Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 75.djvu/81

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as make note of the terrific struggles for control of food-getting opportunities that occur among individuals or between groups of the same species, variety or race. Conflict among men of the same cultural attainments Mr. Spencer thought of only as prompted by surviving savage instincts, engendered by predatory habits, in the lawless youth of the race.

It was specifically the phenomena of group solidarity and of collective conflict, in distinction from a merely individual struggle for existence, which Mr. Bagehot selected for examination, and his mind penetrated directly to the essential conditions of the problem. He said:

The progress of man requires the cooperation of men for its development. . . . The first principle of the subject is that man can only make progress in "cooperative groups"; I might say tribes and nations, but I use the less common word because few people would at once see that tribes and nations are cooperative groups, and that it is their being so which makes their value; that unless you can make a strong cooperative bond, your society will be conquered and killed out by some other society which has such a bond; and the second principle is that the members of such a group should be similar enough to one another to cooperate easily and readily together. The cooperation in all such cases depends on a felt union of heart and spirit; and this is only felt when there is a great degree of real likeness in mind and feeling, however that likeness may have been attained.[1]

Addressing himself to the question how the necessary likeness in mind and feeling are produced, Mr. Bagehot answers: By one of the most terrible tyrannies ever known among men, namely, the authority of customary law; and in accounting for the origin and force of custom, he develops a theory of the function of imitation which anticipates much, but by no means all, of the sociological theory of Gabriel Tarde. Custom, however, tends to create a degree of similarity among social units, and an unchanging way of life, fatal to further progress. To reintroduce and to maintain certain possibilities and tendencies toward variation is, as Bagehot sees the process, one of the chief uses of conflict. Social evolution thus proceeds through the conflict of antagonistic tendencies, on the one hand toward uniformity and solidarity; on the other hand toward variation and individuality. In some groups, one of these tendencies predominates. Contending together, group with group, in the struggle for existence, those groups survive in which the balancing of these tendencies secures the greatest group efficiency. It is not too much to say that in this interpretation, Mr. Bagehot arrived at conclusions which to-day we recognize as belonging to the theoretical core of a scientific sociology.

Mr. Darwin, in those chapters of "The Descent of Man" in which he treats of the origin of social instincts and the moral faculties, adopt? in substance the conclusions of Mr. Bagehot, and with his keen sense for what is essential, lays emphasis upon four facts, namely: (1) the

  1. "Physics and Politics," pp. 212, 213.