Full text: Problems in eugenics

R. Michels. Sociology and Eugenics.237 
milieu. In other words, there is no real selection possible, the richest being 
necessarily at the top of the tree and having primarily jeu gagné in life even 
if not really superiors by physical strength and intellectual power ; the poor 
being condemned to remain so, even if from every point of view, except the 
economic, they are superior, per se. Therefore every means which betters 
the general conditions of the lower classes will enable them to measure the 
strength of the individuals who compose them with that of the well-born 
classes, and will put the struggle for life on a more healthy and more natural 
basis, and allow a greater quantity of men to occupy in society the place 
to which their special and inborn qualities and their cleverness and energy 
give them a kind of moral and logical right. 
By W. C. D. and C. D. Whetham. 
The history of mankind is the tale of the rise and fall of successive 
peoples, and with them, of their particular form of civilization and 
specialized variety of religion. As far back as we possess records, and 
beyond again into eras which can only be revealed by the spade and the 
pickaxe, or through the interpretation of legend and heroic song, we find 
this process at work. In the far distance, the alternations of prosperity, 
quiescence and decadence seem to succeeed each other rapidly enough. We 
scarcely realize the centuries that passed between the achievements of 
the IV., XII. and XVIII. dynasties in Egypt, nor the extent to which 
each of these periods represented the triumph of a fresh method of 
government, the heroic or personal, the feudal, the hieratic or bureaucratic, 
a sequence of frequent occurrence in the history of nations. When we 
come farther down the cycle of centuries, the glory of Greece and Rome 
seem to occupy a greater space, and the comparative transitoriness of their 
golden age is apt to be forgotten in admiration of their accomplishments 
in art, philosophy, law, and administration. Nevertheless the annals of 
their decline and fall have also been written. It is only when we come 
to our own time that we are less well able to recognize the process at 
work, and find it unpleasing to ask on which incline of the advancing 
wave front we find ourselves placed. 
It is interesting to recall that there are certain regions of the earth’s 
surface which apparently do not possess any vivid consecutive history of 
their own, while again there are others which are never free for long 
together from dramatic movement and display. The valley of the Tigris 
and Euphrates in ancient days, Egypt throughout all the ages, and Italy 
for the past three thousand years are instances of lands that are never 
long free from turmoil and strife. Again there are other districts, such

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