Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 36.djvu/634

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616 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

make them slaves of the State ; and where this results from the necessities of defensive war (not offensive war, however), relative political ethics furnishes a warrant. Conversely, as militancy decreases, there is a diminished need both for that subordination of the individuals which is necessitated by consolidating them into a fighting machine, and for that further subordination en- tailed by supplying this fighting machine with the necessaries of life ; and as fast as this change goes on, the warrant for State - coercion which relative political ethics furnishes becomes less and less.

Obviously it is out of the question here to enter upon the com- plex questions raised. It must suffice to indicate them as above. Should I be able to complete Part IV of the "Principles of Ethics" treating of "Justice," of which the first chapters only are at present written, I hope to deal adequately with these rela- tions between the ethics of the progressive condition and the ethics of that condition which is the goal of progress a goal ever to be recognized, though it can not be actually reached.

The grave misrepresentations dealt with in the foregoing sec- tions, I have been able to rectify by an exposition that is mainly impersonal : allusions, only, having been made to the personal bearings of the argument. But there remain other grave misrep- resentations which I can not dispose of in the same way. Life sometimes presents alternatives both of which are disagreeable, and acceptance of either of which is damaging. A choice between two such I now find myself compelled to make. Prof. Huxley, referring to me, speaks of "the gulf fixed between his way of thinking and mine " : the implication being that as he regards his own " way of thinking " as the right one, my way of thinking, separated from it by a gulf, must be extremely wrong. As this tacit condemnation of my " way of thinking " touches not only the question at issue but also many other questions, and as it comes not from an anonymous critic, but from one whose state- ments will be taken as trustworthy, I am placed in the dilemma of either passively allowing his injurious characterization, or else of showing that it is untrue, which I can not do without describ- ing or illustrating my " way of thinking." This is, of course, an unpleasant undertaking, and one which self-respect would ordi- narily negative. But unpleasant as it is, I feel obliged to enter upon it.

Years ago Prof. Huxley criticised the political doctrine held by me, and entitled his article " Administrative Nihilism." As this doctrine includes advocacy of governmental action for the repression not only of crimes but of many minor offenses, I pointed out that if it is to be called " administrative nihilism," then still

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