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they have taken all the finest districts in the most competed-for parts; and the nations with loose systems have been merely left to mountain ranges and lonely islands. ...
I cannot expand the subject, but in the same way the better religions have had a great physical advantage, if I may say so, over the worse. They have given what I may call a confidence in the universe. ... And more directly what I may call the fortifying religions, that is to say, those which lay the plainest stress on the manly parts of morality - upon valor, on truth and industry — have had plainly the most obvious effect in strengthening the races which believed them, and in making those races the winning races....
The first work of the first ages is to bind men together in the strong bonds of a rough, coarse, harsh custom; and the incessant conflict of nations effects this in the best way. Every nation is an "hereditary coöperative group,” bound by a fixed custom; and out of those groups those conquer which have the most binding and most invigorating customs, and these are, as a rough rule, the best customs. The majority of the "groups " which win and conquer are better than the majority of those which fail and perish, and thus the first world grew better and was improved.
This early customary world no doubt continued for ages. The first history delineates great monarchies, each composed of a hundred customary groups, all of which believed themselves to be of enormous antiquity, and all of which must have existed for very many generations. ... Long ages of dreary monotony are the first facts in the history of human communities, but those ages were not lost to mankind, for it was then that was formed the comparatively gentle and guidable thing which we now call human nature.
And indeed the greatest difficulty is not in preserving such a world but in ending it. We have brought in the yoke of custom to improve the world, and in the world the custom sticks. In a thousand cases — in the great majority of cases — the progress of mankind has been arrested in this its earliest shape; it has been closely embalmed in a mummy-like imitation of its primitive existence. I have endeavored to show in what manner, and how slowly, and in how few cases this yoke of custom was removed. It was "government by discussion” which broke the bond of ages and set free the originality of mankind. ...
As soon as this great step upwards is once made, all or almost all, the higher gifts and graces of humanity have a rapid and a definite effect on " verifiable progress” — on progress in the narrowest, because in the most universally admitted sense of the term. ...
But there is no need to expand this further. The principle is plain that, though these better and higher graces of humanity are impediments and encumbrances in the early fighting period, yet that in the later era they are among the greatest helps and benefits, and that as soon as governments by discussion have become strong enough to secure a stable existence, and as soon as they have broken the fixed rule of old custom, and have awakened the dormant inventiveness of men, then, for the first time, almost every part of human nature begins to spring forward, and begins to contribute its quota even to the narrowest, even to "verifiable" progress.
51. Social progress. The essential need filled by the state in the general process of social evolution, and the changes in its point of view due to changing conditions are well stated by Ward : 1
The state is a natural product, as much as an animal or a plant, or as man himself. The basis of the state is law. It was the necessity for general regulation to take the place of the wasteful and difficult special regulation incident to conquest that gradually gave rise to a system of law, and it was the necessity for a social mechanism capable of enforcing law that the state grew up and took definite form. It was shown that until the state was formed there could be no property. Every one must keep his belongings on his person and defend them at every step. No matter how anything may have been acquired, every one has the same right to it and may seize it wherever found. There is no such thing as right outside the state. If property cannot exist except under the protection of the state there can of course be no such thing as capital. There can be no industry in the economic sense. There is no use accumulating ; the surplus cannot be retained. Wealth is only possible under the state. The more we reflect upon it the clearer we see that while the state itself achieves little, it is the condition to nearly all achievement. The state was primarily the mediator between conflicting races. Immediately following the conquest the conquered race had no status. It was completely under the dominion of the conquering race. Under the state as soon as formed the conquered race acquired rights and the members of the conquering race were assigned duties. The state thus becomes a powerful medium of social assimilation. The capable and meritorious of the subject race are given opportunity to exercise their faculties. The members of the superior race not belonging to the nobility or the priestly caste enter into business arrangements, become a mercantile or capitalist class, and control the finances of the people. These two classes blend and ultimately form the "third
1 Copyright, 1903, by The Macmillan Company.
estate," which, on account of its activity and usefulness, is destined to increase in influence. ...
There was absolute need at the outset of regulation and restraint to prevent the destruction of the race, and the first collective action was taken with this end in view. At the stage which produced the state this unrestrained individualism was as strong as ever and equally destructive of order. However natural the origin of the state may seem when we understand the conditions that called it forth, it was, in the last analysis, the result of a social necessity for checking and curbing this individualism and of holding the social forces within a certain orbit, where they could interact without injury and where they could do constructive work. ..! The state was the semi-unconscious product of a sort of group sense of this, organizing the machinery for the protection of the physically weaker, but socially better elements calculated to enrich, embellish, and ultimately to solidify and advance social conditions.
The state was therefore the most important step taken by man in the direction of controlling the social forces. The only possible object in doing this was the good of society as a whole. In part it was no doubt a sentiment of safety. The greatest good possible would be its salvation. But this ethical sentiment was something more than mere race ethics. There was mingled with it some idea of actual social benefit. This went still farther and embraced some vague conception of amelioration and of social progress.
EVOLUTION OF THE STATE
I. THE ANCIENT STATE
52. Transition from tribal to political organization. The most important steps in the process by which primitive ethnic society is transformed into definite political organizations are stated by Giddings as follows:1
But how to incorporate in a tribal state a heterogeneous multitude of unrelated men, is a question which the practical politician . . . does not immediately answer. In the successive attempts of Athens and of Rome to reorganize the commonwealth, ... all were suggested by the forms through which social evolution had passed or was passing. At Athens, for example, there was, first of all, the attempt which is associated with the name of the legendary hero Theseus, to organize society by classes, namely, the well-born, the husbandmen, and the artisans. . . . It was an attempt to destroy utterly the tribal system in the interest of the feudal system. It inevitably failed because it antagonized the conservative instincts of a majority of the voters. Next was made the attempt attributed to Solon, to organize society on a basis of property and military service. In this plan at Athens, as afterwards at Rome, all freemen, though not connected with any clan, were enrolled in the army and were given a certain voice in public affairs. This scheme also failed because it left the line of demarcation between the tribal and the miscellaneous population as sharp as ever. Not until the time of Cleisthenes was it seen that the most simple and obvious of all possible plans was the only practicable one. ... The attempt to break down tribal lines was then given over. Clans and tribes had long been localized. Each claimed jurisdiction within definite territorial limits. Within each territorial subdivision were both clansmen and strangers. The state simply decreed that all men who lived within the boundaries of any local subdivision of a tribal domain should be enrolled as members of the local community which dwelt there; that all who dwelt within the domain of any tribe should be enrolled as members of that tribe. Kinship might still be
1 Copyright, 1896, by The Macmillan Company.
traced by those who cared about it. . . . Thus a perfect organization of the state was at last accomplished with the least possible shock to ancient prejudices. In name and form the ancient system remained. Its substance, even, remained for social and religious purposes, but for political purposes its content was entirely changed.
Thus at length the gentile is converted into the civil organization of society. Civic association, irrespective of kinship, becomes the basis of political coöperation. Gradually tribal lines are more or less artificially redrawn, and at length it is forgotten that local boundaries ever marked tribal domains and that village names were once the names of clans. The tribal confederacy has become the territorial state.
It is not to be supposed, however, that the creation of the territorial state obliterates the thought of an ethnic unity. It only subordinates it to a higher ideal, in which the conception of territorial unity is given a more prominent place than it has hitherto held. The state still consciously strives to secure the ethnic unity of its population, but the attempt is not now to preserve the purity of an ancient blood. It is rather to perfect the new ethnic unity that is to emerge from the blending of many elements. ... The possibilities of assimilation are perceived. It is realized that men who have identified their interests with those of an ancient race, who have learned its language and have adopted its religion, may, by these means, become identified with it in spirit, and ultimately, through intermarriage, may become united with it in blood. Through the influence of this idea the fiction of adoption is preserved in the law of naturalization and the jus sanguinis long remains as the law of nationality.
Animated by its enlarged ideas of ethnic and territorial unity, the state enters upon the realization of a positive policy. It endeavors to bring under one sovereignty all related peoples that speak allied languages and that have like interests. It endeavors to bring under one administration all fragments of territory that together form a natural whole for purposes of commerce, social intercourse, and military defense. It attempts, in short, to establish a scientific frontier.
To accomplish this purpose it enters upon a career of aggression which necessitates a perfect internal cohesion. Every interest is in some degree sacrificed to military discipline. Religion, which has long been a medley of ancestral faiths, becomes national and organic. Family, gentile, and local gods are thoroughly subordinated to the national god, who is represented by the king and a centralized priesthood. The national religion, therefore, by its sanctions, upholds the authority of the central administration. Divine qualities are imputed to the king and he is encouraged to assert arbitrary powers.