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Devoted to the Science, Art, Philosophy and Literature

of Education



No. 2

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Darwinism, Militarism, Socialism, and

Bolschevism, in the Universities

Seimommurd T is no mere coincidence that practically all of the

war literature, which was not a matter of simple condemnation and abuse, regardless of what particular phraseology may have been used, should find itself expressing one idea and one only. It does not matter whether the various writers stress the Balkan Question, Commercial Rivalry, Pan-Ger

manism, or Jealousy of the British Colonial Empire as immediate causes of the great conflict; underlying it all we find them insisting that the doctrines of Gobineau, Treitschke and Nietzsche were the fertilizers of the intellectual soil which made possible the growth of those particular ideas which convinced seventy millions of men and women that the ideals for which Prussianism stood were just and right.

Two factors loom large on the horizon of any survey of things mental during the war. First, every leader in Germany, civil or military, was a University man. As men are inclined to put into practice later in life those particular ideas which they imbibed during their youth, one must needs search their early training if one seeks true, deep, and valid causes for such later action. In other words, youth is the time for gathering and accepting principles, maturity for putting these same principles into effect.

Second, while many may deny the power of philosophy to furnish motives for any given action, few will dispute the fact that it is one's philosophy, however, which not only makes one appreciate that one is not a fool for accepting certain principles; and that it also furnishes each individual with a sort of driving power which, in turn, results in the putting into actual practice whatever principles have been imbibed by that individual. With these two factors in mind, plus a remembrance of the findings of our own psychological department during the war, that between 42% and 48% of all men tested were of less than average intelligence, it is not difficult to arrive at the conclusion that, in the final analysis, it is the principles of the men accepted as leaders which not only have made, but are making, and will continue to make a difference to the world at large; for, inasmuch as this 42% to 48% of men are bound to follow such leaders as are given them, they being unable by sheer lack of mental ability and capacity to choose those whom they should follow, the ideas of a very small group, especially when military obedience is added, become not inly the guiding principles of the multitude, but, the reasoning these leaders use to justify their action, becomes the reasoning which is accepted by nearly the entire population. Now, it is not unjust to assume that the same ratio of “under average intelligence” will apply in the case of women as well as men, and in other lands as well as our own, so that what has been said above will apply quite well, and fairly accurately, in all lands, and, in probably all times.

Even in our own country, where, it has been said, we spend more money for education and get less for it than other countries do, according to Who's Who in America, men who have won eminence, and it is safe to assume that these men have attained at least some measure of leadership among their fellows—have been found to be college men in about 60% of all instances. This seems to justify the statement that the things taught in our colJeges and universities are by far the most important factors in a discussion of leadership; the majority of human beings being unable to choose their leaders themselves, follow whomsoever is called a leader. This means that it is really a majority of all people who follow, because not only do the 42% to 48% do so by lack of capacity, but many of average intelligence, having neither the time nor the inclination to check up things for themselves, also must follow. Then, remembering further, that only about one per cent of our entire population ever gets through college, we see that 60% of America's leaders come from this one per cent of the population. This is food for thought!

1. Not having the Page and exact wording of the Personnel Manual of the army be fore me, I am giving my authority for these ngures, The Memphis Commercial Appeal, May 25, 1919, where the tests were summarized.

It is easily seen that what our schools for higher learning teach is of the utmost importance to every human being. Perhaps the value and effect of the far-reaching influence of the instructor may be brought home the better by mentioning the answer of a Western College president to a manufacturer who insisted that a particular professor of chemistry was exactly the man his plant needed. "We cannot afford,” he said, “to pay the professor what your firm can, so I suppose he will go; but, let me suggest that when you need more chemists next year and the year after, you must not expect to get them as you have in the past. You have destroyed the source of supply. You will obtain one good chemist, it is true, but if he remains with us, he can furnish you many each year. With you he is just one lone chemist; with us he is worth as many chemists as he can give to the world.” The manufacturer, being wise in his generation, saw the force of the argument, and that chemist is still teaching.

Now Germans have denied that the men who taught the Supremacy of the State, such as Treitschke for example, had many readers in Germany, which is probably true; but it is evident that numbers in a case of this kind matter little. The whole question is, "Did any of the leaders read such works, and were they influenced by such reading ?"

The philosophy which we have all united in condemning is called Nietzschianism, meaning that the State is absolutely Supreme in everything, intellectual and ethical as well as physical,

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