Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/134
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.
formable; il consomme done de la transformabilité.... La fixation d'une force libre n'est autre chose que sa combinaison avec une autre force qui par là aliène comme elle une partie de sa liberté." Although there is a tendency toward equilibrium, equilibrium will never be reached, "parce que la vitesse avec laquelle se fait le nivellement est une fonction directe de la difference même des niveaux." He also insists on the absurdity of a tree retrograding into a seed, an old man into a child, etc. (See Revue philosophique, 1880, 1882.)
Yours very respectfully,
419 St. Nicholas Avenue, New York,
March 16, 1890.
PATRIOTISM AND MILITARISM.
PATRIOTISM is one of those virtues which have suffered so much from counterfeit and alloy that the word has come to have a very doubtful sound to experienced ears. So seriously, indeed, has it been damaged that one would in general prefer to use some other term to convey whatever respectable meaning it has hitherto covered. To a large section of the community, there is too much reason to fear, patriotism means little else than a vicious hatred of other countries, in so far as they come into any kind of rivalry or competition with our own. It stands for noisy, offensive, and vulgar national self-glorification, for truculence in the discussion of international questions, and a readiness to cast justice to the winds in any transaction with a foreign state. Patriotism of this type commends itself only too readily to boyhood with its as yet undeveloped moral sentiments, and therefore to adopt any special measures for inculcating it on the youthful citizen is, to say the least, most unnecessary. The true view of patriotism embraces none of the elements mentioned. To he a patriot a man does not need to hate or despise foreign nations; he does not need to indulge in vainglorious language, or even in vainglorious thoughts in regard to his own country; nor does he require to cultivate an insensibility to justice in regard to any international dispute in which his country may be engaged. Patriotism in the true sense implies simply such a love for one's country as inclines to disinterested service at all times and under all circumstances — a love which does not need the stimulus of quarrel with a foreign state to call it into activity.
To get a true measure and comprehension of the subject we should compare patriotism with certain other recognized virtues. The father of a family owes love and protection to his family. What should we think, then, of the father who, neglecting or even abusing his family at other times, showed his paternal feeling chiefly in espousing their quarrels, just or unjust, with other families, and greedily embracing every opportunity thus afforded for acts of hostility to his neighbors? We could only say that he was a man of a very low type, whose actions were mainly determined and governed by hatred and malice. Quite in the same way we are entitled to judge the citizen's love for his country, not by the blindness of his partisanship in questions in which his country is involved, nor by the rancor he displays in speaking or writing of foreign states, but by the interest he takes at other times, and at all times, in his coun-