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ing material wealth resting upon our great natural resources as the condition of democracy and the weapon with which to obtain it through wider and wider educational opportunities and through the use of the findings of science. While he admits the "ignorant, wasteful, and inefficient exploitation of our resources” in the past, he is perhaps a little too sanguine as to their endurance in the future, for he does not show that we have as a nation committed ourselves to a thoroughgoing conservation policy.

He brings out great and increasing democratic gains along economic, intellectual, and political lines and presents abundant statistics to show increasing amounts spent upon education and rises in real wages. It is perhaps unduly critical of the reader to suggest that, encouraging as is the amount of money spent yearly by Americans on education, the mere size of the figures must not blind us to the inefficiency of the expenditure of much of it, nor to the comparative ineffectiveness, so far, of efforts to functionalize and vocationalize the public-school curriculum. Nor must the increasing size of incomes or the number of prosperous people cloud the fact that wise individual spending has not increased proportionately.

The author believes the restriction of immigration to be imperative in the struggle for democracy. He says: "Under proper economic and social conditions, we could easily take care of two hundred, or even more, millions of people. The crux of the difficulty, however, is that a too speedy and unregulated immigration tends to prevent the very adjustments which would make the prosperity of greater millions possible.” The author's optimism leads him to think that the policy toward immigration is coming to be restrictive, although some recent pronouncements of the National Conference of Charities and Correction and of other bodies, as well as the policy of government agencies, may leave the average student of public affairs doubtful on this point.

He holds that socialized democracy will come slowly through the efforts of many co-operating groups of people pursuing slightly different ends. It will not, he thinks, take the form of a class war, as the socialists contend. In spite of the evident optimism of the book, it may be doubted whether the author realizes that only through the incessant vigilance and activity of those who see the adjustments necessary for a truly socialized democracy can such a democratic socialization of life be assured. The impression left by the book is that the author is almost too secure in his feeling that things will work of themselves toward the desired goal.


The Social Basis of Religion. By SIMON N. PATTEN. New York:

Macmillan, 1911. Pp. xvii+247. $1.25 net.

The author's professed purpose is to combine the economic interpretation of history and social psychology. Religion is the union of the two. Degeneration is objective and economic, while regeneration is psychic and personal (p. v). The discussion in fifteen chapters of such varied subjects as scientific method, the will, the social process, the social mission of the church, does not aim at consecutiveness, but at bringing together several points of view which have been separated heretofore. Two viewpoints among many interesting ones stand out prominently.

First, the author holds strongly to an objective view of morality and to the necessity of this objective view as the basis of religious thought and work. The only valid tests of action are not personal tests but the results of a study of the objective effects of any proposed measure upon society. The ultimate tests are health, wealth, and efficiency. Consequently, the social mission of the church is not to save individual souls but to promote movements and measures which will increase health, wealth, and efficiency, to adopt a definite social program and engage in such work as improving the family type, furthering public health and temperance movements, and industrial legislation promoting the health of women- and child-workers and the greater efficiency of all workers. The church must learn “that evils have specific causes that may be regulated and removed. They never arise from the general laws of nature.

Not only, however, must the mission of the church become a social mission, but religious thought must be socialized as well on this same objective basis. A religion of authority must be given up and a social religion or social morality, that looks to consequences, must be substituted. And here again the author strongly asserts that the end and test of morality is not happiness or culture but race perpetuation, that is, increased vigor and longevity.

A second conspicuous point of view in the book is the economic interpretation of history which constitutes almost a distinct bias especially in the more theoretical parts of the discussion. The author says: “While many good things are natural, most bad things are economic,' and sin, misery, and poverty are one problem and their antidote is income (p. 40). Here the author's bias leads him to exaggerate the importance of poverty. His explanation does not seem to account for some of the prevalent and conspicuous types of evil of the present day, for instance, political corruption and immorality and vice among the well to do. In the former case not even the fondest adherents of the


economic interpretation would allege poverty as the cause. The jackpots in various states, and the costs of presidential campaigns are too patent refutations. And recent investigations of vice in our cities and of women in industry seem to show that poverty-vice is not the nexus even in as many of these cases as we had supposed it to be, much less in the case of the patrons of vice. Nor does it seem that the author's emphasis upon the naturalness of goodness is wholly justifiable. In our complex social system the primitive order of things, as Ross and others have pointed out, must be changed to meet the conditions of a new and more artificial civilization before goodness as we understand it can be attained. However, the author does not follow these principles relentlessly throughout his discussion but includes many other factors in his analysis of the religious situation.

Many other views of more or less academic interest are to be found in the earlier chapters. The defect of the book lies in the indirectness and brevity of the discussion of the actual present status of religious thought and church work. The inadequacy of these two phases of religion in the present situation is so patent and the remedies so plain that the reader becomes impatient of the rather long and painstaking analyses that furnish a theoretical basis for statements that are admittedly true.


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A Peasant Sage of Japan: The Life and Work of Sontoku Ninomiya.

Translated from the Hotokuki by TADASU YOSHIMOTO. Longmans, Green & Co., 1912. Pp. xxviii+254. $1.50.

The book consists of thirty-three short chapters and five divisions of an appendix. It is the story of the life-work of a remarkable peasant of Japan, Kinjiro Ninomiya, called after his death, “Sontoku,” meaning, “The Virtuous.” The story is simple and essentially human, and emphasizes in a forceful way the unity of disinterested service for mankind the world over. It presents a picture of social service of an almost modern type and almost more than modern idealism carried on a hundred years ago by a follower of Buddha and Confucius in a country then closed to the civilized world.

The volume is a translation, more free than literal, of another written the year following the death of Sontoku by his greatest disciple, Kokei Tomita. That volume was entitled Hotokuki meaning literally "A Record of the Return (Repayment) of Virtue.” It was widely distributed at the instance of the emperor, and has been recently republished




by the Department of Agriculture and Commerce, and is now read all over Japan. The translator says the book “is still proving a light to hundreds of thousands in Japan, and a great help and inspiration to all kinds of social workers. ce translation.” There may be in the book some slight idealization of Sontoku's work such as one might expect from a favorite disciple.

The Peasant Sage was born in 1787 and died in 1856. The student of heredity will be interested to note that his father was called "The Good," and made himself poor by giving away his property. From

earliest efforts of the orphan child to support himself, on through his whole life the lesson that industry, frugality, and most of all disinterested service with men and material possessions was increasingly demonstrated to Sontoku and to those who knew him. His life-work was that of building up ruined and bankrupt agricultural estates for various feudal lords, communities, and the central government. In undertaking each of these various tasks "he studies the local conditions, the possibilities of soil and situation, the numbers and habits of each family. He inspires confidence, stimulates courage, and renews hope. He aims at restoring prosperity by re-creating character, evoking energy, and insisting on regularity of work and continuous industry. He himself shared the life of those among whom he toiled; ate their simple food and wore their cotton clothes; refused all official dignity, and bore the burdens of his people, asking no reward."

Like all successful leaders of men, Sontoku was a shrewd observer. He everywhere seemed to understand cunning, selfish flatterers, and frequently was able to convert them to lives of honesty and industry. He dealt very generously with the honest, industrious, and faithful, and tried repeatedly to convert the malicious and lazy. He studied carefully the character of the needy before giving them financial aid. He said one did more harm than good by gifts to the undeserving poor; but he also said: “There is some good in every man's heart and few people are so bad that they cannot be converted.”

Sontoku's doctrine of conduct and work were summed up by his disciple under four heads as follows: First, its foundation is sincerity, "even as God is sincere"; second, its principle is industry, "even as heaven and earth and all creation are ever at work without repose”; third, its body is economy, “to live simply and never exceed one's rightful means"; fourth, its use is service, "to give away all unnecessary possessions, material, or other, in the service of heaven and mankind.”

The great practical result of Sontoku's work during his life was the restoration of many large estates which had fallen into ruin, the opening

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up of much land new to agriculture, the general improvement of agricultural labor and life, and the stimulation of thousands of people to a life of industry, frugality, and unselfish service. The practical result which has followed the death of the Sage is the widespread formation of a society called "Hotokusha"-virtually a co-operative society which has proved "a great boon to the poorer classes of people.”

The Hotokusha was organized by Fukuzumi, a strong disciple of Sontoku, in harmony with the latter's instructions. It consists of a central society and many widespread branches.

The purpose of this society is to help the poor and to aid them to unite in helping one another, first by opening their hearts and developing goodness of character among them, and secondly by assisting them to open wild lands, improve irrigation and roads, repair bridges and river banks, and, in general, by doing all that is of benefit to the poor. It begins by helping the poorest and by encouraging and rewarding the good. The function of the central society is to give financial help, as well as advice, to the branches; so its members are well-to-do persons who freely give their money and services in order to show their gratitude to heaven by helping their fellow-men, and they expect no material reward for themselves. The branch societies consist of poorer men who pay a small subscription known as the “daily subscription money." The money thus subscribed by the poor, together with money received from the central society, forms a fund from which loans are made to members. No interest is charged, because the purpose of the society is to help the needy.

Sontoku emphasized the value of preaching, as well as living, his doctrine. Disciples were always about him, and he often taught them far into the night. Once when his lord asked him to open up some wild land, he said to his disciples: “My wish is to open up the wilderness of men's hearts.'

The life of the Peasant Sage of Japan seems to be only another evidence that among any people and at any time independence, selfsacrifice, and spiritual vision give a man power.


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Changing America. Studies in Contemporary Society. By EDWARD

ALSWORTH Ross. New York: The Century Co., 1912. Pp. 236. $1.20.

Like the Foundations of Sociology, the present volume is a group of occasional papers on subjects with sufficient unity of content to be combined under a general title. There, however, the resemblance ceases. These pieces were nearly all originally written for popular periodicals

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