Full text: Problems in eugenics

V. L. Kellogg. Sociology and Eugenics.225 
The removal is effective even when the individuals are not all killed or 
injured, for during their time of service all these sturdy young men have no 
part in the racial propagation. And although after the required years of 
service they may, if returned alive, take up their part in this eugenic 
function, much of their value in this function has been lost, not only by the 
inevitable preoccupation of their place for a certain number of years by 
inferior men, but by a dangerous degeneration of many of them, as I shall 
point out later, acquired while in service. 
If one is inclined hastily to consider the number of men engaged 
in military service as so small as to be practically negligible in estimating 
the influences tending toward racial modification of a population, let him 
recall the fact that the French and German armies of to-day on peace 
footings number each more than half a million men in actual service. Ger­ 
many’s total by her new law, effective in October of this year, will be 
705.000 men. These numbers are more than 1 per cent, of the whole 
population of the two countries, and, which is more to the point, more than 
5 per cent, of each country’s men between the ages of 18 and 35. 
France now takes annually into military service two out of three of 
all her young men arriving each year at military age. There have 
been, of course, times in her history when she has had to take all of these 
young men who could possibly carry arms. Napoleon’s grim remark 
apropos the question of his personal riches : “ J’ai cent mille hommes de 
rente ” (I have an income of 100,000 men), was the truth. And he 
lived up to his income. 
Let him, inclined to see in the removal of a selected 5 per cent, 
of the men of reproducing age from a given population, no serious influence 
on the racial modification of that population, recall the fact of the increase 
by geometrical progression of the characteristics of any given type in the 
population, so that if one type starts with ever so slight an advantage in 
numbers, its preponderance over other types increases very swifty. For 
example, Ammon has shown that if of two types in a population one has 
an average birth-rate of 3.3 and the other a birth-rate of but one-tenth more, 
namely, 3.4, the second type will, in only 23^ generations, be double the 
number of the other in the mixed population. 
We may ask now if there is any direct evidence of the racially disadvan­ 
tageous working of military selection. Seeck describes the difficulties experi­ 
enced by the Roman Emperors in refilling their emptied armies with efficient 
Roman soldiers, because of the actual lack, after a long period of continuous 
war, of able-bodied citizen youth. Rome, in maintaining an army of about 
350.000 men, required an annual recruitment of nearly half that number. 
The time came, however, when actually not more than 10,000 suitable 
men of Roman citizenship could be raised each year. Seeck finds the reason Q
	        

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