of the society. It has ever to be remembered that great as may be the efforts made for the prosperity of the body politic, yet the claims of the body politic are nothing in themselves, and become something only in so far as they embody the claims of its component individuals.
From this last consideration, which is a digression rather than a part of the argument, let us now return and sum up the various reasons for regarding a society as an organism.
It undergoes continuous growth; as it grows, its parts, becoming unlike, exhibit increase of structure; the unlike parts simultaneously assume activities of unlike kinds; these activities are not simply different, but their differences are so related as to make one another possible; the reciprocal aid thus given causes mutual dependence of the parts; and the mutually-dependent parts, living by and for one another, form an aggregate constituted on the same general principle as an individual organism. The analogy of a society to an organism becomes still clearer on learning that every organism of appreciable size is a society, and on further learning that, in both, the lives of the units continue for some time if the life of the aggregate is suddenly arrested, while if the aggregate is not destroyed by violence its life greatly exceeds in duration the lives of its units. Though the two are contrasted as respectively discrete and concrete, and though there results a difference in the ends subserved by the organization, there does not result a difference in the laws of the organization: the required mutual influences of the parts, not transmissible in a direct way, being transmitted in an indirect way.
Having thus considered in their most general forms the reasons for regarding a society as an organism, we are prepared for following out the comparison in detail. We shall find that the further we pursue it the closer does the analogy appear.
|HAMMERS AND PERCUSSION.|
THE only mechanical tools for external use with which man is provided by Nature are: the hammer, a compound vise, and a scratching or scraping tool; these are all in the hand. As a vise, the hand is worthy of a very lengthened notice; as a hammer alone it is now our concern. While upon a substance softer than itself the fist can deal an appreciable blow, with one harder than itself the reaction of the substance transfers the blow to the flesh and bone of Nature's hammer. Hence early arose the necessity of an artificial hammer of stone or other hard substance.
- Abstract of three lectures before the London Society of Arts.