Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 75.djvu/82

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importance of group or tribal cohesion as a factor of success in intertribal struggle, (2) the importance of sympathy as a factor in group cohesion, (3) the importance of mutual fidelity and unselfish courage, and (4) the great part played by sensitiveness to praise and blame in developing both unselfish courage and fidelity. In terms of these four facts, Mr. Darwin finds an answer to the question, how, within the conditions fixed by a struggle for existence, social and moral qualities could tend slowly to advance and to be diffused throughout the world.

That the studies of both Mr. Bagehot and Mr. Darwin left much still to be said on the subject of group feeling and cooperative solidarity was shown when, in 1890, Prince Peter Alekseevich Kropotkin published in The Nineteenth Century his fascinating articles on "Mutual Aid among Animals," afterwards supplemented by studies of mutual aid among savages and among barbarians. These articles contained nothing essentially new in theory, but they contributed to our knowledge an immense mass of facts demonstrating how great has been the part played by sympathy and helpfulness in the struggle for existence, and how inadequate would be any interpretation of natural selection which accounted for it wholly in terms of superior strength, cruelty and cunning. Mr. Darwin never claimed to offer an adequate explanation of the variations which natural selection preserves or rejects. He sometimes took them for granted, he sometimes spoke of them as accidental or fortuitous. He would have been the last to pretend that he had told us all that we should like to know about the beginnings of sympathy or of sensitiveness to praise or blame. But, starting from sympathy and the desire for approval as traits that may actually be observed among gregarious creatures, and that presumably have somehow had a natural origin, Darwin and Kropotkin convincingly demonstrate that groups possessing these qualities have a certain advantage in the struggle for life.

To account more fully for the origins, in distinction from the natural selection of the social qualities, was the problem that Mr. John Fiske attacked in his theory of the effects of prolonged infancy, first published in the North American Review of October, 1873,[1] and a year later in the "Outlines of Cosmic Philosophy." Fiske discriminates between "gregariousness" and "sociality," without, however, sufficiently analyzing the one or the other, or quite defining the difference. By sociality he seems to mean a relatively high development of sympathy, affection and loyalty to kindred or comrades. He argues that sociality has its origin in small and permanent family groups. These are not necessarily monogamous at first. They may be polygamous or polyandrian, and may broaden out into clans. But they must be more enduring than matings observed in the merely gregarious herd.

  1. Under the title: "The Progress from Brute to Man."