« ForrigeFortsett »
the petty husbandry, first in a part of the provinces, and then in Italy, by the farming of large estates; the prevailing tendency to devote the latter in Italy to the rearing of cattle, and the culture of the olive and the vine;
ally, the replacing of the free laborers in the provinces as in Italy by slaves. Elsewhere he says eniphatically:
It was ancient social evils - - at the bottom of all the ruin of the middle class by the slave proletariat — that brought destruction on the Roman commonwealth.
To realize how parasitism may draw a society out of its true orbit, one has but to consider what would happen to us if the occidentals should contrive to exploit the toiling yellow millions of the Orient. For one thing, such a colossal parasitic exploit would sharply arrest the rise of our working classes and block the path of democracy with a centralized bureaucratic machine. Says Mr. Hobson :
The greater part of western Europe might then assume the appearance and character already exhibited by tracts of country in the south of England, in the Riviera, and in the tourist-ridden or residential parts of Italy and Switzerland — little clusters of weaithy aristocrats drawing dividends and pensions from the Far East, with a somewhat larger group of professional retainers and tradesmen, and a large body of personal servants and workers in the final stages of production of the more perishable goods; all the main arterial industries would have disappeared, the staple foods and manufactures flowing in as tribute from Asia and Africa.
VII. The conjugation of societies.—There is no change of destiny more abrupt than that which occurs when two unlike societies yield up their identity in the formation of a single society. Of such conjugation there are two primary types, juxtaposition and superposition.
The merging of juxtaposed groups may come about either through alliance or through conquest. In the former case the train of consequences is about as follows: In a certain crisis neighboring peoples ally themselves, each, however, retaining its own customs and institutions. Thenceforth they have the same name and flag, are involved in a common enmity or friendship with other states, experience in common certain hopes and discouragements. In time union becomes a habit, and is kept up even if external pressure is removed. The memory of the old separateness fades and each people becomes less jealous of its political individuality. From generation to generation there is an increase in the number of matters with which the confederation is permitted to deal. A written instrument can retard, but cannot arrest, the decay of local institutions in favor of common institutions. After a civil war or two the confederation becomes a true nation within which the process of assimilation may proceed until the old local groupings and feelings have quite disappeared.
If merging comes through conquest, the process is by no means the same. The bond being not community of interest, but coercion, feelings are aroused which interrupt the assimilation that naturally takes place between societies in peaceful contact. If the mass and culture of one society is not clearly superior to that of the other, the two dissimilar streams of social life may for a long time flow side by side without mingling, the conquerors unyielding from disdain, the conquered from resentment. Still, however prudently the former may refrain from disturbing the customs and institutions of the latter, the coercive union of two societies inevitably modifies the structure of both. In general, the constrained society is deformed by pressure upon the apex. The upper classes are crushed down toward the lower and sometimes, following out the principle of Parcere subjectis, debellare superbos, the lower are deliberately exalted above their quondam superiors in order to create an interest loyal to the dominant society. Moreover, new groupings may be formed, intended to dissolve the spirit and usages of the ancient social order. Thus in Gaul “ the Romans systematically suppressed the old divisions into peoples, tribes, or nations, and replaced them by the distribution of the country into urban districts.'
In the constraining society, on the other hand, the structural alterations are in the direction of greater inequality. Says Mommsen:
The new provincial system necessitated the appointment of governors whose position was absolutely incompatible .... with the Roman Constitution. It was not practicable for any length of time to be at once republican and king. Playing the part of governors demoralized the Roman ruling class with fearful rapidity. The man, moreover, who had just conducted a legalized inilitary tyranny abroad could with difficulty find his
way back to the common civic level. Even the government felt that their two fundamental principles — equality within the aristocracy and the subordination of the power of the magistrates to the senatorial college — began in this instance to give way in their hands.
Venice, after enjoying popular government for ten centuries, was brought under an oligarchy in consequence of expanded conquests and incessant wars. Nor are the reactions of the Britannic dominion upon English politics of a different kind. Says Mr. Hobson:
As the despotic portion of our Empire has grown in area, a larger and larger number of men, trained in the temper and methods of autocracy as soldiers and civil officials in our Crown colonies, protectorates, and Indian Empire, reinforced by numbers of nierchants, planters, engineers, and overseers, whose lives have been those of a superior caste . have returned to this country bringing back the characters, sentiments, and ideas imposed by this foreign environment. Everywhere they stand for coercion and resistance to reform.
Even if clamped together by force, two societies, nevertheless, gradually assimilate and provided their racial differences be not too great-a process of equalization sets in which causes the original social individualities to disappear in a higher synthesis. It was the irresistible demand for this social equilibration that set aside the old oligarchic Roman republic in favor of the empire. By Cæsar's statesmanship Italy was converted from the mistress of the subject peoples into the mother of the renovated Italo-Hellenic nation. The Cisalpine province completely equalized with the mother-country was a promise and a guarantee that . every Latinized district might expect to be placed on an equal footing by the side of its elder sisters and of the mother herself. On the threshold of full national and political equalization with Italy stood the adjoining lands, the Greek Sicily and the south of Gaul, which was rapidly becoming Latinized. In a more remote stage of preparation stood the other provinces of the empire in which .... the great maritime cities .... now became Italian Helleno-Italian communities, the centers of an Italian civilization even in the Greek East, the fundamental pillars of the future national and political equalization of the empire.
The conjugation of two peoples by conquest and superposition is still more fecund in social transformations, inasmuch as the parasitic nexus established between lords and subjects calls into being peculiar relations, structures, and institutions. The inter
esting train of effects which leads from custom to law, from the gentile to the civil organization, from the minor to the larger social division of labor, resulting in the formation of a new people on a much higher plane of social evolution, has been so admirably worked out by Gumplowicz, Ratzenhofer, and Ward' that it is unnecessary to set it forth here.
VIII. Alteration in the environinent.— Upborne by vegetable and animal life, human societies are exposed to disturbances arising from changes in the worlds of flora and fauna. Plant encroaches upon or drives out plant, animal presses back or exterminates animal. Fishing communities are profoundly affected by mysterious vicissitudes in the run of food-fishes. Hunters and agriculturists have trying experiences which show how unstable is the medium on which they float. Consider how in our own day the phylloxera, the rinderpest, the foot-and-mouth disease, and the boll-wevil cause economic crises which may
be reflected in institutions. Those migrations of micro-organisms which gave rise to the Black Death, the Asiatic cholera, and the bubonic plague have been more fateful perhaps than the invasions of Huns or Tartars. The fearful pest which under the Antonines wiped out half the population of the Roman Empire made it a shell easy for the barbarians to smash into. The Black Death of 1349, by making laborers scarce and dear, gave rise to the long series of Statutes of Laborers aiming to re-attach the cultivators to the soil. A permanent extension of the administration of the state has often dated from a sudden calamity — a pestilence, a famine, a murrain, a flood, or a tempest -- which, paralyzing private efforts, has caused application for state aid. The vast machinery of the Public Health Department in England has rapidly grown up in consequence of the cholera visitations in the middle of the last century. How many lines of influence from the abolition of the Corn Laws to the Hibernian conquest of American cities radiate from the Irish famine of 1845-46!
To sum up the results of these three papers in Social Dynamics:
Rassenkanpf, pp. 218–63. Sociologische Erkenntniss, pp. 156-64. 8 Pure Sociology, pp. 205-15.
The causes or factors of social change are statico-dynamic processes, transmutations, and stimuli. Statico-dynamic processes I call those ordinary functional activities which leave behind them as by-products cumulative effects capable of causing social change. Transmutations are those gradual unconscious alterations which occur in consequence of the inability of human beings to reproduce accurately the copy their fathers set them. Stimuli, however, which are those factors of change lying outside of the strictly social sphere, furnish most of the impulses toward social transformation. The principal orders of stimuli are the growth of population, the accumulation of wealth, migration, innovation, the cross-fertilization of cultures, the interaction of groups, the conjugation of societies, and alteration of the environment.
Those modifications of society which are brought about by the social will, equipped with adequate knowledge, using appropriate means, and striving toward an intelligently conceived goal, do not, of course, come within the purview of pure sociology.
EDWARD ALSWORTH Ross. THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA.