Слике страница
PDF
ePub

makes us larger men and women. For if we are thinking of the group as our group, if we make its causes our own, then we somehow for the moment widen out our thought and our sympathy. The early man's group was not a large one, and sometimes the main service it asked of its members was to make a raid upon some other tribe. But it was a school in which man learned to stand by his group.

Third might be mentioned courage. For the clan Courage praised the brave man and ridiculed the coward.

Fourth was respect for the elders. This was very Respect strong in the clan, and many of the customs, such as initiations, were well adapted to cultivate this trait.

These traits belong to what we sometimes call group morals. They represent a great deal that is necessary in the good citizen, but they leave much to be done. For there were three lacks in the life of the man of the clan: First, he lacked knowledge about nature, and Lack of especially knowledge how to use the great forces of knowledge fire, steam, electricity. Science and invention must come to supply this lack.

Second, he lived in too small a group, and did not co- The clan operate enough with his fellows. “Union is strength,” too small

a group is an old proverb. It was proved at first in war; it is only recently that men have come to realize what it means in

peace. Now the clan or tribe is an association which is strong as far as it goes, but in one respect it does not go far enough; in other respects it goes too far, that is, it is too intense. Both faults seem to be due to belonging to too small a group and to too few groups.

His group was too small. The people in one clan are Hence suspicious of those in another. They do not trade clannishfreely with them. They do not have a common judge ness

to settle quarrels, and so they keep up feuds. The tribe is not strong enough to protect its members or to keep order and make the future secure. We have a word, “ clannish,” which brings out precisely this defect. Clannish people keep too closely together; they do not mix with others and get the stimulus that comes from rubbing shoulders with all sorts of people. Modern business, and modern protection of life and property, extend widely. For many purposes the whole

civilized world is one great group. Too few He belonged to too few groups. His clan was his groups family, business partnership, church, and political

party all in one. It tied him up too tight. The “ cake of custom” is likely to become too hard. A modern man by meeting a different set of people in the different groups is continually stimulated. His habits are more likely to get loosened up. He may be “bossed” in his business by a superior, but in his political party he may

boss » himself. A woman or man may be under some subjection in the home, but a leader in the church. The greater freedom of today does not come from not being in any group; this leaves any one weak. It comes from belonging to larger and more groups so

that one gets help on more sides. Lack of Third, he followed custom and so did not think for independ himself. The democracy in which we live today requires

us to think and judge for ourselves. Tasks of The great tasks of progress we can already see progress dimly will be along three lines: First, discovery and use

of the forces of nature. This means science and invention. Second, discovery and use of the forces and values of human nature, especially of association, working together. This also means science and invention, but of a different kind. It means building up

be a

ence

cities and states. Third, the forming of laws and governments which shall maintain liberty, peace, good order, and justice, which shall promote education, intercourse, and communication, and at the same time be the free choice of the people who live under them.

CHAPTER IV

THE NEW GROUPS-SOCIAL CLASSES AND

THE GREAT STATE

T

(1) Agri. culture

(2) Social classes and the State

HE first step above the life of the clan or tribe,

which hunted or fished, or fed its flocks, or

gathered wild rice or grain wherever it could, was twofold:

(1) Instead of roaming or moving restlessly on where there was game, or where they could escape enemies, clans settled down, and built houses instead of huts or wigwams. They usually settled in villages.

(2) Men began to break over the clan boundaries and form larger groups. They did this in two ways: they conquered other groups and made slaves or serfs; they united in larger groups for fighting. These larger groups were not made up on the basis of kinship; they were bands of warriors from several clans. These warriors had to have a leader or king. And out of such bands of warriors and their king came a new kind of grouping of men which we call the State.

Both slavery and states came largely from fighting. It may seem then that it was war that pushed mankind up this next step.

It is true that it was by war that men enlarged the clan and made the nation, at the same time making slaves and serfs of those whom they conquered. But the real gain was not due to war. War was a very wasteful way of doing what men might have done more easily by trade and agreement if they had only been wise enough. The real gain was

that men learned to form larger groups, and to cooperate on a larger scale.

Let us look further, first at the village group or village community, then at the making of slaves and the making of the state.

When we think of a farm in America we usually Village think of the farmhouse with its barn, standing alone community with no neighbors very near, or at most there may be three or four houses at a cross-roads. But this was not the way those of our American Indians lived who had begun to raise Indian corn. It was not the early plan, and in many parts of Europe it still is not the plan. When in early Europe, Teutons, or Slavs, or Celts, and perhaps before the Celts, still earlier dwellers in Britain began to cultivate the soil, it was probably as kin-groups or clans. In Scotland, Wales, and Ireland the clan life survived long, and Walter Scott tells us of the Highland clans each living in its own glen. Sometimes a clan of English seems to have settled in a neighborhood group. If the clan of Buckings or Birmings or Billings settled in a spot or “home,” this would be called Buckingham or Birmingham or Billingham. And the tie of kinship would lead them to build their cottages or houses close together. Then instead of dividing off the land into complete farms, entirely separate, with all of a man's land together, they followed a plan which in many ways was better for pioneers. They set apart one kind of land Common for plow land, another for grass, and left the rest, fields “the waste,” for pasture. Each man had a share of plow land, a share of grass land, and could pasture his cattle upon the common pasture land. Hence a man's plow land might be in one part of the community's

« ПретходнаНастави »