40 The Next Stage of History

40.1 The Possible Unification of Men’s Wills in Political Matters

We have brought this Outline of History up to the threshold of our own times, but we have brought it to no conclusion. It breaks off at a dramatic phase of expectation. Nobody believes that the system of settlements grouped about the Treaty of Versailles is a permanent arrangement of the world’s affairs. These Treaties were the end of the war and not the establishment of a new order in the world. That new order has now to be established. In social and economic as in international affairs we are in the dawn of a great constructive effort. The story of life, which began inestimable millions of years ago, the adventure of mankind, which was already afoot half a million years ago, rises to a crisis in the immense interrogation of to-day. The drama becomes ourselves. It is you, it is I, and it is all that is happening to us and all that we are doing which will supply the next chapter of this continually expanding adventure of mankind.

Our history has traced a steady growth of the social and political units into which men have combined. In the brief period of ten thousand years these units have grown from the small family tribe of the early Neolithic culture to the vast united realms – vast yet still too small and partial – of the present time. And this change in size of the state – a change manifestly incomplete – has been accompanied by profound changes in its nature. Compulsion and servitude have given way to ideas of associated freedom, and the sovereignty that was once concentrated in an autocratic king and god, has been widely diffused throughout the community. Until the Roman republic extended itself to all Italy, there had been no free community larger than a city state; all great communities were communities of obedience under a monarch. The great united republic of the United States would have been: impossible before, the printing press and the railway. The telegraph and telephone, the aeroplane, the continual progress of land and sea transit, are now insisting upon a still larger political organization.

If our Outline, has been faithfully drawn, and if these brief conclusions are sound, it follows that we are engaged upon an immense task of adjustment to these great lines upon which our affairs are moving. Our wars, our social conflict, our enormous economic stresses, are all aspects of that adjustment. The loyalties and allegiances today are at best provisional loyalties and allegiances. Our true State, this state that is already beginning, this state to which every man owes his utmost political effort, must be now, this nascent Federal World State to which, human necessities point. Our true God now is the God of all men. Nationalism as a God must follow the tribal gods to limbo. Our true nationality is mankind.

How far will modern men lay hold upon and identify themselves with this necessity and set themselves to revise their ideas, remake their institutions, and educate the coming generations to this final extension of citizenship? How far will they remain dark, obdurate, habitual and traditional, resisting the convergent forces that offer them either unity or misery? Sooner or later that unity must come or else plainly men must perish by their own inventions. We, because we believe in the power of reason and in the increasing good will in men, find ourselves compelled to reject the latter possibility. But the way to the former may be very long and tedious, very tragic and wearisome a martyrdom of many generations, or it, may be travelled over almost swiftly in the course of a generation or so. That depends upon, forces whose nature we understand to, some extent now, but not their power. There has to be a great process of education, by precept and by information and by experience but there are as yet no quantitative measures of education to tell us how much has to be learnt or how soon that learning can be done. Our estimates vary with our moods; the time may be much longer than our hopes and much shorter than our fears.

The terrible experiences of the Great War have made very many men who once took political things lightly take them now very gravely. To a certain small number of men and women the attainment of a world peace has become the supreme work in life, has become a religious self-devotion. To a much greater number it has become at least a ruling motive. Many such people now are seeking ways of working for this great end, or they are already working for this great end, by pen and persuasion, in schools and colleges and books, and in the highways and byways of public life. Perhaps now most human beings in the world are well-disposed towards such efforts, but rather confusedly disposed; they are without any clear sense of what must be done and what ought to be prevented, that human solidarity may be advanced. The worldwide outbreak of faith and hope in President Wilson, before he began to wilt and fail us, was a very significant thing indeed for the future of mankind. Set against these motives of unity indeed are other motives entirely antagonistic, the fear and hatred of strange things and peoples, love of and trust in the old traditional thing, patriotisms, race prejudices, suspicions, distrusts – and the elements of spite, scoundrelism, and utter selfishness that are so strong still in every human soul.

The overriding powers that hitherto in the individual soul and in the community have struggled and prevailed against the ferocious, base, and individual impulses that divide us from one another, have been the powers of religion and education. Religion and education, those closely interwoven influences, have made possible the greater human societies whose growth we have traced in this Outline, they have been the chief synthetic forces throughout this great story of enlarging human co-operations that we have traced from its beginnings. We have found in the intellectual and theological conflicts of the nineteenth century the explanation of that curious exceptional disentanglement of religious teaching from formal education which is a distinctive feature of our age, and we have traced the consequences of this phase of religious disputation and confusion in the reversion of international politics towards a brutal nationalism and in the backward drift of industrial and business life towards harsh, selfish, and uncreative profit-seeking. There has been a slipping off of ancient restraints; a real decivilization of men’s minds. We would lay stress here on the suggestion that this divorce of religious teaching from organized education is necessarily a temporary one, a transitory dislocation, and that presently education must become again in intention and spirit religious, and that the impulse to devotion, to universal service and to a complete escape from self, which has been the common underlying force in all the great religions of the last five and twenty centuries, an impulse which ebbed so perceptibly during the prosperity, laxity, disillusionment, and scepticism of the past seventy or eighty years, will reappear again, stripped and plain, as the recognized fundamental structural impulse in human society.

Education is the preparation of the individual for the community, and his religious training is the core of that preparation. With the great intellectual restatements and expansions of the nineteenth century, an educational break-up, a confusion and loss of aim in education, was inevitable. We can no longer prepare the individual for a community when our ideas of a community are shattered and undergoing reconstruction. The old loyalties, the old too limited and narrow political and social assumptions, the old too elaborate religious formulae, have lost their power of conviction, and the greater ideas of a world state and of an economic commonweal have been winning their way only very slowly to recognition. So far they have swayed only a minority of exceptional people. But out of the trouble and tragedy of this present time there may emerge a moral and intellectual revival, a religious revival, of a simplicity and scope to draw together men of alien races and now discrete traditions into one common and sustained way of living for the world’s service. We cannot foretell the scope and power of such a revival; we cannot even produce evidence of its onset. The beginnings of such things are never conspicuous. Great movements of the racial soul come at first «like a thief in the night», and then suddenly are discovered to be powerful and world-wide. Religious emotion – stripped of corruptions and freed from its last priestly entanglements – may presently blow, through life again like a great wind, bursting the doors and flinging open the shutters of the individual life, and making many things possible and easy that in these present days of exhaustion seem almost too difficult to desire.

40.2 How a Federal World Government May Come About

If we suppose a sufficient righteousness and intelligence in men to produce presently, from the tremendous lessons of history, an effective will for a world peace – that is to say, an effective will for a world law under a world government— for in no other fashion is a secure world peace conceivable – in what manner may we expect things to move towards this end? That movement will certainly not go on equally in every country, nor is it likely to take at first one uniform mode of expression. Here it will find a congenial and stimulating atmosphere, here it will find itself antagonistic to deep tradition or racial idiosyncrasy or well-organized base oppositions. In some cases those to whom the call of the new order has come will be living in a state almost ready to serve the ends of the greater political synthesis, in others they will have to fight like conspirators against the rule of evil laws. There is little in the political constitution of such countries as the United States or Switzerland that would impede their coalescence upon terms of frank give and take with other equally civilized confederations; political systems involving dependent areas and «subject peoples» such as the Turkish Empire was before the Great War, seem to require something in the nature of a breaking up before they can be adapted to a federal world system. Any state obsessed by traditions of an aggressive foreign policy will be difficult to assimilate into a world combination. But though here the government may be helpful, and here dark and hostile, the essential task of men of goodwill in all states and countries remains the same, it is an educational task, and its very essence is to bring to the minds of all men everywhere, as a necessary basis for world co-operation, a new telling and interpretation, a common interpretation, of history.

Does this League of Nations, which has been created by the covenant of 1919, contain within it the germ of any permanent federation of human effort? Will it grow into something for which, as Stallybrass says, men will be ready to «work wholeheartedly and, if necessary, fight»—as hitherto they have been willing to fight for their country and their own people? There are few intimations of any such enthusiasm for the League at the present time. The League does not even seem to know how to talk to common men. It has gone into official buildings, and comparatively few people in the world understand or care what it is doing there. It may be that the League is no more than a first project of union, exemplary only in its insufficiencies and dangers, destined to be superseded by something closer and completer as were the United States Articles of Confederation by the Federal Constitution. The League is at present a mere partial league of governments and states. It emphasizes nationality; it defers to sovereignty. What the world needs is no such league of nations as this nor even a mere league of peoples, but a world league of men. The world perishes unless sovereignty is merged and nationality subordinated. And for that the minds of men must first be prepared by experience and knowledge and thought. The supreme task before men at the present time is political education.

It may be that several partial leagues may precede any world league. The common misfortunes and urgent common needs of Europe and Asia may be more efficacious in bringing the European and Asiatic states to reason and a sort of unity, than the mere intellectual and sentimental ties of the United States and Great Britain and France. A United States of the Old World is a possibility to set against the possibility of an Atlantic union. Moreover, there is much to be said for an American experiment, a Pan-American league, in which the New World European colonies would play an in-and-out part as Luxembourg did for a time in the German confederation.

We will not attempt to weigh here what share may be taken in the recasting and consolidation of human affairs by the teachings and propaganda of labour internationalism, by the studies and needs of international finance, or by such boundary destroying powers as science and art and historical teaching. All these things may exert a combined pressure, in which it may never be possible to apportion the exact shares. Opposition may dissolve, antagonistic cults flatten out to a common culture, almost imperceptibly. The bold idealism of to-day may seem mere common sense to-morrow. And the problem of a forecast is complicated by the possibilities of interludes and backwaters. History has never gone simply forward. More particularly are the years after a great war apt too be years of apparent retrocession; men are too weary to see what has been done, what has been cleared away, and what has been made possible.

Among the things that seem to move commandingly towards an adequate world control at the present time are these:

  1. The increasing destructiveness and intolerableness of war waged with the new powers of science.

  2. The inevitable fusion of the world’s economic affairs into one system, leading necessarily, it would seem, to some common control of currency, and demanding safe and uninterrupted communications, and a free movement of goods and people by sea and land throughout the whole world. The satisfaction of these needs will require a world control of very considerable authority and powers of enforcement.

  3. The need, because of the increasing mobility of peoples, of effectual controls of health everywhere.

  4. The urgent need of some equalization of labour conditions, and of the minimum standard of life throughout the world. This seems to carry with it, as a necessary corollary, the establishment of some minimum standard of education for everyone.

  5. The impossibility of developing the enormous benefits of flying without a world control of the air-ways.

The necessity and logic of such diverse considerations as these push the mind irresistibly, in spite of the clashes of race and tradition and the huge difficulties created by differences in language, towards the belief that a conscious struggle to establish or prevent a political world community will be the next’stage in human history. The things that require that world community are permanent needs, one or other of these needs appeals to nearly everyone, and against their continuing persistence are only mortal difficulties, great no doubt, but mortal; prejudices, passions, animosities, delusions about race and country, egotisms, and such-like fluctuating and evanescent things, set up in men’s minds by education and suggestion; none of them things that make now for the welfare and survival of the individuals who are under their sway nor of the states and towns and associations in which they prevail.

40.3 Some Fundamental Characteristics of a Modern World State

The attainment of the world state may be impeded and may be opposed to-day by many apparently vast forces; but it has, urging it on, a much more powerful force, that of the free and growing common intelligence of mankind. To-day there is in the world a small but increasing number of men, historians, archaeologists, ethnologists, economists, sociologists, psychologists, educationists, and the like, who, are doing for human institutions that same task of creative analysis which the scientific men, of the seventeenth and eighteenth century did for the materials and mechanism of human life; and just as these latter, almost unaware of what they were doing, made telegraphy, swift transit on sea and land, flying and a thousand hitherto impossible: things possible, so the former may be doing more than the world suspects, or than they themselves suspect, to clear-up and make plain the thing to do and the way to do it, in the greater and more urgent human affairs.

Let us ape Roger Bacon in his prophetic mood, and set down what we believe will be the broad fundamentals of the coming world state.

  1. It will be based upon a common world religion, very much simplified and universalized and better understood. This will not be Christianity nor Islam nor Buddhism nor any such specialized form of religion, but religion itself pure and undefiled; the Eightfold Way, the Kingdom of Heaven, brotherhood, creative service, and self-forgetfulness. Throughout the world, men’s thoughts and motives will be turned by education, example, and the circle of ideas about them, from the obsession of self to the cheerful service of human knowledge, human power, and human unity.

  2. And this world state will be sustained by a universal education, organized upon a scale and of a penetration and quality beyond all present experience. The whole race, and not simply classes and peoples, will be educated. Most parents will have a technical knowledge of teaching. Quite apart from the duties of parentage, perhaps ten per cent or more of the adult population will, at some time or other in their lives, be workers in the world’s educational organization. And education, as the new age will conceive it, will go on throughout life; it will not cease at any particular age. Men and women will simply become self-educators and individual students and student teachers as they grow older.

  3. There will be no armies, no navies, and no classes of unemployed people either wealthy or poor.

  4. The world state’s organization of scientific research and record compared with that of to-day will be like an ocean liner beside the dug-out canoe of some early heliolithic wanderer.

  5. There will be a vast free literature of criticism and discussion.

  6. The world’s political organization will be democratic, that is to say, the government and direction of affairs will be in immediate touch with and responsive to the general thought of the educated whole population.

  7. Its economic organization will be an exploitation of all natural wealth and every fresh possibility science reveals, by the agents and servants of the common government for the common good. Private enterprise will be the servant – a useful, valued, and well-rewarded servant – and no longer the robber master of the commonweal.

  8. And this implies two achievements that seem very difficult to us to-day. They are matters of mechanism, but they are as essential to the world’s well-being as it is to a soldier’s, no matter how brave he may be, that his machine gun should not jam, and to an aeronaut’s that his steering-gear should not fail him in mid-air. Political well-being demands that electoral methods shall be used, and economic well-being requires that a currency shall be used, safeguarded or proof against the contrivances and manipulations of clever, dishonest men.[230]

40.4 What this World Might be were it under One Law and Justice

There can be little question that the attainment of a federation of all humanity, together with a sufficient measure of social justice, to ensure health, education, and a rough equality of opportunity to most of the children born into the world, would mean such a release and increase of human energy as to open a new phase in human history. The enormous waste caused by military preparation and the mutual annoyance of competing great powers, and the still more enormous waste due to the under-productiveness of great masses of people, either because they are too wealthy for stimulus or too poor for efficiency, would cease. There would be a vast increase in the supply of human necessities, a rise in the standard of life and in what is considered a necessity, a development of transport and every kind of convenience and a multitude of people would be transferred from low-grade production to such higher work as art of all kinds, teaching; scientific research, and the like. All over the world there would be a setting free of human capacity, such as has occurred hitherto only in small, places and through precious limited phases of prosperity and security. Unless we are to suppose that spontaneous outbreaks of supermen have occurred in the past, it is reasonable to conclude that the Athens of Pericles, the Florence of the Medici, Elizabethan England, the great deeds of Asoka, the Tang and Ming periods in art, are but samples of what a whole world of sustained security would yield continuously and cumulatively. Without supposing any change in human quality, but merely its release from the present system of inordinate waste, history justifies this expectation.

We have seen how, since the liberation of human thought in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, a comparatively few curious and intelligent men, chiefly in western Europe, have produced a vision of the world and a body of science that is now, on the material side, revolutionizing life. Mostly these men have worked against great discouragement, with insufficient funds and small help or support from the mass of mankind. It is impossible to believe that these men were the maximum intellectual harvest of their generation. England alone in the last three centuries must have produced scores of Newtons who never learnt to read, hundreds of Daltons, Darwins, Bacons, and Huxleys who died stunted in hovels, or never got a chance of proving their quality. All the world over, there must have been myriads, of potential first-class investigators, splendid artists, creative minds, who never caught a gleam of inspiration or opportunity, for every one of that kind who has left his mark upon the world. In the trenches of the Western front alone during the late war thousands of potential great men died unfulfilled. But a world with something like a secure international peace and something like social justice, will fish for capacity with the fine net of universal education, and may expect a yield beyond comparison greater than any yield of able and brilliant men that the world has known hitherto.

It is such considerations as this indeed which justify the concentration of effort in the near future upon the making of a new world state of righteousness out of our present confusions. War is a horrible thing, and constantly more horrible and dreadful, so that unless it is ended it will certainly end human society; social injustice, and the sight of the limited and cramped human beings it produces, torment the soul; but the strongest incentive to constructive political and social work for an imaginative spirit lies not so much in the mere hope of escaping evils as in the opportunity for great adventures that their suppression will open to our race. We want to get rid of the militarist not simply because he hurts and kills, but because he is an intolerable thick-voiced blockhead who stands hectoring and blustering in our way to achievement. We want to abolish many extravagances of private ownership just as we should want to abolish some idiot guardian who refused us admission to a studio in which there were fine things to do.

There are people who seem to imagine that a world order and one universal law of justice would end human adventure. It would but begin it. But instead of the adventure of the past, the «romance» of the cinematograph world, the perpetual reiterated harping upon the trite reactions of sex and combat find the hunt for gold, it would be an unending exploration upon the edge of experience. Hitherto man has been living in a. slum, amidst quarrels, revenges, vanities, shames and taints, hot desires and urgent appetites. He has scarcely tasted sweet air yet and the great freedoms of the world that science has enlarged for him.

To picture to ourselves something of the wider life that world unity would open to men is a very attractive speculation. Life will certainly go with a stronger pulse, it will breathe a deeper breath, because it will have dispelled and conquered a hundred infections of body and mind that now reduce it to invalidism and squalor. We have already laid stress on the vast elimination of drudgery from human life through the creation of a new race of slaves, the machines. This and the disappearance of war and the smoothing out of endless restraints and contentions by juster social and economic arrangements will lift the burthen of toilsome work and routine work that has been the price of human security since the dawn of the first civilizations, from the shoulders of our children. Which does not mean that they will cease to work, but that they will cease to do irksome work under pressure, and will work freely, planning, making, creating, according to their gifts and instincts. They will fight nature no longer as dull conscripts of the pick and plough, but for a splendid conquest. Only the spiritlessness of our, present depression blinds us to the clear intimations of our reason that in the course of a few generations every little country town could become an Athens, every human being could be gentle in breeding and healthy in body and mind, the whole solid earth man’s mine and its uttermost regions his playground.

In this Outline we have sought to show two great systems of development interacting in the story of human society. We have seen, growing out of that later special neolithic culture, the heliolithic, culture in the warmer alluvial parts of the world, the great primordial civilizations, fecund systems of subjugation and obedience, vast multiplications of industrious and subservient men. We have shown the necessary relationship of these early civilizations to the early temples and to king-gods, and god-kings. At the same time we have traced the development from a simpler neolithic level of the wanderer peoples, who became the nomadic peoples, in those great groups the Aryans and the Hun-Mongol peoples of the north-west and the north-east and (from a heliolithic phase) the Semites of the Arabian deserts. Our history has told of a repeated overrunning and refreshment of the originally brunet civilizations by these hardier, bolder, free-spirited peoples of the steppes and desert. We have pointed out how these constantly recurring nomadic, injections have steadily altered the primordial civilizations both in blood and in spirit; and how the world religions of to-day, and what we now call democracy, the boldness of modern scientific inquiry and a universal restlessness, are due to this «nomadization» of civilization. The old civilizations created tradition and lived by tradition. To-day the power of tradition is destroyed. The body of our state is civilization still, but its spirit is the spirit of the nomadic world. It is the spirit of the great plains and the high seas.

So that it is difficult to resist the persuasion that so soon as one law, runs in the earth and the fierceness of frontiers ceases to distress us, that urgency in our nature that stirs us in spring and autumn to be up and travelling, will have its way with us. We shall obey the call of the summer pastures and the winter pastures in our blood, the call of the mountains, the desert, and the sea. For some of us also, who may be of a different lineage, there is the call of the forest, and there are those who would hunt in the summer and return to the fields for the harvest and the plough. But this does not mean that men will have become homeless and all adrift. The normal nomadic life is not a homeless one, but a movement between homes. The Kalmucks to-day, like the swallows, go yearly a thousand miles from one home to another. The beautiful and convenient cities of the coming age, we conclude, will have their seasons when they will be full of life, and seasons when they will seem asleep. Life will ebb and flow to and from every region seasonally as the interest of that region rises or declines.

There will be little drudgery in this better-ordered world. Natural power harnessed in machines will be the general drudge. What drudgery is inevitable will be done as a service and duty for a few years or months out of each life; it will not consume nor degrade the whole life of anyone. And not only drudges, but many other sorts of men and ways of living which loom large in the current social scheme will necessarily have dwindled in importance or passed away altogether. There will be few professional fighting men or none at all, no customhouse officers; the increased multitude of teachers will have abolished large police forces and large jail staffs, mad-houses will be rare or non-existent; a world-wide sanitation will have diminished the proportion of hospitals, nurses, sick-room attendants, and the like; a world-wide economic justice, the floating population of cheats, sharpers, gamblers, forestallers, parasites, and speculators generally. But there will be no diminution of adventure or romance in this world of the days to come. Sea fisheries and the incessant insurrection of the sea, for example, will call for their own Stalwart types of men; the high air will clamour for manhood, the deep and dangerous secret places of nature. Men will turn again with renewed interest to the animal world. In these disordered days a stupid, uncontrollable massacre of animal species goes on-from certain angles of vision, it is a thing almost more tragic than human miseries; in the nineteenth century dozens of animal species, and some of them very interesting species, were exterminated; but one of the first fruits of an effective world state would be the better protection of what are now wild beasts. It is a strange thing in human history to note how little has been done since the Bronze Age in taming, using, befriending, and appreciating the animal life about us. But that mere witless killing, which is called sport to-day would inevitably give place in a better-educated world community to a modification of the primitive instincts, that find expression in this way, changing them into an interest not in the deaths, but in the lives of beasts, and leading to fresh and perhaps very strange and beautiful attempts to befriend these pathetic, kindred lower creatures we no longer fear as enemies, hate as rivals, or need as slaves. And a world state and universal justice does not mean the imprisonment of our race in any bleak institutional orderliness. There will still be mountains and the sea, there will be jungles and great forests, cared for indeed and treasured and protected; the great plains will still spread before us and the wild winds blow. But men will not hate so much, fear so much, nor cheat so desperately – and they will keep their minds and bodies cleaner.

There are unhopeful prophets who see in the gathering together of men into one community the possibility of violent race conflicts, conflicts for «ascendancy», but that is to suppose that civilization is incapable of adjustments by which men of different qualities and temperaments and appearances will live side by side, following different rules and contributing diverse gifts. The weaving of mankind into, one community does not imply the creation of a homogeneous community, but rather the reverse; the welcome and the adequate utilization of distinctive quality in an atmosphere of, understanding. It is the almost universal bad manners of the present age, which make race intolerable to race. The community to which we may be moving will be more mixed – which does not necessarily mean more interbred – more various and more interesting than any existing community. Communities all to one pattern, like boxes of toy soldiers, are things of the past rather than the future.

But one of the hardest, most impossible tasks a writer can set himself, is to picture the life of people better educated, happier in their circumstances, more free and more healthy than he is himself. We know enough to-day to know that there is infinite room for betterment in every human concern. Nothing is needed but collective effort. Our poverty, our restraints, our infections and indigestions, our quarrels and misunderstandings, are all things controllable and removable by concerted human action, but we know as little how life would feel without them as some poor dirty ill-treated, fierce-souled creature born and bred amidst the cruel and dingy surroundings of a European back street can know what it is to bathe every day, always to be clad beautifully, to climb mountains for pleasure, to fly, to meet none but agreeable, well-mannered people, to conduct researches or make delightful things. Yet a time when all such good things will be for all men may be coming more nearly than we think. Each one who believes that brings the good time nearer; each heart that fails delays it.

One cannot foretell the surprises or disappointments the future has in store. Before this chapter of the World State can begin fairly in our histories, other chapters as yet unsuspected may still need to be written, as long and as full of conflict as our account of the growth and rivalries of the Great Powers. There may be tragic economic struggles, grim grapplings, of race with race and class with class. It may be that «private enterprise» will refuse to learn the lesson of service without some quite catastrophic revolution, and that a phase of confiscation and amateurish socialistic government lies before us. We do not know; we cannot tell. These are unnecessary disasters, but they may be unavoidable disasters. Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe. Against the unifying effort of Christendom and against the unifying influence of the mechanical revolution, catastrophe won – at least to the extent of achieving the Great War. We cannot tell yet how much of the winnings of catastrophe still remain to be gathered in. New falsities may arise and hold men in some unrighteous and fated scheme of order for a time, before they collapse amidst the miser and slaughter of generations.

Yet, clumsily or smoothly, the world, it seems, progresses and will progress. In this Outline in our account of palaeolithic men, we have borrowed a description from Mr. Worthington Smith of the very highest life in the world some fifty thousand years ago. It was a bestial life. We have sketched, too, the gathering for a human sacrifice, some fifteen thousand years ago. That scene again is almost incredibly cruel to a modern civilized reader.

Yet it is not more than five hundred years since the great empire of the Aztecs still believed that it could live only by the shedding of blood. Every year in Mexico hundreds of human victims died in this fashion: The body was bent like a bow over the curved stone of sacrifice, the breast was slashed open with a knife of obsidian, and the priest tore out the beating heart of the still living victim. The day may be close at hand when we shall no longer tear out the hearts of men, even for the sake of our national gods. Let the reader but refer to the earlier time charts we have given in this history, and he will see the true measure and transitoriness of all the conflicts, deprivations, and miseries of this present period of painful and yet hopeful change.