Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 22.djvu/537

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SCIENTIFIC PHILANTHROPY.

archy." I have called it a system, and herein lies its weakness as well as its strength. "Theophrastus Such" was a distinct contribution to the thought of the time, hut, through not aiming at the completeness of a system, it failed to secure the attention which would have revealed its short-comings. Many parts of "Natural Religion" are doubtless of great value, but what a writer does not seem to have great faith in personally is not likely to be warmly welcomed by outsiders.

[To be continued.]

 

SCIENTIFIC PHILANTHROPY.
By M. ALFRED FOUILLEE.
II.

WE have examined, subjecting them to their just measure, the inconveniences which philanthropy produces when it takes as its rule the vague sentiment of love instead of the precise and scientific ideas of justice and general interest; it is proper for us to show the advantages which can, in a certain measure, compensate for these inconveniences. This is a point of view on which the Darwinians have not sufficiently insisted.

The first advantage of philanthropic institutions, when they are well conceived and subordinated to the rules of science, is, that they tend to diminish excessive inequality, whether economical, political, or intellectual, among men. The necessity of restoring some degree of equality in mankind arises from the laws of natural selection themselves. It is a remarkable fact that these laws, after having at first appeared favorable to aristocracies and aristocratic institutions, are now invoked in favor of social equality. According to Dr. Jacoby, political and economical inequality, even by virtue of the laws of natural selection, produce "ignorance and misery below, crime and sterility above. . . . From the mass of mankind emerge individuals, families, and races, who tend to rise above the common level; they toilsomely scale the rugged heights, attain the summit of power, of wealth, and of intelligence, and, when once they have got there, they are cast down and disappear in the depths of folly and degeneracy." Death is the great leveler; by destroying everything that rises, it democratizes mankind. "Men thus appear to have been organized," according to Dr. Jacoby, "with a view to equality." Every too abrupt distinction into classes, political, economical, or intellectual, and all selection, which is the logical and natural consequence of such distinctions, are equally disastrous to mankind, to the elect as well as to the rest of men; "they produce with the latter deficiency, with the former ex-