Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 36.djvu/634

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make them slaves of the State; and where this results from the necessities of defensive war (not offensive war, however), relative political ethics furnishes a warrant. Conversely, as militancy decreases, there is a diminished need both for that subordination of the individuals which is necessitated by consolidating them into a fighting machine, and for that further subordination entailed by supplying this fighting machine with the necessaries of life; and as fast as this change goes on, the warrant for State-coercion which relative political ethics furnishes becomes less and less.

Obviously it is out of the question here to enter upon the complex questions raised. It must suffice to indicate them as above. Should I be able to complete Part IV of the "Principles of Ethics" treating of "Justice," of which the first chapters only are at present written, I hope to deal adequately with these relations between the ethics of the progressive condition and the ethics of that condition which is the goal of progress—a goal ever to be recognized, though it can not be actually reached.


The grave misrepresentations dealt with in the foregoing sections, I have been able to rectify by an exposition that is mainly impersonal: allusions, only, having been made to the personal bearings of the argument. But there remain other grave misrepresentations which I can not dispose of in the same way. Life sometimes presents alternatives both of which are disagreeable, and acceptance of either of which is damaging. A choice between two such I now find myself compelled to make. Prof. Huxley, referring to me, speaks of "the gulf fixed between his way of thinking and mine": the implication being that as he regards his own "way of thinking" as the right one, my way of thinking, separated from it by a gulf, must be extremely wrong. As this tacit condemnation of my "way of thinking" touches not only the question at issue but also many other questions, and as it comes not from an anonymous critic, but from one whose statements will be taken as trustworthy, I am placed in the dilemma of either passively allowing his injurious characterization, or else of showing that it is untrue, which I can not do without describing or illustrating my "way of thinking." This is, of course, an unpleasant undertaking, and one which self-respect would ordinarily negative. But unpleasant as it is, I feel obliged to enter upon it.

Years ago Prof. Huxley criticised the political doctrine held by me, and entitled his article "Administrative Nihilism." As this doctrine includes advocacy of governmental action for the repression not only of crimes but of many minor offenses, I pointed out that if it is to be called "administrative nihilism," then still