelligence continues to be bred out of 
the race at its present rate, civiKzation will either slump 
or crash from sheer lack of brains. The fatal effects of 
a brain famine are well described by Professor McDougall 
in the following lines: 

"The civihzation of America depends on your con- 
tinuing to produce A and B men in fair numbers. And 
at present the A men are 4 per cent, the B men 9 per 
cent, and you are breeding from the lower part of the 
curve. The A men and B men, the college-bred, do not 
maintain their numbers, while the population swells 
enormously. If this goes on for a few generations, will 
not the A men, and even the B men, become rare as white 
elephants, dropping to a mere fraction of 1 per cent? 
It is only too probable. 

" The present tendency seems to be for the whole curve 
to shift toward the wrong end with each successive gen- 
eration. And this is probably true of moral qualities, 
as well as of intellectual stature. If the time should come 
when your A and B men together are no more than 1 
per cent, or a mere fraction of 1 per cent, of the popula- 
tion — what will become of your civihzation ? 

"Let me state the case more concretely, in relation to 
one of the great essential professions of which I have 
some inside knowledge; namely, the medical profession. 
Two hundred or one hundred years ago, the knowledge 



THE NEMESIS OF THE INFERIOR 115 

to be acquired by the medical student, before entering 
upon the practice of his profession, was a comparatively 
small body of empirical rules. The advance of civiliza- 
tion has enormously multiplied this knowledge, and the 
very existence of our civilized communities depends upon 
the continued and effective appHcation of this vast body 
of medical art and science. The acquiring and the ju- 
dicious apphcation of this mass of knowledge makes very 
much greater demands upon the would-be practitioner 
than did the mastery of the body of rules of our fore- 
fathers. Accordingly, the length of the curriculum pre- 
scribed for oiu" medical students has constantly to be 
drawn out, till now its duration is some six years of post- 
graduate study. 

"The students who enter upon this long and severe 
course of study are already a selected body; they have 
passed through high school and college successfully. We 
may fairly assume that the great majority of them be- 
long to the A OT B OT at least the C -\- group in the army 
scale of intelhgence. 

"^A^lat proportion of them, do you suppose, prove 
capable of assimilating the vast body of medical knowl- 
edge to the point that renders them capable of apphang 
it intelligently and effectively? If I may venture to 
generalize from my own experience, I would say that a 
very considerable proportion, even of those who pass 
their examinations, fail to achieve such effective assimi- 
lation. The bulk of modem medical knowledge is too 
vast for their capacity of assimilation, its complexity too 
great for their power of understanding. Yet medical 



116 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

science continues to grow in bulk and complexity, and 
the dependence of the community upon it becomes ever 
more intimate. 

"In this one profession, then, which makes such great 
and increasing demands on both the intellectual and the 
moral qualities of its members, the demand for A and 
B men steadily increases; and the supply in all prob- 
ability is steadily diminishing with each generation. 

"And what is taking place in this one profession is, 
it would seem, taking place in all the great professions 
and higher callings. Our civilization, by reason of its 
increasing complexity, is making constantly increasing 
demands upon the qualities of its bearers; the qualities 
of those bearers are diminishing or deteriorating, rather 
than improving." ^ 

The larger aspects of the problem are ably stated by 
Whetham, who writes: ""\^Tien we come to consider the 
birth-rate as at present affecting our social structure, we 
find that it is highest in those sections of the community 
which, like the feeble-minded and the insane, are devoid 
of intelligent personahty, or, like many of the unemployed 
and casual laborers, seem to be either without ideals or 
without any method of expressing them. In all the social 
groups which have hitherto been distinguished for co- 
herence, for industry, for good mental and physical ca- 
pacity, for power of organization and administration, the 
birth-rate has fallen below the figures necessary to main- 
tain the national store of these qualities. Great men are 
scarce; the group personality is becoming indistinct and 

1 McDougall, pp. 163-168. 



THE NEMESIS OF THE INFERIOR 117 

the personality of the race, by which success was attained 
in the past, is therefore on the w^ane, while the forces of 
chaos are once more being manufactured in our midst 
ready to break loose and destroy civilization when the 
higher types are no longer sufficient in numbers and ef- 
fectiveness to guide, control or subdue them." ^ 

The unprecedented rapidity of our racial impoverish- 
ment seems due, as aheady stated, to many causes, some 
old and others new. We have seen that the stressful 
complexity of high civihzations has always tended to 
eliminate superior stocks by diverting their energy from 
racial ends to individual or social ends, the effects show- 
ing in an increase of cehbacy, late marriage, and few 
children. Most of the phenomena underlying these 
racially destructive phenomena can be grouped under 
two heads: the high cost of hving and the cost of high 
Hving. Behind those two general phrases stand a multi- 
tude of special factors, such as rising prices, higher stand- 
ards, desire for luxury, social emulation, inefficient gov- 
ernment, high taxation, and (last but not least) the pres- 
sure of ever-multiplying masses of low-grade, incompetent 
humanity, acting like sand in the social gears and con- 
suming an ever-larger portion of the national wealth 
and energy for their charitable rehef, doctoring, educat- 
ing, pohcing, etc. 

Now all these varied factors, whatever their nature, 
have this in common: they tend to make children more 
and more of a burden for the superior individual, however 
necessary such children may be for civilization and the 

1 Whetham, p. 72. 



118 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

race. The fact is that^ under present conditions, com- 
paratively few people of the right sort can afford to raise 
large famihes of well-born, well-cared-for, and well-edu- 
cated children. This is the basic reason for that sharp 
drop in the birth-rates of the upper and middle classes 
of all civihzed lands which has occurred during the past 
haK century. Of course, the drop has been hastened by 
the simultaneous discovery of various methods for pre- 
venting conception which are collectively termed "bulh- 
control." However, it was not so much the new methods 
as the insistent economic and social pressure to employ 
them which accounts for the rapidity in the fecundal 
decline. Under the conditions of modem hfe a pro- 
nounced decline in the birth-rate was ine\dtable. To 
cite only one of several reasons, the progress of medical 
science had greatly reduced the death-rate and had thus 
made possible an enormous net increase of population. 
To have maintained an unchecked birth-rate would have 
meant for the Western nations congested masses of hu- 
manity like those of Asia, dwelling on a low level of 
poverty. 

To escape this fate, the more intelHgent and far-sighted 
elements in ever}^ ci\alized land began quickly to avail 
themselves of the new contraceptive methods and to 
hmit the size of their famihes in this manner. That raised 
a great pubHc outcry (largely on rehgious grounds), and 
in most coimtries^ the imparting of contraceptive knowl- 

^ In a few enlightened communities, notably Australia, Holland, and 
New Zealand, contraceptive methods were welcomed and birth-control 
knowledge is freely imparted to all classes. The social and racial results 
have been excellent, particularly in minimizing differential birth-rates and 
thus averting sudden group shifts in the population. 



THE NEMESIS OF THE INFERIOR 119 

edge was legally prohibited. Such action was extremely 
stupid — and very disastrous. To far-sighted communi- 
ties it should have been evident that with the appearance 
of new social factors like lowered death-rates, higher Hv- 
ing costs, and rising standards, a lower birth-rate was 
simply ine\dtable; that civilized peoples could not, and 
would not, go on breeding like animals, as they had done 
in the old days of cheap Hving and low standards, when 
a high birth-rate was offset by the unchecked ravages of 
death. 

But, a reduced birth-rate being inevitable, the only 
questions which remained were: How, and by whom, 
should it be reduced? Should it be by the traditional 
methods of ceHbacy (tempered by ilhcit sex-relations and 
prostitution), deferred marriage, infanticide, and abor- 
tion;^ or should it be by the new contraceptive methods? 
Again: Should aU sections of the population lower their 
birth-rates, or should only the more intelligent classes? 
Unfortunately for the race, it was the latter alternative 
which prevailed. Instead of spreading contraceptive 
knowledge among the masses and thus mitigating as 
far as possible the evils of a racially destructive differen- 
tial birth-rate, society succeeded in keeping the masses 
in ignorance and high fecundity, whereas it emphatically 
did not succeed in keeping contraceptive knowledge from 
the more intelligent, who increasingly practised birth- 

* Abortion must be carefully distinguished from prerention of concep- 
tion. Methods of preventing conception are recent discoveries; abor- 
tion has been practised since very ancient times. Some of the most primi- 
tive surviving peoples, like the AustraUan blacks and the South AJfrican 
bushmen, are highly skilled in procuring abortions. 



120 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

control — and diminished their contributions to the popu- 
lation. 

Here, then, was a great potential instrument of race 
betterment perverted into an agent of race decadence. 
With blind insistence upon mere numbers and an utter 
disregard of quality, society deHberately fostered the in- 
ferior elements at the expense of the superiors. The re- 
sults are such as we have already examined in our study 
of the differential birth-rates of to-day. 

So ends our survey of the general factors of race im- 
poverishment. Before closing, however, we must note 
one special factor of the most melancholy significance — 
the Great War. The Great War was unquestionably the 
most appalling catastrophe that ever befell mankind. 
The racial losses were certainly as grave as the material 
losses. Not only did the war itself destroy immeasurable 
racial values, but its aftermath is proving only shghtly 
less unfavorable to the race. Bad social conditions and 
the frightfully high cost of Hving continue to depress the 
birth-rates of all save the most reckless and impro\adent 
elements, whose increase is a curse rather than a blessing. 

To consider only one of the many causes that to-day 
keep down the birth-rate of the superior elements of the 
population, take the crushing burden of taxation through- 
out Europe, which hits especially the increase of the upper 
and middle classes. The London Saturday Review ex- 
plained this very clearly when it wrote editorially : " From 
a man with £2,000 a year the tax-gatherer takes £600. 
The remaining £1,400, owing to the decreased value of 
money, has a purchasing power about equal to £700 a 



THE NEMESIS OF THE INFERIOR 121 

year before the war. No young man will; therefore, think 
of marrying on less than £2,000 a year. We are thinking 
of the young man in the upper and middle classes. The 
man who starts with nothing does not, as a rule, arrive 
at £2,000 a year until he is past the marrying age. So 
the continuance of the species will be carried on almost 
exclusively by the class of manual workers of a low aver- 
age caliber of brain." 

In similar vein the London Times describes in the fol- 
lowing words what it terms "The Death of the Middle 
Classes": "The fact is, that with the present cost of 
living, the present taxation, the present price of houses, 
a 'family,' as that term used to be understood, is impos- 
sible. It means, not discomfort, but privation, with con- 
sequent deterioration of health. It is, therefore, far better 
to bring up one healthy child and afford it a reasonable 
education than to attempt to bring up three children on 
insujfficient food and without the hope of being able to 
afford them a training for their life's work. But the mis- 
chief does not stop there by any means. It is common 
knowledge that marriages, especially middle-class mar- 
riages, are being postponed at present on account of hous- 
ing and food difficulties, and there can be no doubt that 
many men are avoiding marriage altogether because of 
the severe financial strain which it imposes. The world 
is in a gay mood; the attractions of domestic life on a 
salary barely enough for two are not conspicuous. As a 
bachelor, a man may indulge his tastes, preserve his free- 
dom of action, and can afford to amuse himself with his 
friends. He shrinks from the alternative of stern hard 



122 THE REVOLT AGMXST CIVILIZATION 

work; frugal li\ing, a minimiun of pleasure, and a maxi- 
mum of anxiety." 

.^though the war did not hit America as hard as it 
did Europe, its racially e^'il effects are e\ident here also. 
A recent editorial of the New York Times well describes 
not merely some of the effects of war, but likewise some 
of the results of that short-sighted philantliropy which 
penaHzes the thrifty and the self-respecting elements to 
coddle the charitj^-seeking and the improvident. Says 
this editorial: ''Health Commissioner Copeland's state- 
ment that the birth-rate of native Americans is dechning 
in comparison with that of the foreign element in our 
population contains nothing new, except it be his remark 
that the decline has been accelerated by the war. That 
such a result was inevitable has long been evident. A 
vast preponderance of the foreign element are wage- 
earners, whose incomes rose doggedly, step by step, with 
the cost of n^^g. Natives of native parentage are pre- 
ponderantly brain workers, whose salaries remained much 
what they had been. The result was a sharp lowering of 
their standard of h\'ing, which could only have checked 
their already low birth-rate. During the war the Com- 
missioner of Charities, Bird S. Coler, reported that, for 
the first time in the histor}^ of his commission, educated 
people who had hitherto been self-sustaining and seK- 
respecting members of the middle class brought him their 
children, saying that they could no longer pro\ade food 
and clothing. 

"Doctor Copeland's statistics of infant mortahty tell 
a similar storj'. Among infants of native-born mothers 



THE NEMESIS OF THE INFERIOR 123 

the rate is 90 per 1,000 — as against 79 for French mothers; 
75 for Bohemian, 69 for Austro-Hungarian, 64 for Rus- 
sian, 58 for Swedish, and 43 for Scotch. ITiis difference 
Doctor Copeland attributes to the fact that American 
mothers are less inclined to make use of the Baby Health 
Stations which are conducted by his department. For- 
eign-born mothers are 'accustomed to depend on these 
and other governmental agencies.' It is only under the 
bitterest compulsion, such as led middle-class parents to 
bring their children to the Commissioner of Charities, 
that Americans apply for pubHc aid in their family life. 
Meantime, these people of native birth pay largely in 
taxes for the many 'governmental agencies' that aid the 
immigrant laborer and his family. During the war Henry 
Fairfield Osbom protested against this inequity on the 
ground that it was making hfe impossible for the edu- 
cated American, whose home is the stronghold of our 
national traditions. 

"How serious the situation has become is evident in 
the statistics of our population. In 1910, there were in 
New York 921,318 native Americans of native parentage. 
Of natives of foreign or mixed parentage there were 
1,820,141, and of the foreign-bom 1,927,703— a total of 
3,747,844, as against the 921,318 natives of native parent- 
age. Complete figures for 1920 are not yet available, but 
Doctor Copeland is authority for the statement that the 
proportion of those whose traditions are of foreign origin 
is rapidly increasing. His statement ends with an exhor- 
tation against birth-control, the spirit of which is ad- 
mirable though its logic is not clear. WTiat he has in 



124 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

mind, evidently; is not birth-control but birth-release 
among Americans of the older immigrations. That, as 
he apparently beheves, is a merely moral matter, but his 
own statement shows that it has a deeper basis in modem 
economic conditions. These were doubtless emphasized 
by the war, but they had been operating for many dec- 
ades before it and continue to exercise their influence 
with increasing force." 

That is precisely it. The war, terrible as it was, merely 
hastened a racial impoverishment which had been long 
at work; wore somewhat thinner the life-hne of civiliza- 
tion which was already wearing thin, and spurred to 
fiercer energy those waxing powers of barbarism and 
chaos which we shall now directly consider. 



CHAPTER IV 

THE LURE OF THE PRIMITIVE 

The revolt against ci\alization goes deeper than we are 
apt to suppose. However elaborate and persuasive may 
be the modem doctrines of revolt, they are merely con- 
scious " rationalizings " of an instinctive urge which arises 
from the emotional depths. One of our hard, but salu- 
tary, disillusionments is the knowledge that our fathers 
were mistaken in their fond belief about automatic prog- 
ress. We are now coming to reahze that, besides progress, 
there is "regress"; that going forward is no more "natu- 
ral" than going backward; lastly, that both movements 
are secondary" phenomena, depending primarily upon the 
character of human stocks. 

Now when we realize the inevitable discontent of indi- 
viduals or groups placed at cultural levels above their 
inborn capacities and their instinctive desire to revert 
from these uncongenial surroundings to others lower but 
more congenial, we can begin to appreciate the power of 
the atavistic forces forever seeking to disrupt advanced 
societies and drag them dowTi to more primitive levels. 
The success of such attempts means one of those cata- 
clysms known as social revolution, and we have already 
shown how profound is the regression and how great 
the destruction of both social and racial values. We 

125 



126 THE REVOLT AGAINST CI\aLIZATION 

must remember, however, that revolutions do not spring 
casually out of nothing. Behind the revolution itseK 
there usually hes a long formative period during which 
the forces of chaos gather while the forces of order de- 
chne. Revolutions thus give plenty of warning of their 
approach — for those who have ears to hear. It is only 
because hitherto men have not understood revolutionary 
phenomena that the danger-signals have been disregarded 
and society has been caught unawares. 

The symptoms of incipient revolution can be di\aded 
into three stages: (1) Destructive criticism of the exist- 
ing order; (2) revolutionary theorizing and agitation; 
(3) revolutionary action. The second and third stages 
will be discussed in subsequent chapters. In the pres- 
ent chapter let us consider the first stage: Destructive 
Criticism. 

Strong, weU-poised societies are not overthrown by 
revolution. Before the revolutionary onslaught can 
have any chance of success, the social order must first 
have been imdermined and morally discredited. This is 
accomplished primarily by the process of destructive crit- 
icism. Destructive criticism must clearly be distinguished 
from constructive criticism. Between the two there is 
all the difference between a toxin and a tonic. Construc- 
tive criticism aims at remed}dng defects and perfecting 
the existing order by evolutionary methods. Destructive 
criticism, on the contrary, inveighs against current de- 
fects in a bitter, carping, pessimistic spirit; tends to 
despair of the existing social order, and either asserts or 
imphes that reform can come only through sweeping 



THE LURE OF THE PRIMITIVE 127 

changes of a revolutionary character. Precisely what the 
destined goal is to be is, at the start, seldom clearly de- 
scribed. That task belongs to the second stage — the 
stage of revolutionary theorizing and agitation. Destruc- 
tive criticism, in its initial aspect, is Httle more than a 
voicing of hitherto inarticulate emotions — a prehminary 
crj^stalhzation of waxing dissatisfactions and discontents. 
Its range is much wider than is commonly supposed, for 
it usually assails not merely pohtical and social matters 
but also subjects like art and Hterature, even science 
and learning. Always there crops out the same spirit 
of morose pessimism and incipient revolt against things 
as they exist — whatever these may be. 

A fundamental quahty of destructive criticism is its 
glorification of the primitive. Long before it elaborates 
specific revolutionary doctrines and methods, it blends 
with its condemnation of the present an idealization of 
what it conceives to have been the past. Civilization is 
assumed either to have begun wTong or to have taken a 
wrong turning at some comparatively early stage of its 
development. Before that unfortunate event (the source 
of present ills) the world was much better. Hence, the 
discontented mind turns back with longing to those pris- 
tine halcyon days when society was sound and simple, 
and man happy and free. The fact that such a Golden 
Age never really existed is of small moment, because 
this glorification of the primitive is an emotional reaction 
of dissatisfied natures yearning for a return to more ele- 
mental conditions in which they feel they would be more 
at home. 



128 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

Such is the "Lure of the Primitive." And its emo- 
tional appeal is unquestionably strong. This is well 
illustrated by the popularity of writers like Rousseau 
and Tolstoy, who have condemned civihzation and 
preached a "return to nature." Rousseau is, in fact, 
the leading exponent of that wave of destructive criti- 
cism which swept over Europe in the latter half of the 
eighteenth century — the forerunner of the French Revolu- 
tion; while Tolstoy is one of the leading figures in the 
similar nineteenth-century movement that heralded the 
revolutionary cataclysms of to-day. In discussing 
Rousseau and Tolstoy we will consider not merely their 
teachings but also their personahties and ancestry, be- 
cause these latter vividly illustrate what we have already 
observed — that character and action are mainly deter- 
mined by heredity. 

Take first the case of Rousseau. Jean-Jacques Rous- 
seau is a striking example of the "tainted genius." He 
was born of unsound stock, his father being dissipated, 
violent-tempered, flighty, and fooHsh. Jean-Jacques 
proved a "chip of the old block," for he was neurotic, 
mentally unstable, morally weak, sexually perverted, 
and during the latter part of his life was undoubtedly 
insane. Together with all this, however, he possessed 
great literary talents, his style, persuasiveness, and 
charm captivating and convincing multitudes. He ac- 
cordingly exerted upon the world a profound — and in the 
main a baneful — influence, which is working indirectly 
but powerfully even to-day. 

Such was the champion of "noble savagery" against 



THE LURE OF THE PRIMITIVE 129 

civilization.^ Rousseau asserted that civilization was 
fundamentally wrong and that the path of human sal- 
vation lay in a "return to nature." According to Rous- 
seau, primitive man was a care-free and wholly admirable 
creature, living in \drtuous harmony \sith his fellows 
tiU corrupted by the restraints and vices of civihzation 
— especially the vice of private property, which had poi- 
soned the souls of all men and had reduced most men 
to ignoble servitude. It is perhaps needless to add that 
Rousseau was a passionate behever in "natural equality," 
all differences between men being in his opinion due 
solely to the artificial conventions of civilization. If 
men would again be happy, free, and equal, asserted 
Rousseau, the way was easy: let them demolish the 
fabric of ci\dlization, abolish private property, and re- 
turn to his communistic "state of nature." 

Put thus baldly, Rousseau's gospel may not sound 
particularly alluring. Clothed in his own persuasive 
eloquence, however, it produced an enormous effect. 
Said Voltaire: "\\^en I read Rousseau, I want to run 
about in the woods on all fours." 

Of course, Rousseau's teaching contains a kernel of 
soundness — that is true of all false doctrines, since if they 
were wholly absurd they could make no converts outside 
of bedlam, and could thus never become dangerous to 
society. In Rousseau's case the grain of truth was 
his praise of the beauties of nature and simple li\Tng. 
Preached to the oversophisticated, artificial "high so- 

^ Of course, Rousseau is merely representative of a whole trend of thought 
and feeling. He was not a pioneer but a popularizer. 



130 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

ciety" of the eighteenth century, his words undoubtedly 
produced a refreshing effect; just as a jaded city man to- 
day returns invigorated from a month's "roughing it" 
in the wilds. The trouble was that Rousseau's grain 
of truth was hidden in a bushel of noxious chaff, so that 
people were apt to rise from a reading of Rousseau, not 
inspired by a sane love for simple hving, fresh air, and 
exercise, but inoculated with a hatred for civilization 
and consumed with a thirst for violent social experi- 
ments. The effect was about the same as though our 
hypothetical city man should return from his month in 
the wilds imbued with the resolve to bum down his 
house and spend the rest of his life naked in a cave. In 
short: "Although Rousseau's injunction, 'Go back into 
the woods and become men!' may be excellent advice 
if interpreted as a temporary measure, ' Go back into the 
woods and remain there' is a counsel for anthropoid 
apes." ^ 

The effect of Rousseau's teaching upon revolutionary 
thought and action will be discussed later. Let us now 
turn to the more recent champion of the primitive, 
Tolstoy. Count Leo Tolstoy came of a distinguished 
but eccentric stock. His mature philosophy of life, 
particularly his dishke of civilization and fondness for 
the primitive, is clearly accounted for by his heredity. 
The Tolstoys seem to have been noted for a certain wild- 
ness of temperament, and one of the family, Feodor 
Ivanovich Tolstoy, was the famous "American," the 
"Aleute" of Griboyedoff, who was so obsessed by Rous- 

* N. H. Webster, World RevoliUion, p. 2 (London and Boston, 1921). 



THE LURE OF THE PRIMITIVE 131 

seau's teachings that he endeavored to put Rousseauism 
into practice, had himself tattooed hke a savage, and 
tried to hve absolutely in the "state of nature." Leo 
Tolstoy's life was characterized by violent extremes, 
ranging from furious dissipation to ascetic frugality and 
from complete scepticism to boundless religious devo- 
tion. Athwart all these shifts, however, we may discern 
a growing distaste for civihzed Hfe as a morbid and un- 
natural comphcation, a will to simplify, a metaphysical 
urge backward toward the condition of primitive man. 
He repudiates culture and approves all that is simple, 
natural, elemental, wild. In his writings Tolstoy de- 
nounces culture as the enemy of happiness, and one of 
his works, "The Cossacks," was written specifically to 
prove the superiority of "the life of a beast of the field." 
Like his ancestor the tattooed "Aleute," Leo Tolstoy 
early fell under the spell of Rousseau, and was later 
deeply influenced by Schopenhauer, the philosopher of 
pessimism. In his "Confessions" Tolstoy exclaims: 
"How often have I not envied the unlettered peasant 
his lack of learning. ... I say, let your affairs be as 
two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand. Instead 
of a milHon count half a dozen, and keep your accounts 
on your thumb nail. . . . Simplify, simphfy, simphfy! 
Instead of three meals a day, if it be necessary eat but 
one, instead of a hundred dishes, five; and reduce other 
things in proportion." 

The celebrated Russian novehst and critic Dmitri 
Merezhkovski thus analyzes Tolstoy's instinctive aver- 
sion to civihzation and love of the primitive: "If a stone 



132 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

lies on top of another in a desert, that is excellent. If 
the stone has been placed upon the other by the hand of 
man, that is not so good. But if stones have been 
placed upon each other and fixed there with mortar or 
iron, that is evil; that means construction, whether it 
be a castle, a barracks, a prison, a customs-house, a 
hospital, a slaughter-house, a church, a public build- 
ing, or a school. All that is built is bad, or at least 
suspect. The first wild impulse which Tolstoy felt 
when he saw a building, or any complex whole, created 
by the hand of man, was to simplify, to level, to crush, 
to destroy, so that no stone might be left upon the other 
and the place might again become wild and simple and 
purified from the work of man's hand. Nature is to 
him the pure and simple; civilization and culture repre- 
sent complication and impurity. To return to nature 
means to expel impurity, to simpHfy what is complex, 
to destroy culture." ^ 

In analyzing Tolstoy we become aware of a biological 
problem transcending mere family considerations; the 
question of Russian folk nature comes into view. The 
Russian people is made up chiefly of primitive racial 
strains, some of which (especially the Tartars and other 
Asiatic nomad elements) are distinctly "wild" stocks 
which have always shown an instinctive hostihty to 
civilization. Russian history reveals a series of volcanic 
eruptions of congenital barbarism which have blown to 

* Dmitri Merezhkovski, "Tolstoy and Bolshevism," Deutsche Allger- 
meine Zeitung, 15-16 March, 1921. Quoted from the translation in The 
Living Age, 7 May, 1921. 



THE LURE OF THE PRIMITIVE 133 

fragments the thin top-dressing of ordered civiHzation. 
Viewed historically, the present Bolshevik upheaval 
appears largely as an instinctive reaction against the 
attempt to civilize Russia begun by Peter the Great 
and continued by his successors. Against this process 
of "Westernization" the Russian spirit has continually 
protested. These protests have arisen from all classes 
of Russian society. Peasant sects like the "Old Be- 
lievers" condemning Peter as "Anti-Christ," or, hke 
the Skoptzi, mutilating themselves in furious fanati- 
cism; wild peasant revolts hke those of Pugachev and 
Stenka Razine, reducing vast areas to blood and ashes; 
high-born "Slavophiles," cursing the "Rotten West," 
glorifying Asia, and threatening Europe with a "cleans- 
ing blood-bath" of conquest and destruction; Bolshevik 
Commisars longing to engulf the whole world in a Red 
tide surging out of Moscow — the forms vary, but the 
underlying spirit is the same. Not by chance have 
Russians been foremost in all the extreme forms of 
revolutionary unrest: not by chance was "Nihilism" a 
distinctively Russian development; Bakunin, the genius 
of Anarchism; and Lenin, the brains of international 
Bolshevism. 

Dmitri Merezhkovski thus admits the innate wildness 
of the Russian soul: "We fancied that Russia was a 
house. No, it is merely a tent. The nomad set up his 
tent for a brief period, then struck it, and is off again in 
the steppes. The naked, level steppes are the home of 
the wandering Scythian. Wlierevcr in the steppes a 
black point appears and grows larger in their vision, the 



134 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

Scjrthian hordes sweep dowTi upon it and level it to the 
earth. They bum and ravage until they leave the wilder- 
ness to resume its sway. The cra\dng for unbroken dis- 
tanceS; for a dead level, for naked nature; for physical 
evenness and metaphysical uniformity — the most ancient 
ancestral impulse of the Scythian mind — manifests itself 
equally in Arakcheyev, Bakunin, Pugachev, Razin, Lenin, 
and Tolstoy. They have converted Russia into a va- 
cant level plain. They would make all Europe the same, 
and the whole world the same." ^ 

Economists have expressed surprise that Bolshevism 
should have established itself in Russia. To the student 
of race history, it was a perfectly natural event. Further- 
more, while the late war may have hastened the catas- 
trophe, some such catastrophe was apparently inevitable, 
because for years previous to the war it was clear that 
the Russian social order was weakening, while the forces 
of chaos were gathering strength. The decade before 
the war saw Russia suffering from a chronic "crime 
wave," known collectively to Russian sociologists as 
"Hoohganism," which seriously alarmed competent ob- 
servers. In the year 1912, the Russian minister of the 
interior, Maklakov, stated: "Crime increases here. The 
number of cases has grown. A partial explanation is the 
fact that the younger generation grew up in the years of 
revolt, 1905-1906. The fear of God and of laws disap- 
pears even in the villages. The city and rural population 
is equally menaced by the ' Hoohgans.' " In the following 
year (1913) a leading St. Petersburg newspaper wrote 

* From the article in the Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung previously quoted. 



THE LURE OF THE PRIMITIVE 135 

editorially: "Hooliganism; as a mass-phenomenon, is un- 
known to western Europe. The 'Apaches' who terrorize 
the population of Paris or London are people with a dif- 
ferent psychology from that of the Russian Hooligan. '* 
Another St. Petersburg paper remarked about the same 
time: "Nothing human or divine restrains the destruc- 
tive frenzy of the untrammelled will of the Hoohgan. 
There are no moral laws for him. He values nothing 
and recognizes nothing. In the bloody madness of his 
acts there is always something deeply blasphemous, dis- 
gusting, purely bestial." And the well-known Russian 
writer, Menshikov, drew this really striking picture of 
social conditions in the pages of his organ, Novoye 
Vremya: "All over Russia we see the same growth of 
'Hoohganism,' and the terror in which the Hoohgans 
hold the population. It is no secret that the army of 
criminals increases constantly. The Courts are Hterally 
near exhaustion, crushed under the weight of a mountain 
of cases. The pohce are agonizing in the struggle with 
crime — a struggle which is beyond their strength. The 
prisons are congested to the breaking-point. Is it pos- 
sible that this terrible thing wiU not meet Tvith some heroic 
resistance? A real civH war is going on in the depths of 
the masses, which threatens a greater destruction than 
an enemy's invasion. Not 'HooHganism,' but Anarchy: 
this is the real name for that plague which has invaded 
the villages and is invading the cities. It is not only 
degenerates who enter upon a Hfe of debauch and crime; 
already the average, normal masses join them, and only 
exceptionally decent \dllage youths still maintain as much 



136 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

as possible a life of decent endeavor. The younger people, 
of course, make a greater show than the elderly peasants 
and the old men. But the fact is that both the former 
and the latter are degenerating into a state of savagery 
and bestiahty." 

Could there be a better description of that breakdown 
of the social controls and up-surge of savage instincts 
which, as we have already seen, characterizes the out- 
break of social revolutions ? This was precisely what the 
Russian Nihilists and Anarchists had been preaching for 
generations. This was what Bakunin had meant in his 
favorite toast: "To the destruction of all law and order, 
and the unchaining of evil passions!" For Bakunin, 
"The People" were the social outcasts — brigands, 
thieves, drunkards, and vagabonds. Criminals were 
frankly his favorites. Said he: "Only the proletariat 
in rags is inspired by the spirit and force of the coming 
social revolution." 

Referring once more to the matter of Russian Hooli- 
ganism prior to 1914, there is good ground for beUeving 
that the "crime waves" which have afflicted western 
Europe and America since the war are of a similar na- 
tm'e. Recently a leading American detective expressed 
his conviction that the "gunmen," who to-day terrorize 
American cities, are imbued with social revolutionary 
feelings and have a more or less instinctive notion that 
they are fighting the social order. Mr. James M. Beck, 
solicitor-general of the United States, has lately uttered 
a similar warning against what he terms "the exceptional 
revolt against the authority of law," which is taking 



THE LURE OF THE PRIMITIVE 137 

place to-day. He sees this revolt exemplified not only 
in an enormous increase of crime but in the current de- 
morahzation visible in music, art, poetry, conunerce, and 
social life. 

Mr. Beck's last assertion is one which has been made 
for years by many keen-sighted critics in the literary 
and artistic worlds. Nothing is more extraordinary (and 
more ominous) than the way in which the spirit of fever- 
ish, and essentially planless, unrest has been bursting 
forth for the past two decades in every field of art and 
letters. This unrest has taken many shapes — ''Futur- 
ism," "Cubism," "Vorticism," "Expressionism," and 
God knows what. Its spirit, however, is always the same : 
a fierce revolt against things as they exist, and a disin- 
tegrative, degenerative reaction toward primitive chaos. 
Our Hterary and artistic malcontents have no construc- 
tive ideas to offer in place of that which they condenm. 
"V\Tiat they seek is absolute "freedom." Hence, every- 
thing which trammels this anarchic "freedom" of theirs 
— form, style, tradition, reahty itself — is hated and de- 
spised. Accordingly, all these matters (sneered at as 
"trite," "old-fashioned," "aristocratic," "bourgeois," 
or "stupid") are contemptuously cast aside, and the 
"Hberated" soul soars forth on the unfettered pinions of 
his boundless fancy. 

Unfortunately, the flight seems to lead backward 
toward the jungle past. Certainly the products of the 
"new" art bear a strange Hkeness to the crude efforts 
of degenerate savages. The distorted and tormented 
shapes of "expressionist" sculpture, for example, resem- 



138 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

ble (if they resemble anything) the idols of West African 
negroes. As for "expressionist" painting, it seems to 
bear no normal relation to an3l:hing at all. Those 
crushed; mutilated forms, vaguely discerned amid a riot 
of shrieking colors; surely this is not "real" — unless 
bedlam be reahty! Most extraordinary of all is that 
ultra-modem school of "painting," which has largely 
discarded paint in favor of materials like newspaper chp- 
pings, buttons; and fish-bones, pasted, sewn, or tacked 
on its canvases. 

Almost as extravagent is the "new" poetry. Struc- 
ture, grammer, metre, rhyme — all are defied. Rational 
meanings are carefully avoided, a senseless conglomera- 
tion of words being apparently sought after as an end in 
itself. Here, obviously, the revolt against form is well- 
nigh complete. The only step which seemingly now re- 
mains to be taken is to aboHsh language, and have 
"poems without words." 

Now what does all this mean? It means simply one 
more phase of the world-wide revolt against civilization 
by the unadaptable, inferior, and degenerate elements, 
seeking to smash the irksome framework of modem so- 
ciety, and revert to the congenial levels of chaotic bar- 
barism or savagery. Normal persons may be inclined to 
laugh at the vagaries of our artistic and Hterary rebels, 
but the popular vogue they enjoy proves them to be reaUy 
no laughing matter. Not long ago the Enghsh poet Al- 
fred Noyes warned earnestly against the wide-spread 
harm done by "Literary Bolshe\aki." "We are con- 
fronted to-day," he said, "by the extraordinary spectacle 



THE LURE OF THE PRIMITIVE 139 

of 10,000 literary rebels, each chained to his own sohtary 
height, and each chanting the same perennial song of 
hate against everything that has been achieved by past 
generations. The worst of it is that the world applauds 
them. The real rebel to-day is the man who stands by 
unpopular truth; but that man has a new name — he is 
called 'commonplace.' The Hterary Bolshevism of the 
past thirty years is more responsible for the present peril 
of civilization than is reaHzed. One cannot treat all the 
laws as if they were mere scraps of paper without a ter- 
rible reckoning, and we are beginning to see it to-day. 

"It has led to an all-round lowering of standards. 
Some of the modem writers who take upon themselves 
to wipe out the best of ancient writers cannot write 
grammatical Enghsh. Their art and Hterature are in- 
creasingly Bolshevist. If we look at the columns of 
the newspapers we see the unusual spectacle of the po- 
litical editor desperately fighting that which the art and 
literary portions of the paper uphold. In the name of 
'reality' many writers are indulging in shabby forms of 
make-believe and are reducing all reality to ashes." ^ 

In similar vein, the well-known. German art critic, 
Johannes Volkelt, recently deplored the destructive ef- 
fects of "expressionist" art and Hterature. "The de- 
moralization of our attitude and sentiment toward life 
itself," he writes, "is even more portentous than our de- 
clining recognition of artistic form. It is a mutilated, 
deformed, moron humanity which glowers or drivels at 

^ From Mr. Noyes's lecture before the Royal Institution of London ou 
"Some Aspects of Modem Poetry," February, 1920. 



140 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

us through expressionist pictures. AU they suggest is 
profound morbidity. Their jaded, unhealthy mood is 
reheved only by absurdities, and where these cast a ray 
of hght into their rudimentary composition, it is only a 
broken and joyless one. Likewise, that which repels us 
most in the poetry of our younger school is its scornful 
stigmatizing of the past, without giving us anything 
positive in its place; its pathetic groping in its own self- 
wreckage; its confused, helpless seeking after some 
steadfast ideal. The soul is exhausted by its ceaseless 
chasing after nothing. Is life a shallow joke? A crazy 
dream? A terrifying chaos? Is there no longer sense 
in talking of an ideal? Is every ideal self-illusion? 
These are the questions which drive the soul of to-day 
aimlessly hither and thither. Calm consciousness of 
power and mastery, the unaffected glow of health, 
threaten to become lost sensations. Overalert self- 
consciousness associated with a mysterious revival of 
atavistic bestiality, and extreme overrefinement hand 
in hand with slothful love of indolence, characterize the 
discord which clouds the artistic mind of the period." ^ 
As might be expected, the spirit of revolt which at- 
tacks simultaneously institutions, customs, ideals, art, 
literature, and all the other phases of civilization does 
not spare what stands behind, namely: individuality 
and intelligence. To the levelling gospel of social revolu- 
tion such things are anathema. In its eyes it is the 
mass, not the individual, which is precious; it is quantity, 
not quality, which counts. Superior intelligence is by 

* From the Vienna Neue Freie Presse, 19 April, 1921. 



THE LURE OF THE PRIMITIVE 141 

its very nature suspect — it is innately aristocratic, and 
as such must be summarily dealt with. For the past 
two decades the whole trend of revolutionary doctrine 
has been toward a glorification of brawn over brain, of 
the hand over the head, of emotion over reason. This 
trend is so bound up with the development of revolu- 
tionary theory and practice that we had best consider 
it in the chapters devoted to those matters. Suffice 
it here to state that it is a normal part of proletarian 
philosophy, and that it aims at nothing short of the en- 
tire destruction of modern civihzation and the substi- 
tution of a self-erected "proletarian culture." Above 
all, the onward march of our hateful ci\41ization must 
be stayed. On this point proletarian extremists and 
"moderates" appear to be agreed. Cries the "Men- 
shevik" Gregory Zilboorg: "Beyond aU doubt the prog- 
ress of Western European civihzation has already made 
life unbearable. . . . We can achieve salvation to-day 
only by stopping progress!"^ 

Yes, yes: "civilization is unbearable," "progress must 
be stopped," "equality must be estabUshed," and so 
forth, and so forth. The emotional urge behind the 
revolution is quite clear. Let us now examine precisely 
what the revolution is, what it means, and how it is pro- 
posed to bring it about. 

• Gregory Zilboorg, The Passing of the Old Order in Europe, pp. 225-226 
(New York, 1920). 



CHAPTER V 
THE GROUND-SWELL OF REVOLT 

Revolutionary unrest is not new. - Every age has had 
its discontented dreamers preaching Utopia, its fervid 
agitators urging the overthrow of the existing social 
order, and its restless rabble stirred by false hopes to 
ugly moods and violent action. Utopian literature is 
very extensive, going back to Plato; revolutionary agi- 
tators have run true to type since Spartacus; while 
'' proletarian" risings have varied little in basic character 
from the servile revolts of antiquity and the "jacqueries" 
of the Middle Ages down to the mob upheavals of Paris 
and Petrograd. 

In all these social revolutionary phenomena there is 
nothing essentially novel. There is always the same 
violent revolt of the unadaptable, inferior, and degen- 
erate elements against civilized society, in ata\4stic 
reaction to lower planes; the same hatred of superiors 
and fierce desire for absolute equality; finally, the same 
tendency of revolutionary leaders to become tyrants and 
to transform anarchy into barbarous despotism. 

As Harold Cox justly remarks : "Jack Cade, as described 
by Shakespeare, is the perfect type of revolutionary-, 
and his ideas coincide closely with those of the modern 
school of SociaUsm. He tells his followers that ^all the 
realm shall be in common,' that Hhere shall be no money; 

142 



THE GROUND-SWELL OF REVOLT 143 

all shall eat and drink on my score; and I will apparel 
them all in one Hveiy that they may agree like brothers.' 
A httle later a member of the bourgeoisie is brought 
before him — a clerk who confesses that he can read 
and write. Jack Cade orders him at once to be hanged 
'with his pen and inkhorn about his neck.' Possibly 
the intellectual SociaHsts of Great Britain might hesi- 
tate at this point; the danger would be getting uncom- 
fortably near to themselves. But the Russian Bolshe- 
viks have followed Jack Cade's example on a colossal 
scale. In another direction Jack Cade was a prototype 
of present-day revolutionists; for while preaching equal- 
ity he practised autocracy. 'Away/ he cries to the mob. 
'Bum all the records of the realm. My mouth shall be 
the Parliament of England.'" ^ 

Nevertheless, despite its lack of basic originahty, the 
revolutionary unrest of modem times is very different 
from, and infinitely more formidable than, the kindred 
movements of the past. There is to-day a close alHance 
between the theoretical and the practical elements, a 
clever fitting of means to ends, a consistent elaboration 
of plausible doctrines and persuasive propaganda, and 
a sjmdication of power, such as was never known before. 
In former times revolutionary theorists and men of ac- 
tion were unable or unwilling to get together. The early 
Utopian philosophers did not write for the proletariat, 
which in turn quite ignored their existence. Further- 
more, most of the Utopians, however revolutionary in 
theory, were not revolutionary in practice. They sel- 

i H. Cox, Economic Liberty, pp. 191-192 (London, 1920). 



144 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

dom believed in violent methods. It is rather difficiilt 
to imagine Plato or Sir Thomas More planning the mas- 
sacre of the bourgeoisie or heading a dictatorship of the 
proletariat. In fact, so convinced were these Utopian 
idealists of the truth of their theories that they believed 
that if their theories were actually put in practice on 
even a small scale they would be a prodigious success 
and would thus lead to the rapid transformation of so- 
ciety without any necessity of \dolent coercion. Such 
was the temper of the "idealistic" Socialists and Com- 
munists of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, 
like Robert Owen, who founded various "model com- 
mimities" believing implicitly that these would soon 
convert the whole world by the mere force of their ex- 
ample. 

Thus, down to comparatively recent times, the cause 
of violent social revolution lacked the support of leaders 
combining in themselves the qualities of moral earnest- 
ness, intelhgence, and forcefulness — in other words per- 
sons most of whom belong to the type which I have 
previously described as the "misguided superior." De- 
prived of such leadership, revolutionary unrest was 
mainly guided by unbalanced fanatics or designing 
scoundrels; and it is ob\aous that such leaders, whatever 
their zeal or cleverness, were so lacking in intellectual 
poise or moral soundness that they invariably led their 
followers to speedy disaster. 

The modem social revolutionary movement dates 
from about the middle of the eighteenth century. Ever 
since that time there has been flowing a continuous stream 



THE GR0UND-SW1ELL OF REVOLT 145 

of subversive agitation, assuming many forms but essen- 
tially the same, and ever broadening and deepening, 
imtil it has become the veritable flood which has sub- 
merged Russia and which threatens to enguK our entire 
civilization. Its most noteworthy achievement has been 
the working out of a revolutionary^ philosophy and propa- 
ganda so insidiously persuasive as to weld together many 
innately diverse elements into a common league of dis- 
content inspired by a fierce resolve to overthrow by vio- 
lence the existing social order and to construct a wholly 
new "proletarian" order upon its ruins. 

Let us trace the stream of social revolt from its eigh- 
teenth-century source to the present day. Its first nota- 
ble spokesman was Rousseau,^ with his denunciation of 
civilized society and his call for a return to what he con- 
ceived to be the communistic "state of nature." The 
tide set flowing by Rousseau and his ilk presently foamed 
into the French Revolution. This cataclysmic event 
was, to be sure, by no means a simon-pure social revolt. 
At the start it was mainly a pohtical struggle by an 
aspiring bourgeoisie to wrest power and privilege from 
the feeble hands of a decrepit monarchy and an effete 
aristoc^ac5^ But in the struggle the bourgeoisie called 
upon the proletariat, the flood-gates of anarchy were 
opened, and there followed that blood-smeared debauch 
of atavistic savagery-, "The Reign of Terror." Dming 

^ As already remarked, Rousseau was only one of many wTiters and agita- 
tors. For the r61e of others, particularly those belonging to the revolu- 
tionary secret societies of the eighteenth century, such as the " Illuminati," 
see N. H. Webster, World Revolution, chaps. I and II (London and Bos- 
ton, 1921). 



146 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

the Terror all the sjinptoms of social revolution appeared 
in their most horrid form: up-surge of bestiahty, sense- 
less destruction, hatred of superiors; ruthless enforce- 
ment of levelling "equality," etc. The most extrava- 
gant political and social doctrines were proclaimed. 
Brissot urged communism and announced that "prop- 
erty is theft." Robespierre showed his hatred of genius 
and learning by sending the great chemist Lavoisier to 
the guillotine with the remark: "Science is aristocratic: 
the RepubHc has no need of savants." As for Ana- 
charsis Clootz, Hebert, and other demagogues, they 
preached doctrines which would have reduced society to 
a cross between chaos and bedlam. 

After a few years the Terror was broken. The French 
race was too fundamentally sound to tolerate for long 
such a hideous dictatorship of its worst elements. The 
destruction wrought by the Revolution was, however, 
appalling. Not merely was France dealt wounds from 
which she has never wholly recovered, but also spirits 
of unrest were hberated which have never since been 
laid. The "apostolic succession" of revolt has remained 
unbroken. IVIarat and Robespierre are to-day reincarnate 
in Trotzky and Lenin. 

The final eruption of the waning Terror was the well- 
known conspiracy of Babeuf in the year 1796. This con- 
spiracy, together with the personahty of its leader and 
namesake, is of more than passing interest. Babeuf, like 
so many other revolutionary leaders of aU periods, was a 
man whose undoubted talents of intellect and energy 
were perverted by a taint of insanity. His intermittent 



THE GROUND-SWELL OF REVOLT 147 

fits of frenzy were so acute that at times he was Httle 
better than a raving homicidal maniac. Nevertheless, 
his revolutionary activities were so striking and his 
doctrines so "advanced" that subsequent revolutionists 
have hailed him as a man "ahead of his times." The 
Bolshevik "Third International," for example, in its first 
manifesto, paid tribute to Babeuf as one of its spiritual 
fathers. 

That this Bolshev'ik compliment was not undeserved 
is proved by a study of his famous conspiracy. Therein 
Babeuf planned nothing less than the entire destruction 
of the existing social order, a general massacre of the 
"possessing classes," and the erection of a radically new 
"proletarian" order founded on the most rigid and level- 
ling equality. Not merely were differences of wealth 
and social station to be prohibited, but even intellectual 
differences were to be discouraged, because it was feared 
that "men might devote themselves to sciences, and 
thereby grow vain and averse to manual labor." 

Babeuf's incendiary spirit is w^ell revealed in the fol- 
lowing lines, taken from his organ, Le Tribun du Peuple : 
"Why does one speak of laws and property? Property 
is the share of usurpers and laws are the work of the 
strongest. The sun shines for every one, and the earth 
belongs to no one. Go, then, my friends, and disturb, 
overthrow, and upset this society which does not suit 
you. Take everj-where all that you hke. Superfluity 
belongs by right to him who has nothing. This is not 
all, friends and brothers. If constitutional barriers are 
opposed to your generous efforts, overthrow without 



148 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

scruple barriers and constitutions. Butcher without 
mercy tyrants, patricianS; the gilded million, all those 
immoral beings who would oppose your common happi- 
ness. You are the people, the true people, the only people 
worthy to enjoy the good things of this world ! The jus- 
tice of the people is great and majestic as the people it- 
self; all that it does is legitimate, aU that it orders is 
sacred." 

Babeuf 's plans can be judged by the following extracts 
from his "Manifesto of the Equals," which he drew up 
on the eve of his projected insurrection: 

" People of France, for fifteen centuries you have lived 
in slavery and consequent unhappiness. For six years^ 
you have hardly drawn breath, waiting for independence, 
happiness, and equality. Equahty! the first desire of 
nature, the first need of man, the principal bond of all 
legal association ! 

"Well! We intend henceforth to live and die equal 
as we were born; we wish for real equality or death; that 
is what we must have. And we wiU have this real equal- 
ity, no matter at what price. Woe to those who inter- 
pose themselves between it and us ! . . . 

"The French Revolution is only the forerunner of 
another revolution, very much greater, very much more 
solemn, which will be the last. . . . Equahty ! We will 
consent to anything for that, to make a clean sweep so 
as to hold to that only. Perish, if necessary, all the arts, 
provided that real equahty is left to us! . . . Com- 
munity of Goods ! No more private property in land, 
^ /. c, during the years of the French Revolution since 1789. 



THE GROUND-S\\^LL OF REVOLT 149 

the land belongs to no one. We claim, we wish for the 
communal enjoyment of the fruits of the earth: the fruits 
of the earth belong to every one. . . . 

"Vanish at last, revolting distinctions of rich and poor, 
of great and small, of masters and serv^ants, of governors 
and governed. Let there be no other difference between 
men than those of age and sex. Since all have the same 
needs and the same faculties, let there be only one edu- 
cation, one kind of food. They content themselves with 
one sun and air for all; why should not the same portion 
and the same quahty of food suffice for each of them ? . . . 

"People of France, Open your eyes and hearts to the 
plenitude of happiness; recognize and proclaim with us 
the Republic of the Equals !" 

Such was the plot of Babeuf. The plot completely 
miscarried, for it was discovered before it was ripe, Ba- 
beuf and his heutenants were arrested and executed, and 
his disorganized hoodlum followers were easily repressed. 
Nevertheless, though Babeuf was dead, "Babouvism" 
hved on, inspired the revolutionary conspiracies of the 
early nineteenth century, contributed to the growth of 
Anarchism, and is incorporated in the "Syndicalist" and 
Bolshevist movements of to-day — as we shall presently 
see. The modem hterature of revolt is full of striking 
parallels to the lines penned by Babeuf nearly one hun- 
dred and thirty years ago. 

Despite the existence of some extreme revolutionary 
factions, the first half of the nineteenth century saw com- 
paratively little violent unrest. It was the period of the 
"ideahstic" Socialists, already mentioned, when men 



150 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

like Robert Owen, Saint-Simoii; Fourier^ and others were 
elaborating their Utopian philosophies and were founding 
"model communities'' which were expected to convert 
the world peaceably by the mere contagion of their suc- 
cessful example. The speedy failure of all these Social- 
istic ex-periments discouraged the ideahsts, and led the 
discontented to turn to "men of action" who promised 
speedier results by the use of force. At the same time, 
the numbers of the discontented were rapidly increasing. 
The opening decades of the nineteenth century witnessed 
the triumph of machine industry and "capitalism." As 
in all times of transition, these changes bore hard on 
multitudes of people. Economic abuses were rife, and 
precipitated into the social depths many persons who 
did not really belong there, thus swelling the "prole- 
tariat" to unprecedented proportions while also giving 
it new leaders of genmne abihty. 

The culmination of all this was the revolutionary wave 
of 1848. To be sure, 1848, Hke the French Revolution, 
was not wholly a social revolutionary upheaval; it was 
largely due to political (especially nationahstic) causes 
with which this book is not concerned. But, as in 1789, 
so in 1848, the political malcontents welcomed the aid 
of the social malcontents, and gave the latter their oppor- 
tunity. Furthermore, in 1848, as in 1789, Paris was the 
storm-centre. A galaxy of forceful demagogues like 
Blanqui, Louis Blanc, and Proudhon roused the Paris 
mob, attempted to establish a Communistic RepubHc, 
and were foiled only after a bloody struggle with the 
more conservative social elements. 



THE GROUND-SWELL OF REVOLT 151 

Unlike 1789, however, the social revolutionary move- 
ment of 1848 was by no means confined to France. In 
1848 organized social revolutionary forces existed in 
most European countries, and all over Europe these 
forces promptly drew together and attempted to effect 
a general social revolution. At this moment appears 
the notable figure of Karl Marx, chief author of the 
famous "Communist Manifesto," with its ringing pero- 
ration: "Let the ruling classes tremble at a communistic 
revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but 
their chains. They have a world to win. Working men 
of all countries, unite!" 

The rise of Karl Marx typifies a new influence which 
had appeared in the revolutionary movement — the m- 
fluence of the Jews. Before the nineteenth century the 
Jews had been so segregated from the general popula- 
tion that they had exerted almost no influence upon 
popular thought or action. By the year 1848, however, 
the Jews of western Europe had been emancipated 
from most of their civil disabilities, had emerged from 
their ghettos, and were beginning to take an active part 
in community life. Many Jews promptly adopted rev- 
olutionary ideas and soon acquired great influence in 
the revolutionary movement. For this there were sev- 
eral reasons. In the first place, the Jewish mind, in- 
stinctively analytical, and sharpened by the dialectic 
subtleties of the Talmud, takes naturally to dissective 
criticism. Again, the Jews, feehng themselves more or 
less apart from the nations in which they live, tended 
to welcome the distinctly international spirit of social 



152 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

revolutionary doctrines. Lastly, the Jewish intellec- 
tuals, with their quick, clever intelligence, made excellent 
revolutionary leaders and could look forward to attain- 
ing high posts in the "officers' coips" of the armies of 
revolt. For all these reasons, then, Jews have played 
an important part in all social revolutionary^ movements, 
from the time of Marx and Engels down to the largely 
Jewish Bolshevist regime in Soviet Russia to-day. 

The revolutionary wave of 1848 soon broke in com- 
plete defeat. There followed a period during which 
radical ideas were generally discredited. Both idealistic 
and violent methods had been tried and had signally 
failed. Out of this period of echpse there gradually 
emerged two schools of social revolutionary thought: 
one known as "State Socialism," under the leadership of 
Marx and Engels; the other, "Anarchism," dominated 
by Proudhon and Michael Bakimin. These two schools 
were animated by quite different ideas, drew increasingly 
apart, and became increasingly hostile to one another. 
Of course, both schools were opposed to the existing 
social order and proposed its overthrow, but they differed 
radically as to the new type of society which was to take 
its place. Marx and his followers beHeved in an organ- 
ized Communism, w^here land, wealth, and property 
should be taken out of private hands and placed under 
the control of the state. The Anarchists, on the other 
hand, urged the complete aboHtion of the state, the 
spontaneous seizure of wealth by the masses, and the 
freedom of every one to do as he liked, unhampered by 
any organized social control. 



THE GROUND-SWELL OF REVOLl' 153 

In their actual development, likewise, the two move- 
ments followed divergent lines. Anarchism remained an 
essentially violent creed, relying chiefly upon force and 
terrorism. 1 Marxian SociaHsm, as time went on, tended 
to rely less upon revolutionary' violence and more upon 
economic processes and parhamentary methods. This 
is shown by the career of Marx himself. Marx started 
out in life as a violent revolutionist. His "Communist 
Manifesto" (already cited) reads precisely hke a Bolshe- 
vik pronunciamento of to-day; and it is, in fact, on 
Marx's earher writings that the Bolshe\aks largely rely. 
But, as time passed, Marx modified his attitude. After 
the failure of '48, he devoted himself to study, the chief 
fruit of his intellectual labors being his monumental 
work. Capital. Now, in his researches Marx became 
saturated with the Utopian philosophers of the past, and 
he presently evolved a Utopia of his own. Just as the 
"idealistic" SociaHsts of the early nineteenth century 
believed they had discovered truths which, if applied 
on even a small scale in "model communities," would 
inevitably transform society, so Marx came to beheve 
that modem society was bound to work itself out into 
the Sociahst order of his dreams with little or no neces- 
sity for violent compulsion except, perhaps, in its last 
stages. 

The core of Marx's doctrine was that modem indus- 

1 Of course, there are the "philosophical" Anarchists like Prince Kropot- 
kin, who do not openly advocate violence. They have, however, remained 
isolated idealists, with little practical influence upon Anarchism as a move- 
ment, whose driving force has always come from apostles of violence and 
terrorism like Bakunin. 



154 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

trialism, by its very being, was bound rapidly to concen- 
trate all wealth in a very few hands, wiping out the 
middle classes and reducing both bourgeois and working 
man to a poverty-stricken proletariat. In other words, 
he predicted a society of billionaires and beggars. This 
was to happen within a couple of generations. When 
it did happen the "wage-slaves" were to revolt, dis- 
possess the capitalists, and estabhsh the Sociahst com- 
monwealth. Thus would come to pass the social revolu- 
tion. But note: this revolution, according to Marx, 
was (1) sure, (2) soon, (3) easy. In Marx's last stage of 
capitahsm the bilHonaires would be so few and the beg- 
gars so many that the "revolution" might be a mere 
hoHday, perhaps effected without shedding a drop of 
blood. Indeed, it might conceivably be effected accord- 
ing to existing pohtical procedure; for, once have imi- 
versal suffrage, and the overwhelming majority of pro- 
letarian wage-earners could simply vote the whole new 
order in. 

From aU this it is quite obvious that Marxian Socialism, 
however revolutionary in theory, was largely evolutionary 
in practice. And this evolutionary trend, already visi- 
ble in Marx, became even stronger with Marx's suc- 
cessors. Marx himself, despite the sobering effect of 
his intellectual development, remained emotionally a 
revolutionist — as shown by his temporary relapse into 
youthful fervors at the time of the Paris Commune of 
1871. This was less true of his colleague Engels, and 
still less true of later Socialist leaders — men like Lasalle 
and Kautsky of Germany, Hyndman of England, and 



THE GROUND-SWELL OF REVOLT 155 

Spargo of America. Such men were "reformist" rather 
than "revolutionary" SociaHsts; they were willing to 
bide their time, and were apt to pin their faith on ballots 
rather than on barricades. Furthermore, Reformist 
Socialism did not assail the whole idealistic and insti- 
tutional fabric of our civilization. For example, it 
might preach the "class-war," but, according to the 
Marxian h}^othesis, the "working class" was, or soon 
would be, virtually the entire conmiunity. Only a few 
great capitalists and their hirelings were left without the 
pale. Again, the "revolution," as seen by the Reform- 
ists, was more a taking-over than a tearing-down, since 
existing institutions, both state and private, were largely 
to be preserved. As a matter of fact. Reformist Social- 
ism, as embodied in the "Social-Democratic" political 
parties of Continental Europe, showed itself everywhere 
a predominantly evolutionary movement, ready to 
achieve its objectives by instalments and becoming 
steadily more conservative. This was so not merely 
because of the influence of the leaders but also because 
of the changing complexion of their following. As 
Marxian SociaHsm became less revolutionary and more 
reformist, it attracted to its membership multitudes of 
"Hberals" — persons who desired to reform rather than 
to destroy the existing social order, and who saw in the 
Social-Democratic parties the best political instruments 
for bringing reforms about. 

In fact. Reformist SociaHsm might have entirely lost 
its revolutionary character and have become an evolu- 
tionary hberal movement, had it not been for two handi- 



156 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

caps: the spiritual blight of its revolutionary origin and 
the numbing weight of Marx's intellectual authority. 
Socialism had started out to smash modern society by a 
violent revolution. Its ethics were those of the "class 
war"; its goal was the "dictatorship of the proletariat"; 
and its philosophy was the narrow materialistic concept 
of "economic determinism" — the notion that men are 
moved solely by economic self-interest. AU this had 
been laid down as fundamental truth by Marx in his 
Capital, which became the infallible bible of Social- 
ism. 

Now this was most unfortunate, because Marx had 
taken the special conditions of his day and had pictured 
them as the whole of world history. We now know that 
the middle decades of the nineteenth century were a 
very exceptional, transition period, in which society was 
only beginning to adjust itself to the sweeping economic 
and social changes which the "Industrial Revolution" 
had brought about. To-day, most of the abuses against 
which Marx inveighed have been distinctly amehorated, 
while the short-sighted philosophy of immediate self- 
interest regardless of ultimate social or racial con- 
sequences which then prevailed has been profoundly 
modified by experience and deeper knowledge. We must 
not forget that when Marx sat down to ™te Capital,^ 
modem sociology and biology were virtually unknown, so 
that Marx believed implicitly in fallacies like the onmip- 
otence of environment and "natural equality" — ^which, 

* The first volume of Capital was published in 1867, after many years 
of research and composition. 



THE GROUND-SAVELL OF REVOLT 157 

of course, form the philosophic bases of his "economic 
determinism." 

Marx's short-sightedness was soon revealed by the 
actual course of events, which quickly gave the He to his 
confident prophecies. All wealth did not concentrate in 
a few hands; it remained widely distributed. The mid- 
dle classes did not perish; they survived and prospered. 
Lastly, the working classes did not sink into a common 
hell of poverty and squalor; on the contrary, they be- 
came more differentiated, the skilled workers, especially, 
rising into a sort of aristocracy of labor, with wages and 
living standards about as high as those of the lesser mid- 
dle classes — whom the skilled workers came more and 
more to resemble. In other words, the world showed no 
signs of getting into the mess which Marx had annoimced 
as the prologue to his revolution. 

To all this, however, the Socialists were bhnd. Heed- 
less of reahty, they continued to see the world through 
Marx's spectacles, to quote Capital, and to talk in terms 
of the "class war" and "economic determinism." For 
the Reformist leaders this w^as not merely fatuous, it 
was dangerous as well. Sooner or later their dissatisfied 
followers would demand the fulfilment of Marx's prom- 
ises; if not by evolution, then by revolution. That was 
just what was to happen in the "Syndicahst" movement 
at the beginning of the present century. In fact, through- 
out the later decades of the nineteenth centur}", Marxian 
Socialism was a house divided against itself: its Reformist 
leaders and their liberal followers counselling time and 
patience; its revolutionary, "proletarian" elements grow- 



158 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

ing increasingly restive and straining their eyes for the 
Ked dawn. 

Before discussing Syndicalism, however, let us turn 
back to examine that other revolutionary movement, 
Anarchism, which, as we have already seen, arose simul- 
taneously with Marxian Sociahsm in the middle of the 
nineteenth century. Of course, the Anarchist idea was 
not new. Anarchist notions had appeared prominently 
in the French Revolution, the wilder Jacobin dema- 
gogues Hke Hebert and Clootz preaching doctrines which 
were Anarchist in everything but name. The launching 
of Anarchism as a self-conscious movement, however, 
dates from the middle of the nineteenth century, its 
founder being the Frenchman Proudhon. Proudhon took 
up the name "Anarchy" (which had previously been a 
term of opprobrium even in revolutionary circles) and 
adopted it as a profession of faith to mark himself off 
from the behevers in State Communism, whom he de- 
tested and despised. Proudhon was frankly an apostle 
of chaos. "I shall arm myself to the teeth against ci\a- 
lization!" he cried. "I shall begin a war that will end 
only with my Hfe!" Institutions and ideals were alike 
assailed with implacable fury. Reviving Brissot's dic- 
tum, "Property is theft," Proudhon went on to assail 
rehgion in the following terms: "God — that is folly and 
cowardice; God is tyranny and misery; God is evil. To 
me, then, Lucifer, Satan ! whoever you may be, the demon 
that the faith of my fathers opposed to God and the 
Church!" 

While Proudhon founded Anarchism, h@ had neither 



THE GROUND-S^^LL OF REVOLT 159 

the organizing skill nor the proselyting abiHty to accom- 
pHsh important tangible results. His disciples were few, 
but among them was one who possessed the talents to 
succeed where his master had failed. This was the cele- 
brated Michael Bakunin. Bakunin is another example 
of the "tainted genius." Sprung from a Russian noble 
family; Bakunin early displayed great intellectual bril- 
liancy; but his talents w^re perverted by his idle and tur- 
bulent disposition; so that he was soon at hopeless outs 
with society and plunged into the stream of revolution; 
which presently bore him to the congenial comradeship 
of Proudhon. As stated in the previous chapter, Ba- 
kunin was truly at home only in the company of social 
rebelS; especially criminals and vagabonds, his favorite 
toast being: "To the destruction of all law and order 
and the unchaining of evil passions ! " 

In the period after the storm of 1848; Bakunin was 
busy forming his party. His programme of action can 
be judged by the following excerpts from his Revolution- 
ary Catechism, drawn up for the guidance of his followers. 
"The revolutionary," states Bakimin, "must let nothing 
stand between him and the work of destruction. For 
him exists only one single pleasure, one single consolation, 
one reward; one satisfaction — the success of the revolu- 
tion. Night and day he must have but one thought; but 
one aim — implacable destruction. ... If he continues 
to hve in this world; it is only to annihilate it all the more 
surely." For this reason no reforms are to be advocated; 
on the contrary, "every effort is to be made to heighten 
and increase the e\'il and sorrows which will at length 



160 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

wear out the patience of the people and encourage an in- 
surrection en masse." 

It is easy to see how Anarchism, with its measure- 
less violence and hatred of any organized social control, 
should have clashed fiercely wdth Marxian Sociahsm, 
becoming steadily more reformist and evolutionist in 
character. As a matter of fact, the entire second half of 
the nineteenth century is filled with the struggle between 
the two rival movements. In this struggle Socialism was 
the more successful. The Anarchists made a frantic bid 
for victory in the Paris Commune of 1871, but the bloody 
failure of the Commune discredited Anarchism and tight- 
ened the SociaHst grip over most of Europe. Only in 
Italy, Spain, and Russia (where Anarchy flourished as 
"Nihilism") did Anarchism gain anything Hke prepon- 
derance in revolutionary circles. 

Nevertheless, Anarchism lived on as a forceful minor- 
ity movement, displaying its activity chiefly by bomb- 
throwings and by assassinations of crowned heads or 
other eminent personages. These outrages were termed 
by Anarchists the "Propaganda of the Deed," and were 
intended to terrorize organized society and arouse the 
proletariat to emulation at one and the same time. The 
ultimate aim of the Anarchists was, of course, a general 
massacre of the "possessing classes." As the Anarchist 
Johann Most declared in his organ, Freiheit, in 18S0: 
"It is no longer aristocracy and royalty that the people 
intend to destro}^ Here, perhaps, but a coup de grdce or 
two are yet needed. No; in the coming onslaught the 
object is to smite the entire middle class with annihila- 



THE GROUND-SWELL OF REVOLT 161 

tion." A little later the same writer urged: "Extinni- 
nate all the contemptible brood ! Science now puts means 
into our hands which make it possible to arrange for the 
wholesale destruction of the brutes in a perfectly quiet 
and businesslike fashion." In 1881, an International 
Anarchist Congress was held at London, attended by 
all the shining hghts of Anarchy, including "philosoph- 
ical" Anarchists like Prince &opotkin, and the resolu- 
tions then passed throw a somewhat sinister doubt on 
the "non-violence" assertions of the "philosophical" 
faction. The resolutions of the Congress stated that the 
social revolution was to be facilitated by close interna- 
tional action, "The Committees of each country to keep 
up regular correspondence among themselves and with 
the chief committee for the sake of giving continuous 
mformation; and it is their duty to collect money for 
the purchase of poison and arms, as well as to discover 
places suitable for the construction of mines, etc. To 
attain the proposed end, the annihilation of all rulers, 
ministers of state, nobility, the clerg}^, the most promi- 
nent capitalists, and other exploiters, any means are 
permissible, and therefore great attention should be given 
specially to the study of chemistry and the preparation 
of explosives, as being the most important weapons." 

Certain peculiarities in the Anarchist "Propaganda of 
the Deed," should be specially noted, as they well illus- 
trate the fundamental nature of Anarchist thought. 
Bakunin taught that every act of destruction or \'iolence 
is good, either directly by destrojdng a person or thing 
which is objectionable, or indirectly by making an al- 



162 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

ready intolerable world worse than before, and thus has- 
tening the social revolution. But, in the business of as- 
sassination, it is often better to murder good persons and 
to spare wicked ones; because, as Bakunin expressed it 
in his Revolutionary Catechism, wicked oppressors are 
"people to whom we concede life provisionally, in order, 
that, by a series of monstrous acts, they may drive the 
people into inevitable revolt." The killing of wicked 
people implies no really valuable criticism of the exist- 
ing social order. "If you kill an unjust judge, you may 
be understood to mean merely that you think judges 
ought to be just; but if you go out of your way to kiU 
a just judge, it is clear that you object to judges al- 
together. If a son kills a bad father, the act, though 
meritorious in its humble way, does not take us much 
further. But if he kills a good father, it cuts at the root 
of all that pestilent system of family affection and loving- 
kindness and gratitude on which the present system is 
largely based." ^ 

Such is the spirit of Anarchism. Now Anarchism is 
noteworthy, not only in itself but also as one of the prime 
motive forces in that much more important "Syndical- 
ist" movement which we will now consider. The signif- 
icance of S3mdicalism and its outgrowth Bolshevism can 
hardly be overestimated. It is no exaggeration to say 
that it is the most terrible social phenomenon that the 
world has ever seen. In SyndicaHsm we have for the 
first time in human history a fuU-fledged philosophy of 

1 Professor Gilbert Murray, "Satanism and the World-Order," The 
Century, July, 1920. 



THE GROUND-SWELL OF REVOLT 163 

the Under-Man — the prologue of that vast revolt against 
civiHzation which; wdth Russian Bolshevism, has ac- 
tually begun. 

If we examine Syndicalism in its mere technical eco- 
nomic aspect; its full significance is not apparent. Sjm- 
dicaUsm takes its name from the French word Syndicat 
or "Trades-Union/' and, in its restricted sense, means 
the transfer of the instruments of production from private 
or state ownership into the full control of the organized 
workers in the respective trades. Economically speak- 
ing, Syndicalism is thus a cross between State SociaHsm 
and Anarchism. The state is to be abolished, yet a fed- 
eration of trades-unions, and not anarchy, is to take its 
place. 

Viewed in this abstract, technical sense, SyndicaHsm 
does not seem to present any specially startling innova- 
tions. It is when we examine the Syndicalists' animating 
spirit, their general philosophy of hfe, and the manner 
in which they propose to attain their ends, that we realize 
that we are in the presence of an ominous novelty — the 
mature philosophy of the Under-Man. This philosophy 
of the Under-Man is to-day called Bolshevism. Before 
the Russian Revolution it was known as Sjmdicahsm. 
But Bolshevism and Sjmdicalism are basically one and 
the same thing. Soviet Russia has really invented noth- 
ing. It is merely practising what others had been preach- 
ing for years — with such adaptations as normally attend 
the putting of a theory into practice. 

S3mdicahsm, as an organized movement, is primarily 
the work of two Frenchmen, Fernand Pelloutier and 



164 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

Georges Sorel. Of course, just as there were Socialists 
before Marx, so there were SyndicaHsts before Sorel. 
Syndicalism's intellectual progenitor was Proudhon, who, 
in his writings had clearly sketched out the Syndicalist 
theory.^ As for Syndicalism's savage, violent, uncom- 
promising spirit, it is clearly Anarchist in origin, drawing 
its inspiration not merely from Proudhon but also from 
Bakunin, Most, and all the rest of that furious company 
of revolt. 

"Revolt!" There is the essence of Syndicahsm: a 
revolt, not merely against modern society but against 
Marxian Socialism as well. And the revolt was well 
timed. When, at the very end of the nineteenth century, 
Georges Sorel lifted the rebel banner of Syndicahsm, the 
hour awaited the man. The proletarian world was full 
of discontent and disillusionment at the long-dominant 
Marxian philosophy. Half a century had passed since 
Marx first preached his gospel, and the revolutionary 
millennium was nowhere in sight. Society had not be- 
come a world of billionaires and beggars. The great 
capitalists had not swallowed all. The middle classes 
still survived and prospered. Worst of all, from the revo- 
lutionary view-point, the upper grades of the working 
classes had prospered, too. The skilled workers were, 
in fact, becoming an aristocracy of labor. They were 

^ About the year 1860, Proudhon wrote: "According to my idea, rail- 
ways, a mine, a manufactory, a ship, etc., are to the workers whom they 
occupy what the hive is to the bees; that is, at the same time their instru- 
ment and their dwelHng, their country, their territory, their property." 
For this reason Proudhon opposed "the exploitation of the railways, 
whether by companies of capitalists or by the state." The modern Syn- 
dicaUst idea is here perfectly epitomized. 



THE GROUND-SWELL OF REVOLT 165 

acquiring property and thus growing capitalistic; they 
were raising their living standards and thus growing 
bourgeois. Society seemed endowed with a strange vital- 
ity! It was even reforming many of the abuses which 
Marx had pronounced incurable. When, then, was the 
proletariat to inherit the earth ? 

The Proletariat! That was the key-word. The van, 
and even the main body of society, might be fairly on 
the march, but behind lagged a ragged rear-guard. Here 
were, first of all, the lower working-class strata — the 
"manual" laborers in the narrower sense, relatively ill- 
paid and often grievously exploited. Behind these again 
came a motley crew, the rejects and misfits of society. 
"Casuals" and "unemployables," "down-and-outs" and 
declasses, victims of social evils, victims of bad heredity 
and their own vices, paupers, defectives, degenerates, 
and criminals — they were all there. They were there 
for many reasons, but they were all miserable, and they 
were all bound together by a certain solidarity — a sullen 
hatred of the civilization from which they had so little 
to hope. To these people evolutionary, "reformist" 
Socialism was cold comfort. Then came the SyndicaHst, 
promising, not evolution but revolution; not in the dim 
future but in the here and now; not a bloodless "taking 
over" by "the workers," hypothetically stretched to in- 
clude virtually the whole community, but the bloody 
"dictatorship" of The Proletariat in its narrow, revolu- 
tionary sense. 

Here, at last, was living hope — ^hope, and the prospect 
of revenge! Is it, then, strange that a few short years 



166 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

should have seen revolutionary Socialists, Anarchists, all 
the antisocial forces of the whole world, grouped under 
the banner of Georges Sorel ? For a time they went under 
different names: Syndicalists in France, Bolshevists in 
Russia, "I. W. W.'s" in America; but in reality they 
formed one army, enlisted for a single war. 

Now what was this war ? It was, first of all, a war for 
the conquest of Sociahsm as a preliminary to the con- 
quest of society. Everj^where the orthodox Sociahst 
parties were fiercely assailed. And these Sjudicahst 
assaults were very formidable, because the orthodox 
Sociahsts possessed no moral lines of defense. Their 
arms were palsied by the virus of their revolutionary 
tradition. For, however evolutionary and non-militant 
the Sociahsts might have become in practice, in theory 
they had remained revolutionary, their ethics continuing 
to be those of the "class war," the destruction of the 
"possessing classes," and the "dictatorship of the prole- 
tariat." 

The American economist. Carver, well describes the 
ethics of Sociahsm in the following lines: "IMarxian So- 
ciahsm has nothing in common vdih ideahstic Sociahsm. 
It rests, not on persuasion, but on force. It does not 
profess to beheve, as did the old ideahsts, that if Social- 
ism be hfted up it will draw all men unto it. In fact, 
it has no ideals; it is materiahstic and militant. Being 
materiahstic and atheistic, it makes no use of such terms 
as right and justice, unless it be to quiet the consciences 
of those who still harbor such superstitions. It insists 
that these terms are mere conventionahties ; the con- 



THE GROUND-SWELL OF REVOLT 167 

cepts mere bugaboos invented by the ruling caste to keep 
the masses under control. Except in a conventional 
sense, from this crude materialistic point of view there is 
neither right nor wrong, justice nor injustice, good nor 
bad. Until people who still believe in such silly notions 
divest their minds of them, they will never understand 
the first principles of Marxian SociaHsm. 

" 'Who creates our ideas of right and wrong?' asks the 
Socialist. 'The ruling class. Why? To insure their 
domination over the masses by depriving them of the 
power to think for themselves. We, the proletarians, 
when we get into power, will dominate the situation ; we 
shall be the ruling caste, and, naturally, shall do what 
the ruling castes have always done; that is, we shall 
determine what is right and wrong. Do you ask us if 
what we propose is just? ^\Tiat do you mean by jus- 
tice? Do you ask if it is right? "\ATiat do you mean 
by right ? It will be good for us. That is all that right 
and justice ever did or ever can mean.' " ^ 

As Harold Cox remarks: "The Socialist is out to de- 
stroy Capitalism, and for that end he encourages or con- 
dones conduct which the world has hitherto condemned 
as crimxinal. . . . The real ethics of SociaHsm are the 
ethics of war. What the Sociahsts want is, not progress 
in the world as we know it, but destruction of that world 
as a prelude to the creation of a new world of their own 
imagining. In order to win that end they have to seek 
the support of every force that makes for disorder, and 

* Professor T. N. Carver, in his Introduction to Boris Brasol's Socialism 
vs. CivUizaiion (New York, 1920). 



168 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

to appeal to every motive that stimulates class hatred. 
Their ethical outlook is the direct reverse of that which 
has inspired all the great religions of the world. Instead 
of seeking to attain peace upon earth and good-will 
among men, they have chosen for their goal universal 
warfare, and they dehberately make their appeal to the 
passions of en\y, hatred, and malice." ^ 

Such are the moral bases of Socialism. To be sure, 
Marxian Socialism had tended to soft-pedal all this, 
and had become by the close of the nineteenth century 
a predominantly pacific, "reformist" movement — ^in 
practice. But this peaceful pose had been assumed, not 
from any ethical change, but because of two practical 
reasons. In the first place, Marx had taught that so- 
ciety would soon break down through its own defects; 
that the "possessing classes" would rapidly destroy each 
other; and that SociaHsts might thus wait for society's 
decrepitude before giving it the death-stroke, instead of 
risking a doubtful battle while it was still strong. In 
the second place, SociaHsm, as a proselyting faith, wel- 
comed "hberal" converts, yet reahzed that these would 
not "come over" in any great numbers unless it could 
present a "reformist" face to them. 

Reformist Socialism, as it stood at the close of the 
nineteenth century, thus rested upon equivocal moral 
foundations. Its poUcy was based, not upon principle, 
but upon mere expediency. The Syndicalists saw this, 
and used it with deadly effect. When the reformist 
leaders reprobated the Sj-ndicahsts' savage violence, the 

1 Cox, Economic Liberty, pp. 27 and 42. 



THE GROUND-SWELL OF REVOLT 169 

Syndicalists laughed at them, taunted them with lack 
of courage, and pointed out that morally they were all 
in the same boat. The SyndicaHsts demanded that 
questions of principle be excluded as irrelevant and that 
the debate should be confined to questions of pohcy. 

And here, again, the Syndicalists had the Socialists 
on the hip. The SyndicaHsts argued (justly enough) 
that Marx's automatic social revolution was nowhere in 
sight; that society was not on its death-bed; and that, 
if it was to die soon, it must be killed — by the violent 
methods of social revolution. In fact, the Syndicalists 
invoked Marx himself to this effect, citing his youthful 
revolutionary exhortations, uttered before he had evolved 
the Utopian fallacies of Capital. 

These fallacies, together with all subsequent "reform- 
ist" accretions, the Syndicalists contemptuously dis- 
carded. The ethics of the "class war" were proclaimed 
in all their naked brutality. "Compromise" and "evolu- 
tion" were alike scathingly repudiated. The Syndi- 
calists taught that the first steps toward the social revolu- 
tion must be the destruction of all friendship, sympathy, 
or co-operation between classes; the systematic cultiva- 
tion of implacable class hatred; the deepening of un- 
bridgeable class cleavages. All hopes of social better- 
ment by peaceful political methods were to be resolutely 
abandoned, attention being henceforth concentrated 
upon the grim business of the class war. 

This war was not to be postponed till some favorable 
moment; it was to begin now, and was to be waged with 
ever-increasing fury until complete and final victory. 



170 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

According to Georges Sorel: "Violence; class struggles 
without quarter, the state of war en permanence/' were 
to be the birthmarks of the social revolution. As 
another French Syndicahst, Pouget, expressed it: "Revo- 
lution is a work of aU moments, of to-day as well as of 
to-morrow: it is a continuous action, an every-day jBght 
without truce or delay against the powers of extortion." 

The methods of the class war were summed up under 
the term "direct action." These methods were numer- 
ous, the most important being the strike and "sabotage." 
Strikes were to be continually called, for any or no reason ; 
if they failed, so much the better, since the defeated 
workers would be left in a sullen and vengeful mood. 
Agreements with employers were to be made only to 
be broken, because all hes, deceit, and trickery were jus- 
tifiable — nay, imperative — against the "enemy." Even 
while on the job, the Syndicalist was never to do good 
work, was always to do as Httle work as possible ("ca' 
canny"), and was to practise "sabotage" — i. e., spoil 
goods and damage machinery, if possible without detec- 
tion. The objects of all this were to ruin employers, 
demorahze industry, decrease production, and thus make 
H\dng conditions so hard that the masses would be roused 
to hotter discontent and become riper for "mass action." 

Meanwhile, everything must be done to envenom the 
class struggle. Hatred must be dehberately fanned, 
not only among the masses but among the "possessing 
classes" as well. Every attempt at conciliation or under- 
standing between combatants weary of mutual injury 
must be nipped in the bud. Says Sorel: "To repay with 



THE GROUND-SWELL OF REVOLT 171 

black ingratitude the benevolence of those who would 
protect the worker, to meet with insults the speeches of 
those who advocate human fraternity, to reply by blows 
at the advocates of those who would propagate social 
peace — all this is assuredly not in conformity with the 
rules of fashionable Sociahsm, but it is a \ery practical 
method of showing the bourgeois that they must mind 
their own business. . . . Proletarian violence appears 
on the stage at the very time when attempts are being 
made to mitigate conflicts by social peace. Violence 
gives back to the proletariat their natural weapon of 
the class struggle, by means of frightening the bourgeoisie 
and profiting by the bourgeois dastardhness in order to 
impose on them the will of the proletariat." 

The uncompromising, fighting spirit of Syndicalism 
comes out vividly in the following lines by the American 
Syndicalist, Jack London: 

"There has never been anj^hing Hke this revolution 
in the history of the world. There is nothing analogous 
between it and the American Revolution or the French 
Revolution. It is unique, colossal. Other revolutions 
compare with it as asteroids compare with the sun. It 
is alone of its kind; the first world revolution in a world 
whose histoiy is replete with revolutions. And not 
only this, for it is the first organized movement of men 
to become a world movement, limited only by the hmits 
of the planet. 

"This revolution is unhke all other revolutions in 
many respects. It is not sporadic. It is not a flame of 
popular discontent, arising in a day and dying down in 



172 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

a day. Here are 7,000,000 comrades in an organized, 
international, world-wide, revolutionary army. . . . 
The cry of this army is, 'No quarter!' We want all 
that you possess. We will be content with nothing less 
than all you possess. We want in our hands the reins 
of power and the destiny of mankind. Here are our 
hands. They are strong hands. We are going to take 
yoiu" governments, your palaces, and all your purpled 
ease away from you. . . . The revolution is here, now. 
Stop it who can." ^ 

Syndicahsm's defiant repudiation of traditional moral- 
ity is well stated in the following quotations from two 
leaders of the "I. W. W." ("Industrial Workers of the 
World"), the chief Syndicalist group in America. The 
first of these quotations is from the pen of Vincent St. 
John, and is taken from his booklet, The I. W. W., 
Its History, Structure, and Methods. As Mr. St. John is 
regarded by SyndicaHsts everywhere as one of their 
ablest thinkers, his words may be taken as an authori- 
tative expression of Syndicalist philosophy. Says Mr. 
St. John: "As a revolutionary organization, the Indus- 
trial Workers of the World aim to use any and all tactics 
that wiU get the results sought with the least expendi- 
ture of time and energy. The tactics used are determined 
solely by the power of the organization to make good 
in their use. The question of 'right' or 'wrong' does not 
concern us." 

In similar vein, another I. W. W. leader, Arturo 
Giovannitti, writes: "It is the avowed intention of both 

» Jack London, Revolution and Other Essays, pp. 4-8 (New York, 1910). 



THE GROUND-SWELL OF REVOLT 173 

Socialists and Industrial Unionists^ alike to expropriate 
the bourgeoisie of all its property, to make it social 
property. Now may we ask if this is right ? Is it moral 
and just? Of course, if it is true that labor produces 
everything, it is both moral and just that it should own 
everything. But this is only an affirmation — it must 
be proven. We Industrial Unionists care nothing about 
proving it. We are going to take over the industries 
some day, for three very good reasons: Because we need 
them, because we want them, and because we have the 
power to get them. Whether we are 'ethically' justified 
or not is not our concern. We will lose no time proving 
title to them beforehand; but we may, if it is necessary, 
after the thing is done, hire a couple of lawyers and 
judges to fix up the deed and make the transfer perfectly 
legal and respectable. Such things can always be fixed — 
an^i:hing that is powerful becomes in due course of time 
righteous. Therefore we Industrial Unionists claim 
that the social revolution is not a matter of necessity 
plus justice, but simply necessity plus strength." 

The climax of the class war, as conceived by the Syn- 
dicalists, is the "general strike." Having sufficiently 
demoralized industry by a long process of "direct ac- 
tion" and having converted enough of the workers for 
their purpose, the S^mdicalists will call the general strike. 
Before leaving the factories the workers will destroy the 
machinery by wholesale sabotage; the railways and 
other forms of transport will likewise be ruined; and 
economic life will thus be completely paralyzed. The 

* Another name for Syndicalists. 



174 THE REVOLT AGAINST CHTLIZATION 

result will be chaoS; which will give the SjTidicalists their 
opportunity. In that hour the organized SjTidicaUst 
minority, leading the frenzied, starv^ing masses, and 
aided by criminals and other antisocial elements, wiU 
overthrow the social order, seize all property, crush the 
bourgeoisie, and estabhsh the social revolution. 

This social revolution is to be for the benefit of the 
Proletariat in its most Hteral sense. S^Tidicalism hates, 
not merely capitaHsts and bourgeois, but also the "in- 
tellectuals" and even the skilled workers — "the aris- 
tocracy of labor." S}Tidicalism is instinctively hostile 
to intelligence. It pins its faith to instinct — that " deeper 
knowledge" of the undifferentiated human mass; that 
proletarian quantity so much more precious than indi- 
\^dualistic quality. Both the intellectual ehte and their 
works must make room for the "proletarian culture" of 
the morrow. Intellectuals are a "useless, pri\Tleged 
class"; art is "a mere residuum bequeathed to us by an 
aristocratic society." ^ Science is likeT;\'ise condemned. 
Cries the French S}TidicaHst, Edouard Berth, in his 
pamphlet significantly entitled. The Misdeeds of the 
Intellectuals: "Oh, the Httle science — la petite science — 
which feigns to attaia the truth by attaining lucidity 
of exposition, and sliirks the obscurities. Let us go back 
to the subconscious, the psychological source of every 
inspiration!" 

Here we see the fuU frightfulness of Sjmdicalism- 
Bolshe\^sm ! This new social revolt, prepared a genera- 
tion ago and launched in So\det Russia, is not merely a 

1 SoreL 



THE GROUND-SWTELL OF REVOLT 175 

war against a social system, not merely a war against 
our ci\Tlization ; it is a war of the hand against the brain. 
For the first time since man was man there has been a 
definite schism between the hand and the head. Every 
progressive principle which mankind has thus far evolved : 
the soHdarity of civilization and culture; commmiity of 
interest; the harmonious sjTithesis of muscle, intellect, 
and spirit — all these the new heresy of the Under-Man 
howls down and tramples in the mud. Up from the 
dark purlieus of the underworld strange battle-shouts 
come winging. The underworld is to become the world, 
the only world. As for our world, it is to be destroyed; 
as for lis, we are to be killed. A clean sweep ! Not 
even the most beautiful products of our intellects and 
souls interest these Under-Men. TMiy should they care 
when the}'' are fashioning a world of their own? A 
hand-woTldj not a /iea<i-world. The Under-IMen despise 
thought itself, save as an instrument of invention and 
production. Their guide is, not reason, but the "prole- 
tarian truth" of instinct and passion — the deeper self 
below the reason, whose sublimation is — the mob. Spake 
Georges Sorel : " Alan has genius only in the measure that 
he does not think." 

The citizens of the upper world are to be extirpated 
along with their institutions and ideals. The doomed 
classes are numerous. They comprise not merely the 
bilHonaires of Marx, but also the whole of the upper 
and middle classes, the landowning countrj^folk, even 
the skilled w'orking men; in short, all except those who 
work with their untutored hands, plus the elect few who 



176 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

philosophize for those who work with their untutored 
hands. The elimination of so many classes is, perhaps, 
unfortunate. However, it is necessary, because these 
classes are so hopelessly capitalist and bourgeois that, 
unless eliminated, they would surely infect at its very 
birth the gestating underworld civilization. 

Now note one important point. All that I have just 
said applies to Syndicalism as it stood prior to the 
Russian Revolution of 1917. Every point that I have 
treated has been drawn from Syndicalist pronounce- 
ments made before the appearance of "Bolshevism." 
We must recognize once and for all that Bolshevism is 
not a pecuHar Russian phenomenon, but that it is merely 
the Muscovite manifestation of a movement which had 
formulated its philosophy and infected the whole civi- 
lized world before the beginning of the late war. Thus, 
when in the next chapter we come to contemplate Rus- 
sian Bolshevism in action, we shall view it, not as a 
purely Russian problem, but as a local phase of some- 
thing which must be faced, fought, and mastered in 
every quarter of the earth. 



CHAPTER VI 

THE REBELLION OF THE UNDER-MAN 

The Russian Bolshevik Revolution of November, 1917, 
is an event whose significance increases with the lapse 
of time. It is the opening gun of the organized rebel- 
lion against civilization. Hitherto the proletarian move- 
ment had been either "in the air" or underground. 
Proletarian dreamers might formulate doctrines; prole- 
tarian strategists might plan campaigns; proletarian 
agitators might rouse wide-spread unrest and incite 
sporadic violence. Yet all this, though ominous for the 
future, did not menace society with immediate destruc- 
tion. 

The Bolshevik Revolution, however, produced a radi- 
cally new situation, not merely for Russia, but also for 
the whole world. Falling from the clouds and rising 
from the cellars, the forces of unrest coalesced in open 
line of battle, provided with a huge base of operations, 
vast resources, and great material fighting strength. 
To have acquired at a stroke the mastery of mighty 
Russia, covering nearly one-sixth of the whole land- 
surface of the globe and inhabited by fully 150,000,000 
human souls, was a material asset of incalculable value. 
And the moral gains were equally important. "Nothing 
succeeds like success"; so the triumph of the Russian 
Bolsheviks set revolutionists everywhere aquiver, firing 

177 



178 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

their blood; inflaming their "will to power," and nerving 
their hearts to victory. 

The Bolshevik triumph in Russia had, it is true, been 
won by nimierically slender forces, the numbers of con- 
vinced Bolsheviks who formed the ruHng "Communist 
Party" numbering only about 500,000 or 600,000 out of 
a population of 150,000,000. But this was really a 
powerful stimulant to the "world revolution," because 
it proved the ability of a determined, ruthless minority 
to impose its will upon a disorganized society devoid of 
capable leaders, and thus encouraged revolutionary 
minorities everywhere to hope that they might do the 
same thing — especially with the Russian backing upon 
which they could henceforth rely. As a matter of fact, 
Bolshevik revolutions have been tried in many lands 
since 1917, were actually successful for short periods in 
Hungary and Bavaria, and are certain to be attempted 
in the future, since in every part of the world Bolshevik 
agitation is persistently and insidiously going on. 

The Russian Bolshevik Revolution took most of the 
world by surprise — ^particularly the orthodox Socialists, 
heedful of Marx's prophecy that the revolution would 
begin in ultra-capitalist countries, and not in economi- 
cally backward lands like Russia, barely out of the agri- 
cultural stage. To those who realize the true nature 
of social revolution and the special characteristics of 
Russian life, however, the outbreak of social revolution 
in Russia rather than in Western countries is precisely 
what might have been expected. Social revolution, as 
we have already seen, is not progress but regress; not a 



THE REBELLION OF THE UNDER-MAN 179 

step forward to a higher order, but a lurch backward to 
a lower plane. Therefore, countries like Russia, with 
veneers of civilization laid thinly over instinctive wild- 
ness and refractory barbarism, are peculiarly hable to 
revolutionary atavism. 

Furthermore, we have seen that the Russian Bolshevik 
Revolution was not a chance happening but the logical 
outcome of a process of social disintegration and savage 
resurgence that had long been going on. For more than 
half a century the "Nihilists" had been busily fanning 
the smouldering fires of chaos, their methods and aims 
being alike frankly described by one of their number, 
Dostoievsky, who wrote fully fifty years ago: "To re- 
duce the villages to confusion, to spread cynicism and 
scandals, together with complete disbelief in ever}i;hing 
and eagerness for something better, and finally by means 
of fires to reduce the country to desperation! Man- 
kind has to be divided into two unequal parts: nme- 
tenths have to give up all individuality and become, 
so to speak, a herd. . . . We will destroy the desire 
for property; we will make use of dnmkenness, slander, 
spying; we will make use of incredible corruption; we 
will stifle every genius in his infancy. We will proclaim 
destruction. There is going to be such an upset as the 
world has never seen before." 

The growing power of the violent subversive elements 
showed clearly in the course of the Russian Revolution 
of 1905. That movement was not primarily a social 
revolution; it was at first a pohtical revolution, directed 
by the " InteUigentsia" and the hberal bourgeoisie, 



180 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

against the corrupt and despotic Czarist autocracy. 
No sooner was the Czarist regime shaken, however, than 
the social revolutionists tried to take over the move- 
ment and turn it to their own ends. It is instructive 
to remember that, in the Social Revolutionary Party 
Congress of 1903, the extremists had gained control of 
the party machinery, and were thenceforth known as 
"Bolsheviki,"^ dominating the less violent "Menshevik" 
wing. The leader of this successful coup was none other 
than Nikolai Lenin. Therefore, when the revolution of 
1905 broke out, the social revolutionists, under the 
leadership of Lenin, were pledged to the most violent 
action. 

It was in the autumn of 1905, about sLx months after 
the beguming of the political revolution, that the Bol- 
she\dki attempted to seize control by proclaiming a " dic- 
tatorship of the proletariat," organized into "Soviets." 
The attempt, however, failed; but this abortive coup of 
the social revolutionists involved the failure of the whole 
revolutionar}^ movement. Frightened by the spectre of 
class warfare and social chaos, the political revolutionists 
cooled, Czarism rallied and re-estabhshed its authority. 
Russia's hope of a liberal, constitutional government 
faded away, and Czarism continued in the saddle until 
the Revolution of March, 1917. 

This second revolution was almost an exact rephca 
of the first. At the start it was dominated by poHtical 

^ Bolsheviki, translated literally, means "those in the majority." Their 
less violent opponents, outvoted at the Congress of 1903, became known 
as Mensheviki, or "those in the minority." 



THE REBELLION OF THE UNDER-MAN 181 

reformers — liberals like IVIiliukov and Prince Lvov, 
allied "v\ith moderate Socialists like Kerensky. Behind 
the scenes, however, the Bolsheviki were working. Both 
their tactics and their leaders^ were the same as those 
of 1905, and this time their efforts were crowned with 
success. In November, 1917, eight months after the 
outbreak of the Second Russian Revolution, came the 
Third, or Bolshevilv, Revolution, the crushing of both 
political hberals and moderate Socialists, and the tri- 
umph of violent Communism. Russia sank into the 
hell of class war, bloodshed, terrorism, poverty, cold, 
disease, and appalling famine in which it has been welter- 
ing ever since. Furthermore, "Red Russia" appeared 
like a baleful meteor on the world's horizon. The Bol- 
shevik leaders promptly sought to use Russia as a lever 
for upsetting the whole world and supplemented their 
national organization by the "Third International," 
whose revolutionary^ tentacles soon stretched to the re- 
motest corners of the earth. 

Into a detailed discussion of Bolshevism's horrors and 
failures I do not propose to enter. It would fill a book 
in itself. Suffice it here to say that Bolshevism's so- 
called "constructive" aims have failed, as they were 
bound to fail, for the simple reason that Bolshevism is 
essentially a destructive, retrogressive movement. To 
be sure, the economic breakdown in Russia has been 

^ It is interesting to remember that it was Leon Trotzky who, in the 
autumn of 1905, tried to engineer the abortive "dictatorship of the prole- 
tariat" already described. Although Lenin and Trotzky remained un- 
known to the world at large until 1917, they had been the leaders of the 
Russian Bolsheviki for many years previously. 



182 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

so frightful that; in order to avert utter chaos, the Bol- 
shevik leaders have been forced to revive some of the 
despised "capitalist" methodS; such as private trading, 
the employment of high-salaried experts, and certain 
forms of private property. They have also attempted 
to stimulate production by estabhshing an iron despotism 
over the workers, forcing the latter to labor virtually 
as slaves, so that the Bolshevist regime has come to be 
known sardonically as a "dictatorship over the pro- 
letariat." Perhaps these measures may save Russia 
from absolute ruin; perhaps not. Time alone will tell. 
But even if things now take a timi for the better, this 
will be due, not to Bolshevism but to a practical repudia- 
tion of Bolshevism by its own leaders. It is by its doc- 
trines, and by its acts done in accordance with those 
doctrines, that Bolshevism must be judged. Let us see, 
then, what Russian Bolshevism means, in theory and in 
apphed practice. 

The fundamental characteristic of Bolshevism is its 
violence. Of course, this was also a basic element in 
SyndicaHsm, but the Bolshevists seem to stress violence 
even more than their Syndicahst predecessors. Bol- 
shevism calmly assumes wholesale class warfare of the 
most ferocious character on a world-wide scale for an 
indefinite period, as a normal phase of its development 
and as necessary for its success. For example: the 
American journalist, Arthur Ransome, in his conversa- 
tions with the Russian Bolshevik leaders, found them 
contemplating a "period of torment" for the world at 
large lasting at least fifty years. The class wars which 



THE REBELLION OF THE UNDER-MAN 183 

would rage in western Europe and America would be 
infinitely worse than Russia's, would annihilate whole 
populations, and would probably imply the destruction 
of all culture.^ 

The appalling implications of this Bolshevik principle 
of "permanent violence" have repelled not merely be- 
Hevers in the existing social order, but also many persons 
not wholly hostile to Bolshevism and even ready to wel- 
come a social revolution of a less destructive character. 
The "Menshevik" Gregory Zilboorg thus criticises Bol- 
shevism's "mob-psychology" (and incidentally expounds 
the Menshevik theory of revolution) in the following 
lines: 

"The Bolshevists have an almost rehgious, almost 
frantic faith in the masses as such. Dynamic masses 
are their ideal. But they overlooked, and still overlook, 
the fact that the masses, even the seK-conscious masses, 
are often transformed into mobs, and the dynamic power 
of a mob may scarcely be reasoned with. . . . 

"The fallacy in the Bolshevist reasoning lies in in- 
cluding people as well as mob in the term 'masses.' 
The blind faith in the 'masses' is a silent but potent 
indication that they accept the crowd and the crowd- 
psychology as the most justifiable factors in social life. 
Such an acceptance imphes the further acceptance of 
two very dangerous factors. The first is that revolu- 
tion is a blow, a moment of spontaneous destruction. 
Immediately following this blow there arises the necessity 
for stabilizing the social forces for a constructive Hfe. 

^ Ransome, Russia in 1919, pp. 83-87 (New York, 1919). 



184 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

I take it that the work of construction must begin, not 
when we have reached a point beyond which we can- 
not gO; but when we have completely changed the social 
element. As soon as the old codes, as a system, are 
done with, we must give up destroying and turn to con- 
structing. For this purpose we must gather aU our 
intellectual forces, relying on the masses to help us, 
but not being guided by them. So that when a revolu- 
tion puts power into the hands of a group or a class, 
even dictatorial power, we must immediately begin to 
soHdarize the social forces. The Communist theory 
omits the necessity for this solidarization, and, there- 
fore, admits of no compromise or co-operation. It cre- 
ates fundamental principles of a rule by a minority. 
Government by a minority is dangerous, not because it 
is opposed to the traditional idea of democracy and the 
traditional worship of the majority, but because such 
government necessitates the emplo^inent of continuous 
violent methods and maintaining continuously, in the 
minds of the masses, a consciousness of danger and the 
necessity for destruction. And that is the second dan- 
gerous factor. Under such a condition the masses are 
permanent mobs, able only to hate, to fight, and to de- 
stroy."^ 

In similar vein. President ^lasaryk of Czechoslovakia 
(himself a moderate Sociahst) asserts that "The Bolshe- 
viki want revolution at any cost," and continues: "Lenin 
considers armed revolution the principal constructive 

^ Zilboorg, The Passing of the Old Order in Europe, pp. 184-186 (New 
York, 1920). 



THE REBELLION OF THE UNDER-MAN 185 

force in social progress. For the Bolshe\'iki, revolution 
is a revelation, and for most of them it is Hterally a 
fetish. Consequently, to their eyes, revolution is an 
end in itself. . . . The Bolshe\iki did not know, and 
they never have known, how to work. They know only 
how to force others to work. They know how to fight, 
how to kill, and murder, and die, but they are incapable 
of plodding, productive labor." ^ 

It was the terrible "price" of prolonged, world-wide 
warfare that made the celebrated English thinker, 
Bertrand Russell, reject Bolshe\dsm, to which he had 
at first been strongly attracted. "Those who reahze 
the destructiveness of the late war," he writes, "the 
devastation and impoverishment, the lowering of the 
level of ci\'iKzation throughout vast areas, the general 
increase of hatred and savager}^, the letting loose of 
bestial instincts which had been curbed during peace — 
those who reahze all this wiU hesitate to incur incon- 
ceivably greater horrors even if they believe firmly that 
Communism in itself is much to be desired. An eco- 
nomic system cannot be considered apart from the 
population which is to carry it out; and the population 
resulting from such a world war as Moscow calmly 
contemplates would be savage, bloodthirsty and ruthless 
to an extent that must make any system a mere engine 
of oppression and cruelty. ... I am compelled to 
reject Bolshe\dsm for two reasons: First, because the 
price mankind must pay to achieve Communism by 

^ T. G. Masaryk, Revolutionary Theory in Europe. Translated in Tfia 
Living Age, 9 July, 1921. 



186 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

Bolshevik methods is too terrible; and secondly, be- 
cause, even after paying the price, I do not believe 
the result would be what the Bolsheviks profess to 
desire." ^ 

In this connection it is instructive to note that the 
Russian Bolshevik leaders have never repudiated, or 
even modified, their fundamental rehance upon violent 
methods. Lenin's famous "Twenty-One Points" Mani- 
festo, laying down the terms upon which Sociahst groups 
throughout the world would be admitted to the "Third 
International," commands implacable war, open or se- 
cret, both against existing society and against all So- 
cialists outside the Communist fold. And Trotzky, in 
his recent pronouncement significantly entitled, "The 
Defense of Terrorism," ^ fiercely justifies all Bolshevik 
acts and poHcies as ahke necessary and right. 

Another of Bolshevism's fundamental characteristics 
is its despotism — a despotism not only of the Bolshe- 
vist minority over the general population, but also of 
the Bolshevik leaders over their own followers. Here, 
again, Bolshevism is merely developing ideas already 
formulated by Syndicalism. The Syndicahsts, abandon- 
ing the Marxian deference for "the masses" in general, 
denied the necessity or desirability for heeding their 
wishes and considered only the "class-conscious" mi- 
nority of the proletariat — ^in plain language, their own 
crowd. As the French Syndicahst, Lagardelle put it: 

^Bertrand Russell, "Bolshevik Theory," The New Republic, 3 Novem- 
ber, 1920. 

'^ English translation published in London, 1922. 



THE REBELLION OF THE UNDER-MAN 187 

''The masS; un\\deldy and clumsy as it is, must not here 
speak out its mind." Furthermore, in carrying out 
their programme, the Sjudicalist leaders might rely 
wholly on force, without even condescending to explana- 
tion. In the words of the SyndicaHst Brouilhet: "The 
masses expect to be treated with violence, and not to 
be persuaded. They always obediently follow when a 
single man or a cKque shows the way. Such is the law 
of collective psychology." 

The Russian Bolshevik leaders e\adently had these 
ideas in mind when they made their successful coup 
d'etat in November, 1917. Bolshevik theory, as preached 
to the masses, had hitherto been that the "dictatorship 
of the proletariat" would be a short transition period 
ending with the rapid annihilation of the capitalist and 
bourgeois classes, after which there would be no more 
"government," but a fraternal Hberty. That the Bol- 
shevik "dictatorship" might last longer than most pro- 
letarians expected was, however, hinted at by Lenin 
himself in a circular issued shortly before the November 
coup, and entitled, "Shall the Bolsheviks remain in 
Power?" Here Lenin bluntly states his attitude. Of 
course, he says, we preached the destruction of the State 
as long as the State was in possession of our enemies. 
But why should we destroy the State after ha\dng our- 
selves taken the hehn? The State is, to be sure, an or- 
ganized rule by a privileged minority. Well, let us in 
our turn substitute our minority for theirs, and let us 
run the machinery ! 

And this is precisely what the Bolsheviks have done. 



188 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

Instead of destroying the State, they have built up one 
of the most iron despotisms that the world has ever seen, 
with an autocratic governing cHque functioning through 
a centralized "Red" bureaucracy and relying upon a 
"Red" army powerful enough to crush all disaffection. 
No parHamentary opposition, no criticism, is permitted. 
No book, pamphlet, or newspaper may be printed which 
disagrees with the Bolshevik Government. Further- 
more, there are no signs of any relaxation of this despotic 
attitude. The recent "concessions" hke private trad- 
ing are purely economic in character; the Bolshevik 
Government itself has frankly announced that no 'politi- 
cal concessions will be made, and that absolute power 
wiU remain in its hands. The economic concessions are 
termed merely "temporary," to be revoked as soon as 
the Russian people has become sufficiently "educated" 
along Bolshevik lines to make possible the estabhshment 
of pure Communism. 

Of course, this means that the "dictatorship" is to 
be indefinitely prolonged. As Lenin himself candidly 
remarked recently to a visiting delegation of Spanish 
Socialists: "We never spoke about liberty. We practise 
the proletariat's dictatorship in the name of the minor- 
ity, because the peasant class have not yet become pro- 
letarian and are not with us. It will continue until 
they subject themselves." 

But would the dictatorship end even if the whole 
Russian people should "subject themselves" to Com- 
munism? It is highly improbable. On this point 
Bertrand Russell makes some very acute remarks, the 



THE REBELLION OF THE UNDER-MAN 189 

result of his journey to Russia and keen "sizing-up" of 
its Bolshevist rulers.^ Says Mr. Russell: 

"Advocacy of Communism by those who believe in 
Bolshevilv methods rests upon the assumption that there 
is no slaveiy except economic slavery, and that when 
all goods are held in common there must be perfect Hb- 
erty. I fear this is a delusion. 

"There must be administration, there must be officials 
who control distribution. These men, in a Communist 
State, are the repositories of power. So long as they 
control the army, they are able, as in Russia at this 
moment, to wield despotic power, even if they are a 
small minority. The fact that there is Communism — 
to a certain extent — does not mean that there is hb- 
erty. If the Communism were more complete it would 
not necessarily mean more freedom; there would still 
be certain officials in control of the food-supply, and 
these officials could govern as they pleased as long as 
they retained the support of the soldiers. This is not 
mere theor}^; it is the patent lesson of the present con- 
dition of Russia. The Bolshevik theory is that a small 
minority are to seize power, and are to hold it until 
Communism is accepted practically universally, which, 
they admit, may take a long time. But power is sweet, 
and few men surrender it voluntarily. It is especially 
sweet to those who have the habit of it, and the habit 
becomes most ingrained in those who have governed 



* It is interesting to note that Mr. Russell's remarks on this particular 
point roused more anger in Bolshevik circles than did any of his other crit- 
icisms. The reason is obvious: they hit too much at the heart of things. 



190 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION" 

by bayonets without popular support. Is it not almost 
inevitable that men placed as the Bolsheviks are placed 
in Russia (and as they maintain that the Communists 
must place themselves wherever the social revolution 
succeeds) will be loath to relinquish their monopoly of 
power, and will find reasons for remaining until some 
new revolution ousts them? Would it not be fatally 
easy for them, without altering the economic structure, 
to decree large salaries for high government officials, 
and so reintroduce the old inequahties of wealth ? What 
motive would they have for not doing so? What mo- 
tive is possible except ideahsm, love of mankind — non- 
economic motives of the sort that Bolsheviks decry? 
The system created by violence and the forcible rule of 
a minority must necessarily allow of tyranny and ex- 
ploitation; and if human nature is what Marxists assert 
it to be, why should the rulers neglect such opportunities 
of selfish advantage? 

"It is sheer nonsense to pretend that the rulers of a 
great empire such as Soviet Russia, when they have 
become accustomed to power, retain the proletarian 
psychology, and feel that their class interest is the same 
as that of the ordinary working man. This is not the 
case in fact in Russia now, however the truth may be 
concealed by fine phrases. The government has a class 
consciousness and a class interest quite distinct from 
those of the genuine proletarian, who is not to be con- 
founded with the paper proletarian of the Marxian 
schema."^ 

^ Russell, op. cit. 



THE REBELLION OF THE UNDER-MAN 191 

ThuS; in Russia as in social revolutions throughout 
historj^; we see emerging the vicious circle of chaos suc- 
ceeded by despotism. There is the tragedy of social 
upheavals — ^the upshot being that the new ruling class 
is usually inferior to the old; while society has mean- 
time suffered irreparable cultural and racial losses. 

How, indeed, can it be otherwise? Let us look once 
more at Russia. Consider, first of all, the Bolshe\dk 
leaders. Some of them, like Lenin, are really able men, 
but most of them appear to belong to those sinister 
types ("tainted geniuses," paranoiacs, unbalanced fa- 
natics, imscrupulous adventurers, clever criminals, etc.) 
who always come to the front in times of social dissolu- 
tion — ^which, indeed, give them their sole opportunity 
of success. In fact, this has been admitted by no less 
a person than Lenin himself. In one of his extraor- 
dinary bursts of frankness, he remarked in his speech 
before the Third So\det Conference, "Among one hun- 
dred so-called Bolsheviki there is one real Bolshevik, 
with thirty-nine criminals and sixty fools." 

It would be extremely instructive if the Bolshevik 
leaders could aU be psychoanalyzed. Certainly, many 
of their acts suggest pecuHar mental states. The atroci- 
ties perpetrated by some of the Bolshevik Commissars, 
for example, are so revolting that they seem expHcable 
only by mental aberrations like homicidal mania or the 
sexual perversion known as sadism. 

One such scientific examination of a group of Bol- 
shevik leaders has been made. At the time of the Red 
terror in the city of Kiev, in the summer of 1919, the 



192 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

medical professors of Kiev University were spared on 
account of their usefulness to their terrorist masters. 
Three of these medical men were competent ahenists, 
who were able to diagnose the Bolshevik leaders mentally 
in the course of their professional duties. Now their 
diagnosis was that nearly all the Bolshevik leaders were 
degenerates, of more or less imsound mind. Further- 
more, most of them were alcoholics, a majority were 
syphilitic, while many were drug fiends. Such were the 
"dictators" who for months terrorized a great city of 
more than 600,000 inhabitants, committed the most 
fiendish atrocities, and butchered many leading citizens, 
including scholars of international reputation.^ 

Of course, what is true of the leaders is even truer of 
the followers. In Russia, as in eveiy other social up- 
heaval, the bulk of the fighting revolutionists consists 
of the most turbulent and worthless elements of the 
population, far outnumbering the small nucleus of gen- 
uine zealots for whom the revolution is a pure ideal. 
The original "Red Guard" of Petrograd, formed at the 
time of the November coup, was a most unsavory lot, 
made up chiefly of army deserters, gunmen, and foreign 
adventurers, especially Letts from the Baltic Provinces. 
The Bolshevik leaders from the start deliberately in- 
flamed the worst passions of the city rabble, while the 

* The most flagrant instance was the murder of Professor Florinsky of 
Kiev University, an interrational authority on Slavic history and juris- 
prudence. Haled before the Revolutionary Tribunal for examination, he 
was shot in open court by one of his judges — a woman member, named 
Rosa Schwartz. This woman, a former prostitute, was apparently under 
the influence of hquor. Irritated by one of the professor's answers to a 
question, she drew her revolver and fired at him, killing him instantly. 



THE REBELLION OF THE UNDER-MAN 193 

"pauper" elements in the villages were systematically 
incited against the thriftier peasants. WTien the Bol- 
shevik Government became firmly estabhshed, prole- 
tarian violence was controlled and directed against its 
enemies. 

The spirit, however, remained the same — a spirit of 
wild revolt; of measureless violence, of frenzied hatred 
of the old order in every form. All glory, honor, and 
triumph to the revolution; to the fury of the proletarian 
will; to the whirlwind of unfettered brute-action; to 
the madness for doing things! This spirit is vividly 
portrayed in Alexander Block's famous poem, The Twelve.^ 
Block preaches implacable hatred of the old world; of 
the "lazy bourgeois"; of all that belongs to yesterday, 
which fancied itself secure and now has become the 
booty of the Red Guards. 

"For the bourgeois woe and sorrow. 
We shall start a world-wide fire, 
And with blood that fire we'll blend." 

The "bourgeois," the middle-class man, is hated even 
woi-se than the aristocrat and the great capitalist. This 
attitude is not peculiar to the Russian Bolsheviks; it 
is shared by all social revolutionists, both of to-day and 
of yesterday. In the preceding chapter we have seen 
how fierce was the hatred of the middle classes among 

^Alexander Block (now deceased) was one of the few Russian "intel- 
lectuals" of distinction who went over to Bolshevism at the beginning 
of the revolution. The Twelve are twelve Red Guards, typical hoodlums, 
who are glorified and are compared to the twelve Apostles of Christ. 



194 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

Anarchists and Syndicalists. In Russia it is felt by all 
the revolutionary parties. Here, for example, is how 
the Menshevik, Gregory Zilboorg, describes the bour- 
geoisie: "The great enemy of a genuine revolution is, 
not capitaHsm itself, but its by-product, its bastard 
offspring, the middle class; and as long as the middle 
class remains intact in Europe, a revolution is not possi- 
ble. . . . Materialism demonstrated a certain diabohc 
genius iq creating its faithful servant, the middle class. 
The rule of the middle class is nothing less than a 
'dictatorship of the propertariat.' While that dictature 
lasts, the new order of society will remain imborn." ^ 

Such being the attitude of revolutionists of all shades, 
the fate of the Russian middle classes after the Bolshevik 
triumph was a foregone conclusion. As a matter of fact, 
the Bolsheviks proceeded to shatter this "stumbling- 
block of the revolution" with a ruthless efficiency un- 
paralleled in history. The middle classes were pro- 
scribed en masse, "Boorjooy" becoming as fatal an 
epithet in So\iet Russia as "Aristocrat" was in Jacobin 
France. All over Russia the bom-geois were degraded 
into persecuted pariahs, systematically fenced off like 
lepers from the rest of the population and condemned 
to ultimate extinction as unfit to five in the new Com- 
munistic society. 

The tragedy that followed baffles description. Multi- 
tudes of bourgeois fled beyond the frontiers. Other 
multitudes scattered across Russia as homeless refugees. 
.The bravest joined the "White" armies and fell fighting 

» Zifijoorg, op. dt., pp. 240-242. 



THE REBELLION OF THE UNDER-MAN 195 

in the civil wars. The rest huddled in their desolate 
homes, like condemned criminals waiting for death, ex- 
posed to every hardship and ignominy that their perse- 
cutors could heap upon them. The most effective means 
devised by the Bolsheviks for ^^eliminating" the bour- 
geoisie was the '^ differential food ration." The popu- 
lation was graded by classes and rationed accordingly, 
members of the Communist Party faring best, while 
^^Boorjooy" received least of all — in Lenin's jocose 
phraseology, "bread enough to prevent them from for- 
getting its smeU." Their official ration being quite in- 
sufficient to sustain life, the bourgeois eked out a 
wretched existence by bartering to food-smugglers such 
of their goods as had not been seized or stolen, and when 
these were gone — starved. 

The result of all this has been the utter ruin (and in 
large part the phj^sical annihilation) of the old Russian 
middle classes. Many hundreds of thousands, at the 
very least, must have perished, while those still alive 
are physically wrecked and spiritually broken. To be 
sure, there is the so-called "new bourgeoisie," sprung 
from the ranks of sly food-smugglers and peasant profi- 
teers. But this new bourgeoisie is far inferior to the old 
in ever}i:hing except low cunning and crass materiaHsm. 

In fact, the Bolsheviks themselves almost deplore the 
disappearance of the old bourgeoisie when they con- 
template its sinister successor. Says Izvestia, the Bol- 
shevik official organ: "Our old bourgeoisie has been 
crushed, and we imagine that there wdll be no return of 
old conditions. The power of the So\dets has succeeded 



196 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

the old regime, and the Soviet advocates equahty and 
universal service; but the fruits of this era are not yet 
ready to harvest, and there are already unbidden guests 
and new forms of profiteers. They are even now so 
numerous that we must take measures against them. 
But the task will be a difficult one, because the new 
bourgeoisie is more numerous and dangerous than the 
old. The old bourgeoisie committed many sins, but 
it did not conceal them. A bourgeois was a bourgeois. 
You could recognize him by his appearance. . . . The 
old bourgeoisie robbed the people, but it spent part of 
its money for expensive fixtures and works of art. Its 
money went by indirect channels to the support of 
schools, hospitals, and museums. Apparently the old 
bourgeoisie was ashamed to keep everything for itself, 
and so gave back part. The new bourgeoisie thinks of 
nothing but its stomach. Comrades, beware of the new 
bourgeoisie." 

The fate of the middle classes was shared by other 
elements of Russian society; by the nobility, gentry, 
capitalists, and "intellectuals." The tragedy of the 
intellectuals is a peculiarly poignant one. The Russian 
intellectuals, or Intelligentsia, as they called themselves, 
had for generations been Russia's brain and conscience. 
In the Intelligentsia were concentrated Russia's best 
hopes of progress and civihzation. The Intelligentsia 
stood bravely between despotic Czardom and benighted 
masses, striving to hberalize the one and to enlighten 
the other, accepting persecution and misunderstanding 
as part of its noble task. Furthermore, beside the al- 



THE REBELLION OF THE UNDER-MAN 197 

most caste-like stratification of old Russian society, the 
Intelligentsia stood, a thing apart. Recruited from all 
classes, it was not itself a class, but rather a non-class 
or super-class element. From this it naturally followed 
that the Intelligentsia was not of one mind. It had its 
conservatives, its Hberals, its radicals, even its violent 
extremists — from which the brains of Nihilism and Bol- 
shevism were drawn. The prevailing tone was, however, 
"hberal"; that is to say, a spirit of constructive reform. 
The Intelligentsia backed the political revolutions of 
1905 and March, 1917. The latter, in particular, fired 
it with boundless hopes. The Intelligentsia beHeved 
that its labors and trials were at last to be rewarded; 
that Russia was to become the liberal, progressive na- 
tion of its dreams. 

Then came the Bolshevik coup of November. The 
extremist wing of the Intelligentsia accepted Bolshevism 
with delirium, but the majority rejected it with horror. 
Bolshevism's narrow class consciousness, savage temper, 
fierce destructiveness, and hatred of intellect appalled 
and disgusted the Intelligentsia's hberal ideaHsm. But 
the Bolsheviks, on their side, had long hated and de- 
spised the intellectuals, regarding them as enemies to 
be swept ruthlessly from their path. The result was a 
persecution of the intellectuals as implacable as the per- 
secution of the bourgeoisie. The Russian intellectuals 
were killed, starved, and driven into exile. Multitudes 
perished, while the survivors were utterly broken and 
intellectually sterilized. As time passed, to be sure, the 
economic collapse of Russia (largely through sheer brain 



198 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

famine) compelled the Bolshevik Government to abate 
its persecution and to offer some of the intellectuals 
posts in its service. However, the offer was coupled 
with such humihating, slavish conditions that the nobler 
spirits preferred starvation, while those who accepted 
did so only in despair. 

The martyrdom of the Russian Intelhgentsia is vividly 
described by one of their number in the following poign- 
ant lines. Says Leo Pasvolsky: "I have seen educated 
men coming out of Russia; their general appearance, and 
particularly the crushed hopelessness of their mental 
processes, is a nightmare that haunts me every once in 
a while. They are a h\Tng testimonial to the processes 
that are taking place in Russia. . . . Such an exodus 
of the educated and intelHgent as there has been out of 
Russia no country has ever seen, and certainly no coun- 
try can ever afford. The Intelhgentsia has lost every- 
thing it had. It has hved to see every ideal it revered 
shattered, every aim it sought pushed away almost out 
of sight. Embittered and hardened in exile, or crushed 
spiritually and phj^sically under the present government, 
the tragedy of the Russian Intelhgentsia is the most 
pathetic and poignant in human histor}''." ^ 

The blows which Bolshevism has dealt Russia's intel- 
lectual life have been truly terrible. Indeed, it is not 
too much to say that Bolshevism has beheaded Russia. 
The old Intelhgentsia is destroyed, blighted, or in exile. 
And, so long as Bolshevism rules, it is difficult to see how 

^ Leo Pasvolsky, "The Intelligentsia under the Soviets," Atlantic 

Mnr.thly, November, 1920. 



THE REBELLION OF THE UNDER-MAN 199 

a new Intelligentsia can arise. The Bolshevik Govern- 
ment has undertaken the herculean task of converting 
the whole Russian people to Communism, seeing therein 
the sole guarantee of its continued existence. To this 
supreme end everything else must be subordinated. But 
this means that education, learning, science, art, and 
every other field of intellectual activity is perverted into 
propaganda; that all doubtful or hostile ideas must be 
excluded; that no critical or independent thinking can 
be tolerated. And history has conclusively demon- 
strated that where thought is not free there is no true 
intellectual Hfe, but only intellectual mummies or abor- 
tions. 

Furthermore, the still more fundamental query arises, 
whether, even if Bolshevik rule should soon end, Russia 
may not have suffered such racial losses that the level 
of her inteUigence has been permanently lowered. Rus- 
sia's biological losses have been appalling. For five 
long years a systematic extirpation of the upper and 
middle classes has been going on, and the results of this 
"inverse selection" are hterally staggering. The number 
of Russian exiles alone, to-day scattered to the four 
comers of the earth, is estimated at from one to two 
millions. Add to these the hundreds of thousands who 
have perished by execution, in prison, in the civil wars, 
and by disease, cold, and famine; add to these, again, 
the miUions who survive ruined, persecuted, and thus 
unlikely to rear their normal quota of children; and we 
begin to realize how the Russian stock has been im- 
paired — how well the Under-Man has done his work! 



200 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

To be sure, against all this may be set the fact that 
Russia's racial losses are probably not so terrible as 
those which Bolshevism would inflict upon the more 
advanced Western nations. Russia's very backwardness, 
together with the caste-Hke rigidity of old Russian so- 
ciety, minimized the action of the "social ladder" and 
hindered that "draining" of talent from the lower into 
the higher social classes which has proceeded so rapidly 
in western Europe and America. Nevertheless, even if 
Russia's racial losses are not so fatal as those which 
the West would suffer under similar circumstances, they 
must be very grave and largely irreparable. 

Of course these considerations can have no influence 
whatever upon the conduct of the Bolsheviks themselves, 
because the philosophy of the Under-Man denies he- 
redity, beheves passionately in "natural equahty" and 
the omnipotence of environment, and pins its faith on 
mass quantity instead of individual quahty. 

Indeed, the Bolsheviks beheve that the whole world 
order, both as it now exists and as it has in the past 
existed, is hopelessly aristocratic or bourgeois; that to 
the proletariat it is meaningless and useless; that it 
should therefore be utterly destroyed; and that in its 
place must arise a new "proletarian" world order, cre- 
ated exclusively by and for the proletariat. This theory 
is absolute. It makes no exceptions; all fields of human 
activity, even science, art, and Hterature, being included. 
The climax of this theory is the Bolshevik doctrine of 
"Proletarian Culture," or, as it is termed in Bolshevik 
circles, Prolet-kult. 



THE REBELLION OF THE UNDER-MAN 201 

Of course, here as elsewhere, Bolshevism has invented 
nothing really new. The idea of "proletarian culture" 
was preached by the Syndicalists twenty years ago. 
The Bolsheviks have, however, elaborated the doctrine, 
and in Russia they are actually attempting to practise 
it. The Russian Bolsheviks are, to be sure, divided 
over the immediate cultural policy to be pursued. Some 
assert that, since existing culture is to the proletariat 
meaningless, useless, and even dangerous, it should be 
scrapped forthwith. Others maintain that existing cul- 
ture contains certain educative elements, and that these 
should therefore be used for the stimulation of the pro- 
letarian culture of the future. To the latter faction 
(which has the support of Lenin) is due the preservation 
of Russia's art treasures and the maintenance of certain 
artistic activities like the theatre and the opera along 
more or less traditional lines. However, these factional 
differences, as already stated, are merely differences of 
poHcy. In principle both factions are agreed, their 
common goal being the creation of an exclusive, prole- 
tarian culture. Let us, therefore, examine this doctrine 
of Prolet-kult as expoimded by its partisans in Russia 
and elsewhere. 

The arch-champion of Prolet-kult in Russia is Lima- 
charsky. He is one of the most powerful Bolshevik lead- 
ers and holds the post of Commissar of Education in the 
Soviet Government, so he is well able to make his cul- 
tural ideas felt. Lunacharsky holds the doctrine of 
Prolet-kult in its most uncompromising form. His offi- 
cial organ, Proletarskaia Kultura {Proletarian Culture) 



202 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

sets forth authoritatively the Bolshevik cultural view. 
Let us see precisely what it is. 

Lunacharsky categorically condemns existing "bour- 
geois" culture from top to bottom, and asserts that it 
must be destroyed and replaced by a wholly new pro- 
letarian culture. Says Lunacharsky: "Our enemies, dur- 
ing the whole course of the revolutionary period, have 
not ceased crying about the ruin of culture. As if they 
did not know that in Russia, as well as everywhere, there 
is no united common human culture, but that there is 
only a bourgeois culture, an individual culture, debasing 
itself into a culture of ImperiaUsm — covetous, blood- 
thirsty, ferocious. The revolutionary proletariat aspires 
to free itself from the path of a dying culture. It is 
working out its own class, proletarian culture. . . . 
During its dictatorship, the proletariat has realized that 
the strength of its revolution consists not alone in a 
political and military dictatorship, but also in a cultural 
dictatorship.'' 

Lunacharsky's editorial dictum is enthusiastically in- 
dorsed by multitudes of "Comrades" who, in prose and 
verse, enhven Proletarskaia Kultura^s edifying pages. 
The old bourgeois culture is, of course, the object of 
fierce hatred. Sings one poetic soul: 

"In the name of our To-morrow we will bm-n Rafael, 
Destroy museums, crush the fiowers of art. 
Maidens in the radiant kingdom of the Future 
Will be more beautiful than Venus de Milo." 

Science (as it now exists) is likewise under the ban. 
For example, one "Comrade" Bogdanoff, desiring to 



THE REBELLION OF THE UNDER-MAN 203 

show whcvt transformations the material sciences and 
philosophy will have to undergo in order to make them 
suitable for proletarian understanding, enunciates a series 
of propositions. Of these the ninth is that astronomy 
must be transformed from its present state into a "teach- 
ing of the orientation in space and time of the efforts 
of labor." 

To the non-Bolshevik mind these ideas sound insane. 
But they are not insane. They are merely a logical 
recognition of the fact that, in a society organized ex- 
clusively on proletarian principles, every thread in the 
fabric, whether it be political, social, economic, or ar- 
tistic, must harmonize with the whole design, and must 
be inspired by one and the same idea — class conscious- 
ness and collectivism. This is clearly perceived by some 
contributors. Says one: "In order to be a proletarian 
creator it is not enough to be an artist; it is also neces- 
sary to know economics, the laws of their development, 
and to have a complete knowledge of the Marxist method, 
which makes it possible to expose aU the strata and 
mouldiness of the bourgeois fabric." And another ob- 
serves: "Marx has established that society is, above 
all, an organization of production, and that in this lies 
the basis of all the laws of its Hfe, all development of 
its forms. This is the point of view of the social-pro- 
ductive class, the point of view of the working collec- 
tive." 

Indeed, one writer goes so far as to question the need 
for any art at all in the future proletarian culture. Ac- 
cording to this Comrade, art arose out of individual 



204 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

striving; passion, sorrow, disillusion, the conflict of the 
individual with the Fates (whatever shapes they might 
take, whether those of gods, God, or CapitaHsts). In 
the Communistic society of the future, where everybody 
will be satisfied and happy, these artistic stimuh will 
no longer exist, and art will thus become both unneces- 
sary and impossible. 

This annihilating suggestion is, however, exceptional; 
the other Comrades assume that proletarian cultiu-e 
will have its artistic side. Proletarian art must, how- 
ever, be mass art; the concepts of genius and individual 
creation are severely reprobated. This is, of course, in 
accordance with the general theory of Bolshevism: that 
the individual must be merged in the collectivity; that 
talented individuals merely express the will of the mass 
incarnated in them. This Bolshevik war against indi- 
viduahty explains why the overwhelming majority of 
the Russian Intelligentsia is so irreconcilably opposed 
to Bolshevism. It also explains why those who have 
bowed to Bolshevism have ceased to produce good work. 
They have been intellectually emasculated. 

The Comrades of Proletarskaia Kultura set forth logi- 
cally why proletarian culture must be exclusively the 
work of proletarians. This is because only a proletarian, 
strong in his class consciousness, can think or feel as a 
proletarian. Therefore, only to true proletarians is 
given the possibility of creating proletarian cultiu-e. 
Converts of bourgeois origin may think themselves pro- 
letarians, but they can never really belong to the creative 
elect. To this stem rule there are no exceptions. Even 



THE REBELLION OF THE UNDER-MAN 205 

Karl Marx^ is excluded from sharing the proletarian's 
''deeper ex-periences"; like MoseS; he may "look into 
the land of Tmilk and honey, but never enter it." 

Furthermore; this new culture, produced exclusively 
by proletarians, must be produced in strictly proletarian 
fashion. The "culture workman," reduced to a cog in 
the creative machinery, produces cultural commodities 
like any other commodities, turns out art and hterature 
precisely like boots and clothing. T^Tiy not, since cul- 
ture, Hke industry, is subject to unbending economic 
principles and can be expressed in a collective conven- 
tion symbohzed by the machine? Why should not an 
artist or author be hke an ordinary workman, working 
so many hours a day in the company of other artistic 
or hterary workmen, and pooling their labors to produce 
a joint and anonymous product? 

The upshot of all this is the artists^ or writers^ workshop. 
Here we have the fine flower of proletarian culture! 
Bourgeois methods are, it seems, all wrong. They are 
intolerably antisocial. The bourgeois author or artist is 
an incorrigible individuahst. He works on inspiration 
and in the sohtude of his study or studio. For pro- 
letarian authors and artists such methods are unthinka- 
ble. Neither inspiration nor individual absorption being 
necessary to them, they will gather at a fixed hour for 
their communal labors in their workshops. Let us look 
in on a writers' workshop as depicted by Comrade Ker- 
zhentsev: 

1 Marx was of distinctly middle-class stock. His father was a lawyer, 
and Marx himfielf received a good education. 



206 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

" The literary work of the studios may be divided into 
various branches. First, the selection of the subject. 
Many authors have special ability in finding favorable 
subjects, while utterly unable to develop them respecta- 
bly. Let them give their subjects to others. Let these 
subjects, and perhaps separate parts of them — scenes, 
pictures, episodes, various types and situations — ^be col- 
lected. From this treasure of thought, material will be 
extracted by others. ... It is precisely in such studios 
that a collective composition may be written. Perhaps 
various chapters will be written by various people. 
Perhaps various tj^es and situations will be worked out 
and embodied by various authors. The whole composi- 
tion may be finally written by a single person, but with 
the constant and systematic collaboration of the other 
members of the studio in the particular work." 

This appaUing nonsense is wittily punctured by an 
English critic in the following pungent lines: "What 
self-respecting author will submit to the bondage of this 
human machine, this 'factory of literature'? This 
scheme, to my mind, is too preposterous to require an 
answer; yet, if one must be given, it can be contained in 
a single word: Shakespeare! 

"Here was an individual who could write a better 
lyric, better prose, could define the passions better, could 
draw clearer types, had a better knowledge of human 
psychology, could construct better, was superior in every 
department of the literary art to all his contemporaries. 
A whole 'studio' of Elizabethans, great as each was 
individually, could have hardly put together a work of 



THE REBELLION OF THE UNDER-MAN 207 

art as 'collective' (if you will) and as perfect as this one 
man by himself. Imagine the harmony of Homer bet- 
tered by a collection of 'gas-bags' meeting to discuss his 
work ! Imagine the colossal comedy of an Aristophanes 
* improved' by the assistance of a lot of solemn-faced 
sans-culottes, dominated by an idee fixe, whom the comic 
author might even wish to satirize ! 

"Would even lesser men consent to it? Imagine 
Wells and Bennett and Conrad and Chesterton, with 
their individual minds, produced in the opulent diversity 
of nature, collaborating in one room. Picture to your- 
self, if you can, a literary workshop, shared by Cannan, 
Lawrence, Beresford, Mackenzie, assisted, say, by Mrs. 
Humphry Ward, Marie Corelli, and EUnor Glyn. 

"To this, the Bolsheviks will of course give their 
stereotyped reply that this diverse condition has been 
brought about by a bourgeois civihzation ; for laws of 
nature, the stumbling-block of good and bad Utopias, 
do not exist for them. But it is a long way from theory 
to practice, and they are a long way from having bound 
the Prometheus of creation to the Marxian rock." ^ 

The Russian Bolsheviks have, however, tried to do so 
in at least one notable instance. We have all heard of 
the famous (or notorious) "House of Science," where 
Russia's surviving savants have been barracked under 
one roof and told to get together and produce. Thus 
far, the House of Science has produced nothing but a 
high death-rate. 

^ John Coumos, "A Factory of Literature," The New Europe, 20 Novem- 
ber, 1919. 



208 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

So much for Prolet-kult in Russia. Perhaps it may 
be thought that this is a special Russian aberration. 
This, however, is not the case. Prolet-kult is indorsed 
by Bolshe\dks everywhere. For example: those stanch 
"Comrades," Eden and Cedar Paul, twin pillars of 
British Bolshevism and acknowledged as heralds of the 
Communist cause by Bolshe\ak circles in both England 
and America, have devoted their latest book to this very 
subject.^ In this book all "bourgeois culture" is scath- 
ingly condemned. Our so-called "general culture" is 
"a purely class heritage." "There is no culture for the 
'common people,' for the hewers of wood and the drawers 
of water." There is no such thing as "scientific" eco- 
nomics or sociolog}^ For these reasons, say the authors, 
there should be organized and spread abroad a new kind 
of education, "Proletcult." This, we are informed, "is 
a fighting culture, aiming at the overthrow of capitalism 
and at the replacement of democratic culture and bour- 
geois ideology by ergatocratic culture and proletarian 
ideolog3^" The authors warmly indorse the Soviet 
Government's prostitution of education and all other 
forms of intellectual acti\T[ty to Communist propaganda, 
for we are told that the "new education" is inspired by 
"the new psycholog}'," which "provides the philosophi- 
cal justification of Bolshevism and suppHes a theoretical 
guide for our efforts in the field of proletarian culture. . . . 
Education is suggestion. The recognition that sugges- 
tion is autosuggestion, and that autosuggestion is the 

1 Eden and Cedar Paul, Proletcult (London and New York, 1921). See 
also their book Creative Revolution (London and New York, 1920). 



THE REBELLION OF THE UNDER-MAN 209 

means whereby imagination controls the subconscious 
self, will enable us to make a right use of the most potent 
force which has become available to the members of 
the human herd since the invention of articulate speech. 
The function of the Proletculturist is to fire the imagina- 
tion, until the imagination reahzes itself in action." 
This is the revolution's best hope, for "the industrial 
workers cannot have their minds clarified by an educa- 
tion which has not freed itself from all taint of bour- 
geois ideology." 

Such is the philosophy of the Under-Man, preached 
by Bolsheviks throughout the world. And in practice, 
as in theory, Bolshevism has everywhere proved strik- 
ingly the same. As already stated, the triumph of Bol- 
she\dsm in Russia started a wave of militant unrest 
which has invaded the remotest comers of the earth. 
No part of the world has been free from Bolshevik plots 
and Bolshevik propaganda, directed from Moscow. 

Furthermore, this Bolshe\dk propaganda has been 
extraordinarily clever in adapting means to ends. No 
possible som-ce of discontent has been overlooked. 
Strictly "Red" doctrines like the dictatorship of the 
proletariat are very far from being the only weapons in 
Bolshevism's armory. Since what is first wanted is the 
overthrow of the existing world order, any kind of op- 
position to that order, no matter how remote doctrinally 
from Bolshevism, is grist to the Bolshe\'ist mill. Ac- 
cordingly, in every quarter of the globe, in Asia, Africa, 
Austraha, and the Americas, as in Europe, Bolshevik 
agitators have w^hispered in the ears of the discontented 



210 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

their gospel of hatred and revenge. Every nationalist 
aspiration, every political grievance, every social injus- 
tice, every racial discrimination, is fuel for Bolshevism's 
incitement to violence and war.^ 

To describe Bolshevism's subversive efforts throughout 
the world would fill a book in itself. Let us confine our 
attention to the two most striking fields of Bolshevist 
activity outside of Russia — Hungary and Asia. 

The Bolshevik regime in Hungary represents the crest 
of the revolutionary wave which swept over Central 
Europe during the year 1919.^ It was short-Hved, last- 
ing less than six months, but during that brief period it 
almost ruined Hungaiy. As in Russia, the Bolshevik 
cowp in Hungar}^ was effected by a small group of revolu- 
tionary agitators, taking advantage of a moment of 
acute political disorganization, and backed by the most 
violent elements of the city proletariat. The leaders 
were mainly young "intellectuals," ambitious but not 
previously successful in life, and were mostly Jews. The 
guiding spirit was one Bela Kun,^ a man of fiery energy 
but of rather unedifying antecedents. Kun had evi- 

^ For these larger aspects of Bolshevik propaganda, see Paul Miliukov, 
Bolshevism: An International Danger (London, 1920). For Bolshevik 
activities in the Near and Middle East, see my book The New World of 
Islam, chap. IX (New York and London, 1921). For Bolshevik activities 
in the Far East, see A. F. Legendre, Tour d' Horizon Mondial (Paris, 1920). 

2 Germany, in particular, was afflicted with a whole crop of Bolshevik 
uprisings. In Bavaria, especially Munich, a Bolshevik regime was actually 
established for a short time, its overthrow being marked by a massacre 
of bourgeois "hostages." In Berlin there were several bloody risings of 
the proletariat. In Finland there was a sanguinary civil war, ending in 
the triumph of the "whites" over the "reds." These are merely the out- 
standing instances of a long series of revolutioDary disorders. 

» A'e Cohen. 



THE REBELLION OF THE UNDER-MAN 211 

dently come to disapprove of the institution of private 
property at an early age, for he had been expelled from 
school for theft, and later on, during a term in jail, he 
was caught stealing from a fellow prisoner, Down to 
1914 Kun's career was that of a radical agitator. Early 
in the war he was captured by the Russians, and after 
the Russian revolution he joined the Bolsheviki. Picked 
by Lenin as a valuable agent, he was sent home at the 
end of the war with instructions to Bolshevize Hun- 
gary. His first efforts led to his arrest by the Hungarian 
authorities, but he soon got free and engineered the 
cowp which placed him and his associates in power. 

The new revolutionary government started in on ap- 
proved Bolshevik lines. Declaring a "dictatorship of 
the proletariat," it established an iron despotism en- 
forced by "Red Guards," prohibited hberty of speech or 
the press, and confiscated private property. Fortunately 
there was comparatively little bloodshed. This was due 
to the express orders of Lenin, who, realizing how ex- 
posed was the position of Bolshevik Hungary, told Bela 
Kun to go slow and consoHdate his position before taking 
more drastic measures. Kun, however, found it hard 
to control the zeal of his associates. Many of these 
were burning with hatred of the bourgeoisie and were 
anxious to "complete the revolution." 

In the last days of the Bolshevik regime, when its fall 
appeared more and more probable, the more violent 
elements got increasingly out of hand. Incendiary 
speeches were made inciting the proletariat to plunder 
and slaughter the bourgeois classes. For example,. 



212 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

Pogany, one of the Bolshevik leaders, launched the 
following diatribe at the middle classes: "Tremble be- 
fore our revenge! We shall exterminate you, not only 
as a class but literally to the last man among you. We 
look upon you as hostages, and the coming of AlHed 
troops shall be of iU omen for you. Nor need you re- 
joice in the white flag of the coming bourgeois armies, 
for your own blood shall dye it red." 

As a matter of fact, many atrocities took place, espe- 
cially those committed by a bloodthirsty Commissar 
named Szamuely and a troop of ruffians known as the 
"Lenin Boys." However, there was no general massa- 
cre. The Bolsheviks were restrained by the sobering 
knowledge that they were surrounded by "white" armies, 
and that a massacre of Budapest bourgeois would mean 
their own wholesale extirpation. At the very last, most 
of the leaders escaped to Austria and thence ultimately 
.succeeded in making their way to Moscow. 

So ended the Hungarian Soviet Republic. Despite 
the relatively small loss of life, the material damage 
•done was enormous. The whole economic Hfe of the 
country was disrupted, huge debts were contracted, and 
Hungary was left a financial wreck. 

As matters turned out, Soviet Hungary was merely an 
episode — albeit an instructive episode, since it shows 
how near Europe was to Bolshevism in 1919. Quite 
otherwise is it with Asia. Here the Bolshevik onset is 
very far from having failed. On the contrary, it has 
gained important successes, and must be seriously reck- 
oned with in the immediate future. 



THE REBELLION OF THE UNDER-MAN 213 

Asia is to-day full of explosive possibilities. For the 
past half century the entire Orient has been the scene 
of a vast; compHcated ferment, due largely to the impact 
of Western ideas, which has produced an increasing 
unrest — political, economic, social, religious, and much 
more besides.^ Oriental unrest was, of course, enormously 
aggravated by the Great War. In many parts of the 
Near East, especially, acute suffering, balked ambitions, 
and furious hates combined to reduce society to the verge 
of chaos. 

Into this ominous turmoil there now came the sinister 
influence of Russian Bolshevism, marshalling all this 
diffused unrest by systematic efforts for definite ends. 
Asia was, in fact, Bolshevism's "second string." Bol- 
shevism was frankly out for a world revolution and the 
destruction of Western civilization. It had vowed the 
"proletarianization" of the whole world, beginning with 
the Western peoples but ultimately including all peoples. 
To attain this objective the Bolshevik leaders not only 
launched direct assaults on the West, but also planned 
flank attacks in Asia. They beheved that, if the East 
could be set on fire, not only would Russian Bolshevism 
gain vast additional strength, but also the economic 
repercussion on the West, already shaken by the war, 
would be so terrific that industrial collapse would ensue, 
thereby throwing Europe open to revolution. 

In its Oriental policy, Russian Bolshevism was greatly 

* I have discussed this unrest in its various aspects, with special refer- 
ence to the Near and Middle East, in my book, The New World of Islam, 
already referred to. 



214 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

aided by the political legacy of Russian imperialism. 
From Turkey to China, Asia had long been the scene of 
Russian imperialist designs and had been carefully stud- 
ied by Russian agents who had evolved a technic of 
"pacific penetration" that might be easily adjusted to 
Bolshevik ends. To intrigue in the Orient required no 
original planning by Trotzky or Lenin. Czarism had 
already done this for generations, and full information 
lay both in the Petrograd archives and in the brains of 
surviving Czarist agents ready to turn their hands as 
easily to the new work as the old. 

In all the elaborate network of Bolshevik propaganda 
which to-day enmeshes the East, we must discriminate 
between Bolshevism's two objectives: one immediate — 
the destruction of Western pohtical and economic power; 
the other ultimate — ^the Bolshevizing of the Oriental 
masses and the consequent extirpation of the native 
upper and middle classes, precisely as has been done in 
Russia and as is planned for the countries of the West. 
In the first stage, Bolshevism is quite ready to back 
Oriental "nationahst" movements and to respect Ori- 
ental faiths and customs. In the second stage all these 
matters are to be branded as "bourgeois" and relentlessly 
destroyed. 

Russian Bolshevism's Oriental pohcy was formulated 
soon after its accession to power at the close of 1917. 
The year 1918 was a time of busy preparation. An 
elaborate propaganda organization was built up from 
various sources: from old Czarist agents; from the Rus- 
sian Mohammedan populations such as the Tartars of 



THE REBELLION OF THE UNDER-MAN 215 

South Russia and the Turkomans of Central Asia; and 
from the nationalist or radical exiles who flocked to 
Russia from Turkey, Persia, India, China, Korea, and 
even Japan. By the end of 1918, Bolshevism's Oriental 
propaganda department was well organized, divided into 
three bureaus, for the Islamic countries, India, and the 
Far East respectively. These bureaus displayed great 
activity, translating tons of Bolshevik literature into the 
various Oriental languages, training numerous secret 
agents and propagandists for "field-work," and getting 
in touch with disaffected or revolutionary elements. 

The effects of Bolshevik propaganda have been visible 
in nearly all the disturbances which have afflicted the 
Orient since 1918. In China and Japan few tangible 
successes have as yet been won, albeit the symptoms of 
increasing social unrest in both those comitries have 
aroused distinct uneasiness among well-informed ob- 
servers. ^ In the Near and Middle East, however, Bol- 
shevism has achieved much more definite results. In- 
dian unrest has been stimulated by Bolshevik propa- 
ganda; Afghanistan, Turkey, and Persia have all been 
drawn more or less into Soviet Russia's political orbit; 
while Central Asia and the Caucasus regions have been 
definitely Bolshevized and turned into "Soviet Repub- 
lics'^ dependent upon Moscow. Thus Bolshevism is 
to-day in actual operation in both the Near and Middle 
East. 

* For revolutionary unrest in China, see Legendre's book, already quoted. 
For social unrest in Japan, see, Sen Katayama, The Labor Movement in 
Japan (Chicago, 1918). Katayama is the most prominent leader of Japa- 
nese Socialism. Since writing the book referred to he has grown much 
more violent, and is now an extreme Bolshevik. 



216 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

Soviet Russia's Oriental aims were frankly announced 
at the "Congress of Eastern Peoples" held at Baku, 
Transcaucasia, in the autumn of 1920. The president 
of the congress, the noted Russian Bolshevik leader, 
Zinoviev, stated in his opening address: 

"We believe this Congress to be one of the greatest 
events in history, for it proves not only that the pro- 
gressive workers and working peasants of Europe and 
America are awakened, but that we have at last seen the 
day of the awakening, not of a few, but of tens of thou- 
sands, of hundreds of thousands, of milHons of the labor- 
ing class of the peoples of the East. These peoples form 
the majority of the world's whole population, and they 
alone, therefore, are able to bring the war between capi- 
tal and labor to a conclusive decision. 

"The Conamunist International said from the very 
first day of its existence : ' There are four or five times as 
many people living in Asia as five in Europe. We will 
free all peoples, all who labor.' . . . We know that the 
laboring masses of the East are in part retrograde. Com- 
rades, our Moscow International discussed the question 
whether a sociahst revolution could take place in the 
countries of the East before those countries had passed 
through the capitalist stage. You know that the view 
which long prevailed was that every country must first 
go through the period of capitalism before socialism could 
become a five question. We now beHeve that this is no 
longer true. Russia has done this, and from that mo- 
ment we are able to say that China, India, Turkey, Per- 
sia, Armenia also can, and must, make a direct fight to 



THE REBELLION OF THE UNDER-MAN 217 

get the Soviet system. These countries can, and must, 
prepare themselves to be Soviet repubhcs. . . . 

"We array ourselves against the English bourgeoisie; 
we seize the EngHsh imperialist by the throat and tread 
him under foot. It is against English capitalism that the 
worst, the most fatal blow must be dealt. That is so. 
But at the same time we must educate the laboring masses 
of the East to hatred, to the wiU to fight the whole of 
the rich classes indifferently, whoever they may be . . . 
so that the world may be ruled by the worker's homy 
hand." 

Such is Russian Bolshevism's Asiatic goal. And it is 
a goal by no means impossible of attainment. Of course, 
the numbers of class-conscious "proletarians" in the 
East are very small, while the Communist philosophy is 
virtually unintelHgible to the Oriental masses. These 
facts have often been adduced to prove that Bolshevism 
can never upset Asia. The best answer to such argu- 
ments is — Soviet Russia! In Russia an infinitesimal 
Communist minority, numbering, by its own admission, 
not much over 600,000, is maintaining an unhmited des- 
potism over at least 150,000,000 people. And the Orient 
is, politically and socially, much like Russia. Western 
countries may rely upon their stanch traditions of or- 
dered hberty and their highly developed social systems; 
the East possesses no such bulwarks against Bolshevism. 
In the Orient, as in Russia, there is the same backw^ard- 
ness of the masses, the same absence of a large and 
powerful middle class, the same tradition of despotism, 
the same popular acquiescence in the rule of ruthless 



218 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

minorities. Finally; the East is fiUed with every sort of 
unrest. 

The Orient is thus patently menaced with Bolshevism. 
And any extensive spread of Bolshe\dsm in the East 
would be a hideous catastrophe both for the Orient and 
for the worid at large. For the East, Bolshevism would 
spell downright savagery. The sudden release of the 
ignorant, brutal Oriental masses from their traditional 
restraints of religion and custom, and the submergence 
of the relatively small upper and middle classes by the 
flood of social revolution, would mean the destruction of 
all Oriental civihzation and a plunge into an abyss of 
anarchy from which the East might not emerge for cen- 
turies. 

For the world as a whole the prospect would be per- 
haps even more terrible. The welding of Russia and 
the Orient into a vast revolutionary block would spell a 
gigantic war between East and West beside which the 
late war would seem mere child's play and which might 
leave the entire planet a mass of ruins. 

Yet this is precisely what the Soviet leaders are work- 
ing for, and what they frankly — even gleefully — prophesy. 
The vision of a revolutionary East destropng the "bour- 
geois" West fills many Bolshe\dsts with wild exultation. 
Says the Bolshevist poet Peter Oryeschin : " Holy Mother 
Earth is shaken by the tread of millions of marching feet. 
The crescent has left the mosque ; the crucifix the church. 
The end of Paris impends, for the East has lifted its 
sword. I saw tawny Chinamen leering through the win- 
dows of the Urals. India washes its garments as for a 



THE REBELLION OF THE UNDER-MAN 219 

festival. From the steppes rises the smoke of sacrifice 
to the new god. London shall sink beneath the waves. 
Gray Berlin shall He in ruins. Sweet will be the pain of 
the noblest who fall in battle. Down from Mont Blanc 
hordes will sweep through God's golden valleys. Even 
the Kirghiz of the steppes will pray for the new era." 

Thus, in the East as in the West, the world, wearied 
and shaken by the late war, is faced by a new war — the 
war against chaos. 



CHAPTER YLl 

THE WAR AGAINST CHAOS 

The world is to-day the battle-ground of a titanic strug- 
gle. This struggle has long been gathering. It is now 
upon us and must be fought out. Xo land is immune. 
Bolshe\ik Russia is merely the standard-bearer of a re- 
volt against civihzation which girdles the globe. That 
revolt was precipitated by the late war and has been 
intensified by war's aftermath, but it was latent before 
1914 and would have ultimately burst forth even if Ar- 
mageddon had been averted. 

In the present revolt against ci\ilization there is noth- 
ing basically new. Viewed historically, it is merely one 
of a series of similar destructive, retrograde movements. 
What is new, however, is the elaboration of a revolution- 
ary philosophy which has fired and welded the rebeUious 
elements as never before. As Le Bon justly remarks: 
"The Bolshevik mentahty is as old as histor}\ Cain, in 
the Old Testament, had the mind of a Bolshevik. But 
it is only in our days that this ancient mentality has 
met with a political doctrine to justify it. This is the 
reason of its rapid propagation, which has been under- 
mining the old social scaffolding." ^ 

The modem philosophy of the Under-Man is at bot- 
tom a mere "rationaHzing" of the emotions of the im- 

1 Gustave Le Bon, The World in Ra-olt, p. 179 (New York, 1921— Eng- 
lish translation). 

220 



THE WAR AGAINST CHAOS 221 

adaptable, inferior, and degenerate elements, rebellious 
against the ci\alization which irks them and longing to 
revert to more primitive levels. We have already seen 
how the revolutionar}^ spirit assails every phase of our 
civihzation, the climax being the Bolshe\'ik attempt to 
substitute a "proletarian culture." Most significant of 
all are the attacks launched upon science, particularly 
the science of biolog3^ Revolutionists are coming to 
reahze that science, vdih its stem love of truth, is their 
most dangerous enemy, and that the discoveries of biol- 
ogy are relentlessly exposing their cleverest sopliistries. 
Accordingly, the champions of the Under-IVIan, extrem- 
ists and "moderates" alike, cling desperately to the 
exploded doctrines of emaronmentahsm and "natural 
equahty," and dub modern biology mere class snobbery 
or capitalist propaganda.^ 

In fact, attempts have been made to invent a "new" 
biology, more in accordance TNith proletarian maxims. 
For example, some SociaHst v^Titers^ have evolved the 
theory that social and intellectual evolution is the cause of 
physical evolution ; in other words, that it is his customs 
and tools which have made man, and not man his tools 
and customs. Other writers have gone even farther and 
maintain that "cell inteUigence" (which they assume to 
be present in all protoplasm) is the cause of all forms of 
evolution.3 The logical conclusion of this amazing hy- 

^ For instances of this sort of criticism, see the articles by Doctor Robert 
H. Lowie in the Radical weekly, The Freeman (New York), during 1920. 

* See especially Samuel Butler, Erewhon (London, 1908) ; A. D. Dar- 
bishire. Introduction to a Biology (New York, 1917). 

3 See especially N. Quevli, CeU Intelligence the Cause of EvoliUion (Min- 
neapolis, 1916). 



222 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

pothesis should apparently be that intelligence is not con- 
fined to the brain but is diffused over the whole body. 
Here is good proletarian biology, quite in accord with 
the Bolshevik doctrine that so-called "superior" indi- 
viduals are merely expressions of the mass inteUigence. 
It is surprising that, so far as can be learned, the theory 
of cell intelligence is not yet taught in the Soviet schools. 
This is a serious omission — but it can be remedied. 

Naturally, these grotesque perversions of science, with 
their resultant paradoxes worthy of Mr. Chesterton, are 
easily disposed of by genuine biologists and the under- 
lying animus is clearly explained. Regarding proletarian 
biology. Professor ConkHn remarks: "Such a conception 
not only confuses the different hnes of evolution and their 
causes, but it really denies all the facts and evidences in 
the case by putting the highest and latest product of the 
process into its earhest and most elemental stages. It is 
not a theory of evolution but rather one of involution or 
creation; it is not a new conception of hfe and its origin 
but the oldest known conception. . . . Such essays evi- 
dently owe their origin to emotion rather than to reason, 
to sentiment rather than science; they are based upon 
desire rather than evidence, and they appeal especially 
to those who are able to beheve what they desire to be- 
lieve." 1 

Proletarian "science" having shown no signs of abiHty 
to meet real science in intellectual combat, we may ex- 
pect to see the proletarian movement fall back upon its 

1 E. G. Conklin, The Direction of Human Evolution, pp. 73-74 (New 
York, 1921). 



THE WAR AGAINST CHAOS 223 

natural weapons — passion and violence. What seems 
certain is that science will become increasingly anathema 
in social revolutionary eyes. The lists are in fact already 
set for a battle royal between biology and Bolshevism. 
We have already remarked that the more the Under- 
Man realises the significance of the new biological reve- 
lation, the uglier grows his mood. Science having 
stripped away its sentimental camouflage, the social 
revolution will depend more and more upon brute force, 
relying upon the materiahsm of numbers and racial im- 
poverishment to achieve final victory. More and more 
the revolutionary watchword will be that of the French 
Communist, Henri Barbusse: "Le Couteau entre les 
Dents !"—" With Your Knife in Your Teeth !" ^ 

How shall civilization meet the revolutionary' onset? 
By a combination of two methods: one palliative and 
temporary; the other constructive and permanent. Dis- 
cussion of the second method -will be deferred till the 
next chapter. Suffice it here to say that it centres about 
certain deep-going reforms, particularly the improvement 
of the race itself. Forward-looking minds are coming to 
realize that social revolutions are really social breakdowns, 
caused (in the last analysis) by a dual process of racial 
impoverishment — the elimination of superior strains and 
the multiplication of degenerates and inferiors. Inexo- 
rably the decay of racial values corrodes the proudest 
civiHzation, which engenders within itself those forces of 
chaos that will one day work its ruin. Said shrewd old 

* This is the title of Barbusse's latest book — a fierj' call to instant and 
relentless class warfare. 



224 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

Rivarol, viewing the French Revolution: "The most 
civilized empires are as close to barbarism as the most 
pohshed steel is to rust; nations, like metals, shine only 
on the surface." 

More and more we are coming to see that hatred of 
civilization is mainly a matter of heredity; that Bolshe- 
viks are mostly born and not made. How can we expect 
a man to support a social order which he instinctively 
detests or which he is congenitally unable to achieve? 
And how can society expect peaceful progress so long 
as it spawns social rebels and laggards, and at the same 
time steriHzes those creative superiors who are at once 
its builders and its preservers? 

The fact is that construction and destruction, prog- 
ress and regress, evolution and revolution, are alike the 
work of dynamic minorities. We have already seen how 
numerically small are the talented ehtes which create 
and advance high civihzations; while Jacobin France 
and Bolshevik Russia prove how a small but ruthless 
revolutionary faction can wreck a social order and tyran- 
nize over a great population. Of course, these dynamic 
groups are composed primarily of leaders — they are the 
officers' corps of much larger armies which mobiHze in- 
stinctively when crises arise. Take the present world 
crisis. In every country the champions of the existing 
order can count upon the resolute support of all those 
who appreciate our civilization and wish to preserve it 
from disruption. On the other hand, the revolutionary 
leaders can count with equal confidence upon the un- 
adaptable, inferior, and degenerate elements, who nat- 



THE WAK AGAINST CHAOS 225 

urally dislike our civiKzation and welcome a summons 
to its overthrow. 

Such are the distinctively "superior" and "inferior" 
groups — the standing armies of civilization and of chaos. 
But, even when fully mobilized, these armies are minori- 
ties. Between them stands an intermediate mass of 
mediocrity, which, even in the most civiHzed countries, 
probably constitutes a majority of the whole people. 
In the United States, for example, this intermediate mass 
is tj^ified by the various "C" grades of the Army In- 
telligence Tests — the men with mental ages of from twelve 
to fifteen years, whom the tests indicated comprised 613^ 
per cent of the total population. These people are in- 
capable of either creating or maintaining a high civiHza- 
tion. For that they are dependent upon the superiors; 
just as in the army they depend upon the "A" and " jB" 
grades of the officers' corps, without whom they would be 
as sheep without a shepherd. However, these mediocres 
are not "inferiors" in the technical sense; they are capa- 
ble of adapting themselves to the ordinary requirements 
of civilization, and of profiting by the superiors' creative 
achievements — ^profiting often so successfully that they 
attain great wealth and influence. 

In some respects the mediocre have their social value. 
Their very lack of initiative renders them natural con- 
servers of whatever they adopt, and they thus act as 
social ballast and as a brake to prevent the ehte from 
going too fast and getting out of touch with reahty. They 
also usually support the existing social order, and thus 
tend to oppose revolution. 



226 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

However, the mediocre have the defects of their quali- 
ties. Their very conservatism is apt to be harmful, and 
is frequently disastrous. This is because it is unintel- 
ligent — a mere clinging to things as they are, with no 
discrimination between what is sound and what is un- 
sound or outworn; a mere blind aversion to change just 
because it is change. This is sheer hourhonism. And 
bourbonism is dangerous because it blocks progress, 
prevents reform, perpetuates social evils, breeds discon- 
tent, and thus engenders revolution. 

The chief danger of bourbonism is that it is so power- 
ful. If society were really guided by its creative elite, 
mediocrity might be useful as a sort of "constitutional 
opposition" stabilizing and regulating progress. Unfor- 
tunately, society is ruled largely by mediocrity. The 
most cursory survey of our world is enough to show that 
in politics, finance, business, and most other fields of 
human activity, a large proportion of the most influential 
figures are persons of decidedly mediocre inteUigence and 
character. The number of stupid reactionaries in high 
places is depressing, and their stupidity is amazing when 
we consider their opportunities. In fact, these oppor- 
tunities are the best proof of their inherent stupidity, 
because the mere fact that so httle has been brought 
out shows that there was very Httle there to bring. 

At first sight aU this may seem to conflict with what 
we have previously discovered: that superiors tend to 
rise in the social scale, and that in advanced modem 
societies there has been a marked concentration of su- 
periority in the middle and upper classes. But when we 



THE WAK AGAINST CHAOS 227 

look more closely, we see that there is no real discrepancy. 
In the first place, the concentration of abihty in the upper 
social strata is not absolute, but relative. Relatively, 
the upper and middle classes of society imdoubtedly 
contain a higher percentage of superiority than do the 
lower classes. But this most emphatically does not mean 
that the upper and middle classes are made up wholly of 
superior persons while the lower social strata are com- 
posed wholly of inferiors. On the contrar}^, the lower 
social strata unquestionably contain multitudes of valu- 
able strains which have not yet displayed themselves by 
rising in the social scale. This is particularly true where 
the "social ladder" and assortative mating have not 
drained the lower classes and sharply stratified the popu- 
lation. For example, in the American Army Intelligence 
Tests some of the best scores were made by illiterate, 
ignorant Southern mountaineers who had never before 
been outside their native valleys. In other words, primi- 
tive conditions had held back a high-grade Anglo-Saxon 
stock; but the intelligence was there, passed on from 
generation to generation, and only awaiting a favorable 
opportunity to display itself. 

We thus see that superior intelligence is not a monopoly 
of the upper and middle social classes, albeit they do 
possess a distinct relative advantage in this respect. 

The next question which naturally arises is: What are 
the proportions of superiors to mediocres and inferiors 
within these classes? The question of inferiority need 
not long detain us. The demands of modern hfe are suf- 
ficiently great, and the social ladder works sufficiently 



228 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

well to weed out most of the distinctly inferior indi- 
viduals who arise in the upper and middle strata of so- 
ciety by socially sterilizing them as economic failures or 
by forcing them down to lower social levels. 

With mediocrity, however, it is quite otherwise. A 
glance at social statistics is enough to prove that a large 
proportion of both the upper and middle classes must 
consist of mediocrities. Consider the relative size of 
social groups. In most Western nations from 5 to 10 
per cent of the population should certainly be counted 
as belonging to the upper social classes, while the middle 
classes (urban and rural) probably run between 20 and 
40 per cent. Now compare these figures with the matter 
of intelligence. We have already seen that biological, 
sociological, and psychological researches have alike re- 
vealed the fact that high intelligence is rare. The Amer- 
ican Army InteUigence Tests indicate that only 4J^ per 
cent of the American population are of "very superior 
inteUigence" (Grade "A"), while only 9 per cent are of 
"superior intelligence" (Grade "B"). We have also 
seen that superior intelHgence is by no means exclusively 
confined to the upper and middle social strata. Yet, 
even if superior inteUigence were so confined, we have 
every reason to beheve that these strata would still con- 
sist largely of mediocrities, for the very simple reason 
that there would not be enough genuine superiors to go 
around. 

This raises a third question: Within the upper social 
strata, what is the relative status of superiors and 
mediocres, measured by recognized standards of achieve- 



THE WAR AGAINST CHAOS 229 

ment and by direct influence in the community? This 
is a matter of great importance. If high inteUigence be 
so rare, it is vital to social progress, and even to social 
security, that it should function with the greatest possible 
efficiency and should exert the greatest possible effect. 
Now no unbiassed student of modem life can doubt that 
this is very far from being the case. The melancholy 
truth is that our stock of high creative inteUigence (all 
too meagre at best) is in the main imperfectly utihzed. 
To be sure, those pessimists who assert that it is neai-ly 
all wasted are wrong. Comparatively little real talent 
is whoUy wasted. In advanced modern societies the 
genuine superior can usually rise, and in many fields, hke 
science, art, Hterature, and certain of the professions, he 
may reasonably hope to rise to the very top. 

In other fields, however, particularly in poHtics, finance, 
and business, this is not the case. Here, too, creative in- 
telligence does tend to rise, and sometimes rises to the 
top. But more frequently the highest posts are filled 
by essentially mediocre personahties — shrewd, aggres- 
sive, acquisitive, yet lacking that constructive vision 
which is the birthmark of true greatness. 

Now this is a serious matter, because it is precisely 
these fields wherein constructive leadership is supremely 
important for social progress and social stability. His- 
tory proves conclusively that revolutions are precipitated 
mainly by inefficient government and unwise finance. 
Here more than anywhere else the guidance of superior 
inteUigence is a vital necessity. Were our poHtical and 
economic fife to-day guided by our best minds, we should 



230 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

have little to fear from social revolution. A series of 
constructive reforms would safeguard the future, while 
the present revolutionary onslaught would be summarily 
repelled. High intelligence is nearly always well poised, 
and can be depended upon in a crisis to keep cool and 
do the right thing. Mediocrity, on the other hand, lacks 
poise and vision. Yet governments are to-day every- 
where mainly in mediocre hands. Governments should 
govern; should have faith in themselves and the prin- 
ciples they stand for; and should meet the challenge of 
aggressive minorities with intelhgent foresight, instant 
action, and unflinching courage. The mere fact that the 
revolutionists are a minority is no safeguard, because it 
is determined minorities, not passive majorities, that 
get their way. The lesson of past revolutions, partic- 
ularly the Russian Bolshevik Revolution, is that a small 
but resolute faction possesses the same decisive tac- 
tical advantage as a small but highly disciplined and 
enthusiastic army attacking a huge but ill-organized and 
spiritless foe. In such cases the assailants have the in- 
estimable advantage of knowing what they want and 
exactly where they mean to make their attack. The de- 
fenders, on the contrar}^, not only do not know their own 
minds, but also usually fail to see precisely where, when, 
and how the attack is coming. They stand, fearful and 
irresolute, waiting to be hit — beaten before they are 
struck. 

To avert this danger we need intelligent action. For 
one thing, pubhc opinion should be carefully informed 
about the basic issues involved. T\Tien people appreciate 



THE WAR AGAINST CHAOS 231 

the true nature of social revolution, the irreparable cul- 
tural and racial losses, the terrible setback to progress, 
they will realize that all sections of the population ex- 
cept the inferior and degenerate elements would be the 
losers, and they will resolve determinedly to preserve 
civilization from disruption. 

By "information," however, I most emphatically do 
not mean "propaganda." The truth about social revo- 
lution is enough to open the eyes of all who beheve in 
orderly progress; while neither argimient nor entreaty 
can convert those temperamentally predisposed to vio- 
lent subversive action. We must clearly recognize that 
there exists an irreconcilable minority of congenital revo- 
lutionists — bom rebels against civilization, who can be 
restrained only by superior force. This rebel minority 
has, however, evolved a philosophy pecuharly enticing 
in these troubled transition times when discontent is 
rife, old beliefs shattered, and the new goals not yet 
plainly in sight. Under these circumstances the phi- 
losophy of revolt has attracted multitudes of persons im- 
patient of present ills and grasping at the hope of violent 
short cuts to progress. This is particularly true of cer- 
tain types of emotional Uberals, who play in with the 
revolutionists — and are used as catspaws. Here we 
have the chief reasons for that idealization of revolution 
which has such a vogue in many quarters. However, 
these unwitting dupes are not at heart irreconcilable 
enemies of society. They simply do not realize that they 
are on a path which leads to chaos. If they came to real- 
ize social revolution's inevitable consequences, most of 



232 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

them would stop aiding the revolutionists in their at- 
tacks on society, and would join forces with those who 
are striving for constructive progress by evolutionary 
methods. The real revolutionists would thus be deprived 
of much of their present strength, and could be more 
easily dealt with. 

Now this may be accomplished by instructive informa- 
tion. It cannot be accomplished by "propaganda." 
Hysterical denimciations of Bolshevism, specializing in 
atrocity stories and yarns lil^e the "nationahzation of 
women," defeat their own object. They divert attention 
from fundamentals to details, generate heat without 
Hght, spread panic rather than resolution, and invite 
blind reaction instead of discriminating action. Such 
propaganda stirs up a multitude of silly people who run 
around looking for Communists under the bed and calling 
everybody a "Bolshevik" who happens to disagree with 
them. This modern witch-finding is not only fatuous; 
it is harmful as well. Many of those denounced as "Bol- 
sheviks" are not genuine social rebels at aU, but people 
so harassed by social ills or personal misfortunes that 
they blindly take Bolshevism's false promises at their 
face value. These people need education, not persecu- 
tion. To dragoon and insult them simply drives them 
into the Bolsheviks' arms. The thing to do is to under- 
stand exactly who the real Bolsheviks are, attend to them 
thoroughly, and then give suspects the benefit of the 
doubt. 

The real social rebels should, of course, be given short 
shrift. No misguided sentimentaHty should shield those 



THE WAR AGAINST CHAOS 233 

who plot the disruption of civilization and the degrada- 
tion of the race. Boasting, as they do, that they have 
declared war upon the social order, let them be taken 
at their word. These irreconcilables should be carefully 
watched, strictly punished whenever they offend, and 
where anything like revolution is attempted — hunted 
down and extirpated. They who take the sword against 
society must perish by society's sword. 

Yet we should not forget that repression, of itself, 
solves nothing. Knowing, as we do, that Bolshe^dks are 
mostly born and not made, we must reaHze that new 
social rebels will arise until their recruiting grounds are 
eliminated. When society takes in hand the betterment 
of the race, when degenerates and inferiors are no longer 
permitted to breed like Kce, the floods of chaos will soon 
dry up. 

Until then repression must go on. But we must know 
exactly what we are about. Repression is a dangerous 
weapon, which should be used only within strictly de- 
fined Hmits — and even then with regret. 

Now what are the limits of repression ? They are the 
limits of action. Revolutionary action should be in- 
stantly, inexorably repressed. There the dead-line should 
be drawn, so clear and plain that all would know what 
trespass means. But beyond that forbidden zone— free- 
dom ! No tampering with freedom of thought under any 
circumstances, and no curtailment of free speech except 
where it incites to violence and thus practically crosses 
the dead-line. 

Society should say to its discontented: "You may 



234 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

think what you please. You may discuss what you 
please. You may advocate what you please, excerpt it 
involve violence, express or implied. If you preach or in- 
sinuate violence, you will be punished. If you throw 
bombs, you will be individually executed. If you try 
revolutions, you will be collectively wiped out. But so 
long as you avoid doing those forbidden things, you may 
be watched, but you will not be interfered with." 

At this point the timid or stupid reactionary may ex- 
claim: "But this is giving Bolshe\dsm a chance to hide 
behind legal technicalities ! " Granted, " This will allow 
revolutionists to conduct a camouflaged propaganda!" 
Granted. "The results may be dangerous!" Granted; 
all granted. And yet we cannot do otherwise, because 
all the harm the Bolsheviks might do by clever abuse 
of their freedom to think and speak, would be as nothing 
to the harm done by denying them that freedom. 

This harm would be manifold. In the first place, such 
action would tend to defeat its own object and to en- 
courage rather than suppress revolutionary unrest, be- 
cause for every camouflaged Bolshevik who might be 
smoked out and laid by the heels ten free spirits would 
be impelled to become revolutionists, since in their eyes 
(singular paradox!) Bolshevism would be associated 
with Hberty. In the second place, any serious curtail- 
ment of free speech would render impossible the forma- 
tion of that intelligent public opinion which we have 
already seen to be so necessary for comprehending dif- 
ficulties and conceiving effective remedies. Lastly, such 
a pohcy would paralyze intellectual activity, enthrone 



THE WAR AGAINST CHAOS 235 

reaction, and block progress. To protect society from 
disruption, however necessary, is merely part of a larger 
whole. Social order must be preserved, because that is 
the vital prerequisite of constructive progress. But — 
constructive progress must take place. Things cannot be 
left as they are, because under present conditions we are 
headed toward racial impoverishment and cultural de- 
cline. Our chief hope for the future is the scientific spirit. 
But that spirit thrives only on unfettered knowledge and 
truth. Lacking this sustenance, it withers and decays. 
One of Bolshevism's deadly sins is its brutal crushing of 
intellectual freedom. Shall we be guilty of the very crime 
we so abhor in our enemies? WTiat a wretched outcome: 
to escape the destructive tyranny of Bolshevism only 
to fall under the petrifying tyranny of bourbonism ! 

Heaven be praised, humanity is not restricted to so 
poor a choice. Another path Hes open — the path of race- 
betterment. And science points the way. We already 
know enough to make a sure start, and increasing knowl- 
edge will guide our footsteps as we move on. That is 
the hopeful aspect of the situation. We do not have to 
guess. We know. All we need to do is to apply what 
we have already learned and keep on using our brains. 
The result will be such a combined increase of knowledge 
and creative intelligence that many problems, to-day in- 
superable, will solve themselves. 

Furthermore, science, which points the path to the 
future, gives us hope for the present as well. Materially 
the forces of chaos may still be growing, especially 
through racial impoverishment; but morally they are 



236 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

being undermined. Science, especially biology, is cutting 
the ground from under their feet. Even a decade ago, 
when errors like environmentalism and "natural equal- 
ity" were generally accepted, the Under-Man was able 
to make out a plausible case. To-day the basic impor- 
tance of heredity and the real nature of inferiority are 
becoming more and more widely understood and ap- 
preciated. 

Indeed, it is this very spread of scientific truth which 
accounts largely for the growing violence of social un- 
rest. Consciously or instinctively the revolutionary 
leaders feel that the "moral imponderables" have de- 
serted them, and that they must therefore rely more 
and more upon force. Does not Bolshevism admit that 
it cannot peacefully convert the world, but can triumph 
only by the dictatorship of a ruthless minority, destroy- 
ing whole classes, and then forcibly transforming the 
remaining population by a long process of intensive propa- 
ganda extending perhaps for generations ? WTiat a mon- 
strous doctrine ! But, also, what a monumental confession 
of moral bankruptcy! This is the counsel of desperation, 
not the assurance of victory. 

That which maddens Bolshevism is, however, our in- 
spiration. To us science speaks. And her words are: 
"Sursum corda! Lift up your hearts! Have faith in 
yourselves; in your civiHzation; in your race. Tread 
confidently the path I have revealed to you. Ye know 
the truth, and the truth shall make you free !" 



CHAPTER Vni 

NEO-ARISTOCRACY 

Stressful transition is the key-note of our time. Un- 
less all signs be at fault, we stand at one of those mo- 
mentous crises in history when mankind moves from 
one well-marked epoch into another of widely different 
character. Such crucial periods are of supreme impor- 
tance, because their outcome may determine man's course 
for many generations — perhaps for many centuries. 

Transition spells struggle. And this is pre-eminently 
true of to-day. Historians of the distant future, apprais- 
ing our times, may conclude that the Great War was 
merely a symptom — an episode in a much vaster struggle 
of ideas and elemental forces which began long before 
the war, and lasted long after its close. Certainly such 
a conflict of ideas is to-day raging. Perhaps never in 
human annals have principles so dissimilar striven so 
fiercely for mastery of the coming age. 

Now in this conflict the ultimate antagonists appear 
to be biology and Bolshevism: Bolshevism, the incarna- 
tion of the atavistic past; biology, the hope of a pro- 
gressive future. To call Bolshevism the incarnation of 
the past may sound paradoxical if we heed its claims to 
being ultramodern. But we have weighed those claims 
and have found them mere camouflage. What we have 
found is that Bolshe\asm, instead of being very new, is 

237 



238 THE REVOLT AGAINST CWILIZATION 

very old, that it is the last of a long series of revolts 
by the unadaptable, inferior, and degenerate elements 
against civilizations which have irked them and which 
they have therefore wished to destroy. The only new 
thing about Bolshevism is its " rationahzing " of rebel- 
lious emotions into an exceedingly insidious and per- 
suasive philosophy of revolt which has not merely welded 
all the real social rebels, but has also deluded many mis- 
guided dupes, blind to what Bolshevism implies. Such 
is the champion of the old, primitive past: intrenched 
behind ancient errors like environmentalism and "natural 
equality," favored by the unrest of transition times, and 
reinforced by ever-multiplying swarms of degenerates 
and inferiors. 

Against this formidable adversary stands biology, the 
champion of the new. Biology is one of the finest fruits 
of the modern scientific spirit. Ripened by the patient 
labors of earnest seekers after truth, biology has now at- 
tained a splendid maturity. Forth from a thousand 
quiet laboratories and silent hbrary alcoves have emerged 
discoveries which may completely alter human destiny. 
These discoveries constitute the new biological revelation 
— the mightiest transformation of ideas that the world 
has ever seen. Here, indeed, is something new: the un- 
veiHng of the mysterious life process, the discovery of 
the true path of progress, the placing in man's hands of 
the possibility of his own perfection by methods at once 
safe and sure. Such is the young science of applied bi- 
ology; or, as it is more generally termed, "Eugenics" — 
the science of race betterment. Eugenics is, in fact, 



NEO-ARISTOCRACY 239 

evolving into a higher synthesis, drawing freely from 
other fields of knowledge like psychology and the social 
sciences, and thus fitting itself ever more completely for 
its exalted task. 

The fmidamental change of both ideas and methods 
involved in the eugenic programme is at once apparent. 
Hitherto all political and social philosophies, however 
much they might differ among themselves, have been 
agreed on certain principles: they have all beHeved that 
environment was of basic importance, and they have all 
proposed to improve mankind from without, by changing 
existing individuals through the action of various political 
and social agencies. Eugenics, on the other hand, behoves 
that heredity is the basic factor, and plans to improve 
the race from within, by determining which existing in- 
dividuals shall, and shall not, produce succeeding gen- 
erations. This means the estabhshment of an improved 
social selection based upon biological considerations, in- 
stead of, as hitherto, upon environmental considerations. 
Of course, this new selection would operate mainly 
through the old social and political agencies; but these 
would no longer be regarded as having specific \drtue 
in themselves, and would be applied only in so far as they 
tended to better the race. Eugenics does not deny the 
effect of environment: on the contrary, it is precisely 
because of environment's bad effects upon the race that 
the science of eugenics has become such a vital necessity. 
What eugenics does say, however, is that environment, 
however powerful, is an indirect, secondary factor; the 
direct, primary factor being heredity. Therefore, all 



240 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

environmental influences should be considered with ref- 
erence to heredity, which should always be the funda- 
mental consideration. Thus a new criterion of policy 
and action is set up for every field of human activity, 
thereby involving a general revaluation of aU values. 

The eugenic programme may be thus succinctly stated: 
"The problem of eugenics is to make such legal, social, 
and economic adjustments that (1) a larger proportion 
of superior persons will have children than at present; 
(2) that the average number of offspring of each superior 
person will be greater than at present; (3) that the most 
inferior persons will have no children; and (4) that other 
inferior persons will have fewer children than now."^ 

Of course, eugenics does not propose to attain its ob- 
jective in a day or at a stroke. Inspired as it is by the 
scientific spirit, it beheves in evolution, not revolution, 
and is thus committed to strictly evolutionary methods. 
Eugenics advocates no sudden leap into an untried Utopia; 
it desires to take no steps which have not been scien- 
tifically tested, and even then only when these have 
gained the approval of intelhgent pubHc opinion. Eu- 
genics does claim, however, that the momentous scien- 
tific discoveries of the past half century enable mankind 
to make a sound start in the process of race betterment. 
It further claims that such a start is imperative, because 
racial impoverishment is to-day going on so fast, and 
the forces of social disruption are growing so ominously, 
that delay threatens speedy disaster. 

The truth is that our race is facing the most acute crisis 

^Popenoe and Johnson, Applied Eugenics, p. v (Preface). 



NEO-ARISTOCRACY 241 

in its history. The very progress of science, which af- 
fords our best hope for the future, has thus far rather 
intensified the peril. Not only are all the traditional 
factors of race decadence operative, but new factors which 
may become powerful agents of race betterment are at 
present working mainly in the direction of racial decay, 
by speeding up both the social sterilization of superior 
stocks and the multiplication of inferiors. The result is 
a process of racial impoverishment, extremely rapid and 
ever accelerating. 

As the Enghsh biologist Whetham justly remarks: 
"The sense of social responsibility, the growth of moral 
consciousness, have reached a certain point among us — 
a point that the student of sociology may well call a dan- 
ger-point. If, accepting the burden of moulding the des- 
tinies of the race, we relieve nature of her office of 
discriminating between the fit and the imfit; if we under- 
take the protection of the weaker members of the com- 
munity; if we assume a coi-porate responsibility for the 
existence of all sorts and conditions of men; then, unless 
we are prepared to cast away the labors of our forefathers 
and to vanish with the empires of the past, we must ac- 
cept the office of deciding who are the fittest to prosper 
and to leave offspring, who are the persons whose moral 
and intellectual worth make it right that they and their 
descendants should be placed in a position of pre-eminence 
in our midst, and which are the families on whose up- 
bringing the time and money of society are best bestowed. 
We must acquiesce in the principle that the man who 
has made his five talents into ten shall profit by the skill 



242 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

and energy he has shown, and that the man who has 
repeatedly failed to use his one talent shall have no 
further chance of wasting the corporate resources on 
himself and his descendants."^ 

The effect of eugenic measures in permanently lighten- 
ing social burdens should appeal strongly to a world 
staggering under difficulties. This does not mean that 
established methods of reform should be neglected. 
But it must be remembered that such methods, affect- 
ing as most of them do merely the environment, require 
a constant (if not increasing) expenditure to be kept up. 

To quote Whetham again: "We must recognize an 
essential difference between the two methods. To put 
it briefly, it seems as though work done by heredity was 
work done once for all. The destruction of a tainted 
stock will leave a race eternally the better for its removal, 
the breeding-out of a good strain causes an irreparable 
loss; whereas improvements due to environment alone 
require a constant expenditure of energy to maintain 
them in existence. The one may be compared to an ac- 
tual gain of capital as far as the human race is concerned; 
the other involves a constant expenditure of income, 
perfectly justified as long as the increase in capital is 
maintained, but unjustifiable when capital must be drawn 
upon. . . . 

"Looking at our problem in this light, we see that 
there must be some relation between the average innate 
capacity of a nation and the effect likely to be produced 

* Whetham, "Decadence and Civilization," Hibbert Journal, October, 
1911. 



NEO-ARISTOCRACY 243 

by the expenditure of a given amount of energy on im- 
proving the environment. If a race falls back in its in- 
born qualities; if, owing to the efforts of philanthropists 
and the burdens of unsound taxation, more of the failures 
of civilization reach maturity and parenthood, and fewer 
competent persons are brought into existence to sup- 
port them, not only has the nation less energy to use 
for the maintenance and improvement of its social con- 
ditions, but such energy as is available will produce a 
correspondingly smaller effect. The old standard can 
be maintained, if at all, only by a poUcy of overspending 
leading to bankruptcy. We have, in fact, conditions in 
which retrogression will set in and the environment will 
follow the heredity down-hill."^ 

Another point to be emphasized is the necessity for 
seeing how environmental measures affect racial interests. 
One of the gravest objections to environmentalism is 
its tendency to look at social and political reforms as 
ends in themselves. Scrutinized from the racial view- 
point, many of these reforms reveal racially harmful 
consequences, which more than offset their beneficial as- 
pects and so require their modification in order to be 
desirable in the long run. Take the matter of poor relief, 
for example. Its necessity and desirability are generally 
acknowledged. Yet, however pathetic may be the ob- 
jects of pubhc charity, the interests of society and the 
race ahke require that poor relief carry with it one im- 
perative obligation: habitual paupers should be pre- 
vented from having children. Otherwise charity will 

^ Whetham, op. cit. 



244 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

merely mean more paupers — a result harmful and unfair 
both to the thrifty and capable members of society who 
pay the taxes and to society itself which ought to expend 
its taxes as far as possible for productive pmposes. 

Again, take the question of the "social ladder." We 
have already observed how the ability of superior in- 
dividuals to rise easily in the social scale is characteristic 
of a progressive civilization. This is something which 
no well-iaformed and right-thinking man can deny. Ac- 
cordingly, the furtherance of the "career open to talent" 
is the constant soHcitude of social reformers. And yet, 
here too, the racial view-point is needed. Suppose the 
"social ladder" were so perfected that virtually all ability 
could be detected and raised to its proper social level. 
The immediate result would be a tremendous display 
of talent and genius. But if this problem were consid- 
ered merely by itself, if no measures were devised to coun- 
teract the age-old tendency toward the social sterilization 
and elimination of successful superiors, that display of 
talent would be but the prelude to utter racial impoverish- 
ment and irreparable racial and cultural decline. As 
things now stand, it is the very imperfections of the " so- 
cial ladder" which retard racial impoverishment and 
minimize its disastrous consequences. 

Remembering the necessity for viewing all political 
and social projects in the hght of racial consequences, 
let us now consider the eugenic programme itself. The 
problem of race betterment consists of two distinct 
phases: the multiphcation of superior indi\'iduals and 
the elimination of inferiors — in other words, the exact 



NEO-ARISTOCRACY 245 

reverse of what is to-day taking place. These two phases 
of race betterment clearly require totally different meth- 
ods. The multiplication of superiors is a process of race 
building; the elimmation of inferiors is a process of race 
cleansing. These processes are termed "Positive" and 
"Negative" eugenics, respectively. 

Although race building is naturally of more tran- 
scendent interest than race cleansing, it is the latter that 
we will first consider. Race cleansing is the obvious 
starting-point for race betterment. Here scientific knowl- 
edge is most advanced, the need for action most apparent, 
and public opinion best informed. In fact, a beginning 
has already been made. The segregation of the insane 
and feeble-minded in pubHc institutions is the first step 
in a campaign against degeneracy which should extend 
rapidly as society awakens to the full gravity of the situa- 
tion. We have already seen how much graver is the prob- 
lem than has ordinarily been supposed. We now know 
that the so-called "degenerate classes" are not sharply 
marked off from the rest of the community, but are 
merely the most afficted sufferers from taints which ex- 
tend broadcast through the general population. The 
"degenerate classes" are, in fact, merely the nucleus of 
that vast "outer fringe" of mental and physical unsound- 
ness visible all the way from the unemployable "casual 
laborer" right up to the "tainted genius." 

Degeneracy is thus a cancerous blight, constantly 
spreading, tainting and spoiling sound stocks, destroying 
race values, and increasing social burdens. In fact, de- 
generacy not only handicaps society but threatens its 



246 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

very existence. Congenitally incapable of adjusting 
themselves to an advanced social order, the degenerate 
inevitably become its enemies — particularly those "high- 
grade defectives" who are the natural fomenters of social 
unrest. Of course, the environmentalist argues that so- 
cial unrest is due to bad social conditions, but when we 
go into the matter more deeply we find that bad con- 
ditions are due largely to bad people. The mere presence 
of hordes of low-grade men and women condemned by 
their very natures to incompetency and failure automat- 
ically engender poverty, invite exploitation, and drag 
down others just above them in the social scale. 

We thus see that our social ills are largely the product 
of degeneracy, and that the elimination of degeneracy 
would do more than anything else to solve them. But 
degeneracy can be eliminated only by eliminating the 
degenerate. And this is a racial, not a social matter. 
No merely social measures can ever touch the heart of 
the problem. In fact, they tend to increase its gravity; 
because, aiming as they do to improve existing indi- 
viduals, they carry along multitudes of the unfit and 
enable them to propagate more largely of their kind. 

If, then, society is ever to rid itself of its worst bur- 
dens, social reform must be increasingly supplemented 
by racial reform. Unfit individuals as well as unjust 
social conditions must be eliminated. To make a better 
world we must have better men and women. No reform 
of laws or institutions or economic systems will bring 
that better world unless it produces better men and 
women too. 



NEO-ARISTOCRACY 247 

Society must, therefore, grapple resolutely with the 
problem of degeneracy. The first step should be the pre- 
vention of all obvious degenerates from ha\dng children. 
This would mean, in practice, segregating most of them 
in institutions. Of course, that, in turn, would mean a 
great inmaediate expense.^ But in the long run such out- 
lays would be the truest economy. We have already seen 
how expensive degenerates are to society. A single de- 
generate family like the Jukes may cost the state miUions 
of dollars. And to these direct costs there must be added 
indirect costs which probably run to far larger figures. 
Think of the loss to the national wealth, measured in 
mere dollars and cents, of a sound, energetic stock ruined 
by an infusion of Jukes blood. Think of the immeasur- 
ably greater loss represented by a "tainted genius," his 
talents perverted from a potential social blessing into 
an actual social curse by the destructive action of a de- 
generate strain in his heredity. 

However, even if we leave all indirect damage out of 
consideration, the direct costs of degeneracy are so ob- 
vious and so computable that, as a cold financial proposi- 
tion, the flotation of public bond issues to defray the 
expenses of immediate, wholesale segregation would be 
amply justified. The consequent diminution in the 

^ Even in the most civilized countries only a small fraction of those who 
should be clearly segregated are to-day imder institutional care and thus 
debarred from all possibility of reproduction. In the United States, for 
example, which ranks rather high in this respect, only 10 or 15 per cent 
of the obviously feeble-minded are in institutions. The reader will recall 
that, in the year 1915, out of approximately 600 Uving feeble-minded and 
epileptic Jukes, only three were in custodial care. To house and care for 
the vast hosts of defectives now at large would require from five to ten 
times the present number of institutions. 



248 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

numbers of paupers, vagabonds^ criminals; etc., would 
unquestionably enable the State to get all its money 
back with a handsome profit besides.^ 

Of course, even the rigorous segregation of all clearly 
defective individuals now alive would not extinguish 
degeneracy. The vast "outer fringe" would for genera- 
tions produce large quotas of institutional recruits. But 
these quotas would get steadily smaller, because the 
centres of pollution would have been removed. And, 
this once done, the racial stream would gi-adually purify 
itself. Remember that race cleansing, once done, is done 
for good and aU. The whole weight of scientific evidence 
shows that degeneracy is caused, not by environment, 
but by heredity; that the degeneracy with which we 
have to deal is an old degeneracy due to taints which 
have been carried along in the germ-plasm for generations. 
If, then, this mass of degeneracy, the accumulation of 
centuries, could be once got rid of, it would never again 
recur. Sporadic degenerates might now and then be 
bom, but these isolated cases, leaving no offspring, would 
be of neghgible importance. 

We thus see that a general and consistent application 
of those methods which even now are approved by pubHc 
opimon,2 and are already practised on a small scale would 

^ The cost of such institutions would not be as great as many persons 
imagine. The old idea of huge barracks where the inmates were kept con- 
fined is giving way to the "farm-colony" idea. Here the patients lead 
a healthful, out-of-door life, where they are not only contented but earn 
much of their keep. It must be remembered that many defectives possess 
great physical strength and enjoy hard, muscular exertion. 

-Public opinion to-day generally approves the segregation of defec- 
tives. The principal difficulty to thoroughgoing segregation is the matter 
of expense. 



NEO-ARISTOCRA.CY 249 

suffice to cleanse the race of its worst impurities. Of 
course, if no further methods were adopted, the process 
would be a slow one. The unsound "fringe" is so wide, 
the numbers of less ob\dous defectives above the present 
" committable " line are so large, and their birth-rate 
tends to be so high that unless many of these grades also 
were debarred from having children, by either segregation 
or sterilization,^ at least two or three generations would 
probably elapse before the recurrent quotas of defectives 
would be markedly reduced. Meanwhile, society would 
continue to suffer from the burdens and dangers which 
wide-spread degeneracy involves. T^Tiether these risks 
are to be run is for public opinion to decide. PubHc opin- 
ion is to-day probably not ready to take more than the 
"first step" suggested above: the wholesale segregation 
of our obvdous defectives. This makes some advocates 
of race betterment impatient or pessimistic. But it 
should not. Such persons should remember that the 
great thing is to make a real start in the right direction. 
When that first step is once taken, the good results will 
be so obvious that pubhc opinion will soon be ready for 
further advances along the same line. 

One point which should hasten the conversion of pubhc 
opinion to the eugenic programme is its profound hu- 
maneness. Eugenics is stern toward bad stocks, but to- 

* Sterilization must not be confounded with castration. The method 
of male sterilization now employed (vasectomy) is a trivial operation pro- 
ducing no functional disturbances of any sort, and lea\'ing sexual vigor 
absolutely unimpaired — except, of course, that reproduction does not 
ensue. Female sterilization as now practised involves a fairly serious 
operation. Other improved methods of sterilization are, however, in sight 
(the X-ray, etc.). 



250 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

ward the individual it is always kind. A\Tieii eugenics 
says "the degenerate must be eliminated," it refers, not 
to existing degenerates, but to their potential offspring. 
Those potential children, if eugenics has its way, wiU 
never be. This supreme object once accomplished, how- 
ever, there is every reason why the defective individual 
should be treated with all possible consideration. In 
fact, in a society animated by eugenic principles, de- 
generates, and inferiors generally, would be treated far 
better than they are to-day; because such a society would 
not have to fear that more charity would spell more in- 
feriors. It would also be more inclined to a kindly atti- 
tude because it would realize that defects are due to 
heredity and that bad germ-plasm can be neither 
punished nor reformed. 

Furthermore, the very conversion of public opinion 
to the eugenic view-point would itself tend powerfully to 
purify the race by voluntary action. Legal measures 
like segregation and sterilization would apply in prac- 
tice only to the most inferior elements, whose lack of in- 
teUigence and self-control render them incapable of ap- 
preciating the interests of society and thus make legal 
compulsion necessar}\ The higher grades of unsoundness 
would not be directly affected. Right here, however, the 
pressure of enhghtened pubhc opinion would come into 
play. Later on we shaU consider the full implications of 
the development in the general population of a true racial 
consciousness — what may be termed a "eugenic con- 
science." Suffice it here to say that the existence of such 
an attitude would eliminate the higher grades of mental 



NEO-ARISTOCRACY 251 

defect by voluntary action as rapidly as the acuter grades 
were being eliminated by legal action. In a society ani- 
mated by a eugenic conscience the begetting of unsound 
children would be regarded with horror, and pubhc opin- 
ion would instinctively set up strong social taboos which 
would effectively restrain all except reckless and anti- 
social individuals — ^who, of course, would be restrained 
hj law. 

Such social taboos would not, however, mean wholesale 
celibacy. In the first place, a large proportion of those 
persons who carry hereditar}^ taints in their germ-plasm 
carry them in latent form. These latent or "recessive" 
taints do their bearers personally no harm, and in most 
cases wi\l not appear in their children unless the bearers 
marry persons carrjdng like taints. By avoiding unions 
with these particular people, not only will sound children 
be reasonably assured by wise matings, but the taints 
themselves will ordinarily be bred out of the stock in a 
couple of generations, and the germ-plasm wiU thus be 
purified. Furthermore, even those persons who carry 
taints which make parenthood inadvisable need not be 
debarred from marriage. The sole limitation would be 
that they should have no children. And this will be per- 
fectly feasible, because, when public opinion acquires 
the racial \dew-point, the present silly and vicious atti- 
tude toward birth control will be abandoned, and un- 
desirable children mW not be conceived. 

By the combination of legal, social, and indi\"idual 
action above described, the problems of degeneracy and 
inferiority, attacked both from above and from below, 



252 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

would steadily diminish, and the racial stream would be 
as steadily purified. The point to be emphasized is that 
this can be effected almost wholly by a broader and more 
intelhgent appHcation of processes already operating and 
already widely sanctioned by public opinion. Segrega- 
tion of defectives, appreciation of racial principles, wise 
marriage selection, birth control: these are the main 
items in the programme of race purification. This pro- 
gramme is thus seen to be strictly evolutionary and es- 
sentially conservative. The first steps are so simple and 
so obvious that they can be taken without any notable 
change in our social or legal standards, and without any 
real offense to intelligent pubhc opinion. Further steps 
can safely be left to the future, and there is good reason 
to beheve that those steps will be taken far sooner than 
is generally imagined, because the good results of the 
first steps will be so apparent and so convincing. 

Such, briefly, is the process of race cleansing known 
as "negative" eugenics. Many earnest behevers in race 
betterment are inclined to minimize eugenics' "nega- 
tive" aspect. Such persons declare that the vital prob- 
lem is the increase of superiors, and that the "positive" 
phases of the eugenic programme must, therefore, be 
equally emphasized from the start. 

Now in this I think they are mistaken. Of course, the 
increase of superior types is an absolute prerequisite to 
the perfecting of the race. But race perfecting is a much 
more difficult matter than race cleansing and involves 
measures for most of which pubhc opinion is not yet pre- 
pared. Also, besides questions of expediency, there is 



NEO-ARISTOCRACY 253 

the more fundamental point that race cleansing will do 
more than anything else to assure that social and intel- 
lectual stability which will constitute the sure foundation 
on which race building can take place. 

In considering the problems of degeneracy and in- 
feriority; many eugenists are apt to fix their attention 
upon the so-called "defective classes," and to regard 
them as a separate problem. This is, of course, not so. 
The defective classes are not sundered from the rest of 
society; they are merely the acutest sufferers from de- 
fects which, in lesser degree, spread broadcast through 
the general population. These defects, continually 
spreading and infecting sound stocks, set up strains, dis- 
cords, and limitations of character and personality of 
every kind and description. Consequently, the elimina- 
tion of morbidity, of weakness, of unintelHgence, would 
work wonders not only in harmonizing and stabilizing 
individual personahties, but also in harmonizing and 
stabilizing society itself. 

Picture a society where the overwhelming majority 
of the population possessed sound minds in sound bodies; 
where the "tainted genius" and the "unemployable" 
wastrel were alike virtually unknown. Even though the 
bulk of the population were still of mediocre intelhgence, 
the gain for both stabiHty and progress would be enor- 
mous. The elimination of neurotic, irrational, vicious 
personalities, weak-brained and weak-willed, would ren- 
der social cataclysms impossible; because even those who 
could not think far would tend to think straight, and 
would reahze that social disruption could not really bene- 



254 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

fit any one who stood to gain by social order and progress. 
Of course, the mediocre masses would be decidedly con- 
serv^ative and would hold back progress; but their con- 
servatism would be much more leavened by common 
sense, co-operation, and public spirit than is now the 
case, and constructive proposals would thus get a fairer 
hearing and stand a better chance of adoption. 

Now when we contrast this picture with our present- 
day world, disorganized, seething, threatened with down- 
right chaos, I submit that some such stabihzation as I 
have described must first be attained before we can de- 
vote ourselves to creating a super race. Our particular 
job is stopping the prodigious spread of inferiority which 
is now going on. We may be losing our best stocks, but 
we are losing them much more slowly than we are multi- 
plying our worst. Our study of differential birth-rates^ 
showed us that if these remain unchanged our most in- 
telligent stocks will diminish from one-third to two-thirds 
in the next hundred years; it also showed that our least 
intelligent stocks will increase from six to tenfold in the 
same time. Obviously, it is this prodigious spawning of 
inferiors which must at all costs be prevented if society 
is to be saved from disruption and dissolution. Race 
cleansing is apparently the only thing that can stop it. 
Therefore, race cleansing must be our first concern. 

Of course, this does not mean that race building 
should be neglected. On the contrarv^, we should be 
thinking hard along those lines. Only, for the immediate 
present, we should concentrate our energies upon the 

1 In Chapter III. 



NEO-ARISTOCRACY 255 

pressing problem of degeneracy until we have actually 
in operation legal measures which will fairly promise to 
get it under control. Meanwhile, the very fact that we 
are thinking eugenically at all will of itself produce im- 
portant positive results. These may not take the form 
of legal enactments, but they will be powerfully reflected 
in changed ideals and standards of social conduct. The 
development of that "eugenic conscience" which, as we 
have already seen, promises to play so important a part 
in the elimination of the higher grades of degeneracy, 
will also impel the well-endowed to raise larger families, 
prefer children to luxuries, and discriminate between the 
high cost of Hving and the cost of high living. People 
will think less about "rights" and more about "duties," 
will come to consider their race much as they do their 
country^, and will make sacrifices for posterity such as 
they now make for patriotism. 

In fact, such an attitude will soon render pubHc opinion 
ripe for considering definite eugenic measures of a con- 
structive character. One of these measures, which is 
already foreshadowed, is a remission of taxation propor- 
tionate to the number of children in famihes.^ Later on 
society may offer rewards for the production of desirable 
children. Such action wiU, however, have to be very 
carefully safeguarded. Any indiscriminate subsidizing of 
large families regardless of their racial value would be 
extremely disastrous. It would mean merely another 



*For example: The United States Federal Income Tax grants a larger 
exemption to married than to single persons, and allows further deduo- 
tioDB for "dependents," including, of course, minor children. 



256 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

tax burden upon the thrifty and capable for the stimu- 
lation of the unfit — who need no stimulating! Only 
where the racial superiority of the couples in question is 
clearly apparent, as shown by proven ability, psycholog- 
ical tests, and sound heredity, should such subsidies be 
granted. 

These and a few other kindred matters are probably 
the only definitely constructive legal measures for which 
pubhc opinion is even partially prepared. But there is 
nothing discouraging in that. The great thing, as al- 
ready stated, is to get people thinking racially. With 
the development of a "eugenic conscience" and the curb- 
ing of degeneracy, plans for race building will almost 
formulate themselves. There is the inestimable advan- 
tage of a movement based on the evolutionary principle 
and inspired by the scientific spirit. Such a movement 
does not, hke a scheme for utopia, have to spring forth 
in detailed perfection from the imagination of its creator 
like Minerva from the brow of Zeus. On the contrary, 
it can evolve, steadily but surely, moving along many 
lines, testing its own soundness at every step, and win- 
ning favor by proofs instead of promises. 

"There are several routes on which one can proceed 
with the confidence that, if no one of them is the main 
road, at least it is likely to lead into the latter at some 
time. Fortunately, eugenics is, paradoxical as it may 
seem, able to advance on all these paths at once; for it 
proposes no definite goal, it sets up no one standard to 
which it would make the human race conform. Taking 
man as it finds him, it proposes to multiply all the types 



NEO-ARISTOCRACY 257 

that have been found by past experience or present reason 
to be of most value to society. Not only would it multi- 
ply them in numbers, but also in efficiency, in capacity 
to serve the race. 

"By so doing, it xmdoubtedly fulfils the requirements 
of that popular philosophy which holds the aim of so- 
ciety to be the greatest happiness for the greatest num- 
ber, or, more definitely, the increase of the totality of 
human happiness. To cause not to exist those who would 
be doomed from birth to give only unhappiness to them- 
selves and those about them; to increase the number of 
those in whom useful physical and mental traits are well 
developed; to bring about an increase in the number of 
energetic altruists and a decrease in the number of the 
antisocial and defective; surely such an undertaking will 
come nearer to increasing the happiness of the greatest 
number than will any temporary social palHative, any 
ointment for incurable social wounds."^ 

If social stabihty can be maintained and a cataclysm 
averted, there is every reason to beheve that our world 
will soon take a decided turn for the better. The new 
biological revelation is already accepted by large num- 
bers of thinking men and women all over the civilized 
world, and when it becomes firmly fixed in the popular 
consciousness it will work a Hterally amazing transforma- 
tion in the ordering of the world's affairs. 

For race betterment is such an intensely practical 
matter! \Mien peoples come to realize that the quality 
of the population is the source of all their prosperity, 

^ Popenoe and Johnson, Applied Eugenics, p, 165. 



258 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

progress, security, and even existence; when they realize 
that a single genius may be worth more in actual dollars 
than a dozen gold-mines, while, conversely, racial de- 
cadence spells material impoverishment and cultural 
decay; when such things are really believed, we shall see 
eugenics actually moulding social programmes and poHt- 
ical policies. 

And, as already stated, there is much evidence to show 
that this may happen sooner than is now imagined. 
Many believers in race betterment are unduly pessimistic. 
Of course, their pessimism is quite natural. Reahzing as 
they do the supreme importance of the eugenic idea, its 
progress seems to them unconscionably slow. To the 
student of history, however, its progress seems extraor- 
dinarily rapid. Only twenty years ago eugenics was 
virtually unknown outside of a few scientific circles. To- 
day it has won a firm footing with the intellectual ^hte 
of every civilized land and has gained the interested 
attention of pubfic opinion. History shows that when 
an idea has reached this point it tends to spread with 
ever-accelerating rapidity. In my opinion, then, eu- 
genists, whether laboring in the abstract field of research 
for the further elucidation of the idea or engaged in en- 
lightening public opinion, may one and all look forward 
hopefully to the operation of a sort of "law of increasing 
returns" that will yield results as surprising as they are 
beneficent as the next few decades roll on. 

The one deadly peril to the cause of race betterment 
is the possibility of social disruption by the antisocial 
elements — instinctively hostile to eugenics as they are 



NEO-ARISTOCRACY 259 

to every other phase of progressive civilization. If this 
peril can be averted; the triumph of race betterment is 
practically certain, because eugenics can "deliver the goods.'* 
When public opinion once realizes this, pubhc opinion 
will be not merely willing but anxious that the goods be 
dehvered. WTien society reahzes the incalculable value 
of superior stocks, it will take precious good care that 
its racial treasures are preserved and fostered. Superior 
stock will then be cherished, not only for its high average 
value, but because it is also the seed-bed from which 
alone can arise those rare personalities of genius who 
tower hke mountain peaks above the human plain and 
to whose creative influence progress is primarily due. 

The people which fosters its superior stocks will be 
thus twice blessed. In the first place, such stocks will 
produce, generation after generation, an unfailing supply 
of men and women of ability, of energy, of civic worth, 
who will leaven society and advance every field of hu- 
man endeavor. And, in addition to all this, those same 
stocks will from time to time produce a "genius" — one 
of those infinitely rare but infinitely precious minds which 
change man's destiny and whose names reverberate 
athv/art the ages. 

"Every race requires leaders. These leaders appear 
from time to time, and enough is now known about eu- 
genics to show that their appearance is frequently pre- 
dictable, not accidental. It is possible to have them 
appear more frequently; and, in addition, to raise the 
level of the whole race, making the entire nation happier 
and more useful. These are the great tasks of eugenics. 



260 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

America needs more families like that old Puritan strain 
which is one of eugenics' familiar examples: 

"At their head stands Jonathan Edwards, and behind 
him an array of his descendants numbering, in the year 
1900, 1,394, of whom 1,295 were college graduates; 13 
presidents of our greatest colleges; 65 professors in col- 
leges, besides many principals of other important edu- 
cational institutions; 60 physicians, many of whom were 
eminent; 100 and more clergymen, missionaries, or theo- 
logical professors; 75 were officers in the army and navy; 
60 prominent authors and writers, by whom 135 books 
of merit were written and published and 18 important 
periodicals edited; 33 American States and several for- 
eign countries have profited by the beneficent influences 
of their eminent activity; 100 and more were lawyers, 
of whom one was our most eminent professor of law; 
30 were judges; 80 held pubhc office, of whom one was 
vice-president of the United States; 3 were United States 
senators; several were governors, members of Congress, 
framers of State consitutions, mayors of cities, and minis- 
ters to foreign courts; one was president of the Pacific 
Mail Steamship Company; 15 railroads, many banks, 
insurance companies, and large industrial enterprises 
have been indebted to their management. Almost if 
not every department of social progress, and of the pubhc 
weal has felt the impulse of this healthy and long-Hved 
family. It is not known that any one of them was ever 
convicted of crime." ^ 

Such is the record of the Jonathan Edwards strain. 

^ Popwxoe and Johnson, pp. 161-162. 



NEO-ARISTOCRACY 261 

Now compare it with the Jukes strain.^ Edwards vs. 
Jukes ! Faced by such evidence, can public opinion re- 
main much longer blind to the enormous innate differ- 
ences between human stocks? 

The Edwards family record illustrate^s a principle of 
vital importance : the infinite diversity of ability. Many 
ill-informed or prejudiced critics have asserted that eu- 
genics visualizes a specific type of "superman" and wants 
to "breed for points." This is arrant nonsense. No real 
eugenist wants to do anything of the sort, for the very 
good reason that the eugenist realizes better than any 
one else that the fundamental quahty of superior germ- 
plasm is its generalized creative urge — expressing itself in 
a multitude of specific activities. 

What eugenics wants is "more physically sound men 
and women with greater ability in any valuable way. 
Whatever the actual goal of evolution may be, it can 
hardly be assumed by any except the professional pes- 
simist that a race made up of such men and women is 
going to be handicapped by their presence. 

"The correlation of abilities is as well attested as any 
fact in psychology. Those who decry eugenics on the 
ground that it is impossible to estabhsh any 'standard 
of perfection,' since society needs many diverse kinds of 
people, are overlooking this fact. Any plan which in- 
creases the production of children in able families of vari- 
ous types will thereby produce more ability of all kinds, 
since if a family is particularly gifted in one way, it is 
likely to be gifted above the average in several other 
desirable ways. 

1 See Chapter III. 



262 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

"Eugenics sets up no specific superman, as a type to 
which the rest of the race must be made to conform. It 
is not looking forward to the cessation of its work in a 
eugenic millennium. It is a perpetual process, which seeks 
only to raise the level of the race by the production of 
fewer people with physical and mental defects, and more 
people with physical and mental excellences. Such a 
race should be able to perpetuate itself, to subdue na- 
ture, to improve its environment progressively; its mem- 
bers should be happy and productive. To estabhsh such 
a goal seems justified by the knowledge of evolution which 
is now available; and to make progress toward it is pos- 
sible." ^ 

The eugenic ideal is thus seen to be an ever-perfecting 
super race. Not the "superman" of Nietzsche — that 
brilliant yet baleful vision of a master caste, blooming 
like a gorgeous but parasitic orchid on a rotting trunk of 
servile degradation; but a super race, cleansing itself 
throughout by the elimination of its defects, and raising 
itself throughout by the cultivation of its quaHties. 

Such a race will imply a new civihzation. Of course, 
even imder the most favorable circumstances, neither 
this race nor this civihzation can come to-day or to-mor- 
row — ^perhaps not for many generations; because, like 
all really enduring creations, they wiU be the products 
of a progressive, evolutionary process, not of flaming 
revolution or numbing reaction. 

Yet this evolutionary process, however gradual, must 
ultimately produce changes almost beyond our dreams. 

^ Popenoe and Johnson, p. 166. 



NEO-ARISTOCRACY 263 

Every phase of human existence will be transformed: 
laws and customs, arts and sciences, ideas and ideals, 
even man's conception of the Infinite. 

How shall we characterize this society of the future? 
I beheve it may be best visualized by one word: Neo- 
Aristocracy. The ideal of race perfection combines and 
harmonizes into a higher synthesis the hitherto conflict- 
ing ideas of aristocracy and democracy. I am here re- 
ferring not to the specific political aspects which those 
ideas have at various times assumed, but to their broader 
aspects as philosophies of fife and conduct. 

Viewed in this fundamental fight, we see democracy 
based upon the concept of human similarity, and aris- 
tocracy based upon the concept of human differentiation. 
Of course, both concepts are, in a sense, vaHd. Compared 
to the vast differences between mankind and other life 
forms, human differences sink into insignificance and 
mankind appears a substantial unity. Compared with 
each other, the wide differences between men themselves 
stand out, and mankind becomes an almost infinite di- 
versity. 

If these distinctions had been clearly recognized, de- 
mocracy and aristocracy would have been viewed as 
parts of a larger truth, and there might have been no 
deep antagonism between them. Unfortunately, both 
concepts were formulated long ago, when science was in 
its infancy and when the laws of fife were virtuaUy un- 
known. Accordingly, both were founded largely on false 
notions: democracy upon the faUacy of natural equality; 
aristocracy upon the fallacy of artificial inequality. 



264 THE REVOLT AGAINST CWILIZATION 

Thus based on error, both democracy and aristocracy 
worked badly in practice: democracy tending to pro- 
duce a destructive, levelling equality; aristocracy tend- 
ing to produce an unjust, oppressive inequality. This 
merely increased the antagonism between the two sys- 
tems; because one was continually invoked to cure the 
harm wrought by the other, and because social iUs were 
ascribed exclusively to the defeated party, instead of 
being diagnosed as a joint product. 

For the past half century the democratic idea has 
gained an unparalleled ascendancy in the world, while 
the aristocratic idea has been correspondingly discredited. 
Indeed, so complete has been democracy's triumph that 
it has been accorded a superstitious veneration, and any 
criticism of its fundamental perfection is widely regarded 
as a sort of lese-majeste or even heresy. 

Now, this is an imhealthy state of affairs, because the 
democratic idea is not perfect but is a mixture of truth 
with errors like "natm-al equaUty" which modem science 
has proved to be clearly unsound. Such a situation is 
unworthy of an age claiming to be inspired by that scien- 
tific spirit whose basic quahty is unflinching love of truth. 
In a scientific age no idea should be sacrosanct, no 
facts above analysis and criticism. Of course, criticism 
and analysis should be measured and scientific — not 
mere outbursts of emotion. Traditional ideas should 
receive just consideration, with due regard for the fact 
that they must contain much truth to have estabhshed 
and maintained themselves. In like manner, new ideas 
should also receive just consideration so long as their 



NEO-ARISTOCRACY 265 

advocates strive to persuade people and do not try to 
knock their brains out. But, new or old, no idea should 
be made a fetich — and democracy is no exception to the 
rule. As an idea, democracy should be thoughtfully, 
even respectfully, considered, as something which con- 
tains a deal of truth, and which has done much good in 
the world. As a fetich, democracy has no more virtue 
than Mumbo-Jumbo or a West African ju-ju. 

The fact is that modern science is unquestionably 
bringing the democratic dogma under review. And it 
is high time that scientists said so frankly. Nothing 
would be more laughable, if it were not so pathetic, than 
the way scientists interlard their waitings (which clearly 
imply criticism of the democratic philosophy) with asides 
like: "Of course, this isn't really against democracy, 
you know." 

Now these httle pinches of incense cast upon the demo- 
cratic altar may keep near-heretics in good standing. 
But it is unworthy of the scientific spirit, and (what is 
more important) it seriously retards progress. Genuine 
progress results from combining old and new truth into a 
higher sjmthesis which, bound by inherent affinity, will, 
hke a chemical combination, "stay put." Arbitrarily 
coupling truth and error, however, results in something 
which compares, not to chemical sjmthesis, but to a me- 
chanical mixture about as stable as oil and water, which 
will be forever separating and must be continually shaken 
up. Obviously, out of such a mixture no new s^Tithesis 
can ever come. 

When, therefore, believers in race betterment are ac- 



266 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

cused of being "undemocratic," they should answer: 
"Right you are! Science, especially biology, has dis- 
closed the falsity of certain ideas like 'natural equality,* 
and the omnipotence of environment, on which the demo- 
cratic concept is largely based. We aim to take the sound 
elements in both the traditional democratic and aristo- 
cratic philosophies and combine them in a higher syn- 
thesis — a new philosophy worthy of the race and the 
civiHzation that we visualize." 

Of course, it may be asked why, if this new philosophy 
is such a synthesis, it might not be called "Aristo-democ- 
racy," or even " Neo-Democracy." To which I would 
answer that I have no basic objection, provided we all 
agree on the facts. Labels matter comparatively Httle. 
It is the things labelled which count. 

Yet, after all, labels do have a certain value. If they 
mean precisely what they say, this in turn means exact 
information as to the facts and hence avoids the pos- 
sibility of unsound reasoning based on faulty premises. 
Now I beheve that, for the time being at any rate, the new 
philosophy should be called "Neo-Aristocracy"; be- 
cause it involves first of all the disestabHshment of the 
democratic cult and the rehabihtation of the discredited 
aristocratic idea. For, despite its many imsound ele- 
ments, the aristocratic idea does contain something en- 
nobling, which must be preserved and incorporated into 
the philosophy of the morrow. To-day, therefore, the 
value of the aristocratic principle should be emphasized 
as a healthy intellectual reaction against the overweening 
preponderance of the democratic idea. Generations 



NEO-ARISTOCRACY 267 

hence, when the elimination of degeneracy, and even of 
mediocrity shall have produced something Hke generalized 
superiority, the approach to real equality between men 
will have become so evident that their philosophy of life 
may better be termed "Neo-Democracy." Other times, 
other fashions. Let us not usurp the future. 

One last point should be carefully noted. When I 
speak of Neo-Aristocracy as applicable to-day, I refer 
to outlook, not practice. At present no basic political 
changes are either possible or desirable. Certainly, any 
thought of our existing social upper classes as "Neo- 
Aristocracies " would be, to put it mildly, a bad joke. 
We have already seen that, while these classes do un- 
questionably contain the largest percentage of superior 
strains, they are yet loaded down with mediocrities and 
are peppered with degenerates and inferiors. We must 
absolutely banish the notion that Neo-Aristocracy will 
perpetuate that cardinal vice of traditional aristocracy 
— caste. Classes there probably will be; but these classes, 
however defined their functions, will be extremely fluid 
as regards the individuals who compose them. No true 
superior, wherever born, will be denied admission to the 
highest class; no person, wherever bom, can stay in a 
class unless he measures up to specifications. 

The attamment of Neo-Aristocracy implies a long 
poHtical evolution, the exact course of which is probably 
impredictable. However, a recognition of the goal and 
of the fundamental principles involved should help us 
on our way. 

That way will assuredly be long. At best, it will prob- 



268 THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION 

ably take many generations. It may take many cen- 
turies. Who knows whether our present hopes are not 
dreams; whether the forces of chaos wiU not disrupt 
civilization and plunge us into a "Dark Age." 

Well, even so, there would be left us — faith. For, may 
we not beheve that those majestic laws of hfe which now 
stand revealed will no more pass utterly from human 
ken than have other great discoveries Hke the sowing of 
grain and the control of fire? And, therefore, may we 
not hope that, if not to-day, then in some better time, 
the race will insure its own regeneration? To doubt 
this would be to deny that mysterious, primal urge which, 
raising man from the beast, hfts his eyes to the stars. 



INDEX 



Africa, barbarian stock in, 4, 5; civili- 
zations appear in North, 6; abortions 
among Bushmen in South, 119 n. 

Alexander, 14 

America, barbarian stock in, 5; results 
of possible revolution in, 29; ratings 
of racial stocks in, 62 ff.\ birth-rate 
averages in, 110^.; infant mortality 
in, 122 #. 

Anarchism, 103, 136; "Babouvism" 
contributes to, 149; led by Proudhon 
and Bakunin, 152; "philosophical," 
153 n.; history of, 158 ff.\ Interna- 
tional Congress, 161 

Archimedes, 14 

Aristocracy, an insufiBcient theory, 264 
ff. 

Aristophanes, 11, 207 

Aristotle, 14; opinions on biological 
selection, 37 

Arlitt, Miss A. H., experiment quoted, 
63 

Army intelligence tests. See Intel- 
ligence tests 

"Artists' and writers' workshops," 205 
S. 

Asia, barbarians in, 5; civilizations in, 
6; Bolshevism in, 213 ff. 

" Assertive mating," 78#., 82, 227 

"Atavistic revolt," 11, 20 ff.\ mob con- 
tagion in, 28 

Ailanlic Monthly, The, Pasvolsky 
quoted from, 198 

Australia, natives, 4; ideal birth-rate 
in, 110; birth-control in, 118 n. 

Babeuf, 146 ff. 

Bach, Johann Sebastian, .55 

Bakunin, Michael, 134, 136, 152, 164; 

disciple of Proudhon, 159; character 

of, 159; Revolutionary Catechism, 159 

ff.; doctrine of, 161 ff. 
Barbasse, Henri, 223 
Bavaria, Bolshevism in, 178 
Beck, James M., 136 ff. 
Berth, fidouard. The Misdeeds of the 

Intellectuals, quoted, 174 
Bcrtillon, 110 
Binet, intelligence tests, 56 ff. 



Biological regression. See Regression 

Biology, modern researches in, 34 ff.; 
foe of Bolshevism, 237 ff. 

Birth-control, and social sterilization, 
90 ff.: good results of, 118 n.; legal 
prohibitions and questions, 119; po- 
tential instrument of race better- 
ment, 120; need of changed attitude 
toward, 251 

Birth-rate, differential, 108 ff.; low in 
superior classes, 69, 109 ff., 116 #.; 
high in inferior classes, 112, 116; 
problem in America, 112 ff.; inevita- 
ble decline under modern conditions, 
118; and taxation in Europe, 120; and 
salaries in America, 122 ff. 

Blanc, Louis, 150 

BlanquI, 150 

Block, Alexander, The Twelve, quoted, 
193 and n. 

Bogdanoff, 202 

Bolshevism, 103; as levelling doctrine 
of equality in Russia, 31; as reaction 
against attempts to civilize Russia, 
133; a natural event, 134, 220; "lit- 
erary," 138 ff.; inspired by French 
Revolution, 146 ff.; reliance on 
Marx, 153; identical with Syndical- 
ism, 163, 166, 176; imder Russian 
Revolution, Ch. VI (see also Russian 
Revolutions); characteristics of, 182 
ff. ; despotism in, 186 ff. ; government 
under, 188 ff.; leaders of, 191 ff.; 
fate of classes under, 194 ff.; attitude 
of Intelligentsia toward, 197 ff.; de- 
struction wrought to Russia by, 198 
ff.; undecided cultural policy, 201 ff.; 
artists' and writers' workshops un- 
der, 205^.; attack on world-order, 
209 #.; in Hungary, 210 #.; in Asia, 
213 ff.; opposed by biology, 221 #.. 
237 #.; a matter of heredity, 224 #., 
233; lessons from, 230; methods 
against, 233 ff. See also Syndicalism 

"Boorjooy," 194^. 

Bourbonism, 226 

Brissot, 146, 158 

British Journal of Psychology, Burt 
quoted by McDougall from, 62 



269 



270 



INDEX 



BroTOilhet, 187 

Buckle. 41 

Buddha. 14 

Burbank. Luther, 107 

Burke, 28 

Burt, C>Til, Experimental Tests of 

General Intelligence, quoted by Mc- 

Dougall, 62 
Butler, Samuel, Erewhon, as reference, 

221 n. 

Cade, Jack, perfect typo of revolution- 
ary, 142 ff. 

CsBsar, postal service under, 7; as gen- 
eral, 14 

Carver, T. N., Introduction to Brasol's 
Socialism vs. Civilization, quoted, 166 

ff. 

Cattell, Professor, 111 

Century, The, GUbert Murray quoted 
from, 162 

Chaldea, civilizations in, 6 

Chinese civilization, durability of, 7, 9 

Christian doctrine of equality, 38 

Civilization, classic, western and mod- 
ern, 6; progress in, 7 ff.; law of civili- 
zation and decay, 9, 11; weight of 
modern, 15; racial elements of world- 
civilization, 84; threatened by degen- 
eracy, 101; defense against degen- 
eracy, 106; increases celibacy, late 
marriage, few children. 117; threat- 
ened by destructive criticism, 127 ff.; 
threatened by revolution, 140 ff. ; 
methods against revolution, 223 ff.; 
need of intelligent action by, 230 ff. ; 
specific attitudes and actions, 233 ff. ; 
biological support of, 238 ff. 

Class war, 169 ff.. 182 ff. 

Clootz, Anacharsis, 146, 158 

Coler, Bird S., Commissioner of Chari- 
ties, 122 #. 

College graduates, marriage and birth- 
rate among. 111 #. 

Communism, attempted in 1848, 150; 
Marxian, 152; in Russia, 178, 181; 
theory of, 184; price of, tmder Bol- 
shevism, 185 ff.; Russell's desertion 
of party, 189 ff. 

Conklin, Edwin Grant, The Direction of 
Human Evolution, quoted, 222 

Copeland, Health Commissioner, 123 ff. 

Cournos, Jolm, A Factory of Literature, 
quoted. 207 

Cox, Harold, Economic Liberty, quoted, 
142 #., 167 Jf. 

Crime waves, nature of, 136 

Criticism. See Destructive criticism 

"Cubism," 137 

Czarism, ISO 



Darbishire, A. D., Introduction to a Bi- 
ology, as reference. 221 n. 

Darwin, The Origin of Species by Means 
of Natural Selection, 42 ff. 

Davenport. 113 

" Death of the Middle Classes," 121 ff. 

Declaration of Independence, 38 

Declaration of the Rights of Man, 38 

Defectives. See Inferiority 

Defense against revolution. Bolshevism, 
etc. See Civilization 

Degeneracy, racial, and germ-plasm, 44 
ff.; cause of inferiority. 100; threat to 
civilization. 101. 245 ff.; leadership 
in. 102; destructive social influence of, 
102 ff. ; elimination of, 246 ff. ; insti- 
tutions to restrict, 247 n., 248 Jf. See 
also Inferiority 

Democracy, an overdrawn picture, 102; 
an insufHcient theory, 264 ff. 

Destructive criticism, symptom of in- 
cipient revolution, 126; defined, 126 
ff. ; glorification of the primitive by, 
127; Rousseau exponent of, 128 

Determinism, economic, 157 

Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, Merezh- 
kovski quoted from. 131 #., 133 ff. 

DeVries, 43 

Dostoievsky, 179 

Dynamic minorities, 224 ff. 

Edwards, Jonathan, family of, 260 ff. 

Egoism, origin of theory of natural 
equality, 32 

Egypt, civilizations in, 6; endurance of 
civilizations in, 9 

Ellis, Havelock, 80 

Engels, 152, 154 

England, racial and social selective 
processes in, 80 ff. 

English, Horace B., Yale Psychological 
Studies, quoted by McDougall, 61 ff. 

Environment, contrasted with heredity, 
35 ff,; Lamarckism stresses Impor- 
tance of, 40; law of diminishing in- 
fluences, 47 ff. ; effect upon perform- 
ance of hereditary inclinations, 74 ff. 

EpUepsy, 98 ff. 

Equality, natural. See Natural equality 

Eugenics, 36; science founded by Fran- 
cis Gal ton, 42; to improve social 
selection, 92, 239; foe to Bolshevism, 
238 ff.; programme of, 240, 244 ff., 
252; "positive" and "negative." 245 
ff.; treatment of "stocks" and indi- 
viduals, 249 ff.; public opinion and, 
250 ff. ; social soundness and, 253 ff. ; 
conscientiousness toward, 255; taxa- 
tion and. 255; practicality of, 257 ff. ; 
a perfecting process, 261 ff. 



INDEX 



271 



Europe, civilizations apptear In, 6; re- 
sults of possible revolution in, 29; 
birtii-rate averages in, 110; taxation 
and birth-rate in, 120 ff. 

Evolution, instance of Law of Inequali- 
ty, 30 ff. ; fallacy of parallel between 
wild life and human beings, 106 ff.; 
repudiated by Syndicalism, 169. 
See also Heredity, Inequality, etc. 

"Expressionism," 137 #. 

Feeble-minded, characterization of, 93 
ff. ; increase under charitable protec- 
tion, 94; "Jukes Family," 95 ff.; 
"Kallikak Family," 96 #. 

Florinsky, Professor, 192 n. 

Fourier, 150 

Frederick the Great, 52 

Freeman, The, reference to Lowie ar- 
ticles in, 221 n. 

French-Canadians, prolific stock in New 
England, 113 

French Revolution, 145 ff. 

"Futurism," 137 

Galton, Francis, founder of " Eugenics," 
42 ff. ; study of superior persons, 48 ff. 

Germ-plasm, 34^.; potency of, 44; iso- 
lation of, 45 ff. 

Germany, Bolshevism in, 210 n. 

Giovannetti, Arturo, 172 ff. 

Greece, classic civilization in, 6; Athe- 
nian civilization, 10 ff.; discernment 
of principle of heredity In early, 36 

Gustarus Adolphus, 52 

Hall of Fame, individuals studied by 
Woods, 50 ff. 

Harvard graduates, reproduction 
among. 111, 113 

H6bert. 146, 158 

Heredity, 12; social, 12 ff.; contrasted 
with environment, 35 ff.; Lamarck- 
Ism opposes importance of, 40; im- 
portance discovered, 43; power of, 
44 ; moulder of man, 48 ff. ; greatness 
and, 48 ff.; intelligence and, 56 ff. 

Hesiod, 14 

Hibbert Journal, Nordau quoted from, 
103 #. ; Whetham quoted from, 242 ff. 

Hitchcock, C H., Nancy Hanks, as 
reference, 53 n. 

Holland, birth-control in, 118 n. 

Holmes, S. J., The Trend of the Race, 
as reference. 43 n., 94 n., 97, 109 n.; 
quoted, 53 ff., 96 

Homer. 14, 207 

" Hooliganism," 134 ff. 

"House of Science," 207 

Hume, 38 



Himiphrey, 101 #. 

Hungary, Bolshevism in, 178, 210 ff. 

Hyndman, 154 

India, civilizations appear in, 6 

Industrial Revolution, 156 

Industrial Unionists, same as Syndi- 
calists 

Inequality, law of, 30; Individual and 
type differentiations. Chap. II; bio- 
logical investigations of, 30 ff.; psy- 
chological investigations of, 55 Jf.; 
social trend toward (simimary), 76 ff. 
See also Evolution and Inferiority 

Infant mortality, in America, 122 ff. 

Inferiority, physical and mental aspects 
of, 88 ff. ; civilized life increases men- 
tal, 89 ff. : manifestations in defective 
classes, feeble-minded, insane, etc., 

93 ff.; heredity and description of, 

94 ff. ; nimiber of defectives, 99 ; dan- 
gers from high-grade, 102 ff.; de- 
mocracy no cure for, 102 

Insanity, hereditary forms, 97 ff.; 
superiority and, 98 and n.; nimibers: 
of asylum cases. 98 

Intelligence, recent biological develop- 
ment of, 89 ff. 

Intelligence tests, 56 ff.; for children, 
57 ff.; results obtained from, 59 ff.; 
intellectual capacity shown by, 60 ff. ; 
of adults, 66 ff. In the Army; 56, 66 
ff. ; purposes and methods, 67 ff. ; re- 
sults and ratings, 68 ff., 89. 113, 225, 
227 if. 

Intelligentsia, 179. 196 jf. 

International Anarchist Congress. 161 

Ireland, Alleyne, Democracy and the- 
Human Equation, quoted, 55, 80 ff.; 
cited. 56 

Isabella of Spain, 52 

Italians, intelligence of children In 
America, 63 ff. ; prolific stock in New 
England, 113 

Italy, Anarchism in, 160 

"I. W. W.," 166, 172 

Izvestia, quoted, 195 

Jesus, 14 

Jews, prolific stock in New England, 

113; rising infiuence in 1848. 151 ff. 
Johnson. See Popenoe 
Jukes Family, 95 ff.. 247, 261 

Kallikak Family. 96 ff. 
Kautsky, 154 
Kelvin, Lord, 55 
Kerensky, 181 
Kerzhentsev. 205 ff. 
Kiev University, 192 and n. 



272 



INDEX 



Kropotkin, Prince, 153 n. 
Kun, Bela, 210 #. 

LagardeUe, 186 Jf. 

Lamarck, 13, 35; theory of " inheritance 
of acquired characteristics," 39 ff.; 
importance of teacliings, 40 

Lasalle, 154 

Lavoisier, 146 

Le Bon, Gnstave, The WotM in Revolt, 
quoted, 220 

Legendre, A. F., Tour d'Horizon Mon- 
dial, as reference, 210 n. 

Lenin, Nikolai, 146, 180, 181, 184, 187, 
188, 191, 195, 201 

"Lenin Boys," 212 

Lichtenberger, J. P., The Social Signifi- 
cance of Mental Levels, as reference, 
73 n. ; quoted, 73 ff. 

Lincoln, Abraham, 52 ff. 

"Literary BoIshe\Tki," 138 #. 

Living Age, The, Merezhkovski quoted 
from, 131 ff, 133 ff.; Masaryk 
quoted from, 184 ff. 

Locke, 38 

London, Jack, Revolution and Other Es- 
says, quoted, 171 ff. 

London Saturday Retiew, quoted, 120 

ff. 

London Times, quoted, 121 #. 

Lowie, Robert H., articles in The Free- 
man, as reference, 221 n. 

Lunacharsky, Proletarskaia Kullura, 
201 ff. 

Lvov, Prince, 181 

McDougall, "William, 65 n.; Is America 
Safe for Democracy? quoted, 38, 61 
ff., 76, 114 #. ; as reference, 109 n. 

Maklakov, Russian minister of the 
interior, 134 

Marat, 146 

Marx, Karl, 151, 164, 165; Communist 
Manifesto, 151; sponsor of state so- 
cialism and communism, 152 ff.\ 
Capital, 153, 156; doctrine, 154, 15G, 
168; limitations, 156 ff.; invoked by 
Sj-ndicalists (Bolshevists), 169, 203 

Masaryk, T. G., Revolutionary Theory 
in Europe, quoted, 184 ff. 

Mediseval civilization, spirituality of, 7 

Mediocrity, numbers, 225; social value, 
225 ff.; proportional numbers, 228; 
status and influence, 229 

Menshevild, 180 and n., 183 

Menshikov, 135 

Merezhkovski, Dmitri, Tolstoy and Bol- 
shevism, quoted, 131 ff., 133 ff. 

Methods against revolution, Bolshe- 
vism, etc. See Civilization 



Miliukov, Paul, 181; Bolshevism, An 

International Danger, as reference, 

210 n. 
Mill, John Stuart, environmentalist, 

quoted, 39 
More, Sir Thomas, 144 
Most, Johann, 164; Freiheit, quoted, 

160 #. 
Murray, Gilbert, Satanism and the 

World Order, quoted, 162 

Natural equality, a delusion, 30; ego as 
origin of theory, 32; emotional basis 
of, 33; as environmentalist theory, 
37; as Chiristian doctrine, 38; of op- 
portunity, performance, and recom- 
pense, 75 ff. ; Rousseau a believer in, 
129; Marx a believer in, 156 

Natural selection, XT ff.; medicine inter- 
feres with, 91 ff.; slow modifications 
under, 106 ff. 

Negroes, inferiority of, in America, 63; 
in the army, 71; general, 89 

Neo- Aristocracy, 263; outlook toward 
synthesis of old and new truth, 265 ff. 

New England, differential birth-rates 
in, 112 #. 

New Republic, The, Russell quoted 
from, 185 ff.; Coumos quoted from, 
207 

New York Times, quoted, 122 ff. 

New Zealand, suitable birth-rate in, 
110; birth-control in, 118 n. 

Nihilists, 136, 179 

Nordau, Max, The Degeneration of 
Classes and Peoples, quoted, 103 ff. 

Novoye Vremya, Menshikov quoted 
from, 135 ff. 

Noyes, Alfred, Some Aspects of Modern 
Poetry, quote>.l, 138 ff. 



"Old Believers" in Russia, 133 
Orr, 100 n. 
Oryeschin, Peter, 218 
Osborn, Henry Fairfield, 123 
Owen, Robert, 144, 150 

Paris Commune, 160 

Pasvolsky, Leo, The Intelligentsia under 
the Soviets, quoted, 198 

Paul, Eden, and Cedar, Proletcult, and 
Creative Revolution, 208 and n. 

Pelloutier, Fernand, 163 

Persians, semaphore telegraphy of, 7 

Peter the Great, 133 

Phoenician galleys, 7 

Plato, 14, 142, 144; int«re6ted in biologi- 
cal selection, 3Q ff. 



INDEX 



273 



Piatt, R. H., Jr., The Scope and Signifi- 
cance of Mental Tests, as reference, 
73 n. 

Poetry, "new," 138 

Pogany, 212 

Poles, prolific stock in New England, 
113 

Popenoe and Johnson, Applied Eugen- 
ics, quoted, 41 #., 45, 59, 76, 91 #., 
95 ff., 97. 112, 240, 256 ff., 259 ff., 
261 ff.; as reference, 43 n., 94 n., 100, 
109 n. 

Popular Science Monthly, Woods 
quoted from, 47, 53; cited, 50 #. 

Portuguese, intelligence of school chil- 
dren in America, 64 

Poxiget, 170 

Prenatal influence, 45 

"Prolet^kult," 201 ff. 

"Proletarian culture," 201 ff., 221 

"Propaganda of the Deed," 161, 162 Jf. 

Proudhon, 150, 152, 164 and n.; founds 
Anarchism, 158 ff. 

Psychoanalysis, 27; applied to Bolshe- 
vik!, 191 ff. 

Ptolemy, 14 

Quevli, N., Cell Intelligence and the 
Cause of Evolution, as reference, 
221 n. 



Rivarol, 224 
Robespierre, 146 
Rockefeller, John D., 55 
Rome, classic civilization in, 6; roads, 7; 
encouragement of low-class reproduc- 
tion, 90; proletariat amusements, 101 
Rosanoff, 100 n. 

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, 38; ejcponent 
of destructive criticism, 128; a 
"tainted genius," 128; opinions of, 
129; truth and falsity of teachings 
129 ff.; spokesman of revolt, 145 
Royal fajnilies studied by Woods, 51 ^. 
Russell, Bertrand, Bolshevik Theory 

quoted, 185 ff., 189 ff. and n. 
Russia, social revolution in, 29, 145 
folk nature in, 132 ff. ; peasant revolts 
in, 133 #.; "Hooliganism" in, 134 #. 
Nihilism in, 160; Soviet, 174; Bolshe- 
vik Revolution, Chap. VI 
Russian revolutions: 

First: significance, 177; numbers in- 
volved, 178; roots of, 178 #.; politi- 
cal and social aspects, 179 if. ; lead- 
ers, 179; early attempts against 
Czarism, 180; failure, 180 
Second: 181 

Third : crushing of Socialists, triumph 
of communism, 181; Third Inter- 
nationale, 181. See also Bol- 
shevism 



"Race Betterment." See Eugenics 

Racial comparisons of intelUgence, U. 
S. army, 71 if. 

Racial impoverishment, factors causing, 
117 ff.; hastened by Great War, 124; 
as cause of revolutionary tendencies, 
223 

Ransome, Arthur, Russia in 1919, 
quoted, 182 ff. 

"Red Guard," 192, 193, 211 

Reformist socialism, 155 ff., 168 ff. 

Regression, biological, 11, 15 ff., 19. 
See also "Under-Man" 

" Reign of Terror," 145 ff. 

Reproduction. See Birth-rate 

Revolution, social, causes and symp- 
toms, 125 ff.; in art and letters, 137 
ff. ; in other phases of civihzation, 140 
ff.; emotional urge in, 141; antiquity 
of, 142 ff., 220, 238; history of mod- 
em social, 144 #.; "Babouvism," 147 
ff.; in 1848, 150 ff.; reformist, 155, 
157; Syndicalist, 157; Bakunins 
programme of, 159 ff.; in Russia (see 
Russian revolutions) ; new and old 
elements to-day, 220; science enemy 
of, 221, 236; intelligent action 
against, 230 ff. 



"Sabotage," 170, 173 

St. John, Vincent, The I. W. W., Its 
History, Structure, and Methods, 
quoted, 172 

Saint-Simon, 150 

Schopenhauer, 131 

Schwartz, Rose, 192 n. 

Science, as enemy of Revolution, 221 

Segregation of differentiated social 
levels, 78 ff. 

Shakespear, 37, 142 

Skoptzi sect in Russia, 133 

"Social Conification," 80 

Social-Democratic parties, 155 

"Social ladder," 77 #., 227, 244 

Social selection, 17 ff.; produces rapid 
modifications, 107 ff.; improved, 239 

Socialism, modern, as religious cult, 33; 
teaches regeneration through eco- 
nomic changes, 41; revolutionary, 
142 ff.; idealistic, 144, 149 ff., 166; 
"State," and Marxian, 152 #., 166 #.; 
reformist, 155, 168 ff.; Marxian op- 
posed by SjTidicalism, 164, 166; 
destructive teaching, 167 #.; opposed 
by Bolshevism, see Bolshevism; new 
theories, 221 ff. 

Sorel, Georges, 164, 166, 170 Jf., 174, 175 



274 



INDEX 



Soviet Busda, social revolt launched 
in, 174; Bolshevik Empire, 190 ff. 
See also Russian revolutions 

Spain, Anarchism in, 160 

Spargo, John, 155 

Sterilization, 249 n. 

Stoddard, Lothrop, The New World of 
Islam, as reference, 210 n., 213 n. 

Superior classes, statistical study of, 
48#., 260; children a burden in, 117 

Survival, plasticity of species aids, 16; 
qualities determining, l&ff.; selection 
and, 17 Jf. See also Social selection 

Syndicalism, 103; Babouvism contrib- 
utes to, 149; trend toward revolution, 
157 ; as philosophy of the Under-Man, 
162 ff.; views and teachings of, 163, 
169; history of, 163 ff.; revolt as es- 
sence of, 164; identity with Bolshe- 
vism. 163, and the "I. W. W.," 166; 
uses reformist foundations, 168 #., 
teaches class war, 169 iT'. ; spirit shown 
by Jack London, 171 #.; repudiates 
traditional morality, 172 ff.; pro- 
gramme of, 173 ff.; classes doomed 
imder, 175 

Szamuely, 212 

Tarbell. Ida M.. The Early Life of 

Abraham Lincoln, quoted, 52 
Taxation and birth-rate in Europe, 120 

ff. 

Terman, S. M., Intelligence of School 
Children, quoted, 64 ff.; The Mea- 
surement of Intelligence, quoted, 65 

Theognis of Megara, 36 

Tolstoy, Count Leo, 128; champion of 
the primitive, 130; temperament in 
family of, 130 #.; denounces culture, 
131; influenced by Rousseau. 131; 
Merezhkovski's analysis of, 131 ff. 

Tribun du Peuple, Le, Babeiif quoted 
from, 147 ff. 

Trotzky, Leon, 146, 181 n. 

"Under-Man," defined, 23; attitude 
toward civilization, 23 ff. ; opposition 



to social order, 24; society's contrcrf 
of, 25; types of leaders of, 25 ff.; 
latent existence in all men, 27 ; revolu- 
tion caused by, 28; threatens present- 
day civilization, 86 ff.; resentment 
toward superiority, 86; Syndicalism 
his philosophy, 162 ff., 175 

Vienna Netie Freie Presse, Volk^t 

quoted from, 139 ff. 
Volkelt, Johannes, quoted. 139 ff. 
Voltaire. 129 
"Vorticism," 137 

Wanamaker. John. 55 

War, Great (European), racial and ma- 
terial losses during. 120. 122 

Webster. N. H.. World Revolution, 
quoted. 130; as reference. 145 n. 

Weismann, biological researches of, 34. 
43 

Whetham. W. C. D. and C. D., Heredity 
and Society, quoted, 41; Decadence 
and Civilization, as reference, 109 n.; 
quoted, 116 #., 242 if. 

William the Silent, 52 

Woods, Frederick Adams. Laws of 
Diminishing Environmental Influ- 
ences, quoted and cited. 47 ff. ; Heredi- 
ty and the Hall of Fame, cited, 50 ff. ; 
Mental and Moral Heredity in Roy- 
alty, etc., cited. 51 #. and n.- MS3. 
study cited, 80 and n. 

World-civilization, racial elements in, 
84 

World's Work, reference to Piatt article. 
73 n. 

Yerkea, 66 ff. See also Yoakimi 
Yoakum, 66 ff.; (with Ycrkes), Army 
Mental Tests, quoted, 66#.. 73 

Zilboorg. Gregory, The Passing of the 
Old Order in Europe, quoted, 141. 
183 ff., 194 

Zinoviev, 216 Jf.