774 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY
where slavery has existed only those who were contemned or hated, as prisoners of war, were enslaved ; objects of sympathetic emotion and impulse, as members of the community, were not enslaved.®^ The more complete the absence of sympathetic and the more intense the hostile emotion or impulse toward the person enslaved, the more brutal the form which the institution assumed.®*
The three-level oscillation theory puts our knowledge of motives into a compact form which enables us to bring it to bear upon the hypotheses at the basis of the special social sciences. It suggests a criticism of the economic theory of consumption. Expositions of the law of diminishing utility generally make two assumptions. First, they assume that the individual balances the satisfactions to be derived from the consumption of various goods and chooses what will give the greatest satisfaction. Some individuals do balance satisfactions — some few, but the majority do not, as a rule. They consume the things suggested to their instincts and impulses, either the things suggested by their class, or, in case of ambitious individuals, the things suggested by an upper class, avoiding what is consumed by a lower class.® Second, it is assumed that man balances the satisfactions derived from successive increments of the same good and diminishes his consumption accordingly. Satisfaction may diminish with every increment consumed and at the same time, from other motives, the consumption of the good may increase. The choice of a good is a reaction to so many different motives that it seems im- possible to develop together the science of motives and the science of goods.*® The failure to differentiate these two fields confuses our economic concepts. For instance, economically, goods are
" Westermarck, Origin and Development of Moral Ideas, Vol. I, p. 674.
"• Ibid., pp. 704, 705. Westermarck concludes that, in explaining the causes of the institution of slavery, "the influence of economic conditions .... has perhaps been emphasized too much" (p. 674). That is, other impulses as well as the impulse to use the negro in acquiring wealth must be considered, for this impulse would be served equally well by enslaving members of the same community as by enslaving members of another community.
"Williams, An American Town, chaps, vi-ix.
- • Fox an able presentation of the opposite view see Parris, Total Utility
and the Economic Judgment, especially pp. 8, 74-100.