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the South, where the blacks are kept in a semi-servile condition, are the white families still large. The new policy, it is plain, will be one of ‘America for the Americans'; Europeans as well as Asiatics will find the land of freedom hard to enter. But Central and South America are not likely to remain barred to the yellow race. The Latin Americans have very little colour prejudice; and there is a far-away kinship between the Mongols and the so-called red men, which makes racial admixture between them by no means repugnant. Central and South America are potentially very rich ; and the greater part of the continent is too hot for Europeans, but not for Chinese. The Germans in South Brazil have lost their vigour; like our countrymen in South Africa, they sit under a tree and hire a coloured man to work for them. But the Chinaman can work in worse climates than that of South Brazil.
The Australians, as we have already seen from their own writings, are fully aware that for them exclusion of the Asiatic is a matter of life and death. But will five million white men be able to guard an empty continent nearly as large as the United States ? They could count on no foreign help, except possibly from America; for the mother-country is far too much exhausted to wage another great war in this century. They might save themselves by rescinding all trade union regulations, and offering homes on easy terms to competent workmen and their families from all parts of Europe. The resources of the country would then be rapidly developed, and the population might in thirty years be numerous enough to keep the invader out. But no policy of this kind is to be expected. The Australian working-man will vote for keeping his prize to himself, till the dykes burst and that splendid country falls to a hardier and thriftier race. As for the other great islands near South-East Asia, it is almost certain that they will become Chinese. It is also probable that this race will spread over Central Asia, where there are said to be large tracts of fairly good land still nearly empty.
In South Africa the danger is more from the Kaffir than from the East Indian or Chinaman, The Bantus are a fine race, and it has yet to be proved that they are incapable of civilisation. The African has at all times
and in all places, except in our West Indies, met with abominable treatment. Everything has been done to degrade him and ruin his character. Mr Stephen Graham's book about The Children of the Slaves' in the Southern States of the American Union makes an Englishman's blood boil. It is not easy to forget the horrible photograph of a negro burnt alive by a crowd of white savages. Even in South Africa the Kaffir has much to complain of; and the evidence of those who know the country is that the relations between the two races are growing worse instead of better. The future of that Dominion is problematical; but it does not seem likely that it will ever be a white man's country like Canada or New Zealand.
For us at home the problem is different. We are not threatened by coloured immigration, and we have nothing to fear from the armies and fleets of Asia. But we depend for our very existence on our foreign tradethat is to say, on being able to offer our manufactures to other nations at a price which they are willing to accept. In return for these manufactures we import the food on which we live. If we can no longer sell them, we shall get no food, and we shall starve. This is a childishly simple proposition, but a large section of our politicians and social reformers choose to ignore it. A double movement, combining decrease in production with increase in its cost, has been progressing rapidly, and many seem to view it with complacency. Its effects would have shown themselves earlier but for the disorganisation of industrial life on the Continent. The crash of our factitious prosperity has now begun; the warfortunes are melting away like snow.
The criticism may be made that these arguments prove too much. If the cheaper races must always outwork and underlive the more expensive, why have China and India remained poor; and what is the use of warning us against a fate which we cannot possibly escape, since we cannot lower our standard to that of the Chinese or the Hindu ? The answer to the former objection is not difficult. Agricultural Asia is overpopulated and can only just feed itself. The low standard of living has increased the population to the
margin at which existence is just possible. Industry on the European system of mass-production is still in its infancy in Asia; where it exists, it is very profitable. It is said that at the present time Japan, which till lately was a very poor country, contains as many millionaires, in proportion to its population, as the United States. The second objection—that if premisses are trųe, no efforts on our part can avert the ruin of the white races, is not altogether sound. The industrialisation of Asia will undoubtedly give rise to the same labour difficulties which cripple our home industries. The wages of the Indian and Chinese operative will rise. They will certainly not rise sufficiently to prevent Asiatic merchants from capturing all our markets if we go on as we are doing ; but the case of British trade is not yet quite hopeless. A great increase
A of production, and a cessation of strikes, with a Government pledged to peace, free trade, and drastic retrenchment, would restore confidence and give the country a chance of returning to sound business principles. We still have some advantages, including our coal, and a geographical position which, though no longer the best, is a good one. But the country must learn that our industry must henceforth be conducted under unprivileged conditions. The relation of wages to output must be approximately that which prevails in the world at large. Moreover, as our period of expansion is probably over, we cannot provide for a larger population than we have at present. The birth-rate must match the death-rate, as it does in France. It is probable indeed that we shall not be able to employ or to feed the whole 48 millions who now inhabit these islands. A gradual reduction in our numbers, by emigration or by birthcontrol, might save much misery.
Behind the problem of our own future rises the great question whether any nation which aims at being a working-man's paradise can long survive. Civilisation hitherto has always been based on great inequality. It has been the culture of a limited class, which has given its character to the national life, but has not attempted to raise the whole people to the same level. Some civilisations have decayed because the privileged class, obeying a law which seems to be almost invariable,
have died out, and the masses have been unable to perpetuate a culture which they never shared. Civilisation, therefore, based on inequality, has always been insecure; and there are other reasons why the ideal of
; equality, or at least of equal opportunity, is attractive to many. But a universal high standard of living seems to be impossible in an industrial community. It has been suggested that what Aristotle called inanimate instruments (as distinguished from the animate instruments—the slaves) may take the place of the poorly paid labourer. In other words, we may all be comfortable when we have machines to work for us. But it must be remembered that machines displace hand-labour; so that the proposed improvements would reduce the number of men and women for whom employment could be found. Further, the extended use of machinery means in practice that every worker is himself turned into a cog in a machine. His working life consists of repeating, thousands of times a day, some simple movement, like turning a screw. The human organism is not adapted to this kind of work; it is hateful and injurious. All joy in labour, all the pleasure of creation, all art and ingenuity, are killed by such excessive mechanisation. Machinery will no doubt perform many unpleasant tasks for us, as it does already; but it will not enable the whole population to live in comfortable villas, and to eat as much expensive food as they desire. Least of all will this be possible in our densely populated island, for reasons which have already been stated.
The present writer has urged these considerations before, of course with the object of demonstrating the ruinously unsound economics of the Labour movement, and of pleading with his countrymen to return to saner counsels while yet there is time. He pictured a possible reversion to the conditions which prevailed in England before the industrial revolution-a reversion which would involve the disappearance of our great towns, the death of their inhabitants, the repudiation of our debts, and the end of our position as a Great Power. He was rather taken aback when a few extremists said in effect: Your arguments are perfectly sound; that is the revolution which we wish to bring out. We shall be happier and healthier as a small agricultural people. I had not
expected that any one would choose that horn of my dilemma. These extremists can hardly have pictured to themselves the dreadful misery of a starving nation and a dying social order; and it is incredible that half our population should acquiesce in such a fate, in order that the survivors might enjoy an idyllic existence in the next century. It is conceivable that such a fate may be in store for us; but if so, every patriot and every humane man would wish to spread the shrinkage over as long a period as possible, so that prudence rather than famine might effect the necessary reduction in numbers.
Lastly, have we any right to assume that the supremacy of the Asiatic would be a retrograde step in the history of the world? The Americans do assume it as unquestionable ; but they seldom condescend to give their reasons.
There is no physical or intellectual inferiority in the yellow races—that is certain; and the moral inferiority of the Asiatic consists chiefly in a callousness about bearing and inflicting suffering, which the Orientals themselves admit. An Indian pundit said to Mr Townsend, .The substantial difference between the English and us is not intellectual at all. We are the brighter, if anything; but you have pity (doya), and we have it not. An English officer told me that he once stood over the mangled body of a Chinaman who had met with a violent death. Noticing, as he thought, some sign of compassion on the stolid face of the dead man's companion, he said, “This is a sad sight.' 'Yes,' said the Celestial : ‘he owed me ten cents'! But there are other virtues in which the Oriental is our superior; the Japanese, especially, have achieved the boast of Pericles, that the Athenians are lovers of beauty combined with plain living, better than any other modern people. It is the plain living which sticks in the throat of the American; but it need not stick in ours. Probably the Eastern races will force upon us a general simplification of life, which will give us a social freedom to which we have long been strangers. A Russian-one of the survivors of the intelligentsia who have escaped from the Terror-has lately suggested that the psychological cause of the war is that people were 'stifling under the burden of civilisation, compelled to make, to buy, and to consume countless unnecessary articles which