Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 2.djvu/595

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575
THE STUDY OF SOCIOLOGY.

been subject to it just as much as other beings. Warfare among men, like warfare among animals, has had a large share in raising their organizations to a higher stage. Here are some of the various ways in which it has worked:

In the first place, it has had the effect of continually extirpating races which, for some reason or other, were least fitted to cope with the conditions of existence they were subject to. The killing-off of relatively-feeble tribes, or tribes relatively wanting in endurance, or courage, or sagacity, or power of coöperation, must have tended ever to maintain, and occasionally to increase, the amounts of life-preserving powers possessed by men.

Beyond this average advance caused by destruction of the least-developed races and the least-developed individuals, there has been an average advance caused by inheritance of those further developments due to functional activity. Remember the skill of the Indian in following a trail, and remember that under kindred stimuli many of his perceptions and feelings and bodily powers have been habitually taxed to the uttermost, and it becomes clear that the struggle for existence between neighboring tribes has had an important effect in cultivating faculties of various kinds. Just as, to take an illustration from among ourselves, the skill of the police cultivates cunning among burglars, which, again, leading to further precautions, generates further devices to evade them; so, by the unceasing antagonisms between human societies, small and large, there has been a mutual culture of an adapted intelligence, a mutual culture of certain traits of character not to be undervalued, and a mutual culture of bodily powers.

A large effect, too, has been produced upon the development of the arts. In responding to the imperative demands of war, industry made important advances and gained much of its skill. Indeed, it may be questioned whether, in the absence of that exercise of manipulative faculty which the making of weapons originally gave, there would ever have been produced the tools required for developed industry. If we go back to the Stone-Age, we see that implements of the chase and implements of war are those showing most labor and dexterity. If we take still-existing human races which were without metals when we found them, we see in their skilfully-wrought stone clubs, as well as in their large war-canoes, that the needs of defence and attack were the chief stimuli to the cultivation of arts afterward available for productive purposes. Passing over intermediate stages, we may note in comparatively-recent stages the same relation. Observe a coat-of-mail, or one of the more highly-finished suits of armor—compare it with articles of iron and steel of the same date; and there is evidence that these desires to kill enemies and escape being killed, more extreme than any other, have had great effects on those arts of working in metal to which most other arts owe their progress. The like relation