Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 19.djvu/770

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

THE DEVELOPMENT OF POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS.
By HERBERT SPENCER.
X.—THE MILITANT TYPE OF SOCIETY.

PRECEDING chapters have prepared the way for framing conceptions of the two fundamentally-unlike kinds of political organization, proper to the militant life and the industrial life, respectively. It will be instructive here to arrange in coherent order those traits of the militant type already incidentally marked, and to join with them various dependent traits; and in the next chapter to deal in like manner with the traits of the industrial type.

During social evolution there has habitually been a mingling of the two. But we shall find that, alike in theory and in fact, it is possible to trace out with due clearness those opposite characters which distinguish them in their respective complete developments. Especially is the essential nature of the organization which accompanies chronic militancy capable of being inferred a priori, and proved a posteriori to exist in numerous cases, while the essential nature of the organization accompanying pure industrialism, of which at present we have little experience, will be made clear by opposition, and such illustrations as exist of progress toward it will become recognizable.

In drawing conclusions, two liabilities to error must be guarded against. We have to deal with societies compounded and recompounded in various degrees; and we have to deal with societies which, differing in their stages of culture, have their organizations elaborated to different extents. We shall be misled, therefore, unless our comparisons are such as take account of unlikenesses in size and in civilization. Clearly, characteristics of the militant type which admit of being displayed by a vast nation may not admit of being displayed by a horde of savages, though this is equally militant. Moreover, as institutions take a long time to acquire their finished forms, it is not to be expected that all militant societies will display the structure appropriate to them in its completeness. Rather may we expect that in most cases it will be incompletely displayed.

In face of these difficulties the best course will be to consider, first, what are the several traits which of necessity militancy tends to produce; and then to observe how far these traits are conjointly shown in past and present nations distinguished by militancy. Having contemplated the society ideally organized for war, we shall be prepared to recognize in real societies the character which war has brought about.

For preserving its corporate life, a society is impelled to corporate action; and the preservation of its corporate life is the more probable