Page:Garden Cities.djvu/16

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7
GARDEN CITIES

We hear much of Imperialism now-a-days, but the foundation for Imperial thought, is the comprehension of the truth that the only legitimate object of Imperialism is the benefit of the individuals who constitute the Empire. The population over which the Empire holds sway, the extent of its territory, the military forces it can employ, are not ends in themselves but means by which the end I have indicated may be reached. The means, however, are so often confused with the end that the end itself is in danger of being lost sight of. But the true Imperialist is he who sets himself to the task of furthering, so far as in him lies, the measures which tend to the improvement of the conditions under which the individuals composing the Empire live. An Empire is of no account except in the hands of an Imperial race.

Let us therefore now turn to the consideration of the question whether the conditions of Social life in England to-day are suitable and adequate for the rearing and maintaining an Imperial race. To answer this question it is essential to have a clear comprehension of what the proper object of Society is. It assuredly must be the development of the individual physically, intellectually, and morally, in the highest degree possible. This leads us to another question. How far in the pursuit of this object is it necessary or right that the State should make itself felt in the life of the people? Should the struggle for individual benefit be trusted entirely to work out indirectly the benefit of the social body as a whole, or should the State be a guiding, organising and directing force with definite aims for the progress and improvement of its people.

Hitherto the Anglo-Saxon race has shown a decided preference for the laisser faire system, departing from it in particular cases with extreme reluctance. I think undoubtedly individualism, restricted merely by