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theory of the author, that formed the objective point of the Christian system of ethics. Nowhere is it clearer that the author confuses the universal, the ethical, and the future. The Christian religion certainly does not distinctively hold that the existence which transcends the individual is necessarily in the future; it is rather the perfect nature of God, in which the insufficiency of man finds its complement. On p. 385 the author says: “Our economic progress represents the steps in a slowly ascending development, in which the winning systems are those within which the economic process is tending to reach the highest intensity as the result of the gradual subordination of the particular to the universal.” It is this subordination of the particular to the universal that the author nowhere clearly distinguishes from the subordination of the existing to the future.
In the first stage of social evolution, according to the author, nations demonstrate their right to survival by military prowess, and it is only in those nations which at present have demonstrated their power " that there can be developed that principle of social efficiency which in the second epoch of social evolution must ultimately subordinate organized society itself to its own future." The author does not, however, show why it is to be expected that the nations which represent the highest potentialities in civilization may soon be able to do without the power of defending their ideals. While western civilization is still confronted with countless millions who are inspired by alien and hostile ideals, it is difficult to see, upon the basis provided by the author, how his theory that the ascendency of the present will before long cease can be true. Moreover, the sharp division introduced by the author between ancient and modern civilization in no way accounts for the actual process of social developinent, and entirely overlooks the fact of a gradually widening social consciousness, embracing successively the family, the clan, the tribe, the city, the nation, and perhaps destined finally to embrace the world.
When the author applies his theory to individual institutions, the result is no more luminous than is the general theory itself. His treatment of slavery is characteristic of his a priori methods. In the gradual disappearance of slavery in the ancient world, economic causes are declared to have been merely secondary. The deeper principles of civilization which express themselves in manumissions pro remedia animae constitute the real motive power.
No serious writer has ever dared to deal with a subject of so great complexity in such an off-hand manner. Ancestral worship is declared a distinctive element of the ascendency of the present. The reason for this is not apparent, and it seems that this institution with equal truth might be explained by the ascendency of the past, or even, as embodying some general ideal, by the ascendency of the future. In a similar manner, and with more apparent reason, infanticide is numbered among the institutions of the reign of the present. His treatment of these practices indicates that the author has given very little thought to oriental civilization, which it would certainly be very difficult for him to compress into the formula of the ascendency of the present.
According to the author, tolerance can be explained only as a conviction of the religious consciousness. Here, too, while the general view is plausible, it fails utterly to explain the actual historical growth of religious toleration, unless atheism or agnosticism be considered expressions of religious feeling. It could certainly be argued, with greater reason, that the methods of scientific investigation are the true basis of toleration, notwithstanding the ultimate intolerance of Comte's positivism. The author's method is well illustrated by his treatment of the theory of social evolution held by Schmoller and Schäffle, which traces the gradually expanding social and political consciousness from the family and clan through the city-state to the nation. The author says that Schmoller gives us no real answer as to the controlling force in this evolution, and he then proceeds to supply the deficiency in the following manner: “It is no mere expansion of a race or of a nationality. It is the conquering march of principles becoming conscious.
It represents the slow convergence toward each other in a majestic process of natural development of the forces and factors with which the ultimate meaning of our civilization is identified, and under the control of which the world is destined to pass in the future toward which we continue to move." It is pleasant to imagine the inward embarrassment of Professor Schmoller when he sees this simple and illuminating explanation.
In the latter part of the work the author attempts to outline the elements of the future civilization. He insists that, in the social state toward which we are moving, free competition, upheld by a tolerance based upon deep religious feeling, will be a cardinal element. He does not, however, make the least contribution toward the solution of the question how competition can be preserved against the absolutisms which are “closing down" on all sides. Nor does he show how competition in the future stage will differ from competition at present, nor how far the principle of laissez faire must be superseded by an exten
sion of social control. The futility of this general theory is nowhere more apparent than when the author stands helpless before these fundamental problems of the present time.
It is to be lamented that, instead of working out clearly some of his ideas and their application to institutions, the author has consumed so much of his time in useless repetition, and in exclamatory rhetoric about the cosmic process and the overwhelming significance of projected efficiency. Indeed, the author's style may be called myopic. Possibilities loom grandly before him, but the outlines are not clearly and distinctly seen. He is constantly surprised at his own thought, and the idea of “the world-process trembling on the brink of consciousness” disturbs his peace of mind and calmness of judgment. So much of a mannerism has his constant surprise become that he is "profoundly impressed " even by the superficiality of other writers. Mr. Kidd has indeed produced a significant work, or rather a symptomatic work. One of the most discouraging characteristics of the present time is the growing adverseness of large numbers of people to the patient processes of research by which alone progress can be made in the sciences. Rapid generalizations and bold theories which cast the experience of a century to the winds are much easier to produce and much more “striking;" but such systems and theories, though they may contain attractive and even significant thoughts, can hope to be of permanent influence and usefulness only when they themselves rest upon a sound foundation of scientific knowledge, and do not utterly disregard the accepted results of the scientific work of the civilized world.
PAUL S. REINSCH. THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN.
The American Federal State : A Text-Book in Civics for High Schools
and Academies. By Roscoe LEWIS ASHLEY, A.M. New York: The Macmillan Co., 1902. Pp. xlv +599.
This text-book in civics departs somewhat from the old-fashioned text-book treatment of the subject, in that it attempts to combine in one volume an exposition of political theory, American political history, and a discussion of the form and working of the American federal government. Mr. Ashley opens his book with an introductory chapter of some forty pages on “ The Elements of Politics,” and then devotes 156 pages to the historical development of our form of government, from its inception on Saxon-English soil down to the close of the Spanish war. The organization and working of the federal government is treated in the following 225 pages; and the third and last part of the book, consisting of 108 pages, considers the “Policies and Problems” of the country. A series of seven appendices closes the work.
The introductory chapter, on “The Elements of Politics,” undertakes to give an idea of the nature of the state, to define its sphere of activity and its purposes, to distinguish the various forms of states, to distinguish the state from the government and the nation, and to enumerate the characteristics of sovereignty.
The part devoted to “ Historical Development” traces the growth of representative governinent in England and discusses the political system of the American colonies, setting forth the well-known differences between the social and political systems of the different colonies. The Revolution and the political changes, internal and external, which it produced, are treated in a separate chapter, followed by a short account of the development of the constitution between 1787 and 1789. The succeeding chapter is devoted to explaining the influences that led to the growth of our nationality, to the development of the spirit of democracy, the influence of slavery on our nationality, and the “new nation” which was born of the Civil War and attained its majority at the time of the Spanish war.
The political evolution accounted for, the author turns his attention to a discussion of the existing government. This part of the book covers the ground more commonly delimited under the title of civics. The general character of American federalism, the Senate, the House, he powers of Congress and of the executive, the duties of the execu
departments, the relations of the central to the state governments, and other familiar topics, form the bulk of the description and discussion.
A miscellaneous group of topics is discussed under the title of present “Policies and Problems.” Suffrage, proportional representation, direct legislation, the history and organization of political parties, civil rights, taxation, money, the tariff, labor legislation, the government of colonies, and the duties of citizenship are among the subjects
A just criticism of the book must keep in view the purpose of its author. The work is a text-book for high schools and academies, not a treatise. It is not intended to be a contribution to the science of
politics, or to American history. The book is a compilation, a systematic presentation of accepted doctrine. In his exposition of the theory of politics Mr. Ashley, in the main, follows Professor Burgesscertainly a safe guide. The author is, however, more than a mere copyist or epitomizer. He sifts evidence, balances opinions, and has views of his own. For example, he differs with some eminent authorities in thinking that “cabinet government” would not do for us; he expresses the opinion that “a society changing as rapidly as ours in the United States is unlikely to have the same kind of government in different periods of its national history;" that, if “the United States cannot hold in check the forces of centralization, we may well come to the conclusion that federalism is after all but a transitory phase in the development of centralized states with powerful central governments ;” that “the president .... in time of war must be a sort of dictator, even though he may not receive the full support of Congress, as Lincoln did;" that “international success may depend on great centralization of power in unfettered officials, chosen not because they represent the people, but because of unquestioned capacity;" that “liberty and equality cannot live together." One wonders as he reads such opinions whether “imperialism” has not distorted the writer's sight.
The historical presentation is vivacious and interesting. So, too, the account of the development of our nationality will doubtless prove of great interest to high-school pupils. The combination of history and politics is, in a measure, a good thing, for it gives the pupil a better perspective and arouses greater interest. A text-book on this plan is far superior to those old schoolbooks on civics which killed enthusiasm with long descriptions of the anatomy of the government, without a word about the workings of political life.
It is a question, however, whether we do not find too much history and economics in the book. A good deal of the historical account presupposes a deeper knowledge of English history than a high-school pupil ordinarily will have, and more than is necessary for a proper knowledge of his country's government. The multiplicity of detail is likely, moreover, to be confusing, and it is a question whether much of the advantage of historical perspective is not lost in this confusion. It seems, on the whole, that it would have been better to assuine a familiarity with our political history and to have shown briefly the bearing of its main points upon the form of government finally adopted, and then to have passed to a discussion of the existing institutions.