Sociology Lit Taste Ils 90: Volume 7 (International Library of Sociology)
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The prize of the festival was won by Efrat Mishori from Israel, the author of 7 books, earlier awarded with several significant national prizes including Prime Minister's Prize Mishori got the sculpture by promising Latvian artist Vika Eksta; her poetry collection will be published in Russian and Latvian. The verses that sounded at the evening paradoxically combine a keen observation to a diverse everyday life with immediate reflection on the precedent texts.
Table of contents
The good-natured contemplation of an Orthodox Buddhist provides Danilov with an absolute individuality of voice plasticity. In a subsequent conversation with the writers Vladimir Ermolaev and Anton Botev, another Danilov's paradox was pointed out: innovative literary practices coexist in his life with the consistent conservatism of the socio-political position. The prize, established by Estonian Cultural Capital Foundation, started in and is awarded by the National Day of native languages.
The prize started in , among its earlier laureats there are leading Russian poets Sergei Gandlevsky, Mariya Stepanova and others.
The study of sociology. By Herbert Spencer.
Stanislav Lvovsky is awarded with Andrei Bely Prize. The oldest independent literary award in Russia, Andrei Bely Prize originated in in the circle of underground Leningrad now St. Petersburg authors many of whom had to become the founding fathers of the present Russian writing. Now the Prize is thought to be the most authoritative award for Russian poets, it is also given to prose writers, non-fiction authors, translators and curators. The author was introduced by the publisher Dmitry Kuzmin as well as by Estonian poet, translator and publisher Igor Kotjuh who had published the first Kaplinski's book of Russian poetry in Kuzmin underlined that Kaplinski as a Russian poet is a perfect example of permanent crossing the borders between languages, national cultures and poetical traditions.
All the three participants of the event were reading Kaplinski's poems; in the meantime Kotjuh interviewed Kaplinski. Some topics for discussion met Kaplinski's and Kuzmin's vivid reaction: they talked in details about the poet's attitude towards Nature, about Eastern influence in his poetry, about political implications in some of the poems. The new collection of Russian poems by Jaan Kaplinski, Wegener's Smile , published with Literature without borders , was presented on September 22 for the first time in St.
Petersburg in Andrei Bely Centre. Kaplinski, the world-renowned Estonian poet, had switched to Russian about ten years ago, and this is his second originally Russian book of poems after several dozens of different books in Estonian. Kaplinski told the audience about Russian poetry as the lasting source of his inspiration; in his teen years he started reading poetry from Mikhail Lermontov and Vladimir Mayakovsky while now the main figures for him are Vladislav Khodasevich and especially Georgy Ivanov.
On the other hand, Kaplinski pointed out that he was influenced a lot with the classical Chinese poets whom he translated into Estonian and now into Russian. Then Kaplinski and the poet Elena Pestereva have read some poems and Kaplinski's self-translations from the recent collection as well as his translations from the Ancient Chinese poet Li Yu. Pestereva also recited some other Kaplinski's poems from his massive selected works going to be published in Moscow next year, including one of the poems he wrote in English in her own translation.
Performing in collaboration with Moscow and Berlin musicians, Sergey Timofeyev, Natalia Azarova and Galina Rymbu added much to the special flavour of the festival. A lot of similarities between the representatives of three different national traditions get visible at the festival, especially noticeable it was with the youngest participants. Harsh social criticism starting from individual protest against everyday evil and developping into declared opposition to the basic grounds of present-day society, is common for Anne Axfors and Naima Chahboun from Sweden, Jelena Glazova from Latvia and Galina Rymbu from Russia.
After 3 days of readings the participating poets voted by secret ballot for the most distinctive author of the festival. As its curator Dmitry Kuzmin stated, it had been unclear if the poets find a way to reach consensus. However, 7 of 11 poets voted for Galina Rymbu as the festival's laureate. Expressing her gratitude to the colleagues, Rymbu stressed that she treats her acquaintance with new foreign authors during the festival as both poetical and political impact on her personal creative potential.
The laureate was awarded with the artwork by artist and sculptor Sabine Moore; besides that, the selection of Rymbu's poetry will be published in translation into two festival languages — Swedish anfd Latvian. The festival was organised with the Literature without borders society and financially supported by the Swedish Arts Council, the Swedish Academy and Lativan Cultural Capital Foundation. Dmitry Kuzmin introduced both authors as key figures in their literary generations: 30 years old Gorobchuk is one of the most notable figures in the generation of ies while 20 years old Yevtushenko arose recently as a promising young talent.
Alternating, the two authors presented their poems of latest period full of physiophilosophical imagery in contrast with Gorobchuk's ironically urbanistic poetry of previous decade , Kuzmin read Russian translations. In discussion the Ukrainian guests addressed the problems of generational boundaries in the national poetry, reviewed the peculiarities of Ukrainian literary life shaped mostly by literary festivals and twisted the knife observing the role of Russian and Ukrainian languages in their own biographies and in present day Ukrainian literary landscape.
Russian readers voted for Serhiy Zhadan's book. The well known Russian web magazine Afisha Daily asked its audience to select the most significant books of the year Full results of Afisha Daily 's poll. On October 3 the meeting of so called Euroclub , debating society of Russian intellectuals in Latvia, was dedicated to Zhadan's visit. Dmitry Kuzmin introduced Zhadan as the most powerful voice in recent Ukrainian literature and depicted him as the author who wisely combines the Romanticist self-proclaimed responsibility for the destiny of the country and its people with the Postmodern awareness about the relativity of values and ideals.
Then Euroclub 's chairman Igor Vatolin posed the series of questions to the author ranging from his current reading preferences to his opinion on Ukrainian political circumstances. Wagner, Gert G. Falk, Armin, Isabel Melguizo, Melguizo, Isabel, Mihai, Florin-Constantin, Mamoon, Dawood, Diego A. Vera-Cossio, Yuriko Isada, Tran, Kennedy School of Government. Jackson, Matthew O. Matthew O. Robinson, Olav Sorenson, Joseph Flavian Gomes, Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol.
Katsushi Imai, Humpert, Stephan, Jaelani, Aan, Piekalkiewicz, Marcin, Fischer, Justina A. Mintchev, Vesselin, Konstantin Buechel, Maximilian von Ehrlich, Ferdi Botha, John F. Peter C. Phillips, Novik, Marcin Piekalkiewicz, Stiglitz, Basu,Kaushik, Jones, Lauren E. Costa-Font, J. Strulik, Holger, Heise, Arne, Boris Gershman, Isphording, Ingo E.
Ingo E. Yamamura, Eiji, Eiji Yamamura, Liza Charroin, Smith, Ali, S. Vannetelbosch, Atkin, David, David Atkin, Shiller, Jean-Paul Carvalho, Snower, Dennis J. Bosworth, Steven J. Not only has a society as a whole a power of growth and development, but each institution set up in it has the like-draws to itself units of the society and nutriment for them, and tends ever to multiply and ramify.
Indeed, the instinct of self-preservation in each institution soon becomes dominant over everything else; and maintains it when it performs some quite other function than that intended, or no function at all. See, for instance, what has come of the "Society of Jesus," Loyola set up; or see what grew out of. To such considerations as these, set down to show the inconsistency of those who think that prevision of social phenomena is possible without much study, though much study is needed for prevision of other phenomena, it will doubtless be replied that time does not allow of systematic inquiry.
From the scientific, as from the unscientific, there will come the plea that, in his capacity of citizen, each man has to act-must vote, and must decide before he votes —must conclude to the best of his ability on such information as he has. In this plea there is some truth, mingled with a good deal more that looks like truth. It is a product of that "must-dosomething" impulse which is the origin of much mischief, individual and social. An amiable anxiety to undo or neutralize an evil, often prompts to rash courses, as you may see in the hurry with which one who has fallen is snatched up by those at hand; just as though there were danger in letting him lie, which there is not, and no danger in incautiously raising him, which there is.
Always you find among people in proportion as they are ignorant, a belief in specifics, and a great confidence in pressing the adoption of them. Has some one a pain in the side, or in the chest, or in the bowels? Then, before any careful inquiry as to its probable cause, there comes an urgent recommendation of a never-failing remedy, joined probably with the remark that if it does no good it can do no harm.
There still prevails in the average mind a large amount of the fetishistic conception clearly shown by a butler to some friends of mine, who, having been found to drain the half-emptied medicinebottles, explained that he thought it a pity good physic should be wasted, and that what benefited his master would benefit him.
But as fast as crude conceptions of diseases and remedial measures grow up into Pathology and Therapeutics, we find increasing caution, along with increasing proof that evil is often. This contrast is traceable not only as we pass from popular ignorance to professional knowledge, but as we pass from the smaller professional knowledge of early times to the greater professional knowledge of our own. The question with the modern physician is not as with the ancient-shall the treatment be blood-letting?
But there rises the previous question-shall there be any treatment beyond a wholesome regimen? And even among existing physicians it happens that in proportion as the judgment is most cultivated, there is the least yielding to the "must-do-something" impulse. Is it not possible, then-is it not even probable, that this supposed necessity for immediate action, which is put in as an excuse for drawing quick conclusions from few data, is the concomitant of deficient knowledge?
Is it not probable that as in Biology so in Sociology, the accumulation of more facts, the more critical comparison of them, and the drawing of conclusions on scientific methods, will be accompanied by increasing doubt about the benefits to be secured, and increasing fear of the mischiefs which may be worked? Is it not probable that what in the individual organism is improperly, though conveniently, called the vis mnedicatrix naturce, may be found to have its analogue in the social organism?
Such a consciousness, to be anticipated from increased knowledge, will diminish the force of this plea for prompt decision after little inquiry; since it will check this tendency to think of a remedial measure as one that may do good and cannot do harm. Nay more, the study of Sociology, scientifically carried on by tracing back proximate causes to remote ones, and tracing down primary effects to secondary and tertiary effects which multiply as they diffuse, will dissipate the current illusion that social evils.
Given an average defect of nature among the units of a society, and no skilful manipulation of them will prevent that defect from producing its equivalent of bad results. It is possible to change the form of these bad results; it is possible to change the places at which they are manifested; but it is not possible to get rid of them.
The belief that faulty character can so organize itself socially, as to get out of itself a conduct which is not proportionately faulty, is an utterly-baseless belief. You may alter the incidence of the mischief, but the amount of it must inevitably be borne somewhere. Very generally it is simply thrust out of one form into another; as when, in Austria, improvident marriages being prevented, there come more numerous illegitimate children; or as when, to mitigate the misery of foundlings, hospitals are provided for them, and there is an increase in the number of infants abandoned; or as when, to insure the stability of houses, a Building Act prescribes a structure which, making small houses unremunerative, prevents due multiplication of them, and so causes overcrowding; or as when a Lodging-House Act forbids this overcrowding, and vagrants have to sleep under the Adelphiarches, or in the Parks, or even, for warmth's sake, on the dungheaps in mews.
Where the evil does not, as in cases like these, reappear in another place or form, it is necessarily felt in the shape of a diffused privation. For suppose that by some official instrumentality you actually suppress an evil, instead of thrusting it from one spot into another-suppose you thus successfully deal with a number of such evils by a number of such instrumentalities; do you think these evils have disappeared absolutely?
Sociology Lit Taste Ils 90
To see that they have not, you have but to ask-Whence comes the official apparatus? What defrays the cost of working it? Who supplies the necessaries of life to its members through all their gradations of rank? There is no other source but the labour of peasants and artizans.
When, as in France, the administrative agencies occupy some , men, who are taken from industrial pursuits, and, with their families, supported in. The alreadytired labourer has to toil an additional hour; his wife has to help in the fields as well as to suckle her infant; his children are still more scantily fed than they would otherwise be; and beyond a decreased share of returns from increased labour, there is a diminished time and energy for such small enjoyments as the life, pitiable at the best, permits. How, then, can it be supposed that the evils have been extinguished or escaped?
The repressive action has had its corresponding reaction; and instead of intenser miseries here and there, or now and then, you have got a misery that is constant and universal. When it is thus seen that the evils are not removed, but at best only re-distributed, and that the question in any case is whether re-distribution, even if practicable, is desirable; it will be seen that the " must-do-something " plea is quite insufficient.
There is ample reason to believe that in proportion as scientific men carry into this most-involved class of phenomena, the methods they have-successfully adopted with other classes, they will perceive that, even less in this class than in other classes, are conclusions to be drawn and action to be taken without prolonged and critical investigation. Still there will recur the same plea under other forms "Political conduct must be matter of compromise. We must, therefore, guide ourselves by common sense as best we may.
They do not believe in any ascertainable order among social phenomena-there is no such thing as a social science. This proposition we will discuss in the next chapter. ALMOST every autumn may be heard the remark that a hard winter is coming, for that the hips and haws are abundant: the implied belief being that God, intending to send much frost and snow, has provided a large store of food for the birds.
Interpretations of this kind, tacit or avowed, prevail widely. Not many weeks since, one who had received the usual amount of culture said in my hearing, that the swarm of lady-birds which overspread the country some summers ago, had been providentially designed to save the crop of hops from the destroying aphides. Of course this theory of the divine government, here applied to occurrences bearing but indirectly, if at all, on human welfare, is applied with still greater confidence to occurrences that directly affect us, individually and socially. It is a theory carried out with logical consistency by the Methodist who, before going on a journey or removing to another house, opens his Bible, and in the first passage his eye rests upon, finds an intimation of approval or disapproval from heaven.
And in its political applications it yields such appropriate beliefs as that the welfare of England in comparison with Continental States, has been a reward for better observance of the Sunday, or that an invasion of cholera was consequent on the omission of Dei gratia from an issue of coins. The interpretation of historical events in general after this same method, accompanies such interpretations of ordinary pass.
Those to whom the natural genesis of simpler phenomena has been made manifest by increasing knowledge, still believe in the supernatural genesis of phenomena that are very much involved, and cannot have their causes readily traced. The form of mind which, in an official despatch, prompts the statement that " it has pleased Almighty God to vouchsafe to the British arms the most successful issue to the extensive combinations rendered necessary for the purpose of effecting the passage of the Chenaub," ' is a form of mind which, in the records of the past, everywhere sees interpositions of the Deity to bring about results that appear to the interpreter the most desirable.
Thus, for example, Mr. Schomberg writes: " It seemed good to the All-beneficent Disposer of human events, to overrule every obstacle; and through His instrument, William of Normandy, to expurgate the evils of the land; and to resuscitate its dying powers. For it is to be observed in passing that, just as the evangelicals among ourselves think we are.
This writer, in chapters entitled "Causes providentielles de nos malheurs," " Les Prussiens et les fleaux de Dieu," and " Justification de la Providence," carries out his interpretations in ways we need not here follow, and then closes his " Epilogue " with these sentences: "La Revolution moderee, habile, sagace, machiavelique, diaboliquement sage, a et6 vaincue et confondue par la justice divine dans la personne et dans le gouvernement de Napoleon III. Thiers, ne tardera pas a ftre vaincue et confondue par cette nlme Revolution deax fois humilide, mais toujours renaissante et agrressive.
C'est quand tout semblera perdu que tout sera vraiment sauve. Elle s'obstine dans l'erreur et le vice.
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Croyons quc Dieu la sauvera malgr6 elle, en la rege6nrant toutefois par l'eau et pai feu. C'est quand l'impuissance humaine apparait qu'eclate la sagess. Mais quelles tribulations! Heureax ceux qui survivront et jouiront dlu triolmphe de Dieul et de son Eglise sainte, catholique, apostolique et romaine. Here are his words:"And now, gentlemen, was this vast campaign [of Teutons against Romans] fought without a general? If Trafalgar could not be won without the mind of a Nelson, or Waterloo without the mind of a Wellington, was there no one mind to lead those innumerable armies on whose success depended the future of the whole human race?
Did no one marshal them in that impregnable convex front, from the Euxine to the North Sea?
No one guide them to the two great strategic centres of the Black Forest and Trieste? No one cause them, blind barbarians without maps or science, to follow those rules of war without which victory in a protracted struggle is impossible; and by the pressure of the Huns behind, force on their flagging myriads to an enterprise which their simplicity fancied at first beyond the powers of mortal men? Believe it who will: but I cannot. I may be told that they gravitated into their places, as stones and mud do.
Be it so. They obeyed natural laws of course, as all things do on earth, when they obeyed the laws of war: those, too, are natural laws, explicable on simple mathematical principles. But while I believe that not a stone or a handful of mud gravitates into its place without the will of God; that it was ordained, ages since, into what particular spot each grain of gold should be washed down from an Australian quartz reef, that a certain man might find it at a certain moment and crisis of his life;-if I be superstitious enough as, thank God, I am to hold that creed, shall I not believe that, though this great war had no general upon earth, it may have had a general in heaven?
All which I need call attention to as indicating the general character of such interpretations, is the remarkable title of the chapter containing this passage-" The Strategy of Providence. But really the expression, " Strategy of Providence," reveals a conception of this Cause which is in some respects more puzzling.
Such a title as " The Great Artificer," while suggesting simply the process of shaping a pre-existing material, and leaving the question whence this material came untouched, may at any rate be said not to negative the assumption that the material is created by " The Great Artificer" who shapes it. The phrase, " Strategy of Providence," however, necessarily implies difficulties to be overcome. The Divine Strategist must have a skilful antagonist to make strategy possible.
So that we are inevitably introduced to the conception of a Cause of the Universe continually impeded by some independent cause which has to be out-generalled. It is not every one who would thank God for a belief, the implication of which is that God is obliged to overcome opposition by subtle devices. The disguises which piety puts on are, indeed, not unfrequently suggestive of that which some would describe by a quite opposite name. To study the Universe as it is manifested to us; to ascertain by patient observation the order of the manifestations; to discover that the manifestations are connected with one another after a regular way in Time and Space; and, after repeated failures, to give up as futile the attempt to understand the Power.
And meanwhile the character of religious is claimed by those who figure to themselves a Creator moved by motives like their own; who conceive themselves as discovering his designs; and who even speak of him as though he laid plans to outwit the Devil!
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This, however, by the way. The foregoing extracts and comments are intended to indicate the mental attitude of those for whom there can be no such thing as Sociology, properly so called. That mode of conceiving human affairs which is implied alike by the " D.
An allied class, equally unprepared to interpret sociological phenomena scientifically, is the class which sees in the course of civilization little else than a record of remarkable persons and their doings. One who is conspicuous as the exponent of this view writes:-" As I take it, universal history, the history of what man has accomplished in this world, is at bottom the history of the great men who have worked here. Let us glance at the genesis of it. Round their camp-fire assembled savages tell the events of the day's chase; and he among them who has done some feat of skill or agility is duly lauded.
On a return from the war-path, the sagacity of the chief and the strength or courage of this or that warrior, are the all-absorbing themes. When the day, or the immediate past, affords no remarkable deed, the topic is the achievement of some noted leader lately dead, or some traditional founder of the tribe: accompanied, it may be, with a dance dramatically representing those victories which the chant recites. Such narratives, concerning, as they do, the prosperity. Savage life furnishes little else worthy of note; and the chronicles of tribes contain scarcely anything more to be remembered.
Early historic races show us the same thing. The Egyptian frescoes and the wall-sculptures of the Assyrians, represent the deeds of leading men; and inscriptions such as that on the Moabite stone, tell of nothing more than royal achievements: only by implication do these records, pictorial, hieroglyphic, or written, convey anything else. And similarly from the Greek epics, though we gather incidentally that there were towns, and war-vessels, and war-chariots, and sailors, and soldiers to be led and slain, yet the direct intention is to set forth the triumphs of Achilles, the prowess or Ajax, the wisdom of Ulysses, and the like.
The lessons given to every civilized child tacitly imply, like the traditions of the uncivilized and semi-civilized, that throughout the past of the human race, the doings of conspicuous persons have been the only things worthy of remembrance. How Abraham girded up his loins and gat him to this place or that; how Samuel conveyed divine injunctions which Saul disobeyed; how David recounted his adventures as a shepherd, and was reproached for his misdeeds as a king-these, and personalities akin to these, are the facts about which the juvenile reader of the Bible is interested and respecting which he is catechized: such indications of Jewish institutions as have unavoidably got into the narrative, being regarded neither by him nor by his teacher as of moment.
Nay, the like happens when the boy passes into the hands of his classical master, at home or elsewhere. After the mythology, which of course is all-essential, come the achievements of rulers and soldiers from Agamemnon down to Caesar: whatknowledge is gained of social organization, manners, ideas, morals, being little more than the biographical statements involve.
And the value of the knowledge is so ranked that while it would be a disgrace to be wrong about the amours. Thus the great-man-theory of History finds everywhere a ready-prepared conception-is, indeed, but the definite expression of that which is latent in the thoughts of the savage, tacitly asserted in all early traditions, and taught to every child by multitudinous illustrations. The glad acceptance it meets with has sundry more special causes. There is, first, this universal love of personalities, which, active in the aboriginal man, dominates still-a love seen in the urchin who asks you to tell him a story, meaning, thereby, somebody's adventures; a love gratified in adults by police-reports, court-news, divorce-cases, accounts of accidents, and lists of births, marriages, and deaths; a love displayed even by conversations in the streets, where fragments of dialogue, heard in passing, show that mostly between men, and always between women, the personal pronouns recur every instant..
If you want roughly to estimate any one's mental calibre, you cannot do it better than by observing the ratio of generalities to personalities in his talk-how far simple truths about individuals are replaced by truths abstracted from numerous experiences of men and things.. And when you. In the second place, this great-man-theory commends itself as promising instruction along with amusement.
Being already fond of hearing about people's sayings and doings, it is pleasant news that, to understand the course of civilization, you have only to read diligently the lives of distinguished men. What can be a more acceptable doctrine than that while you are satisfying an instinct not very remotely allied to that of the village gossip-while you are receiving through print instead of orally, remarkable facts concerning notable persons, you are gaining that knowledge which will make clear to you why things have happened thus or thus in the world, and will prepare you for forming a right opinion on each question coming before you as a citizen.
And then, in the third place, the interpretation of things thus given is so beautifully simple-seems so easy to comprehend. Providing you are content with conceptions that are out of focus, as most people's conceptions are, the solutions it yields appear quite satisfactory. Just as that theory of the Solar System which supposes the planets to have been launched into their orbits by the hand of the Almighty, looks feasible so long as you do not insist on knowing exactly what is meant by the hand of the Almighty; and just as the special creation of plants and animals seems a tenable hypothesis until you try and picture to yourself definitely the process by which one of them is brought into existence; so the genesis of societies by the actions of great men, may be comfortably believed so long as, resting in general notions, you do not ask for particulars.
But now, if, dissatisfied with vagueness, we demand that our ideas shall be brought into focus and exactly defined, we discover the hypothesis to be utterly incoherent. If, not stopping at the explanation of social progress as due to the great man, we go back a step and ask whence comes the great man, we find that the theory breaks down completely. The question has two con. Is his origin supernatural? Then he is a deputy-god, and we have Theocracy once removed-or, rather, not removed at all; for we must then agree with Mr.
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Schomberg, quoted above, that "the determination of Caesar to invade Britain" was divinely inspired, and that from him, down to " George III. Is this an unacceptable solution? Then the origin of the great man is natural; and immediately this is recognized he must be classed with all other phenomena in the society that gave him birth, as a product of its antecedents. Along with the whole generation of which he forms a minute part-along with its institutions, language, knowledge, manners, and its multitudinous arts and appliances, he is a resultant of an enormous aggregate of forces that have been co-operating for ages.
True, if you please to ignore all that common observation, verified by physiology, teaches-if you assume that two European parents may produce a Negro child, or that from woolly-haired prognathous Papuans may come a fair, straighthaired infant of Caucasian type-you may assume that the advent of the great man can occur anywhere and under any conditions. If, disregarding those accumulated results of experience which current proverbs and the generalizations of psychologists alike express, you suppose that a Newton might be born in a Hottentot family, that a Milton might spring up among the Andamanesi, that a Howard or a Clarkson might have Fiji parents, then you may proceed with facility to explain social progress as caused by the actions of the great man.
But if all biological science, enforcing all popular belief, convinces you that by no possibility will an Aristotle come from a father and mother with facial angles of fifty degrees, and that out of a tribe, of cannibals, whose chorus in preparation for a feast of human flesh is a kind of rhythmical roaring, there is not the remotest chance of a Beethoven arising; then you must admit that the genesis of the great man depends on the long series of complex.
If it be a fact that the great man may modify his nation in its structure and actions, it is also a fact that there must have been those antecedent modifications constituting national progress before he could be evolved. Before he can re-make his society, his society must make him. So that all those changes of which he is the proximate initiator have their chief causes in the generations he descended from. If there is to be anything like a real explanation of these changes, it must be sought in that aggregate of conditions out of which both he and they have arisen. Even were we to grant the absurd supposition that the genesis of the great man does not depend on the antecedents furnished by the society he is born in, there would still be the quite-sufficient facts that he is powerless in the absence of the material and mental accumulations which his society inherits from the past, and that he is powerless in the absence of the co-existing population, character, intelligence, and social arrangements.
Given a Shakspeare, and what dramas could he have written without the multitudinous traditions of civilized life-without the various experiences which, descending to him from the past, gave wealth to his thought, and without the language which a hundred generations had developed and enriched by use?
Suppose a Watt, with all his inventive power, living in a tribe ignorant of iron, or in a tribe that could get only as much iron as a fire blown by hand-bellows will smelt; or suppose him born among ourselves before lathes existed; what chance would there have been of the steam-engine? Nay, the like questions may be put and have like answers, even if we limit ourselves to those classes of great men on whose doings hero-worshippers more particularly dwell-the rulers and generals. Xenophon could not have achieved his celebrated feat had his Ten Thou3.
Caesar would never have made his conquests without disciplined troops, inheriting their lrestige and tactics and organization from the Romans who lived before them. And, to take a recent instance, the strategical genius of MIoltke would have triumphed in no great campaigns had there not been a nation of some forty millions to supply soldiers, and had not those soldiers been men of strong bodies, sturdy characters, obedient natures, and capable of carrying out orders intelligently.
Were any one to marvel over the potency of a grain of detonating powder, which explodes a cannon, propels the shell, and sinks a vessel hit-were he to enlarge on the transcendent virtues of this detonating powder, not mentioning the ignited charge, the shell, the cannon, and all that enormous aggregate of appliances by which these have severally been produced, detonating powder included; we should not regard his interpretation as very rational. But it would fairly compare in rationality with this interpretation of social phenomena which, dwelling on the important changes the great man works, ignores that vast preexisting supply of latent power he unlocks, and that immeasurable accumulation of antecedents to which both he and this power are due.
Recognizing what truth there is in the great-man-theory, we may say that, if limited to early societies, the histories of which are histories of little else than endeavours to destroy or subjugate one another, it approximately expresses the fact in representing the capable leader as all-important; though even here it leaves out of sight too much the number and the quality of his followers. But its immense error lies in the assumption that what was once true is true for ever; and that a relation of ruler and ruled which was possible and good at one time is possible and good for all time.
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Just as fast as this predatory activity of early tribes diminishes, just as fast as larger aggregates are formed by conquest or otherwise, just as fast as war ceases to be the business of the whole male population, so fast do societies. And if you wish to understand these phenomena of social evolution, you will not do it though you should read yourself blind over the biographies of all the great rulers on record, down to Frederick the Greedy and Napoleon the Treacherous.
In addition to that passive denial of a Social Science implied by these two allied doctrines, one or other of which is held by nine men out of ten, there comes from some an active denial of it-either entire or partial. Reasons are given for the belief that no such thing is possible. The invalidity of these reasons can be shown only after the essential nature of Social Science, overlooked by those who give them, has been pointed out; and to point this out here would be to forestal the argument.
Some minor criticisms may, however, fitly precede the major criticism. Let us consider first the positions taken up by Mr. Froude:" When natural causes are liable to be set aside and neutralized by what is called volition, the word Science is out of place. If it is free to a man to choose what he will do or not do, there is no adequate science of him. If there is a science of him, there is no free choice, and the praise or blame with which we regard one another are impertinent and out of place. Buckle would deliver himself from the eccentricities of this and that individual by a doctrine of averages Unfortunately the average of one generation need not be the average of the next There no experiment is possible; we can watch for no recurring fact to test the worth of our conjectures.
Froude changes the venue, and joins issue on the old battle-ground of free will versus necessity: declaring a Social Science to be incompatible with free will. The first extract implies, not simply that individual volition is incalculable-that "there is no adequate science of " man no Science of Psychology ; but it also asserts, by implication, that there are no causal relations among his states of mind: the volition by which "natural causes are liable to be set aside," being put in antithesis to natural, must be supernatural.
Hence we are, in fact, carried back to that primitive form of interpretation contemplated at the outset. A further comment is, that because volitions of some kinds cannot be foreseen, Mr. Froude argues as though no volitions can be foreseen: ignoring the fact that the simple volitions determining ordinary conduct, are so regular that prevision having a high degree of probability is easy. If, in crossing a street, a man sees a carriage coming upon him, you may safely assert that, in nine hundred and ninety-nine cases out of a thousand, he will try to get out of the way.
If, being pressed to catch a train, he knows that by one route it is a mile to the station and by another two miles, you may conclude with considerable confidence that he will take the one-mile route; and should he be aware that losing the train will lose him a fortune, it is pretty certain that, if he has but ten minutes to do the mile in, he will either run or call a cab. If he can buy next door a commodity of daily consumption better and cheaper than at the other end of the town, we may affirm that, if he does not buy next door, sonie special relation between him and the remoter shop-keeper furnishes a strong reason for taking a worse commodity at greater cost of money and trouble.
Now, since the predominant activities of citizens are determined by motives of this degree of regularity, there must be resulting social phenomena that have corresponding degrees of regularity-greater degrees, indeed, since in them the effects of exceptional motives become lost in the effects of the aggregate of ordinary motives.
Another comment may be added. Froude exaggerates the antithesis he draws by using a conception of science which is too narrow: he speaks as though there were no science but exact science. Scientific previsions, both qualitative and quantitative, have various degrees of definiteness; and because among certain classes of phenomena the previsions are approximate only, it is not, therefore, to be said that there is no science of those phenomena: if there is some prevision, there is some science. Take, for example, Meteorology. The Derby has been run in a snow-storm, and you may occasionally want a fire in July; but such anomalies do not prevent us from being perfectly certain that the coming summer will be warmer than the past winter.
Our south-westerly gales in the autumn may come early or may come late, may be violent or moderate, at one time or at intervals; but that there will be an excess of wind from the southwest at that part of the year we may be sure. The like holds with the relations of rain and dry weather to the quantity of water in the air and the weight of the atmospheric column: though exactly-true predictions cannot be made, approximatelytrue ones can. So that, even were there not among social phenomena more definite relations than these and the all-important ones are far more definite , there would still be a Social Science.
Once more, Mr. Froude contends that the facts presented in history do not furnish subject-matter for science, because they " never repeat themselves,"-because " we can watch for no recurring fact to test the worth of our conjectures. Froude here touches on one of the great difficulties of the Social Science that social phenomena are in so considerable a degree different in each case from what they were in preceding cases , I still find a sufficient reply. For in no concrete science is there absolute repetition; and in some concrete sciences the repetition is no more specific than in Sociology.
Even in the most exact of them, Astronomy, the combinations are never the same twice over: the repetitions are but approximate. And on turning to Geology, we find that, though the processes of denudation, deposition, upheaval, subsidence, have been ever going on in conformity with laws more or less clearly generalized, the effects have been always new in their proportions and arrangements; though not so completely new as to forbid comparisons, consequent deductions, and approximate previsions based on them.
Were there no such replies as these to Mr. Froude's reasons, there would still be the reply furnished by his own interpretations of history; which make it clear that his denial must be understood as but a qualified one. Against his professed theory may be set his actual practice, which, as it seems to me, tacitly asserts that explanations of some social phenomena in terms of cause and effect are possible, if not explanations of all social phenomena. Thus, respecting the Vagrancy Act of , which made a slave of a confirmed vagrant, Mr. Froude says:-" In the condition of things which was now commencing Froude writes: -" Under the late reign these tendencies had, with great difficulty, been held partially in check, but on the death of Henry they acquired new force and activity.
Yet again, Mr.