Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 19.djvu/230

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218
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

tain-regions, marshes or mud-islands, and jungles, men of different races have developed political heads of this compound kind. And, on observing that the localities, otherwise so unlike, are alike as being severally made up of parts difficult of access, we can not question that to this is mainly due the governmental form under which their inhabitants unite.

Besides the compound headships which are thus indigenous in places favoring them, there are other compound headships which arise after the break-up of preceding political organizations. Especially apt are they so to arise where the people, not scattered through a wide district but concentrated in a town, can assemble bodily. Control of every kind having disappeared, it happens in such cases that the aggregate will has free play, and there establishes itself for a time that relatively popular form with which all government begins; but, regularly or irregularly, a superior few become differentiated from the many, and of predominant men some one is made, directly or indirectly, most predominant.

Compound headships habitually become, in course of time, either narrower or wider. They are narrowed by militancy, which tends ever to concentrate directive power in fewer hands, and, if continued, almost certainly changes them into simple headships. Conversely, they are widened by industrialism. This, by gathering together aliens detached from the restraints imposed by patriarchal, feudal, or other such organizations, by increasing the number of those to be coerced in comparison with the number of those who have to coerce them, by placing this larger number in conditions favoring concerted action, by substituting for daily enforced obedience the daily fulfillment of voluntary obligations and daily maintenance of claims, tends ever toward equalization of citizenship.

 
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DEGENERATION.
By Dr. ANDREW WILSON.

IT can not be gainsaid that a survey of the fields of life around us impresses one with the idea that the general tendencies of living nature gravitate toward progression and improvement, and are modeled on lines which, as Von Baer long ago remarked, lead from the general or simple toward the definite special and complex. This much is admitted on all hands, and the ordinary courses of life substantiate the aphorism that progress from low grades and humble ways is the law of the organic universe that hems us in on every side, and of which, indeed, we ourselves form part. The growth of plant-life, which runs concurrently with the changing seasons of the year, impresses this