Chicago Tribune

Prof. William I. Thomas Says Americans Deteriorate.
Also Takes Rap at Man for Avoiding Real Social Life.

William I. Thomas, associate professor of sociology, does not have a high opinion of the present state of American society. Prof. Thomas addressed the members of the Chicago Woman’s club yesterday afternoon on "The Present Condition and Destiny of the Family," and in the course of his paper made several statements which are decidedly discouraging to any feeling of national pride that may have been troubling us.

Briefly Prof. Thomas believes that:

The insane and habitual criminal classes in America are increasing more rapidly than the normal population; in the more intelligent classes the birth rate is lower than the death rate.

This, which means rapid racial deterioration, makes the question of white or yellow supremacy in the near future a grave one.

There are few middle class American families whose dress and mode of living do not represent larger bank accounts than they possess.

Women of the upper classes are giving themselves over to personal ornamentation, struggles for social preeminence, and "the solemn sacrament of bridge whist." Child bearing is left largely to the poorer classes.

Man, as yet is only partially socialized. He has not place in the picture of the madonna because he does not form a part of the real society.

The normal child of 5 can understand anything from the theory of evolution to the "Hamlet" of Shakespeare. Through uneducated nurses and "unideaed" mothers his life is misspent.


Sees Grave Condition.

"One of the gravest conditions confronting white civilization," said Prof. Thomas, "is the fact that the insane, the idiotic and mentally defective, the diseased from birth or from excess, and the habitual criminal are increasing at a more rapid rate than the normal population, and in the more intelligent classes the birth rate is actually lower than the death rate.

"When we consider the question of white or yellow supremacy is a question of the future, I think we shall agree that it is time to give marriage a scientific status.

"As from the child, give me his home training and I don’t care who makes up the school curricula. At 6 the child can understand anything. On of our great universities has provided a tutorial system in which the tutor spends his whole time with the pupil, trying to make up for his misspent childhood. We need more of that.

"But we must go farther back than the child. Our women of the better classes are extremely likely to leave the function of child bearing to those who are poorer.


How Women Spend Time

"If the society woman who is not at home to your ring were searched out, where would she be found, think you? At the Art institute, at the libraries, or at the Chicago Woman’s club? No. You would find her at the department stores, at the apothecaries’ at the massage parlors, at the solemn sacrament of bridge whist.

"The women of today, here in America, are rushing into an intemperate zone, and the society of today hold a damning brief against them.

Monogamy, said the speaker, is a system under which many abuse may occur, and many individuals be injured. The divorce evil is due to the content, not the framework, of the marriage system.

"The woman and child constitute the real society," Prof. Thomas concluded. "Man as yet is only partially socialized. He has used woman as a lay figure on which to hang his wealth, but never has he really associated with her. Man has no place in the picture of the madonna, because he does not belong there.

"It my own feeling, the madonna will be superseded by a painting by Lucy Fitch Perkins, entitled ‘Dance to Your Daddy, My Little Babbie!’ Here a mother and child are waiting on the sands for the father —the belated member of the perfect human trinity."


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