Pluralistic Behavior—Concluded

Franklin Giddings
Columbia University


Not all individuals react to a given stimulation with equal promptness, or completeness, or persistence. Therefore in every situation there are individuals that react more effectively than others do. They reinforce the original stimulation and play a major part in interstimulation. They initiate and, take responsibility. They lead: they conduct experiments in a more or less systematic fashion.

Those individuals that react most effectively command the situation and create new situations to which other individuals must adjust themselves. Few or many, the alert and effective are a protocracy: a dominating plurum from which ruling classes are derived. Protocracy is always with us. We let George do it, and George to a greater or less extent "does" us.

Where two or three in quick or daring reaction are gathered together to "start something "—a dance or a revolution, or any-thing between—there is protocracy, and it gathers power if the enterprise succeeds; for then protocracy recognizes or ignores, gives Out invitations or denies them, opens or bars opportunity, protects or attacks, rewards or punishes, and so surrounds itself with beneficiaries and retainers through which it works its will.

Protocracy may owe authority and power to the majority that it dominates, but it has obtained them and it holds them by psychological ascendancy.[2] The majority may withdraw

( 540) authority and power from a protocracy that it has trusted, but only if another and rival protocracy arises and becomes ascendant.

Domination may amount to rule or it may not get beyond leadership and direction.

Rule may be imposed and maintained by force, or by inspiring fear, or through purchase, bribery, or bestowal of favors. The protocracy has advanced knowledge of opportunities, and is in a position to dispense offices and perquisites. If it does not actually rule it dominates by winning the uncoerced and unbought approval of the mass, often through a manifestation of ability, integrity, or beneficent purpose. The methods of minority domination are commonly found in combination, but the proportions are variable.

The concentration of controlling power in society is a function (in the mathematician's sense of the word) of the behavioristic solidarity. The more homogeneous the behavior and the greater the like-mindedness, the broader is the basis of protocratic domination and the less autocratic is its authority.

The degree of domination and the extent and the rigor of control are functions of circumstantial pressure.


The more or less definite arrangements of position and of activity into which individuals fall in the collective struggle for existence are shaped at first by' a hit-or-miss trial of possibilities that amounts to little more than a haphazard "fitting in." In the long run they are shaped by a thought-out trial and correction proposed and systematized by protocratic minorities. Ultimately, after much experimenting and with frequent reconsideration, they are approved by the social mind expressing its will through majorities. So arising and established, arrangements of individual position and of individual activity are a mechanism through which social reactions work aggressively, defensively, productively, and with controlling incidence.

Described concretely, the social mechanism is a social composition, a product of integration; and a social constitution, a product of differentiation.

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The smallest and simplest arrangement of individuals by position is the "bunch." It maybe a genetic product, its units having been born into proximity, or it may be a casual assemblage. A relatively large bunch or a cluster of bunches, especially if identified with a place or region, is a group.

The smallest and simplest arrangement by activity of individuals that go or work or play together is the "gang." It is a product of like reaction by nervous mechanisms that are alike in a specific (or differential) way. They have the same specific aptitude or interest.

They are a "gang," however, only if, reacting to a common stimulation or necessity, they "carry on" together.

Whether assembled or scattered, going in gangs or not, individuals of like aptitude and interest and therefore functioning in like fashion are a class. As an observed fact, a class is usually made up of both gangs and isolated individuals.

In the creation of bunch or gang, of group or class, alert leadership plays an essential part. In every group and in every class there is a dominating protocracy.

By combination and recombination groups become the social composition.

Sex mating and the birth of children create families. Numerous families hold or drift together in residential relations; others drift apart. Those that hold together compose the horde (of savage men) or the village (of civilized men). Hordes combine in tribes, and tribes in tribal federations: the ethnic series. Villages

grow into towns, and towns into cities. Towns or cities compose provinces, departments, or commonwealths, and commonwealths hold together in federal nations: the demotic series.

Ethnic societies are genetic aggregations. Either a sacred power or "mana" manifest in totem and regarded in taboo or a real or a fictitious blood kinship is their chief social bond. They are otherwise known as tribal societies and they include all communities of uncivilized races which maintain a tribal organization. They are of two general types, namely, the metronymic, or matrilinear, in which names and relationships are traced in the mother-line, and the patronymic, or patrilinear, in which names and relationships are traced in the father-line. Demotic societies,

( 542) otherwise known as civil societies, are products in some degree of genetic aggregation, but they are largely congregate associations. They are groups of individuals that are bound together by habitual intercourse, mutual interests, and co-operation. They emphasize their mental and moral resemblance and give little heed to origins or to genetic relationships.

The evolution of the social composition has been a double process. As small groups have combined into larger ones, they also have subdivided into smaller ones. The unit of composition has become both smaller and more definite.

When small hordes combined to form tribes, they commonly at the same time subdivided into polyandrian families. When tribes, in their turn, banded together in confederations, the polyandrian household underwent changes which converted it into the patriarchal kindred or compound family. Later on, when federations of tribes became the political state, the compound family broke up into single families, each consisting of father and mother and their immediate children, but no longer including, as in the patriarchal kindred, married children and grandchildren. Each family remained, however, an industrial unit, parents and children earning livelihood together, and each in a large proportion of states remained legally indissoluble.

Now, when political nations are combining into world-empires, the single family, like its predecessors, has ceased to be an industrial unit, and has nearly everywhere become legally dissoluble. More and more it depends for its integrity on unforced personal choice. Human society is becoming humanity, and its unit is no longer the legally indissoluble family but is the freely choosing individual.

At every step in this long developmental process, three things have happened. The dominant social group has entered as a component into a larger social grouping. The smallest social group has subdivided, thereby establishing a new social unit. The inter-mediate social groups, losing their identity, have tended to atrophy and in many instances have disappeared.

At every step in the evolution protocratic example or proposal has incited or restrained and protocratic intelligence has directed.

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Gangs and classes by multiplication and increasing interdependence following upon increasing specialization become the social constitution, a scheme of working or otherwise functioning arrangements which makes a cross-classification with the residential arrangements of the social composition. Familiar examples of working arrangements become too dignified to be called "gangs," except for purposes of scientific analysis (although that is what in strict scientific analysis they are) and making numberless cross-classifications with residential groupings are business partnerships and corporations, political parties, churches, philanthropic societies, schools, universities, and scientific associations, social clubs, and societies for recreation and pleasure.

Each of these associations is obliged to exchange services or products with others. It could not otherwise exist. The functioning of all of them in their several ways is the social (including the economic) division of labor. Interdependence increases with every new specialization in skill and in occupation. Because of their interdependence they are accurately described as constituent societies.

Inasmuch as the constituent society has a defined object in view it is purposive in character. Its members are supposed to be aware of its object and to put forth effort for its attainment.

Purposive grouping, therefore, may be described as functional association, and the mutual aid of purposive associations' is not limited to a mere increase of mass and power, as is the mutual aid of component society. It is effected also through an advantageous division of labor.

Psychologically the social constitution is an almost precise opposite of the social composition. Component societies require mental and moral like-mindedness, but within the limits of a common morality there may be no insistence upon any one point of similarity so long as the aggregate of resemblances remains large and varied. Subject to these conditions, the differences among the members of a component society may be of any imaginable kind. The social constitution, on the contrary, is an alliance, within each simple association, of individuals who in respect of the purpose of the association must be mentally and morally alike, but who in all

( 544) other respects may be unlike; supplemented, in the relations of associations to one another and to integral society, by toleration and by correlation of the unlike.

As the social constitution develops, the membership of constituent societies falls into hierarchical arrangements, thereby creating new complexities. Priests, bishops, archbishops, and cardinals in the church; teachers, principals, and superintendents in the schools, are examples. In more technical words, throughout the social constitution there may be observed superordination (superiority of rank), co-ordination (equality of rank), and subordination (inferiority of rank). The one word "co-ordination" is commonly used to designate the phenomena of subordination, co-ordination and superordination, in their totality.

Correlations and co-ordinations are products of relations of , units to one another and of modes of activity that are unchanging, or nearly so. They are static phenomena of structure. But the activities of social as of plant or animal units are not without exception or always unchanging. There are adjustments and adaptations in crises as well as in tranquil circumstances.

Activities of adaptation and of adjustment involve points of contact (the neurons ramifying in a bit of muscle are a good example) and actual contact. They involve lines of communication and arteries of transmission, and actual communications and transmissions. They involve central or focal points of accumulation and distribution, and actual centralizings and decentralizings, storings, and distributions of materials and energies.

Corresponding to the morphological aspect of arrangements is the functional aspect., Through accumulation and distribution, through correlation and co-ordination, activities go on in an orderly and measured way. Even the increase and decrease of intensity, the enlargement or diminution of volume, the swifter or slower rate, are facts of order and measure, in a word, of control.

When spontaneously formed relations and thought-out arrangements devised by protocracy have become so well established that they challenge the attention of all members of the community, they become subjects of common discussion and of general approval or disapproval. Subjected then to analysis and criticism, and

( 545) finally by concurrent opinion pronounced good, evil, or doubtful, they are thenceforth tolerated and their development is encouraged, or they are discouraged or even stamped out by a concerted action more general than that which created them.

Described abstractly, therefore, the social mechanism is a correlation and a co-ordination of socially reacting units.

Both as correlation and as co-ordination the social composition and the social constitution develop with increasing necessity for collective action. Under this necessity organization becomes more extended and more hierarchical.

Yet mere intensity of the struggle for existence does not develop complexity of organization as long as the struggle can be carried on by individual effort or by small independent groups. Perhaps nowhere in the world is the life of a population subsisting by agriculture harder than in China, yet the agricultural population there is relatively unorganized. By individual effort, unremitting and intense, the individual applying himself to labor on the land has been able to wrest from it a meager living.

Any social group, component or constituent, may be a privileged and closed group, or a selectively open group, or an indiscriminately open group.

Eligibility to membership in a privileged and closed group is governed by consideration of source. Descent from members of the group in a former generation is one of the oldest and best-known requirements. Membership in an antecedent group or category may be the requirement: an example from modern industry is the closed-shop requirement of membership in an orthodox labor union.

Eligibility to membership in the selectively open group is determined by the functioning value of members individually for the functioning of the group collectively.

In the indiscriminately open group there are no eligibility tests.

Increasing circumstantial pressure substitutes closed or selective groups for indiscriminately open groups; a phenomenon which always appears during war, in periods of religious enthusiasm, and in times of industrial strife.

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The social organization may become flexible while developing strength and stability. When circumstantial pressure is not more intense than it is in modern times in days of peace, the individual can go freely from occupation to occupation. He can dissolve a partnership and enter into another._ He can be a director in one and another corporation this year and in entirely different ones next year. He can move freely from township to township, from city to city, and from state to state. He can leave his church or his political party at will.

Yet the social constitution does not suffer. The organization that loses certain individuals from its membership gains others in their place. Like organs of the living body, each is composed of changing units, yet each maintains its integrity as a whole and per-forms its function without interruption.

From this plasticity and mobility two great advantages arise. Sooner or later individuals find the place where their maximum efficiency as contributors to the social well-being is realized. ' And at all times an increase of working force can be secured at any point in the social system where the demand is exceptionally great, by withdrawing units from points where the demand is for the time being relatively small.


Woodworth's clarifying generalization that all the phenomena of the individual mind may be assigned to one or the other of the two categories, "mechanisms" and "drives,"[3] is applicable also in the psychology of society. The organization of social relations is a mechanism, as has been shown. The organization of action is a correlation and co-ordination of drives, and the product is a procedure. Collective struggle tends to become an orderly procedure.

Wherever behavioristic groups are found, collective struggles are seen to fall into one or the other of two series of drives. There are conflicts of group with group, inter-group conflicts; and within each group there are conflicts of faction with faction, infra-group conflicts.

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Both component and composite groups—hordes, tribes, towns, and nations—contend with one another for possession and control of advantageous regions. From the moment that increasing populations begin to press upon food-producing resources, there is a struggle for dominion and subsistence. Hungry populations throw off colonies, which go forth as invaders, to conquer; the invaded populations resist.

The major conflicts of inter-group struggle are foreign wars, and these extend and consolidate the social composition. Successful invaders, having conquered, annex lands and populations. Threatened communities, especially if of one blood and speech, combine by federation.

In peace and in war, gangs, including protocracies, contend with one another for ascendancy and revenue. Under circumstantial pressure gangs of like kind and like function tend to consolidate, and thereby to become a class. In the struggle with powers of earth and sky for safety and food, religious secret societies become a priesthood. In war, fraternities of braves become an army and a military class.

With the rise of these two classes a succession of class struggles begins. The shallowness of the Marxian philosophy of history is in nothing more concretely shown than in its nave assumption of the class struggle, as if the clash between capitalist and proletarian were a phenomonon unique. The first class conflict is between army and priesthood, and the army wins. In exchange for religious sanction military adventurers then "let in" the priesthood and create, by the combination, a landlord class to exploit free tenants and serfs. Free tenants (some of them) become a merchant class, and the next class struggle is between it and the landlords. The merchants win, and in exchange for social recognition "let in" the landlords. This new consolidation creates the capitalist class, to make profits by organizing and employing the labor of emancipated serf s.

The major intra-group conflicts, accordingly, are revolutions.

Conflicts among groups, including national groups, and conflicts between classes are the major phenomena of history.

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In the drives of war and revolution protocratic rule broadens into sovereignty: "the' dominant' human power, individual or pluralistic, in a politically organized and politically independent population."[4] Sovereignty is never under any circumstances the absolute power to compel obedience babbled of in political meta-physics. It is finite and conditioned. It is not even an indivisible unit of power; it is a composition of forces. The forces are variable and their composition is variable.

A group in which protocratic rule has become sovereignty, and which is independent to the extent that it is not subject to the sovereignty of any other group, is a state.. Outside of the meta-physical mind the state is never an abstraction. It is a politically organized population, and altogether concrete.

Conflict between or among petty sovereignties creates the local state; conflict between or among local states creates the regional state; conflict between or among regional states creates the nation; conflict between or among nations creates the empire.

The local state is supreme until the regional state supersedes it. The regional state is supreme until the nation supersedes it. The nation is supreme until the empire supersedes it.

Individuals are not absolved from responsibility to the small component groups to which they have belonged when they become 'responsible also to large groups of which they are made members through social integration; but responsibility to a large group which, as a mutual benefit association, is relatively effective and important, tends to override responsibility to its component lesser groups and to constituent societies.

Nevertheless, individuals do not in a majority of instances give highest allegiance to the largest organization that they might help to form, and which may be thought of as in the making. There is, therefore, a major number of instances of highest allegiance to the largest existing aggregate. At the present time the largest existing aggregates are nations, and more individuals give highest allegiance to the nation than give it to the commonwealth, the province, the city, the village, or the family, or to any hereditary caste or rank, to any social class, or than are yet prepared to give it to a league of nations.

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Sovereignty may be concentrated in an individual, a monarch, or a dictator, or in a lesser degree concentrated in a class or in an amorphous mass or majority, or it may be diffused throughout a democracy. The degree of concentration is a function of the social like-mindedness, more or less, and of the circumstantial pressure.

The supreme will of a state (in whatever mode of sovereignty manifested) expresses itself and achieves its end in various ways, but chiefly through government, which may be defined as the requisition, direction, and organization of obedience. It is the most important and, all in all, the most systematically ordered procedure known to society.

The sovereign may govern directly or may delegate the function of governing to authorized ministers or agents.. Direct government by the sovereign is necessarily an absolute rule. Indirect or delegated government may be an absolute or a limited rule. Limitations, however carefully embodied in written constitutions, are actually observed only in those states whose populations are so far like-minded that even their governmental activities are in reality more like forms of spontaneous co-operation than like an overruling direction. The real limitations are certain well-stabilized popular habits. Minorities bow to the will of a majority, but in the under-standing and on condition that they have liberty by speech, publication, meeting, and all other peaceful and reasonable ways of campaigning to increase their numbers and, if possible, become majorities.

The range and severity of government are determined by circumstantial pressure.

Sovereign power may act fitfully, unexpectedly, or at random; or it may act methodically, after a declaration of purpose and adhering to promulgated rules. Sovereign purpose formulated, promulgated, and enforced is law, and governmental action within the bounds of law is "due process of law."

Law is a form and a content. A large part of the content of law is a body of rights. In large measure the basic substance of legal (or positive) rights is drawn from the "natural rights" of the mores.[5]

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A further content of law is a more or less consistent and organized group of policies, becoming, as time goes on, a' series of policies intended to assure and to further collective achievement.

First in time and in importance are policies of growth and expansion, and of safeguarding against enemy attack or other immediate calamity. When formulated and put into execution by an absolute monarch bent upon perpetuating and extending the rule of a dynasty or by an adventurer-despot or despotic group, these policies become militarism, a rationalistic and quite cold-blooded attempt to organize collective power for aggressive action and to apply aggressive action relentlessly to the task of subjugation. Republics have to wage wars, but no republic, so called or described by anyone using words responsibly, has ever been militaristic.

Mankind has not been able to enjoy peace by wishing it, approving it, or even by willing it or planning it.

The rise and the decline of militarism conform to the laws of increasing and of diminishing return. For a time it may bring in more than it costs; but a point is reached beyond which the costs increase faster than the returns. In the rivalry of nations for territory, the lands available for annexation by any one of them

becomes fewer in number and more difficult to obtain. The frontier,. is extended, and its defense becomes more difficult and more costly. The maintenance of armies of increasing size entails a relative diminution of the industrial population available to support them. Nations vie with one another in perfecting the enginery of war, and the cost of all military operations is thereby increased.[6]

Observe, however, that this argument applies only to militarism, a rationalistic phenomenon. It does not hold true without qualification of war merely as war. As individuals fight in sheer rage, or in scorn of one another, or in resent of insult, so nations also fight in fear and in hatred, in insolent contempt of one another, and in vindication of their honor. Utilitarian considerations do not apply to these tempests of wrath.

Successful war prepares the way for exploitation and stimulates it. The annexation of territory, the creation of colonies, and the

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The execution of these policies may be undertaken by government or committed to private agencies subject to conditions and limitations fixed by law.

It comes to pass, therefore, that governments and private organizations in a measure duplicate each other's functions. The actual distribution of functions between public and private agencies is a varying one. It changes with changing circumstances, that is to say, with the degree of like-mindedness and with circumstantial pressure.

Not only security and resources but also the composition of the community, the equalities of its individual units, and their relations to one another, to the several minor groups to which they belong, and to the integral society, are factors of effectiveness. To control these and to improve them policies of selection, of unification and standardization, of liberty, and of equality are devised and tried.

'Policies of unification and standardization include attempts to standardize and unify language, religion, behavior, opinion, communication, education, business, law, politics. They aim to perfect the behavioristic solidarity of the group. Assimilation is watched with concern. Laws are enacted or edicts are promulgated to hasten on the change. One language must be spoken throughout, the community. One religious faith must be embraced by all. One consistent economic policy must be followed. One standard of conduct and of legality must be established for all citizens. Within the voluntary organization, a religious denomination, for example, or a trade union or a political party, an attempt is made to persuade or to compel all members to believe the same thing and to conduct themselves in like manner. A' creed, a body of rules, or a platform is imposed. An orthodoxy or regularity is insisted upon as a primary obligation.

The extent to which these policies are pushed is determined by circumstantial pressure.

Policies of liberty are reactions against the restraints, amounting often to intolerable coercion, of excessive unification. They aim at a toleration of variety, of individual initiative, of freedom of thought, speech, and conduct. They take legal form in bills of rights and constitutional guaranties of liberty.

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Policies of equality are reactions against the abuse of liberty by men and parties that take advantage of their freedom to curtail the opportunities of their fellows and to exploit them. They aim to establish an equality of liberty and, as far as possible, of opportunity. They include the establishment of political equality through universal suffrage, equal standing before the law, the abolition of state-created privileges in the realm of economic interests, equality of educational opportunity, and measures for the protection of the weak, particularly women and children, in the economic struggle.

Not only do policies of security, conservation, selection, and standardization start reactions toward liberty, and policies of liberty provoke reactions toward equality; but also the process reverses: experiments in equality provoke reactions toward liberty, and experiments in liberty provoke reactions toward unification' and selection.

The static state of perfect adjustment and consequent equilibrium is unattainable because of an inherent contradiction between personal or subjective equality and objective or social equality. The conditions that tend to create subjective inequality tend to establish objective equality, and, conversely, the creation of objective equality tends to increase subjective inequality. There-fore social evolution, like organic evolution, creates increasing inequality of personality. At the same time, however, it creates increasingly large classes of individuals that as persons are substantially equal within the same class.

"Social justice," as the term is popularly understood, comprises an equalization of both rights and opportunities. Justice in a larger sense of the word comprises all adjustments of social factors: individuals' interests, relations and actions to one another and to the social whole. It includes, as those who have defined it in the main agree, the definition and enforcement of rights, the redress of injuries, the maintenance of sanctions, the equalization of rights and opportunities, the adjustment of rewards to performances; but it includes also much more and the "more" is immeasurably delicate and difficult. It consists in unceasing readjustment.

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Readjustment is made necessary by ceaseless changings of circumstance and by continuing change in demotic composition and in pluralistic behavior. The social population fluctuates about a kind or type. Behavior fluctuates about a mode or norm. The range of variation at one time is narrow; at another time it is wide.

Policies of selection, unification, and equilibration recognize and sanction modalities. Policies of liberty recognize and sanction variation. Readjustments change the range of permissible variation.

Therefore justice in its highest and most delicate development is a ceaselessly changing adjustment of equalities and modalities to immunities and liberties, and of immunities and liberties to modalities and equalities.

No arrangement of finite affairs is finally and forever just.

Through its policies and its readjustments of policy organized society in a measure controls variation about its own modes. It exercises self-control.


The reaction of social organization upon the interplay of like-and unlike-mindedness and upon the consciousness of kind reshapes the social mind, as Cooley[7] has contended.

The process is experimental, and highly concrete. Unorganized pluralistic reactions are simple and direct in form. Human energy explodes in trial and error. But turmoil and riot, like the hit-or-miss assaults of an untrained fighter, are wasteful expenditures. If, however, the flow of energy keeps up, it finds points of low resistance and begins to follow channels that branch and cross. Social organization like the individual nervous system correlates and co-ordinates these branchings and crossings, and more and more diverts energy into them. Thereby it transforms much direct and simple action into indirect and complex action.

The transformation normally goes so far that direct pluralistic action becomes subordinate to indirect action, as instinct in the individual mind normally becomes subordinate to reason. General strikes and revolutionary violence give way to constructive policies

( 555) and to due process of law. Direct action is primitive, and unsubordinated direct action is uncivilized.

Yet this evolution can begin and continue only if there is direct action (crude pluralistic reaction to stimulus) to transform; and only if the inequalities and diversities of reaction that are necessary for differentiation, and so for any organization whatsoever, are normally subject to a dominating like-mindedness in matters of major importance. This proposition is perhaps less obtrusively true of the economic division of labor that Adam Smith expounded than it is of the "division of social labor" that Durkheim[8] expounded; but it is demonstrably true of both.

Adam Smith apparently never saw the true relation of The Wealth of Nations to The Theory of Moral Sentiments, although he was looking directly at it all his days. When in The Wealth of Nations he had demonstrated that an increase of wealth is made possible by division of labor, that the division of labor is limited by the extent of the market, and that extent of the market is extent of demand, he did not then by resolving extended demand into pluralistic demand discover its identity with like-mindedness, of which, without so naming it, he had discoursed in The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Therefore he did not appreciate, he probably did not quite see, the broad social fact that the differentiation of productive effort is limited by the extent of like-mindedness in respect of consumption.

As for the larger division of social labor, a population that is not prevailingly like-minded is collectively ineffective (and usually chaotic) or it is ruled and organized by the strong arm. Only like-minded communities are capable of democratic self-government, and only the like-mindedness that is enlightened and deliberative can create and maintain a liberal democracy. Proof is superabundant. Mexico is the great modern example. Without a meeting of minds on large and fundamental issues Mexico submitted to order and made material progress under the despotism of Diaz, only to fall into a chaos of conspiracies when despotic rule ended.

As a mechanism organized society is good or bad. A good machine is coherent and elastic to pressure. An organic machine

( 556) —namely, a plant, an animal, or a man—is also adaptable to crisis or change. Man has succeeded in making machines adaptable in a small way; the clock with a pendulum, the turbine and the steam engine equipped with automatic cut-off to control the feed of water or of steam, are familiar examples; but he has not yet made a machine comparable in adaptability to a living organism or to a society. Adaptability turns upon the variability of units; cohesion upon the typicalness, uniformity, or standardization of units. Anarchism, or lawless individualism, is excessive variability and non-cohesion. Socialism is excessive standardization and deficient adaptability. Individualism is theoretically a working combination of enough like-mindedness for collective effectiveness with enough unlike-mindedness for organization and progress. Theoretically, therefore, individualism at its best is the best social system because, more adequately than any other, it combines cohesion, elasticity, and variability; but individualism at its worst may be as bad as anarchism which is anti-social. Socialism is a revolt against anti-social individualism. Socialistic policies may be expedient as . restraints of anti-social conduct and to supplement private co-operation; but on the whole and in the long run they are justified only to the extent that they develop a social individualism.



The immediate business of organized endeavor is to mitigate the struggle for existence in a large way and effectively and to make life worth while. Its ulterior business and supreme function are to develop human personality.

Organized endeavor mitigates the struggle for existence by accumulating knowledge, amassing capital, and conducting government. By means of these activities and achievements life is made relatively secure, comfortable, and satisfying.

The accumulation of knowledge has been the work of unnumbered generations tirelessly groping and exploring through ages measured presumably by millions rather than by thousands of years, as the world once thought. No argument is necessary to

( 557) prove that without society and organized endeavor the achievement of knowledge would have been impossible. Folkways, folklore, and tradition have been necessary. Education has been necessary. Organized investigation, writing, printing, libraries, and laboratories have been necessary.

Without society the capital acquired by man could not have exceeded the bees' store of honey, the beavers' dam, the apes' club, the savages' chipped flint. There could have been no agriculture, no domesticated animals, no exchangeable goods, and no money. Without organized endeavor there could have been no mechanisms, no boats, no roads, no mines, no mills, no banks.

Without multiple and differentiated societies and organized endeavor on a big scale there could have been no governments; for among them all there is not one that is not a product of foreign wars and domestic revolutions.

Knowledge, capital, and government are necessary for security against armed enemies, against tempest and flood and fire, against pestilence, against famine and pitiless cold. They are necessary to establish equity by balancing equality against liberty. They are necessary to expand and to clarify thought and to diminish fear.[9]

Organized endeavor has achieved these things; it has progressively ameliorated the human lot.


Variant organisms are relatively unstable: they are relatively frail, and they perish more easily than do their kindred competitors that more closely conform to type. All depends, therefore, on the severity of the struggle. Whatever mitigates the struggle multiplies the survival chances of variants that may develop a high degree of individuality. It is because the social organization of endeavor has ameliorated the life of man that the human.race is above all other species variable and adaptable; capable of extra-ordinary differentiation of aptitude and able to meet crises with amazing skill. This is not the result of any physical transmission of acquired traits. It is, so far as we can see, altogether a consequence of the social mitigation of natural selection. Protected and

( 558) sustained by society, frail and unstable individuals, cranks and oddities, crooks and martyrs, idiots and geniuses, who would miserably perish in a "state of nature," survive and pass on their qualities in Mendelian distributions. The problem of disposing of the crooks and the idiots, or of enduring them, is the rice we have to pay for the geniuses and their contributions to our joy.

The study of human variation in its sociological aspect is a statistical investigation.

There is a range of structural and physiological adequacy between extremes of defect or deformity and of completeness or balance. Vitality as measured by energy, health, fecundity, and longevity ranges from relatively low to relatively high extremes. Mentality ranges from idiocy to genius, and character from depravity to magnanimity.

Hardship and a standardizing social pressure, elastic to an increasing circumstantial pressure, shorten all these ranges. Amelioration and increasing freedom (intellectual, moral, and political) lengthen them.

Organized endeavor can always shorten these ranges, and the temptation to do so is great because stupidity and wickedness annoy us and often anger us, an easy thing to. do, while the value of genius we can neither see nor weigh unless we can think (not every-body can) and will take the trouble to think (most of us won't). Probably in no other enterprise has human wisdom made so sorry an exhibition of itself as in its attempts to standardize thought and morals.


Remembering that with conscious intent and by unconsciously exerted pressure society eliminates much human material that proves to be unfit for social life, we clarify the idea of socialization: a phenomenon of discipline and education, brought to bear upon the socially possible. Socialization is the opposite of mutation and supplementary variation. It is an aggregate of acquisitions, in distinction from native traits. It cannot be transmitted through heredity, but by teaching it can be handed on with compounding interest from generation to generation.

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The socialized members of organized society "play the game"; the non-socialized survivors from savagery and interlopers from barbarism do not. The socialized are tolerant and regardful of the rights (natural and legal) of their fellow-men; they are by habit helpful; they value and observe manners; and they can co-operate.

The zero point of socialization is criminality, that degree of departure from prevailing and approved behavior which. the community by process of law and with relative severity punishes.

If the range of socialization from zero up be divided into four parts or grade quarters, we get the following distribution of habits and persons:

In the lowest grade quarter are the predatory, aggressors upon person and property, law-breakers.

In the second grade quarter (counting from the lowest up) are the intentionally or willingly dependent, wholly or in part; the self-seeking, intent on getting more than they give; the inconsiderate and irresponsible.

In the third grade quarter are the dependable, the helpful, the considerate, and the responsible, who are also type-conforming, conventional, uninventive, and non-innovating.

In the fourth and highest quarter are the dependable and the helpful who are mindful of the value of social usage but are also independent in thought, courageous, willing to experiment, but cautiously, and with full responsibility for results.

This distribution into quarters is artificial, but it makes observation and recording possible. With competent assistance I have obtained observations of 1,888 individuals comprised in 428 families and all personally known to and by the observers. The distribution by socialization is:

Grade Quarter   Number of Individuals
I   52
II   317
III   1044
IV   475


Original nature (inherited traits, variations) and acquired nature (habits, socialization) are mingled, perhaps blended, in individuation.

( 560)

Individuation begins in the chromatin and proceeds through ' Mendelian combinations of units. Probably no individual is an exact duplicate of another, and inasmuch as the life-circumstances of each living body are different in a great or a small degree from those of every other body, life would soon cease if there were no organic variability. And inasmuch as the life-circumstances of each individual are in a degree peculiar (in other words, the stimuli that play upon each individual are in a degree peculiar), the behavior of each individual is differential. Among these stimuli in the experience of the human race are social influences and among the reactions are socialization. So by instinct in like measure with lower animals and by habit in amazing measure surpassing the experience of any other species, mankind is individuated.

The range of individuation is upward from a zero point at instinct little above the animal level. Dividing it into grade quarters we get the following distribution of original and acquired traits, and of persons:

In the lowest quarter: instincts strong and not much controlled; sympathy deficient or narrow in range; cruel (when cruelty is manifested) in an unfeeling and brutal rather than in a deliberate and ingenious way; tastes low and crude; ideas elementary, primitive, and limited in number and in range.

In the second quarter (counting from the lowest up) : motor impulses variable in strength; instincts infused with abundant emotion, variable from grave to gay; sympathy quick but superficial and unstable; imaginative but without sufficient intellectual power to be creative in literature or art beyond the simpler products; without strong convictions or controlling sense of responsibility; ideas relatively abundant and varied but loosely organized.

In the third quarter: motor impulses of any degree of strength from weak to violent; instincts and passions strong, but controlled by convictions; emotion strong, blended with beliefs, and partisan; convictions tenacious, and a dominant factor in mental processes and in behavior; may be ruthless and cruel under influence of fanaticism; intolerant of doubt, impatient of hesitation, scornful of weakness.

( 561)

In the fourth and highest quarter: motor impulses, instincts, and passions of any degree from weak to very strong; emotions abundant and varied, may or may not be well controlled; beliefs subject to review and modification; ideas abundant and organized; open-minded, of investigating turn, insistent upon evidence; judicially critical rather than fault-finding or denunciatory; may make discoveries; may be inventive or creative.

With assistance I have obtained observations of 1,536 individuals comprised in 294 families and personally known to and by the observers. The distribution by individuation is: [10]

Grade Quarter   Number of Individuals
I   82
II   334
III   763
IV   357

In the degree that a human being is individuated he has personality, he is a person.

A person is unique but also social. In a million ways like other persons, he is in many ways unlike any other that lives or that ever has lived. Conforming to type in much, he also significantly varies from type, and variability within race limits there must be if personality is to develop. Furthermore, the variant must survive and hand on his race. In this necessity lie all the possibilities of achievement and of tragedy.


  1. Gustav Ratzenhofer and Albion W. Small, who has interpreted him to the English-speaking public, have most fully discussed the general aspects of "interests."
  2. We owe to Edward Alsworth Ross the significant technical connotations of this word in sociology.
  3. Dynamic Psychology.
  4. Giddings, The Responsible Slate, p. so.
  5. See Giddings, ibid., chap. iii.
  6. Compare William Graham Sumner, War and Other Essays and Earth Hunger and Other Essays.
  7. Charles Horton Cooley, Social Organisation.
  8. Emile Durkheim, De la Division du Travail social.
  9. Lester Frank Ward's Dynamic Sociology remains the most comprehensive study of this field.
  10. Cf. Giddings, "A Provisional Distribution of the Population of the United States into Psychological Classes," The Psychological Review, Vol. VIII, No. 4, July, 1901.

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