Typos p. 6: it it [= at it]; p. 11: aristrocratic [= aristocratic]; p. 13: eskimoes [= eskimos]; p. 19: implicaton [= implication]; p. 20: heirarchy [= hierarchy]; p. 22: milleniums [= millenniums]; p. 25: Caucasion [= Caucasian]; p. 27: idealogical [= ideological]
Anthony M. Ludovici
The St. James' Kin of the English Mistery
- p. 1 -
Violence and sacrifice
From the moment when it first leapt ahead of its anthropoid ancestors, the human race has achieved progress by means of an ever increasing mastery over environment. And not the least part of this mastery has consisted in overcoming, eliminating or otherwise neutralizing the violent assaults which have constantly been made upon it from some quarter of the surrounding world.
Violence, as a phenomenon, is not a characteristic of primitive human life alone. Where we see it most rigorously prevalent is in the life of Nature herself. The life of the jungle, of the prairie, of the ocean in all these departments of life, violence reigns supreme. Gazing on a smiling landscape with its fields of golden corn, its flowering hedgerows, its tall trees swaying in the breeze, its rich and fragrant meadows, its picturesque ponds and distant farm buildings, a sentimental and unscrupulous optimist is apt to exclaim, "How wondrous and beautiful are the works of God! How peaceful is the life of Nature compared with the strife and struggle of the life of man!"
To such a shallow optimist, Thomas Hobbes would have retorted: "Yes! But as you stand there, beneath your feet a terrible death struggle is going on between two moles below the soil. In the hedgerow a starling, with cold cruel eyes, indifferent to the beauties of the landscape, is slowly tapping a live snail into a pulp against a stone before swallowing it. Yonder in the golden corn a weasel has just seized a field-mouse and is sucking its life-blood, while over there in the meadow a stoat is doing the same by a young rabbit. That white mass in the field, that looks like a large white boulder, is a young ewe, being slowly devoured by the maggots hatched from a heap of eggs deposited yesterday in her groin by a blue-bottle. Down in the picturesque pond, with its gracefully drooping willows, a duck is perseveringly trying to swallow a frog. She is now at her fourth attempt and is almost succeeding. The frog is still alive. What have been its feelings during the duck's first three attempts? What are its feelings now? What in that distant barn are the feelings of the mouse that has just been caught by a cat?"
Thus would Hobbes have addressed the shallow optimist who is apt to smile too piously at a perfect landscape.
Man used to be part of this mortal struggle. He was once in it and of it. And thus his first, longest, and probably fiercest struggles against violence consisted in his wars with the large beasts of prey, from the tusked tiger and other monsters of prehistoric times, down to the great carnivora of the most recent geological period. He was once the victim of this form of violence. And for thousands of years the sacrificed saviours of the tribe were probably those individuals, chiefly women and children, who fell back
Thus G. W. Stow reports of the Bushmen of South Africa that "there are instances of parents throwing their tender offspring to the hungry lion, who stood roaring before their cavern, refusing to depart till some peace-offering was made to him." (The Native Races of South Africa, p. 51.)
This was once probably a universal custom among primitive mankind. And it was in this way perhaps that the sacrificial individuals first acquired their odour of sanctity, as the saviours of the group or tribe.
But this problem and form of violence was long ago settled and set aside. And when fire-arms were introduced, it was almost forgotten. Other forms of violence, however, still existed. To settled tribes in certain climes there was the violence of the weather and of the cold in winter. Fire and shelter then acquired perfected forms of application, and this violence too was more or less eliminated; though not altogether, seeing that people are still killed and their houses wrecked by thunder storms; our cisterns and water pipes still get frozen to our cost in winter, and people and their cattle all over the world are still affected by drought and floods, while seamen still suffer from the violence of the sea, though even this has been neutralized to some extent by recent feats of giant ship building.
The cruellest, most persistent and persisting form of violence, however, has surely been that which has afflicted one group of men at the hands of another hostile group. Immensely powerful countries like those of modern Europe have at long last at least succeeded in localising to some extent the incidence of this violence, by limiting, concentrating and specially selecting the defence, both as regards sex, age, and the scene of the conflict, so that, as a rule, women, children and old men are as safe during a terrific war as during times of settled peace. But certainly, as far as the young males of most nations are concerned, it would be premature to say that this form of violence had been overcome or eliminated, and recent developments seem to point to the conclusion that it may no longer even be possible specially to select the victims to be sacrificed to it, for women, old men and children may once again become included in this category, despite all the centuries of effort to secure them from it.
It may be argued that it is not desirable totally to eliminate this form of violence from humanity, and that until the best and highest race is in complete possession of the world, it never will be desirable to eliminate it. But this question does not concern us for the moment.
Other forms of violence are famine, pestilence, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
Famine may be said to have been relegated to the order of remote possibilities. Plagues and epidemics are certainly well in hand, although certain obscure and recent substitutes, wholly baffling to medicine, together with the lethal internal-combustion locomotive, have undoubtedly taken their
Nevertheless, it is more or less true to say that, at the present day, as compared with his savage ancestors, and even as compared with a civilized people as recent as the ancient Peruvians of the 16th century, modern man has succeeded in eliminating or neutralizing almost all the forces in his environment which might unexpectedly deal violently with him, and it is also more or less true to say that he has steadily pursued this process of elimination and neutralization of violence from human environment from the very dawn of his existence.
There is everything to be said for such a policy. When once man found himself master of the world, and more or less master of his own destiny, there was no point in pursuing any other policy. Where was the sense in allowing accident and haphazard onslaughts of violence to demand their unselected and therefore tasteless sacrifice of human life, if accident and haphazard violence could be curbed? To court purposeless death is certainly to live dangerously; but it would be a misunderstanding of the philosopher's dictum to make it a justification for random suicide. To live dangerously, except in the attempt to achieve a higher purpose, may, however, end in mere suicide. Anybody can do that! If it is desirable to live dangerously, it seems clear that the danger must be incurred in pursuing some higher object. We can therefore but applaud man's consistent efforts, throughout his history, to eliminate haphazard violence from his environment.
If recently he has recklessly introduced a violent factor into his life, by placing a lethal juggernaut like the internal combustion locomotive on our streets, and has thus restored to his highly civilized towns and rural thoroughfares, dangers far more terrific than those of any jungle or desert, this is not so much because he wishes to drop the attitude towards violence which he has maintained hitherto, as because a new and dangerous form of locomotion happened to come into being at an epoch in modern history which, unfortunately, was the most anarchical and most inconsiderate of constructive values ever yet known on earth; and because an insane policy of drift, for which a false conception of evolution and progress is largely responsible, tends to impart sanctity to any change or novelty, particularly mechanical, which reinforces man's indolent belief in automatic improvement.
The fact that between 1925 and 1930, 30,000 people were unselectively killed in England and Wales alone by this comparatively novel mechanical contrivance, the fact that 5,319 of that number were children under ten, and the further fact that the annual rate of deaths has increased rather than decreased since 1930, far from indicating any desirable change in human policy, seems to be one of the most convincing signs of degeneration. A glance at the history of modern India will reveal to any student that the unselective loss of native life there through mandating tigers is considered intolerable when it reaches the number of 800 in a year, and that the Government not only organises tiger-kills to reduce this loss, but also offers a reward to the shikaris for the head of every tiger presented, and increases
But we must not be blinded by this loss of a sense of value in our era. We must preserve the attitude of our grandfathers and great-grandfathers, and backwards ad infinitum, towards all violence which kills men unselectively, particularly our men, men of our blood, and our policy, like theirs, must be to eliminate it. Otherwise we obviously surrender our position as masters.
There is, however, one form of violence, which, although never openly faced and recognized as such, has all through history been a fundamental source of mischief to humanity, and it is to this form of violence that I wish particularly to call attention to-day.
We have seen that man has sedulously endeavoured to remove all sources of violence from his midst throughout his career on earth. It is all the more extraordinary, therefore, that he should never yet have been able to remove this one. The truth is, however, that he could not do so. Like thunder, lightning and the wind, it is one of those forces which belong to uncontrollable Nature, and which are here to stay. "Nature red in tooth and claw," has, as we have seen, been tamed and subjected, at least as far as we are concerned in Europe. But that part of reckless, cruel and inconsiderate Nature in our own selves, which partakes of the quality of lightning and earthquakes, and is as unscrupulous as they are, we have so far been unable either to tame or neutralize. And it continues as a source of violence even within a community, like England, at peace with itself. I refer, of course, to the reproductive function.
The Nature in us which makes us eat and breathe, can at a pinch be neutralized so as to do violence to no one except the lower animals. We can imagine, for instance, a state of the world in which everyone might cease to reproduce his kind, and live eternally on a patch of ground sufficient to provide for his own needs, without making any demands or encroachments on his neighbour's patch. And such a state has indeed been envisaged by all the romantic partitioners of territory who ever settled a nation or a group of colonists equitably upon the land. It might well continue eternally, and realise all the ideals of middle-class smugdom safety first, pacificism, and the brotherhood of mankind.
What makes it ephemeral, what breaks it up, by reintroducing the clement of violence, is the reproductive function, which normally forces many more people upon every community than are removed by death.
In England, for instance, to-day, this disproportion amounts to about 300,000 in favour of life, and in the working classes an average of about
The violence of the reproductive function thus assumes the form of an invasion a peaceful invasion. But because it is a peaceful invasion we must not blind ourselves to the fact that it is an act of violence, and, in its essentials, as much an act of violence as any other form of invasion. Although the newcomers are not foreigners, they do precisely what foreigners would do. They displace many of the previous inhabitants, or else compel them to share with them, or else compete with them, or otherwise make claims upon them. And no matter how small or how large the community, so long as it remains possible for every young couple in it to add anything from two to a dozen or more new human beings to it, violence still remains as a potent and prominent factor in the most peace-loving human community.
I make no attempt to value this. I am not saying it is either good or bad. I merely emphasize the fact that in our smug Christian societies of modern Europe and America we have a constant source of violence, which has not and cannot be eliminated, and the existence of which it is idle and dishonest to deny; and since violence always demands sacrifices and victims, it is obvious that all Utopian schemes for removing sacrifice and victimisation from human societies will never be successful unless this source of violence can also be removed.
Even if we could be certain that technical progress will always keep abreast of human expansion, as many have thought, so that food will always be plentiful an outlook which is by no means certain even if we could be certain that space in other planets will ultimately become available, through the advance in aviation and the discovery of means for traversing interstellar space, the introduction of new people into a community would still remain an act of violence, and since this would demand sacrifices, man's reproductive function would continue to demand sacrifices.
Even to be forced, for lack of space, to pack up and leave for Saturn, or Mars, is to submit to an act of violence. So that we must include migration and transportation, even when it is voluntary, among the forms of sacrifice imposed upon man by his reproductive function.
But the violence resulting from the reproductive function of man takes other forms. Even in a community in which space and food are more than adequate, the forcible introduction through childbirth of a genius, say, or a man who completely outclasses all the older or earlier members of the community, results in a general upheaval, from which no one can be excluded. To be outclassed, in no matter what calling, is to be subjected to an act of displacement. Genius can do this, great gifts of any kind can do this, great beauty can and does accomplish this upheaval constantly among women in modern civilized communities. So that potentially, the new-born child is always full of menaces to the stability of the status quo ante.
In modern states, even sub-parity may be a menace, because the birth into a community of a child who is quite unable to support itself exercises violence upon the existing members by extorting its life-keep from them.
Referring to the matter of space alone, Charles Darwin, seventy years ago, said that if we continued to increase at the rate then obtaining, in a thousand years the world would not provide standing room for man's progeny. While in a book entitled The Shadow of the World's Future, Sir George Knibb declared that the world's population was increasing at a rate which would double it in about one hundred and five years, and he added that "the limits of human expansion are much nearer than popular opinion imagines."
Nor is the food problem as securely settled as many suppose.
As Sir J. M. Robertson remarked not long ago: "To point out that a larger population is better provided for to-day than a smaller one generations ago, ignores the vital fact in the case the physical and moral sacrifice of life by which population has been kept within the slowly increasing limits of subsistence."
There are, however, limits to the technical means of expanding the food supply, of which the early opponents of Malthus were completely ignorant. There are, for instance, limits to the world's supplies of nitrates and phosphates, and although artificial substitutes have been discovered, considerable doubt is beginning to be felt concerning the food value of grain and other products grown on soil refreshed with such artificial substitutes. Thus Professor King and Professor R. A. Ross are convinced that there are physical, chemical and climatic limitations to the food-producing capacities of China and India.
But even if the food problem is ultimately solved, there will still remain the question of actual space, and the question of standards, traditions, and individual freedom, which cannot remain unaffected by the violence implicit in the exercise of man's reproductive function, more particularly when we remember that health and normality are consistent only with an expanding population.
All through man's history it is this healthy expansion that has with monotonous repetition introduced fresh violence into human communities, and since violence means the sacrifice of something or somebody, one of the perpetual problems of human societies has been how to shift the ultimate effect of the violence upon a group or community other than the one in which the violence actually originated; and if this was not possible, how to Sacrifice portions of the community itself so as to neutralize the violence,
Thus Captain Monckton, in his Experiences as a New Guinea Resident Magistrate, has the following passage (p. 191): "The drought brought another complication: for the missionary at Cape Vogel sent a letter stating that the women of the village were killing their infants." And he adds: "The practice of abortion and infanticide is always common among the weaker non-warlike or non-cannibal tribes of New Guinea, though unknown among the head-hunters or cannibals."
Such a passage requires no comment.
The Chinese, a brave though not warlike people, solved the problem of the violence of the reproductive function by mutely and resignedly acquiescing in such neutralizing and natural forms of sacrifice as are brought by famine, pestilence, and floods. But even such natural winnowers as these did not always prove effective, and nearly every authority on China, except Professor Giles, assures us that the Chinese habitually supplement the decimating forces of Nature by a good deal of discreet infanticide.
Long over a century ago, for instance. Sir George Staunton reported that the number of children annually exposed in Pekin alone, one of the richest cities, was two thousand. The Jesuit, Premare, writing about the same time, speaks or the common practice of drowning children, and of the edicts that were published to prevent this practice.
A more recent authority, the Rev. Arthur Smith, who for twenty-two years was a missionary in China, speaks in his book, Chinese Characteristics (p. 179), of "the enormous infanticide which exists in China." True, he says, that this affects chiefly illegitimate children, of which the number, he observes, can never be small. And he adds that "a people among whom the burial alive of a child of three in order to facilitate the support of its grandmother is held to be an act of filial devotion" can hardly be expected to refrain from child-murder when necessity demands.
The Hindus, until our arrival upon the scene, with our dams, our medicine, our law, and our artificial irrigation, certainly used very much the same means for counteracting the violence of the reproductive instinct, as do the Chinese at the present day, and allowed naturally sacrificial phenomena, such as famine and disease, to decimate them unhindered, while in periods of great prosperity and peace, in which no floods and no famine occurred, they resorted to infanticide and even the sacrifice of adults.
The sacrifice of widows alone by the custom of Suttee must have accounted for a good many adult female lives a year. In ancient Peru, where the same practice prevailed, Prescott tells us that often as many as 1,000 adult women were immolated, as the wives of a deceased Inca, on his tomb.
Human sacrifices, which quite probably took their origin thousands of years ago in the idea of the salvation won by a tribe when one, two, or
Warlike nations, like the ancient Egyptians, the Greeks and the Romans, resorted to the solution of Empire.
Egypt, before its imperial days, may have had human sacrifices, and may have had infanticide, although we are told that infanticide was severely punished; but certainly there was little need for such practices when once the Empire began to be formed; for then wars, together with outlets for the expanding population, solved the difficulty of overcrowding and of food. In Greece, there were four to five checks on the violence of the reproductive function. There was infanticide, actually permitted by the customs and the legislators of the people, for Solon allowed children to be exposed. There was homosexuality, recommended as a check on population by the philosophers. There was sterile concubinage, colonization and the loss of life in war.
From the moment when the Thessalian hordes rolled down on Greece from the north, and forced displacement upon all the early Greek inhabitants of the peninsula, the colonial expansion of Greece in Asia, in Italy, and all over the Aegean never ceased until the actual decline of the Greek Empire itself.
True, all the colonies were not founded owing to pressure from within. Many were formed by political mat-contents who left Greece during the rule of the aristocracies and oligarchies. Many, too, were formed as the result of the family system of land tenure, which sent thousands of lack-lands abroad on colonial enterprise. Many were also the result of a spirit of pure adventure, and some are said to have been the result of the rigid laws against miscegenation, which banished from Greece all those who had contracted marriage with metics or foreigners.
But, on the other hand, there is no doubt that a good many colonies too were the direct outcome of internal pressure, as Bury, Oman and Dr. Edwards all agree. But it should be remembered that even in those cases where the avowed object of the colonists was not to seek elbow-room, their departure from the home-country did actually create elbow-room, and together with the action of homosexuality, extra-matrimonial sexual intercourse, infanticide, and wars, did reduce the effect of the violence resulting from the reproductive function in Greece.
The fact that the pressure of population was a very familiar problem to the Greeks is shown by the attention paid to it by both Plato and Aristotle. In his Politics, Aristotle actually goes so far as to recommend abortion as an additional means of checking or neutralizing the violence resulting from the reproductive function.
He says: "As to the exposure and rearing of children let there be a law that no deformed child shall live, but where there are too many (for
And ancient Rome, which had the same difficulties, met them in much the same way. A law of Romulus forbade the exposing of children before they were three years old, which implies that the custom of exposing them as soon as born had become prevalent. Plutarch speaks of the custom of exposing children among the poor. And the fact that, in spite of the losses in war, colonies were constantly sent out to relieve the pressure, seems to show that fruitless sexual intercourse, through vice, homosexuality and other measures, was not sufficient to neutralise the violence of her subjects' reproductive functions, and that Rome unloaded it where she could on other peoples.
Pöllmann in his great work on the Over-population of Ancient Capitals, also calls attention to the increasing burden of the free proletariat in Rome, and the expense their keep imposed upon the state. Their number In 46 B.C. was 320,000. Caesar sent many thousands to overseas colonies, and reduced the number to 150,000; but by the time, of Augustus it had again risen to 200,000. And the cost of the distribution of free corn among this crowd increased from 10,000,000 sesterces in 73 B.C. to 76,800,000 sesterces, or close on £750,000 in 46 B.C.
Here again, it would be inaccurate to say that all Roman colonies, at least the non-military ones, were due to the violence resulting from the reproductive function; but that some of them were there can be no doubt. And thus Rome, like Greece, in addition to sexual perversities, wars and infanticide, further neutralized the violence generated by her people's reproductive functions, by unloading it on other people, and by deadening its blows at home by doles and bribes.
Ultimately the prolific Huns and Vandals did the same by the Roman Empire. And so it has gone on until our own time and the formation of our own overseas dominions.
The wonderful prosperity and rapid growth of the population of England from 1760 onwards, proved the tragedy of millions of people who, in 1760, were still enjoying the bliss of a fool's paradise.
When we remember that the violence generated within these shores by the reproductive function of the British people between 1760 and 1840 led to the partial extermination of three or four and the complete extermination of at least two peoples, we may form some notion of its sinister force.
Wave after wave went out, and still there was poverty and extreme pressure at home, and struggle and competition so severe that almost the whole work of a man like Dickens is really but a picture of the effects of violence through childbirth within a nation.
How England unloaded some of this violence, how within fifty years, from 1803 to 1854, she exterminated the population of Tasmania, helped in
This is but a brief statement of some of the sacrifices resulting from the violence generated by the Englishman's reproductive function, which, fortunately, was to some extent diverted to other peoples.
But, as the history of nations plainly demonstrates, it is neither always possible nor always desirable to divert the whole of the violence generated by a people's reproductive function upon the heads of other peoples and the stronger other peoples become, the more dangerous is the attempt. This does not mean that the attempt should be given up, but merely that its difficulty increases with the strength of the people or peoples on whom it is proposed to shift the sacrifice.
As a rule, however, as we have seen, only a portion of the violence generated by a people's reproductive function can be shifted in this way. Even when England was most active as a colonising power, and as a force destructive of other people's lives and liberties, throughout the latter part of the 18th and almost the whole of the 19th centuries, she was torn with dissension at home through the violence generated by her people's reproductive functions, of which each class tried to shift the sacrifice on to the heads of another.
In fact, one might sum up the history of all social reform, of all poor laws, of most revolutions and rebellions, of all the struggles for the extended franchise, and of all confiscatory taxation for the benefit of one class, by saying that they are merely events in the eternal struggle on the part of the different classes in every nation to shift the sacrifice demanded by reproductive violence from one section of the community to another.
So long as an unwise ruling class retains the power, as it did in the case of the ancient aristocracies of Greece, Russia, France and England and elsewhere, the sacrifice was without scruple demanded almost wholly of the subordinate or ruled class, so much so that in ancient Greece, thousands were driven in despair from the country.
The moment, however, that the ruled class is able to reverse the balance of power, the sacrifice is then demanded of the former rulers, both in their lives and treasure.
What has characterized all beneficent and warm-hearted reformers, hitherto, however, is that they have invariably regarded the sacrifices imposed by the ruler class upon the ruled, not as the outcome of a naturally generated form of violence, which, as we have seen, must find sacrifice somewhere, but
Now this charge is short-sighted and romantic. It is true only to a very limited extent. It is really only true to the extent that, given the inevitable violence and its inevitable sacrifices, some rulers have immensely intensified the sacrifice, or unnecessarily multiplied it, or deliberately restricted it to a section of the community other than, their own, or by unwise laws, values and institutions, made it fall on that section of the community least deserving of immolation. It is not true in the sense that, without a ruler and privileged class, the violence and need for sacrifice would vanish.
Contemplating this element of sacrifice which is a characteristic of all societies, and overlooking or refusing to recognise the element of violence which makes it necessary, all softhearted, romantic and compassionate people, since the dawn of civilization, have repeatedly been too completely hypnotized by the fact of human suffering to see the inevitability of it, and have therefore always turned, with monotonous regularity, to the quarter of privilege as the source of the violence occasioning the sacrifice.
The aristrocratic revolutions against kingship, in so far as they were partly prompted by compassion for the masses, were characterized by this mistake. The bourgeois, or middle class, revolutions against the aristocracies were the same. And the present movement of proletarian or mob revolutions against the middle classes, which finds its counter-current in such middle class organisations as Fascism and Nazism, are the same.
In each case there is either a romantic belief that the abolition of a privileged class will remove the cause of violence, and society will henceforward be established on a basis of perfect peace and amity, which nothing can disturb; or else there is the more vindictive claim to shift to the privileged class the whole of the onus of sacrifice.
Thus the socialists and communists of the last century of political thought and activity, moved by the spectacle of suffering in the masses, have been attacking capitalism, with its supporters the capitalists, as the cause of all the violence in society. And they shortsightedly believe that if only capitalism can be done away with, eternal peace, amity and harmony will reign within each nation.
Colour is lent to their claims by the tasteless and often utterly reckless way in which capitalism distributes the sacrifice, and by the way it often intensifies it; but the idea that the abolition of capitalism and capitalists can ever remove from human society the element of violence, is, as we have seen, purely illusory and fatuous.
It may be true that the capitalists have, like all other privileged classes, tried to keep the burden of sacrifice in the dispossessed classes. But this does not mean that the removal of the capitalists would remove the need for sacrifice.
Ultimately, as history shows, every class reaches self-consciousness, and every class wishes to throw off the sacrifice. Surely, therefore, the time has
This is done with a perfectly clean conscience during war-time with a conscience so clean, in fact, that although women made no sacrifice of life during the last war, or only to an utterly negligible extent, they openly clamoured for its prolongation, which meant a continuation of the slaughter of young men.
To suppose that when war ceases, violence and sacrifice cease, is, however, as we have seen, an illusion. If, therefore, the deliberate selection of the class or elements in the nation which are to bear the sacrifice, is legitimate in war-time, when the source of violence is obvious, it seems illogical that it should become illegitimate in peace-time, when all that happens is that the violence becomes less obvious.
There are various alternatives.
(1) The reproductive function might be restricted in the male. This, as far as I can make out, has never either been proposed or tried, except under the guise of homosexuality. And we can but applaud the wisdom of the ancients and of our remote and immediate ancestors for never having tried it. The recent researches of the new psychology have shown that nothing wrecks a man more quickly from the standpoint of his nerves and mind than restraints placed upon his reproductive function. And since actual emasculation has never been suggested or carried out by any governing class, except in respect of their slaves, we may take it that no governing class, no matter how powerful, has ever felt itself secure enough to venture upon an act of such gross oppression. No privileged class, in fact, could hope to survive who ever proposed such a measure.
In this direction, therefore, there is no chance of reducing the violence because the form of sacrifice would never be tolerated.
(2) The violence may be unloaded on other peoples, and they may be made to bear the sacrifice.
This is a perfectly practical and laudable method of neutralizing the violence within a community, and all great peoples have tried it and succeeded in practising it. There is no reason why while inferior races remain it should ever cease to be a measure of relief, except,
(a) When the nation hitherto practising it loses its confidence in itself, and its clean conscience in shifting the sacrifice.
(b) When the nation practising it loses its strength in relation to the rest of the world.
The fact that, when a nation renounces war and conquests-it calls both its loss of strength and loss of confidence in itself by such high-sounding names as "improved morality," "humanitarianism," or "pacificism,"" should not blind us to the actual facts. For no amount of renunciation of conquest will ever remove violence from the core of human societies.
This method is now recommended by Pacificists, Internationalists, Feminists, and defeatists of every description. But what makes it unique in the history of the world is, that in the case of this method of neutralizing the violence of the reproductive function, it is the class solely selected for sacrifice the women who are deluded enough to be themselves clamouring for this form of sacrifice.
It is they who are the victims, it is their function that is being sacrificed, it is their womanhood which is being barbarously immolated; and yet, such is the corruption of the world of both men and women to-day, and such is the bewilderment which morbid modern values and modern pseudo-science have brought over mankind, that neither the men nor the women connected with the Birth Control movement have the faintest idea that in this latest attempt at neutralizing the violence generated by the reproductive function, one sex, instead of one class, has been deliberately and cheerfully selected for the sacrifice. Moreover, to the breathless astonishment of all those who have even but a nodding acquaintance with history, in this instance the section of the community to be sacrificed has for the first time within human memory come forward enthusiastically to offer itself for the sacrifice, thinking that it is profiting and gaining some advantage thereby.
I need not enter here into the other deplorable aspects of Birth Control in England the fact that it invites a proud people henceforward to pour its seed down the drains instead of multiplying and spreading over the earth, the fact that it calls upon a proud conquering and imperial race henceforward to limit its multiplication in order to keep pace with (or rather to keep within the bounds imposed by) such inferior races as negroes, eskimoes, mongoloids of all kinds and Negritos, and such mongrel populations as the Levantines, the South Americans and the hybrids of South Africa, etc. Nor need I refer to the fact that it asks a manly people henceforward to allow other peoples to unload the violence of their reproductive function upon it.
These facts are not our concern now. What is our concern is that here, in Birth Control, there is certainly a means of neutralizing the violence of man's reproductive function, but that it is a means which everyone but a defeatist should indignantly reject in the first place because it sacrifices only one sex in a way that nothing can justify, secondly because it is based on an ignorant and pathetically unsuspecting acquiescence of that sex in their own sacrifice (after we have allowed them to be corrupted and deluded by false doctrine and pseudo-science); thirdly because, quite apart from the uni-sexual sacrifice it involves, it is a doctrine of national suicide; and fourthly because, as far as the suppressed births are concerned, it amounts just as much to a policy of unselective sacrifice as the deaths from the internal-combustion engine.
Dr. Drysdale, himself a birth-controller, has calculated that in the thirty years alone which elapsed after the trial of Bradlaugh and Mrs, Besant, there
Summing up: what is it we have found?
That there is a form of violence that is inseparable from human life, even within a peace-loving and unwarlike community.
That this violence demands sacrifice.
That hitherto this sacrifice has taken various forms. It has been repudiated by warlike peoples and forced on their neighbours or on other remote nations. Or it has been relegated to infant children. Or it has been relegated by the privileged to one class in the community. Or it has been mitigated by homosexuality, heterosexual vice (prostitution) or Birth Control. Or it has been left to chance to decide who should be sacrificed by floods, famine and pestilence. Or all or some of these means of neutralizing violence have been allowed to operate together, as in England, for instance, during the later 18th and 19th centuries, when great colonial expansion, and the decimation and extermination of other races did not prevent great sacrifices in the conquering race at home, and did not prevent proposals for limiting fertility from being advanced as early as 1798.
But what has hitherto characterized the operation of all these measures to allot the incidence or neutralise the effect of the violence generated by man's reproductive function is that they have been haphazard and accidental. Of no modern nation can it be positively said that, except in war, it has ever deliberately selected the elements in its midst, or the class, to be sacrificed as a means of neutralizing the violence of the reproductive function.
It is possible that in remote antiquity, in Egypt, Peru and Mexico, and even in ancient Britain, this was deliberately done. But we know too little about the esoteric or secret motives behind the human sacrifices usually organized by religion, to be certain that they were undertaken with the view of neutralizing the violence of man's reproductive function. And this is true also of the human sacrifices in Dahomey which are so carefully described by Chaudouin and Richard Burton.
Even in the sacrifices imposed by class privilege and class legislation, there was precious little deliberation and consciousness. It was generally left to chance, as is proved by the fact that the promoters of all revolutions have been ignorant and romantic enough always to picture a condition of no violence and no sacrifice, when once their reforms were given a chance of being adopted.
I suggest that there is no sense in any longer leaving the incidence of this violence to be decided by chance. I suggest that all wise rulership of the future will have to reckon with the inevitable facts of this violence and of the necessity for sacrifice; but that, instead of leaving it, as it has been
This is the only sensible solution of the problem of violence and sacrifice. Hitherto the sacrifice has been, on the whole, unselective. Trade, Christian missions, the line of least resistance, and any number of chance circumstances have determined the direction of the expansion and sacrifice abroad; while, at home, the incidence of the violence has been left even more to chance, by the fact that the home population has been abandoned to an anarchical struggle of sauve qui peut, to escape the violence, leaving the hindmost, and not always the least desirable, to be sacrificed. Such organizations as those of Charity, Social Services of all kinds, and Emigration Societies, have merely been formed to mitigate the asperities of these conditions at home, caused by the haphazard incidence of the violence.
I suggest that in future a great nation should honestly and courageously face the fact of violence and sacrifice, and make the latter as far as possible selective whether at home or abroad.
But the first and most important step is to recognize that violence, and therefore sacrifice, cannot be removed from national life in any way that is desirable, and that consequently all schemes or proposed Utopias, such as socialism, communism, or the state of the brotherhood of mankind, which make hollow promises of establishing conditions of perfect amity and harmony among men, without the need of forcible displacement, elimination or sacrifice, are pure frauds, and characterised by a shallow and superficial survey of the nature of human life.
They pretend always that the man or men, or the system or institutions, which happen to be uppermost or prevalent are wholly to be blamed for the asperities and sufferings of human societies. They have neither the vision nor the honesty to see that man's more ruthless enemy is that portion of rude, unscrupulous Nature, red in tooth and claw, which he happens to have borne with him, quite untamed and quite unmoralized, to the very highest peaks he has attained in his culture and civilization.
If, however, we should ever have the courage and determination to embark upon an era of selective sacrifice, we should find that, just as in times of war, when the individuals to be sacrificed are deliberately selected, a great mood of joy and enthusiasm would prevail in the land. A great weight would be lifted from the shoulders of men, and much of the energy and time now spent in pity and succour would be spared. Just as in war, the elements selected for sacrifice, at least at home, would be the objects of much honour and public praise and recognition, and just as the human sacrifices of the past are supposed to have gone forth to their death, gorgeously
There is no desirable alternative. Since violence and sacrifice cannot be eliminated from national life, it behoves us either to select the objects of sacrifice, or to continue the ding-dong battle of the past, in which class is arrayed against class, and faction displaces and supersedes faction, always in the vain hope of reaching an era of peace and concord, from which violence has been for ever removed.
As this has proved to be an illusion, the only adult course, the only conscious and dignified course, is to make it plain that we know what we are dealing with in this problem of human suffering and apparent injustice, and that we know the only constructive and fruitful way of solving it.
In the method of the past, in the way we have tried, in the old way, there lies only a world of degeneration and cinema drama, suitable for sentimentalists, charlatans, and idle spinsters, who crave for some field in which to exercise their petty power.
In the direction of conscious and selected sacrifice lies hope, advancement, creative evolution, and above all national regeneration.
Pacificism, internationalism and nationalism
We are now being summoned to define our attitude towards Pacificism, Internationalism and Nationalism.
The moment chosen for the discussion of these momentous questions is most unfortunate. How, for instance, can the first be sanely discussed, with the memories of the Great War still so inadequately digested and rationalized by the majority of us?
Even the generation which has grown to adulthood since the opening of the war, and which, therefore, had no direct experience of it, has been educated in an atmosphere so heavily charged with the melodrama of war literature, that they can hardly be regarded as any more sane than their nerve-shattered elders.
Thus the modern world hardly represents an ideal tribunal for the settling of so momentous a problem as the merits of Pacificism, and on a priori grounds alone we may conclude that the attitude of the Pacificist at the moment is much more likely to be a neurotic reaction to a recent tragedy than an intellectual and sober conviction. When we examine it more narrowly and appreciate its implications, we shall probably find this a priori conclusion confirmed.
Blood is no argument. Horrors carry no conviction. If many false and even pernicious doctrines have obtained centuries of ignorant and fanatical adherence in much less enlightened eras than our own, for the simple reason that those who professed these doctrines were ultimately martyred, surely we ought no longer to be subject to this kind of hypnosis now!
Martyrdom may be noble, it may even be pathetic; but it is certainly not one of the best criteria of truth, neither is its horrifying accompaniment, human blood. If it were, and if blood too were an argument for or against, we should all be committed to a belief in the doctrines of the Druids whose blood was shed by the Roman legionaries, or of the savage medicine-men and shamans whose blood has been shed by our own armies.
In any controversy in which human blood plays a part, therefore, even as a mere factor incidental to one of the terms, it behoves us not to confound indignation or horror with the sense of truth discovered or seized. On the contrary, in any such controversy, in which feelings are bound to run high, the greatest caution should be exercised to discover the full implications of
That is why, with such a problem before us, it is regrettable that the spilling of blood in vast quantities should be such a recent memory with most of us, and that women, who always accept martyrdom and blood as incontestable criteria of truth, should form so considerable a part of the tribunal.
Let us then examine calmly and impartially what the implications of the Pacificist's position actually are.
In the first place, the Pacificist's fundamental object is to avoid the terrible sacrifice of human life which war involves.
As we have said above, however, this is based on an illusion. Because, even if he could stop wars for ever, the Pacificist could not achieve the abolition of the terrible sacrifice of human life.
The Pacificist's position is, therefore, based on an illusion, a fallacy, and its first implication is that he is a romantic and confused thinker.
The Pacificist, in the second place, cannot consent to the settlement of any dispute by a call to arms. He is, therefore, chiefly concerned in avoiding even the provocation of disputes. And to this end he is prepared to take certain drastic steps.
Contemplating the existing world and its political subdivisions, he is anxious to persuade every nation of the necessity of contenting itself with its existing boundaries, of not multiplying and expanding, and, above all, of not encroaching or trespassing on its neighbour's or anybody else's territory. He would like this restriction placed upon expansion and encroachment to become a spontaneous and sincere desire in the hearts of all not to expand, not to multiply, and never to step beyond the confines of their own nations with the object of encroachment. And the reason why he would like this restriction imposed is that all such multiplication, expansion, and encroachment, may lead to a clash of arms and, therefore, to the shedding of blood. And here he is perfectly right; it has always done so in the past.
Thus, according to the Pacificist, limits must now be imposed on all nations.
If, however, the English are not to be allowed to multiply and expand any more than the Russians, the Levantines, the hybrids of South Africa and South America, or the Eskimos and the Lapps in fact, if the English are to be made to limit their energies., their breeding capacity, and their aspirations, to suit the likewise limited energies, breeding capacity and aspirations of the peoples enumerated it means that the English are no more important or desirable than these other peoples.
The Pacificist does not, as a rule, argue that they are less important or less desirable. He would simply say that they are not more important or more desirable,
The Pacificist is, therefore, an Egalitarian. He believes in the equality of human races and peoples. That is the second implication of his position.
Healthy human life, however, presupposes multiplication. A healthy race necessarily increases and expands. Human beings were not given thirty years at least of sexual vigour in order to function as neuters. If, therefore, they are to be healthy in body and mind they must function as sexual adults capable of reproduction.
The Pacificist protests that he wishes them to do so.
But how can they function as sexual adults, if they are to be reproductive only for three or four out of the thirty years given them?
The Pacificist says he has no wish to restrict their sexual life as adults to three or four years out of the thirty. On the contrary, he wishes to give their sexual life free play, while restricting only their families.
But here he betrays his second confusion of thought. To whose sexual function is he giving free play the man's or the woman's?
All too hastily he replies, "Both."
Is it then the woman's sexual function to be sterile for almost twenty-five out of the thirty years of her sexual life?
He is obliged to admit that it is not. If he is too ill-informed to know that mere sexual intercourse is not the normal satisfaction of the adult female; in other words, if he is so ill-informed that he thinks the sexes are identical; he will not admit it. In this case he is hopeless.
When once he has admitted that it is not the woman's function to be sterile, however, he is a self-confessed misogynist, and since it is his own native women whom he is condemning to an unsatisfying adult life, he is a misogynist, that is to say, hostile, towards his own sisters, cousins, and the rest of his nation's womenfolk. This is the third implication of his position.
But we have seen that a healthy nation is an expanding nation. It is a nation composed of adults who are all expressing their sexual vigour normally, and of children who are being brought up not with one or even two, but with several brothers and sisters.
To wish to limit this expansion is, therefore, to wish for an unhealthy nation. It is, in fact, tantamount to being a Dysgenist. And this is the fourth implicaton of the Pacificist's position.
The restriction imposed on the female's sexual function, however, amounts to a destruction of the nation's seed, both male and female. It is,
This is the fifth implication of his position.
Thus we have seen that the position of the Pacificist has five main implications. It commits him to loose or confused thinking, to Egalitarianism, to Misogyny, to Dysgenics, and to Vandalism.
The fact that the majority of Pacificists have no notion of these five implications of their position does not improve their case. It merely adds unconsciousness to the number of their disabilities, and reveals how dangerous it is to leave complex problems to be settled by people who are not in the habit of thinking out to the end the implications of the position they hold.
A debating point suggests itself. "Modern warfare," argues the Pacificist, "is dysgenic. It leaves the unsound at home, and sends the sound to be killed. Not I, therefore, but the opponent of Pacificism, is the Dysgenist."
The reply to this is that a national army should consist of the adult males of the nation in arms. This is what it was among England's Anglo-Saxon forebears. If the rulers of a people, if a people themselves, have been so foolhardy, reckless and tasteless, as to breed a population, large numbers of which are degenerate, this does not constitute a condemnation of war, it constitutes merely a condemnation of the policy hitherto pursued by the nation.
You cannot, on moral grounds, condemn the policy or practice of a trial of strength, simply because you have none but a few preciously rare sound men to send to it. You may try condemning it on that score any haven in a storm! but those nations who have more sound men to send to it, will see through your ruse, and will tend to regard your moral appeal as a trick, or as false pretences, which it obviously is.
A great, wise, and tasteful nation should be able to endure a sacrifice of its men without suffering irreparable injury. If it cannot, that is not an argument against war, it is an argument against feebleness in general. In a nation that has taken decent care of itself, and has had sufficient self-respect to breed sound nationals, there are no physically-predestined non-combatants. The only sections of the community that stay at home consist of the women, the children, the old men, and those portions of the fighting armies that are resting from the fight.
And it is significant and ominous to note that the only two Parliamentary reports on the Physical Deterioration of the Nation I refer to one presented in 1904, and the report of the Ministry of Health of 1918 ever known to have been produced in these islands, and the only reports that ever called
Nothing has been done to correct or improve the terrible state of affairs which these reports laid bare. But, had there been no war, and no possibility of war, we should not even possess these reports. We should not even know of the appalling conditions they reveal. Nor is there any need in the programme of Pacificism to check or to do away with degeneration. It is Pacificism that conceals and continues degeneration, not standing armies or war.
Thus, far from being an extra argument against war and the policy of well-equipped standing armies, the existence of degeneration is only one among the principal factors that make the anti-Pacificist feel alarm at the progress of his opponent's creed. Without armies and the prospect of war, standards of physical efficiency demanding no more than the ability to hang on to the end of a telephone, or to turn a lever from left to right, would but propel the nation further along the path of progressive gangrene which it has already entered.
In attacking war as being dysgenic, therefore, no Pacificist is really sincere who is not ready prepared with a perfected scheme for checking the progressive degeneration of the country by applying to its manhood physical standards as severe and as exalted as those which have hitherto been applied by the demands for fighting in the field, and by taking steps to rid the population of those who fall below these standards.
We know, however, that there are no such perfected eugenic schemes in the files of the Pacificists. They use the dysgenic argument simply as a debating point, again without seeing the implications of their own position. As Dr. Charles Richet said in 1921: "If recruits are sickly, abnormal or deformed, they are rejected; the army refuses to admit them, and the army is right. But why are such rejected recruits allowed to marry? . . . Much less danger is incurred by introducing an incurable or debilitated sufferer into a standing army than by allowing him to breed. . . . What? he is incapable of marching one mile with a pack on his back, and he is good enough for marriage and reproduction?"
When we see the Pacificists as seriously concerned about the health and future of the nation, we may be able to listen with a little more patience to their charge that war is dysgenic. Meanwhile, our reply to this charge takes two forms:
(1) We deny that the partial degeneration of a combatant can legitimately support his moral objections to the general principle of trials of physical strength, or his moral objections to efficient preparations for trials of physical strength.
* See his Manchester speech on September 12th, 1918.
Eugénique et Sélection (Paris, 1922. pp. 4849).
What standards prevail in the mind of the Pacificist who claims that he is also a eugenist? With what kind of trials, tests and hardships is he concerned in fixing the requirements of his desirable type; what minima of height, breadth and dentition do his aims impose?
These questions will, as a rule, unmask the would-be eugenist-Pacificist, and show him to be merely a wily and shallow debater.
The Internationalist's position is not very far removed from that of the Pacificist.
It is based largely on the sentimental desire to establish eternal amity and concord on earth. Now we have seen from the first section on Violence and Sacrifice that this is pure illusion, that it is a will-o'-the-wisp, by the pursuit of which romantics and shallow-pates have made themselves ridiculous for milleniums, and that it is an ideal which, by overlooking a most important reality, condemns those who try to realise it to every imaginable kind of unexpected and shattering upheaval.
The Internationalist, like the Pacificist, does not as a rule appreciate the implications of his position. If he did, we must suppose that in many cases he would abandon it.
What are these implications?
The first, as we have seen, is the same as the first implication of the Pacificist's position. By overlooking the inevitability of violence and sacrifice, the Internationalist's first prerequisite is that he must be a loose and confused thinker.
The second implication of his position is also like the second implication of the Pacificist's position. He must be an Egalitarian.
Let us see why.
A nation consists either of a pure race, or else of a compound of two or more races which have attained to homogeneity through long segregation and inbreeding.
Examples of nations are: the ancient Egyptians (perhaps the greatest of all), the Hindus, the Chinese, the Jews, the Greeks, the Romans, the English and the Japanese.
Examples of populations and biological proletariats are: the Levantines, the hybrids of Haiti, Liberia, South America, North America, and South Africa, and the mongrel hordes which inhabit all the large trading ports of the world, such as Shanghai, Hong-Kong, Colombo, Alexandria, Port Said, Cape Town, Zanzibar, and Marseilles.
Now the Internationalist sees no difference between nations and populations. He wants all humanity to fraternise and to be bound by the bond of love and mutual dependence, and in the pursuit of this ideal he would gladly see all frontiers and territorial demarcations completely obliterated.
Fraternization, however, implies a mutual pledge to respect and protect. Brotherhood has no meaning without these two conditions. But in a desperate struggle one only respects and protects one's equals. And since life is a desperate struggle, and can never be anything else, the Internationalist's plea for Universal Brotherhood must mean that he is an Egalitarian. This is the second implication of his position.
We have seen, however, that the only contributions hitherto made to civilization and culture have come from nations. To break down frontiers and territorial definition in order to merge people into one fraternal embrace, would, however, mean that nations as such would become obliterated with their frontiers. Nations, as we have known them hitherto, would, in fact, cease to exist.
I have been to the Levant and have seen the mongrel hordes that now swarm like chattering monkeys from Babel over the soil that once produced the great cultures of Egypt and Greece, and I can vouch for the diverting confusion of the scene. But what has the Levant produced since it ceased to be Hellenic, Judaic, or Egyptian?
The rough French captain of the steamer on which I cruised in the waters of the Eastern Mediterranean discourteously pointed to the coast line at various points along our route, and exclaimed, "Pays du Bon Dieu, pays de bandits!" that is to say, a country producing nothing great, not even in human beauty, and the people of which are bound together merely by the interests of petty trading and petty robbery.
Now the Internationalist's programme is that the whole world should become merely a population, a biological proletariat of this sort. He evidently
The Internationalist would fain see England, Japan and Italy (which has twice given a culture to the world) become a counterpart of what that rough French sea-captain called "un pays de bandits." He would see these countries swarm with cosmopolitan and mongrel hordes, incapable of creation.
He is, therefore, an enemy of culture and civilization, and not only in the present but also in the future; because he wishes to make it impossible for nations, i.e., creative bodies of people, to exist for all time. This is the third implication of his position. And before he can escape from this third implication let him be asked to point to any great culture or civilization that has been produced by populations and biological proletariats.
But, if segregation and inbreeding are the two conditions of all that is great and creative in national life, we are inclined to conclude, since strength and greatness cannot spring from their opposites, that segregation and inbreeding are in themselves the conditions of greatness.
This, however, is not so. They are among the essential conditions of greatness being preserved and becoming intensified and expressive in creation; but the ingredients of greatness must already exist in the race or compound of races which segregates itself and inbreeds.
The segregation and inbreeding of donkeys will not turn them into Derby winners.
In the races, whether pure or mixed, which became through their geographical position, or their artificial boundaries, segregated and inbred, and which produced the great civilizations and cultures of the world, there was, therefore, something precious from the beginning, something which led to pride, aloofness, and the desire for distance. This instinct which made for aloofness was merely a special manifestation of the instinct of self-preservation. It aimed at preserving what was precious in the blood.
"How does a superior race degenerate?" asks Count Arthur de Gobineau. And he replies: "By mixing its blood."
This was his conclusion almost a century ago, and recent scientific research has but confirmed him. He said: "I think I am right in concluding that the human race in all its branches has a secret repulsion from the crossing of blood, a repulsion which, in many of the branches, is invincible, and in others is only conquered to a slight extent." *
We have seen that this "secret repulsion from the crossing of blood" is merely a special manifestation of the self-preservative instinct, which, watching over something precious in the blood of a race or nation, something that
* The Inequality of Human Races (London 1915), p. 29.
Now the Internationalist, as an Egalitarian, can have no knowledge or understanding respecting these psycho-physical achievements of races and nations; because by considering all peoples as equally important and desirable and not objecting to their mingling, he is quite unconcerned about the destruction of and dissipation through miscegenation, of all the precious qualities that nations (not populations) have built up in themselves.
He does not even know that qualities reared through segregation and inbreeding are corrupted, dissipated and ultimately lost by miscegenation.
The Internationalist is, therefore, a vulgarian; he wishes to destroy the precious psycho-physical achievements of nations. And this is the fourth implication of his position. While he might start at seeing his child at the dug of a cow or a goat, he sees nothing horrible in a Caucasion half-breed being suckled at the breast of its negroid, mulatto, or mongolian mother. Nor need we speak of such repulsive extremes as these, for Ruggles Gates, the great modern authority on genetics, says: "It is questionable even if marriage between north and south-eastern Europeans are always wholly desirable in their results." *
Mixture of races, and mixture of nations, is, however, definitely a source of disease, debility, and degeneration. People who have long followed different lines of development, lived different lives, pursued different ideals, and evolved different characters, cannot unite without causing serious disharmonies both of physiology and psychology in their offspring. And since the bodily parts of both parents are inherited independently, children are produced who are like machines composed of spare parts taken not merely from different machine-makers, but from different machine-makers of different kinds of machines.
Speaking of the crossing of races, Ruggles Gates says: "Physical disharmonies result, such as the fitting of large teeth into small jaws, or serious malocclusion of the upper and lower jaw; or, as Davenport points out, large men with small internal organs or inadequate circulatory systems, or other disharmonies, which tax the adjustability of the organism or may lead to early death. . . ."
Harmonious functioning in even subacute cases is, therefore, an impossibility, and since there can be no distinction between the body and the mind, where there is bodily discord there is also mental conflict. "A hybridized people," says Davenport, "will tend to be restless, dissatisfied, ineffective; the high death-rate in middle life may be due to bodily maladjustments, and much of the crime and insanity to the inheritance
* Heredity in Man , p. 329.
Ibid, p. 329. See also Dr. Rice, Racial Hygiene, p. 308: "The mixing of divers races of human beings is practically always to be regarded with regret." See also p. 311: "When it is remembered that the mixing of two races which are not closely related almost invariably ends disastrously, even when both races are desirable and equal, it is time to begin to have a care as to who is admitted."
The Internationalist, therefore, who, by virtue of his creed, refuses to see orders of rank, or any differences between nations and races, and who wishes them all to unite and mingle in one fraternal, if not connubial embrace, is, in his own way, as reckless about human health and desirability, and as determined a dysgenist as the Pacificist, though not for the same reason. He wishes to destroy the well-being and beauty which are the outcome of harmony, and replace it by the debility and disease already so common to-day, in big cities where miscegenation prevails, which is discord whether in bodily parts, emotional reflexes, or racial memories.
This is the fifth implication of his position.
And at what conjuncture in the world's affairs is this Internationalist plan being proposed?
Is it at a moment when the individual nations have so completely mastered their own problems and difficulties that there is in every nation a mass of superfluous organizing and administrative ability, yearning for problems more vast and more difficult than those a mere nation can supply? Is it at a moment when the success of national administration is so conspicuous that to bind modern man any longer to the puny task of national government is like chaining a giant to a child's perambulator?
On the contrary! We are invited to consider the plan of an international state, and I presume of a vast centralized bureau of administration, with its seat somewhere in Switzerland or the Netherlands, at the very moment when every nation is betraying signs of incompetent organization and administrative muddle, when the machinery of every national state is creaking and breaking down through over-centralisation, and when the abuses, ruinous cost and uncontrollably huge proportions of its own central bureau are patent to every intelligent observer.
Such is the moment chosen to persuade us of the merits of Internationalism!
One final question. At whose invitation are we summoned to inquire into the merits of Internationalism?
Chiefly at the invitation of people who, from their history and their experience have no qualifications whatsoever for statesmanship, who have interested motives of their own for dismantling the present national arrangement of the world, and who are perfectly reckless regarding the consequences of their proposals.
The Internationalist is, therefore, as we have seen, a loose and confused thinker; he is an Egalitarian, he is an enemy of culture and civilization (in
* Heredity and Genetics (Ruggles Gates, p. 236).
Rassenmischung Beim Menschen (p. 163).
This is quite apart from the degeneration always involved in a cross, owing to the phenomenon of reversion which invariably follows the mixture of types and races.
Another debating point suggests itself.
The Internationalist may argue that Nationalism is now vieux jeu, that the present state of the world's markets make it an anachronism, and that since international trade, finance and culture, and since the increasing facilities of transport and the all-embracing tentacles of the wireless, have already made the whole world one united family, the individual members of which are irrevocably linked together by mutual interests and accessibility, the idea of Nationalism is no longer tenable, much less practicable.
To this, the Nationalist can reply that the state of the world his opponent depicts may have been a fact twenty years ago; it may have been a realisable ideal in the first decade of the century; but that now any number of forces are at work which are disintegrating into ever harder and more definite national units the inchoate trade and financial international state which seemed to be imminent earlier in the century.
World trade, as it was once understood, is really on the wane. Even world finance, as the example of Brazil and Chili shows, is beginning to break up. The idealogical universalism engineered by the wireless and the cinema, is but a brittle veneer which is not even polished, and which will vanish at a breath, while as for world-wide sympathies, the extreme nationalist note struck by countries such as Italy, Germany, Poland and Spain, within recent years, reveal a racial separatism much more powerful and emphatic than any that has been known in the history of the world before.
The only remnant of this International mirage that loomed in the sky for a few brief years in the early twentieth century is the core of reality which lay behind it in the form of the British Empire; and to the extent only to which it is still possible to build up a powerful federated and integrated state out of this tottering structure, founded on English character and enterprise and the English power for good, is it permissible to speak of a world-organization that is in any respect desirable.
Apart from this, the future is likely to see a hardening and an increasing definition of national units, accompanied by increasing national independence, and a general abolition of birth control within the leading nations (it is already illegal in Germany, Italy and France); and the proposals of the Internationalist are a mere desperate endeavour to arrest this process of crystallisation, or at least to delay its realisation long enough to allow anarchy and general disorder to render it impossible.
Nobody who seriously appreciates the horrors of this alternative can possibly sympathise with the Internationalist's vulgarian aims.
What is Nationalism?
A good example of a nation is England; and since there is much misapprehension rife concerning English origins, a brief survey of these origins may not be out of place.
The earliest known inhabitants of Britain who have survived to our times were probably the Euskarians, a people of Basque type, white-skinned but swarthy, like the darkest Italians and Spaniards; many of their descendants can be recognized in Great Britain to-day. They spread over the whole island and all over Ireland, and outlived to a great extent the subsequent Celtic and Celtic-Aryan invasions.
The people who made these invasions came in successive waves, sometimes at long intervals, and ultimately drove the Euskarians or Basques from certain parts of the island, without, however, annihilating them.
Who were these invaders?
The first were known by the somewhat fanciful name of Aryans a fair-skinned, yellow-haired and blue-eyed folk who had moved westwards from their home in eastern or central Europe, and had reached the western borders of the continent as a conquering and superior race, establishing themselves over the whole of what is now France, Spain and the Low Countries, as a rough aristocracy among defeated, servile Euskarians. Only in the most completely conquered areas, however, did they ever form the principal part of the population, and when they reached Britain they had so far improved their armaments as to be able to over-run the island fairly quickly. In the south they settled in large numbers hence the fact that the Romans found a tall, fair-haired, light-skinned Aryan race when they landed but in the west and north more sparsely. In certain parts of Wales and Scotland, indeed, the Euskarians actually remained masters and retained their own kings. But almost everywhere else they mingled with these Aryan Celts and learned their language, and it was this compound mass of pure Celts, mixed Celt-Euskarians and pure Euskarians, that are usually designated as "Celtic," when compared with the Teutonic English, or later Aryan-Celts, who came to England several centuries later.
The Roman occupation, which was little more than a military garrisoning of the country, left little impression on this compound of two races. Besides, most of the legionaries in Britain were, in any case, Gauls, Spaniards, Germans or Low Dutch, that is to say, themselves a mixture of Euskarian and Celtic elements. *
* See William Z. Ripley (The Races of Europe, London 1900, p. 311) where, speaking of the Romans in Britain, he says: "But when they abandoned the islands they left them racially as they were before." Most other authorities agree with this.
This is a brief sketch; but it is substantially sound, and it shows that, as a matter of fact, far from being the outcome of numerous race mixtures, as many suppose, the English are at most a blend of Euskarian and Celt. But this blend was never complete, or more than local, and it was left throughout the Middle Ages and up to Cromwell's time (that is to say for 365 years) to inbreed on this island, and thus to become a homogeneous type.
Both Euskarian and Aryan Celt were of a high type. Both were, moreover, certainly inbred at the time of their union, and the mixture they made, becoming segregated and inbred by virtue of their geographical position
* Speaking of the invasions, Stubbs says (Constitutional History of England, 1900, Vol. I, p. 11): "Not only were all the successive invasions of Britain . . . conducted by nations of common extraction, but, with the exception of the ecclesiastical influence, no foreign interference that was not German in origin, was admitted at all." See also Ripley (Op. cit. p. 311); "These Teutonic invaders were all alike in physical type, roughly speaking. We can scarcely distinguish a Swede from a Dane to-day or either from a native of Schleswig-Holstein, or Friesland, the home of the Jutes, Angles and Saxons."
See Stubbs (Op. cit. p. 270) where speaking of the Normans, he says: "They retained much of the Scandinavian character, but of the Norse customs only those which fell into easy agreement with French law; and their native language they entirely forgot."
Tacitus in his Germania is interesting on this point, particularly as he seems to have known, as the following passage shows, that inbreeding produces homogeneous races: "Personally I associate myself with the opinions of those who hold that in the peoples of Germany there has been given to the world a race untainted by intermarriage with other races, a peculiar people and pure, like no one but themselves; whence it comes that their physique, in spite of their vast numbers, is identical fierce blue eyes, tall frames, etc." (translated by Maurice Hutton, London, 1914, chap. IV). See also Stubbs (Op. cit. p. 69) who, speaking of the Saxon exodus from Germany says: "The wives and families were necessary to the comfort and continued existence of the settlements [in Britain]. It was not only that the Britons forbade intermarriage; the Saxons, as all testimony has shown, declined the connubium of foreign races."
For centuries the only foreign influences they suffered, and the only foreign fellow citizens they knew, were those imposed upon them by the Church. They became famous throughout Europe as warriors, as statesmen, and ultimately as the creators of a culture as great, if not greater, than anything Europe had produced. And when, in the 17th century, the floodgates were opened, and the country became overrun with aliens and Semites from the continent a peaceful invasion which was ultimately to metamorphose the land and its people the power and genius they had accumulated during their centuries of segregation still possessed enough momentum to carry them along for two hundred years of triumphs, to send them forth as colonisers and Empire builders all over the world, and, at the zenith of their power, to make them the arbiters of Europe's destiny.
The wholesale miscegenation which began chiefly in Cromwell's time, so far altered the fibre of the nation, that by 1760 she already started perpetrating error after error, both in her domestic, her colonial and her foreign policy; but still the garnered strength of those centuries of blessed isolation enabled her to carry on in power and military and naval supremacy until the time of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, in 1897, when at long last the inferior blood in her people caused the tide to turn, and to bring to the surface all that was alien and morbid in the nation, and all the human dodder that had been spreading and multiplying unseen for over two hundred years.
But this change in the affairs of the English people concealed under labels and methods that seemed English and consolidated by many figures that undoubtedly were English, although it passed more os less unnoticed among the decades preceding the war, could no longer hope to escape detection and above all correct interpretation, when its cumulative effects brought the nation to her senses in 1931; and since then a wave of national feeling, which has but little in common with the National Government, has seized upon the people, which, in may be hoped, will not be allowed to subside in lethargy.
But this wave of national feeling depends for its strength and ardour on the corporate pride of achievement which is my definition of Nationalism. If it is to be creative and regenerative, it cannot broadmindedly and liberally contemplate with patience the very principles which have been the undoing of the nation in the past It cannot afford to be anything but narrow and insular, that is to say opposed to Internationalism in every form. But, seeing that this narrowness and insularity can now no longer be confined to this island, but has to survey the vast external or Imperial, as well as the precious internal, achievements of the race, there is no danger of its becoming the paltry parochialism which the Internationalist would like to make it appear. On the contrary, never has the creativeness which alone a nation can generate been confronted by a mightier and more inspiring task. In order to achieve this task, however, the spirit of Nationalism, or the corporate pride in achievement may yet require, according to the view of certain thinkers, that
I suggest that there is no need of such a great and dramatic disaster. I suggest that to the Nationalist who is aware of the havoc that has already been wrought, and is even now being wrought, there is cause enough for panic, and that his imagination and his pride must indeed require a spur if his convictions and his aspirations as a Nationalist are not sufficiently fired by the present plight of his people.