Government or human evolution - PDF book by Edmond Kelly

Government or human evolution

Government or human evolution



The problem of human government naturally divides itself into two parts: one which concerns students only because it deals with theory; and one which concerns all because it deals with practice.

 These two should not be separated, for they are essential parts of one whole. But unfortunately, the busy citizen has insufficient time even for the solution of practical problems; for those that are theoretical, he has neither time nor inclination. It has been deemed advisable therefore to publish the present work on human government in two parts — the first of which, under the sub-title of Justice, deals mainly with fundamental problems of theory; the second, under the sub-title 'Individualism and Collectivism,' will deal with probably the most practical issue of the day

For the benefit of those who have not had time to read the first volume, its conclusions will be briefly recapitulated in the second. The conditions under which this book has been written may not be without interest to the reader, for it is not the result of mere theoretical speculation, but rather of a particular experience in practical politics worth recounting:

 During the winter of 1891-1892, a few New York citizens met for the purpose of considering how, if at all, Tammany Hall — which was then in undisputed possession of the city — could be overthrown. Previous combinations to that end had failed, owing in great part to lack of permanence. 

The majority, who desired good government for the general benefits good government confers upon the many, was governed by an insignificant minority in the interests of that minority, because, in the first place, the majority were so scattered that they did not have an opportunity for collective action, and because, in the second place, the majority were so busy that they did not have the time necessary to cope with the practical politician who made politics the business of his life. 

The practical politician attends to politics every day of every year; whereas the amateur attends to politics, if at all, only a few weeks before the election. It was conceived that no permanent organisation in favour of good government could be maintained unless the organisation had a permanent abiding-place, and as no single roof could cover an organisation large enough sensibly to affect politics the original plan was to begin by organising a single central social club to this end and to organise thereafter a series of affiliated clubs which would work in co-operation with the one first organised. 

The first club, called the ' City Club,' was successfully constituted in 1892, and was composed of the wealthiest and most public-spirited men in the city; but this club once organised, its governing body declined to undertake the responsibility of organising affiliated clubs. Those bent on carrying out the original plan, however, proceeded by the individual initiative to organise other clubs for a similar purpose, and in a few months, not a district in the city was without one. 

They styled themselves ' Good Government Clubs,' and were distinguished by letters of the alphabet. The combination of clubs so organised undoubtedly contributed to the overthrow of Tammany Hall in 1894, but the lack of centralisation, owing to the refusal of the governing body of the City Club to carry out the original programme, soon made itself felt. 

Every club undertook to manage the political affairs of the district in which it was situated, without regard to the others; and it frequently happened that Bills drawn up under the auspices of one set of these clubs were bitterly opposed by others, so that when the day for discussing these Bills before the Legislature arrived, Good Government Clubs A, B, C, D, and E would be found joined in eager support of measures that Good Government Clubs P, Q, B, S, and T were equally bent on defeating. One of the important conclusions to be drawn from this state of facts was that mere good government did not in itself constitute a platform upon which a political party could be maintained. 

Upon every question that comes up for governmental action, a party must take one side or the other; and it must have some principle or platform that determines, as it were, in advance the side it will take on every important issue presented. Parties that survive are organised either on lines of temperament as in England or for the purpose of carrying out a premeditated political programme as in America. 

The Good Government Clubs had no political programme except the defeat of Tammany Hall: once Tammany Hall was defeated, they split into as many factions as there were local questions at issue. To those who had taken part in the organisation of these clubs the profound differences of opinion that were revealed presented a discouraging problem of no small importance. It was obvious that the movement, in so far as it was an effort for permanent organisation, had failed; and there seemed little reason for hoping that, so long as well-intentioned men differed to the extent described, a permanent organisation for assuring good government was in any way possible.

Contents 

BOOK I
NATURE
I. NATURAL LAW, NATURAL RIGHTS . . . . 13
II. NATURE DISTINGUISHED FROM ART . . .33
BOOK II
EVOLUTION
PREFACE TO BOOK II 53
I. NATURAL EVOLUTION 55
II. HUMAN DISTINGUISHED FROM NATURAL SELECTION 76
§ 1. — Introductory 76
§ 2. — Role of Religion in Human Selection . . 83
§ 3. — Analysis of Human Evolution .... 87
§ 4. — Climate 90
§ 5. — Struggle for Life between Man and the Lower Animals 95
II. HUMAN DISTINGUISHED FKOM NATURAL SELEC-
TION — (continued)
§ 6. — Struggle fob Life between Man and Man . 101
(a) In the same Community . . . . 101
(b) In different Communities .... 102
§ 7.— Sexual Selection in Man 103
(a) The Evolution of Self -restraint . . 112
(b) Marriage 125
§ 8.— SUMMARY 183
III. HUMAN CONTRASTED WITH NATURAL ENVIRONMENT . . . . . . . . 138
§ 1. — Primary and Secondary, ob National and Inter-
national environment 138
§ 2. — Effect of Wealth on Type 150
§ 3. — The Element of Time in Natural and in
Human Evolution 157
§ 4. — The Development of Man after Birth is the
Result of Education rather than of Heredity 164
§ 5. — Conclusion 171
IV. HUMAN EVOLUTION IN ITS RELATION TO GOVERNMENT 175

BOOK III
GOVERNMENT
I. WHAT IS GOVERNMENT? 211
II. IS SOCIETY AN ORGANISM? 239
III. JUSTICE -275
§ 1. — Natural Justice: So-called .... 275
§ 2. — A few Existing Definitions of Justice . . 279
§ 3. — Evolution of Justice 283
§ 4. — Natural Social Evolution contrasted with
Human Social Evolution 285
§ 5. — First Attempt to Describe Justice . . 288
CONTENTS XV
III. JUSTICE— (continued)
§ 6. — Eights under the Law of Man contrasted
with So-called Eights under the Law op
Nature 293
§ 7. — Second Attempt to Describe Justice . . 295
§ 8. — Obstacles to the Attainment of Justice . . 300
§ 9. — Men are not ' Created Equal ' 306
§ 10.— Natural Inequalities and Artificial In-
equalities 307
§ 11. — Criticism of Proposed Definition of Justice 316
§ 12. — Advantages of Proposed Definition . . 319
§ 13.— Summary 326
§ 14. — Facts and Tendencies of Nature that Limit
our Efforts to Attain Justice, our Responsibilities in regard to these efforts, and
the Arena for Useful Discussion regarding
the Same 330
(a) Natural Inequalities .... 337
(b) Artificial Inequalities . . . . 338
§ 15. — Justice regarded as a Virtue . . . 342
§ 16. — Evolution of Virtue 344
§ 17. — Conclusion 359


the book details :
  • Author: Edmond Kelly
  • Publication date: 1901
  • Company: London, Longmans

  • Vol. 1. Justice.- Vol. 2. Individualism and collectivism

    Download Volume 1


    Download Volume 2

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