Full text: Problems in eugenics

R. Michels.Sociology and Eugenics.29 
The writer is engaged at present in an attempt to find and expose certain 
actual results of military service and war that have direct relation to 
racial modification. His paper presents some pertinent facts and figures 
already gained. These facts are examined in the light of the criticisms 
of such men as Bischoff and Livi, who have recognized the weaknesses in 
military and hygienic statistics, and in the light of other opportunities 
for error both in the recording and the interpretation of the facts, which 
have suggested themselves to him. Also there has to be considered the 
possible reality of eugenic advantages from military selection. Seeck and 
Ammon believe they have discovered some. 
The writer, holding in mind both the dangers of error and the possibility 
of eugenic advantage, believes himself nevertheless able to present certain 
definite facts showing considerable direct eugenic disadvantage in certain 
By Roberto Michels, 
University of Turin, Italy. 
An oligarchy is invariably formed in all political parties for reasons 
based partly on individual psychology, partly on crowd psychology, and 
partly on the social necessity of party organisation. Under the first head 
is grouped the individual’s consciousness of his own importance, which with 
opportunity develops into the natural human lust for power, and, further, 
such individual qualities as native tact, editorial ability, and so on. Crowd 
psychology is characterised chiefly by the incompetence of the masses, their 
dependence upon traditional methods of party government, and their feeling 
of gratitude to leaders who have suffered for the cause. Finally, the 
necessity for party organisations grows with every increase of numbers 
and extension of functions. It is physically impossible for large party 
groups to govern themselves directly. All parties live in a state of per­ 
petual warfare with opposing parties, and, if they are revolutionary in char­ 
acter, with the social order itself. Tactical considerations, therefore, and, 
above all, the necessity of maintaining a condition of military preparedness 
strengthen the hands of the controlling clique within the party and render 
every day more impossible genuine democracy. 
The selective or eugenic value of party organization is that it allows men 
gifted with certain qualities to rise above their fellows into positions of 
superiority, which, for the considerations set forth above, are more or less

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