Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/575

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561
LITERARY NOTICES.

pict a stage of its existence. There are other times when it does not fly, but crawls, or else is wrapped in a web of indifference. The preface contains the lesson of the book—the way to Utopia is for all of us over the difficult road of moral improvement.

According to strict definition, pure individualism separates man from his kind, calls government an evil, and tends toward anarchy, while socialism makes man dependent, exalts government, and ends in communism. Either alone is impracticable as a method of life. The wise man therefore uses both as he employs his two eyes or hands. In the domain of politics and property, the individualist seeks liberty, private capital, ownei'ship, and competition; the socialist demands authority, common possessions, and collective capital. The thorough American is an opportunist, wary of extremes, caring little for theory, and adopting only what is successful in practice. The tendency of the time, however, is in all countries distinctively socialistic.

Mr. Gilman deprecates the pseudo-scientific method in treating politics, economics, and ethics. The right order of things has been strangely mistaken by scientists—more properly sciolists. The knowledge of man is of more importance than the most astonishing development of natural science. Pure individualism, he conceives, is best illustrated by the struggles of brute man in prehistoric ages. We have, or ought to have, outgrown this struggle-for-existence ethics. It is a blunder in thought to introduce the evolution philosophy in place of the higher law for man.

The social problem, largely due to unrestricted immigration, belongs to the city. The labor question does not trouble the farmer, and it must be remembered that three fourths of the population still dwell outside the large cities. A difference is noted between English and American individualism. Twenty-five years ago liberal Americans avowed Mr. Spencer's political creed. No longer do they belong to the Suspencerumam-homi—the sect that swallowed Spencer whole! Government is not a monstrosity, but the organ which expresses the intelligence and will of a reflecting community. Elsewhere the author states that to take anything out of politics in civilized countries means to take it out of corruption into honesty!

Among socialistic measures the American accepts free schools, free libraries, and free text-books as benefits, while he rejects the state publication of books as a failure.

Nationalism, or romantic socialism, flourishes chiefly on paper. It was doomed to failure since it ignored the separate commonwealths. Christian socialism aims to accomplish by religious influence what socialism attempts in the reconstruction of society.

Without violent reforms the industrial situation maybe much improved by means of boards of arbitration, building associations, life insurance, and a better form of labor contract. There are now over three hundred business firms that practice some form of profit sharing. We may expect the functions of the state to be enlarged, but purification of existing method should precede this extension. As a way of escape from present evils, the author directs us to a higher individualism, properly Christian. This favors voluntary co-operation, and aims at fraternalism.

 

Mr. Joseph John Murphy is the author of a book entitled The Scientific Bases of Faith, published twenty years ago, the purpose of which was to show that the new ideas of the nature and origin of things, including the entire doctrine of evolution, constitute a better basis for Theistic and Christian faith than the old. Since the book was published much has been thought, said, and written on the subjects of which it treats; and a second book. Natural Selection and Spiritual Freedom, is now presented by the author to set forth his newer thoughts on the same class of subjects. In it Prof. Drummond's Natural Law in the Spiritual World receives prominent attention, and Mr. Murphy has to "remark with wonder over the vast change that must have come over the religious mind of the English-speaking people before Prof. Drummond's work could have been received as an orthodox book," which, we may say by the way, it is not, because "there is not one of Drummond's characteristic passages which might not have been written by a denier of the characteristic doctrines of apostolic and Nicene Christianity." Drummond's doctrine of conversion is first ex-