THE WILL TO POWER
For Nietzsche, Christ is the preacher of a ` slave-morality '. In fact it is Nietzsche's morality that should bear this name; for this represents the slave's dream of hour he would behave if only he were free; it is the expression, not of greatness, but of a neurotic desire for greatness.
The true expression of the free-man's temper is the princely motto Ich dien. I am in the midst of you as he that serves.' The worship of naked power is the ideal of an enslaved world which Historic Christianity has only partially succeeded in discrediting.
THE IDEA OF POWER
Power means ability to effect a purpose consciously entertained ; it is meaningless if applied to a force which has no capacity of initiation or self direction.
Nietzsche's conception of the Universe as the expression of a purposeless Will to Power is a poetic fancy; and the notion that it is somehow fine for man to live in tune with such a Universe is an imaginative fallacy.
If the Universe is without purpose, Mr. Russell is right in saying that Man is greater than Nature; if not, a study of the inner quality of the Will to live may throw light on the purpose of the Whole. To such a study this chapter essays to be a contribution.
BIOLOGY AND ETHICS
The place of Natural Selection in biological evolution. Three limiting conditions of the operation of the `struggle for existence' in the animal kingdom
(1) The struggle is for the survival, not so much of the individual, as of the species.
(2) War, that is, fighting between groups of the same species, is practically unknown.
(3) The struggle is for food or the opportunity of procreating the species. The phrase, therefore, is inaptly transferred to the struggle for wealth, fame or power in human society-the attainment of which generally leads to sterility.
Life is strife ; but clear thinking on the distinction between strife that is creative and strife that is destructive, is the vital need of our times.
IS NATURE NON-MORAL ?
Nature is not a Garden of Eden ; nevertheless the cruelty and the waste which exist-apart from man-can be, and have been, gravely over-estimated
In the animal kingdom there is present the germ of what in man becomes morality.
CIVILISATION AND THE STRUGGLE FOR EXISTENCE
Material progress is dependent on Science, Invention and Organisation. But these would be impossible without the disinterested love of knowledge, and the disinterested love of constructive work.
The conditions, however, in which these can function effectively on a large scale are brought into existence by man's unique gift for co-operation.
We ask, then, to what quality in human nature is due this creative power of cooperation ? Intellect, energy and courage only lead to progress in a society dominated by the ideals of Honesty and Justice.
But these are principles of equilibrium only. For progress there is required generosity, idealism and the spirit of self-sacrificing service. Of this creative love the care of parent for child is the simplest and most typical expression. Progress, we conclude, results where Intelligence and Energy are guided by the spirit of disinterested devotion-in the love of truth, in the love of constructive work and, above all, in the love of fellow-men.
The continuity between Man and Nature, which Darwin demonstrated, justifies us in seeking, in the life of man, the inner quality of the Life which expresses itself in Creative Evolution. But we must study man's life at its best and highest, for only there is it consciously creative-elsewhere it is destructive. Strife is creative only when it is the expression of Love. The bearing of this on our conception of God.
THE WILL TO POWER
To Nietzsche Christ is the supreme corrupter of man kind, the all too successful prophet of a ` slave morality '.But in fact it is the morality of which Nietzsche is himself the prophet that should be called the slave's. It is Nietzsche himself who, with a perfervid passion moulding a superb literary style, has given the world the classical expression of the slave's ideal-the ideal, I mean, by which the crushed and cringing servitor would like to live if only he were strong and free. The power to do or get the particular things he wants to do or get is every man's desire ; but sheer Power-hard, empty hectoring Power-is the day-dream of the down trodden. To such the meaning of real liberty is veiled ; they neither understand nor want that equal fellowship of mutual consideration, courtesy and self-respect, which among themselves the free-born take for granted. What the slave longs for is to be, still more to feel himself to be, the kind of man he thinks his master is. But on that point his thought is not his master's. Those who are used to rule do not envisage their own character and ethic as these appear to those beneath them. Rarely do those born to power conceive them selves as self-assertive, hard, oppressive. A parvenu may pride himself on qualities like these: the others, whatever they may be in actual fact, generally like to think of themselves as reasonable, kindly and beneficent, and, if stern at times, then only under dire necessity.
Modern psychology has shown that the Will to Power, where it appears in an exaggerated form, has usually a pathological explanation. It originates not from the strength but from the weakness of the patient. Some personal defect, some exaggerated delinquency in early years, an oppressive parent or teacher, a series of social snubs or the reprimands of a superior, often produce a permanent sense of inferiority; this is resented, and therefore driven out of conscious memory, but still dominates the subconscious self. In compensation for this dimly felt inferiority that self puts forth an exaggerated conviction of pre-eminence and selfassertion which not infrequently may show itself in harsh ideal or in destructive action. That is why, even among those of free and noble birth, there are always individuals who accept that truly ' slave ' morality which idealises mere strength and violence. And in periods and places where parental or scholastic discipline is repressive and severe, where class or race bitterness is acute and the tradition of political liberty is young, the number of such persons will be larger than where the contrary conditions hold.
The Will to Power is only one of many instincts in the human animal; and any individual in whom, by reason of an abnormal development of the assertive instinct, the love instinct and the herd instinct have been atrophied, is, from a purely medical point of view, suffering from an arrest of growth which has resulted in what may be termed a kind of psychological malformation. Nietzsche, with the sensitiveness of genius and the pathological instability which ultimately brought him to the madhouse, has given us the supreme expression in literature of the slave's ideal-the neurotic slave dreaming himself a king.
Nietzsche's doctrine of the superman [says Count Hermann Keyserling] is not an expression of greatness, but an expression of the desire for greatness, perhaps the most pathetic expression of that desire which has ever been known.'
(i The Travel Diary of a Philosopher, E.T., vol. i. p. 42. (Jonathan Cape, 1925.) I had written the preceding paragraphs before coming across this sentence by a German thinker who in many ways (see op. cit. p. 164) is in sympathy with Nietzsche's ethic.)
The free-man's temper is of a different kind. Inheriting a status without stigma or reproach, he has no need by egoistic self assertion to force the world to acknowledge in him some claim to special eminence, in order to disguise, if possible even from himself, an inferiority secretly admitted. His self-respect does not depend on an artificial structure of reputation or conceit of power which he feels to be ever threatened by the opinion of his fellows. His own position being secure, he can afford to give free play to those instincts, innate in every healthy man, which rejoice in the good of others. His instinct of self-assertion, not being for ever harnessed to the supposed necessity of self-defence, insensibly becomes a directive principle to those other instincts in the form of the impulsion noblesse oblige. Therefore he needs must devote himself to worthy ends ; and, as the occasion may require, he is equally ready to follow or to lead. In either case his princely motto is Ich lien-I serve.
But man, in the historic phrase, though born free is everywhere in chains. The majority of mankind have never yet achieved freedom. In addition a large proportion, as a result of this and of faulty ideals of education, are slightly pathological. Hence that ` slavemorality ' which worships naked power as such is still widespread-though in a humaner phase of civilisation and in a democratic age it is less universal and less whole-hearted than in earlier epochs.
What man admires on earth, that he ascribes to heaven, and lie has always fashioned God in the image of his king. A race or a generation which reverences pomp and circumstance, and loves to abase itself before a splendid violence and a domineering will thinks of God as a celestial Sultan. Rut a race of free-men will demand a very different kind of God, or will worship not at all. On the altar of the free-man's God must be inscribed his own Ich dien..
Historic Christianity developed in an enslaved world which naturally thought of God as the imperial Caesar of the Universe, and neither the Church nor the world it tried to teach could easily think otherwise. But the ascription of divinity to Christ-whether metaphysically justifiable or not-meant that the word divinity must ultimately acquire a significance absolutely irreconcilable with the old Hebrew or pagan view of God. `The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them . . . but I am in the midst of you as he that serves.' Slowly through the ages the word divinity has changed its meaning. Today men think of the King of Kings less and less in terms of Caesar, more and more in terms of Christ ; they see in the moral grandeur of a heroic death, not the humiliation, but the majesty of God.
Hell fire and some other things in official and popular Christianity have in the past done much to keep alive the Sultanic view of God and encourage men to prostrate themselves before mere Power. In so far as the Church has done that, it has taught Nietzsche's own idealor rather, it has failed to unteach the `slave-morality ' of the ancient world. But in so far as Christianity has really seen `the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ ', it has made possible for millions the free-man's worship of Creative Love.
THE IDEA OF POWER
The foregoing considerations have an importance other than purely ethical by reason of the rampant muddle-headedness prevalent, even among some who think themselves philosophers, in regard to the conceptions of Will and Power, whether as applied to Man or to the Universe.
Power is a conception which implies quality quite as much as quantity ; for power means ability to effect a purpose consciously entertained. Except in relation to such purpose, the word power is simply a metaphorand a misleading one at that. The torrent that passes over the Falls of Niagara has been converted by human ingenuity into a source of power to accomplish purposes desired by human beings. But in itself this overwhelming mass of water has less power than a mosquito ; for it has no capacity of self-direction, it can originate nothing; it can only passively submit to flow along a given channel. If an earthquake were to block the exit of the river from the Great Lakes, the water would not strive or cry aloud, it would initiate no movement; it would just lie still. In time the level would rise and a new outlet would be found ; but that would be because more water had come in from outside, not because of any effort made by that already there, and then it would escape, not in a manner chosen by itself, but simply along the line of least resistance.
Only then if the Universe is the expression of conscious Life, can Power be an attribute which can be ascribed to It. Everest is not more powerful than Mont Blanc, it is merely larger. And if the Universe is without purpose, then to speak of It as the expression of Power, is nonsense. Nietzsche rejected Materialism ; all the more clearly for that his conception of the Universe as the expression of a purposeless Will to Power is seen to be poetic fancy. The notion, then, that to identify oneself with the Will to Power is, as it were, to put oneself in tune with the Infinite, so far from being the deduction of a cold, clearheaded realism, is an imaginative fallacy. Only if Ultimate Reality is conscious, is there any point in attuning human effort to Its purpose or in conforming our values to Itssupposing we can ascertain them. If Reality is without purpose and without values, the idea that human ethic is the better for being a reflection of these negations is merely the ghost of a dead theology haunting the worshippers of a dead god. If God exists, then it is by His values that our ethic is determined ; if not, no clear-headed thinker would build an ethic on the nonexistent values of this nonexistent being.
Mr. Bertrand Russell, who is never muddle-headed, sees this clearly. After discarding (for reasons which seem to me inadequate) the view that life, and a fortiori conscious life, is a phenomenon of cosmic significance, he proceeds to draw that conclusion which alone is logical:
We are ourselves the ultimate and irrefutable arbiters of value, and in the world of value Nature is only a part. Thus in this world we are greater than Nature. In the world of values, Nature in itself is neutral, neither good nor bad, deserving of neither admiration nor censure. It is we who create value, and our desires which confer value. In this realm we are kings,and we debase our kingship if we bow down to Nature. It is for us to determine the good life, not for Nature-not even for Nature personified as God.'
(i 33. Russell, What 1 believe, pp. 24-5.(Megan Paul, 1925.)
On his premises Mr. Russell is right. But we have seen reason to reject his view that Life is a phenomenon of no real significance for the understanding of Reality. That being so, we shall expect to get further light on the nature of Reality by a study of the values which seem to emerge from an examination of the inner quality of the Will to live. Such an examination I will forthwith essay.
BIOLOGY AND ETHICS
Life is strife ; and in the animal kingdom most of its energy is used up in the mere effort to keep alive. This effort expresses itself in a struggle for two quite different, and occasionally incompatible, ends-selfpreservation and the propagation of the species. From this struggle biological evolution has resulted. As a result of causes and by means of a mechanism at present imperfectly ascertained, all living organisms tend to produce offspring varying from the parent type ; some of these variations (technically known as `mutations ') differ from the rest in the quality of being transmissible to descendants ; and of these some are also useful in ` the struggle for existence ', as tending either to the preservation of the individual organism or to the multiplication, nurture or protection of its offspring. Thus there are two positive factors, (a) that life is a dynamic striving and (b) that it constantly throws up mutations having a survival value. These have been subjected to the negative action of Natural Selection, which weeds out the individuals and species least well adapted to their environment.
This selective process is often described as ' the survival of the fittest'. That is misleading ; Natural Selection is a principle, not of survival, but of elimination ; and therefore, taken by itself, it is a principle, not of life, but of death. And it eliminates, not those who are unfit in the sense of being less worthy to exist, but those less capable of existing at all in a particular environment. Under certain circumstances Natural Selection kills off heroes but preserves the typhoid bacteria which attack them.
` The struggle for existence ' may also be a misleading phrase. Striving and desire are inherent in the very nature of life, and in the animal kingdom this does express itself in a ` struggle for existence ' in the literal sense of an effort to keep alive. But in the animal kingdom the struggle goes on under three limiting conditions of the utmost significance.
(1) In Nature the instincts which tend to the survival of the species are always in the long run more powerful than those which put the individual first. There are even cases in the insect world where the act of impregnating the female is fatal to the male ; while the selfsacrifice of the mother bird has become a proverb. The point, however, requires no arguing ; it is self-evident that, if in any species in any generation the number of individuals which reach maturity is not at least equal to the average of previous generations, the process of diminution must be reversed or the species will die out. In Nature, then, the struggle is less for individual than for race survival.
The basilisk in mediaeval lore was a creature so fierce that immediately after birth it devoured both its parents. Since the number of the species would thus in every generation be reduced by one-half, it is not surprising that no specimen survives. And, by simple arithmetic, nations or classes which continue to indulge in families of only one child will be in the same case.
(2) Throughout Nature we have the spectacle of one species preying upon another; common also, though less frequent, is the struggle of individuals within the same species-two thrushes for the same worm, two stags for the same doe. But fighting between different groups of individuals within the same species is very rare, in fact all but unknown. War is an institution which man has in common with the ant, but apparently with no other creature.'
(1 Certain species of ants conduct organised warfare with other ants. They also appear to have as slaves ants of a slightly different species. ` Go to the ant 'will hardly be the exhortation of a modern moralist.
It would appear that the often-quoted case of the imported brown rat exterminating the native black rat in this country will not stand examination. The brown has largely superseded the black rat because he is cleverer at escaping man and other enemies, and at opening up new avenues of subsistence. There is no evidence of fighting on a large scale between the two species. Cf. J. Arthur Thomson, System of Animate Nature, p. 298 f.)
(3) In the animal world the struggle for existence involves conflict for the sake of food or the opportunity of parentage. When the phrase is applied, as it so often is, to human life, it means the struggle for wealth, comfort, fame or power. But there is one fact written large across the history of civilisation. Individuals of those classes which have been most successful in this struggle leave behind them fewer children than the average, and their families-with a few conspicuous exceptionsdie out. In the biological sense a struggle in which success leads to this result is a struggle, not for existence, but for extinction.
Life is strife-it was the Buddha, not Darwin, who first proclaimed that to the world. But, alike in its philosophy of the Universe and in the practical conduct of life, humanity will wander down blind alleys till it grasps the simple fact that strife is of two kinds-that which creates, and that which destroys.
The antithesis between creative and destructive strife is no mere debating point for philosophic schools. The doctrine that war ' by destroying creates ', and that internecine competition in the sphere of Economics or in Real Politik will produce the maximum of social good, has been preached to Europe as a gospel for half a century. Purporting to be the lesson of Biology, it has claimed the authority of Science. That claim is without justification. As a mere matter of fact Creative Evolution has not worked that way. But the illusion to the contrary has seemed to give the sanction of the Universe to the promptings of human egoism. The name and prestige of Natural Science have been invoked to give a basis in reason to the doctrine that Might is Right ; that doctrine has been accepted as their tacit, if not overt, creed by no small proportion of those who in things practical control the world-and mankind at large has had to foot the bill.
Ambitious men made wars, avaricious cheated and oppressed, before Biology was ever dreamt of. For such the misinterpretation of Darwinism provides, not a reason, but an excuse. But the supposed lesson of Biology has weakened the hands of those who would hold these in check; and it has diminished the prestige of ordinary morality with the generality of men. Of course, if it is really true that the Power behind the Universe is characteristically expressed, to use a now hackneyed phrase, in `nature red in tooth and claw'humanity ought to face that situation. But if this is not true, our first duty to ourselves and to our time is to find out the error and publish its falsity abroad.
IS NATURE NON-MORAL ?
Nature is not the Garden of Eden we should like to find it ; still less, however, is it the Hell that in some moods we picture. It is an imaginative fallacy to see as one awful totality the pain of every living thing ; pain is only felt by individuals, and in the animal world it would seem as if the individual's share is quite small. That capacity to feel on behalf of others, which adds so much to human sorrow, hardly there exists, so that the individual experiences little pain apart from the physical suffering which falls to its own lot. Again, we must not think of the animal world as if it consisted mainly of creatures like the horse and the dog, made exceptionally sensitive by centuries of selective breeding, soft nurture and the education of human intercourse ; nor even of these as if their capacity for feeling was in any way comparable to that of human beings. In the vast majority of living creatures, sensation, so far as we can judge, rarely reaches that level of acuteness which we should call definitely pain. The ` cloven worm' probably feels the cleaving process hardly more than I feel the paring of my nails ; the squeal of a rabbit bitten by a stoat is not less loud, but probably indicates less actual pain, than that of a small boy smacked by a firm but kind mamma. Among animals disease is rare, and as a rule it either kills quickly or causes small discomfort. Death is swift, and, even if violent, is rarely very painful. The hawk's victim, until the moment of its death, has lived blithely unconscious and unapprehensive of its doom. Sudden fear either excites or calms ; and there is some evidence that in the tiger's grip (even with a human being) fear inhibits feeling and produces anesthesia in the prey. And if low capacity for sensation, while reducing pain, makes pleasure also much less keen, the impression one derives from watching wild life is that its dominant mood is a kind of suffused happiness. And where happiness ceases, death is usually at hand. Lastly, the animals can know little of the suffering (as of the pleasure) which inevitably accompanies man's enhanced capacity for memory and prevision ; in their world disappointment, despair, bereavement and remorse are, in anything like the sense in which we feel them, quite unknown. There is little sorrow, and there is no sin.
But if our idea of the cruelty of Nature is to a large extent a sympathetic fallacy, what of the waste ? To take one out of a hundred possible examples : a herring spawns several hundred thousand eggs, of which on an average only about three will reach maturity. But they are not wasted; every one of them, whether as egg or tiny fish, becomes food for some other living creature. Is the hen's egg that I ate for breakfast wasted because it never reached the chicken stage ? We may allow ourselves to wish that evolution had developed on entirely vegetarian lines ; but so long as I enjoy my mutton chop without a qualm, I cannot accuse Nature because the lion feeds on an antelope, which in all probability lived more happily and died with perhaps less pain than the sheep from which I dine.
Once man appears on the scene, pain, waste and cruelty present a problem the magnitude of which eternally confounds the optimist. But outside the sphere of man-and the pain which he inflicts on animals-it is on a small scale. Later on we shall inquire whether a solution, or any approximation to a solution, can be reached of the problem of evil as it exists where man comes in. If anything like a solution can be attained to the problem when it is presented in its acutest form, the greater will include the less. But if we can get no light on the greater issue, the existence of the lesser will not increase our darkness much.
The consideration that, apart from man, the case for cruelty and waste in Nature is not a strong one, is merely negative. Closer observation, however, points to a positive conclusion that there is operative in Nature an active Will to Good. Kropotkin in his now classical treatise, Mutual Aid, shows that, at the level of consciousness attained in bird and animal life, friendly co-operation is the rule, hostility the exception-not only between members of the same species but even between different species. The one conspicuous exception of course is where carnivorous or insectivorous creatures prey upon smaller or weaker species. But, as already pointed out, the relation between the carnivorous species and their ordinary food is precisely the same as the relation that prevails between man and the chicken or the sheep. There is no more 'immorality', and as little cruelty, in the one case as in the other. But in the mutual relations between members of the same species there are striking phenomena of quite an opposite character. Go to the tiger and the wolf types so admired by certain would be supermen. Deprive the tigress of her whelps, watch the elaborate cooperation of the wolf pack on the hunt. Mother-love and esprit de corps are here apparent in more than rudimentary form. When we note qualities like these in the fiercest of her children, the theory of an essential immorality in the ways of Nature has lost its plausibility.
Nor is the significance of such qualities annulled by the objection that they are there simply as a result of Natural Selection, their presence being of value in the struggle for existence. Undoubtedly Natural Selection puts a premium on such qualities; but it does not produce them. Natural Selection no more brings into existence instincts or qualities which have a `survival value' than a Scholarship Examination brings into existence clever or well taught boys. It merely tests and selects the materials presented. But that means that the instincts and qualities in question-parent love and esprit de corps in a rudimentary form--are not in any sense a product of internecine struggle ; on the contrary they are an emergence of an inner quality of Life which, once it has found expression, impels the individual, to however small an extent, to rise above that struggle. Moreover-the point is all important- it is in the higher animals, where life begins to be exhibited in an intenser form, that these qualities begin to show. The elan vital, as it expresses itself in the animal kingdom, is not yet moral; but it has started on the road that leads in that direction.
CIVILISATION AND THE STRUGGLE FOR EXISTENCE
Spiritual and material progress do not necessarily go together. But material progress is clearly the result of two things-first, a constant extension of scientific knowledge and invention, secondly, an ever-widening range of cooperation between man and man. Of these the second is, we shall see, really the more important, since on it in the last resort depends not only scientific discovery, industrial production and commerce, but, in highly civilised communities, the availability for daily use of the very simplest necessities of life. Civilisation and its products we are apt just to take for granted, or we ponder mainly on its glaring defects and its hideous failures. We often forget how much it has achieved ; still more often we overlook the inner principles which have made that achievement possible. It is worth while to stop and ask, What are these inner principles ?
Civilisation is the creation of three activities, intelligence, energy and goodwill. By goodwill I do not mean anything negative or passive, like harmlessness or mere good nature; I mean a spirit whose characteristic quality is that it is both disinterested and constructive. And, I am bold to maintain, it is this active Will to Good that is in the last resort the regulative and directive principle behind all achievement which is really creative; while intelligence and energy have been creative or destructive in exact proportion as they have or have not been directed towards disinterested ends.
No one will dispute that it is to Science first and foremost that man owes his present mastery of things material, and at first blush Science appears to be the expression of the intellect alone. But how did Science come into existence ? Through the passion of a succession of individuals for knowledge for its own sake. Science is the by-product of the disinterested love of truth. It is by its noble army of martyrs that the victories of Science, as of Religion, have been won. Man's present triumph over Nature is due solely to that long line of men who have braved death, legal persecution, social ostracism, poverty and neglect because they valued truth above all else; who have valued it so highly that, in days when it seemed that Religion and Science were incompatible, they have cheerfully for truth's sake renounced, not merely the good things of this life, but the hope of a life to come. Science is the clearest proof of all that the spirit of disinterested constructiveness is the mainspring of progress.
Take next Invention and Organisation. These conjointly have made useful for everyday life the gains of Science in the field of theoretic knowledge. At first sight it may appear that in this case the element of idealism is much to seek. Invention and Organisation, no doubt, have had their martyrs, but these have been far less numerous and less conspicuous than those of Science. Advance in Invention and Organisation, far more frequently than in abstract Science, has been due to the desire for personal profit or advantage, a desire frequently exhibited in quite legitimate, but in no sense ideal, ways. And unfortunately Invention and Organisation have been too often used by men to compass the detriment or destruction of fellow-men. But here again, if we look below the surface, the same principle is found to hold. The desire to use powers or opportunities, either for legitimate personal profit or for ends detrimental to others, is a thing which belongs to common human nature; it is not a peculiarity of the inventor or the organiser. What is specially characteristic of these, and what gives them their power (for good or for evil) is not the fact that they share in the common selfishness of the race, but that they have in addition an interest in ideal values of a certain character. The great inventor and the great organiser are men of vision and imagination, concentration and determination-men who can see a problem or a need to which others are blind, and who can discover the way to solve the problem they have seen. To do this they must have something of the artist's enthusiasm; they must be men who have a disinterested passion for solving a problem, for creating something which is to them ` a work of art' valued for its own sake. No man ever made a really great invention who had no interest in good work neatly done. No man ever organised a great business who was not interested in building up a structure which he valued for its own sake. Man has a disinterested passion for creative work to match his disinterested love of truth. It is man the discoverer, backed up by man the artist-craftsman and the artist-organiser, who has conquered Nature. Sometimes an originator has used his discoveries and inventions for selfish instead of for noble ends-though more often it is some one else who has seen this use for them. But roughly speaking it is true that Invention and Organisation, like pure Science, have been the work of men who loved them for their own sake.
But the foundation-stone of civilisation lies deeper still. Discovery, Invention and Organisation are possible only because of man's unique gift for co-operation. Commonplace and obvious as this statement is, the habit of taking the familiar for granted without probing its significance is so deeply engrained in all of us that an illustration to bring home this point will hardly be irrelevant.
What are the conditions which make possible a new discovery shall we say in Chemistry ? Chemical discoveries are not made by Hottentots living in their native kraals ; they are only made by men who live in conditions which presuppose the whole apparatus of a complicated civilisation. The individual discoverer must first know his subject thoroughly, that is, he must be one who inherits accumulated knowledge and methods of research which it has taken centuries of the co-ordinated effort of workers in many nations to evolve. He must have at command a scientific library, elaborate and delicate instruments, carefully prepared materials, an expensive laboratory-which represent the thought and the labour of thousands focussed during centuries on this special science. Moreover, he himself must have been reared and fed, medically attended and educated, by the care and at the expense of others for many years. Nor would he have made his great discovery had there not been there at his command that day coffee for his breakfast raised by the coolies of South America, bread grown on the prairies of Canada, coal from the mines of Wales to cook the meal, clothes to wear made of wool shorn from the flocks of Australia or of cotton gathered in the fields of Egypt ; and behind all these the developed systems of railroad, steamship, factory, shop and domestic service which put them at his service. Behind every new discovery in any science lies the whole organised system of international industry and commerce, the elaborate social fabric of law and order, the educational machinery of many nations and the accumulated knowledge of all the centuries. Modern intellect has been able to make its unprecedented scientific advances solely because it has had at its disposal the resources, moral, intellectual and material, of a civilisation immeasurably more complex, more highly organised, and more world embracing than any which preceded it.
And what holds good of Discovery holds good still more of Invention, advance in which would be impossible without a great commercial and industrial system. Were there not so vast a market waiting, few new inventions could be produced at a price which would not be prohibitive. And it is because the fresh machinery and designs which are produced in one place become in a few years familiar to the whole world, that the opportunity of further improvement and new invention is ever being presented to many minds in many countries. The names of great discoverers, inventors, captains of industry, stand out as the conspicuous instruments of advance ; but they are capable of being this only because each one of them, besides inheriting the achievements of the past, is also in a position to utilise and to focus on the line of advance the activities of his contemporaries. The peaks of the mountains are the first to catch the light of the rising sun, but it is the mass below which sustains them at their giddy height.
But Co-operation on the grand scale is a new thing-the slow result of centuries of effort and of organisation continually improving-organisation of knowledge and education, of industry and commerce, of social and political life, of city, state and interstate co-operation. Not so very long ago man was organised in small tribal groups having little contact other than hostile with outside tribes ; security of person and property and ready communication existed only within areas comparatively small; industry was carried on by single individuals or by tiny guilds owning a few simple tools and possessing a traditional skill in some particular handicraft; transport was slow and difficult so that only with great difficulty and at prohibitive expense could the products of many distant lands be brought together for manufacture and then again redistributed to the ends of the earth ; discoverers and inventors in one place worked in complete ignorance of those in another. And just so long as these conditions lasted man was a weakling and the slave of Nature. Before man could hold his own with Nature the Great State, the Great Industry, World Trade, International Science had to arise. Thus of all the conditions of human progress, Co-operation is the most fundamental.
There remains, then, to inquire, Upon the existence of what principle in the nature of man does the possibility of this grandscale Co-operation depend?
Here, again, it is easy at first glance to miss the essential point. The creation of great states and great industries, the commercial exploitation of the whole world, have been effected under the leadership of men whose outstanding characteristics have been intellect, energy and courage. Nietzsche is right in hailing these as creative qualities ; where he errs is in not perceiving that they are qualities which promote progress only in so far as they are in the last resort directed by, and subordinated to the Will to Good. Intellect, energy and courage can be directed either to purely selfish or to purely ideal ends. In the actual experience of life we find that the ends to which they are directed are generally mixed. Few men are so selfish as not to have at heart, at any rate to some extent, the interests of their family, their class, or their country. Few are so disinterested as never to be moved one hairbreadth by considerations of personal vanity or private interest. The point, however, that I urge is that intellect, energy and courage are creative forces, in exact proportion to the extent to which they are directed towards unselfish ends ; they are destructive, in exact proportion as they are directed towards ends that are purely self-regarding.
Napoleon stands as the type of the superman ideal in history; and his life affords the classical illustration of the truth of this contention. The French Revolution, to the extent that it was really guided by the ideal of `liberty, equality and fraternity', and not merely by personal and class hatred, was a creative moment in European progress; and the embodiment of those ideals in terms of just and efficient government was mainly the work of Napoleon. But just in so far as his career was the expression of the Will to Power-personal and national-his influence was wholly destructive; he bathed Europe in blood and impoverished, morally as much as materially, the country which he had himself consolidated as well as those which his ambition had all but enslaved.
Look again at the world of commerce. The slogan ` Business is business ' comes very near to meaning `Business is war'. But production and distribution are a necessary public service. And even if conditions in some ways analogous to warfare exist between the individuals or groups who conduct this service, it can be and often is an honourable warfare-a sporting competition in which men `play the game'. Granted, this does not always happen. Things are very far from being ideal; goods are not always ` up to sample'-; verbal engagements may not always be honourably adhered to; agents and buyers may take commissions to betray their masters' interests; employees are often sweated; dirty tricks are played. But all this is one side only of the matter. Such things are still the exception rather than the rule. More often than not goods are up to sample, engagements are kept, agents can be trusted, employees are reasonably content-but for that, trade would be impossible. Nor is it enough to explain such honesty as there is by saying that it exists merely because experience shows that in the long run it is the best policy. It exists because-at any rate in those countries where commerce really flourishes there is a high pride in the credit of the firm, a genuine interest in good work well done, and the majority of men love fair dealing for its own sake-even though, given sufficient temptation and a good chance of not being detected, many may succumb. It is beyond dispute that ire trade honesty is creative, dishonesty destructive. Commercial prosperity depends on confidence. In countries where verbal agreements are repudiated, where no agents can be trusted, trade languishes ; where the opposite holds, and in exact proportion as it holds, trade flourishes.
But something more then a minimum of business honesty is needed. Commerce and industry thrive only where there exist security of person and property. But these depend entirely on the intelligent and impartial administration of Justice by the state. Where officials can be regularly bribed or intimidated, where judges normally decide in accordance with family interests or personal favouritism, where false witnesses can be purchased for a few rupees a head, progress languishes. Indeed, I hazard the opinion that their poor success in solving the problem of civil justice has been the main cause of the relative stagnation of civilisation among such highly gifted peoples as those of India and China.
Honesty and justice are the fundamental conditions of Cooperation. But alone they are not enough. Experience shows that in the long run those businesses are most successful in which the relation of co-operation between employer and employed, and also between the firm and its 'connexion', has in it an element which goes beyond honesty ; where the spirit all round is one which prefers, if it must err at all, to err on the side of generosity. Indeed, real honesty is only possible in a society where the majority have generous instincts where buyers are willing to give a fair price and producers desire to do the best that can be done at that price. A survey of the great and old-established businesses of the commercial world will show that firms which over a long period have acquired a reputation for honesty of this generous quality acquire a connexion which treats them in the same spirit. And if ever, as does occasionally happen, such a firm declines, the cause will be, not its adherence to the higher business morality, but the fact that its management has fallen into the hands of men less enterprising, less intelligent, or less industrious-sometimes, even, the abandonment by a new generation of the old tradition of fair dealing which was the source of the firm's good name.
Justice, similarly, in the strictly legal sense of the word, is not a principle of progress but merely of equilibrium: it administers the law that is, it does nothing to amend it. But, if mankind is to advance, it is not enough to secure the impartial administration of the social system and the law that exists ; there must also be its gradual supersession by a system progressively more just, more intelligent and more humane. History shows that laws, institutions, and social customs need constant amelioration; and without this there can be no advance. Laws, institutions, and customs are intimately related to national character. They express the character of a people-or, at least, of its dominant elements-in the past, and they mould its character for the future. It follows that progress is impossible without continual political, social and ethical reform.
And to what is reform of law or custom due ? At once we come upon the creative function of the prophet, the martyr, the reformer. Progress always involves criticism of accepted ideas, usually also of the usages and the institutions in which they are embodied. Such criticism inevitably provokes opposition ; especially where the change necessitated threatens the material interests, as well as the traditional prejudices, of powerful sections of the community. Hence the reformer, whether of ideas or of practice, has always to take the risk of being a martyr. His motives, like those of other men, are generally mixed; the desire for personal distinction, or for the furtherance of the sectional interests of the groups with which he is most closely identified, usually enters into, and thereby impairs, his disinterested perception of the right and his disinterested devotion to its attainment. But here again the greatness and permanence of the advance which he achieves depend mainly on the extent to which ideal and disinterested motives predominate in the minds of himself and those whom he leads. Just in so far as he is swayed by purely personal ambition, or the interests of a particular sect, class or nation, he retards, instead of promoting,the advance of humanity.
Progress depends partly upon a growing keenness of perception for ethical ideals, partly upon an advance in the art of reducing them to practice. Primitive man recognises the rights of others only within the borders of a small group of blood relations. A large part of moral progress consists in the gradual extension of the range of persons towards whom obligation is recognised as existing-from the tribe to the city, from the city to the nation, from the nation to civilised humanity, and from that to all mankind. Partly it consists in enriching and enlarging the conception of the nature of the obligation due. First comes the primitive justice which demands no more, and exacts no less, than eye for eye and tooth for tooth. Later on comes the discovery that justice alone will not suffice. The strictest payment to each man of his bare rights is not enough. That growing capacity of Co-operation, which has alone made possible the advance of man, has in the last resort been due to generosity, the readiness to do more than one need, to give more and exact less than is strictly in the bond, to sympathise and to forgive. It has been due, that is, to the spirit which inspires the brother and the friend, the hero and the martyr, the prophet and the reformer, both those who are known to fame and the vastly larger number of the unhonoured and unknown.
And, when we come to think of it, it is this selfsame spirit, only in another aspect, which expresses itself in the self-sacrificing care and labour of the parent for the child, but for which the race of man could never have existed. And to this expression-the simplest and oldest, but in some ways the most typical of all-we see that the name most obviously appropriate is Creative Love.
There is in human nature an instinct for self-immolation which can easily be mistaken for self-devotion. But neither asceticism nor Quixotic sacrifice is constructive. Creative Love, as it must be backed by energy, so it must be controlled by reason-but not too much controlled. An act or temper which is to be spiritually creative must have an aspect of abandon; a flame from which men seek to light their torches must be a flare. The prodigality of Nature is a true reflection of a necessary element in the highest spiritual life; `good measure pressed down and running over'. Generosity is the note of the heroic, Animaeque magnae prodigus Regulus. `High heaven rejects the lore of nicely calculated less or more.' The balanced perfection of Greek art just falls short of the exuberant plenitude which speaks through all the restraint, the proportion and the intellectual coherence of the greatest of the Gothic cathedrals, which, far better than any theology, translated into stone the constructive aspiration of the Religion they expressed.
Disinterested love, recognition of ideal values, and the capacity for devotion to them when recognised, seem to play such a small part in the struggle for a livelihood or for pleasure which pre-occupies most men's minds, that there is a certain plausibility in regarding them as secondary and accidental products of the evolutionary process. Our analysis of the facts has shown that the contrary holds good. The rudder seems but a small thing, but its direction determines that of the ship ; and progress has depended on the direction of energy and intelligence by the still small voice which bids man stake all on his intuition of the highest-on the love of truth, the love of constructive work, the love of fellow-man, these three ; but the greatest of these is charity.
The essential continuity between Man and Nature is the grand deduction to be made from Darwin's great discovery. Once stated, the conclusion is all but selfevident. Its consequences are less so. The Creative Life that reveals itself in Nature at its sub-human level is, broadly speaking, nonmoral and non-reflective ; while the conspicuous differentia of Man is that he is conscious of ideal values and interested in the meaning of things. But, we have seen, in the tenderness of the tigress for her cubs or in the loyalty of the wolf to the pack there is the germ of what in man we call a moral sense. In the nightingale's delight in the song of her mate, in the peahen's admiration of the cock, there are the beginnings of an aesthetic sense. In some of the higher animals the power of profiting by experience and of adaptation to unforeseen and unforeseeable circumstances is evidence of a degree of intelligence all but reflective. Just in so far as these things appear in Nature, Nature is beginning to show itself to be the expression of a principle which cannot be described as wholly without a sense of values or without a capacity for conscious purpose and reflection.
Man, especially philosophising man, proud of being so much more than an animal, has tried to forget that he is animal at all. Aware that morality often means refusing to follow the dictates of instinct, he has overlooked the fact that the highest morality is not the negation, but the sublimation, of natural instinct, ` First that which is natural, then that which is spiritual'. There is an immense difference, but there is no absolute breach of continuity, between the care of the cat for its kittens and the tenderness of the mother for her babe, or between the attachment of the antelope to the herd and the loyalty of the citizen to his country. When instinct becomes consciously moral, it becomes something infinitely richer; it becomes aware of its own nature, and of its own value; and with every such advance that value becomes greater-but there is nowhere a complete breach of continuity. But, just for that reason, if we ask the meaning of that element in the Life-Force which expresses itself in such instincts, we shall expect to find it in what the highest has attained rather than in that towards which the lowest seems dimly to be groping. That inward urge which prompts the mother bird to feed her nestlings before herself, does not reveal its real quality until we contemplate the Buddha renouncing the bliss which he had found in order to teach the Way to miserable men. The instinct which makes the sentinel of a flock of mountain goats watch while its fellows feed, yields up its meaning when we look at Socrates choosing death rather than escape from prison, in loyalty to his country's laws.
But, the reader may object, are not the force and fraud, which Machiavelli and Nietzsche so extol, also foreshadowed in the animal, and must not they equally reveal something of the inward quality in the Infinite Creative Life ? Not so. In the animal there is the vehement application of physical energy, and the use of elementary intelligence, for the attainment of ends desired ; but the ends are always, cat the animal level, legitimate ends, and their attainment by the individual is, broadly speaking, beneficial to the species as a whole. That ceases to hold when a creature has emerged who can discriminate clearly between selfish and unselfish ends, who has a standard of values and a power of considered choice. Man differs from the animal in that he can, up to a point, take charge of the direction of his own life. He can, indeed he must, choose whether to make his life consciously creative or consciously destructive. It is the fundamental contention of this book that life as we know it is a mirror of the Infinite Life. The Infinite Life is nothing if not creative; hence only when our life is functioning in a way that is actively creative can it in any sense mirror the Infinite. But in man, we have seen, energy and intelligence, when they take the form of force and fraud, become essentially destructive, that is, they are finding a perverted and non-creative expression. It is only when, and in proportion as, they are directed and controlled by the Will to Good that they become creative. The supremely characteristic manifestation, then, of the inward quality of the Infinite Creative Life is that which finds expression in the Will to Good. In other words, Strife can create only a f it be the expression of Love.
Greece saw the vision of Cosmos, the order, beauty, law, behind phenomena; the Universe is the expression of Mind.
India conceived the Dance of Shiva-Shiva, with the Sun and Moon as eyes and the Ganges spurting from his helm, dancing exultant in the flames; the Universe is the expression of Zest.
India was right; Greece, too, was right. But it was a deeper insight, not merely a sublimer dream, that dared to say: the Universe is the expression of Love ; that could see the inmost mystery of Creative Power unveiled in the figure of a man hanging on a cross for the sake of an ideal.
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