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wat, tals, and whhathy with the esentative Li
Here, however, the superiority on the Tory side is merely in point of numbers. Needless to refer to the enormous value of Mr. Gould's cartoons, which, though limited in range of ideas, have been justly described as one of the best assets of the Liberal party. Nothing, indeed, could better attest to the dearth of real political cartoonists on both sides than the fact that among the lesser men who essay this form of pictorial art there is not one who comes within measurable distance of the Westminster cartoonist. One feels that the only man who could approach him, if he possessed the same political insight, is Mr. E. J. Reed. But while the latter gentleman is a born artist, Mr. Gould is a born politician, in whose equipment art occupies but a secondary place. It would, however, be unjust to attribute the entire political value of the Westminster to its cartoons. Partly, no doubt, as a result of the uncertainty that has characterised the leading columns of its two principal morning contemporaries for some years past, the Westminster has come, in the minds of the more influential section of Liberals, to represent a much-needed moderation of tone and constancy of views. In its treatment of those questions concerning which the Liberal party is of at least two minds, the Westminster acts consistently as Moderator, holding the balance very skilfully; and while it did not, during the progress of the South African war, escape the reproach of being labelled “Pro-Boer' by the Imperialist Liberals, and while it is occasionally suspected by the other side of being out of sympathy with the advanced programme, the fact remains that it is perhaps the only representative Liberal paper with which all sections practically agree, and if it were on occasion a little more vigorous, more outspoken, when a strong line is indicated, it might easily become a great fighting force.
In Sunday and weekly papers and reviews, published in London, an even greater disparity exists than in the case of the daily press. Of the distinctively weekly papers, those, that is to say, giving a survey of the week's news, not one represents the Liberal party since the defection of Lloyd's, which, though under the same proprietorship as the Daily Chronicle, has become the advocate of a somewhat tepid form of Unionism. In purely Sunday papers also the only one out of some half dozen which the Liberals can claim is the Sunday Sun, and this is neither very robust in its politics nor very lively as to the rest of it. The remainder, even if not very intelligent in their politics, are either whole-heartedly or flippantly Tory.
Of the weekly reviews, but one—The Speaker-flies the Liberal colours, and that one, though it contains much admirable work, makes a deliberate appeal only to a section, and that a rather narrow section, of the party. It is, indeed, mainly distinguished by a youthful and not very enlightened intolerance of all who do not share its somewhat doctrinaire views. Some advantage has undoubtedly accrued to the Liberal party from the revolt of the Spectator against
VOL, LVI–No. 330
Chamberlainism, and if, as some people profess to think probable, there should follow on the next general election a regrouping of parties, in which the Free Trade and more Progressive Unionists should decide to act with the Moderate Liberals, the Spectator would no doubt become once more a recognised exponent of broad Liberal views.
The foregoing survey shows, I think, that the unquestioned conversion of the majority of the country—as testified by the past score or 80 of by-elections—owes very little to the Liberal press. In number of newspapers and in circulation the Tory press has, as I have shown, an immense and unquestioned superiority, and yet the Conservatives are as surely slipping back as the Liberals are pressing forward. What use does the Liberal press throughout the country propose to make of the powerful weapon that is ready forged to its hand ? Is there to be found the same want of cohesion, the same ridiculous bickering over non-essentials that has marked the conduct of Liberal newspapers and reviews for nearly a score of years past? If so, it is certain that the country's support of the party will not be of long duration, and the next state of Liberal journalism, and therefore of Liberalism, will be even worse than that which it has just managed to survive. If Liberal journalism is to flourish, if it is to serve as something more than a subsidised vehicle for the dissemination of particular and peculiar views, it must regain the confidence of those upon whom it must at all times be largely dependent for its prosperity. This it can only do by the cultivation of greater moderation of tone, which need entail no sacrifice of its principles, and by disabusing the commercial class of the erroneous idea-a very fixed one in the minds of many—that Liberalism means spoliation and disturbance of trade.
No doubt the amenities which are now so conspicuously wanting in a considerable section of the Liberal press will come more easily and more naturally when the positions of the two political forces are reversed. It may then be possible for one or two of its principal representatives, who have converted the practice of proscription into a fine art, to exercise a wider tolerance and to give themselves a muchneeded respite from banning those with whom they do not at the moment happen to agree on all points of Liberal policy. That would go a long way towards reassuring the larger public, and so would tend to restore to the Liberal press the authority, stability, and prosperity it has so largely lost during the years it has been wandering in the wilderness.
W. J. FISHER,
THE ETHICAL NEED OF THE PRESENT DAY
.!. I When we cast a glance upon the immense progress realised by all the exact sciences in the course of the nineteenth century, and when we closely examine the character of the conquests achieved by each of them, and the promises they contain for the future, we cannot but feel deeply impressed by the idea that mankind is entering a new era of progress. It has, at any rate, before it all the elements for opening such a new era. In the course of the last hundred or hundred-andtwenty years, entirely new branches of knowledge, opening unexpected vistas upon the laws of development of human society, have grown up under the names of anthropology, prehistoric ethnology, the history of religions, the origin of institutions, and so on. Quite new conceptions about the whole life of the universe were developed by pursuing such lines of research as molecular physics, the chemical structure of matter, and the chemical composition of distant worlds. And the traditional views about the position of man in the universe, the origin of life, and the life of the mind were entirely upset by the rapid development of biology, the reappearance of the theory of evolution, and the growth of physiological psychology. Merely to say that the progress of science in each of its branches, excepting perhaps astronomy, has been greater during the last century than during any three or four centuries of the Middle Ages or of antiquity would not be enough. We have to return 2300 years back, to the glorious times of the philosophical revival in ancient Greece, in order to find another period of sudden awakening of the intellect and of sudden bursting forth of knowledge which would be similar to what we have witnessed lately. And yet, at that early period of humen history, man did not enter into possession of all those wonders of industrial technique which have been arrayed lately in our service. A youthful, daring spirit of invention, stimulated by the discoveries of science, and taking its flight to new, hitherto inaccessible regions, has increased our powers of creating wealth, and reduced the effort required for rendering well-being accessible to all to such a degree that no
rapid develond the grof science in
Utopian of antiquity, or of the Middle Ages, or even of the earlier portion of the nineteenth century, could have dreamt anything of the sort. For the first time in the history of civilisation, mankind has reached a point where the means of satisfying its needs are in excess of the needs themselves. To impose, therefore, as has hitherto been done, the curse of misery and degradation upon vast divisions of mankind, in order to secure well-being for the few, is needed no more: well-being can be secured for all, without overwork for any. We are thus placed in a position entirely to remodel the very bases and contents of our civilisation—provided the civilised nations find in their midst the constructive capacities and the powers of creation required for utilising the conquests of the human intellect in the interest of all.
Whether our present civilisation is vigorous and youthful enough to undertake such a great task, and to bring it to the desired end, we cannot say beforehand. But this is certain, that the latest revival of science has created the intellectual atmosphere required for calling such forces into existence. Reverting to the sound philosophy of Nature which remained in neglect from the times of ancient Greece, until Bacon began to wake it up from its long slumber, modern science has now worked out the elements of a philosophy of the universe, free of supernatural hypotheses and the metaphysical ' mythology of ideas,' and at the same time so grand, so poetical and inspiring, so full of energy, and so much breathing freedom, that it certainly is capable of calling into existence the necessary forces. Man need no more clothe his ideals of moral beauty, and of a better organised society, with the garb of superstition : he can free himself from those fears which had hitherto damped his soaring towards a higher life.
One of the greatest achievements of modern science was, of course, that it firmly established the idea of indestructibility of energy through all the ceaseless transformations which it undergoes in the universe. For the physicist and the mathematician this idea became a most fruitful source of discovery. It inspires, in fact, all modern research. But its philosophical import is equally great. It accustoms man to conceive the life of the universe as a never-ending series of transformations of energy, among which the birth of our planet, its evolution, and its final, unavoidable destruction and reabsorption in the great Cosmos are but an infinitesimally small episode--a mere moment in the life of the stellar worlds. The same with the researches concerning life. The recent studies in the wide borderland, where the simplest life-processes in the lowest fungi are hardly distinguishable—if distinguishable at all—from the chemical redistribution of atoms which is always going on in the more complex molecules of matter, have divested life of its mystical character. At the same time, our conception of life has been so widened that we grow accustomed now to conceive all the agglomerations of matter in the universe-solid, liquid, and gaseous—as living too, and going through those cycles of evolution and decay which we formerly attributed to organic beings only. Then, reverting to ideas which were budding once in ancient Greece, modern science has retraced step by step that marvellous evolution which, after having started with the simplest forms, hardly deserving the name of organisms, has gradually produced the infinite variety of beings which now people and enliven our planet. And, by making us familiar with the thought that every organism is to an immense extent the produce of its own surroundings, biology has solved one of the greatest riddles of Nature—its harmony, the adaptations to an end which it offers us at every step. Even in the most puzzling of all manifestations of life, the domain of feeling and thought, in which human intelligence has to catch the very processes by means of which it succeeds in retaining and co-ordinating the impressions received from without even in this domain, the darkest of all, science has already caught a glimpse of the mechanism of thought by following the lines of research indicated by physiology. And finally, in the vast field of human institutions, habits and laws, superstitions, beliefs and ideals, such a flood of light has been thrown by the anthropological schools of history, law, and economics that we can already maintain positively that the greatest happiness of the greatest number' is not a mere Utopia. It is an ideal worth striving for, since it is proved that the prosperity and happiness of no nation or class could ever be based, even for the duration of a few generations, upon the degradation of other classes, nations, or races.
Modern science has thus achieved a double aim. On the one side it has given to man a great lesson of modesty. It has taught him to consider himself as but an infinitesimally small particle of that immense whole—the universe. It has driven him out of his narrow, egotistical seclusion, and has dissipated the self-conceit under which he considered himself the centre of the universe and the object of a special attention in it. It has taught him that without the whole the 'ego' is nothing: that our 'I' cannot even come to a self-definition without the 'Thou.?! But at the same time science has taught man how powerful mankind is in its progressive march ; and it has given him the means to enlist in his service the unlimited energies of Nature.
So far, then, as science and philosophy go, they have given us both the material elements and the freedom of thought which are required for calling into life the reconstructive forces that may lead mankind to a new era of progress. There is, however, one branch of knowledge which lags behind. It is ethics. A system of ethics worthy of the present scientific revival, which would take advantage of all the recent acquisitions for revising the very foundations of morality on a wider philosophical basis, and produce a higher moral ideal, capable of giving to the civilised nations the inspiration required for the great
Schopenhauer, The Foundations of Morals, section 22. All the paragraph is of the greatest beauty. Also Feuerbach and others.